Adam Martin reviews the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble PPV

WWE Royal Rumble PPV Review
January 26, 2015
By: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com

The 28th annual WWE Royal Rumble is in the books.

Yet, I’m experiencing a similar if not same reaction the WWE audience provided last year: frustration. Pittsburgh didn’t like Batista. Philadelphia really didn’t like Roman Reigns.

The tone last year was a strong backing of Daniel Bryan and the crowd wasn’t given that opportunity in the actual Royal Rumble match. Fast forward a year later, Bryan would get a chance to compete in the Rumble only to be eliminated rather quickly.

Roman Reigns, the guy who was one of the remaining two last year, wins a year later and we get the same negative reaction for the second year in a row.

The WWE audience turns on Roman Reigns

Is Philadelphia to blame here? While it might be easy to point the finger at a traditionally hostile wrestling crowd, we have to face the facts. The WWE audience has been slowly cooling off on Roman Reigns and this was even before his injury in September. You could sense it since his return to WWE television and it still didn’t deter the company from going forward with plans for Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31. As we saw last year, plans can always change and it’s very possible we could see a repeat of that.

The feedback on Sunday evening to this Royal Rumble finish wasn’t positive, at least from the quick poll we took on Twitter. Some of the most used descriptions? “Terrible.” “Predictable.” “Epic fail.” The early consensus isn’t good news for WWE.

@Shaneoo88: “The way they booked the Rumble was brutal, the way they booked Reigns leading into it was just as bad.”

@wordlife1998: “Just cancelled my @WWENetwork subscription because of it. What a joke.”

@TommyJC1: “It was terrible, Bryan, Cesaro, Wyatt or Ziggler should have won, anyone but Reigns, he is trash.”

@duckshirt: “The crowd spoke for wrestling fans very well.”

Was it the worst Royal Rumble ever presented by WWE? No. Yet the company has somehow found a way to produce a frustrating result for the audience two years in a row. No matter how you spin it, that isn’t good. Even worst (as pointed out in a text from David Stephens), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson couldn’t even help put over the result in a positive light.

Despite the frustration of the outcome by many fans, you can’t ignore some of the really fun aspects of the match this year. Bubba Ray Dudley’s return was very fun and pretty entertaining after a nearly 10 year stint away from the company. Bray Wyatt handling business with tons of eliminations was fun. DDP cracking off Diamond Cutters at his age could put a smile on the face of any wrestling fan. Yet, as we progressed closer to that final four stage, you could feel the crowd sensing that the Reigns win was closing in.

The road to WrestleMania has started. The WWE audience isn’t pleased.

Lesnar, Cena and Rollins put on a clinic in Philadelphia

Unquestionably, this was the highlight of the night. Any debate or discussion about the decision to go on a lengthy title run with Brock Lesnar as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion almost seems silly after the completion of this match. The pacing from beginning to end was executed at a level not seen since Lesnar vs. Cena at SummerSlam. Huge kudos to Seth Rollins who clearly stepped up his game with some amazing athleticism on Sunday night. It was just a really fun, well executed triple threat match by WWE. I know it is only January, but that was one of the best matches to kick off 2015 already.

The Bella Twins continue to show improvement

Natalya and Paige make a fun tag team. Everyone involved worked hard tonight. What really caught my eye was the in-ring improvement of Nikki Bella. Slowing down a bit and putting more emphasis on transitions has really helped her.

Damien Mizdow still a popular character

It’s fun to see The Miz character having some fun with the popularity of Damien Mizdow. The crowd really seemed to enjoy it throughout the night. The Usos are still a really fun tag team to watch and continue to display fun tag offense.

The Ascension keeps on rolling

I’m curious to see where things go with The Ascension in the coming months. Are they going to be the new version of Randy Orton’s “legend killer” gimmick except with old tag teams? It’s fun, but fun for now. I’d hate to kill it this early.

Overall impression

The frustration out of that Philadelphia crowd tonight is hard to ignore. I really enjoyed Lesnar vs. Cena vs. Rollins (go out of your way to see it if you missed it). The Rumble concept still remains fun, but how do you not learn your lesson two years in a row?

Agree? Disagree? You’re in luck. We now have a new comments area down below where you can share your thoughts about the Royal Rumble.

Follow me on Twitter: @adamwrestleview