Review: Royal Rumble fails to meet expectations

Mace Mackiewicz, Verge Reporter

The Royal Rumble is a yearly Pay Per View held by the World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. Amongst other things the main attraction of the Royal Rumble is the Rumble itself. Two wresters start in the ring with other wrestles entering every 90 seconds until all 30 have been out. The goal is to toss the other wrestlers over the top rope until one man is left and they get to go to the main event of Wrestlemania.

The Pay Per View event started with the pre-show which was a three vs three tag team match between Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, and Adam Rose vs New Day. If you’re watching this later I recommend skipping this match as it was pointless. Nothing too exciting happens and nothing was at stake, but get used to tag team matches because most of the matches in the PPV are.

Cesaro and Tyson Kidd are awesome while Adam Rose is just boring. The members of New Day are all great wrestlers, but New Day is an awful gimmick. WWE really needs to work on its gimmicks it gives to people of color because right now it is kind of ridiculous that a tag team of African Americans’ is relegated to dancing and singing gospel in 2015.

Next match was New Age Outlaws vs The Ascension. New Age Outlaws are a tag team from the Attitude era and were members of DX. The Ascension is a recently brought up tag team from NXT. New Age Outlaws are interesting, but I am not sold on the Ascension as a tag team yet.

The Ascension won the relatively pointless 15 minute match, but at least they were being put over by the old talent. They’ve got awhile to go and WWE is trying to build them up as the new monster tag team so we’ll see if they willl be able to revitalize the nearly dead tag team scene with these guys and the other tag teams down at the developmental NXT.

The next tag match was The Miz and Damien Mizdow vs The Usos. This match was a little more interesting than the first two simply because of Mizdow whose whole gimmick is to mimic everything the Miz does. And while this does sound hokey it honestly has gotten him over a hell of a lot more than his original gimmick of just being an intellectual.

The match built tension between Miz and Mizdow as the Miz character wants all of the attention and refuses to tag Mizdow in which eventually leads to Miz getting pinned. It was basically Miz vs the Usos. Overall, an OK match, but the Usos are getting boring and are kind of like the John Cena of tag teams.

Now there is yet another tag team match this time, a divas tag team match. The Bellas vs Paige and Nattie. This match needed a little more time than it got as it was too short to really do any storytelling. It was a slow tag match that just did what it did. Again most of the matches on this Pay Per View are completely skippable.

However, the triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is an extremely early contender for Match of the Year. I was skeptical of the Brock Lesnar vs John Cena vs Seth Rollins match at first, but this match delivered ridiculously well.

Brock Lesnar has been built up as a monster since destroying John Cena back at Summerslam and this match is no different. The man picks up and supplexes John Cena several times in this match and he pretty much throws Cena around like a rag doll. Lesnar is just a beast and it’s terrifying to watch.

Cena actually wasn’t too stale in this match and that’s really saying something. Seeing him against someone who actually beat him and can easily beat him makes his whole underdog character work. Seeing him trying to get an offensive out on Lesnar only to be supplexed again is always just so awesome.

Of course Seth Rollins plays the perfect heel in this match pretty much stalking and waiting for an opportunity while Lesnar and Cena are attacking each other to get an offensive in while they’re distracted. Also Rollins breaks out two incredible high flying moves in this match and he has pretty much been sold as the future in this match.

An awesome point is when Seth Rollins jumped off the top rope to land on Brock Lesnar who was layed out on the Spanish announcers table. Another awesome spot was when Rollins did something called a “phoenix splash” which was just incredible and I believe cements Rollins as the future.

The match ended with Lesnar came back into the ring after being out for a while on the outside ring and attacked Cena again. Rollins tried to go for his signature curb stomp but Lesnar catches him and does his F5 and pins Rollins. The whole match is honestly a 10/10 if you want a reason to get into or back into wrestling I highly recommend this match.

Finally the main event of the Pay Per View happens the Royal Rumble. The Rumble starts out boring with the Miz and R-Truth. However, the third person to come out was Bubba Ray Dudley, a member of the Dudley brothers tag team that was part of what made the Attitude Era so awesome. Seeing Dudley pull off his old signature moves was just awesome and it made the crowd go nuts.

Next Bray Wyatt came out and eliminated everyone and preceded to eliminate everyone until the fan favorite Daniel Bryan came out. Daniel Bryan has been out with an injury for almost a year and having come off a year where he won a WrestleMania a lot of people wanted him to win.

WWE makes its first mistake in this match in after a while they have Wyatt eliminate Bryan in the first third of the match. The whole crowd turned against the match immediately and cheers became a chorus of boos. WWE should of saw this coming after being booed out of the building last year for not putting Bryan in the rumble at all pretty much forcing them to change their original plans to put Bryan in the title picture, it’s ridiculous that they aren’t putting their chips on this man.

Instead the WWE is putting everything on Roman Reigns. A young wrestler who is cousins with the Rock. Reigns is still too green especially to be main eventing a Wrestle Mania against someone like Brock Lesnar. Reigns doesn’t have an incredibly diverse move set yet and his mic work is still a joke. The man needs about another year or two before he should be pushed as a main eventer.

The rest of the Royal Rumble after Reigns comes out is just devoted to making him out to be strong. All other fan favorites like Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose are knocked out by the heels Big Show and Kane just to that Reigns can beat them and be put over as ridiculously strong. All of this however went over awful with the crowd.

Everything was booed after Reigns eliminated Kane and Big Show. Reigns gets attacked after eliminating him and the Rock made a surprise return to take out Kane and Big Show the fans are still booing. They booed the Rock one of the most charismatic wrestlers of all time. After this was over the Rock held up Reigns hand and looked extremely confused as to why they were being booed.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the WWE combats the backlash in the next few weeks. RAW was cancelled the next night due to snow problems so they pretty much bought themselves some time to do damage control. The aftermath of the Rumble actually got people to tweet and get #cancelwwenetwork to trend.

Overall the PPV was pretty bad except for the triple threat match. The rumble as a whole gets a 3 out of 10, but it does contain a 10 out of 10 match.

Mace Mackiewicz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]