WWE Royal Rumble 2014
Aired live on pay-per-view
Pittsburgh, Pa. at Consol Energy Center
Josh Matthews opened the show with images of the crowd in Pittsburgh. He was joined by "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair. Hope Matthews still has a job after this. Michaels said the strategy to winning the Rumble was not getting thrown over the top rope. Flair said it was keeping in mind that this could be a career making moment. Duggan said his strategy was fire, ready, aim.
The panel highlighted the kick-off match for the tag titles before tossing it to Renee Young. Young said any of the guys could come join her on the couch. Flair promptly snatched his headset off. OK, she invited them but Flair didn't leave. But he wanted too. Young read some tweets and sent it back to Matthews.
Matthews narrated a series of video clips that recapped John Cena vs. Randy Orton. The panel made their picks as the announce team made their ring entrances behind them. Backstage, Vickie and Brad Maddox ran the hopper for Rumble spots. Alberto Del Rio was happy with his, as was Kofi Kingston and the Real Americans. R-Truth was not. Damien Sandow laughed at Khali's number, but Khali laughed even harder at Sandow's…
Shore's Slant: No, they didn't reveal any numbers, but I'm thinking Sandow might be number two. We'll see.
The panel hyped Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt as the opening match. Michaels said he's never kicked anyone in the face he didn't respect so he was picking Wyatt. Flair went with Wyatt and I missed Duggan's… The Outlaws made their entrance and Road Dog did his full shtick.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The New Age Outlaws for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Road Dog and Cody started. The announce team talked up the conspiracy idea of how the Outlaws got their title shot. Cody tossed both guys to the floor. Goldust hit a rough dive on Road Dog on the floor and Cody dove on Gunn…[C]
Shore's Slant: A break on a PPV match 1:25 in. Wow.
Back from commercial, the ref was keeping the Outlaws away from Goldust who appeared to be legit hurt. The ref finally let them go again and the heels got heat on Goldust. The feed died on WWE.com and by the time I got back to the show on YouTube Billy Gunn hit the Fameassor on Cody for the win…
The New Age Outlaws won the WWE Tag Team Championships at 6:16.
Shore's Slant: Wait, what? Unless this is getting the titles away from the Rhodes boys so they can feud at Mania this is a terrible idea. Even if it is, this is not a good idea. The Outlaws have legs as a nostalgia act, but putting the titles on them is a waste.
The Rumble by the numbers video aired. Duggan's pick for the Rumble was Dolph Ziggler. HBK picked "The Shield" and Flair picked Batista. Daniel Bryan was shown walking backstage to close the kick-off show…
The Royal Rumble
A video hyped the Rumble and title match. Daniel Bryan made his entrance to a thunderous reaction. The Wyatts were out next to a weird reaction. The crowd didn’t boo per se, but I got the feeling they were still over. A video recapped the cage incident between Bryan and Bray…
1. Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt (w/Harper and Rowan). Wyatt talked to himself before the bell and then yelled at Bryan as the crowd split "Yes" and "Daniel Bryan" chants. Every strike Bryan hit early drew a "yes" chant. Bryan dove on Luke Harper after a distraction. The ref saw Rowan grab Bryan so he ejected both Harper and Rowan. Wyatt attacked Bryan from behind and told his men he didn't need them to fight this one for him. They left and Bryan dove on Bray on the floor.
Wyatt chopped Bryan off the top rope to give him control. The announce team mentioned "rumors" about Bryan having a concussion. Wyatt went to the floor, but Bryan avoided him and Bray slammed into the stairs and sold his left leg. Bray gimped back to the ring and Bryan went to work on the leg.
Bryan curb stomped Bray in a nice looking spot and then hit a kick on the leg in the corner. He tried to suplex Bray into the ring from the apron, but Bryan dragged him out to the apron and then slammed Bryan's arm onto the apron and took control.
Wyatt dragged Bryan over to the corner and set his head against the ring post. Wyatt went to the floor and hit elbows into the side of the head and then a clothesline against the post. Wyatt hit a senton on the floor and said, "I tried to tell him." He yelled "Why didn't you help him?" at the crowd before rolling Bryan back in the ring.
Wyatt continued to work on the head and neck in the ring and then did his weird spider crawl thing before hitting his corner splash. Bryan started his comeback but was shut down by throwing his body at Bryan. Bryan ducked a charging Bray, who fell to the floor. Bryan hit a tornado DDT from the apron and then the dropkick against the barricade.
Bryan hit the missile dropkick back in the ring, followed by the Yes kicks for two. Bryan hit back to back corner dropkicks and charged for a third, but Bray turned him inside out with a clothesline. He went for Sister Abigail, but Bryan slipped out and hooked the Yes Lock. Bray bit Bryan's hand to break the hold and rained punches on him.
Wyatt set Bryan on the top rope and climbed up. They battled and Bray fell to the mat. Bryan hit a top rope splash and setup for the running knee. Wyatt powdered to the floor and Bryan went to dive on him. Wyatt caught him and hit Sister Abigail into the barricade. He rolled Bryan back in the ring and hit Sister Abigail again for the win…
Bray Wyatt defeated Daniel Bryan at 21:35.
Shore's Slant: Holy shit that was great. Bray Wyatt looks like an absolute killer and Daniel Bryan can absorb the loss. I wrote in my preview blog that I was afraid that a Bryan win in the Rumble would cover him when he lost here, but it would also cover up Bray's win. After that match, I think I might be wrong. Simply wow. If you didn’t order the PPV, get this match when it becomes available on iTunes.
Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Paul Heyman who said Brock Lesnar would victimize Big Show… Ben Roethlisberger was shown in the crowd… The panel was introduced and they discussed the Show vs. Lesnar match. Show made his entrance as a video recapped his feud with Lesnar. Lesnar was out next with Heyman and attacked Show before the match started.
Lesnar beat Show down with a chair and no matter how many times he pushed Lesnar away, Lesnar came storming back with the chair and strikes. Lesnar yelled at the ref to ring the bell and he wouldn't do it. The ref got rid of one chair, but Heyman handed Lesnar another. Show made his feet and the ref rang the bell…
2. Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman). Lesnar charged at Show with the chair and Show hit the knockout punch. Show sold the beating and Lesnar dragged himself to the floor. Show followed him to the floor and tossed him around. He rolled Lesnar back in the ring and setup for the knockout punch again. Lesnar ducked and hit the F5 for the win…
Brock Lesnar defeated Big Show at 2:02.
Post-match, Lesnar sold the knockout punch a little and then grabbed the chair again. He beat on Show until Show rolled to the floor and then Lesnar followed for another 50 chair shots or so until the chair broke. Heyman tossed Lesnar another chair and he broke that one on Show too. The ref tried to step in and Lesnar shoved him 10 feet. Lesnar continued to beat on Show until it reached Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon levels of uncomfortable. Lesnar and Heyman simply left afterward…[C]
Shore's Slant: These two were in a tough spot considering what they had to follow, and I liked what they did considering that spot. The logic was good and it was very different from what opened the show. The post-match beating went a little too long, but otherwise this was so much better than I feared when I saw it was where it was going on. Also, two commercials already in this PPV? Fail.
Backstage, The Shield cut a promo on facing 27 other Superstars. They said they would eliminate everyone else until only they were left. Rollins said when the Rumble was over, no matter which one of them won, they would still stand together. Reigns said he had the winning number. Ambrose asked him what his number was. Reigns wouldn't say and they devolved into bickering. Rollins cut in and calmed them down…
Renee Young interviewed Orton backstage. She started to ask him about Cena and Orton blew it off as him having beat Cena many times. Young said a bunch of people were lining up, including Bray Wyatt, Batista, and Brock Lesnar. Orton said none of them were great like him and tonight he would prove Cena wasn't either… A WrestleMania logo showed it is 70 days away.
A video recapped the Cena vs. Orton feud. WWE added in a table breaking sound for Cena's missed table spot at TLC. Um, OK. Orton and Cena made their entrances, in that order, and Lillian Garcia handled old school ring introductions…
3. Randy Orton vs. John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. A "Daniel Bryan" chant broke out, followed by the competing Cena chants, then back to Bryan. Orton got heat early as Pittsburgh thought it was the night after Mania and hijacked the show. They chanted for several people and Orton played to them a little. He hooked on a chin lock and the crowd chanted "boring."
The crowd continued to do what they wanted and Orton started to yell back. Cena scooped him up and teased an AA but Orton escaped and hit a DDT. Orton did the Garvin stomp and played to the crowd in the corner. Cena picked him up and hit an electric chair for two.
Cena started the five moves of doom to heavy boos. Orton kicked Cena when he did "You can’t see me" and hit his power slam for two. Cena came right back with the half-nelson neckbreaker for two. Cena lifted for the AA again and Orton again reversed, this time into his backbreaker.
Orton tried for the hung DDT but Cena tossed him to the floor. Cena ran over and Orton dragged him to the apron and hit the hung DDT from the apron to the floor. Orton rolled him in the ring and setup for the RKO. Cena ducked away and hooked the STF. Orton made the ropes to break the hold and then hit a hangman on Cena.
Orton slid back in the ring and Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He lifted for the AA and the ref got kicked. Orton escaped, but Cena locked in the STF. Orton tapped and Cena let go to find the ref. Orton grabbed the title belt and hit Cena while the ref was still out. The ref recovered with Orton's help to count two.
A "This is awful" chant broke out as Orton intimidated the ref in the corner. Cena popped up and hit an AA for a nearfall. Cena pulled Orton to his feet and Orton hit an RKO for two. The crowd chanted "We want Divas" and Orton posed for them. The announce team tried to cover as the crowd trying to get into Orton's head. It didn't come across as believable.
Cena lifted for another AA, but Orton slipped out and hooked a modified STF on Cena. Cena powered out and hooked a crossface. Orton rolled him up and Cena broke the hold. Orton hit the AA on Cena for two in an unexpected spot. Orton stood Cena up and Cena hit an RKO for two. That one was more expected.
They ended up on the top rope and Cena hit a nasty looking move that dropped Orton on his face. Cena locked in the STF and Orton crawled to the ropes. Cena broke the hold and dragged Orton back to the center of the ring and rehooked the hold. Orton teased tapping when the Wyatt cut happened and the lights went off. When they came back on the Wyatts were on the apron. Cena dropped Bray and Orton hit an RKO off the distraction for the win…
Randy Orton retained the WWE Championship at 20:54.
Post-match, Orton left through the crowd to avoid the Wyatts. The Wyatts entered the ring and beat down Cena. Bray finished it off by hitting Sister Abigail on Cena after yelling "Behold the creator of the new world." The crowd chanted "Yes" for him afterward…
Shore's Slant: Well, give the devil their due, I never saw that coming. I'm a little confused after all the "old school, there will be a winner" stuff from the Authority that there would be interference, but I guess we will see where this goes. The match itself was simply OK. The bad part is I'm not sure where this leaves the Rumble. My fear is this means Batista wins.
Renee Young interviewed the New Age Outlaws after a video showed how they won the tag titles earlier. They did half babyface/half heel shtick and then said they were going to party… A video hyped Elimination Chamber on February 23… A video had most (if not all) of the announced Rumble participants saying why they would win the Rumble. The panel discussed the Rumble one final time and they repeated their picks as Flair looked more drunk than ever… CM Punk made his ring entrance followed by Seth Rollins to start.
4. The Royal Rumble. Damien Sandow was number three and the heels ganged up on Punk. Cody Rhodes was number four to even the odds. Sandow ran at Punk and Punk tossed him. Damien Sandow was eliminated. Kane was number five as an unannounced participant. Kane ran out in his office clothes and took his shirt off. He took out Cody with a kick and went to work on Punk.
Kane teased chokeslamming Kane, but Punk hit the roundhouse kick and eliminated Kane. Kane was eliminated. Alexander Rusev, and NXT rookie, was number six and pounded everyone. Swagger was number seven and squared off with Rusev. Kofi Kingston was number eight, leaving six men in the ring.
Jimmy Uso was number nine. Goldust was number 10. A group teamed together to eliminate Rusev. Alexander Rusev was eliminated at 13.52. Kofi was tossed and Rusev caught him. Rusev set Kofi on the rail and it knees. The ref chased Rusev off and Kofi recovered to jump from the railing to the ring. Dean Ambrose was number 11.
Unannounced Dolph Ziggler was number 12 and he got a chant from the crowd. R-Truth was number 13 and was immediately beat down by the Shield members. He was almost immediately eliminated. R-Truth was eliminated at 18:11. Jimmy Uso climbed the top rope and was kicked off by Rollins. Jimmy Uso was eliminated at 18:30. Kevin Nash was number 14 and immediately eliminated Swagger. Jack Swagger was eliminated at 19:57.
Roman Reigns was number 15 and came in like a beast. Kofi tried for trouble in paradise on him and Reigns caught him and eliminated him. Kofi Kingston was eliminated at 21:47. Reigns hit Ziggler with a killer spear and tossed him. Dolph Ziggler was eliminated at 22:15. Reigns clotheslined Nash over for a quick hat trick. Kevin Nash was eliminated at 22:23.
Great Khali was number 16 and was quickly dumped by the Shield, primarily Reigns. Great Khali was eliminated at 23:39. Out of nowhere, Goldust eliminated Cody, only to be eliminated by Reigns. Cody Rhodes was eliminated at 24:03. Goldust was eliminated at 24:05.
Sheamus made his return at number 17 and took down the Shield by himself, hitting a brogue kick on Reigns. Miz entered at 18 with no real impact. Fandango entered at 19 as Pittsburg Fandangoed with him. Miz almost eliminated him quickly but Fandango fought out. El Torito was number 20. He eliminated Fandango. Kill me now. Fandango was eliminated at 30:34. Torito dove on Reigns, but the big man caught him and tossed him onto Fandango. El Toritio was eliminated at 30:53.
Antonio Cesaro was number 21. He did a short Cesaro swing on Miz, followed by a longer one that lasted until Luke Harper entered at 22. Jay Uso entered at 23. Cesaro took a nasty boot from Harper just before JBL entered from the announce table at 24. Cole said, and I quote, "The JBL character has never entered a Royal Rumble." JBL called Cole over to get his jacket and Reigns eliminated JBL. JBL was eliminated at 36:36.
Eric Rowan entered at 25. He and Harper teamed up to toss Miz and Jay Uso. Miz was eliminated at 38:10. Jay Uso was eliminated at 38:49. Ryback entered at 26 with no impact. Sheamus nearly killed Cesaro with a forearm. Del Rio entered at 27, the spot with the most wins. He made no eliminations before Batista entered at 28 to a huge pop.
Batista immediately tossed Rowan. Eric Rowan was eliminated at 42:34. Ryback and Batista had a brief fight that Batista won. Ryback was eliminated at 43:02. Del Rio kicked Batista from the knees and tried to hook on the arm breaker, but Batista powered up and tossed Del Rio. Alberto Del Rio was eliminated at 43:31. Big E Langston entered at 29.
The crowd chanted for Bryan just before the countdown and Rey Mysterio was number 30 and the crowd rained boos on him for not being Bryan. Seriously, the crowd turned HUGE and began to boo the whole match. Holy shit. Pittsburgh is pissed. I looked up and Langston was rolling across the floor. Big E Langston was eliminated at 46:39.
Rey was eliminated by Rollins to a big cheer. Rey Mysterio was eliminated at 47:30. Harper was tossed by Reigns and Ambrose tried to eliminate him. Luke Harper was eliminated at 48:06. Ambrose and Rollins argued. Cesaro tried to eliminate them both but failed. Reigns walked up and tossed all three. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Antonio Cesaro were eliminated at 48:30.
Kane recovered from the floor to pulle Punk over the top rope. Those eliminations always piss me off for the lack of logic. CM Punk was eliminated at 49:10. Kane beat up Punk and choke slammed him through the Spanish announce table. Batista tossed Sheamus to the apron, but Reigns kicked him off to break the record with 12 eliminations. Sheamus was eliminated at 52:48.
The crowd shit all over Batista and cheered for Reigns. Reigns setup for his spear and the crowd hated on it as Batista did his stomp at the ropes. He turned around and Reigns hit a spear that the crowd popped huge for. Reigns went to eliminated Batista, but Batista reversed and tossed him to win the Royal Rumble.
Batista eliminated Roman Reigns to win the Royal Rumble at 55:05.
Shore's Slant: I really don't know what to say. Pittsburgh will forever be my favorite wrestling town now because they literally begged for something new from WWE and were denied. The total lack of reaction to Batista winning, coupled with the complete shit storm Orton and Cena had to endure, should be a watershed moment for WWE. Alas, I don’t think it will.
All in all the first half of the show exceeded expectations while the Rumble match itself was flat and lifeless. They need to do something massive for WrestleMania as right now, I honestly don’t think I could care less about seeing that show. Jason Powell and I will have more in the Member's exclusive audio review. Thanks for watching along tonight.