Kester's WWE Royal Rumble Rundown: The Rumble ends in a groan with Batista heading to WrestleMania, Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt steals the show, and Randy Orton vs. John Cena happened
By Ryan Kester
Despite the complete letdown that was the end of the match, the actual Rumble this year was well done. Several wrestlers had their chances to shine, some fun returns and one-offs took place, and most notably, Roman Reigns was able to shine as he broke a long-standing Rumble record. The Rumble served its purpose of setting up new stories and furthering existing ones.
The issue came when Rey Mysterio made his entrance as the number 30 entrant and that signaled that Daniel Bryan wasn't going to be in the match. In a quick burst of music, the live crowd knew two things, that Daniel Bryan wasn't getting the win and the huge Rumble moment when that's what the WWE audience has been clamoring for, and that Batista would be getting the win. This marks the second year in a row that WWE has completely telegraphed the winner of the Ruble, and the match loses a significant amount of its magic when the result is so clearly foreshadowed.
WWE not bringing Bryan into the match was a mistake. I could care less if they're planning an angle around the move or have a story reason to delay his push. Moments like WWE could have had last night do not come around often, and it's disappointing to see it squandered for the sake of giving a returning wrestler clout.
Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt
This was, by all account, the match of the night. Bryan sold extremely well for Wyatt, who came out of the contest looking like an absolute killer. Wyatt showed in recent weeks how well his character can fit into the modern WWE product, not he's shown that his offense can work in a longer match. This was exactly the showcase Wyatt needed.
Personally speaking, part of me will always wonder what could have happened with the story that was so swiftly scrapped. Bryan and Wyatt had an interesting chemistry together, but right before WrestleMania season was the worst time to start that story considering how hot Bryan has been in recent months.
Randy Orton vs. John Cena
The wrestling of this match was well done, but that doesn't change the fact that the match lacked a certain intensity one would expect from an angle involving an attack on one of the participant's father. Instead we got a passable performance that no one in the crowd seemed to want and came across as unimportant.
That's the biggest crime of this match, how simply inconsequential seemed. This was the rematch for the unification of WWE's top two belts, yet it came across as a throwaway main event of one of WWE's monthly PPVs, not the co-main event of WWE's second-biggest show of the year.
This year's Rumble was a disappointment. The opening match and the Rumble itself delivered, but it's hard to wash out the bad taste that the show left in one's mouth. For WWE's sake, I hope they have a solid game plan coming out of the PPV because if they expect their current audience to love the Orton vs. Batista matchup for WrestleMania, then they are in for a rude awakening.
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