Royal Rumble 2015

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It’s the one where they screwed Daniel Bryan again. It’s been a tough couple years for the Rumble in the Roman Reigns era.

The Rest of the Card

-The Ascension defeated The New Age Outlaws

-The Usos defeated The Miz and Damien Mizdow to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship

-The Bella Twins defeated Paige and Natalya

-Brock Lesnar defeated Seth Rollins and John Cena to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

The Match

Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL are on commentary.

The Miz, who always seems to draw bad numbers, is #1. R-Truth is #2. Bubba Ray Dudley, making his first WWE appearance since 2005, is #3. Big pop for him in Philly. Surprisingly he had never entered a Rumble before this. Him and Truth combine to do the “Wassup” Headbutt. And then he tells Truth to get the tables. I do sort of feel like Truth being a black guy subbed in for D-Von has unfortunate implications. Truth and Bubba combine for the 3D on Miz and Bubba tosses him. Luke Harper is #4 as Bubba eliminates Truth.

Bray Wyatt is #5. He and Harper combine to eliminate Bubba. #6 is Curtis Axel, but he gets jumped by Erick Rowan and never enters the match. This begins his awesome character of pointing out that he was never eliminated. He confronts his former stablemates and a struggle ends with Bray tossing both Harper and Rowan. Well, that was underwhelming.

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#7 is The Boogeyman! Awesome surprise entrant. They do sort of a Weird-Off with Bray doing his Spider Walk and Boogeyman eating worms. And then Bray eliminates Boogey in ten seconds. That was all that needed to be. #8 is Sin Cara. He’s fodder for Bray and gone in less than a minute. #9 is Zack Ryder, he also lasts less than a minute.

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#10 is Daniel Bryan and business picks up. Crowd is rabid, this has to be his night. Lots of kicks from Bryan and then a top rope Frankensteiner. Fandango is #11, sadly with his lame music. #12 is Tyson Kidd. #13 is Stardust. Bryan eliminates Kidd with a Back Suplex. Never seen that before. Bryan hits Bray with a Suicide Dive through the ropes, both guys remain in the match. #14 is Diamond Dallas Page. Love seeing DDP in there. Diamond Cutter on Stardust! And he never saw it coming.

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Fandango gets crotched and hit with a Super Diamond Cutter. BANG! Diamond Cutter on Bray! That deserves a self-high five. Rusev is #15. DDP goes for the Diamond Cutter, but Rusev blocks it, hits a big kick, and tosses DDP. And then Fandango. Bray and Rusev stare each other down but are interuppted by a Missile Dropkick by Bryan. And then Bryan ends up on the apron and knocked off by Bray. Bryan’s gone in the most unceremonious way possible. I guess they were hoping that getting him out early would let the crowd get over it, but it didn’t work out that way.

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Goldust is #16 in what I hope was an unintentional bit of trolling. Really loud Daniel Bryan chant starts up. And then boos. Just tons of boos. #17 is Kofi, before New Day was over. #18 is Adam Rose. Match has really ground to a halt. Kofi is saved by The Rosebuds and crowdsurfs the back into the ring. Rose gets tossed by Rusev in about ten seconds. Rusev eliminates Kofi with a kick. Roman Reigns is #19 and gets booed out of the house. He tosses Goldust. And Stardust. Just vicious boos now.

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#20 is Big E. #21 is Damien Mizdow and he gets a really big reaction. Miz tries to take his spot but Mizdow doesn’t go along. He comes in hot and then immediately gets tossed by Rusev. Well, that was another disappointment. Jack Swagger is #22. Ryback is #23. He comes in hot and throws everyone around. Big pop when he hits Reigns. We get our first “CM Punk” chant of the match. Korporate Kane is #24. Dean Ambrose is #25. #26 is Titus O’Neil, who gets tossed in five seconds by Reigns and Ambrose.

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#27 is Bad News Barrett, reigning Intercontinental Champion (sort of feels like he held that title for four years straight). Ring is getting full, just a bunch of guys leaning on each other right now. #28 is Cesaro. Still in the “he’s European, he can’t be a face” phase of his career. Big Show is #29. Big Show and Kane start eliminating people: Ryback and Swagger are first. #30 is Dolph Ziggler and that wakes the crowd up. He eliminates Barrett with a Superkick, then gets Swung by Cesaro. Ziggler comes back to eliminate Cesaro.

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Ziggler gets hit with a Big Show KO Punch and thrown out like a sack of potatoes. Then they toss Bray Wyatt. Down to four: Reigns, Ambrose, Kane, and Big Show. Crowd is alternating between silence and booing. Ambrose gets Chokeslammed by Big Show and dumped. Reigns gets beaten down. Now we get a loud “bullshit” chant. Show and Kane end up fighting, allowing Reigns to sneak in and dump them both. They get back in and beat him up. Double Chokeslam.

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The Rock makes a surprise appearance to help Roman fight off Big Show and Kane. The crowd does cheer for him. Rock takes off and then we get the reveal that Rusev is still in the match. He gets Speared and tossed out. Really no idea why they bothered with that part.

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Rating: **. Just surreal. Pretty bad Rumble. The first third with the surprises, Bray dominating, and Bryan’s entrance was excellent. And then it all went to shit when Bryan got eliminated. I get what they were going for, but this was a stupid ass idea. If Bryan’s not going to win, you can’t put him in the match. It’s that simple. If he doesn’t win, the crowd is going to shit on the match. They should have known that.

Big Show and Kane eliminating everyone would have been fine if there had been a babyface that crowd actually liked waiting to eliminate them at the end. And two years later, we’re still in the same situation with Reigns. Stalemate between WWE and the crowd seems destined to go on forever.

The Aftermath

They teased the idea that Reigns wouldn’t be in the main event by having Daniel Bryan whine about not having gotten a shot at the title. So they did Reigns vs. Bryan at Fastlane with the winner facing Lesnar for the title at Wrestlemania. Reigns got the win. He went on to Wrestlemania to face Lesnar, but Seth Rollins inserted himself into the match with his Money in the Bank contract and became the new champion.  

 

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