So the internet has been awash this week with reaction to the Rumble. Fans, commentators and past and present wrestlers have been less than complimentary about the show. In this Sunday Sermon the team discuss the fall-out from the event. This should be a lengthy Sunday Sermon..
Craig: Well, there is plenty to discuss here. To the surprise of very few Roman Reigns won the Rumble. With a rocket having been strapped to his back for months, it’s not a massive surprise. Still, it certainly caused a lot of anger.
I can’t help but feel sorry for Reigns. It’s not like he decided that he was the one to go over nor, do I imagine, did he lobby for the chance. Was he the right man to win the Rumble? I know we discussed the topic the other week, so no need to do much detail here, but was there really that much of an alternative? That’s more a reflection of the lack of talent at their disposal.
But, was the Rumble really as bad as the fans made out?
Jamie: To answer your last question…. YES! There’s been badly booked matches before, but you will struggle to find a more badly booked match to headline a PPV in WWE history. This is through no fault of the performers, this disaster lays at the feet of whoever put this match together.
I will also echo sympathy for Reigns, and all those who entered the match after Bryan’s elimination. I also have no problem with Reigns winning. However, that was based on Daniel Bryan not being in the match. With the benefit of having witnessed last year’s debacle, and knowing that the event was taking place in Philadelphia, why did WWE book Bryan in the match? Why did they bring him back and have him make a big announcement about entering the Rumble, when he was never going to win it? Why didn’t they hold off and bring him back after the Rumble?
Anyway, while I have no problem with WWE trying to create a new star in Roman Reigns, why are they doing it at the expense of someone else? The fans have very clearly chosen Bryan as their guy. Yeah, he’s already had his Wrestlemania moment, but how many has Cena had? How many has Triple H had? Stars are born at Wrestlemania, but they still have to grow. By the reaction of the fans at the Rumble – and since his return in general – I would suggest that a lot of people would pay good money to see Bryan win the title again. But hey, I’m sure WWE are confident that a higher number of people will pay to see Reigns win it….
Putting the Rumble to one side for a second, what match would we rather see headline Wrestlemania; Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan? The latter could be an epic David vs. Goliath encounter, while former is hard to imagine because I just can’t picture what kind of match Reigns and Lesnar will have.
Craig: It’s difficult not to agree with the analysis that it will be difficult to think of a worst booked match. So much of it didn’t work for me. I knew in my heart that Reigns would win, due to the lack of obvious alternatives, but I still always usually enjoy the Rumble.
Not so much this year. Buh Buh Ray Dudley was a highlight, especially the interaction with R-Von Dudley but beyond that, there’s not much to shout about. Having Big Show and Kane dominate was stupid, particularly with Kane overtaking Shawn Michaels’ eliminations record – what is the point in that?
I also didn’t think The Rock’s intervention helped Reigns in the slightest. It looked like he was needed to save Reigns. Hardly a obvious way of making him look strong, is it? So so many failings.
Are there any redeeming qualities for the Rumble match at all, anyone?
Jamie: Yeah, the Buh Buh Dudley stuff was pretty cool…. where was D-Von though?
On the surface of it, that is the only redeeming feature for me. Even beyond the nonsensical booking of Daniel Bryan, the roles of Kane and Big Show and Rock’s involvement… it was still awful. What actually happened during that Wyatt Family angle, was it a reunion then a swerve, and if so who swerved who? Numbers one and two are always interesting to see, so why did we get The Miz and R-Truth? Speaking of The Miz, surely some kind of tension should have been teased between him and Mizdow? Also, why did they allow Bray Wyatt to look so strong – and eliminate Daniel Bryan – only to be unceremoniously dumped out of the ring by a two fellow heels? He looked like a total chump after putting in so much effort.
However, here’s a thought, maybe there is method to WWE’s madness – although I very much doubt it. Reigns v Lesnar will headline Wrestlemania, but maybe the roles of babyface and heel will be reversed? Lesnar has been a heel since he returned in 2012 and it feels like fans are desperate to cheer for him. On the other side, Reigns would garner so much heat by reminding us that he won the Rumble and not Daniel Bryan. Moreover, Reigns will have to compete with John Cena, Daniel Bryan and returning Randy Orton in the babyface ranks. I don’t envy him in that task because as things stand the likes of Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose and even Damien Mizdow elect more support from the fans.
Brian: I must admit…at first I was a little upset that Roman won the Rumble. We all knew that the Philly crowd would spit on him for winning. I just feel…give the guy a chance. Let’s see how it all plays out…..I think we are in for a few twists and turns before it is all said and done. As for D_Bry and Ziggler….this isn’t the end for them…..as much as a Daniel Bryan/ Brock match would work…do we really want Bryan in a match with a very stiff…sometimes careless Brock Lesnar? Especially considering all the injuries that he is recovering from…
Russ: Reigns was obvious, I think we all called it. Bray Wyatt getting a few eliminations was pretty good. Buh Buh Ray was a really cool addition for me, signs are this wasn’t just a one night thing and we will be seeing more from the Dudley’s in the near future. We can only hope as the tag division needs a much needed boost. Going back to Reigns, the crowd reaction is all you need to know. I think a Ziggler win would have been so much better considering Bryan got booted early.
Brian: I definitely see the Dudleys returning to the WWE tag team division…maybe a match against the Ascension at Wrestlemania? Reigns may or may not be ready…but I am more than willing to give the kid a shot.
Craig: It would be good to see the Dudleys get another go on WWE TV. It would be good fun. There’s probably still enough in Buh Buh Ray as a solo star based on his time in TNA but I think we can safely assume the WWE will ignore that spell…
I wonder if at ‘mania if the fans will cheer Lesnar.
Jamie: There’s usually a good chunk of hardcore fans in the ‘Mania crowd, a lot of whom probably quite like Lesnar. What’s done is done in regards to the Rumble and the booking of the Wrestlemania main event, so will fans give Reigns the benefit of the doubt or will they rebel and cheer for Lesnar? I suppose one argument would be that if fans – for whatever reason – are not willing to back a babyface against a heel in the main event of Wrestlemania then someone has dropped the ball somewhere along the line.
Brian: Could a Paul Heyman screw job be in the works? Roman or Seth becoming a “Paul Heyman” guy? It makes sense…Lesnar will more than likely be done with the WWE after his contract expires after Wrestlemania. Where would that leave Paul heyman? He needs another protege….
All previous Sunday Sermons can be read here.