Sunday Sermon: WWE Royal Rumble 2015 Fall-Out

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Craig Wilson, Jamie Lithgow, Brian Damage, Russ Morgan & Kenneth Richardson

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?

Only time will tell if it will be WWE or it's fans who will say "we told you so" regarding Roman Reigns

Only time will tell if it will be WWE or it’s fans who will say “we told you so” regarding Roman Reigns

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.

The Rumble wasn't all bad...

The Rumble wasn’t all bad…

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.

Again, not a dig at Reigns. I hope he turns things around and rallies fans behind him, but like he himself said; he has been thrown in at the deep end.
Brian: Indeed Reigns has been thrown in the deep end with sharks…but if the face to face on RAW with Paul Heyman and Lesnar was any indication….this match just got more intriguing. I have confidence that the WWE will do their best to make this match look and feel epic. They are masters at that…will the pay off be worth the hype? I have concerns…but Roman does have ability. I also see Seth Rollins come into play somehow during this match up.
Jamie: Oh yeah, for me Wrestlemania will be all about Seth Rollins. It’s about time someone cashed-in MITB at Wrestlemania. Realistically, if you’re looking for WWE’s next big star then it’s him. Granted, he’s a heel but of anyone who has yet to hold the WWE World Title, Seth Rollins – more so than Roman Reigns – is the guy that stands out. Coming out of Wrestlemania my fingers are crossed for a Rollins vs. Reigns feud for the title.
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….
Dolph Ziggler; one of several popular superstars dumped over the top rope by Kane and Big Show

Dolph Ziggler; one of several popular superstars dumped over the top rope by Kane and Big Show

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….

Craig: Especially with Lesnar potentially on the way out…

I don’t think Reigns suits being a standing around smiling type babyface. It just doesn’t work for him. It’s total opposite of his role in The Shield. Considering how well he worked in The Shield, surprising they changed things around.
Brian: I honestly can’t fault the WWE for trying to make him into a Cena-esque hero babyface. If it worked…it would be genius. He could’ve been a “WWE guy” for another 10 years. As you have all said though…it doesn’t work for the Roman Reigns character and perhaps turning Reigns into the next monster heel…will get him back in the good graces of some fans.
Kenneth: Truthfully I don’t think he needs to, nor should he go heel. The thing that was wrong with Reigns winning, and I’m not bashing him nor his victory in the slightest, was that it didn’t look like he earned it. And that’s the thing you see with all the current crowd favorites. Daniel Bryan looks like he earned it. Dolph Ziggler looks like he earned it. Cesaro looks like he earned it. Bray Wyatt definitely looked like he earned it at the rumble. And that’s the problem with him and the other golden children (Cena, Orton, ect.) is that they don’t look like they earn it. There was little to no build for him to be “the guy” after his injury. Plus they paired him with these people who work like American Big Men, these slow guys who do these powerful moves in long bursts. Now though it looks great when you want to make a “superman” face, but it also exposes how green a guy is also. If they really want this to work they need a guy who can hide flaws but also get heat……..and the obvious choice for that is Seth Rollins.

All previous Sunday Sermons can be read here.

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2 thoughts on “Sunday Sermon: WWE Royal Rumble 2015 Fall-Out

  1. From day one I pictured Reigns as a heel. He has the look, mannerisms, and demeanor of a heel. And ladies love a bad boy, not some guy in a life preserver rambling on about magic beans or some other nonsense. I think with all the drama and heat surrounding Reigns with the rumble debacle, a heel turn could come about organically and feel genuine instead of the unnatural babyface we’re being force fed. I also enjoy the notion of Paul Heyman being involved in some type of screw job angle. WWE has several routes they could take here, and the potential of it being BIG is there. But there is also potential of it being a dud. We’ll have to wait and see which direction they decide to go.

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  2. I think Reigns has the potential to be a star but I echo Austin’s opinion in the fact that he’s not ready to main event WrestleMania. I also agree with Austin about Reigns’ performance at the Royal Rumble. I’m also turned off by Reigns’ attitude through recent interviews as he comes off as an entitled and pompous dumbass. I don’t think things will improve during WrestleMania season as WrestleMania is something I don’t think I’ll watch. I’ve dealt with too many disappointments in the past year and I can’t stomach it anymore. I’m getting too old for this shit.

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