The Delco Elbow Drop

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

WWE Royal Rumble 2014 – “Deal with it!”

If you saw the Royal Rumble from Sunday in Pittsburgh, you might have heard Rumble winner Batista yell “Deal with it!” at no one in particular in the booing, quickly exiting crowd in regards to him winning the Rumble. It might seem like an odd thing for “The Animal” to say, but not when you look at the events of the Rumble as a whole.

Daniel Bryan wrestled the first match of the night against Bray Wyatt. I wasn’t expecting much from the match but what we got was one of the best matches I’ve seen WWE put on in a long time – probably since the Punk/Cena match on Raw where Punk busted out a piledriver. Putting Bryan on first gave the crowd a sliver of hope that maybe, just maybe, he would be a surprise entrant in the Rumble later that night. The fact that the Rumble itself was the main event of the show gave people even more reason to believe.

The show went on. Brock Lesnar tried to murder Big Show with 5 or 6 steel chairs and Randy Orton retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship thanks to the Wyatt Family distracting John Cena. Oh and The New Age Outlaws, who have had all of four matches before being handed a title shot, defeated Cody Rhodes and Goldust for the tag team championships on the preshow. I guess “deal with it” could apply to that title change too but let’s just move past it for now.

Well, they have new merch to shill so of course they need the belts!

The Rumble itself was actually pretty good. Kane and CM Punk’s feud is intensifying and Roman Reigns is being built into a legitimate star, having eliminated both other Shield members, as well as breaking Kane’s record for eliminations in a single Rumble with 12. Alexander Rusev made his debut by brutalizing the field before being eliminated by four guys (Kofi, Punk, Cody and Rollins) and Sheamus made his return, though he didn’t do much beside eliminating Big E. (In the moment, I saw WWE putting Sheamus at odds with Big E for the IC title to try and elevate the belt but when I saw on Raw that Sheamus is in the Elimination Chamber, I knew that was a pipe dream.)

As the Rumble wore on, you could sense the packed Pittsburgh crowd becoming keenly aware of two things – when would Batista enter and would Daniel Bryan be a participant. Batista entered at 28, which elicited a groan from the crowd. But after Big E came out at 29, the crowd seemed to become energized at the prospect of Daniel Bryan being 30. They were cheering for him and chanting “Yes!” and for a moment, it seemed like D-Bry might actually be #30. But when Rey Mysterio’s music hit, the mood in the arena instantly changed because the fans could see that there were no tricks this year. There would be no moment for Daniel Bryan at the Royal Rumble.

It was just as I feared. You would think that because the WWE had so blatantly told everyone for weeks that Batista was coming back to win the Rumble and then the title that there had to be some swerve. Some trick we didn’t see coming. The fans in Pittsburgh, as well as around the world, have been clamoring for Daniel Bryan and we all hoped against hope that the WWE would finally hear us and let Bryan have his rightful place in the main event. But it wasn’t meant to be.

But you know who was in the Royal Rumble?

Surprisingly, his quads remained intact.

I try to stay away from unleashing the full force of my smarkdom on this blog but I’m about to. The fans want Daniel Bryan. The IWC wants Daniel Bryan. But you know who doesn’t want Daniel Bryan? HHH and Vince McMahon. Somehow, they still don’t believe that Daniel Bryan can draw money. They don’t believe that Daniel Bryan can sell Pay-Per-Views. They don’t believe that Daniel Bryan can ever be the top guy in WWE. How? Hell if I know.

The New Age Outlaws, with all of four tag matches under their belt in 2013 or 2014, win the tag team championships. Kevin Nash appears from nowhere and gets a spot in the Royal Rumble. Batista returns and, with no matches since 2010, wins the Royal Rumble. But Daniel Bryan, who consistently wrestles multiple times a night, is told he can’t compete in a match AND in the Rumble. And CM Punk who enters #1 and survives until the final four, is eliminated by an Authority lackey who wasn’t even in the match. You can say that what happened to D-Bry and Punk at the Rumble is all kayfabe but if you look at the bigger picture, it’s a matter of art imitating life and not the other way around.

For years, we’ve been told through actions and words that Vince McMahon, and therefore HHH and Stephanie, do not believe that average sized guys like Bryan or Punk can legitimately be the top guy in WWE. It’s why they brought The Rock back last year. It’s why Batista is back this year. For some reason, guys of smaller stature or who made their name before coming to WWE are never pushed as hard as guys like The Rock, or Batista or John Cena, who made their names with WWE.

And the craziest part is, Vince and HHH actually believe these part-timers are who we want to see. That even though the crowd has been incredibly hot for Daniel Bryan, Vince and HHH think that we would honestly rather see Batista win the Royal Rumble and go to Wrestlemania than Daniel Bryan. And to give you an idea of how highly guys like Batista think of the WWE Universe, it’s being reported that he flipped off at least one fan to his face in the crowd at the Royal Rumble and following the match, mocked the crowd with “Yes!” chants at the top of the ramp, but substituting his middle finger for his index finger to let everyone know how part-timers, and by extension Vince and HHH, really feel about the crowd.

Because at the end of the day Vince and HHH have the same attitude toward what the fans want as Batista had toward their opinion of his Rumble victory – “Deal with it.”

And this, folks, is why I watch independent wrestling. Give me Pro Wrestling Guerrilla any day over WWE.

For more reading on the backlash from the Royal Rumble, hit these links:

“JR addresses Royal Rumble controversies” 

(New Age Outlaws image from; .gif from r/SquaredCircle)


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An avid gamer and long-time pro wrestling fan, stay tuned to Grizzly Gaming and the Delco Elbow Drop for game reviews and pro wrestling news.

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