WWE Royal Rumble 2015: Review and analysis
If 2014 taught us anything, it is how you never question the intelligence of the pro wrestling fans, and if the place in question happens to be the home of some of the most passionate bunch, then you’re asking for trouble. The road to WrestleMania began just a few hours ago, as WWE rolled out with the Royal Rumble PPV from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Kofi Kingston and Big E (With Xavier Woods) vs. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (With Adam Rose and Natalya)
The pre – show match was changed at the last moment, as Xavier was unable to compete. The fans were in the corner of the heels, as Cesaro and Kidd controlled the pace of the match. The end came when Rose interfered, enabling Cesaro and Kidd to double team Kofi to pick up the victory.
Winners: Cesaro and Tyson Kidd
Rating: ** ½
The New Age Outlaws vs. The Ascension
After NAO got the better of The Ascension last week on RAW along with few other legendary tag teams, it was time for WWE to restore some credibility as The Ascension dominated their match, picking one of the most successful tag teams apart.
Gunn tried to turn the tide, but The Ascension proved to be too strong for the veterans, as Viktor and Konnor finished them off with their Fall of Man finisher, giving them their first PPV victory on the main roster.
Winners: The Ascension
The Miz and Mizdow vs. The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championships
If this match showed us one thing, it is how over Sandow is at the moment. The Miz and his stunt double looked to regain their titles, but the current champions worked cohesively to keep them at bay.
Sandow was once again the fan favorite, as the fans chanted for him while The Miz tried to bask in his glory. In the end however, Jimmy and Jey managed to separate the two, and double teamed with their superkick/splash combination to retain their titles.
Winners and still the WWE Tag Team champions: The Usos
Rating: * ¾
The Bellas vs. Natalya and Paige
Nikki and Brie teamed up to take on a resurgent Natalya and the former Divas champion, Paige. The Bellas were in control for most of the match, and worked in tandem as Natalya played the role of the face in peril. Nikki and Brie worked over Natalya, and just as it looked like Natalya would make the hot tag to Paige, Brie cut her off, leading to Nikki delivering a forearm shot to pick up the victory.
Winners: The Bellas
Rating: * ½
Brock Lesnar (With Heyman) vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (With J & J security) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Last year, John Cena faced Randy Orton for the title, but this year’s match far surpassed in terms of quality and the delivery. There were great spots in the match, including the elbow drop from Seth Rollins on Lesnar through the announcer’s table. The match had all the ingredients to make it one of the best triple threat matches for the WWE World Heavyweight championship in the past few years.
Rumors were running rampant about the possibility of Lesnar losing his title going into the PPV, with his current contract set to expire around WrestleMania. But before the show, there were reports on the dirtsheets about Lesnar retaining the title, as Lesnar entered the match as the odds on favorite to walk out with the gold. During the bout, it looked as if Lesnar needed medical attention, leaving Cena and Rollins to fight for the coveted title, but Lesnar rushed back in after Rollins hit an amazing 450 corkscrew on Cena.
Lesnar drilled Cena and Rollins with Germans, but Rollins turned things around by hitting Lesnar with the briefcase. Rollins went for his finisher, but Lesnar caught him with an F – 5 to pick up the victory.
Winner and still the WWE World Heavyweight champion: Brock Lesnar
Rating: *** ½
The Royal Rumble match
Roman Reigns was considered to be the “chosen one”, with Vince McMahon even writing Roman’s material. The other favorites were Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan, as this year’s Rumble looked to out – do last year’s horror show. But the fans turned on Roman in the past few months, and going into the final match of the show, the only way WWE could’ve left the fans disappointed was by handing Roman the proverbial brass ring.
Bray was the standout performer, eliminating more than half a dozen superstars, as the likes of Bubba Ray Dudley and DDP made surprise appearances in Philly. Daniel Bryan once again received the biggest pop of the night, as he went toe to toe with Bray. However, once Bryan was eliminated by Bray with more than one third of superstars yet to make their entry, the Philly fans started booing everyone, even going as far as cheering for Rusev to win the Rumble match!
Kane set the all time record for most number of eliminations in Rumble history, surpassing Shawn Michaels. When Show and Kane were eliminated by Roman, they tried to attack him, leading to The Rock coming down to save his cousin. Although The Rock was welcomed with a thunderous roar, Roman was once again booed out of the building. As Roman eliminated Rusev to win the 2015 Royal Rumble, it was 2014 all over again, with Roman merely replacing Batista.
Winner of the 2015 Royal Rumble: Roman Reigns
The fans started chanting for Daniel Bryan while booing and jeering Roman, and even started a “Bullsh*t” chant at the end. Will Roman face the same fate as Batista? This year’s Rumble could’ve been a success, but the way the show ended might once again force the WWE Universe to voice their displeasure, and put Daniel Bryan in the main event of WrestleMania this year.