The Royal Rumble has been just about idiot proof for the WWE. I put myself in a social media bubble until I was able to watch the Rumble without getting it spoiled. Last night after the Super Bowl, I finally got to watch it. Someone really should have spoiled it for me… Here’s my thoughts on all the action.
Can The Ascension survive the fall of booking?
I’ve been catching up on NXT from 2013 and have enjoyed Viktor and Konnor’s run as the powerhouse team no one wants to battle, but so far their stint in the major leagues has been largely unimpressive. While beating up the job squad gets played after awhile, the writers decided to feed The Ascension an actual name team in The New Age Outlaws.
Yet for some reason, the writers decided the washed-up Outlaws should be able to give the overpowering newcomers for five minutes before The Ascension hit their Fall of Man finisher in fluke-like fashion.
The fans aren’t buying Konnor and Viktor, but a stronger tag team division would help make their matches more meaningful as opposed to having them beat up on the senior circuit. Remember the good old days when the WWE made fun of WCW for featuring “has-beens” on their shows?
When will Seth Rollins get his title win?
Fast forward to 2015 and Rollins was competed in the world title match against John Cena and champion Brock Lesnar and not looking out of place at all. While Rollins has acquitted himself well in team main event matches in the past, with a spotlight opportunity, he seized the moment and not once looked like the fluke Money in the Bank winner trying to hang with the big boys. There was only one match worth watching on this show and a large part of it had to do with Rollins going toe to toe with WWE Hall of Famers.
WWE booking has been mighty suspect over the last year, but Rollins has emerged as one of the obvious guys the company can build around going forward. Like Edge, Rollins has significantly raised his stock to be seen in the eyes of the fans as a main event guy and through the course of his body of work since winning Money in the Bank will actually deserve winning the title.
Is Brock Lesnar wrestling’s last great bada$$ ?
Before the curtain was pulled back and all of wrestling’s greatest secrets were revealed, there were some dudes that legitimately looked frightening. I worried about Andre the Giant beating Hulk Hogan and wondered if Earthquake wouldn’t be the guy to take The Hulkster out once and for all. I feared for Sting’s life when he face off against Vader and loved that for a far-too-brief moment, Umaga was going to be that unbeatable monster for John Cena fans.
It’s been too long though since wrestling had someone that is so good at what he does that he makes sports entertainment real. A lot of people complain about Brock’s limited appearance schedule, but Brock is a rarity for WWE 2015 — he’s actually special. There’s no one like him on the roster now and possibly ever. He’s been a force of nature to the roster since he returned and Vince needs to do whatever necessary to keep this guy happy and around.
And that parting shot of Lesnar and Paul Heyman watching the Rumble winner was one of the few times a heel merely looking at a TV conveyed all the bad intentions necessary.
Why did nothing important happened during the Rumble?
You can always count on the Rumble to mark a surprising return of some beloved favorite (i.e. RVD, Chris Jericho), something we’ve never seen before (Demolition members Ax and Smash battling in 1989), a tease to a big time Wrestlemania showdown (the first clash of Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior in the 1990 Rumble, Brock Lesnar running out to set up Goldberg’s elimination), something that completely wows us (see: Kingston, Kofi) or is delightfully unpredictable (Santino Marella somehow being the last man against Alberto Del Rio in 2011).
This year lacked that one must-see moment. Sure there were a handful of returning superstars in DDP, The Boogeyman and Bubba Ray Dudley’s return (more helpful to me for the potential Mattel action figure of the Dudleys), but their appearance meant little. Even Kingston’s dramatic effort to stave off elimination —crowd surfing Adam Rose’s Rosebuds — was underwhelming.
There was no debut from an impressive NXT standout making his WWE debut like Rusev last year offering a glimpse of the future. No feel-good story like Bob Backlund trying desperately to get another shot at the title in the 93 Rumble, Ric Flair battling all his old rivals before winning the 92 Rumble or the main event match in the Rumble from 2007 when Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker battled were the last two men standing and waged an intense battle to determine who would go to Wrestlemania. This year’s Rumble was really just a bunch of disconnected, random boring moments.