It's Still Real To Me: Royal Rumble 2014

It’s Still Real To Me: Royal Rumble 2014


If you admit to liking the Royal Rumble 2014 you are normally met with a look of revulsion that is probably on par with being caught rimming Voldemort. Why’s that you ask? Because most wrestling fans are petulant little brats; they want what they want and they want it now – they don’t understand that they can’t have those new pair of football boots this week because they’re getting a brand new mountain bike for their fucking birthday soon enough. But, if you’re like me – handsome, charismatic and secretly longing for the grave – you allow your tantrum throwing and illegible message board posts to take a back seat to the wonderful feeling of common sense that is – they’re building towards something.

If you’re reading this I can assume you have at least a passing interest in wrestling or you are my Mother. If you fall into the first camp then you’ll be aware why so many fans had a hissy fit over the Rumble, if, however, you fall in the second camp will you put ten pounds credit on my phone like I asked you to last week?!

The reason is a wrestler who was never advertised in a certain match never appeared in that certain match. Yes. It really is that stupid. I should stop harping on about the pathetic nature of 99% of wrestling fans but no doubt I’ll be back later on harping on like a celestial angel with parkinson’s disease.

Setting the standard we have Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt and bugger me, what a standard. There’s no point explaining how good Daniel Bryan is, you already know. Bray Wyatt is hypnotising. He knows his character inside out, not only that, he HAS a character. WWE is now a company that is rife with wrestlers who are either ‘some bloke who wrestles and is a nice person,’ or, ‘some bloke who wrestles and isn’t a nice person.’ The Wyatts are refreshing and Bray cuts the best promos since early Mankind. No debates.
Bray rough houses Bryan with throws and knees, he doesn’t do much in the way of wrestling. That’s fine. It suits his character, why would an unhinged man with a god complex come out and put on a match like Dean Malenko vs Lance Storm? It wouldn’t make sense. At moments Bray seems completely uninterested in following up his attacks instead wandering off to shout at the crowd with a faraway look in his eyes. Sounds daft but it’s fucking incredible. Other highlights include Bryan borrowing Super Dragon’s curb stomp (youtube it), Bray’s exorcist, creepy crawly crab walk and the finish. It really does come ‘out of nowhere’ unlike an RKO which is signposted with more advance than a motorway service station. It’s a spectacular match and is worth the price of admission alone.

Brock Lesnar (sorry, BRRRRRRRROCK LESNAR) Vs. Big Show isn’t a match – it’s a statement. A statement that Brock Lesnar is an absolute monster. Before the bell even rings Brock is pummelling Big Show to the ground with fists and chairs. It is unending and wince inducing. Eventually the bell is rung so that Big Show can get a courtesy punch in before receiving a F5, a quick 3 count followed by a post match chair massacre. Really. Brock goes through about 5 chairs on the guys back. Every thwack elicits a customary squeal of pain… for a while a least. The more the crowd cheers, the more hits for Big Show. His face drops with every cheer and whoop and turns into an absolute resentment for the audience. He doesn’t sell the last 15 or so chair shots, simply has a face like thunder and dutifully rolls over to present his back after each and every one like a masochist labrador.

Now it’s time for the main event before the Rumble itself, the match nobody asked for – John Cena vs. Randy Orton #529, which is remarkable really seeing as the amount of chemistry they have could fit in a thimble. The match itself it an utter snorefest saved only by the crowds extremely harsh but extremely funny chants including – “WE WANT DIVAS,” a chant for Kurt Angle and even a chant for the referee, Charles Robinson (“LITTLE NAITCH!”). That’s all. It took me a few attempts to get through the entire match and I still can’t remember anything that happened.

Now the main course, the meat of the event. The Royal Rumble match. The main selling point for this PPV as a whole is that it’s Batista’s long awaited return to the ring. Long awaited by nobody. Least of all me. Batista single handedly made me stop watching wrestling for years with his limited moveset, no discernible interest in wrestling and a penchant for ‘weightlifting supplements.’ Besides, since his facelift he now looks like someone tried to make him on The Sims in a rush. It’s quite disconcerting.
Anyway, on with the match. Drawing the unfortunate #1 spot is CM Punk in his last match in WWE, as of writing, going up against Seth Rollins in the #2 spot. They have a decent back and forth mainly comprising of strong style kicks before Sandow comes into the the fray. Briefly. He’s eliminated a few minutes later. Next we see a quick elimination for Corporate Kane as well, taking with him the last remnants of my childhood as he wrestled in fucking suit trousers. Following that we’re treated to Alexander Rusev’s debut from NXT. He has a mute, evil foreigner gimmick and now regularly beats nobodies in squash matches on RAW. I give it 6 months until he becomes a member of the newly reformed Tonnes Of Funk. Despite being the size of a portaloo he is surprisingly nimble and fairly entertaining. He is also responsible for setting up Kofi Kingston’s yearly moment of brilliance – after being eliminated he is outside throwing a hissy fit when Kofi is sent flying off the apron into Rusev’s arms. After a brief dutiful kicking Rusev merely rests Kofi on the barrier wherein, I’m assuming, he rings Trinity and becomes The One because he then leaps from the barrier to the apron. When you see the long shot of it you’ll realise how daft that is.
At number #14 we have our first surprise entrant, Kevin Nash, here to crush the vanilla midgets. He eliminates Swagger then slowly bumbles around giving people really weak looking knees. It’s like he never left. Roman Reigns is next, now making sure all members of The Shield are in, chucks Kofi out on his face then spears Dolph Ziggler. The sell of that… I… I’m not too sure what happened for a few minutes after that because I briefly fainted from a lack of bodily fluids.
Sheamus returns at #17. I’d completely forgotten he existed. Now, as a wrestling fan you get used to being insulted. It comes with the territory but having El Torito, a midget dressed as a bull, come out and eliminate Fandango is an exercise in anger management.
Skipping forward a bit to #28 where ‘Darling’ Dave Booo-tista returns looking like a budget stripper doing an impression of the cartoon Peperami from the adverts. When his music hit the crowd went mild. A few finishers are exchanged before Corporate Kane comes out of nowhere (previous eliminations you’d have seen him crouching by the announce tables) and eliminates CM Punk and chokeslams him through the Spanish (obviously) announce table. Rey Mysterio is #30 at which point he is turned heel by his lack of ability to be Daniel Bryan. But, as you know, wrestling fans are fickle and from this point on they’re no longer behind Daniel Bryan; they’re solidly behind someone called, “BOOOOOOOOOO!”
Batista wins in a move that was as unpredictable as the sun rising in the morning, but not before Roman Reigns was solidified as a future main eventer. He now holds the record for most eliminations in a single Rumble which is quite a feat. He’s my pick to get the next MITB briefcase.

So, the most reviled PPV of recent years is actually really good. Strange that. As mentioned by my chum Dexy in another review – if you think Royal Rumble 2014 was bad try watching Battleground. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d have loved to have seen Daniel Bryan enter at #30 and clear house, but when he didn’t I wasn’t disappointed – it’s obvious by his crowd reactions they had a plan for him. And look at him now – main evented Wrestlemania XXX and became champion. If I were you I’d buy this DVD, ignore anyone who said this PPV was horrific. They’re an idiot and, therefore, amongst 95% of wrestling fans with an internet connection

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.