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Rebooking The Royal Rumble: An Illustrated Look At What Should Have Been

By Jessie Brazil Feb 2, 2014 - 9:59 AM print

Sometimes, situations that demand an immediate reaction present themselves.  The 2014 Royal Rumble was one of those moments, for several reasons.

The most glaring of which was the omission of Daniel Bryan from the rumble match, one he was not advertised for.  Despite that, as the numbers inched closer and closer to 30, the yes chants grew louder and the anticipation higher for a wrestler that would ultimately not appear.  

And when he didn't, the fine people of Pittsburgh were not pleased.

What struck me was not the boo's, or the no chants, but the deafening silence.  When the final 4 was in the ring, CM Punk, Batista, Sheamus, and Romain Reigns, that is the Rumble curtain call.  The applause and acknowledgement that "One of these people is going to headline Wrestlemania!!'


My best guess is that at some point someone who didn't know better started a yes chant. They didn't know that Bryan wasn't in the match.  Then others who knew he wasn't going to be in, but were disappointed in the rumble so far joined in.  Then eventually people like myself, who knew Bryan wasn't going to be in the match, but thought "THAT WOULD BE AWESOME IF HE WAS" joined in.  Then poor Mysterio came out and you know the rest.

So how could we have fixed it? Is it possible to get the best of both worlds? A proper ending to the Rumble, or at least a better one? YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!

A quick refresher of the rules...

- I can't change the outcome.  (SPOILERS) Batista is still going to win the Rumble y'all.  
- I can't use resources that are otherwise unavailable.  Sting cannot be entrant #30, eliminating Jake Roberts who had just hit a DDT on the Ultimate Warrior.
- I can't actively change what I assume WWE's long terms plans are.  Batista is probably going to win the title at Wrestlemania because he's got a huge movie coming out.  I can't have Brock Lesnar coming out and breaking Batista's femur into 20,000 pieces.  

What this match needs to accomplish

1) Don't be a shitty Royal Rumble.  One of the reasons there were boos at the end is because this had largely paint by numbers match.  A big reason fans started clamoring for Bryan is because they really just wanted something interesting to happen.  This relates directly to...

2) Do something with CM Punk in the #1 spot.  If you come in first, eliminate a couple of guys, and spend the next 50 minutes floating around the match and having one spot with El Torito, people are going to be upset. 

3) Make Romain Reigns a boss, but remember he's a heel.

4) Try not to get Batista booed out of the building.  Just a thought.  

Because of the nature of this match we are not going to go elimination by elimination, but rather touch on important parts and themes to play out throughout the match.  

CM Punk and Rollins start off the 2014 Royal Rumble!!!

CM Punk's place in this match is 'the guy you don't try to eliminate.'  Sandow takes a run, and Punk eliminates him.  
That is the reoccurring theme with Punk in this match.  Whenever someone tries to take a 1 - 1 stab at him, they get eliminated, because he's the 'BEST IN THE WORLD'.  Maybe the announcers can play on this and it will explain why people are leaving him alone and he's kinda coasting through.  It also makes it more interesting when El Torito gets his hands on him.


Why is The Great Khali still in these matches? Let's take him out.  We need his spot.  

Look Daniel Bryan has to be in the Rumble in some capacity.  Putting him in the Rumble isn't going to change your long term plans, as we will see, but he's got to participate.  Not just because the fans demanded it, but because he's really good and will make the match better.  

I have no idea where WWE is going with this whole Bryant thing, and they probably don't either, so this Rumble can end in one of two ways.

1)They decide, "F' it", and put him in the jetpack to see what happens.  

2)They decide not to but also don't want the Royal Rumble going off the air with 15,000 pissed people booing your future world champ out of the building.

Rocketship Bryan scenario.  Sheamus comes out at #29.  The Yes-anticipation builds, and out #30 comes...

Perfect.  Every time I hear this in my head it makes me so happy.  Center all that heat on Barrett.  Don't put it on Ray Mysterio.  Also let Batista eliminate Barrett.  Throw the guy some cheers. 

Now here's the part where things get complicated... (IT'S A BIT LATE FOR THAT)

AND HERE COMES BRYAN! "But he's not in the Rumble!" complains Cole or JBL or someone trying to be a spoilsport.  Doesn't matter, Bryan is in, kicking ass in Bryan ways, and wins it.  The next night on Raw, the Authority declares his win invalid, Bryan comes out with a shaved head and wearing a leather vest as The Rocky Chill, Daniel Bryan!

The non-rocket ship Bryan scenario is a little more interesting.  Bryan comes out after El Torito and starts to clean house, but the Shield and Co. do a good job keeping him under wraps.  Sheamus is your 'kinda surprise' entrant at #30.

At some point Bryan and Punk square off.  Remember Punk has eliminated everyone who has come after him one on one, so the crowd is hyped for this confrontation... 

...but then Kane eliminates Punk and chokeslams him through the Spanish announce table.  

Our FINAL FOUR is Bryan, Batista, Sheamus, and Reigns.  

Sheamus is eliminated going after Batista.

Bryan starts to 'Bryan up', or whatever we're calling it, but makes a mistake and goes for the headbutt off the top on Batista.  Out of nowhere, Reigns hits Bryan with the superman punch and eliminates him.

Now this part is important.  He has to taunt Bryan.  

One of the reasons the Rumble had such a flat ending is that you have Reigns, who has broken Kane's record for eliminations in a Rumble and made ZERO mistakes ALL NIGHT, getting innocently, almost accidentally when you think about it, dumped out by Batista.  It didn't make sense.

But if Reigns loses his focus, allows his ego to get in the way, for just a second, long enough for Batista to capitalize, well then that makes sense doesn't it? Wouldn't it be easy to sell a young super talented person losing his focus long enough for the veteran all-be-it returning movie star to take advantage?  

Reigns has taken the heat for eliminating Bryan, and Batista is the hero for eliminating Reigns.  

And sure, maybe people are still chanting 'yes' and 'Daniel Bryan' at the end of the match, but maybe Batista isn't getting booed out of the sport.

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