AS I SEE IT: Thoughts on the WWE Royal Rumble
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
Well, WWE did it again last night.
It told you that it knows better than you what you want…and by God, they’ll give it to you, and you’ll like it.
Rather than give fans a feel-good moment, and a real reason to jumpstart interest in the WWE Network by getting people to order to get Wrestlemania at $9.95 (with the six month obligation, the price is right around what people would have paid for Wrestlemania anyhow) by putting Daniel Bryan in the main event against Randy Orton, letting the “hero” finally win after a long, convoluted storyline…WWE dropped the ball by having Batista go over in a disappointing Royal Rumble match.
The night opened with the Daniel Bryan-Bray Wyatt match. Nothing like giving fans one of the most over guys in the company…in the opener. But that being said, this match was easily the match of the night, with Danielson turning in his usual great performance. Bray Wyatt showed what WWE sees in him, as he held his own in the match and kept up with Danielson, telling a great story. Danielson could have a great match with a broom, but Wyatt did a great job, going over in the end, but the crowd figured…OK, we got a great match, but there’s still the Rumble.
Then, there was the strange Big Show–Brock Lesnar match (well, sort of). Big Show was reported to have been injured the night before the Rumble, which may have had an effect on how this match was set up.
Then, there was John Cena–Randy Orton match #3,256. The crowd reacted accordingly. They started with the “Daniel Bryan” chants that JBL, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler had to acknowledge, even going so far as to suggest the crowd thought Bryan was the “uncrowned champion”.
To be fair, Cena-Orton didn’t really have a chance, not being that bad a match until the finish. but the crowd was just crapping on the match. The out of nowhere Wyatt Family interference didn’t help.
So comes the Rumble. Usually, year in and year out, this is one match that doesn’t get screwed up. Not this year. When the old-timers consist of Kevin Nash and not Chris Jericho, JBL and not Jake Roberts, the crowd started sitting on their hands, then breaking out again in Bryan chants.
Well, after Rey Misterio came out as #30, the live Pittsburgh crowd absolutely took a thermonuclear shit on the Royal Rumble . They kept booing through the remainder of the match…only briefly getting into the match for a minute or two when it came down to Roman Reigns and Batista.
Then Batista went over and the booing resumed…to the point where the crowd sound was killed and the Batista theme music cranked up. Funny how people move their mouths and no sound comes out.
Tonight ought to be interesting watching WWE explain themselves out of this one. Short of Undertaker showing up and Sting challenging him, this is not going to be a happy crowd at all.
Ending on a happier note, independent wrestling is again helping others.
This time, the cause is malaria, the leading cause of child death in Africa. National Pro Wrestling Day is an action-packed event offered to the public free of charge on February 1, starting at 1:00 pm., at The Palmer Center in Easton, PA. This year’s show features a variety of talent, including Colt Cabana, Green Ant, Hallowicked, Heidi Lovelace, The Estonian Thunderfrog and former WWE diva Maria Kanellis.
The show will raise money for the Against Malaria Foundation. Renowned for their standout transparency and accountability, the Against Malaria Foundation is one of less than a dozen charitable organizations to be recommended by GiveWell.org, by Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save, and by the site Giving What We Can. In English, money isn’t going to pay adminstrative expenses, but instead to actually help those whop need help.
Malaria is among the leading causes of child deaths in Africa. In fact, 3,000 children die every day from Malaria. Yes, every single day. The Against Malaria Foundation provides long-lasting insecticide treated nets to protect against malaria in developing countries. Each net costs about $5, and the nets are tested to work effectively for up to five years. With a fundraising goal of $5,000, NPWD aims to play a role in saving 1,000 lives through the combined efforts on National Pro Wrestling Day.
Fans can make a cash donation the day of the event, or can make an online donation at any time through February 2; directly through the Against Malaria Foundation page for NPWD 2014. Either way, 100% of the donated funds will go directly to those in need.
Information about the Against Malaria Foundation can be found on their website: http://www.againstmalaria.com.
Again, National Pro Wrestling Day takes place February 1, with a 1:00 pm belltime, from the Palmer Center, 4100 Green Pond Road, Easton, PA 18045. For information, go to http://nationalprowrestlingday.com or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NatProWrestDay.
Until next time….
— Bob Magee