After a disastrous 2014 Royal Rumble in Pittsburgh, where the crowd hijacked the show with boos. Even going as far as booing Rey Mysterio, just because he was Daniel Bryan; one would think that WWE would do everything in their power set the scene for a repeat performance. Especially with a show deep in old ECW territory at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. So did WWE learn a lesson from last year?
In a word; no. The Philly crowd was not pleased with eventual Royal Rumble Roman Reigns. After eliminating Kane and Big Show at the same time, it seemed that Roman was the winner. The two eliminated superstars returned to the ring to dish out some punishment on Reigns. Not even a save from the Rock could save Reigns from getting booed though. The Rock dispatched Kane and Big Show, only to have Rusev, who had never been eliminated charge the ring. It seemed that Reigns may not win, but he quickly tossed the Hero of the Russian people over the top rope to secure the win.
The Rock celebrated with his nephew, but Reigns was showered with a chorus of boos and jeers when he stood atop the turn buckle; just like Batista the year before.
Fan favorite Daniel Bryan was actually in the Royal Rumble to atone for last year’s mistake, but when Bray Wyatt knocked him off the apron it sucked the air out of the crowd. The crowd quickly backed Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler. Ambrose fell victim to a KO punch from Big Show and was dumped over the ropes by Kane and Show. Ziggler received a good pop from the crowd as the 30th entrant, but his time was short lived; only lasting about five minutes before being taken out by Kane and Big Show,
In the main event of the night, Brock Lesnar defended his title against John Cena and Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat match.
As soon as the bell rang Rollins fled the ring, allowing Lesnar to drop Cena with a German suplex. Rollins quickly jumped back into the ring, only to get picked up by Lesnar. J & J security made the save, but they paid for it.
Lesnar finally got his hands on Rollins and planted him. Cena then got tossed across the ring with a German Suplex. Rollins wasn’t spared, either, receiving a German Suplex from Lesnar.
Lesnar locked in the Kimura lock, but Cena was able to get to his feet. With Cena still locked in the hold, Rollins took advantage by leaping off the turnbuckle to take out both men with a flying knee.
Cena was able to hit the AA, but got tossed out of the ring by Rollins, who made the cover. Brock kicked out and tossed both men out of the ring.
Brock Lesnar finishes off Seth Rollins for the win.
On the outside, Cena kicked Lesnar into the ring steps and then chased Rollins back into the ring. Cena planted Rollins with sidewalk slam, but before he could hit the 5 knuckle shuffle, Lesnar caught him with another German Suplex. Rollins drive Lesnar out of the ring with a knee to the back. Lesnar recovered quickly, though, to break up a pinfall attempt by Rollins.
Rollins tried to blindside Lesnar coming off the ropes, but the champ caught him in mid air and dropped him with the F-5. Rollins rolled out of the ring, which allowed Lesnar to work Cena over with more suplexes.
Cena caught Lesnar entering the ring and hit him with three AA’s in a row. Rollins followed with a curb stomp to the champ, but Cena broke the pin. Lesnar rolled out of the ring to recover. Cena followed and speared him through the security barrier into the time keeper’s area. Cena kept the pressure on when he tossed Lesnar into the ring steps. He then picked the steps up and crushed Lesnar in the head. Rollins upped the ante, with a flying elbow from the top turnbuckle through Brock on the announce table.
With Lesnar out cold, Cena rolled Rollins back into the ring. Rollins surprised Cena with a small package, but Cena was able to kick out. Rollins countered and AA, but Cena countered a head scissors into a sit down power bomb. Rollins kicked out. Rollins looked for a sunset flip, but when Cena blocked it, he carried him across the ring to toss Cena into the turnbuckle.
With Lesnar still out, and EMTs on their way, Cena was able to lock Rollins in the STF. Rollins couldn’t get to the ropes, but J & J security made the save. Cena thanked them by delivering a duel AA.
Lesnar was being treated by EMTs as Rollins and Cena traded blows in the ring. Rollins curb stomped Cena after an enziguri, but once again Cena kicked out. A desperate Rollins climbed up top again and hit a 360 splash. Lesnar leaped into the ring from nowhere, and broke the pin with a German suplex to Rollins. Another suplex sent Cena to floor, but it gave Rollins the opportunity to grab the briefcase. Lesnar ate a shot from the case, but was able to get to his feet before the curb stomp. Lesnar caught him and was able to hit on F-5 directly onto the Money in the Bank briefcase. Lesnar finally covered to get the win and retain the WWE World Heavyweight Title.
The next WWE pay-per-view is FastLane on February 22th.
Big E manhandles Tyson Kidd in the pre-show bout.
The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E w/ Xavier Woods) vs. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd w/Natalya and Adam Rose – Pre-show match
The Rose buds are also at ringside, but where is the bunny? The Philly crowd is clearly not behind the New Day. Even as Kofi flies over the ropes to take out Kidd and Big E spears Cesaro through the ropes onto the floor. Cesaro fights off a tag team and catches Kofi on the top rope. Cesaro hits him with a superplex as Kidd flies over the ropes with an elbow drop. Kofi is somehow able to kick out. Kidd locks in the Sharp Shooter, but Big E breaks the hold. Cesaro make E pay. Kofi catches Rose on the apron with a kick, but then Cesaro nails Kofi with the uppercut to allow Kidd to get the pin.
Winner… Cesaro and Tyson Kidd
Match Rating: 6/10
The Ascension won.
The Ascension vs. The New Age Outlaws
Road Dogg can’t get tag as Viktor and Konnor keep him in the heel corner. Billy Gunn finally gets a tag, but misses on the Famouser. A cheap shot sends Road Dogg to the floor. Konnor and Viktor double team Billy with a spinning elbow and leg sweep. Viktor covers to get the pin.
Winners … The Ascension at 5 minutes and 25 seconds
Match Rating: 5/10
Stephanie McMahon and Triple H are discussing how Sting keeps getting in the arena. Steph wonders if he is hiding in the ceiling. Paul Heyman interrupts with a solution to the Sting problem; Brock Lesnar.
The Shield discuss their slots in the Rumble.
Renee Young interviews Randy Orton.
The Miz and Mizdow (challengers) vs. The Usos (champions) – WWE Tag Team Title Match
Much to the dismay of the crowd, Mizdow is order to the apron. The crowd is totally behind Mizdow; The Miz, not so much. Miz teases a tag, but it gives Jimmy enough time to recover and kick Miz in the head. Jey misses on a spin kick, but is able to connect on a follow up. Miz hits the floor. Jey flies over the ropes, but Miz pushes Mizdow into the hit. Jimmy follows his brother and catches Miz, who gets rolled back into the ring. Jey misses on a splash, allowing Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale. Jey kicks out. Jey goes up top to and hits the splash, but Mizdow makes the save. Jimmy runs in, only to get driven into the ring post. Mizdown hits the Skull Crusher on Jey and Miz covers. Jey kicks out. Miz pulls Jey to the top turnbuckle, but doesn’t see Jimmy make the tag. A superkick sends Miz to the mat and Jimmy follows with a splash to cover and get the win.
Winners… and still WWE Tag Team Champions … The Usos at 9 minutes and 21 seconds
Match Rating: 7/10
Seth Rollins isn’t happy that his security detail is playing the new WWE Immortals games. Rollins goes on to say that he is the future and the future is now.
Nikki and Brie Bella vs. Natalya and Paige
The most surprising thing about this match? It went longer then Outlaws/Ascension match. Nikki gets a pin after nailing Natty in the face with a forearm shot. Paige was looking for a tag, but get pulled off the apron by Brie.
Winners … The Bella Twins at 8 minutes and 6 seconds
Match Rating: 2/10
Various WWE Superstars state their cases on why they will win the Rumble.
Seth Rollins (challenger) vs. John Cena (challenger) vs. Brock Lesnar (champion) WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
Winner … and still WWE World Heavyweight Champion … Brock Lesnar
Match Rating: 8/10
The Royal Rumble
|No. entered||No. eliminated|
|1 The Miz||1 The Miz (by Bubba Ray)|
|2 R-Truth||2 R-Truth (by Bubba Ray)|
|3 Bubba Ray Dudley||3 Bubba Ray (by Bray Wyatt)|
|4 Luke Harper||4 Luke Harper (by Bray Wyatt)|
|5 Bray Wyatt||5 The Boogeyman (by Bray Wyatt)|
|6 Curtis Axel*||6 Sin Cara (by Bray Wyatt)|
|7 The Boogeyman||7 Zack Ryder (by Bray Wyatt)|
|8 Sin Cara||8 Tyson Kidd (by Daniel Bryan)|
|9 Zack Ryder||9 DDP (by Rusev)|
|10 Daniel Bryan||10 Fandango (by Rusev)|
|11 Fandango||11 Daniel Bryan (by Bray Wyatt)|
|12 Tyson Kidd||12 Adam Rose (by Rusev)|
|13 Stardust||13 Kofi Kingston (by Rusev)|
|14 Diamond Dallas Page||14 Goldust (by Roman Reigns)|
|15 Rusev||15 Stardust (by Roman Reigns)|
|16 Goldust||16 Damien Mizdow (by Rusev)|
|17 Kofi Kingston||17 Titus O’Neil (by Ambrose & Reigns)|
|18 Adam Rose||18 Big E (by Rusev)|
|19 Roman Reigns||19 Ryback (by Big Show & Kane)|
|20 Big E||20 Jack Swagger (by Big Show)|
|21 Damien Mizdow||21 Bad News Barrett (by Dolph Ziggler)|
|22 Jack Swagger||22 Cesaro (by Dolph Ziggler)|
|23 Ryback||23 Dolph Ziggler (by Big Show & Kane)|
|24 Kane||24 Bray Wyatt (by Big Show & Kane)|
|25 Dean Ambrose||25 Dean Ambrose (by Big Show & Kane)|
|26 Titus O’Neil||26 Kane (by Roman Reigns)|
|27 Bad News Barrett||27 Big Show (by Roman Reigns)|
|28 Cesaro||28 Rusev (by Roman Reigns)|
|29 Big Show|
|30 Dolph Ziggler|
Winner of the 2015 Royal Rumble: Roman Reigns
*Curtis Axel never even made it to the ring. He was attacked on the ramp by Erick Rowan and knocked out. Rowan hit the ring to face off with Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper. It looked like Harper was going to turn on Bray, but he ended up trying to help his old partner. Rowan almost eliminated Harper, but Bray was able to send Rowan over the top rope and Harper tumbled to the floor with him. (Note: Axel was officially eliminated when the next competitor, The Boogeyman, entered the ring before he did.)
Time of the Rumble: 59 minutes and 39 seconds
Most Eliminations: Roman Reigns, Rusev and Bray Wyatt had 6 elimination each.
Shortest time in ring: Titus O’Neil at 4
Longest time in ring: Bray Wyatt at 47 minutes and 10 seconds
The John Morrison Memorial Award for longest time in the ring without a single elimination goes to Big E, who spent 14 minutes and 51 seconds without tossing anyone over the rope.
|WHAT YOU THINK|
What did you think of the Royal Rumble?
It was great – 6%
It was okay – 33%
Didn’t like it – 39%
Didn’t see it – 22%
In the “What did Kofi do now” file. Kingston was thrown over the top rope by Big Show, just as Adam Rose hit the ring. Lucky for Kofi, the Rosebuds caught him and the carried him over to the side of the ring. Unfortunately for Adam Rose, the Rosebuds left ringside right as he was tossed over the top rope.
Kane broke the record for most eliminations in this year’s Rumble. He surpassed Shawn Michaels record of 39. Kane now sits atop the list with 41 eliminations
Miz tried to take Mizdow’s spot in the Rumble since he was knocked out first. Mizdow almost let him, but when Miz had trouble even getting into the ring, Mizdow seized the opportunity and took it.
The surprise entrants this year were Bubba Ray Dudley (sadly, no Devon), DDP, and the Boogeyman.
Total Event Time: 2 hours and 44 minutes
Event Rating: 6/10
Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Follow Dale on Twitter @DPlummer627.