11th Apr2014

‘WWE Royal Rumble 2014’ Blu-ray Review

by Chris Cummings


So, here we are, officially on the road to WrestleMania, the time of year where WWE pull out all the stops in order to sell as many PPV’s as possible come April. Royal Rumble has always been the beginning of this segment of the year and often is the time when WWE brings in popular faces, pushes people higher up the card and creatively attempts to make the product red hot in time for the grandest stage of them all.

2014 has started both badly and well, in different ways, and the Royal Rumble event really highlighted those reasons better than I can explain with metaphors, so let’s get into the review shall we?

The pre-show match (included as an extra on both the DVD and Blu-ray release) features the reigning WWE Tag Team Champions, Cody Rhodes and Goldust, defending their belts against a team who last competed for tag titles in WWE in 1999, The New Age Outlaws. Now, I don’t quite understand why, over teams like The Uso’s and The Real Americans, Gunn and Dogg got a shot at the gold here, it makes little sense to me, but they did, and they went on to win the gold on this pre-show match. The match itself was much like any television tag encounter, with Gunn hitting his finish on Cody and pinning the young Rhodes star to win the titles for the former D-Generation X members. I don’t know why they are giving these guys a title run again, especially at a season where the young and talented should be allowed to shine, but this almost sets the ball rolling for the whole evening.

The main show opens with…

Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt

These two guys have been feuding for a while now, and their feud has included a short stint with Bryan joining Bray in the Wyatt Family, only to leave and attack the cult leader. The reaction for Bryan was hot, as it always is nowadays, and the chants continued throughout the contest. Bray looked good here too, his ring psychology and unusual moves offering something different to the product. The two have a nice chemistry and this is by far the best match that Wyatt has had since he made his main roster debut last summer. Bryan loses this though, after eating Bray’s finishing move and going down for the three count. Fans seemed upset, but almost hopeful that this merely meant that Bryan was going on to win, or at least participate in the 30 man Royal Rumble match later on in the night. More on that later.

Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show

The beast incarnate, Brock Lesnar, needed to come out of the Royal Rumble show looking like a red hot monster that was unstoppable and dangerous, especially if the rumours are true that Brock will be facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania for the famed “streak”. Big Show got a punch in early on Brock, before the bell, but that is where Show’s offence began and ended, with Lesnar laying out Show with countless chair shots before the match officially began. Brock easily went on to F5 the giant for the win, and ended his night by pounding Show’s back and sides with steel chairs some more, leaving Big Show laying in a sobbing heap at ringside. Lesnar looked unhinged and dangerous here and it’s how it should have been booked. This was the best booking of the night, by far.

WWE World Title Match – Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena

These two men have feuded so many times over the last decade, so many times that I have lost count ten times over. This match isn’t interesting to me, and by the sounds of the fan-base in attendance at the Rumble, it isn’t to them either. The fans, throughout this match, chanted “Daniel Bryan”, “Yes”, “We Want Divas”, “Y2J” and back to “Daniel Bryan” again, all while booing the same-old offence of the two men promoted as the best that WWE has to offer. Orton does his best here, as always, but it isn’t easy to make Cena look good, especially when John refuses to sell moves and holds and just pops back up every minute looking fresh and ready to go again. The match is slow and doesn’t really leave first gear, and while it isn’t a “bad” match, it isn’t exactly enthralling either. The match ends when The Wyatt Family hit the ring and distract Cena, leaving Orton to RKO the challenger and retain his unified Championship. Cena leaves looking stunned, and the Bray/Cena feud begins.

These were the only matches on the card leading up to the big 30 man Royal Rumble match, which surprised me to be honest, but whatever.

30 Man Royal Rumble Match

The Royal Rumble match has always been a favourite match of mine. A chance to see 30 of WWE’s main guys hitting the ring and getting a few minutes to show what they can do. This one begins with CM Punk and The Shield’s Seth Rollins, and for the first half it is a great match featuring some truly fantastic wrestlers. We see NXT prospect Alexander Rusev as a surprise entrant here, and he has a decent showing, before being eliminated by a bunch of babyfaces. The remainder of the match is okay, but there is little actually happening a lot of the time. Surprise entrants included Kevin Nash, JBL, El Torito and a returning Sheamus. We saw Goldust accidentally eliminate his brother Cody, probably to set up a match at Mania. Roman Reigns had a good night, eliminating 12 other guys to beat the WWE record of “most eliminations”, previously held by Kane. CM Punk lasted most of the night, before Kane, who he eliminated earlier in the match, dragged him out and choke-slammed him through an announce table, again, to set up a CM Punk/Authority match at Mania. As the night went on the crowd chanted more and more for Daniel Bryan, and as more and more guys came out, the crowd became more and more frustrated. Batista, who returned last week on RAW, got booed out of the building when he came out in the mid-twenties. The guy they want to be the main babyface at WrestleMania, being booed like the big heel. 30 men enter, and none of them are Daniel Bryan. As the final man, Rey Mysterio, makes his way to the ring to a massively negative response from the fans, the crowd boo the remainder of the match and litter the air with chants of “bullshit”, “Daniel Bryan”, “No, No, No”, and other pro-Bryan chants and anti-WWE ones. It’s all very strange to see WWE purposely ignoring the venomous and passionate crowd responses that Bryan has been getting for two years while pushing a guy who hasn’t wrestled for four years and isn’t popular in 2014, in Batista. Batista eliminated Roman Reigns, who was being cheered as the match came to a close, to win the match and the opportunity to face the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania XXX. A sad ending to the show and an ending that has caused uproar in fans and wrestlers alike, with guys like Jim Ross and Mick Foley already tweeting about how despicable the outcome was…

The Blu-ray includes the DVD extras, including the WWE Superstars Draw Their Numbers for the Royal Rumble, Randy Orton Comments on the Wyatt Family Controversy and an Exclusive Interview with Batista; plus the following BD exclusive extras: Monday Night Raw – 6th January 2014: Brock Lesnar Goes Old School; Monday Night Raw – 13th January 2014, Steel Cage Tag Team Match: Jimmy & Jey Uso vs. Bray Wyatt & Daniel Bryan; SmackDown – 17th January 2014: CM Punk Calls Out The Shield & New Age Outlaws; Monday Night Raw – 20th January 2014, Batista Returns to WWE; Monday Night Raw – 20th January 2014, Batista Sends a Message to Alberto Del Rio; and Monday Night Raw – 20th January 2014, WWE Title-Free Match: Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston.

WWE Royal Rumble 2014 is released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 14th, courtesy of FremantleMedia.


Comments are closed.