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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWE Royal Rumble 2015

November 3, 2018 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
WWE Main Event WWE Royal Rumble Roman Reigns The Rock
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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWE Royal Rumble 2015  

WWE Royal Rumble 2015
January 25th, 2015 | Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Attendance: 17,164

Most years, the Royal Rumble is a very happy time of the year. The match is typically fun and it sets off the road to WrestleMania, which is something we clamor for as wrestling fans. However, that wasn’t the case in 2015. After the Shield broke up in 2014, everyone kind of knew where the company was heading. Roman Reigns would be the guy. After a 2014 where he didn’t do much, Reigns was gifted a Superstar of the Year Slammy and everyone kind of knew he was going to get pushed to the top way early. Enter this Royal Rumble, which was the twenty-eighth in history.

Kickoff Match: The New Day w/ Xavier Woods vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro w/ Adam Rose and Natalya
This was originally scheduled to be a six-man tag, but Woods was hurt. Instead, we got a preview of a great Tag Team Title feud of the upcoming Spring. Cesaro and Rose wore the BRASS RING CLUB Bullet Club spoof shirts. Cesaro was way over. New Day were still the cheesy babyfaces here. Their offense was crisp, but the crowd didn’t care enough. They popped hard for the thought of the Cesaro Swing, though. Following one of those Kickoff commercial breaks, Kidd got into trouble, leading to some great offense by New Day. Kofi was launched outside onto him, while Big E hit Cesaro with his dangerous apron spear. There was a strange moment where it seemed like they’d do the “ref misses the tag” spot, only to have the real tag come moments after. It led to a great near fall following a superplex and springboard elbow on Kofi. The finishing stretch was great. After Kofi knocked Rose off the apron, he got hit with an uppercut and then Kidd won with the swinging fisherman suplex in 10:58. I remember liking this match and it’s only gotten better with time. They worked the crowd into everything and gave us a preview of their great spring series. It was the first real sign that both teams were legitimate. [***¼]

The main show’s opening video package focused on the Royal Rumble, with each person claiming to be “the one.” Then it highlighted the WWE Title match.

Commentary was Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and John “Bradshaw” Layfield.

The Ascension vs. The New Age Outlaws
The Outlaws and their opening spiel remained over. This was shortly after the Ascension were called up and immediately made to look like buffoons at the hands of legends. JBL even spent their first few weeks burying them non-stop. I’m not saying they should’ve been pushed to the top, but why would you purposely cut off the legs of a team? Anyway, Gunn got “you still got it” chants as he worked over Viktor. He is still in great shape. Once Road Dogg came in, he took the heat segment. Billy eventually got the hot tag and hit some of his stuff from the 90s. It wasn’t good then, but is impressive here since he’s so old. He missed the Fameasser and a blind tag led to the Fall of Man to end it in 5:26. You’re supposed to start the show hot, not with a whimper. This should’ve been the Ascension squashing the Outlaws. Instead, it went way too long and the heat segment was boring. [*¼]

LAST MONDAY ~ John Cena, with the help of an appearance by Sting, got a win to get Dolph Ziggler and Ryback their jobs back. Erick Rowan got his too, but lost on Smackdown to not officially be allowed a return.

Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie spoke about how he’ll destroy Sting if he shows up again. WrestleMania is right around the corner. Paul Heyman entered and suggested Brock Lesnar could be the answer to their Sting problem.

WWE Tag Team Championship: The Usos [c] vs. The Miz and Damien Mizdow
At Survivor Series, Miz and Mizdow won the titles. They retained against the Usos at TLC, but lost them back on the final Raw of 2014. Miz and Mizdow were great because the difference from pops to heat between them was tremendous. The Usos worked over Miz to start, but everyone focused on Mizdow mimicking everything Miz did, whether good or bad. Miz turned it around a bit, but refused to tag in Mizdow, because the fans wanted it. Miz also continued his trend of being unable to catch guys doing dives. He whiffed on catching an Uso who somersaulted onto the outside. The match built to some good near falls down the stretch. Jey (I think) found a way to turn in midair for a splash on Miz to retain in 9:20. Like their other matches, this was solid. Miz not tagging out made for a unique dynamic, but everyone did their part to find a way to make it work. [**½]

The Kickoff Panel discussed stuff. Then, J&J Security a new mobile WWE game in the back. Seth Rollins scolded them for it, because their focus should be on his title match.

The Bella Twins vs. Natalya and Paige
After the disappointing feud with AJ Lee, it was like the WWE had no clue what to do with Paige. Don’t even get me started on the Bellas suddenly being friendly again, either. Not much happened early. Paige got some shine to feel like the biggest star in the match. She and Brie engaged in one of the more sexual moments you’ll find in PG wrestling. Natalya ended up as the face in peril (there’s a lot of tag matches on this show, huh?) and they seemed to be building to the hot tag for Paige. However, it never happened. The Bellas used their experience as a duo to isolate and dominate Nattie. Just when it seemed like it was hot tag time, Paige was pulled off the apron by Brie. Nikki then laid out Nattie with a forearm to win in 8:03. NIKKISAWA! I appreciated that this got time and that the Bellas got to show off their skills as a team. The finish just fell way flat and made the build to the tag seem useless. [**]

RUMBLE PROMOS ~ I love these. Various Superstars got to talk about the Rumble. Roman said his record last year meant nothing if he didn’t win this time, Gold and Stardust acted weird, Rusev spoke in Bulgarian, Miz and Mizdow were funny, Show acted threatening, Fandango was creepy, and Daniel Bryan showed heart.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Brock Lesnar [c] w/ Paul Heyman vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins w/ J&J Security
This match ranked #4 on my Top 100 Matches of 2015 list and was the highest from WWE’s main roster. Brock opened this by playing the dominant role he had been since ending Undertaker’s streak at the previous WrestleMania. Cena tried to fight him off with heart, while Seth was out to be a cunning opportunist. Brock had his peak moment when he caught a springboarding Seth with an F5 that Cena had to save from being the finish. Cena reeled off three straight AAs on Brock, yet he still managed to kick out. He pretty much did when a Curb Stomp was added, but Cena broke that one up. It hit a point where the challengers had to team up a bit against the champ. Seth had the best spot of the match with an elbow off the top, through the announce table on Brock. With Brock out, Seth and Cena proceeded to do some of their best work ever together. J&J eventually got involved but Cena continued to survive. Seth finally resorted to busting out the Phoenix Splash, but Brock returned at that moment to break it up. Seth fought him off with his MITB briefcase, but Brock countered a Curb Stomp into the F5 to retain in 22:42. Years later and this still holds up. Lesnar dominated the opening frames and it was great. Once he was taken out, Seth vs. Cena took this to the next level with some incredible exchanges. Seth was the missing ingredients from the Brock/Cena series and was the MVP of this one. Fantastic wrestling. [****¾]

Royal Rumble Match
2014’s Rumble opened with CM Punk and Seth Rollins. This year started with the Miz (awesome, pun intended) and R-Truth. Yikes. The first surprise was Bubba Ray Dudley (#3) and apparently, the only reason Truth was in at #2 was to play D-Von as he assisted on a 3D. It was interesting to see Luke Harper (#4) and Bray Wyatt (#5) team up again. However, when Erick Rowan took Curtis Axel’s (#6) spot (AXELMANIA), they worked together against Bray. Bray got rid of both and faced a returning Boogeyman (#7) for a cool little faceoff. Things were going quite well and the fans were pumped for a dominant Bray against their favorite, Daniel Bryan (#10). Side note, this was Tyson Kidd’s (#12) last Rumble match. DDP (#14) was also a nice surprise. After Rusev (#15) arrived, the match fell apart. Bray eliminated Bryan as an afterthought and the crowd completely turned on the match. Everything that happened got booed. Every entrant, every move, nothing was left alone. Roman Reigns (#19) came into the biggest heat. Damien Mizdow (#21) got a pop, but nearly had his spot stolen by the Miz and then was eliminated quickly. After him, Dean Ambrose (#25) was the first guy to really get the fans invested. They tried breaking the fastest elimination record with Titus O’Neil (#26), but they botched it. Dolph Ziggler (#30) got a pop too. However, the end of this match was a travesty. Kane and Big Show proceeded to dominate and they dumped out favorites like Dolph and Bray with ease, as if they were garbage. That set up a final four of Kane, Show, Reigns, and Ambrose. Of course, the big guys also dumped out Dean with ease. The fans hated it and not in a good way. Loud “bullshit” and “We want refunds” chants. Then, Roman doesn’t even make the heroic comeback, instead only winning because Kane and Show argued. They got back in the ring and jumped him until The Rock’s music hit and his famous cousin made a surprise appearance. Not even the Rock could quell the Philly fans and they really threw him out there for that reason only. After taking out the big men, it seemed over. BUT WAIT! Rusev was never eliminated. He snuck back in AND was promptly eliminated with ease to end this at 59:33. Rock posed with Roman to a famous chorus of boos.

It’s hard to put this into words. The match was a poorly booked debacle. They handled everything wrong. The first half is okay in that it wasn’t terrible, but nothing really interesting happened. Once Bryan got eliminated, it went downhill fast and became in contention for the worst Rumble ever. It’s laughable how bad it is. The booking did Roman no favors and he honestly never seemed to rebound from it. [*½]

The Authority came out to pout about the result.

The final score: review Poor
The 411
If you take out the WWE Title match, this is towards the bottom of the Rumble events in history. However, that match is incredible and the Kickoff match is a good tag. The other tag matches on the show were kind of just there. The Tag Title match was okay, the Ascension tag wasn’t done well and the women’s tag meant nothing. Then, the Rumble match itself was awful. I can’t get over how bad it was.