Royal Rumble was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE that took place on January 26, 2014 at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the 27th annual Royal Rumble event. It was the first WWE pay-per-view in the 2014 pay-per-view line-up.
It was the first WWE pay-per-view event in Pittsburgh since the 2009 Bragging Rights, and the first pay-per-view event at Consol Energy Center since it opened in 2010.
The event was critically panned, some labeling it as one of the worst WWE PPVs ever. CM Punk left the WWE the day after the PPV and later retired from professional wrestling.
Royal Rumble featured professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines that play out on WWE's television programs. Wrestlers portray heels or faces as they follow a series of events that build tension, and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches.
The main feud folding out at the Royal Rumble features Randy Orton and John Cena, with their dispute over the former's WWE World Heavyweight Championship. In order to crown the one "champion of champions" and the "face of the WWE", the on-screen Chief Operating Officer, Triple H, had called for the WWE Champion, Orton, and the then-World Heavyweight Champion, Cena, to compete in a title-unification Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at the TLC pay-per-view in December; Orton defeated Cena to become a four-time (and final) World Heavyweight Champion, retiring the title by unifying it with his WWE title to become the first-ever WWE World Heavyweight Champion. On the December 30 episode of Raw Stephanie McMahon announced a rematch from the TLC event, seeing Orton defend the WWE World Heavyweight title against Cena at the Royal Rumble in a traditional one-on-one singles match with no outside interference or added stipulations and where the victor would be decided via pinfall or submission only.
On the December 30 edition of Raw, Brock Lesnar returned with Paul Heyman to announce his intentions to challenge the winner of the match between Orton and Cena. Lesnar then called out any wrestler who wanted to stop him, which resulted in Mark Henry answering the challenge and the two brawling until Lesnar ended the brawl with an F-5. The following week on Old School Raw, Henry challenged him again only to have Lesnar dislocate his elbow with the Kimura Lock. Following this, Big Show came out and confronted Lesnar, which lead to a short physical confrontation between the two. On January 10, Big Show issued a challenge to Lesnar to fight at the Royal Rumble on Miz TV on Smackdown. Paul Heyman accepted the challenge on behalf of Lesnar, and said it would take place at the Royal Rumble.
Announced on WWE.com, Cody Rhodes and Goldust will face the The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) for the WWE Tag Team Championship on the Royal Rumble pre-show. The New Age Outlaws defeated Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a non-title match on the January 17th edition of SmackDown due to a distraction from Vickie Guerrero.
On January 20 edition of Raw, it was announced that Daniel Bryan will face Bray Wyatt at the Royal Rumble. Bryan and the Wyatt Family had been feuding since October. On the December 30, 2013 edition of Raw, a seemingly beaten down Bryan had announced he would join the Wyatts. On the January 13, 2014 episode of Raw, (after Bryan and Bray Wyatt were defeated by The Usos in a steel cage match), Bryan attacked Wyatt, culminating with Bryan hitting his flying knee finishing maneuver to a thunderous response of the entire crowd chanting "YES! YES! YES!". The following week on Raw Bryan explained that his joining the Wyatts was a ruse to infiltrate the stable and bide his time to strike, and that he would wrestle Wyatt at the PPV.
The upset reaction of the fans attending the event in Pittsburgh was so great that it was reported as one of the major news items coming out of the show, and described as the live audience engineering a "takeover" of the final two hours of the show. During the title match between John Cena and Randy Orton, fans chanted that "this is awful" and for Daniel Bryan, amongst other chants. The fans continued to chant for Bryan during the Royal Rumble match, so when Rey Mysterio (typically a face) entered as the final entrant and Bryan's possible participation in the match was eliminated, they booed Mysterio, chanted for Bryan and cheered when Mysterio was eliminated by Seth Rollins. The crowd continued to boo when there were three wrestlers left in the match, but when only Batista and Roman Reigns remained, they cheered for Reigns (a heel for the past year) over Batista, and later booed Batista's victory as the event drew to a close. After the show went off the air, Batista mocked Bryan and gave the middle finger to the crowd. Aaron Oster of The Baltimore Sun wrote Mysterio "received more boos than he’s ever had in his WWE career", and in the case of Batista, "besides the fact that a supposed face was getting booed, the boos were stronger than any Rumble winner I can remember, including when Vince McMahon won 1999."
Fans took to social media to display their displeasure towards the event. The BBC reported that regarding Bryan's exclusion from the Rumble match, "many people have also expressed anger on social media, with the phrases #RoyalRumble, #WWE and Daniel Bryan all trending on Twitter". The Herald & Review described the reaction to the event as "WWE's PR nightmare", with the most "liked" comments on WWE's Facebook page within 24 hours of the event including "worst PPV ever", "the sound of WWE dropping the ball" and in reference to the WWE Network, "no Bryan, no buy." Mick Foley criticized WWE management on social media by stating that "I've never been so disgusted with a PPV." Bryan responded to fans on Twitter, writing "They try to keep US down and away from the top spots, but they can’t ignore the reactions forever. Keep voicing your opinions".
Dale Plummer and Nick Tylwalk of the Canadian Online Explorer rated the overall event was 6.0 out of 10. The Wyatt-Bryan bout was rated the highest at a "fantastic" 9.5 out of 10, the Cena-Orton bout, described as a "sloppy affair that won’t go down among the best work from either man" received 4.0 out of 10, while the Lesnar-Big Show encountered received 1.0 out of 10. They described the event as "uneven", and that "the disapproval of the fans at the Consol Energy Center at how the Royal Rumble match went down will be the lasting memory for anyone who watched the show".
James Caldwell of the Professional Wrestling Torch Newsletter rated the Royal Rumble match 2.5 stars out of 5, commenting that "well, that back-fired". He wrote that the "Rumble peaked about three-fourths through, then fell off the table at the end", and described the Rumble winner Batista as "out-of-shape". Caldwell also rated the Bryan-Wyatt match 4.0 stars out of 5, describing it as "easily Bray's best WWE TV match, great chemistry from both wrestlers" in front of a "hot, invested crowd". Caldwell chose not to rate the Lesnar-Show, commenting that it was necessarily short due to Show being injured going into the match. Lastly, Caldwell rated the Orton-Cena title match 2.0 stars out of 5.
Benjamin Tucker, who attended the event and is also from the Professional Wrestling Torch Newsletter, rated the entire event 6.0 out of 10, saying "the show began great but slowly lost steam before ending in a roar of jeers." For the Rumble match, Tucker said that "the first two-thirds especially were exciting, with several wrestlers being spotlighted well", "until lower-level players kept coming out in the final half of the match." Tucker felt that "Roman Reigns was the star of the match, even outclassing Batista. Where Batista stumbled around the ring like... well, an old, retired wrestler, Roman Reigns looked like an absolute monster." For the opening match, Tucker felt that the "deliberate pace didn't hurt the match in the slightest. Instead, it allowed Bray to keep using his character while in a competitive, big match situation." For the rest of the matches, Tucker wrote that "Lesnar looked like a relentless beast", while "Orton and Cena put on their most lifeless performance ever together. There was very little story to the match" and "no creativity at all".
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- WWE Kickoff Show: The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn) defeated The Brotherhood (Cody Rhodes & Goldust) (c) to win the WWE Tag Team Championship (6:16)
Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations
A new entrant came out approximately every 90 seconds.
|6||Alexander Rusev||3||Kingston, Punk, Rhodes, & Rollins||6:42||0|
|16||The Great Khali||10||Reigns, Rollins, Ambrose||0:24||0|
|24||John Bradshaw Layfield||15||Reigns||0:21||0|
|27||Alberto Del Rio||20||Batista||2:47||0|
|29||Big E. Langston||21||Sheamus||2:41||0|
(*) - Kane was already eliminated when he ran back into the ring and eliminated Punk later in the match.
(*) - Including Glenn Jacob's total persona's as Kane, Isaac Yankem and Diesel, Kane tied Shawn Michaels who has most eliminations in the Royal Rumble history with 39. Glenn Jacob as Kane has 38 eliminations.
(*) - Roman Reigns breaks Kane's record for most elimination in one match with 12 eliminations. Kane previously had eliminated 11 superstars in 2001.
(*) - Including Glenn Jacob's total persona's as Kane, Isaac Yankem and Diesel, this was his 17 Royal Rumble appearance. He appeared as Kane 15 times, as Isaac Yankem 1 time (1996), and as Diesel 1 time (1997).
Other on-screen talent
- Royal Rumble 2014 official website
- Royal Rumble 2014 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Royal Rumble 2014 at Online World of Wrestling
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|2013 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views|
|Royal Rumble • Elimination Chamber • WrestleMania • Extreme Rules • Payback • Money in the Bank • SummerSlam • Night of Champions • Battleground • Hell in a Cell • Survivor Series • Tables, Ladders & Chairs|
|2014 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views|
Royal Rumble • Elimination Chamber • NXT Arrival • WrestleMania • Extreme Rules • NXT Takeover • Payback • Money in the Bank • Battleground • SummerSlam • NXT Takeover II • Night of Champions • Hell in a Cell • Survivor Series • NXT Takeover III • TLC:Tables, Ladders & Chairs