Last night saw history repeat itself in a way similar to that of last years Royal Rumble match; the outcome of the match went against what the WWE Universe wanted to see, and instead saw WWE force feed what they think we wanted. Up to the point of the Royal Rumble match I thought WWE were having a pretty solid show, with a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match that was breathtaking to watch. Then came the Royal Rumble match itself, and it was obvious that any outcome that didn't see Daniel Bryan winning the match was going to go down like a fart in a car with no windows. The Philadelphia crowd last night rejected Roman Reigns, and from the moment Daniel Bryan was eliminated the crowd simply could have cared less what happened. As Goldust made his way to the ring following Bryan's elimination from the Rumble you could have heard a pin drop in the arena. The feelings of disappointment, frustration, and realisation of the situation quickly turned to anger, and fans proceeded to spend the rest of the match booing anything and everything they could. The only things they popped for were counting down numbers, the arrivals of Damien Mizdow, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, and The Rock. It's amazing Bray Wyatt didn't face any backlash for being the one eliminating Bryan, and instead turned straight on the man they knew was going to win in Reigns.
The question begs to be asked though; why are people so upset about Roman Reigns winning the Royal Rumble match? It's been pretty common knowledge for some time now that Roman Reigns was the guy Vince wanted to have win the match. Even a few weeks ago, it was confirmed Reigns was a practical lock in to win the match. Roman is seen by Vince, and other top WWE brass as the guy who will carry the company going forward. Yes, like the majority of fans, I too hoped Daniel Bryan would win the match, but I guess we can't always have what we want, which applies all too often to things in life. Bryan cannot win all the time, simply put, and if anything we must remember there could be a bigger picture to all this. We may see Bryan as 'our guy', but sadly, it's plain and evident that WWE does not see things the same. Is this a bad thing in the long run though? If we got what we wanted all the time and saw Bryan winning every match, then perhaps Bryan would be receiving a similar backlash to this. Last year WWE was backed into a corner, but were able to turn things around and make the story of Bryan be all about the chase. Granted, they strung it out too long last year, but surely we won't see the same scenario play out again? I personally hold no hope of Bryan being added to the main event of Wrestlemania again, it's just not a move I see happening, and if WWE wanted to get Bryan positioned in the main event slot then they would have hinted at it during last night's match.
Would the WWE Universe have been behind Reigns more had he not picked up the injury that kept him out of action? I guess we will never know, but you have to wonder, given how popular Reigns had become prior to his injury. For me, Reigns is a good choice to go into the main event of Wrestlemania. I have spent the last few months prior to Bryan's return saying that Reigns is going to win, and I accepted that if Bryan didn't win, while I would feel unhappy with the outcome I would understand if Reigns were given the spot. I've seen people say Reigns isn't ready for this, but how is he going to ever be ready if he isn't given the chance to prove himself? WWE has spent the best part of a year or so, building Reigns to be a monster who can take on the best of the best. Brock Lesnar has been built as an utter monster since Wrestlemania 30, and it would take someone fresh to stop him. Reigns is the right choice, as it gives someone young the rub they need to be elevated to that next level in the company. If WWE didn't develop new stars like Reigns then instead of complaining about Reigns we would be sitting here complaining how John Cena is still the face of the company. As wrestling fans, we can be a fickle bunch, and if we don't get our way, then the first thing we tend to do is complain until the company does what we want.
It was always evident a backlash was coming for Reigns, it's been evident ever since Bryan came back, as fans immediately got caught up in the hype of Bryan winning, and hoping WWE would put last years mistake right. I bought into it too, and I really hoped they would do the right thing by the fans, but ultimately they made the decision to continue down the path they were going to go down all along. We moan about WWE chopping and changing their minds on the pushes of superstars, yet when they don't change anything we still feel the need to complain. Seeing that there were fans who cancelled the Network all because Bryan didn't win is almost crazy. Fans have obviously realised Reigns isn't the guy they want to lead the company forward, but without WWE creating new stars like Reigns, then WWE will end up just like WCW; the same old names in the same old matches for years. Cancelling your Network subscriptions will certainly send a message to WWE, there's no doubting that. But do we believe WWE will change the direction of a storyline again for our benefit? Are we going to spit our dummies out every time we don't get what we want? Sometimes we just have to face facts, and realise that creatively WWE has to make and learn from its mistakes. It's clear after last year they learned nothing, but we can't keep trying to force their hand every time we don't get what we want.
This situation has also done something good for WWE; it has bought them more mainstream attention. Last year the company saw worldwide news coverage after Daniel Bryan was omitted from the Royal Rumble match. So by repeating the same scenario, it's likely the company will see the news picked up again. This time the company needs to run with it, and make sure they stick with the game plan. Yes, it's evident people will continue to cancel their Network subscriptions over the outcome of one match, but if you just stop for a second and think about it then you realise just how crazy that sounds. People are talking about WWE as a result of last night, the company was trending on Twitter, albeit for the wrong reasons. Creatively, this was actually a good decision by WWE, and they have not hurt the brand as much as people think. While the Philadelphia crowd reacted negatively toward the Reigns victory that doesn't mean every crowd across the country will do the same. Last year was different in that we saw a part timer take the spot of a full time star, whereas this time a full time star has the position of main eventing Wrestlemania. I think given time things will calm down and all will be forgotten before Wrestlemania.
Of everything else the WWE Universe is forgetting one thing in all this; Seth Rollins is still Mr. Money in the Bank. Why is that relevant? It's simple in my mind - HE could be the one to walk out of Wrestlemania 31 as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion by the end of the night. We need to believe there is still a bigger picture and plan to all this, and we need to think about how WWE will handle the booking of Reigns, Bryan, and the title picture going forward. There is a part of me that somehow believes Rollins could even announce the cash in of his Money in the Bank contract to put himself into the Wrestlemania main event. While it doesn't give people the outcome they want involving Bryan, we have to remember there is always next year, and there is still hope Bryan could be put into the scenario some how if WWE cave in to fan pressure again. But ultimately we need to ask the question; is forcing Bryan into the main event again at Wrestlemania really what is best for business? In this case, perhaps it isn't, and we need to let Reigns have his chance before we write off his opportunity.
If you want to have your say on this matter, then please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on last night's show.