Royal Rumble: Analysing Roman Reigns’ performance

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Roman Reigns had a great Royal Rumble match. The Shield member entered at #15 and lasted for 33 minutes 58 seconds, eliminating 12 superstars. Roman Reigns beat Kane’s record of 11 eliminations in one Royal Rumble match that had stood since 2001.

In his time in the match, Reigns eliminated Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Nash, The Great Khali, Goldust, El Torito, JBL, Luke Harper, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Antonio Cesaro and Sheamus before being eliminated himself by the Royal Rumble winner, Batista.

Breaking Kane’s record is symbolic for Roman Reigns, who is in the infancy of his WWE career. Over the past two years he has dominated huge stars as a member of The Shield and since Survivor Series 2013 he has been receiving more and more attention for his fantastic in-ring work.

Fellow Shield members Ambrose and Rollins are often talked about as the fan favourites of The Shield, mainly due to their time on the independent scene and, especially in Seth Rollins’ case, in NXT. Reigns, however, should not be overlooked. He is a member of the Anoa’i family which features Samoan wrestling greats such as The Rock, Rikishi, Yokozuna, Umage and The Usos. He has a great look; Reigns stands at 6 feet 3 inches of pure Samoan athleticism and even has the Samoan sleeve tattoo to match.

In the ring, Reigns has been increasingly impressive since eliminating four out of five opponents at Survivor Series (tying the record), utilising an impressive arsenal of moves which include a devastating spear and a highly unique superman punch.

Reigns looked at ease during the Royal Rumble match, showing off his power and athleticism at numerous times during the 33 minutes he was in the ring for. He entered the match after delivering a running dropkick to CM Punk who was hanging over the bottom rope, going on to spear Cody Rhodes and then launched Kofi Kingston over the top rope to eliminate him. It was an emphatic start and it got better from there for Reigns as he dominated the competition.

Reigns’ dominance shows a sign of faith from WWE. The Shield looks to be teasing a separation soon and it looks like Reigns could be getting a good solo push following the split. While many will clamour for Ambrose or Rollins to be pushed, Reigns looks to be the first in line.

Roman Reigns seems extremely capable of going far in WWE. Can he reach the heights of The Rock? Only time will tell.

WWE Royal Rumble: Batista wins but the fans are left wanting Daniel Bryan

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Batista made his return to the WWE a successful one when he won the Royal Rumble match last night.

Batista entered at #28 and went on to win the match by eliminating Roman Reigns, who put in a stellar performance himself.

But Reigns’ dominance is another story for another time. Sure Batista won, but the real story here though was the fans’ desire to see Daniel Bryan not only enter the Royal Rumble match but to win it, setting up a WrestleMania match. Bryan, who competed earlier in the night against Bray Wyatt (a match which featured some fantastic back and forth wrestling and a great story,) did not enter the Royal Rumble match. This left the fans in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania livid as they booed entrant #30, Rey Mysterio simply for not being Daniel Bryan.

The fans had been chanting for Bryan throughout the night, even in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match which saw Randy Orton retain his title, beating John Cena. But the final straw for the thousands of Daniel Bryan supporters was the fact that he wasn’t even entered into the Rumble match when commentator JBL, retired Kevin Nash and even El Torito, a Lucha Libre bull, all found themselves in the match.

WWE Hall of Famer, Mick Foley, expressed his dislike for the finish on Twitter in a scathing tweet he sent out minutes after seeing Batista have his hand raised.

After the event had concluded, Batista was pictured giving a fan the finger on his way backstage, as well as mocking the Daniel Bryan ‘YES’ chants that had echoed throughout the arena all night long.

Royal Rumble: Are you backing Batista, CM Punk or Daniel Bryan?

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The Royal Rumble is this Sunday 26 January and there is a distinctly different feeling about this Rumble than there has been over the past number of years.

The reason for that different feeling is the lack of ‘star power’. John Cena, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, New Age Outlaws, Cody Rhodes and Goldust, Brock Lesnar and Big Show are all pre-occupied on the card. Evan Bourne, Christian, Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus are all out with injuries (although Sheamus is heavily rumoured to return.) Chris Jericho is currently working with his band Fozzy. Kane is working as the Director of Operations. There are a lot of big matches on the Rumble card involving big stars.

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So where does this leave the Royal Rumble match? In the hands of CM Punk and Batista.

CM Punk has been given the #1 spot by Kane, which means CM Punk will most likely be in the ring and on our TV screens for around 30-45 minutes, maybe even more if he’s going to win it. CM Punk, in any other year, would be a favourite to win but because of his current storyline, I don’t see it happening. I think CM Punk dominates in the Rumble for 30+ minutes until he is eliminated by a member of The Authority to set up a match at WrestleMania with Kane or, perhaps preferably, Triple H.

Batista, meanwhile, has just returned from a four year absence and declared his wish to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Batista looks as toned as he has ever been and seems to have lost none of the crowd backing he once had. For me, Batista is the favourite to win the Royal Rumble this year and go on to face either Cena or Orton at WrestleMania. Now, while this would be a big match, it means another part-timer would be in another main event at WrestleMania. This is a trend that has to stop. There should be another guy fighting for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, and his name is Daniel Bryan.

Daniel Bryan, as of right now, is not even involved in the Royal Rumble match. He is down for a match against Bray Wyatt, leader of The Wyatt Family. The reason I have him down as a potential Royal Rumble winner is that he has been quoted saying he is trying to get Triple H to let him be involved in the Rumble. If Bryan was to enter the Rumble after facing Bray Wyatt earlier in the night, having him win would be a great show of confidence in a guy who is currently the most popular wrestler in the WWE. Bryan had a huge amount of momentum coming out of SummerSlam last year but it has since been killed off with numerous false finishes, screwjobs and a brief, mis-calculated angle with The Wyatt Family. Bryan’s momentum is now back, and in my opinion, it would be wise to have him win the Rumble and go on to WrestleMania.

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Summary:

Daniel Bryan could win the Royal Rumble and face John Cena for the title at WrestleMania, which would be a huge match.

Batista could face former Evolution stable-mate Randy Orton at WrestleMania, which would be a huge match.

Finally, CM Punk could get eliminated by a member of The Authority and go on to face Triple H at WrestleMania, which is again a huge match.