Last night at the Royal Rumble, we witnessed something that hasn't been seen in years - the entire audience completely trashed and rebelled against WWE's product. From John Cena to Randy Orton to Rey Mysterio to Batista, they all got booed out of the building. Why? Because they weren't Daniel Bryan. Not only that, but more importantly because they are sick of WWE's refusal to push new talent.
For those who didn't see or hear what happened last night, I'll recap it for you. The show started with a phenomenal match between Bryan and Wyatt. The crowd was electric for Bryan as they have been for nearly a year now. They undoubtedly stole the show. Bray Wyatt was victorious. Wyatt winning made me think that Bryan would win the Rumble later in the night. So, at this point, I had my hopes up. The night went on and it came time for the Orton/Cena match for the WWE Championship. It's the two most popular and succesful wrestlers of the past decade, John Cena and Randy Orton, facing off for the WWE Championship and what is the crowd chanting? "DANIEL BRYAN!" Can it be any more obvious? The WWE Universe wants Daniel Bryan in the main event. The crowd also chanted "This is awful" and "Boring!".
Then came time for the Royal Rumble. My thought process going in was that Daniel Bryan has to win this. I predicted Batista to win, but I wanted Bryan to so badly. He deserved to. With the crowd being so hot for Bryan for nearly the past year and specifically the crowd tonight, it should have been a no brainer for WWE: Daniel Bryan wins the Royal Rumble. The match started and by the time the 20th entrant came out, the crowd began chanting Bryan's name. The time winded down to one entrant left and the crowd is electric hoping for Bryan to be the 30th and final entrant. Clock hits zero and.... we get Rey Mysterio. Mysterio enters the ring to boos. The final four are Sheamus, Batista, Punk, and Reigns. Batista gets heavily booed throughout the match, especially at the end when it came down to him and Reigns. In the end, Batista eliminated Roman Reigns to win the Royal Rumble. The crowd explodes with boos directed at Batista and apparently WWE cut the crowd's audio down at the end of the show because of this - I'm not sure on this because I wasn't watching. (I followed along with what was happening via Twitter).
Now, time for my rant of sorts. I'll try to keep it orderly as best I can. So, last night we learned several things. The first being that the "WWE Universe" is sick of their favorite stars not being pushed. They are also sick of the same guys being pushed down our throat for nearly 10 years. The guys I'm referring to are John Cena, Randy Orton, and Batista. Last night felt like the 2005 Royal Rumble more so than the 2014 Royal Rumble. The audience wants something new, something fresh. Not the same recycled crap. This isn't an insult towards Cena, Orton, and Batista necessarily, because they have to do what they are booked to do. It's more so an insult to WWE and who ever is calling the shots on these creative decisions. Although, I do believe if Batista would have stepped up and told Vince that he thought Bryan should win the Rumble, then we would have seen a totally different scenario last night. You can't tell me that guys like those three don't have a big influence on Vince and Hunter's decisions. So, I do partially blame Batista for what took place, but mainly WWE. Hopefully last night FINALLY showed people in WWE that we want new stars at the top instead of the same guys we had 10 years ago. This leads me to my next point.
WWE is afraid to push new talent. Period point blank. They're afraid to do it. It's been showcased numerous times over the past year or so, but most importantly last night. When WWE chose a 45 year old guy who came back to the company most likely just for the money over a young popular guy who comes to work everyday because of his passion and love for the wrestling business. What sense does that make? None. If WWE never builds new stars and takes chances, there won't be anybody new in the main event scene.
There is no one in WWE right now as popular as Daniel Bryan. The crowd turned on John Cena, Rey Mysterio, and Batista for Daniel Bryan. That should be enough to make WWE realize that they need to get over their personal agendas and push this guy. That's what all boils down to. Personal/political agendas. It's apparent now more than ever that WWE is ran by muscle marks. If you're big, you're regarded as better than someone who's smaller simply because of that. The crowd has shown that Bryan's size nor look affects what they think of him. They love the guy. It's a phenomenon right now and WWE won't capitalize on it. They could invest in Bryan and make loads of money over the next few years, but for some reason they keep refusing to do it.
This is what frustrates me so much about this whole situation. WWE doesn't have to do anything, but push Daniel Bryan to the top where he deserves to be. That's it. A new top star will be created. He's already got the whole WWE fanbase behind him plus he's an amazing wrestler. All WWE has to do is let him be the main eventer and potential face of the WWE that he is destined to be.
WWE has tried to bury Daniel Bryan numerous times. The guy won the WWE Title at SummerSlam and lost it the same night. He then lost against Randy Orton repeatedly on three PPV's in a row. When having him beaten and the title stripped from him numerous times didn't work, WWE tried to turn him heel. That lasted every bit of 3 weeks (if that). The crowd cheered Bryan even before, during, and after he was in the Wyatt Family. The repeated losses didn't work. The "heel turn" didn't work, so now WWE is outright ignoring what the fans want by pushing Batista to the main event of WrestleMania over a guy in Bryan who is more popular than Batista ever was. After the reaction the crowd gave to Batista last night, that seemingly didn't work either.
What will WWE's next step in attempting to bury Daniel Bryan's popularity be? I have no idea, but I have a challenge for you. Don't stop cheering. Let your voice be heard. As Bryan posted himself on Twitter "They can't ignore your reactions forever". Don't let them win. Show Vince, Triple H, and everyone else that size doesn't matter. That looks don't matter. And more importantly, that they're personal and political backstage agendas DON'T MATTER. If it wasn't for the fans, there would be no WWE. So eventually they have to listen, keep supporting Daniel Bryan and keep letting WWE know that you want new stars, not the resurgence of 2005.
The last thing I would like to say is this. Last night, I got on Twitter and it was exploding with people ranting about the outcome of the show. Everyone was. Cena fans, Punk fans, Orton fans, "WWE marks", "Indy marks", everyone. It wasn't just "real wrestling fans" that were mad, it was casual fans too. It wasn't just "Indy marks who love their 'Internet darlings'" that were mad, it was WWE fans as a whole. Seeing this made me realize how big of a phenomenon this whole Daniel Bryan thing is. It's not often that the WWE Universe agrees on something this adamantly as a whole.
So, my question to you WWE is this: When will you put your pre-conceived ideas on what a top WWE "Superstar" should be aside and give the fans who keep you in business what they want? Bryan's popularity is undeniable. I think it's time that you listened.
Thoughts? Comments? Feedback? Tweet me your thoughts on this article as well as the Royal Rumble on Twitter (twitter.com/StylesClashx) or post them as a comment on this blog!