The Royal Rumble has transformed from being one of the most exciting wrestling events of the year to operating as the most perversely entertaining night on the WWE calendar. Instead of serving as a launching pad to help the next big superstar get over, it plays off more like a heated argument between WWE and its passionate fan base, illustrating just how little the two parties see eye-to-eye on the way the show is booked. For the second year in a row, the outcome of one of WWE’s most storied matches was unanimously rejected by the WWE Universe and the main culprit behind that wave of nuclear heat is one Daniel Bryan. Or rather, the absence of Daniel Bryan.
Myself and basically every other wrestling fan in the world could see this coming from a mile away. The hardcore snarks in attendance at the Wells Fargo Center were passionately behind Bryan right from the get-go, serenading him with the loudest pop of the night. When Bryan was discarded from the Rumble like any other guy, the enthusiasm in that building deflated more quickly than a New England Patriots football. From that moment on, Roman Reigns had no chance. Philly was furious at this development and they were going to ensure that Vince McMahon, Triple H and everyone else in WWE knew about it. The message from WWE was clear – Daniel Bryan will never be “the guy” no matter how much you cheer for him.
And the answer from the audience was resounding: FUCK. THAT. SHIT.