2014 WWE Royal Rumble Winner and new Number 1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXX: Batista
And the crowd. Went. Insane.
But not in a good way.
I’m over this. I’m over the era of nostalgia. Granted, the Attitude Era was fun and there was a lot of awesome shit that happened between 1998 and 2005, but I am SO fucking over it. DX’s last “run” was boring. Jericho’s still a great wrestler, but he’s not going to do anything new. Rob Van Dam is blown up. The New Age Outlaws’ schtick has been the exact same for years. Brock Lesnar has gone from a technical powerhouse to a big, dumb thing. The Big Show is a crying or smiling mess. Kane is wearing a fucking suit to the ring. Triple H is a corporate monkey who’s never going to wrestle again unless it’s “best for business”. The only thing reigning in the nostalgia era that holds any merit is Goldust, who has completely revamped his style and is wrestling like he’s 19 years old and has been training since he was… born.
And then, there’s Batista. This mid-life crisis comes back on Raw and tells the champion “Guess who’s going to win the Rumble?” He then “beats up” a guy who could very easily destroy him in a real fight. Come a few days later and he’s in the ring with a roster full of “B” stars (a phrase he, himself, coined) and he could have very easily made some new star of the future look like gold, by either getting eliminated by Big E, getting tossed out by the returning Sheamus, or passing the torch to the WWE’s resident powerhouse, Roman Reigns.
But no. He wins the Royal Rumble. He wins the fucking Royal Rumble. Guess what, guys? You know all the excitement over the youth movement ruling the WWE today? You know all the joy we get from watching guys flourish and become champion superstars? It’s been halted. No more Del Rio. No more Ziggler. No more Shield. No more Daniel Bryan.
Nope, it’s back to the midcard for all of you kids who thought you might have time to reign. Of course, I’m sure a lot of the WWE superstars of today are happy to be a part of the WWE and hopeful for their futures, but the WWE of today is like the WCW of yesterday. The old guys are still on top of the company with a few company players getting the love they’ve earned by getting along with the brass (i.e. Goldberg to Cena, DDP to Orton, etc.).
Which isn’t to say that the WWE aren’t showcasing talented performers. because truly, the WWE Universe is responding to the wrestlers they’re featuring. People are excited to see The Big Show throwing Lesnar around (which led to a God awful Rumble match). People are stoked to see Kane, who can still run with the best of them. People love Goldust, who has proven that you can continue to evolve decades into your career. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s awesome to see these older guys working with the new guys and potentially giving the new guys the rub!
Hell, at first, I wasn’t exactly stoked about The New Age Outlaws getting the Tag Team Championships, but when I talked to a friend and they made it apparent that a) this leads to a Rhodes feud, and b) this means that the guys who beat the New Age Outlaws for the titles just beat The New Age Outlaws for the titles. That part, I can get behind.
But what does Batista stand to gain becoming a Royal Rumble winner and thus, the number one contender? What do WE gain? We get another main event at WrestleMania featuring and old dude who could barely go in the first place and damn sure can’t go now. Not to mention how fucking smug he is about it. “Thanks for the support, and the haters can suck my balls!" A 45 year old man, a father, a grandfather, is telling people to suck his balls.
He was in the ring for about 13 minutes and by the end of it, he was so soaking wet with sweat that it looked like he had just gotten out of a river. Meanwhile, Roman Reigns, who eliminated 12 men (a new Royal Rumble record) was in there for over a half an hour, and he looked like he could have gone for another half an hour. Not to mention the bevvy of talent who were in there before Batista and could have come out afterward and gone faster, harder, and stronger than Batista can today.
Plus, when Rey Mysterio, God bless him, came out at number 30, the WWE Universe knew exactly what was going to happen. They knew that Rey wasn’t going to win, and that none of the final men would win. The only glimmer of hope was CM Punk, which Kane eliminated and the crowd immediately lost all faith. You could actually see people leaving because they had no interest in seeing Batista win. As soon as Roman was tossed out, what happened? People went insane. They were dying to see Daniel Bryan as the number 30 entrant. After his loss to Bray Wyatt earlier in the evening, it would have made perfect sense for Daniel to come out to the ring and send the fans home happy by becoming the number one contender by effectively winning the Rumble match. It could have come down to Roman and Batista with Roman tackling Batista to the outside and Punk and Daniel squaring off with Kane causing the distraction and Bryan taking advantage. It would have made sense in so many ways. CM Punk has beef with Kane, Daniel has history with Kane, they could have set up Triple H yelling at Kane like “the fuck were you thinking?”, Daniel could be challenged by the Wyatts for the spot since he “didn’t prove himself to Bray”, etc. etc. etc. Instead, nope, a big tease with Roman possibly winning and a swerve for Batista going over clean. The crowd was aghast, I lost my shit at the TV, and I drove home in misery.
His matches are about as typical as they come. Spinebusters, shoulder thrusts, spears, punches, and a Batista bomb (which is the laziest version of a powerbomb ever, and which he couldn’t properly deliver to Alberto Del Rio last Monday [which may have been because his pants were painted onto him, I don’t know]). He has literally made a name for himself from wrestling the same match hundreds of times and if he’s not burying someone or jobbing someone out, he’s unable to keep up with anyone, even The Undertaker. Not to mention, he was injury prone 10 years ago… what happens now that he’s a decade older?
What will happen at WrestleMania? Will it be Batista Vs. Orton, Batista Vs. Cena, Batista Vs. The Undertaker, Batista Vs. Triple H? The problem with all of those is that we’ve seen them all in big match situations and it’s been done to fuckin’ death. People are excited about young guys, like the Wyatts, the Real Americans, Ziggler, Fandango, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, The Shield, Big E Langston, and others because they’re still new to us, they haven’t done every main event possible and they have plenty of time to do them! The fans of the WWE are irritated as fuck because we now have to wait for these guys to flourish and become the stars we believe they deserve to be, the stars that they’ve earned the right to be. We don’t get that, because Batista has just one more Batista bomb left in him.
Save it. Please, save it.
“I’m just honestly sad, just flat out f***** sad. Yes, I dropped an F-bomb there to emphasize how F’ing sad I am for the guys who bust their butts night in and night out – Ziggler, Punk, Bryan, etc – with no hope of getting their shot at this year’s Mania." - Mick Foley