Why Pro Wrestling Fans Are So Angry Again

'We Want Refunds!' - Why Pro Wrestling Fans Are So Angry Again

You'd think that the first weather-related cancellation of an episode of Monday Night Raw in the show's 1000-plus episode history would be bad news for the WWE. But the many inches of snow aimed at Hartford, Connecticut, the location of tonight's now-scuttled Raw taping, are a sprinkle of luck that will spare WWE the heat of some pretty pissed off fans.

If I was going, I sure would have been angry, and I'd have let them know it.

My problem -- and the problem of thousands of WWE fans -- is that the biggest pro wrestling company in the world has, for quite some time, weirdly promoted its product in a way that appears to be spiteful to many of its fans.

Of course, our real problem is that we stick around and take it.

Welcome to one of the strangest fan experiences in popular entertainment: being a masochistic fan of WWE.

Sunday night's Royal Rumble was the ostensible kick-off of pro wrestling's high season, one that culminates in WWE's Super-Bowl-scale Wrestlemania in spring. It was also the second straight Royal Rumble that ended in a blizzard of boos from an arena crowd fuming when the winner was a storyline good guy who just about all of them rejected.

And they didn't just boo the guy who won. They didn't just boo almost the entire final half of the match he was in.

There was this chant from some 17,000 fans in Philadelphia...

If you can't make that out, they're yelling: "we want refunds."

Here's that same crowd a few seconds earlier chanting "bullshit."

Note what's happening here. There are three guys in the ring. They are the final three guys in the eponymous Royal Rumble match, a 30-man battle-royale in which you're eliminated when you are thrown over the top rope. The winner of the match gets to challenge for the world heavyweight championship at Wrestlemania, so think of the Rumble as a weird variation of an NFL conference finals. The two bald guys in the clip are storyline bad guys, the Big Show and Kane, both employees for the corporate Authority. The man with the long black hair is Roman Reigns, relative of all-time-great The Rock and an emerging bad-arse babyface (wrestling parlance for "good guy"; bad guys are "heels").

The chant here is "bullshit", and The Big Show tries to play it off as if it comports with the storyline. But then Reigns gets some offence in and it's clear as day what the crowd actually thinks is "bullshit" about all of this.

The crowd didn't want Reigns to win. No offence. He seems like a nice guy and all.

It's just that they wanted this guy to win:

'We Want Refunds!' - Why Pro Wrestling Fans Are So Angry Again

Or this guy:

'We Want Refunds!' - Why Pro Wrestling Fans Are So Angry Again

Or this guy:

'We Want Refunds!' - Why Pro Wrestling Fans Are So Angry Again

Those are the actual three most popular good-guy wrestlers in WWE (John Cena notwithstanding, and Cena is booed by half the audience anyway).

Hell, by the end of the night, once fans realised that the heel Rusev hadn't been eliminated, they cheered for him. Bear in mind that Rusev regularly denigrates America, praises Vladimir Putin and pledges to the Russian flag, big-time bad guy moves in the jingoistic world of WWE.

Reigns took him out.

'We Want Refunds!' - Why Pro Wrestling Fans Are So Angry Again

Then he posed with The Rock. And fans booed some more.

They hated it. Viewers like me watching at home hated it. Twitter blew up with anger over the ending. The hashtag #cancelWWENetwork, a reference to the $US10-a-month WWE streaming service that lets you watch special events like the Rumble and that is the foundation of the WWE's current business model, has been trending worldwide for nearly a day.

Fans were furious, and it doesn't seem like we were supposed to be.

Maybe this sounds weird to you. Maybe I sound like a super-fan lost in the soap opera of pro wrestling. Maybe, as my good friend Tommy Craggs says, I need to accept that it's all a work (wrestling lingo for "fake") and, along with thousands of other disgruntled fans, just get over it.

Except there's a part of wrestling that's real, a part that makes it play by somewhat different rules than Game of Thrones, where George R.R. Martin kills your favourites but you keep reading or watching anyway. With Martin's work, you assume he has a plan, you know you can't change it and you accept that you're either along for the ride or not. Modern pro wrestling isn't like that.

The most real part of wrestling these days is that it's interactive, that it's a crude ongoing drama performed in front of live crowds and that those crowds' reactions are largely expected to determine the future of that drama. Wrestling crowds, and, by extension, wrestling viewers, who are encouraged by WWE themselves to Tweet and Instagram and make their voice heard, assume they have input and that their input matters.

So if a wrestler is particularly good at being a good guy or a bad guy, the crowd will react, and the tacit understanding of the audience is that that reaction will be rewarded. You'll see more of the heroes you love to cheer, more of the the villains you love to boo and less of the people that bore you. If you deviate from what they're giving you and react differently than they expect? Maybe you start cheering a bad guy? If enough people do that, the WWE will likely turn him into a good guy. If you start booing a good guy, as people used to boo The Rock when he first came upon the scene as the goofy Rocky Maivia, he'll likely be turned into a bad guy before getting cut from the company.

That brings us back to Daniel Bryan, a crowd favourite who the WWE seems perpetually reluctant to promote.

Here's Daniel Bryan in the middle of the Royal Rumble. Infuriatingly, you'll hear the announcers talk about how loved Bryan is by the fans. And then you'll see him thrown from the ring, and you'll hear the crowd turn. This was halfway through the Rumble, a match that goes on for about an hour overall. The fans remain enraged for much of the rest of the show.

Watching that, you might think, hey, a guy the crowd likes got eliminated. They booed. That's how it works. Good guys can't win all the time.

But here's the crowd chanting for Bryan a few minutes later.

Trust me, they kept cheering for him.

Oh, and here's a clip from an episode of Monday Night Raw in December of 2013, during a segment that was supposed to be about WWE management's most poster-friendly wrestlers, John Cena and Randy Orton, preparing to unify two world championship belts. The segment is briefly derailed as Aberdeen-hailing Bryan is cheered by a partisan Seattle crowd:

And -- this one's going to sound familiar -- here's the end of the 2014 Royal Rumble, in which WWE management's pick to win the match, returning ostensible babyface Batista, is showered with boos while fans chant for Daniel Bryan, who wasn't even in the match:

One more... here's a clip from between those last two. It's January 2014. Following the debacle in Seattle, WWE management tries to turn Bryan into a bad guy for a few weeks, presumably to stop people from derailing shows by cheering for him. When it doesn't work -- or maybe this was the plan all along -- they let him go back to his good guy persona. The crowd loses their minds:

A couple of weeks later, Bryan is scripted to lose the opening one-on-one match on the 2014 Royal Rumble card. Several minutes later, the 30-man Rumble match starts. The crowd keeps expecting Bryan to enter the match (the match starts with two guys, but a new entrant comes in every 90 seconds). He never does. The crowd boos heavily and craps over Batista's win.

Within a few of weeks, Batista is flipped heel and Bryan is scripted into contention against Batista and then-champ Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 30. Bryan wins. The fans go home happy.

These days, pro wrestlers aren't so precious about keeping things kayfabe (translation: in character), so, when they're giving interviews, they will often explain what's really going on in their company. Bryan, WWE veteran Chris Jericho and others have all maintained that Bryan was originally scripted for a much lower non-championship match for Wrestlemania 30. That's despite the support fans gave him in Seattle and in the episode where they abandoned his brief turn to the dark side. By all accounts, he was never supposed to be in the top match of the biggest show of the year. He only got there because fans pushed for him to be in that position (and because the top wrestler CM Punk abruptly quit the company following the 2014 Rumble, forcing a change to the plans for the Wrestlemania card.)

Bryan's problem isn't the fans, and in a way it's not really most of the WWE. They employ him, after all, and they like him enough to put him in nearly every episode of their weekly Raw and Smackdown shows. He regularly wrestles matches near the top of major WWE cards. But it's pretty clear to long-term WWE watchers that the on-camera justification for Bryan's limited opportunities -- that he's too small, too "goat-faced", too much of a "B+ player" -- appears to be what holds him back for real as well.

Bryan stands under six feet tall. Maybe he's 200 pounds, probably not. Batista, the guy who WWE picked to win the 2014 Royal Rumble before fans revolted, was literally Drax the Destroyer in last Summer's Guardians of the Galaxy movie. That was him in the movie. He's a behemoth. This year's WWE favourite for the Rumble, Roman Reigns? Another giant.

That's the thing with WWE as long as Vince McMahon has been running it. McMahon loves giants and has always pushed the bigger guys to the top of his promotion over the littler ones, Hulk Hogan or Lex Luger over Bret Hart, Diesel or Mabel over Shawn Michaels, and so on. Hart and Michaels are all-time greats and considered to be far better in-ring wrestlers than their slower, larger counteparts. When did they get their chance to shine? When Hogan and Diesel jumped to rival promotions, when WWE got in trouble for the steroid-boosted physiques of some of its biggest stars.

It's clear that Bryan isn't what Vince McMahon looks for in a WWE star. Bryan doesn't look like an action figure or super-hero, doesn't have the John Cena or Randy Orton look. He's a scruffy-bearded Pacific Northwest former vegan. He also happens to be, by many fans' accounts, the best wrestler in the world, if you look at wrestling in terms of mastering the mix of choreography and improvisation that makes for a believable, fun to watch pretend fight, which is what wrestling matches are.

Here, watch some Daniel Bryan matches. I think you'll get it. The guy is fun to watch:

Being the best wrestler in the world just doesn't get you to the top of the WWE. Or at least it doesn't convince McMahon to put you there. So Bryan spent much of 2013 getting pushed toward the top of the card, but was regularly scripted to fall just short, to maybe win the championship but then lose it -- once just minutes later; another time they let him hold the title for a full day.

By the time Bryan was getting cheered in Seattle, he was well out of the title picture. The WWE had moved on. But fans stubbornly chanted for their beloved, scruffy underdog and WWE eventually relented, turning the fan support for Bryan into a storyline about the "Yes Movement" against the on-screen WWE nefarious, corporate Authority. Bryan won the championship at Wrestlemania. Soon afterward, he got married, his father died and then he got injured -- all for real. He was gone for nine months. When he came back? Instant crowd favourite again.

While Bryan was gone, another relatively undersized crowd favourite, Dolph Ziggler, also got his run near the top of the card, getting close but never quite getting to be "the man." That's him way up top with his face mushed into the mat near the end of the 2015 Royal Rumble. Dean Ambrose is the guy on his back. He doesn't look like a super-hero either. The crowd loves him, too. Ziggler and Ambrose, like Bryan, got dumped out of the ring at the Royal Rumble this year as it became more and more clear that Reigns was the guy scripted to win.

Roman Reigns? Now that guy looks like a super-hero. That guy looks like a Vince McMahon pet project. That guy has been getting booed by more and more of the "smart" fans who know what's up, who know that Reigns is still very young, very green in the ring and not much better on the mic.

Here's Reigns entering the 2015 Royal Rumble match. Bryan's already been eliminated. Bear in mind as you watch this that Reigns is expected to be the good guy, the crowd favourite, the hero going into Wrestlemania to try to dethrone the seemingly invincible uber-villain Brock Lesnar. Yes, Reigns is supposed to be getting -- I don't know -- Seattle-style chants? Listen:

The crowd doesn't want Roman Reigns. They don't want Reigns vs. Lesnar. They know what McMahon doesn't seem to realise. Reigns isn't their hero yet.

That's why WWE fans are pissed. They're angry because WWE programming isn't just a weird sort of modern morality play but a sort of meritocracy play where the crowd's role is to appreciate the top talents and the company promoting the show is theoretically supposed to place those talents in top positions, not unceremoniously dump them out of their ring in order to promote a rookie who isn't ready.

Great promoters don't always give the paying audience what they want, but they also don't repeatedly promote shows that get their hand-picked stars booed out of the arena. They can keep on promoting, of course, if those fans keep showing up. And those fans who keep showing up? Well, surely they -- we -- would still like to believe that maybe if we boo loud enough they will listen and they will change the Wrestlemania script again.

Or, as my pal Tommy might theorise, maybe this is the storyline all along. Maybe Bryan, Ziggler and Ambrose getting shafted is part of a master plan. Maybe Reigns getting booed while The Rock stands at his side -- my god, they booed The Rock! -- was the plan all along. If that's true, that's a pretty questionable plan. Piss off your audience, then profit?

Let's let a smart Redditor have the last word:

'We Want Refunds!' - Why Pro Wrestling Fans Are So Angry Again

Sadly, they're right. See you at the next show. Unless it snows, of course.


Comments

    The PPV was pretty solid (that Phoenix Splash) other than the titular matches dismal, complete bullshit finish. I'm hoping for a Rollins cash in post Mania main event if the match doesn't change from Reigns v Lesnar before then.

    How they can book one of the biggest event matches of the year so badly twice in a row is baffling.

    Last edited 28/01/15 10:33 am

      I rewatched that bout when I thought RAW was meant to be on. Rollins was such a superstar. I hate his character, but that elbow onto Lesnar from the rope onto the table? Man! Damn!

      That triple threat match was awesome. I was shocked at Rollins and just how well he did and the risks he took. Plus you have Brock in there launching everyone with German Suplexes and F5's all over the place. Well worth the AUD$13 I paid for the WWE Netowrk this month.

    The major problem is, that wrestling (as you mentioned), is fan-participation heavy. Whether fans are booing or cheering, it all plays into the fact that without them, there would be no "show".

    If the people in that stadium wanted change, booing isn't the way... literally, turn your back and be silent. THAT would speak volumes. THAT would show that there is little interest in the program that is being given to its audience.

    TL,DR; What are they angry about?

      Fans have been ignored when it comes to who gets the spotlight at big events. They cheer for people like Ziggler, Bryan, Ambrose & Wyatt; yet the company wants to push am underdeveloped, untalented guy like Roman Reigns into the spotlight.

      yeah that was way too long. I've seen a shorter version of War and Peace.

      I did find this at the end "That’s why WWE fans are pissed. They’re angry because WWE programming isn’t just a weird sort of modern morality play but a sort of meritocracy play where the crowd’s role is to appreciate the top talents and the company promoting the show is theoretically supposed to place those talents in top positions, not unceremoniously dump them out of their ring in order to promote a rookie who isn’t ready."

      I think maybe they are angry because someone fake-lost and another new dude fake-won? Or something...
      Also can someone indicate the gaming connection?

      Last edited 28/01/15 10:41 am

        Gaming connection is that it is the same issues that made people angry about Shepard fake-losing or fake-winning at the end of Mass Effect 3.

        People writing the stories do not listen to the fans, ignore them, and try to force them in to swallow something they never wanted.

        I'm sorry. I forgot that it had to write 100% vidyagamez 100% of the time.

        I still don't get it... oh well...

        Last edited 28/01/15 10:49 am

          don't worry mate, neither do I :P
          Not in the slightest

          edit; also, who knew that so many Kotaku readers were wresting fans. Not knocking them at all, it's just something very surprising to me.
          TIL that many kotaku readers follow wrestling :)

          Last edited 28/01/15 11:05 am

            Im not knocking them at all, but I just don't get the rage. I guess it's all about the passion you have for a sport or piece of entertainment. *shrug*

              It's the same as any other TV show when a character that isn't liked gets pushed by the writing staff. The backlash is pretty much proportional to the size of the audience.

                Absolutely. Just because I don't get it, doesn't mean it's not important to others :) It's like Sheldon said on Big Bang Theory, paraphrasing of course, 'Just because it's not important to you, doesn't mean it's not important to me.'

                  Its actually from Suicidal Tendencies - 'You cant bring me down'
                  "Just because you dont know whats going on, dont mean it dont make no sense. And just because you dont like it dont mean it aint no good."

                  Nah, there was an episode where Sheldon was showing something to Penny and she was quite mean to him, he said to her 'just because it's not important to you, doesn't mean it's not important to me?' One of the few profound moments that shows actually had lol.

                  Then again it WAS one of the earlier seasons, before the show dipped into Two and a Half Men level quality...

                I noticed that that didn't happen so much with King Joffrey lol ;)

      Short version - it's in Philadelphia. They take it pretty seriously, so dumping the popular work-horses in favour of the company's latest flavour-of-the-month performer who isn't ready got them worked up.

        Don't blame the Philly crowd. You could have put that show on anywhere and the result would have been the same.

          It would have been similar but the article compares the crowd reaction to Reigns in Philly to the pop Daniel Bryan got in Seattle.

          Most likely, but it's Philly. That particular hotspot needs a mention for people who don't get it.

      A new guy that isn't very popular because he still has a lot of learning to do is getting pushed as the top guy of the company. Meanwhile, fan favourites are being ignored.

      It's worth noting that wrestling fans tend to fall into two categories: marks and smarks. Little Billy that thinks John Cena is basically Superman is a mark. Someone who goes on /r/squaredcircle and talks about the amazing heel promo Seth Rollins with Paul Heyman cut is a smark (smart mark).

      Crowds in Philadelphia (where the Royal Rumble was held) are notoriously full of smarks. They sung "John Cena sucks" to the tune of John Cena's entrance music. They'll boo the popular face and cheer the cowardly heel. So don't take their reaction as proof of anything.

      Smarks make up a substantial part of the wrestling audience but they're not the primary audience.

      But Daniel Bryan is still crazy popular.

    Three things:

    1) I watched the Royal Rumble. It was the first WWE show I've seen since Lesnar became champ. I hate that they give the title to part-timers. The championship should be in the hands of those who put the time and effort in to being on almost every Raw.

    2) As much as I love Daniel Bryan, fans are pretty much gonna boo everyone that isn't him, and it's getting a little silly. If fans had their way, Bryan would be champ until he retires. Where's the drama in that?

    3) I understand the need to build to a payoff. It makes it that much sweeter when a face overcomes the odds to win, but the WWE drags it on too long. Rivalries going for four or more months get waaaaay too boring.

      I like that the title is held by a part timer. It takes the focus off the title and the shows get to focus on other things, like characters.
      Its not all "Ive got the title and Im the best"
      "No, Im the best and Im going to get that title."
      "Lets have a title match then."
      Title title title.
      Boring.

      Move the title off the show, build other stories and, regardless of whatever plan whoever has, theres always this looming threat of Lesnar ready to destroy whatever plans you may have.
      Rollins was on a high for months. He was it. Nothing was going to stop him. Lesnar and the title werent around and in his face, so he had a inflated sense of greatness.
      But that all got shattered when he got hit with his first Lesnar suplex in the triple threat
      And from that moment Rollins put on a hell of a performance in the match.

    The problem I find here is that they are pushing for Roman Reigns, a guy who has next to no skills in the ring and can't work a mic at all, to take down Brock Lesnar, a guy who has done nothing but destroy everyone in the company from Cena, Triple H, CM Punk, and even ended The Undertaker's streak at Wrestlemania. Brock is seen as the strongest guy in the company right now, virtually unstoppable.

    I've called Brock "Doomsday", mainly for the way he takes down John Cena (aka Superman); and when Superman can't beat Doomsday, what sense does it make to have Steel (aka Roman Reigns) take down the monster that destroyed Superman? It doesn't.

      I don't 100% agree that Reigns is unbelievable at doing it. But goodness do I love that analogy. That's fantastic.

    Are we actually pissed about Reigns winning or are we pissed that Bryan was dumped halfway through the match, after having been built up for weeks now. And that Ziggler came in at 30 and was then out again in, what, five minutes? Man. I did enjoy that little Wyatt section halfway through, with Rowan jumping in.
    Speaking of which, Curtis Axel. What the fuck happened there? Did we have a 29 man Rumble instead of 30?
    And lastly. Tumblr, which I thought only liked anime and Avengers "shipping", seemed to have a real soft spot for that moment between Reigns and Ambrose, before they turned on the two bald dudes we were supposed to believe would ever come out as winners.

    In summary, WWE Creative needs to find better writers, because this last year has been tiresome. Can we just see the end of The Authority?

      Eric Rowan "replaced" Curtis Axel... But they didn't count Rowan as an elimination on Bray's count. It's weird, they count Rowan as replacing Axel, but don't count him as officially in the match either.

    I remember when I was 14 watching the 1997 Royal Rumble. The Undertaker was the clear favourite at the time, with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin the favourite villain. Hart eliminated Austin but the officials conveniently missed it, so Austin re-entered the ring while the referee was distracted and threw everyone out while they were engaged in other fights.

    There was a final four match to resolve the totally unexpected and controversial upset but I completely lost interest in wrestling in the short interval between the end of the rumble and the final four match, so to this day I have no knowledge of who won, nor do I care.

      Bret won and won the vacant title. Sid beat him the next night on RAW, who then lost it to Undertaker (The favourite) at Wrestlemania. Things have a habit of working themselves out.

    Maybe they finally realized it's all fake?

      fuck I hate that argument. Do u sit in a movie theatre and talk about how "fake" a film is? do u yell at the TV because a show is "fake"? grow up and develop some notion of independent thought.

    The WWE really dropped the ball at the Royal Rumble.

    The triple threat, although it was a fantastic match (huge props to Rollins for putting on a fantastic performance) having Lesnar pin Rollins made it all for nothing.
    Think about this. . .
    Lesnar pins Cena, Rollins cashes in his MitB and LOSES due to Sting again!
    The Authorities golden boy. The proclaimed 'future' of the WWE loses his MitB, loses his title shot. Sting Screwed them again.
    This knocks Rollins off his pedestal, the Authority are angry at him. Hes no longer protected and has every enemy of his after him. He has to run solo with everyone out for his blood. This will make him a huge fan favourite as he claws and fights his way to survive.
    It also solidifies the Sting vs HHH match at Wrestlemania. Sting screwed the Authority again.

    As for the Royal Rumble, the WWE really screwed up.
    ROman Reigns has been back for a couple of months and in a feud with Big Show. Thats in no way deserving of a RR win. His mic abilities and wrestling skill set is no where near title match calibre.
    The Rock only came out at the last moment to try and get some cheap cheers from the crowd. . . which didnt work.

    I dont believe Daniel Bryan should have won. Hes only been back a month or so and had just a couple of matches.
    It should have been Ziggler. The man whos worked hard every week and was the one to defeat the Authority at Survivor Series pretty much on his own.
    Hes the thorn on the Authorities side and very much loved by the crowd.

    Or, before Randy Orton left, he was face too. Have him return at the RR and win it for a title shot against Lesnar. That would be a great match.

    And lastly. . .
    Mizdow should have eliminated The Miz. You know, conflicted, but then took the opportunity. His moment.
    Then survive for a little. Eliminate a couple of people.

    To clarify. . .
    I hadnt watched the WWE for quite a number of years, but my to kids (7 and 8) first saw it about six months ago.
    Watching my 7 year old watch the triple threat match was great! He loves Cena and "The Beast". He was jumping on the couches, yelling at the tv. He was so excited through the whole thing!
    But, when Rollins put Lesnar through the table he was gob smacked. Absolute stunned silence, hands over mouth. Couldnt believe what he had just witnessed.
    I enjoyed more watching my kids watch the WWE than myself watching the WWE.

    The last time I watched wrestling there was a dude named Mankind... he wore a mask and played with a sock puppet.

    The fuck happened to wrestling?

      http://www.quickmeme.com/img/ea/eaaf845200cbfe885bef8302fb6a4c401ad197a357cb86db0ee023369c331823.jpg

    Even though I don't think Reigns is ready he's not as bad as people are making out. Vince's poorly written promos are the biggest reason people don't like him. The fact that he's an impact wrestler and can't pace a match doesn't help much either (but this is possibly all down to the booking and not him as a wrestler).

    I only came back to watching wrestling last year around the time of the split of the Shield. I had last watched around 2005 and got bored when the attitude era ended and the top guys left. BTW I really regret missing all of CM Punk. There is so much about today's wrestling that is poor mostly because there is no competition and the roster is full of guys scared to take a risk because they don't want to lose their job. Every storyline is over quickly with no real buildup and the constant trading of wins means nobody really ever gets over (other than Lesnar) as there's nobody overcoming the odds to finally get that victory after coming so close so many times over a large period of time (which is what made the Bryan WM win so big). Everyone immediately knows that they'll have at most 2 losses in a row before a win making it too predictable.

    There is also a severe lack of pacing and selling of injuries which is what made Bret Hart matches so good. The crowd needs to come back down before they build for a giant pop. Having constant high spots only makes that the norm and takes away from spots which should be huge. Technical wrestlers are a thing of the past in WWE which is a massive shame. The psychology of matches are a lower priority. Maybe it's just a sign of the times with an impatient audience and I've still got that old school mentality.

    With regards to the rumble match Reigns winning wasn't the issue, the issue was it was so obvious that it was happening. Bryan going out early so that it wouldn't interfere with the Reigns win is just killing the intrigue of the match, especially when Big Show and Kane are there at the end (guaranteed not to win). BTW I also really can't stand the Big Show KO punch. It's less believable than the superman punch. Having that eliminate upcoming guys who should be there at the end just buries them. Big Show and Kane should be getting them over at this stage of their careers, not the other way around. Having Rusev come back would've worked better if there was some back and forth between the two for a while but it was cut short. He was also never going to win given he hasn't been in the main roster that long. Wyatt staying would've been the better option. It also didn't help that the title match didn't give any indication that a heel was going to win the rumble match.

    In the end I'm annoyed (and possibly a lot of other people as well), not because Reigns won but because we were all treated like idiots. The fun is not knowing, the shock value of a result or possible result, the theatre and psychology of the story and how it plays out. The booking of the rumble match insulted the intelligence of the WWE universe, as it has done for a while now, and now there's backlash. I don't need gimmick matches all the time (TLC PPV was rubbish after the first ladder match), they need to be something special, I just need to be drawn into the story and believe the fantasy I'm being sold.

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