This PPV was the last before the WWE Network launches and it was a serious hard sell for that new service. WWE Pay Per View revenues are about to plunge and it’s vital to put on a good face for the company right now. Notice I said good face for the company not of the company. So what does WWE do? It once again shows it can’t give the fans (or you can call them the WWE Universe if you want to induce vomiting) what they want.
Much of the PPV was fine stuff. The battle between the two most dominant factions of today, the Wyatts and the Shield, was stellar. Despite both being heel teams the crowd was deeply into the match and cheering for both sides. In fact, a “This is Awesome” chant broke out even before either side had so much as touched each other. The match itself lived up to the hype and was, easily, the highlight of the night.
The Diva’s championship match between AJ and Cameron was decent filler with AJ taking a sick looking accidental kick from her bodyguard Tamina Snuka that almost cost her her championship. Fortunately for her, Tamina was also there to attack Cameron and draw a DJ, letting AJ slip away with the title and extend her record-breaking reign.
The Intercontinental Championship match was better than I expected it to be as Big E Langston and Jack Swagger put on a fine opener with Langston retaining.
Beyond that, the booking was mostly a train wreck. The New Age Outlaws were carried to a marginally decent match by their opponents The Usos; but they have no business being in a WWE ring let alone tag team champions. Billy Gunn is 50 years old. Does he have to have a heart attack in the ring like Jerry Lawler before he’ll think about hanging up his boots. A gymnasium somewhere in Newark is missing its headliners because Road Dogg and Billy Gunn are taking a spot on the WWE roster that deserves to go to a younger, more athletic, team.
I have not seen a match as crapped on by the crowd as the Batista/Alberto Del Rio was in a very long time. Despite del Rio coming to the ring faking an injury, claiming to be unfit to wrestler then attacking Batista with a crutch the crowd still started out cheering him. They moved on to cheering for: Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, RVD, Chris Jericho and I think a few others I missed. They even invented a new term “Bootista” that is up there with “Boo-urns” in terms of cleverness. Batisita was meant to be the company’s major face going into Wrestlemania and the fans are so far from backing him they might as well be on another planet.
Which brings us to the main event. Six men put on what was actually a good match. Cesaro got a chance to shine. Christian and Sheamus appear to be set to collide at Mania and this feud was continued with a great Frogsplash off the top of a pod. Sheamus got to Brogue Kick a Plexiglas plate into Orton. The Wyatts reappeared to attack Cena to set up another likely Mania match and Kane again interfered against Bryan. But, in the end, when Bryan was eliminated and Orton retained, the crowd completely deflated. They weren’t angry. They didn’t hate Orton. They simply could not believe that, once again, the WWE had completely ignored the views they had made crystal clear. The fans want Daniel Bryan as champion going into Mania. And continuing to ignore them is going to start driving fans away in droves no matter how cheap WWE Network may be.
Also, Hulk Hogan is back and will host Wrestlemania. Sure, whatever.
Did you watch the 2014 Elimination Chamber? Will you be signing up for the WWE Network?