By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Tyson Kidd and Cesaro def. The New Day (Kickoff Match)
It was my understanding that Xavier Woods has been injured for quite some time, so if they knew that coming in, why would they bother advertising him in the six-man tag team match? I had zero desire to see yet another rematch between these two teams, but it was easily the best wrestled match they've have yet (and hopefully this is the end of the line for this feud). The Philadelphia crowd took a liking to Cesaro and Kidd and it was cool to see them score a win for once. I'd love to think this was to set them up as the latest challengers for The Usos, but it might have just been a one-off.
The Ascension def. The New Age Outlaws
The match itself was fine for what it was, but it was obvious the only thing worth noting about this match was the connection The New Age Outlaws had with the crowd. If they weren't as over as they were, this match would've fallen flat. However, the only purpose this bout served was putting over The Ascension and it succeeded in that respect. I don't know if it will do anything to help The Ascension going forward, but it will be disappointing if they go back to facing no-name tag teams after this.
WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos def. The Miz and Damien Mizdow
We've seen so many matches between these two teams that this encounter was ultimately nothing special, but it was a solid effort from both duos and they picked up the pace down the stretch. It was hard to take the near-falls seriously down the stretch because you knew The Usos were going over, but they still delivered a fun contest and Mizdow was once again the star of the matchup with his entertaining antics throughout.
The Bella Twins def. Natalya and Paige
Given its place on the card, it's not hard to figure out that this match was designed to kill time before the big championship match, hence why it got as much as it did. It wasn't terrible and this isn't meant to be a knock on the talent of the ladies involved, but I simply couldn't care less about the Divas division right now. It would have made more sense to have the babyfaces go over to build to a title match down the line, but I'm sure they'll hold a rematch on Raw anyway. Plus, there's a chance we see Paige turn on Natalya sooner rather than later, but they haven't been allies long enough for it to matter.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar def. John Cena and Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat Match
I was expecting an excellent from these three competitors, but this was far greater than I ever anticipated it would be. The action was intense and non-stop with there never being a dull moment. The best part about the match is that all of them had an equal chance of winning, making every near-fall very suspenseful. It was a rare case of the match getting better and better as it went on with the constant finishers, the hardcore spots and even the interference from J&J Security that I oddly didn't mind one bit. The insane high-flying maneuver (that I have no idea what to call) was absolutely amazing from Rollins, and the finishing sequence with Lensar and Rollins was spectacular. Everything about this match was extremely well done and in retrospect, I wouldn't have minded this closing the show, especially after what we ended up getting in the Rumble match.
Roman Reigns Won the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match
I thought the early goings in this match was great. The Miz and R-Truth starting out was a bit underwhelming, but the crowd came unglued for the return of Bubba Ray Dudley, as did I! It was one hell of a moment and, in my opinion, the biggest highlight of the match. Welcome back, Bubba! The returns of Diamond Dallas Page, The Boogeyman and even Zack Ryder were also nice, but not nearly as notable. Of course, the biggest botch of the match came when Daniel Bryan was eliminated halfway though. He was one of the biggest candidates to win, yet didn't come close to making it to the final four. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. Everyone that entered after DDP felt like filler and not many stories were told, though I did enjoy Mizdow's performance while it lasted. The fact Big Show and Kane were among the final competitors in the ring was disgusting to me. How are they still top heels in 2015? The eliminations of Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose and Ryback were extremely weak, and not even the return of The Rock could help Reigns' case. In the end, I don't blame Reigns; I blame WWE Creative. It was obvious from that terrible promo he cut a few weeks ago that he wasn't ready for the main event of WrestleMania, and what's worse is that this is exact same scenario from last year. They did everything they possibly could to make people cheer him, but it simply didn't work. It was an embarrassing way of going off the show and I can't believe the company doesn't learn from their own mistakes.
Even if Roman Reigns hadn't won the Rumble, I still wouldn't classify this as a great show. Sure, the world title match was phenomenal, but the undercard was basically what you'd expect it to be. The Philadelphia crowd made for an amazing atmosphere all night long and definitely enhanced the event on the whole. I didn't think the Rumble was among the "worst of all time" as I definitely thought it had its moments, but I was disappointed with a lot of the booking in the main event and the finish as well. The rest of the Rumble I wasn't blown by, but I enjoyed it at points and the title match is well worth going out of your way to see.
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