The 2014 Royal Rumble pay per view saw several unexpected turns of events. Probably the least surprising thing to occur all night was the Animal, Batista, winning big in 2014's 30-man battle royal.
The 2014 Rumble kickoff show saw the tag team championships change hands. The new champs? The New Age Outlaws, of course! Oh you didn't know? Road Dogg and Billy Gunn defeated Cody Rhodes and Goldust at the Royal Rumble to reclaim the tag belts—becoming six-time tag champs—for the first time in 14 years, a WWE record.
The next Royal Rumble match saw Daniel Bryan taking on nemesis Bray Wyatt, who told his goons to stay in the back; he was going to handle this personally. And that's exactly what Bray did, getting the win over Bryan. It was back and forth in a heated match but Wyatt got the win after catching Daniel Bryan in mid air outside the ring and slamming him into the barrier. One Sister Abigail later and it was by bye Beardy.
Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show was one of the more anticipated Royal Rumble matches and the brutality didn't disappoint. Lesnar hit Big Show with a vicious chair attack before the match got under way and continued to do so post-F5.
The second championship match at the Royal Rumble PPV was John Cena vs. Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This was another back and forth affair that saw both superstars using each other's finishing maneuvers. It looked like Cena was ready to finish Orton off with his patented STF submission move, but then the Wyatt Family's music hit and the lights went out. When they came back up, all three Wyatts were surrounding the ring and caused enough distraction for Orton to hit and RKO and retain the belt.
Now it's Royal Rumble time.
CM Punk started things off against the second man in, Seth Rollins. A variety of kicks were thrown before they were joined by Damien Sandow, followed soon after by his former tag partner, Cody Rhodes. Punk eliminated Sandow first, before Kane makes a surprise appearance in the number five slot. Punk then eliminates Kane and vindication abounds at the 2014 Rumble.
NXT star Alexander Rusev comes in at number 6. He's a massive piece of humanity with a sumo and muay thai background. Despite tossing several guys over the ropes, he failed to eliminate any of them. Jack Swagger comes in next, followed by Kofi Kingston, Jimmy Uso and Goldust as the first 10 men to enter the 2014 Royal Rumble.
It's getting kinda crowded, having been a while since an elimination, when Rollins, Rhodes and Punk go after Rusev, and combine to eliminate the behemoth when joined by Kingston. Kingston then went over himself, only to be caught by Rusev and tossed onto the barricade. Having not hit the floor yet, Kingston makes an amazing leap and rejoins the match. The 11 spot brings up the Shield's music, an ominous sign, and Dean Ambrose is the first current champion to enter to enter 2014's Royal Rumble.
Enter Dolph Ziggler, picked by Hacksaw Jim Duggan during the pre-show; long-time WWE fans will know that Hacksaw won the first Royal Rumble. R-Truth is not-so-lucky No. 13, soon becoming the next elimination, the combined work of Rollins and Ambrose, who next eliminate Uso.
Surprising everyone, Kevin Nash is the 14th superstar to enter the 2014 Royal Rumble match. He immediately takes out Swagger and is in fine form. Then comes another behemoth, Roman Reigns in at the 15 spot and now all three members of the Shield are in with only half the men having entered. Reigns takes out Kingston, then Ziggler and Nash. There are a lot of big men in with the Great Khali coming in next; the Shield keys on him immediately, Reigns tosses a Superman punch, and all three toss him over.
At this point, the Shield account for half the men in the Royal Rumble ring. Goldust accidentally knocks Cody out, then gets tossed himself. Now it's the Shield vs. CM Punk, a familiar sight. But then Sheamus returns to even the odds and starts smashing through the Shield. Irish Curse, Brogue Kick, the Celtic Warrior is on fire. Here comes the Miz, no fan of the Shield, and the odds are evened.
Punk has been curled up in a ball since the three-on-one assault by the Shield. Then Fandango makes his entrance at 19, followed by Torito, the man who would eliminate him before Reigns catches and tosses the little bull. Next to enter the 2014 Royal Rumble are Antonio Cesaro, Luke Harper, Jey Uso and... JBL? Keep in mind, 2014 is his Royal Rumble debut. JBL asks Michael Cole to take his coat and gets tossed by Roman Reigns.
Now comes Erick Rowan, in at 25. Harper tosses Miz. and now we have three Shield members and two members of the Wyatt Family, staring down and facing off as Ryback comes in to the Royal Rumble to chants of Goldberg. Alberto Del Rio snagged the 27th entry, the spot at which the most winners in Royal Rumble history come. But nothing's certain when Batista sprints in at 28 and starts decking guys. He eliminates Rowan and then takes out Ryback and Del Rio.
Big E. Langston is the next to enter and Rey Mysterio is the last man in the 2014 Royal Rumble; the crowd boos the fact that Daniel Bryan is not an entrant. Sheamus takes out Langston and Rollins eliminates Mysterio before the Shield work together to take out Harper. That's when Dean Ambrose tries to take out Reigns; Rollins stops him, only to have Reigns take out Ambrose, Rollins and Cesaro, tying the record for most eliminations in a Royal Rumble match.
Four men are left standing until Kane takes out Punk and proceeds to stomp him ringside, chokeslamming him through the Spanish announce table.
Now it's down to three monstrous men: Batista, Reigns and Sheamus. Reigns eliminates Sheamus and sets new record with 12 eliminations. The crowd is chanting his name during the protracted stare down. Reigns gets the advantage and sets up for Superman punch before Batista spears him. Reigns returns the favor but is still eliminated, as Batista wins the 2014 Royal Rumble.