WWE: Top 10 Moments Of 2014
2014 was one of the more newsworthy and chaotic years in recent WWE history. From the fans forcing WWE to put Daniel Bryan in the WrestleMania 30 main-event to CM Punk walking out of WWE just 24 hours after the Royal Rumble in January, 2014 has certainly had its share of unpredictable moments.
10 – The Greatest Of All-Time At WrestleMania 30
Hulk Hogan kicked off WrestleMania 30 as the special guest host, and after flubbing a few lines, he was interrupted by fellow WWE legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Hogan and Austin are the two biggest stars in the history of WWE, and unfortunately, the two have never and will never have a match with one another. But, at least WWE gave the fans a great moment between the two at WWE’s biggest show of the year.
Just as it looked like Hogan and Austin were wrapping up, The Rock made a surprise appearance and joined his fellow WWE legends. The three of them had some laughs, and at the end of it all, they all enjoyed a cold beer together in the middle of the ring. It was a great way to kick off the thirtieth anniversary of WrestleMania.
9 – The Authority Lays Out Randy Orton
This was an angle that many WWE fans could see from a mile away, but the moment itself, regardless of how unsurprising it was, was great.
At some point during the beat down, Randy Orton was accidentally busted open, and it was a good reminder that blood, in the right situation, can really make a significant impact on the moment. Especially when it’s a long, drawn-out moment like this was. The visual of Orton struggling to get to his feet while Rollins was waiting to curb stomp him was just spectacular.
This is an angle that still has not been paid-off, and it likely will be at WrestleMania 31. Orton finally made his return to WWE on RAW this past Monday after RAW went off the air, so it’s likely that Orton’s appearance next week will be televised.
8 – Roman Reigns Wins Superstar of the Year
Roman Reigns winning WWE Superstar of the Year surprised a lot of people, and WWE fans automatically assumed that the voting was rigged, and WWE picked Reigns to win the award as they’re getting ready to make him the new face of WWE in 2015.
It was hard for a lot of WWE fans to believe that Reigns was able to beat out John Cena or Daniel Bryan if the fan voting was actually legitimate, however, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, the fan voting was actually legitimate.
At this point, the WWE fans haven’t gotten behind Reigns the way that the WWE would like them to. Also, Reigns doesn’t seem like he’s ready to be the company’s number one babyface, so it’ll be interesting to see how WWE changes their main-event plans for WrestleMania 31, if they do.
7 – Seth Rollins Turns On The Shield
The Shield ended up being one of the greatest groups in WWE history, and after a nearly two year run, WWE decided it was time for the three men to go their separate ways.
Seth Rollins deciding to turn on his Shield brothers came as a bit of a surprise as many WWE fans predicted that Dean Ambrose would likely be the one to turn if The Shield were to break up. Well, in hindsight, WWE made the right call by having Rollins turn as he’s the best heel in the company right now.
Now, all three former members of The Shield are being considered for the WrestleMania 31 main-event spot. Usually when a team breaks up, only one or two of its members become top-level superstars. Fortunately for Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose, they all have main-event level talent and will be the three men to carry WWE forward for the next 10 years.
6 – Brock Lesnar Conquers John Cena At SummerSlam
No WWE fan could have predicted that the John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar match at SummerSlam would have gone the way it did. John Cena hit maybe two moves as Lesnar destroyed Cena en-route to the WWE championship.
Lesnar and Cena had a rematch the following month, but it was nowhere near as memorable as their SummerSlam match was. Lesnar hit Cena with 16 German suplexes and an F-5 just thirty seconds into the match, which almost every fan in the arena bought as the finish.
Brock Lesnar’s WWE title reign has been controversial since he’s only defended the title once after he won it last August. Now, it’s likely that he could lose it at the Royal Rumble to John Cena. Whether that happens or not, the Cena vs. Lesnar match at SummerSlam was the most one-sided match in WWE championship history and will likely be remembered for a very long time.
5 – The “YES!” Movement Occupies RAW
Some people loved it, some people hated it, but it was one of the most memorable moments in the history of Monday Night RAW.
It was finally the night that WWE fans felt like Daniel Bryan was getting what he deserved as Triple H accepted Bryan’s WrestleMania challenge and agreed to the stipulation that if Bryan beats him, he’ll get a WWE title opportunity in the main-event of WrestleMania 30.
The “Occupy RAW” segment got one of the best live reactions of any segment all year, and it helped solidify Daniel Bryan’s spot as a main-event player in WWE.
4 – CM Punk Quits WWE
After years of frustration, CM Punk finally walked out of WWE the day after the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in January. It took months for Punk to come out and speak about why he left the company, but when he did, it was probably the most talked about WWE-related story of the year.
It seemed like every other week after CM Punk quit WWE, there was a story about how he was coming back at the next pay-per-view. As a matter of fact, there were a lot of WWE fans who expected him to appear at WrestleMania 30. But, that never happened.
CM Punk has begun a new career as a UFC fighter, and the WWE has wished him well in his new career. As far as Vince McMahon is concerned, the door is open for Punk to return to WWE. But, if he’s successful in the UFC, he will likely never need or want to go back to WWE ever again.
3 – Sting Makes His Long-Awaited WWE Debut
Over the summer it was announced that wrestling legend Sting would be involved in the WWE 2K15 video game, which finally answered the question of “Will Sting ever sign with WWE?”
After months of anticipation, Sting finally made his WWE debut at Survivor Series in November. He took out Triple H and temporarily dismantled The Authority. Now it looks like WWE wants to have Sting face off with Triple H at WrestleMania 31, instead of doing the dream match of The Undertaker vs. Sting.
It’s likely that Sting will do only one match and call it a career. He’s also a WWE Hall of Fame candidate and could be inducted as early as this 2015, the night before WrestleMania 31.
2 – Daniel Bryan Wins The WWE World Heavyweight Championship At WrestleMania 30
After nearly eight months of being screwed over, Daniel Bryan finally won the WWE championship at WrestleMania 30.
Bryan’s championship win was one of the greatest moments in WrestleMania history, and it was a moment that wasn’t even supposed to happen as WWE brought back Batista to walk out of WrestleMania 30 as the new WWE champion. Thankfully, WWE realized that Batista winning the title in the main-event of the biggest show of the year was a horrible idea and had Daniel Bryan win the title instead.
Unfortunately, Daniel Bryan’s title reign was cut short due to a neck injury. The original plan for Bryan was for him to hold the title until SummerSlam, where he’d get destroyed by Brock Lesnar the same way John Cena did.
Thankfully, Daniel Bryan is back, and he’s going to be participating in the 2015 Royal Rumble. Will he headline WrestleMania 31 and win the WWE championship? Well, WWE fans certainly hope so.
1 – Eat, Sleep, Conquer The Streak
Brock Lesnar breaking The Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak was by far the most shocking thing that happened in WWE all year. Nobody saw it coming, and it infuriated almost every WWE fan.
There are a lot of people who will argue that the Lesnar vs. Undertaker match stunk, and those people are right. However, you cannot argue that this wasn’t one of the most significant and shocking moments in WWE history.
Since Lesnar has conquered the streak, he’s gone on to capture the WWE championship and could go on to headline WrestleMania 31 before he leaves to go back to the UFC.
Overall, 2014 was a very significant and important year for WWE. They developed three new main-event caliber stars in Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, and they’re on the cusp of having an all-star talent roster.
If things go correctly, 2015 should be one of the biggest years in WWE history.
[All images and videos via WWE]