If you watched this year’s Royal Rumble event, you might’ve been rooting for Daniel Bryan. He was coming back from a career-threatening injury but had been the alpha and the omega of WrestleMania XXX, so it’d be a fun story to see him go back. Then, because the Royal Rumble was the kind of event that made you shake your head in sad anger, he was nonchalantly eliminated in the middle. Bray Wyatt knocked him off the apron and he disappeared, leaving the Philadelphia crowd to furrow their brows and boo at basically anything afterwards. The Rock couldn’t even save it.
In an interview with IGN to promote that Flintstones jam, Bryan spoke up about how disappointing the elimination was, and how it meant all the tragic stuff we were worried about.
“I mean, I was more disappointed than anyone else, I think. [laughs] Because to go from the top where your headlining a show like WrestleMania and then come back and you’re in a spot where you don’t have anything certain for WrestleMania. It’s hard. As a WWE Superstar, sometimes you think ‘Okay, I know the lay of the land.’ It’s going to be these matches and these matches and these matches at WrestleMania. And so if you’re not in that batch…my situation was this. I was either going to be in the main event of WrestleMania or I was going to be fifth or sixth from the top. And it’s a huge difference, you know what I mean? So it was pretty disappointing.”
To put it another way, at WrestleMania XXX Bryan opened the show by defeating Triple H in a great match, then defeated Batista and Randy Orton in the main event to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This year he’s the 6th person added to a 7-person ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship, a belt so prestigious that on Raw it changed hands in a burlap sack.
That is a huge difference, and disappointing is a good word.