Some last minute replacements were added to Royal Rumble 2014. Initially, Xavier Woods and Wade Barrett were given spots in the big match, but WWE officials decided to remove them and replace them with JBL and El Torito instead. The feeling backstage was that the fans would react better to those the latter two performers.
Batista won Royal Rumble 2014 by eliminating Roman Reigns in the end. Other contestants during the match were Alberto Del Rio, Alexander Rusev, Antonio Cesaro, Big E Langston, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, El Torito, Erick Rowan, Fandango, Goldust, Great Khali, Jack Swagger, JBL, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Kane, Kevin Nash, Kofi Kingston, Luke Harper, R Truth, Rey Mysterio, Ryback, Seth Rollins, Sheamus and the Miz.
While we still do not have a definite answer as to how long he has been upset with the company, we do know now that CM Punk was already contemplating a departure from WWE as early as Royal Rumble 2014. He vented to Mick Foley at the time about not being happy within the company and having trouble dealing with injuries.
The expectation was that ratings for Monday Night Raw would rise this week because fans would tune in to see if CM Punk would make his return or not. However, the opposite took place. WWE saw a 12 percent drop in viewership, which has to be a bit alarming since it is the time period between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania 30.
Since the company wanted to sell the brutality of Brock Lesnar for his match against Big Show at Royal Rumble 2014, they had Mark Henry work an injury angle and take a couple of weeks off. It looks the former world champion is returning to WWE, possibly as soon as Monday Night Raw this week.
After what took place at Royal Rumble 2014, WWE officials were concerned that the audience at Monday Night Raw was going to hijack the event by voicing their opinions, so in order to help squash some of that and control the crowd, management had Daniel Bryan cutting a promo to open up the show.
While it only seems like yesterday to some of his most loyal fans, it has now been a decade since Eddie Guerrero shocked the wrestling world by defeating Brock Lesnar for the WWE championship. JBL, the Monday Night Raw and Smackdown commentator who took the belt from Guerrero, noted the anniversary on Twitter.
Scott Armstrong, former WWE referee and the older brother of Road Dogg, provided some laughs today on Twitter when he posted this Tweet to mock referee and good friend Charles Robinson. It even got a rise out of JBL, who quickly retweeted the message on his own account.
Michael Cole will not be on commentary for Smackdown this week. Instead, JBL will be joined on television by Josh Mathews. No word yet on why Cole did not work the event, but there does not appear to be any backstage heat from WWE towards their long time commentator.
While many within WWE, including JBL, are pushing for him to be called up to the main roster soon, management currently does not have any plans of bringing Adrian Neville up from the developmental program just yet. The plan is to keep him in NXT until at least Wrestlemania.
JBL is a pretty ambitious individual. The WWE commentator will be attempting to climb Mt Elbrus again in July. He had previous attempted the feat, but severe weather conditions in Russia forced him and his fellow climbers to give up on the trek before they made it to the peak.