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.
After he was pulled from Royal Rumble 2014 at the last minute, Evan Bourne told fans on Twitter that he was still working on making his return to WWE, but as of right now, it does not appear that management is making that a priority backsage.
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.
Long known backstage as someone with a short fuse, Randy Orton was said to be irate with the fans at Royal Rumble 2014 because he feels that they interrupted his performance against John Cena by openly rooting for Daniel Bryan. Orton does have a history of being upset with audiences.
When Alexander Rusev made his debut at Royal Rumble 2014, many were under the impression that it was a permanent call up to the main roster. However, it appears that management wants the developmental wrestler to have a little more seasoning by working in WWE NXT for a few more weeks.
"Daniel Bryan wasn't going to win Royal Rumble 2013. He gets tossed out. His fan base would be more upset than him not being in it at all. Just my opinion."
- Kevin Nash defending WWE and their decision
While watching Royal Rumble 2014, Rikishi expressed his frustration with WWE by posting a message on Twitter. He asked what the company was doing with his sons, Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. He also stated that the "writers suck" and ended the statement with "bullshit".
Alexander Rusev, the developmental wrestler who made his debut at Royal Rumble 2014, was trained by Rikishi. His relationship with the former WWE star helped help progress in the industry a lot quicker than a lot of other guys who have tried to make it to the main roster.
Former nWo stable mates Kevin Nash and Booker T have come to terms on a contract. Nash, who surprised wrestling fans by returning to WWE at Royal Rumble 2014, will be working a show for Booker on February 15, and there is a chance that he could be working more dates for the promotion.
Royal Rumble 2014 is barely in the books now, but Jake Roberts, who publicly campaigned for a spot in the big match, has revealed that he has started training for Royal Rumble 2015. The WWE legend feels that it would provide some closure to be able to work one final match for the company.
While the crowd reaction at Royal Rumble 2014 was noticed by management backstage, WWE does not appear to be changing their plans for Daniel Bryan. He is still penciled in for a match against Sheamus at Wrestlemania 30, and the program is expected to be started at Elimination Chamber 2014.
There are those backstage that were disappointed with Royal Rumble 2014, as many feel that there were not enough highlight spots during the match. Kofi Kingston was praised for doing his best to produce memorable moments, but very few others were able to stand out. Jamie Noble, the agent in charge of the match, has backstage heat because of that.
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.
While there were minor rumblings of him possibly returning at Royal Rumble 2014, it now appears that WWE has saved Christian for Smackdown instead. The former world champion is scheduled to appear on the episode being taped in Toledo later on today.
Big Show was noticeably missing from Monday Night Raw this week. WWE has given him some time off to heal from the hand injury that he suffered at a live event over the weekend. Management had Brock Lesnar attacking him during Royal Rumble 2014 to write him off of television.
"I honestly never expected the type of attention that both my tweet and my Facebook post about my displeasure with the Royal Rumble would bring. I was just expressing an opinion, and it seemed to be in line with what many of you had on your mind last night as well. The response on both Twitter and Facebook dwarfed anything I'd received in the past, and I hope WWE will recognize this unprecedented response as a sign that a little tweaking might be needed in order to save this Wrestlemania from the prospect of 75,000 people booing, turning their backs, or walking out of its main event."
- Mick Foley thanking fans for their response to his Royal Rumble 2014 rant
While he did not make an appearance during Royal Rumble 2014 as speculated, Sean Waltman, who canceled an appearance at an independent wrestling show, was said to be backstage at the event, where his good friend Kevin Nash made his return.
Last night, at Royal Rumble 2014, Shawn Michaels surprised the audience by seemingly breaking character and heavily praising Daniel Bryan while doing commentary. There are those that believe that he was simply setting up an upcoming story line for WWE by doing that.
"Crowd became disconnected in John Cena - Randy Orton match. Talents worked hard nonetheless. Simply wasn't what they wanted to see. "
- Jim Ross on Royal Rumble 2014
At Royal Rumble 2014, fans in the arena heavily showered Rey Mysterio with boos. While that confused many at the beginning, it became evident shortly thereafter that people were upset that Mysterio had the final spot in the match instead of Daniel Bryan.
Kevin Nash made a surprising appearance during Royal Rumble 2014 last night, and that has caused fans to speculate about his return to WWE. As of right now, it appears to be a one night deal and not a full time return. Nash was said to have been paid really well for that quick stint in the match.
While his removal was a last minute decision like it was for other performers, Wade Barrett was pulled from Royal Rumble 2014 earlier in the week. The unknown person that was supposed to replace him ended up not being thrown into the match after all.
At one point, Evan Bourne was supposed to make his return to WWE at Royal Rumble 2014, but management opted against that move on Sunday night. The high flying wrestler decided to address the issue on Twitter by telling his fans to not worry about last night and that he is still working on his comeback.
Xavier Woods was originally given a spot at Royal Rumble 2014, as evident by the advertisement stating his participation in the event his year, but WWE officials changed their mind backstage at the last minute and pulled him from the event.
Many were expecting Brock Lesnar to take another break after Royal Rumble 2014, as that has usually been the case when the former UFC champion works a pay per view for WWE, but he is scheduled to appear on Monday Night Raw tonight, probably to set up his Wrestlemania 30 match.
After Royal Rumble 2014 went off the air, Batista got into it with a fan on his way back up the entrance ramp. He threatened to snap the person in half, before the rest of the WWE audience turned on him. Batista then added further fuel to the fire by mocking Daniel Bryan at the top of the rant.
"Wait......I was supposed to be #31. Is it over?"
- Tensai joking on Twitter about Royal Rumble 2014
Rumors had persisted for several months that Alexander Rusev was next in line to be called up from developmental to the main roster in WWE, and the move took place during Royal Rumble 2014, where the big man was involved in the annual battle royale.
At the risk of ruining his chances of signing a new deal with the company involving his stand up comedy show, Mick Foley, whose contract expires in a few weeks, opted to be open and honest by speaking out against WWE for not pushing Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble 2014.
"Somehow that Curt Hawkins sign got a lot of air time tonight. I'm gonna have to buy that guy some beers one day as a thank you."
- Curt Hawkins on seeing his sign at Royal Rumble 2014
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.
Randy Orton was able to retain the WWE championship at Royal Rumble 2014 by using an RKO to pin John Cena, who was distracted by the arrival of Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. The trio might have been going after Orton due to comments he made earlier in the night.
"Does WWE actually hate their own audience? I've never been so disgusted with a PPV."
- Mick Foley on Royal Rumble 2014
Since Big Show suffered an injury during a WWE live event over the weekend, his match against Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble 2014 was kept extremely short. The former UFC champion utilized several chair shots and an impressive F5, where he walked around the ring first, to finish off Show.
While Daniel Bryan was able to dish out a lot of punishment towards his foe, it was Bray Wyatt that stood victoriously at the end of their match at Royal Rumble 2014. Wyatt got the pin fall victory after nail his finisher twice, once of which was done outside the ring.
During the kickoff match for Royal Rumble 2014, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn shocked the wrestling world when they were able to defeat Cody Rhodes and Goldust to become the new WWE tag team champions. Many were under the impression that their return was a temporary one.
There is heavy speculation that Kevin Nash will be at Royal Rumble 2014 tonight, as the former heavyweight champion is staying at the same hotel as the WWE performers are in Pittsburgh. He is in town to host a party for people watching the pay per view, but those plans could change.
Daniel Bryan made his injury return to the ring during a live event on Saturday night, where he worked a steel cage match against Bray Wyatt. WWE had kept Bryan from wrestling since he suffered his concussion, so that he can recover and work Royal Rumble 2014.
Even though he has not been officially announced as an entrant at Royal Rumble 2014 tonight, Daniel Bryan is still considered the favorite to win the event by betting websites. Some backstage feel that WWE will throw Bryan into the match to capitalize on his momentum.
There is speculation that Sean Waltman could be a mystery entrant at Royal Rumble 2014 tonight, as the former WWE star canceled an appearance at an independent wrestling show in Virginia last night. Waltman also revealed that he was in Pittsburgh right now.
WWE was really hoping for a hot match for Brock Lesnar tonight at Royal Rumble 2014, so that he can have a lot of momentum heading into Wrestlemania 30, but that might be in jeopardy as his opponent for the evening, Big Show, injured his hand at a live event on Saturday night.
The record for most elimination in the Royal Rumble belongs to Kane, who once took out eleven performers. There are talks that Roman Reigns could be given the distinction of beating that tonight at Royal Rumble 2014. He is expected to be pushed heavily during the match.
"Good night Pittsburgh! Had a great time hanging with Mark Madden in your amazing city!! Looking forward to checking out more sites tomorrow!"
- Chris Jericho in the same city as Royal Rumble 2014