Reality Era

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Reality Era
WWE (2014) logo.svg
The logo used by WWE throughout the Reality Era
DateMarch 24, 2014 (2014-03-24)[1] – May 1, 2016 (2016-05-01)
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The Reality Era was a period of professional wrestling within World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) which spanned from early 2014 to April 30, 2016.

Daniel Bryan storyline and initiation[edit]

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon (The Authority) had a heavy presence on television during the Reality Era.

On April 8, 2013, post-WrestleMania 29th episode of Raw, fans expressed intense and vocal displeasure when possibilities of a third match between John Cena and The Rock were suggested by the then-SmackDown General Manager Booker T.[2][3] John Cena increased prominence in major storylines has also been criticized by various media outlets.[4][5] Conversely, fan support for Daniel Bryan began to rise as the year rolled on, as he was compared to Stone Cold Steve Austin during the Attitude Era.[6][7] Similar to the "What?" chants associated with Austin, the "Yes!" chants among the fans of Bryan have become a cultural trend in the WWE — the chant even going as far as to being translated to "Oui! Oui! Oui" whenever WWE would hold televised events in Montreal in 2018 and 2019.[8]

John Cena would lose the WWE Championship to Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, immediately after which began The Authority storyline. During the "Championship Ascension Ceremony" segment ahead of Cena and Randy Orton's approaching championship unification match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, the fan's "Yes!" chants forced Cena to go off-script and acknowledge Bryan.[9]

Daniel Bryan closed WrestleMania XXX by celebrating his win of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Batista shockingly returned in January 2014 and won the 2014 Royal Rumble match.[10] The negative reaction of the fans attending the event in Pittsburgh was so significant that it was reported as one of the major news items coming out of [11][12] and described as the live audience engineering a "takeover" of the final two hours of the show.[12][13] During the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Cena and Orton, fans booed both men and chanted for Bryan, with chants such as "this is awful".[14] After the show was taken off the air, Batista, who had been presented on the air as a heroic babyface character, mocked Bryan and gestured his middle finger at the crowd.[15][16]

On the March 10 episode of Raw, Bryan would "Occupy Raw" until Triple H gave in to his requests.[17] It would be on the March 24 episode the following week that Triple H would dub this point at that time, the beginning of the "Reality Era".[1] Bryan would go on to defeat Triple H, and later, Orton and Batista in a triple threat match on the same night at WrestleMania XXX. This would enable him to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Breakup of The Shield and rise of Roman Reigns[edit]

Roman Reigns broke out as a huge star during this timeframe. (Above) He defeated Triple H in the main event of WrestleMania 32 to become a three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

During Triple H's post-WrestleMania attack on Bryan on April 7, 2014, episode of Raw, The Shield interfered on behalf of Bryan and saved him from the assault by Triple H, Batista, and Orton. This led to the three of the reforming their old stable Evolution.[18][19] The two groups would then engage in a feud that saw The Shield defeat Evolution consecutively at the 2014 Extreme Rules and Payback events.[20] On the June 2 episode of Raw, Triple H announced his intention to continue the recently-reunited Evolution's feud with The Shield despite Batista quitting WWE to focus on his acting career.[21] Later that night The Shield was in the ring, Seth Rollins attacked stablemates Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns with a steel chair. They turned their backs on The Authority, allying with them.[22]

Of the three, Reigns would also receive a heavy push. Yet much like what happened to Cena, Reigns' increasing prominence in major storylines was met with fan backlash. At the 2015 Royal Rumble, Reigns received massive heat from the live crowd.[23] Fans expressed their outrage during and after Fastlane (2015) where Reigns defeated the fan's favorite, Daniel Bryan.[24][25] During the main event of WrestleMania 31 between Reigns and then-WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, Rollins surprisingly cashed in his Money in the Bank contract in the climax, turning the still-ongoing title match into a triple threat match, and his eventual victory was met with a positive response. Reigns would eventually win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time at the 2015 Survivor Series event, beating Ambrose in the finals of a tournament. This received a mixed response from the fans.[26] Reigns would then begin feuding with The Authority, culminating in the main event at WrestleMania 32. There he would defeat Triple H to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship again.[27] The match, along with the entire event, received mixed-to-negative reviews.[28]

Other notable occurrences[edit]

At WrestleMania XXX, The Undertaker's undefeated streak of 21 consecutive victories dating back to 1991, would be broken by Brock Lesnar.[29][30] Lesnar would go on to defeat Cena at SummerSlam to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, winning his first WWE title in a decade.[31]

WCW wrestler Sting, who had previously been dubbed the "greatest wrestler to never wrestle in WWE",[32] made his debut at the 2014 Survivor Series, helping Team Cena defeat Team Authority in a (5 on 5) Elimination Tag Team match and went on to have his first-ever match in WWE at WrestleMania 31 against Triple H. He would wrestle his final match for the WWE against Rollins at Night of Champions in 2015.

End of the era[edit]

The Reality Era moved to an end in the lead-up to Payback on May 1, 2016, an event that was being touted as the start of a "New Era".[33][34] At Payback, The Authority would officially disband as WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that Stephanie and Shane McMahon would run Raw jointly.[35]


  1. ^ a b Triple H vows to end the "Yes!" Movement at WrestleMania: Raw, March 24, 2014 - YouTube
  2. ^ Snowden, Jonathan. "WWE Raw Results and Report Card 4/8/13: WrestleMania Aftermath". Bleacher Report.
  3. ^ "WWE Raw Results – April 8, 2013". April 9, 2013.
  4. ^ Fylonenko, Adrian. "John Cena: 5 Respectable Reasons Why People Hate the WWE Champion". Bleacher Report.
  6. ^ Shannon, Mike. "Is Daniel Bryan WWE's Next 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin?". Bleacher Report.
  7. ^ Binks, Elliott. "WWE: 5 Reasons Why the Reality Era Is Now Upon Us". Bleacher Report.
  8. ^ "Raw vs. SmackDown #2 – April 30 & May 1 | Page 11 of 14". WrestleTalk. 2018-05-02. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
  9. ^ Michael, Patrick (January 15, 2014). "Did Michigan State University Change the Course of WWE History". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  10. ^ Martin, Adam (January 27, 2014). "WWE Royal Rumble PPV Results - 1/26/14 (30 Man Rumble)".
  11. ^ Aaron Oster (27 January 2014). "Batista wins Royal Rumble despite fan disapproval". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Rumble PPV news: Batista, undercard losers not included, this year's surprise entries, Bray's big night, The Crowd". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Tucker's Instant Reaction - Royal Rumble: In-person perspective and reaction to The Crowd's Takeover". Pro Wrestling Torch. 2014-01-27. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  14. ^ Folck, Josh (27 January 2014). "WWE Royal Rumble: Pittsburgh fans voice displeasure about main events". The Express-Times. Lehigh Valley. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  15. ^ LaBar, Justin. "Royal Rumble's Pittsburgh debut makes memorable weekend". TribLive. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  16. ^ "WWE news: Live Rumble report on Batista flipping off fans after winning the Rumble, more in-person notes". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  17. ^ Tylwalk, Nick. "Raw: Yes, the WrestleMania card gets a big twist". Slam! Wrestling. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  18. ^ "Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H - WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Raw, April 7, 2014". WWE.
  19. ^ "SmackDown Results: The Animal conquered his Celtic prey; Triple H made epic Extreme Rules Match". WWE.
  20. ^ "411Mania".
  21. ^ Quits WWE on Monday Night Raw
  22. ^ "Raw: June 2, 2014". WWE.
  23. ^ Glencross, Sharon. "WWE Royal Rumble 2015: Twitter Reacts After Roman Reigns Wins Battle Royal". Bleacher Report.
  24. ^ Asher, Matthew. "WWE Fastlane: Questionable match endings and fan reaction may hurt 'Mania". Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  25. ^ "Timeline of WWE Fans' Disenchantment with Roman Reigns". Bleacher Report.
  26. ^ Caldwell, James (23 November 2015). "11/22 Survivor Series Results – Caldwell's Complete PPV Report ongoing-report". Archived from the original on November 23, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  27. ^ "411Mania".
  28. ^ Tamburro, Paul (April 4, 2016). "WrestleMania 32 Review: Not Even Logic Can Stop the Roman Reigns Era". CraveOnline. Archived from the original on April 8, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  29. ^ Murphy, Ryan (April 6, 2014). "Brock Lesnar def. The Undertaker". WWE. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  30. ^ Hooton, Christopher (April 7, 2014). "Undertaker's streak ends at WrestleMania 30: Does Brock Lesnar loss spell retirement for the Dead Man?". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-06-18. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  31. ^ "WWE SummerSlam 2014 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights". Bleacher Report.
  32. ^ "10 greatest wrestlers to never wrestle in WWE". WWE. June 4, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  33. ^ "WWE Payback 2016 results: Roman Reigns retains, AJ Styles impresses".
  34. ^ "WWE RAW Results - 5/2/16 (Live from St. Louis, fallout from Payback, Reigns and Usos vs. Styles, Gallows and Anderson)". 2 May 2016.
  35. ^ "5/1 WWE Payback Results - CALDWELL'S Complete Live Report". May 2, 2016.

External links[edit]