Bryan Danielson has revealed he warned people backstage about the negative reaction Roman Reigns would receive after winning Royal Rumble in 2015.
In 2015, WWE was in the process of building Roman Reigns as the biggest star in the company. This was despite the crowd reaction which was becoming increasingly negative towards the Big Dog.
Bryan Danielson found himself in the opposite situation in 2014 when the support of fans took him all the way to the main event of WrestleMania 30 where he overcame Triple H, Batista, and Randy Orton in one night to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
However, an injury shortly after the win forced Danielson to soon relinquish the title and spend months on the shelf. Returning to action shortly before the 2015 Royal Rumble, The American Dragon was once again the people’s choice to win the match, just as he had been in 2014 only to be overlooked in favour of Batista.
However, the man to win the match was to be Roman Reigns. Bryan Danielson entered the bout and was eliminated by Bray Wyatt only ten minutes later. This led to the crowd turning on everything and everyone after that point.
To compound matters, Kane and Big Show worked together to dump all of the fan favourites out of the ring leaving only Reigns and Rusev in the ring. The fans got behind the Bulgarian Brute only to see Reigns claim the win.
Following the victory, Kane and The Big Show attacked Reigns and The Rock made the save, but even The People’s Champion couldn’t stop the boos from raining down on the future The Tribal Chief.
During a special episode of The Sessions at Starrcast V, Bryan Danielson explained that he warned those in WWE that his own quick elimination in the match would have negative consequences for Roman Reigns.
“So I knew, and I had just come back from neck surgery. When they told me what I was doing in the 2015 Royal Rumble and that I was only going to be in there for a few minutes, I said to them ‘I think this is a bad idea. This isn’t necessarily great for Roman.’”
“They kind of ignored that, stuff happened, and then yeah, that was that. All of that said, I think that Roman has done a great job and he is the biggest star in wrestling. He has performed at such a high level for such a long time, he has done a really good job.”
Roman Reigns defeated Bryan Danielson the following month at Fastlane to cement him as Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania challenger.
The Showcase of the Immortals, however, was neither Reigns’ nor Lesnar’s night as Seth Rollins cashed in his Money In The Bank contract to make the match a Triple Threat and captured the WWE Championship.
H/T to Inside The Ropes for the above transcription.