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Lowe’s: In More Ways Than One – The Irony Of A Company Name

Lowe’s: In More Ways Than One
The LOWEST point of our home renovation

(July 1, 2013, my wife and I received the keys to our new home. A property that had been in the family for 90 years was ours, a place we would call home following our wedding on July 12. Over the past 14 months there have been a lot of highs and, unfortunately, a lot more ‘LOWE’s’. A renovation that was initially to be a coat of paint and new carpet turned in to a total demo and rebuild, nothing was spared! With that came the need for new HVAC, plumbing, electric, reframing, lighting, a new kitchen, 2 new bathrooms, trim, baseboard, paint and so much more – including interior doors.)

I’ve never been a handyman and, I actually try to avoid this type of work at all costs. My wife is much better at it than me, mostly due to her patience and attention to detail. Don’t get me wrong, I can give everything a try but, this was something I really didn’t want to mess up. But fast forward to the list above that stated our needs. There are many options for building supplies and, among them all, we chose Lowe’s. Lowe’s, you know – the place that tells you to “Never Stop Improving.” Maybe they need to take a page out of their own book, because Lowe’s has become a thorn in our side, an enigma in the highest degree.

I don’t know the total amount of money we’ve spent at Lowe’s, but it’s been more than I had hoped. This would have been the case no matter where we would have shopped. The actual number is either just shy of or more than $10,000. To Lowe’s, as I have stated in tweets prior – “Our $10,000 to Lowe’s is a penny in Fort Knox.” Regardless, no customer should have to experience what we have in our home renovation process.

The incomplete – complete list of items we’ve purchased from Lowe’s includes (and I am sure this can be confirmed on ‘MyLowes’ card – then again, maybe not!):

• Materials to tile, grout, clean, caulk, etc. our kitchen, laundry room and master bathroom.
• Both our bathrooms, aside from 1 toilet
• More than 20 gallons of paint for the entire house
• Lumber
• Baseboard and trim for the entire house
• 15 interior doors – which will eventually be 16

This will ultimately refer back to the last items on the list, baseboard and doors. But our problems with Lowe’s go far beyond that. My final conclusion is that there is a systematical flaw in Lowe’s proverbial road-map. This includes everything from customer service to staffing, computer systems/networking, and overall structure.

There have been two instances (which I have openly tweeted about) in the past 3 months where Lowe’s has come up short in our expectations of the company – which suddenly aren’t high ones. The irony of the name is that our experience has been a tale of ‘lows’.

*AS I WRITE THIS I JUST RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM MY BANK FURTHER CONFIRMING MY SUSPICION’S FROM THE LATEST DEBACLE*

“Follow up to my earlier reply . Keep old checks and use for now . We are ordering new checks for you. Apparently Lowe’s system would not accept due to their policy but not because those checks are bad. Look for new checks at your house within 2 weeks . Call me with any other concerns. Keith”

Now back to our regular scheduled programming…

The first negative experience was with our tile and supply order, which was made days prior and scheduled for pick-up in advance. We were told “everything will be ready when you get here that day.” Well, that sure wasn’t the case! (see @BrianGulish & @DaynaGulish twitter feeds from July 13)

We spent more than an hour waiting for Lowe’s to find a forklift – or a forklift operator – to bring our order to the loading area. Now, if you tell someone you will have it ready, doesn’t that mean ready to pick-up? We received a $50 voucher for our time lost and maybe that was Lowe’s way of telling us to be happy and come back to spend a lot more than that $50!

Fast forward to Tuesday (August 26). We normally visit the Lowe’s in Robinson Township however, since we were at our home in Baden, we were closer to Monaca and chose that location. That evening we “purchased” 15 doors, 137 pieces of 8’ baseboard, 28 pieces of 12’ quarter round, door jambs, stops (or so I thought), shims, light fixtures, light bulbs, a toilet, a bathtub and a partridge in a pear tree! 2014-08-26 18.00.07

Several times I went over the order specifics, most notably the doors with the associate on hand. My carpenter was very clear on what was needed and quantities of each. So after about 30 minutes of choosing supply, employee “Rich” began setting up our order. While I was with Rich, my wife was in the bathroom section ordering a bathtub and toilette for delivery as well.

I called our carpenter to confirm everything on the list, which he did and mentioned to get shims, caulk, and the jamb kit as well. Rich understood and proceeded to enter the order. Once everything was entered, I was asked for my phone number, then headed to plumbing to help my wife finish that order, and then went to check out.

2014-08-27 09.23.52

We arrived at customer service and told the associate what we needed to do – return a light fixture we didn’t need, then confirm the order of doors, toilette, and tub, and then ring up the small items we were intending to take home with us at that time. Well, this was completely ignored and we were told – “we will do the return at the end.” Why not just give us store credit on the spot, then take it off our $3,500 order? So we did it her way…

This all took about 20 minutes to do and the line at customer service was backing out of the store! Everyone was giving us the “get the hell out of here look!” Once we finally had everything purchased and confirmed, it was time to pay. I knew that the balance on our Lowe’s card wouldn’t cover entire purchase and I was prepared to complete the purchase with a check from our equity line.

Once the balance was known after our card was swiped, I wrote the equity check out only to be told “it won’t accept your check.” I said “I’ve got more than enough balance to pay this number of 20 times.” So she ran the check again… and, again, “this isn’t working.” Finally, I gave her my debit card, ran the total and was set to head to my banker in the morning to transfer the money back in to our checking from our equity. With that, we left the Lowe’s 500 and set for home with me saying “I definitely better triple check this order.”
Wednesday morning I did just that and, to no surprise of mine, the entire door order was so badly incorrect it was more laughable than frustrating. After going through and figuring out what was right, what was wrong, and what needed corrected, I then sent out this series of tweets…

Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
Here is what our @Lowes door order was supposed to be: 24″L, 24″R (4), 28″R (2), 30″R (4), 30″L (3), 32″L ….& after reviewing receipt 2day
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
Here is what @Lowes gave us: 24″L, 24″R (5), 28″R (1), 30″R (3), 30″L (3), 32″L (2)…
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
$1,040.25 on doors from @Lowes and they got 2 of 6 quantity by item number right… this isn’t MLB, .333 average won’t cut it
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
Total order from @lowes was $3,326.65 – as we also purchased toilet, tub, $1,238.48 worth of baseboard, $337.12 worth of 1/4 round.
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
Plus other odds and ends… JUST ONCE, I would like to go to @lowes and not have a customer service issue.
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
We’ve spent more than $35,000 on our home renovation, including no less than $7,500 at @lowes for doors, trim, baseboard, bathroom, tile…
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
…supplies, lights for the entire house, paint for the entire house…each & every step of the way we’ve been loyal & naive I guess @Lowes
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
$7,500 is an understatement, more likely $10K. Absolutely disgusted with the constant cluster flub each and every visit
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
and they didn’t include the jam set or hole saw set for a door. @Lowes … ready to take our business “The power of the @HomeDepot ”
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
Maybe if they weren’t understaffed at Monaca, PA store @Lowes wouldn’t have this problem. Poor kid was trying to help us & 3 others at once
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
I’ll go to the @lowes in Robinson and see if they can correct the invoice. Thought they’ll likely say “you have to go to Monaca…”

The final tweet during my breakfast rant is the most telling of all because, I knew what my fate would be 8 hours later and, sure enough after working through lunch to finish work an hour early to take care of this mess…

Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
And I will continue voicing my frustration with @Lowes here on Twitter. As was anticipated this morning, for no logical reason…
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
My order can’t be confirmed or changed, what I mean is CORRECTED at the @lowes in Robinson. Now I have to drive all the way to Monaca…
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
Why can’t a @lowes store pull up a $3500 order from another Lowe’s store 20 miles away? Now I am inconvenienced even more due to your error!
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
All I needed to do was pull up order on your computer & correct quantity of purchased doors. But there is no internal network for @lowes ?
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
15 doors confirmed in person last night and in writing, but for some reason on receipt when reviewed this morning completely mangled! @lowes
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
I know our $10,000 spent on purchases for our new home may be a penny inside of Fort Knox to @lowes , but to us it was loyalty and business
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
Fool me once it’s on me, fool me a second time it’s on me, fool me now a third time @Lowes and I’m going elsewhere. 3rd strike, I’m out.

And then a tweet sent to me by a friend and local newspaper writer…

Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
“@GoBobbo: @BrianGulish @Lowes ugh. That sounds awful. You’ve had a hellish experience with them, from what I recall.” It’s well documented!
Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • Aug 27
Seriously, how can a company as big as @Lowes not be able to change an order or confirm an order from a store 20 miles away?! #amazed

So, following my absolute disgust and amazement with the system or lack thereof at Lowe’s, I proceeded to drive from Robinson to Monaca to fix my problem which, in the end, is definitely a Lowe’s problem. Once I arrived, I live blogged everything that occurred for my record and to spotlight the problems I’ve had with Lowe’s from day 1.

* 4:00pm arrive at Lowe’s Monaca. Greeted nicely. Sent from customer service to building materials/doors. John is working with someone, told me to wait, “Mike will be back soon.”

* It’s now 4:03pm

* It’s now 4:08pm

*Only 1 person in this store is trained or competent to help me fix my order?! It’s now 4:10pm

* What if Lowe’s gave $100 off for each minute you waited, kind of like Domino’s 30 minutes or less deal.

* Another lady needs help pricing trim. John said “give me a few minutes.”

* I should be a mystery shopper and go in to all Lowe’s stores to see what happens. Lowe’s needs to be on undercover boss… I can do it for them. It’s now 4:13pm. If you don’t believe me, there’s a security camera here you can check, right?!

* AND NOW JOHN IS TAKING CUSTOMER X TO CUSTOMER SERVICE. Standing here all alone and trim lady is visibly frustrated and walks away. It’s 4:15pm now!

* Maybe I can go on their computer and make the changes myself? No other employees walking past have checked on me, 6 of them now. It’s 4:17pm. This is FUN-ny.

2014-08-27 16.12.06

2014-08-27 16.12.20

* 2 more women just got here. Lori asked if I needed help. I said “I’m waiting on John.” Lori then went over the intercom and called for John to the desk over here. I told her he knows already and is in customer service. It’s 4:20pm… I should have captured all this on video.

*Mike has now arrived, I greeted myself because he didn’t. He sat down, going through papers with no urgency or concern for me, the customer. Here comes John – It’s 4:22pm… Both are here and NEITHER IS HELPING ME!!!!!! You’ve got to be kidding me!

* Mike is talking to himself… Saying he is overwhelmed! I’ll do this tomorrow… (Whatever he is doing)… Both are ignoring me I guess! 4:24pm. Why am I not wearing a hidden camera?!

* Seriously, I am so close to being that guy who is just an ignorant POS! I’ll wait to see how long this goes on… It’s 4:26pm!

* 4:35pm and John now just realized I am waiting still and asked if I needed help… He is going through everything with me… He just said “Oh boy!”… I guess we have to refund the entire order from last night and re-enter everything/ not just the doors!!!!!! I feel like I’ll be here another hour. John is pulling item numbers now. And he has confirmed that the jamb kit and hole saw kit WEREN’T included!

* FYI, John and Mike didn’t realize neither was helping me. Make that a minus on staff communication… All things considered, John did go step-by-step with me to confirm numbers, 3 times. I’ll be sure to make it 5 before I leave! It’s 4:40pm.

* They really are going to have to refund everything, including tub and toilette??? This is a system breakdown, not staff… Other than whoever put my stuff in wrong last night… John is hustling right now. Props to him, and Mike is courteous on the phone right now.

* Just informed it could take WEEKS to get the baseboard in, not by Tuesday. Ok Lowe’s, I’m fired up now!!!! I was told Tuesday last night… John says “NO WAY!” Breakdown in the system big time! It’s 4:46pm.

* I’m trying to be reasonable right now.

* 4:57pm, just had carpenter on phone to confirm entire order and measurements with John. John’s a sport right now – but it should have never gotten to this point!

2014-08-27 16.57.14

* Why are there systematical breakdowns to this degree?! 5:00pm, here an hour now. John’s trying to get this 1×4 baseboard ordered. Why I was told last night it could be delivered by Tuesday is beyond me! They don’t even have enough in stock in the entire region! Now we are phone ordering item number 85819 from Empire. The count for this store is off – computer shows 35 are here in Monaca, John says there are only 10 – he counted. We may be able to have all this delivered by 9/9 or 9/10.

* It’s 5:04pn

*John just told me Rich shouldn’t have sold this to me last night.

* Now it’s time to re-enter order and refund/repay. What a waste of time and disaster! This’ll take an hour or more!

* Battery is dying! 5:09pm – I’ll update when I leave the desk back here.

2014-08-27 17.11.45

* Now John is getting pissed, computer not cooperating… It’s 5:12pm

* 5:18pm. Just told John the story of amazement why Robinson’s store couldn’t do this, he chuckled “Look at the computer system. They keep saying they are going to update it.”

* Doesn’t that tell you something Lowe’s?! Walking to customer service – 5:21pm – John said this could be good or bad, we’ll see!

2014-08-27 17.35.23

* 5:23pm

*5:34pm I am walking out. I will review everything when I get home, I have 5 receipts of transactions. This better ALL be good now.

2014-08-27 18.15.26

After reliving Wednesday’s experience again, I am just in awe by the breakdown that Lowe’s has in their system of operation both internally at one store, and externally from location to location. I can’t ask the question enough “WHY CAN’T THESE MODIFICATIONS BE MADE, ORDERS CHANGED/FIXED FROM ONE STORE FOR/TO ANOTHER?!”
Like times prior, as soon as I began tweeting to @Lowes, I receive replies from their Lowes Customer Care handle – @LowesCares. I am told to go to the “rant or rave” site. So I did, and I ranted! A few hours later I receive this email back from Lowes Customer Care…

 

2:05 PM – 8/17/14

Hello Brian,
I appreciate you reaching out to Lowe’s on Twitter and for sharing the issues that you have encountered while shopping with us. Any time a customer does not feel they received the service they deserve we want to address the situation. I understand your frustration and I want to make sure everything is remedied
I will be sharing your aggravation with the local senior store management team at the Monaca and Robinson Township, PA location. We will get this situation addressed. You will be contacted within 24 hours.
Thank you for choosing Lowe’s. I value you as a customer and I am grateful for the opportunity that you have given me to renew your trust in Lowe’s. If there is anything else I can help you with, please reply back to this email. I would be happy to assist you.
Susan R.
Lowe’s Customer Care

So, being me, I said to myself “Ok, I will give Lowe’s 24 hours.” And when 24 hours passed, I sent out this tweet at the Steelers game last night.

Brian Gulish @BrianGulish • 13h
@lowes sent email that they’ll be in contact within 24 hours… It’s been 28 now… I was being nice- now, the blog drops at 8AM.

Once I sent that out, I then get THIS email almost 33 hours later!

11:02 PM – 8/18/14

Brian, Hello My name is Mark Franks and I am an Assistant store manager at your Monaca Lowes. I am very sorry for the poor service you have received at our store in your recent visits. At Lowes we pride ourselves on providing great customer service to our customers in your case we have failed to do so. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. If there is anything i can do to help resolve these issues please feel free to call me at the store 724-774-5144 ext 4802 or simply reply to this email. Once again I am sorry for the poor service and experience you had out our store.

Mark Franks
Assistant Store Manager
Monaca, Pa #500
ph 724-774-5144
fax 724-774-5350

I’m sorry, you are an ASSISTANT MANAGER? That may have been the worst email from a manager I’ve ever read in my life! Why am I to call YOU for starters?! What was this supposed to be, another attempt to silence my complaints? Sorry, this is unacceptable!

I could go on and on for days and days about the problems I’ve had with Lowe’s. At this point, I’m not sure it would make any difference. I’m not sure what Lowe’s pays to sponsor Jimmie Johnson but perhaps they should look in to using some of that money to invest in a better systematical network! There are issues with many things across the board at Lowe’s. Customer service, management, and most notably – internal/external networking capabilities. I am not sure if this will get any attention from Lowe’s but, it will be a clear example of why my business will be taken elsewhere IF this all is not addressed with me in depth by someone who makes decisions at Lowe’s.

Will update this blog if any new info comes in!

 

NEW INFO – But different problem!  2:04PM Friday August 29…

I just get a call/voicemail from George in Plumbing at Lowe’s… “Brian this is George at Lowe’s plumbing in Monaca.  I am having difficulty finding that tub.  Want to know the date of the start of your project…”

I call back and this is the LIVE TWITTER FEED OF THAT CALL…

It keeps getting better. So the tub we ordered Tuesday night @ – now I get a call that “they are having difficulty finding tub!”

Am I being Punk’d by or something?!?! Time to call George back.. AT LEAST HE CALLED ME! Manager just rambled an email off at 11PM!

I am on the phone – on hold for 2:55 now and twice I’ve been transferred to George in plumbing to no avail..this isn’t even good HOLD MUSIC!

On hold with for 3:50 now and someone in PAINT just picked up! That’s not GEORGE IN PLUMBING! 4:20 on hold now – still bad music

On hold now with Monaca for 5:22 and counting

Phone is ringing…. 6:00 now on hold or something!

George from Monaca called and told me to get back to him ASAP about tub – it’s been a 6:36 phone call right now

on hold for 7:00 now – I’ve been redirected to main line twice, painting once, and now ? 7:20

Now I am back to main operator – we are trying again… 7:40 now

George answered finally at 7:51

And now George tells me there are NO TUBS IN STOCK ANYWEHRE.. NOTHING UNTIL SEPTEMBER 15! … Everyone shows 3, has 1 …

To recap as my call with George ends… We paid for tub and set up delivery on Tuesday, today (Friday) I am told there are no tubs in stock

Is there a rule for ?!?!

 

 

JUST TO CONFIRM AT THE END OF IT ALL… THE MAN KNOWN AS JOHN WHO ASSISTED ME ON WEDNESDAY IS IN NO WAY AT FAULT HERE IN ANY WAY!  HE SAVED ME FROM THE ISSUES HE ALSO HAS TO OVERCOME AT LOWE’S.  THE MAN SHOULD BE IN A HIGH LEVEL MANAGEMENT POSITION WHO CAN MAKE IMPORTANT DECISIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS!

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What If…CM Punk is Setting Up His Retirement Match With This ‘Stunner’ of a Walk Out?!

Sure- it’s unlikely, improbable, ridiculous to suggest…but, what if the WWE has an ultimate plan for the supposed CM Punk walk out this past Monday?  What if the WWE, and only those apart the most inner circle, knows something we don’t?

Perhaps that ‘something’ is an epic showdown between the two most outspoken WWE superstars of the past 15 years.  What I am suggesting is CM Punk vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania XXX!

Notice the language that is being used by the ‘sources’ who broke the story- “CM Punk tells Vince McMahon he is going HOME.”  Eerily similar to June 11, 2002 when, in the Rock’s words, Austin “took his ball and went home.”

It was on that day when Austin himself walked out on the WWE the night after a pay-per-view, because he was unhappy and did not agree with a plan for him to put over Brock Lesnar, who was a WWE rookie at the time.

Now, I am not saying CM Punk refused to put anyone over, but it is no secret that, like Austin, Punk has always been critical of the WWE creative team’s plan for not only him, but other wrestlers as well.

For the past few years there has been only one rumor that consistently appears at the same time as the Sting vs. Undertaker one, and that is Austin returning for a Wrestlemania match with CM Punk.  The two men who spoke out against the ‘authority,’ against Vince McMahon himself.

Punk and Austin are similar in so many ways, so why wouldn’t the WWE capitalize on the one thing they both have in common (or in Punk’s case, as we are being led to believe), they walked out and went home!

Who is heel and who is face in this match wouldn’t matter.  Like Vince McMahon wants; there are no such things as a heel or face anymore in the current day WWE.  One thing is for certain, it would be one of the most anticipated matches in Wrestlemania history.

TALE OF THE TAPE:

Stone Cold Steve Austin: 6 time WWE Champion, 3-time Royal Rumble winner, and WWE Hall of Famer who was once declared by McMahon (TSN’s “Off The Record” – June 1, 2004) as the most profitable wrestler in the company’s history in terms of merchandising and licensing, and pay-per-view and live events.

CM Punk: 3 time World Heavyweight Champion, 2 time WWE Champion (including the longest reign in the modern era), who was elevated to the top of the WWE after gaining prominence in the independent circuit.

Needless to say, the back story here is the “anti-company” guys, who both have told Vince McMahon to, well, (insert any phrase here).  Austin is a beer-drinking outlaw against the law of the land, while Punk is a straight-edge outlaw against the law of the land.  Both have been compared to each other during their runs with World Wrestling Entertainment.

This match is what Punk has always wanted, the only thing that has been needed was a physically healthy Austin, who would agree to do the match.  With the developments in the past 48 hours, maybe he has?  Then again, maybe Punk really did go home.  Either way, if I were the WWE, planned or not, I would run with this angle with comparisons of the two- no one person is bigger than Vince McMahon and the WWE!  Not Austin, Punk, or even Hulk Hogan.

The build for this match would be incredible, perhaps the WWE would set it up as follows:

The night after Elimination Chamber, the opening segment of Raw begins with Vince McMahon in the ring (similar to 2002 when Tony Garea came and told him “the he who you were talking about is NOT Stone Cold, then who in the hell is the he you were talking about?!)…when suddenly, glass shattering music hits, and Austin makes his way to the ring.

Austin then gives McMahon 10 seconds to get out of the ring, the very same way the Rock did, before he goes on and talks about his past, the current state of the WWE, and the one thing that he has always regretted, walking out and going home.

He then will reference Punk, his walk out and the regret he will have for not making a “wrong,” right.  Whether it that night on Raw, or the following week (in Chicago), we will have a Punk v. Austin confrontation.  During that time Punk should take the lead as the proverbial heel, telling Austin he is better than him, referencing his ‘pipe-bomb’ and the fact that he has the longest title reign in the modern era.

Austin will stand there as the crowd erupts in ‘what’ chants as Punk makes each point.  This will get Punk to turn on the crowd, egging them on even more saying he never needed them, they don’t stand up for themselves and the fact that no matter what they say, nothing will ever change- “which is why I walked out.”

Just as Punk did to Rock in their buildup to the Royal Rumble 2013, Punk will initially get over on Austin by giving him a GTS, planting the seed for a Wrestlemania 30 match between the two.  How the WWE decides to let it play out from there is not rocket science.

Think about it, for all the talk the past 24 hours about CM Punk walking out and going home, perhaps too much thought has gone in to what the real story is… Is it real or is it a work?  Maybe, it’s both.

We all know Punk has been fed up in the past and has been outspoken.  With his WWE contract supposedly being up in June, this could be a perfect ending to a controversial and stellar career.  Following his match with Austin at Wrestlemania, Punk can do one of two things, A) retire in to the sunset 2 months early or, B) bring it all to a close at HOME in Chicago on June 1 at WWE Payback (perhaps in a rematch against Austin).

Option B is how I would plan this story.  Austin gets over at Wrestlemania because it will be his last Wrestlemania match (unforeseen a Goldberg showdown).  Austin will then return the favor and see Punk off in to the sunset in his hometown in front of his friends and family.

At the end of this fairytale idea is the thought of – which is more likely, Punk vs. Austin or Undertaker vs. Sting at Wrestlemania 30?

Buckle Up! It’s Going to be a Bumpy Road to Wrestlemania

Every time you set off ona road trip, you should be prepared for the unexpected.  Make sure you have a spare tire, a gas can with spare fuel, a flash light, blankets, and water in the trunk of your vehicle, because you just never know when you will get a flat, break down, or get lost.

Right now, the WWE appears to be lost!

Last night as I sat in my seat at the Royal Rumble and observed the crowd, I was impressed by the shear capacity of the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.  There wasn’t an empty seat in the house.  As soon as “oh you didn’t know” hit the sound system, the fans revealed that they would have their ‘A’ game last night.  Perhaps the WWE should have saved this match for the main event, because as the fans would clearly indicate after Daniel Bryan was not an entrant in the Royal Rumble, the WWE apparently “doesn’t know” and, “their ass better call somebody!”

After an entertaining match that saw the New Age Outlaws become the six-time WWE Tag Team Champions of the World, the thousands in attendance had a chance to catch their breath, grab a beverage, and get back to their seats in time to catch the opening of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.  Not since the night after Wrestlemania XXIX had there been a more amplified audience.

Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt had a great match and, while I am not (or wasn’t) a Bray Wyatt fan, last night I definitely took note of his standing on the WWE talent roster.  The crowd continued to sound their support to the two superstars, even clapping to the beat of the Wyatt theme song.  Through two matches last night, the WWE was on a traffic free, direct route to Wrestlemania.

But then, something happened.  For some reason, the WWE’s GPS must have lost it’s signal because the WWE seemed to have also lost it’s mind.

Brock Lesnar and the Big Show was one of the poorest matches I have ever witnessed live, or on TV.  Here’s how the production meeting had to have gone for this match.

Minutes 1-4:  Brock will hit Big Show 37 times with a steel chair… Minutes 4-5:  Big Show will give Brock the knockout punch (Brock will sell/stagger, but NOT be out)…Minutes 5-7: Brock recovers and hit’s F-5 (pin, match over)… Minutes 7-8: Brock removes gloves… Minutes 8-13:  Brock will hit Big Show 142 times outside of ring with steel chair.

WWE – if you can hear me like you should have heard your crowd last night – WE ALL KNOW BROCK IS A BEAST!  He is strong and violent, but we don’t need what you gave us to verify the point.  He has it already, so utilize it properly.  Instead, the WWE decided that this would be the first major roadblock on their Wrestlemania journey.

Randy Orton and John Cena, you almost have to feel bad for them.  What did they do wrong?  Then again, what has Daniel Bryan done wrong either?  The best spot of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match wasn’t even a bump, it was when Randy Orton turned the tables on the Pittsburgh crowd and, as they chanted “we want divas,” Orton posed as only a diva would to an applause that was comic relief.  The entire time this match was taking place, there was major security prep going on directly to my right on the floor.  At that time, we all knew SOMETHING was going to happen, but what?  A run in didn’t make sense, so would the match make it’s way to the back?

And then the lights went out.

And then they came back on and the Wyatt Family distracted Cena long enough for Orton to capitalize and get the win.  Orton immediately exited hard camera side through the crowd and, for all that security prep, decided he was going an alternate route to the backstage area.  Looking back on that moment, as I write, it was a foreshadowing of what the night would end up as, a detour on the road to Wrestlemania.

The Rumble match itself had the potential to be the absolute best, ever.  It turned out to be possibly the worst!

Aside from Roman Reigns establishing himself as the “big daddy cool” of the Shield, there wasn’t much to take away from the Rumble.  Oh, yeah, because the WWE’s most over superstar in years wasn’t even in the match!

Sure, Antonio Cesaro made us all dizzy with his 30 revolutions on the big spin and Kofi Kingston made a pair of amazing eliminations saves, but other than that, mission control had a problem… such as Kane mistiming his CM Punk elimination spot so badly that he had to “hide” at ringside for more than 5 minutes before he would actually execute the plan.

But El Torito provided comedic relief, so who cares, right?

Rey Mysterio took the final spot in the match, and that is when the riot squad should have been called in, because there were 15,000 fans who were seemingly about to charge the ring and eliminate everyone and everything in sight.

At the end of the night, the most obvious thing happened, Batista won his second Royal Rumble.  He will now go on to the main event at Wrestlemania XXX.  Who he faces is still to be determined.  Will it be Randy Orton, or someone else, like the winner of an elimination chamber match?

Here’s what we just about know is going to happen in 69 days in New Orleans:

John Cena will face Bray Wyatt, CM Punk will face HHH, Batista will be in the main event.  But then the guessing game begins – “Should we take a right or left on this road?”

Who is the Undertaker’s opponent going to be?  Brock Lesnar? Daniel Bryan? Sting?!

Does the Shield make it that long to have a triple threat match to officially dissolve the group?

How about Cody Rhodes and Goldust, what do their futures hold?

The WWE has potholes a plenty they need to fill, which seemingly started to appear when the Rock was injured in the main event title match against Cena last year.

Will or HAS Sting signed with the WWE?  A source has told me that he was actually in Pittsburgh yesterday and met with Vince McMahon.  If that is true, could we see him on Raw tonight?

What will Hulk Hogan’s role be?

I am not sure the WWE knows any answers to any of these questions and, as the saying goes – if they don’t, their ass needs to call somebody.  Perhaps the millions of WWE fans who have the simple answer, Daniel Bryan.