Welcome to the WWE Royal Rumble review on TJRWrestling. It’s the first WWE Network special (or pay-per-view) of the year as we head on the road to WrestleMania. There’s Elimination Chamber in February and Fastlane in March before we get to WrestleMania 37 on April 10/11. It will be a unique Royal Rumble event with no fans in attendance for the first time. We’ve gotten used to it as a society, but it’s still going to be weird to watch.
I have reviewed every WWE Royal Rumble in history, which you can find in our Royal Rumble section on TJRWrestling. I also have a listing of every WWE PPV that I reviewed in order by year. In addition to every Royal Rumble, that includes every WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series plus every PPV since the start of 2011. As we head into February, I’ll be regularly posting February PPV reviews as well. Thank you for supporting us at TJRWrestling. We appreciate you.
Here’s the Kickoff Show match.
The Raw announce team of Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe and Byron Saxton called this match as you would expect.
Women’s Tag Team Championships: Charlotte Flair and Asuka vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Baszler sent Charlotte into the ropes leading to a shoulder tackle from Charlotte. Asuka tagged in with kicks to the body and a kick to the chest. Baszler came back with a hard kick to knock Asuka down. Jax tagged in, Asuka jumped on Jax’s back, pulled on the right arm and then Charlotte was back in. Charlotte with a shoulder tackle to Jax, then a shot to the knee and Charlotte got a pin attempt on Jax for two. Charlotte with a running knee to Jax. Asuka back in and she was rocked by Jax with a big clothesline. Baszler twisted the left arm of Asuka followed by a clothesline for two. Jax back in with a stomp on the left arm followed by a chinlock. Asuka broke free, but Jax knocked Charlotte off the apron. Asuka with a spinning back fist on Jax and a missile dropkick that was blocked followed by Asuka hitting a kick and double knee facebuster attack to the face of Jax. Jax with a headbutt by the turnbuckle, Asuka slipped out and hit a Powerbomb on Jax for two as Baszler broke up the pin. Asuka with kicks, but then Jax hit a sitout Powerbomb for a two count as Charlotte broke up the pin. Charlotte tagged in against Baszler with chops followed by an overhead suplex. Charlotte with a backbreaker and a toss into the turnbuckle. Charlotte hit a double Natural Selection on both opponents for a two count on Baszler. Shayna pulled Charlotte off the turnbuckle to block a move. Jax with a Samoan Drop, Baszler back in and she hit a knee to the face of Charlotte for a two count. Asuka hit a diving attack on Jax on the floor, so Baszler tossed Asuka over the announce table. Charlotte went up top and jumped off with her moonsault where she uses her arms to knock down both women. Ric Flair’s music started up to distract his daughter as Baszler got a rollup for two and Flair kicked Baszler to knock her down. Lacey Evans was on the apron to distract Charlotte, but Charlotte managed to slap on a Figure Eight submission. Evans pulled the arms of Charlotte to stop the move, so Charlotte decked Evans with a forearm while Ric checked on Evans at ringside. Baszler tried a Kirifuda Clutch, but Charlotte fought out of that. Ric handed Evans an object to put on Lacey’s hand. Charlotte went for a Figure Eight submission again and Evans punched Charlotte with the object on her hand for a loaded Woman’s Right. Jax was distracting the referee. Jax tagged in and hit the leg drop to the back of the head of Charlotte and pinned her to win the titles at 10:30.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Analysis: **1/2 It was an average tag team match. Charlotte was really aggressive after getting the hot tag, but then it was hard to get into the match when it was obvious the distraction finish was coming. This storyline with Ric costing Charlotte wins is so bizarre, yet it keeps on going. I don’t really care about Jax and Baszler winning the titles again, but hopefully, when they lose the titles they will lose to more of a real tag team like Riott Squad or Dana/Mandy would be fine too.
Jax and Baszler celebrated with the titles. It’s their second time as Women’s Tag Team Champions. Ric and Lacey celebrated their successful cheating ways. Charlotte and Asuka were frustrated at ringside.
Let’s move on to the PPV portion of the show starting at 7pm ET.
WWE Royal Rumble
From WWE Thunderdome at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg, Florida
January 31, 2021
There was a really good video package hyping up the importance of the Royal Rumble matches for the men and women that are a part of those matches. They also hyped up the two men’s singles matches taking place as well.
There was an impressive pyro display to welcome us to the Royal Rumble. That led to the screens opening up as the ThunderDome crowd was ready to go.
The Raw announce team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Samoa Joe were there to call the first match.
Bill Goldberg made his entrance from the backstage area as the “Goldberg” chants filled the stadium. It’s still a cool entrance as Goldberg walked from the back with security guards walking with him. Do you need security in an empty building? Not really, but it’s the thought that counts. Goldberg entered shirtless and looked like he was in great shape for a man that’s 54-years-old.
The video package aired for the WWE Championship match between Drew McIntyre and Goldberg.
Drew McIntyre, the WWE Champion, made his entrance with the title around his waist, the kilt and the giant sword that he puts into the ramp leading to the pyro. More pyro for McIntyre when he got into the ring. Lots of intensity on the faces of the champion and the challenger. The championship introductions took place by ring announcer Mike Rome as the wrestlers stared at eachother in the ring.
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Bill Goldberg
The referee John Cone took the WWE Title from McIntyre and was handing it to somebody ringside and McIntyre hit him with a headbutt. McIntyre sent Goldberg out of the ring after Drew hit a spear. Goldberg ended up whipping McIntyre into the steel steps. Goldberg gave McIntyre a Spear through the barricade at ringside. McIntyre was down selling for a few minutes and then slowly got into the ring to start the match. McIntyre told referee John Cone to ring the bell.
Goldberg charged, McIntyre with a kick to the face and McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick for a two count! Wow, Goldberg kicked out. Phillips noted that Brock Lesnar was the only other man to kick out of the Claymore Kick. McIntyre went for a Claymore Kick, Goldberg moved and Goldberg moved. Goldberg hit a Spear on McIntyre. Goldberg hit another Spear on McIntyre and got a two count. Goldberg said that McIntyre is going up as he signaled for the Jackhammer and covered for the pinfall with Drew getting his left shoulder up to kick out. That Jackhammer didn’t look good at all. Goldberg is out in case you don’t know. Goldberg went for a Spear, McIntyre avoided him and Goldberg went crashing into the turnbuckle. McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick on Goldberg for the pinfall win at 2:30.
Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: ** This was a quick match to put over McIntyre as the babyface champion on Raw. It’s what it needed to be with McIntyre winning in a decisive fashion. When Goldberg got those nearfalls, I was certainly a little nervous and hoping that Goldberg wouldn’t win, so I’m glad Drew kicked out. There were a few moments where I thought Goldberg might win, but I did pick Drew and I’m glad Drew got the win here. Beating a Hall of Famer helps Drew’s legacy as the babyface champion.
After the match was over, Goldberg got back up and told Drew that he deserved it. Goldberg shook his hand and they hugged out of respect while they shared a few words together privately. They had their hands raised with Goldberg pointing to Drew out of respect again. McIntyre
Analysis: It was a face vs. face match, so that’s the right way to end it after the match is over. Goldberg put him over in the match and then after the match as well.
A commercial aired for WWEShop items and the WWE Supercard game.
Sasha Banks was interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton. Banks was confident as usual. Just a quick promo. Sasha Banks made her entrance as the Smackdown Women’s Champion.
Carmella made her entrance as the challenger for the Smackdown Women’s Title match with Reginald the sommelier joining her. Corey Graves was very excited about his girlfriend’s presence.
Sasha Banks was interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton. Banks was confident as usual. Just a quick promo. Sasha Banks made her entrance as the Smackdown Women’s Champion.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks vs. Carmella (w/Reginald)
Banks went for the Bank Statement immediately, but Carmella got out of it and left the ring. Carmella did some hairpulling, Banks with an arm drag and a hard slap to the chest. Banks with a forearm on the apron, Reginald got in Sasha’s face, so Sasha tripped up Reginald and Carmella kicked Banks to the floor. Carmella jumped off Reginald with a clothesline on Banks by the announce table and back in the ring for a two count for Carmella. Carmella did a leg scissors around the throat by the ropes. Carmella did a hair pull into a two count. Carmella sent Banks into the turnbuckle, Banks with a forearm to the face and Banks hit the Meteora double knees off the turnbuckle. Banks was grabbing her left knee as Carmella tripped up Banks into the ropes. Carmella tied some of Sasha’s hair to the ropes leading to some kicks by Carmella, who trash-talked Banks repeatedly. Banks sent Carmella into the turnbuckle, then Banks into another turnbuckle and Banks hit a double knee attack on Carmella against the turnbuckle for two. Banks with a rising knee on Carmella, but then Carmella caught Banks and sent Banks out of the ring with Reginald catching Banks. Sasha slapped Reginald in the face and the referee ejected Reginald from ringside. Carmella hit a suicide dive onto Banks and that was a bit of a rough landing, but they both made sure they were okay, then back in the ring and Carmella got a two count. Banks got an inside cradle for two, then a rollup for two and a backslide for two. Banks with a suplex. Banks went up top and went for a Frog Splash, but Carmella blocked with the knees up. Carmella slapped on the Code of Silence submission with her legs wrapped around the throat. Banks pulled the arm to break the hold and hit a knee to the face. Banks with a high knee while on the apron, then Banks jumped off and Carmella hit superkick followed by another superkick for a two count. Carmella was shocked that wasn’t enough. Carmella pulled Banks towards the ring, Banks reached up and slapped on the Bank Statement submission with Carmella tapping out at 10:25.
Winner by submission: Sasha Banks
Analysis: **3/4 The match was solid ending in a win by Banks as expected. Carmella got in a couple of nearfalls. I think it’s fair to say that Carmella has improved in terms of doing the little things right in her matches and building up to the big spots well. Carmella looks confident in the ring now. Banks has beaten Carmella multiple times now, so time for Banks to move on to different challengers. That’s fine with me. I’m glad Banks has had a title reign that will pass at least 100 days because she had too many short reigns in her career. This title run has been a lot better for Sasha.
There were some commercials for products I didn’t pay attention to.
There was a backstage scene with New Day members Xavier Woods and Intercontinental Title Big E with Big E trying to hype up Woods for the Royal Rumble match. Sami Zayn walked up to them with his documentary film crew. Zayn called Woods the brother of Big E, Woods said he is not his brother and Zayn said whatever. Kofi Kingston surprised Zayn from behind. Kofi was out with a jaw injury. Kofi said he is not medically cleared to compete, but he wanted to wear this sick gear (honoring Luke Harper) and support his boys. They said when one of them wins the Royal Rumble, they all win the Royal Rumble.
Analysis: Great gear by New Day honoring Jon Huber aka Luke Harper/Brodie Lee. I’m glad they did that to celebrate their friend.
There was a musical performance from musical artist Bad Bunny singing his song “Booker T” with WWE’s Booker T right there on the stage with him. Bad Bunny is a WWE fan.
Analysis: I timed my bathroom break perfectly. Thank you Bad Bunny. I’m not summarizing the musical performance. It’s a thing that existed and took a few minutes.
The Royal Rumble By the Numbers video aired and it was narrated by Corey Graves. Always informative a usual. Never forget that Santino wasn’t ready for his one-second elimination. And thank you WWE for including the Titus O’Neil trip entrance as well.
It is time for the Women’s Royal Rumble match. The announcers are Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and the legendary Jerry Lawler.
Women’s Royal Rumble Match
Bayley from Smackdown was the #1 entrant. Bayley has “Cole” shaved into the back of her head since she wanted to challenge Michael Cole. Naomi was #2 entrant, so welcome back to her after a long layoff. Naomi rocked Bayley with a kick followed by the jumping Rear View attack on Bayley to knock her down. Bayley came back with a clothesline. It’s Bianca Belair from Smackdown as #3 in the match and she is one of the biggest favorites to win the match. Belair had a rivalry with Bayley, so Belair hit her with a dropkick and nearly eliminated Bayley, but Bayley slid back in. Belair with a spinebuster followed by a standing moonsault on Bayley. Belair slipped on a lift of Naomi, but then they did a tandem cartwheel spot and Naomi held on to avoid elimination. Belair also held on to stay in the match. It’s Billie Kay from Smackdown at #4 with Kay carrying out some resumes and headshots as she sat in on commentary. Naomi with a kick off the top onto Belair. Bayley sent Belair over the op again, but Belair managed to hang on and get back in the ring. Kay said she was waiting to enter so she can scout a bit. Belair and Naomi tried to eliminate Bayley, but they couldn’t do it. Shotzi Blackheart from NXT is #5 as she drove down to the ring in her tank. Kay went up to Blackheart, so Shotzi turned that down and went into the ring. Blackheart with a missile dropkick on Bayley, then a kick on Belair and a running splash on the back of Belair. Kay was back on commentary.
Shayna Baszler from Raw was in at #6 as Kay walked up to her with a headshot to try to get Baszler to work with her. Baszler shoved Kay into the barricade. Baszler was dominant in the ring with kicks to all the women and a spinebuster on Naomi. Blackheart tried to get rid of Bayley, who fought back and Baszler held on as well. The #7 entrant is Toni Storm from NXT, who is another heel with Kay going up to her as well. Storm had no interest in working with Kay, so Storm went into the ring. Storm with a German Suplex on Blackheart and Bayley. Storm with running hip attacks on Blackheart and Naomi. Naomi did a Rear View attack on Storm. Baszler blocked a kick from Blackheart and Baszler eliminated Blackheart from the match. There’s a surprise entrant at #8 as Jillian Hall made her entrance to the Sliced Bread theme song. Jillian was greeted by Kay as well with Jillian saying she loved the idea of Billie and Jilly together. Jillian with a clothesline on Naomi and Jillian/Billie hit a double team suplex on Naomi. Hall with an elbow drop on Naomi. Billie and Jillian tried to get rid of Naomi and that didn’t work. I should point out that during the countdown from 10, they pipe in the fans chanting down. Ruby Riott from Smackdown is #9 with Riott battling Storm, who hit a German Suplex on Riott. Kay saved Riott and Riott hit a superkick on Storm. Kay told Jillian that Riott was on their team, so they tried to work together for a bit. There’s another surprise entrant with Victoria making her entrance as #10 in the match. That’s an awesome surprise! She’s one of my favorites. Victoria was aggressive with punches along with a double clothesline on Jillian and Billie. Victoria with a back body drop on Bayley and a spinning slam on Riott. Victoria with a body slam on Bayley followed by Naomi kicking Victoria down. Victoria jumped over the apron with a leg drop on Naomi.
It’s Peyton Royce from Raw in at #11. Royce worked over Riott with kicks and tried to toss her out, but Riott held on. Royce and Kay worked together with a double team kick and then Riott asked what she was doing because Riott is sometimes friends with Kay. Royce got a hold of Bayley and her a version of a Widow’s Peak. Victoria hit the Widow’s Peak on Royce. There’s Santana Garrett from NXT at #12 although she hasn’t been appearing on NXT that much. Garrett with a forearm on Storm, then Garrett hit a back elbow on Riott against the turnbuckle. Garrett tossed Riott to the apron, but Riott managed to hang on. Belair also fought off three women that were trying to eliminate her. There’s Liv Morgan from Smackdown as the #13 entrant. Morgan with kicks, then a slam to Bayley, double knees to Belair and Riott/Morgan teamed up for a superkick into a slam on Baszler. Jillian slammed down Kay, so that alliance ended. Kay tried to fight off Riott Squad and then Kay eliminated Jillian. Kay celebrated that, so Riott and Morgan eliminated Kay easily. There’s Rhea Ripley from NXT at #14 and she’s a big threat to win. Ripley was on fire with a dropkick on Toni Storm and then Ripley tossed long-time rival Storm out of the ring. Shayna Baszler choked out Victoria and eliminated her. Rhea Ripley kicked Santana Garrett onto the apron and Ripley eliminated Garrett. Charlotte Flair from Raw was #15 and she was the winner in last year’s match. Charlotte with a clothesline on Ripley, a fallaway slam on Morgan and Flair with a belly to back suplex on Ripley. Charlotte with a boot to the face of Naomi. Bayley slid under the bottom rope to Powerbomb Riott on the floor to eliminate Ruby.
The second half of the match saw Dana Brooke from Raw enter as #16. Brooke with a missile dropkick off the top. Brooke went up top again and hit a Senton Bomb onto about six women standing in position to take the move. Brooke with a cartwheel elbow into the turnbuckle with nobody there, then Brooke connected with the elbow on Belair and a neckbreaker. Morgan tried to get rid of Bayley, but then Royce kicked Morgan and that eliminated Liv from the match. There’s a WWE Hall of Famer at #17 as Torrie Wilson made her entrance looking gorgeous as usual especially with the 8k camera. Torri with a neckbreaker on Naomi, clothesline on Belair, hairtoss to Brooke and Torrie hit an X-Factor. Torrie with a suplex on Royce and Torrie with a clothesline to Flair. Rhea Ripley avoided an elimination, then Brooke went for a handstand on Ripley and Ripley lifted Brooke over the top leading to a Powerbomb on the ring apron by Ripley, which led to Brooke being eliminated. That looked like a rough landing. The music of Ric Flair played as Raw’s Lacey Evans appeared to her music as the #18 entrant. Charlotte was focused on Evans making her entrance as Evans slowly made her way down to the ring. Evans had her purple Flair robe on in the ring. Charlotte decked Evans with a clothesline to the back as Evans retreated to the floor. Charlotte attacked Evans with punches while they were outside the ring. Royce went to eliminate Charlotte, but then Charlotte flipped Royce over the top onto floor to eliminate Peyton. Baszler lifted Wilson over the top to the floor and Baszler hit a knee to Torrie to eliminate her. Mickie James was up next as #19 as we saw a replay of Belair eliminating Bayley from the match. Mickie kicked Evans on her way into the ring. Mickie with a hurricanrana on Belair and she took down Naomi as well. Mickie got in Charlotte’s face and said that she had been waiting for this for a long time because they’ve never had a match. Mickie with a headscissors takedown and Charlotte sent Mickie to the apron under the top rope. There’s Nikki Cross at #20 with a neckbreaker on Naomi and a splash onto the ribs of Naomi. Cross with a corner splash on four women in a row followed by a bulldog on Belair. Cross with a running cross body block on Baszler. Cross hit an impressive Tornado DDT on Ripley. Charlotte blocked a DDT from Cross, but couldn’t eliminate her.
Alicia Fox made her entrance at #21. For some reason, R-Truth went down to the ring with the 24/7 Title. Truth realized he was in the wrong Rumble match. The midcard wrestlers chased after Truth and Truth was throwing Fox into the guys to knock them out of the match. Fox did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Truth and Fox became the 24/7 Champion. Mandy Rose from Raw was #22 looking great although I liked last year’s outfit better. Rose hit Fox with a forearm to the face and Rose hit Fox with a pump knee. Rose eliminated Fox out of the match. Truth with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Fox on the floor and that was enough to pin Fox on the floor. Rose hit a slam on James and then Truth was getting chased by the midcard wrestlers along with Fox. Rose with a clothesline on Cross and she sent Cross to the apron. There’s Dakota Kai from NXT at #23 as Kai entered the ring with multiple clotheslines. Ripley tried to slam Kai, but Kai avoided and Kai kicked Ripley to knock her down. Mickie battled Lacey Evans by the apron, Mickie kicked her and Evans punched James with the Woman’s Right to eliminate Mickie. That means Evans is my most hated woman in the match. Just saying. Anyway, Kai avoided an elimination. The #24 entrant is Carmella, who lost her title match earlier and Carmella had a bottle of water on her way to the ring. Ripley picked up Kai and dumped Kai out. Ripley lifted up Rose over the top to the floor for Ripley’s fifth elimination of the match. Carmella was assisted by Reginald in getting in the ring. Cross tried to eliminate Carmella, but Reginald caught Carmella and then Carmella eliminated Cross. It’s Tamina at #25 as Reginald caught Carmella again after Carmella was sent over the top, but then Tamina superkicked Reginald, so Carmella’s feet hit the floor. Tamina had a showdown with Ripley in a matchup of two powerful women as they exchanged punches. Belair tried to get rid of Naomi, but Naomi held onto the bottom rope. Belair kept kicking at Naomi, who was knocked to the floor on her butt. Naomi used Belair’s hair to get Naomi’s legs back up to the apron and then Naomi/Belair helped eachother get back in the ring.
The lovely Lana from Raw entered as #26. Lana paused a bit and then tried to get rid of Ripley, but that didn’t happen. Naomi with a split-legged legdrop on Belair with Naomi trying to eliminate Belair, but Belair managed to hold on. Lana tried to get rid of Evans, but she wasn’t able to do it. There’s Alexa Bliss from Raw as #27 in her Alexa’s Playground style gear. Bliss blocked a kick of Naomi and slammed her down followed by a double knee attack. Bliss with a dropkick on Ripley. No gloves for Bliss time like she has done on Raw. Several women attacked Bliss at the same time and then the power went out in the building. Bliss was about to do her transformation, but then Ripley lifted Bliss over the top to the floor. That was a short run for Bliss, who some people considered a favorite. Ember Moon from NXT is #28 and Moon jumped off the top with the Eclipse of Baszler, who rolled to the floor. Moon with a double underhook suplex on Ripley. Moon nearly tossed out Evans, but Evans held on. Moon with a running dropkick. Moon with a double knee attack on Charlotte and Tamina at the same time. Moon stopped an attack from Lana and hit a double knee attack to Lana. Nia Jax was in at #29 as the biggest woman in the match. Jax helped up Baszler, who was not eliminated and the Jax/Baszler team was working together. Baszler eliminated Evans with a knee to the face and Jax punched Moon off the apron to eliminate her. Jax and Baszler press slammed Naomi over the top to the floor. Naomi was in there for over 47 minutes. Jax told Baszler that Tamina is family, but then Jax turned on Tamina and then Jax/Baszler dumped out Tamina together. Baszler and Jax got into a slugfest with eachother, but then that ended. Baszler with a spinning slam on Ripley. Jax grabbed Baszler and tossed Shayna over the top to the floor. Jax said sorry, she had to do it. Lana jumped on her rival Jax, but then Jax tossed her down. Lana left the ring, Jax chased and Lana slapped Jax in the face. Jax charged at Lana, who ducked and sent Jax over the top to the floor. Natalya was #30 as we know because she beat Tamina in a match to earn that spot. Jax and Baszler attacked Natalya in the aisle. Jax and Baszler went into the ring to attack the other women in the match. Baszler with a German Suplex to Belair and Jax with a body slam on Lana. Jax and Baszler left. Jax rolled Natalya in.
There were five women left: Natalya, Charlotte Flair, Lana, Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair. That group quickly went down to four as Natalya teased working with Lana and then Natalya hit Lana from behind. Natalya eliminated Lana from the match.
The final four women were Natalya, Belair, Ripley and Charlotte. Natalya with a German Suplex on Ripley. Natalya lifted Ripley over the top onto the apron with a forearm, but then Ripley held onto the bottom rope. Belair went over to Natalya and knocked Natalya over the top to the floor.
The final three women Charlotte Flair, Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair all paused to soak up the moment. Charlotte unleashed with forearms while Phillips noted that Belair has been in the ring for 52 minutes. Belair and Ripley worked together to attack Charlotte, but Charlotte came back with kicks to both women and Charlotte hit an overhead suplex on Belair. Charlotte worked over Ripley with forearms to the back, then Ripley was against the ropes, Charlotte charged and Ripley sent Charlotte to the apron. Belair kicked Charlotte and then Ripley/Belair worked together to hit Charlotte with a forearm to knock her out. Belair was taunting Charlotte, so Ripley and Belair each went over the top to the apron with each woman hanging on.
It’s down to Ripley and Belair as the final two. Belair sent Ripley to the apron and Ripley managed to hold on. Ripley sent Belair over the top as well, then Belair held on and then they did a double hairtoss to knock down both women. There were “this is awesome” chants as both women were down in the ring. Ripley with a kick to the jaw, Belair avoided a move on the shoulders of Ripley and then Ripley sent Belair to the ropes. Ripley with a kick. Ripley went for the Riptide, Belair got out of that and Belair went for the KOD, but Ripley landed on her feet. Ripley was up against the ropes and Belair hit a clothesline over the top to the floor to eliminate Ripley. Bianca Belair wins the Royal Rumble from the #3 spot! The match went 58:50.
Winner of the Women’s Royal Rumble: Bianca Belair
After the match, Bianca Belair was interviewed in the ring by Kayla Braxton. Belair was emotional as she talked about winning the Royal Rumble and said that she is going to put the EST in WrestleMania. Belair celebrated the win as the Snicker plug came in from the announcers. Belair pointed at the WrestleMania sign as the fireworks went off.
Royal Rumble Facts & Opinions
Wrestler That Lasted The Longest: Bianca Belair at 56:52.
Most Eliminations: Rhea Ripley with 7.
Best Performers (3): Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair.
Analysis: ***3/4 This was a very good women’s Royal Rumble match. I think they had the ring full too much early on in the match, but then as the match got going they really whittled it down to the main favorites in the match. I’ll do some point form comments about the match.
– Bianca Belair was my pick to win and I think she was the right choice. Belair is easy to like, she’s a great athlete and was the most popular pick by wrestling fans. Belair not only won the match, but she was the Ironwoman in the match since she started at #3 and ended up as the winner. Good stuff with Belair and Ripley at the conclusion of the match as well.
– Rhea Ripley had a really nice showing in the match. I think her elimination of Alexa Bliss could lead to Rousey feuding with Bliss right away on Raw assuming Ripley is on Raw. I checked out the betting odds before the match and saw that Ripley surpassed Belair as the favorite, but in the end, it was a win for Belair.
– I liked that Noami was in there as one of the first two entrants and lasted near the finish. Happy that she’s back.
– The elimination of Bayley should have been booked better at a time where it could stand out more. The director missed it live, but we saw the replay.
– One of my favorite moments was Charlotte Flair facing off with Mickie James because I know they’ve never had a singles match. They want to do that match, so hopefully, we get to see it soon. Mickie is under contract with WWE, for what it’s worth.
– I liked the nostalgia entrants like Victoria, Jillian Hall and Torrie Wilson to name a few. Victoria, in particular, was cool to see because she hasn’t been back in a long time and I thought she did a great here.
– Most of the NXT women fared well and obviously, I think we can say Ripley is off NXT now. The others had a nice showing while they were out there.
– Lana eliminating Nia Jax was a nice touch considering their history. I should have seen that coming in my predictions, but I did not mention it.
– Good choices for the final four in the match although I would have liked to see Natalya in the match for more. I get why they booked it with that final three, though. It made sense to me.
I might add more thoughts later, but there’s more show to write about. I enjoyed the Women’s Royal Rumble a lot. Great job, ladies!
There was a commercial for the Yokozuna documentary on WWE Network. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, but we have a review on TJRWrestling by one of our new writers Aneil. I’ll check it out soon.
The Miz and John Morrison went up to Bad Bunny’s dressing room to kiss his ass. They tried to get Bad Bunny to hang out with them, but Bad Bunny turned them down. Miz and Morrison said that they are in the prime of their career unlike Booker T, who showed up behind Miz. Booker did his, “tell me you didn’t just say that line” and Morrison left with Miz following him. Booker wished Miz good luck and the heels left.
The Kickoff Panel talked about the show with Charly Caruso there along with Sonya Deville, John Bradshaw Layfield and Peter Rosenberg. I’m not going to summarize the comments. I’m writing analysis for the women’s Royal Rumble. R-Truth showed up with the 24/7 Title where he sat on Rosenberg’s chair. Rosenberg told Truth that John Cena is there and then Rosenberg did a rollup on Truth and Rosenberg pinned Truth on the floor with a referee there to count it. Truth: “I’m gonna get you, Michael Kay.” Truth chased after Rosenberg.
The video package aired for the Universal Championship match between champion Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens.
The “Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns made his entrance carrying the Universal Championship with Special Counsel Paul Heyman by his side. Reigns did a very slow walk down to the ring. Ring announcer Greg Hamilton did the championship introductions. Long staredown between Reigns and Owens at the start of this match.
Last Man Standing Match for the Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Kevin Owens
The way you win this match is to keep your opponent down for a ten count to determining the last man standing.
It started as a slugfest with Reigns hitting a Superman Punch that rocked Owens. Reigns charged and Owens put him down quickly with a Popup Powerbomb. The action spilled to the floor with Owens sending Reigns into the ring post and then Reigns sent Owens into the steel steps. Reigns with a Spear on the floor as referee Danilo Anfibio counted Owens down until KO got back up. Reigns with the steel steps to knock Owens down and Reigns hit KO with the steps two more times. When Reigns tried another attack, Owens hit a superkick to knock Roman down. Owens sent Reigns into the steel steps three times and into the LED boards where some fans were watching. Owens grabbed the steel steps and hit Reigns onto an equipment table. Owens climbed up the platform, Reigns came back with an eye poke to the eyes and Reigns hit Owens with chair shots to the ribs and back. Reigns sent Owens into the LED boards with Reigns sending KO up another level. Owens with a superkick on Reigns knocked him down as the referee counted to five when Owens hit Reigns with chair shots to the legs and a chair to the back. Owens with more chair shots to the left leg, Reigns with a punch and Reigns with chair shots to the back. Reigns teased tossing Owens off the platform, but Owens blocked it and hit a Stunner. Owens charged, Reigns with a punch and Reigns with a Superman Punch. Reigns tossed Owens off the third level of the platform through the tables on the floor just like Reigns did to Owens on New Year’s Day 30 days earlier. Owens rolled off the top, the referee was counting and Owens managed to grab some piece of the set and get back up at the count of nine.
Owens was stumbling around in the backstage area and Owens was in the large backstage area with one of the workout rings that was back there. As Owens got back up, Reigns drove a golf cart into Owens and ran him over! That came out of nowhere. That’s not the first golf cart usage on a wrestling show in the last year. Owens got back up and Reigns worked over Owens with punches. Reigns did some trash-talking, so Owens tackled him and punched Reigns repeatedly. Owens was ramming Roman’s head into the equipment cases. Owens gave Reigns a Powerbomb onto what looked like an announce table that was backstage. Owens climbed up the equipment cases and hit a Frog Splash on Reigns through the table. Reigns was bleeding from the mouth prior to that. Reigns got back before the ten count, so Owens whipped Reigns into a ladder. Owens with a ladder shot to the upper body of Reigns. Owens got a forklift, he lifted up about ten feet high and Owens stood on a platform while Reigns was on a table. Owens jumped off the forklift with a Senton Bomb on Reigns through a table! Holy shit! There were “holy shit” and they were justified because that was pretty crazy. Reigns got off the table and got up at nine. Reigns fell back on his ass, but Reigns was up enough to break the count. They got back up with Owens ramming Reigns into some cases. Owens took Reigns through the curtain in the Gorilla Position area as they showed a replay of KO’s Senton Bomb through the table.
Reigns and Owens were back in the arena at the top of the ramp. Reigns was back up at the count of nine again. Reigns manage to come back with a Superman Punch followed by Spear through the LED screens at the top of the stage. The referee checked on both men with Reigns getting back up quickly, but Owens was down until nine because he rolled off the stage onto his feet. That was a clever spot. Reigns grabbed some handcuffs and told Owens he can’t go home if he quits. Reigns tried putting the handcuffs on, but Owens sent Reigns into the part of the set and Owens hit a Stunner on the floor. Owens punched Reigns while holding the handcuffs and Owens handcuffed Roman’s right arm steel part of the set. Reigns couldn’t get back up, so he sent referee Danilo into the steel part of the set when the referee was at nine, so the referee could not complete his count. Reigns hit a low blow on Owens. Paul Heyman showed up and he had a key for the handcuff. Another referee showed up to count and Owens was back up while Reigns was getting helped by Heyman. I don’t know if the referee kept counting because the referee wasn’t shown. Reigns stood on his feet in a crouching position as Heyman finally got the handcuffs unhooked. Reigns slapped on the guillotine choke on Owens with KO selling it like he was passed out. The second referee Jason Ayers counted Owens down, Reigns was up and Owens stayed down for the ten count. It went 24:54.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Analysis: **** This was an awesome match as expected by these two guys that have had several memorable matches. I loved the violence and the intensity from the moment the match began. They brawled all over the building, they had memorable spots with the golf cart and several table spots as well. There was a bit of a comedic spot with Paul Heyman taking too long to unlock Reigns from being tied up in handcuffs. The referee was counting, then he had to stop, the camera was off the referee and then eventually Roman got free. That could have been planned a bit better to avoid the issues, but that’s okay. I still enjoyed it. Reigns retaining was the right call here and the expected outcome.
After the win, Reigns collapsed on the floor by the side of the stage. Reigns was victorious, though, so that’s what mattered to him.
There was a commercial for WrestleMania 37 letting us know that it is 69 days away. That’s a favorite number of a lot of people. Just saying.
The announce team for the Men’s Royal Rumble match is Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Samoa Joe.
Men’s Royal Rumble Match
Edge from Raw made his entrance as the #1 entrant. Huge pyro display for the Hall of Famer wrestling for the first time since his triceps injury last June. Randy Orton from Raw was #2 with Edge attacking Orton in the aisle. Orton doesn’t have burns on his face anymore. Edge beat up Orton all around the ringside area for the whole 90 second period there. Sami Zayn from Smackdown was #3 with his documentary crew joining him. Zayn went into the ring, took down Edge from behind and then Orton worked with Zayn to beat up Edge on the mat. The #4 entrant was Raw’s Ali from the Retribution group. As soon as Ali got in the ring, he faced off with Orton and Zayn leading to the three heels attacking Edge together. Orton and Zayn held Edge while Ali unloaded on Edge with punches to the face. The three heels tried to eliminate Edge, but he held on and there’s a babyface at #5 as Raw’s Jeff Hardy was next. Hardy with a jawbreaker to old rivalry Orton, Hardy with an elbow to Zayn and Hardy jumped off the top with the Whisper in the Wind attack on Zayn and Ali. Zayn shoved Hardy into the RKO by Orton. Zayn celebrated with Orton, who said he liked his fire and Orton dropped Zayn with an RKO. Orton with an RKO to Ali too. Edge hit a Spear on Orton and Orton left the ring, so Edge followed Orton out there. Edge whipped Orton into the ring post and he put Orton on the announce table. The announcers pointed out how focused Edge looked. Edge teased a move on the announce table, Orton tried to hit an RKO and Edge hit a DDT on Orton on the announce table, which did not break. Ouch.
There’s Dolph Ziggler from Smackdown at #6 and he’s one half of the Smackdown Tag Team Champions. Edge attacked Orton with a steel chair shot to the back of the leg. Ziggler slowly got into the ring and eliminated Hardy. Edge was back in trying to eliminate Zayn, but then Ziggler hit a Zig Zag to Edge. Cole noted that Ziggler was second all-time in Royal Rumble appearances with 14 appearances. Shinsuke Nakamura from Smackdown was #7 as the winner of the Rumble match three years ago and Nakamura hit a running knee on Ziggler. Zayn charged at Nakamura, who avoided an attack and Nakamura hit a knee drop on Zayn. Nakamura hit a spin kick on Ali. There were two referees that tried to help Orton, who was selling a left leg injury. Nakamura worked over Ziggler with kicks and a near elimination, but Ziggler managed to hold on. There’s a surprise entrant because former WWE superstar Carlito was #8 and he was in great shape at 41 years old. Carlito had an apple with him, which was his old gimmick and Nakamura took the apple, so Carlito hit a Backstabber on Nakamura. Carlito with a backstabber to Ali. Orton was being helped to the back by two referees, but he was not eliminated. There is Raw’s Xavier Woods at #9 with Woods attacking Ali with punches and chops. Zayn ran over Woods with a forearm to the back. It’s Intercontinental Champion Big E from Smackdown at #10 with Big E going after Zayn and then Big E hit a uranage slam on Ali. Big E whipped Woods into an Honor Roll clothesline. Woods lifted Big E into a slam on Zayn. Big E picked up Zayn leading to the Midnight Hour double team move from Woods. Big E tossed Zayn over the top to the floor.
John Morrison from Raw was #11 in the match with a kick on Nakamura. Woods hit a jumping DDT on Ali. Woods nearly eliminated Ali, then Big E saved Woods for a moment until Ali managed to kick Woods to knock him out of the match. Big E was mad about it, so he shoved Ali over the top to the floor. It’s Ricochet at #12 even though he lost a match to AJ Styles to get into the Rumble match, but I guess he’s still in the match. That’s fine with me. Ricochet with a spinning kick on Ziggler. Edge tried to eliminate Ricochet, who went back in and Ricochet hit a headscissors on Edge followed by a dropkick. Big E hit a suplex on Nakamura. It’s Elias from Raw at #13 without a guitar with Elias hitting a sitout spinebuster and the Drift Away neckbreaker to Morrison. Carlito hit an impressive on Elias, who came back with a jumping knee and Elias dumped Carlito over the top to the floor. We may see Carlito again. Nakamura with a suplex on Ziggler and then Ziggler hit an elbow smash. There’s Damian Priest from NXT at #14 and he may be on Raw or Smackdown starting soon. Priest with an uppercut on Elias, then a neckbreaker and Priest with a clothesline on Ricochet. Priest with a kick to Morrison followed by a spin kick. Priest got a hold of Elias and tossed him out of the ring. There was a backstage scene with Orton getting his left knee looked at by a trainer, who put ice on Orton’s knee. Graves pointed out that Orton wasn’t eliminated, but his night may be over. Priest nearly eliminated Edge, but Edge held on and then they did a double clothesline spot. The Miz from Raw was #15 while carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase with him. Miz used the briefcase to destroy the DJ set up of Bad Bunny and then Miz walked down to the ring. Miz went into the ring to save Morrison and hit a Skull Crushing Finale on Big E. Miz and Morrison with a double gutbuster and double DDT on Ricochet. Ziggler celebrated with Miz and Morrison, but then Morrison hit a springboard kick on Ziggler. Bad Bunny walked out to ringside area, Bunny went down to ringside and Priest eliminated Miz/Morrison over the top to the floor. Bad Bunny went up top and jumped onto Miz/Morrison on the floor. That was mildly entertaining at least.
Riddle from Raw entered at #16 as we got to the second half of the match. Riddle with a jumping kick on Priest and a forearm to Priest as well. Riddle blocked some kicks from Nakamura followed by chops. Priest smashed Nakamura with repeated punches and Priest with a punch that dropped Riddle. There’s one of the match favorites as Smackdown’s Daniel Bryan was in at #17 with the “YES” chants greeted him as usual. Bryan with running dropkicks on Nakamura and Priest. Bryan tried to trip up Ricochet, who got out of it and hit a German Suplex. Priest nearly eliminated Edge, but Edge held on while Big E hit a clothesline on Ziggler. There’s the legendary Kane at #18 with his all-time record 18th Royal Rumble appearance. Kane with a Chokeslam on Edge and a double Chokeslam on Riddle/Nakamura at the same time. Ziggler tried to attack Kane, but Mayor Kane eliminated Ziggler easily. Kane gave Ricochet a Chokeslam on the edge of the ring apron to eliminate Ricochet. That sucks because I want to see Ricochet booked better than that. Daniel Bryan called out his former buddy Kane, they had Team Hell No reunion with a hug and then Kane hit a Chokeslam on Bryan. Priest faced off with Kane since they are both tall dudes, but Kane punched him and Priest avoided an elimination. Priest with a punch that rocked Kane leading to Priest eliminating Kane. King Corbin from Smackdown was #19 as he caught Bryan and hit a front slam. Nakamura ran off the ropes with a running kick. Corbin hit the Deep Six slam on Nakamura and clotheslined Nakamura out of the ring. Nakamura is another guy that I wanted to see do better in this match. Otis from Smackdown was #20 making his Rumble debut with a spinning clothesline on Corbin. Otis with a body slam on Big E and an overhead suplex on Priest. Otis with an overhead suplex on Riddle and a corner splash on Priest. Otis did the Caterpillar into the elbow drop. Otis went to the middle rope like a dumbass, so Corbin knocked Otis over the top to the floor to get rid of Otis. Bryan worked over Corbin with the “yes” kicks.
Dominik Mysterio from Smackdown was #21 as Corbin was waiting for him and hit Dominik with a spinebuster. Dominik ended up using his legs to send Corbin over the top to the floor. I called that exactly in our preview. Riddle and Bryan got into a bit of a slugfest and then Priest tossed Riddle across the ring. Priest whipped Bryan into the turnbuckle. Bobby Lashley from Raw was #22 and he’s the US Champion. Riddle targeted Lashley right away, but Lashley hit a clothesline. Lashley lifted Dominik over the top to the floor. Lashley with a spinebuster on Priest and Lashley with a clothesline to send Priest over the top to the floor. Lashley faced off with Big E as they exchanged punches. Big E avoided a suplex attempt and Riddle joined in attacking Lashley. There’s a legend spot as The Hurricane entered as #23 in the match. Hurricane works as a Producer for WWE. Big E picked up Hurricane, who did a thumb to the eye. Hurricane tried a double Chokeslam on Lashley/Big E, but that failed, so Lashley and Big E slammed Hurricane over the top to the floor. They replayed some of Lashley’s eliminations in the match so far. There’s another legend at #24 as Christian made his entrance! Yes, that’s awesome. Edge had a huge smile on his face at the sight of his best friend. The guys in the match all teamed up to eliminate Lashley together. Edge hugged Christian when he saw him. E&C knocked down Riddle and Edge slammed Christian onto Riddle. There’s AJ Styles from Raw at #25 with Omos joining Styles at ringside. Styles went after Edge right away, but Styles missed a Phenomenal Forearm and Edge hit a Spear on Styles. There were six in the ring and Orton wasn’t officially eliminated either.
Rey Mysterio was #26 from Smackdown as Cole mentioned Rey was sponsored by Victoria beer now. Mysterio tried to eliminate Styles, but Omos caught Styles and put Styles back in the ring. Big E knocked down Styles, so Omos grabbed Big E from behind and lifted Big E over the top to the floor to eliminate Big E. Omos tossed Big E onto the announce table to further send a message. There’s another former Royal Rumble winner as Raw’s Sheamus entered as #27 with Sheamus doing the forearms to the chests of Riddle and Edge, who has been in the match for about 45 minutes. Sheamus with the backbreaker on Styles. Sheamus with a Brogue Kick for Christian and Bryan ran right into a Brogue Kick from Sheamus as well. Sheamus tried to eliminate Bryan, then Riddle tried to get rid of Sheamus, but failed. Mysterio tried to attack Styles, but Omos grabbed Mysterio and Omos sent Mysterio into the barricade. Rey’s feet hit the floor, so he was out. Cesaro from Smackdown was #28 with forearms for Edge and Riddle. Cesaro with a forearm on Styles and then Sheamus did a Bar salute to Cesaro. There was a Swing from Cesaro to Sheamus and Sheamus was nearly eliminated. Cesaro with a Swing to Bryan in the middle of the ring. Bryan kicked Cesaro into the ropes, but Cesaro held on. Welcome back to Smackdown’s Seth Rollins at #29, who is back after two months off following the birth of his daughter. When Rollins got into the ring, Cesaro hit him with an uppercut and Cesaro nearly eliminated Rollins, but Seth fought. Braun Strowman from Raw was #30 looking like he was in the best shape of his life. Strowman slammed Riddle down and punched Cesaro as well as Riddle. Strowman sent Styles over the top, but then Omos caught Styles to save him. Strowman eliminated Cesaro and Sheamus back to back. Strowman tossed Styles over the top on a side of the ring where Omos wasn’t standing, so Styles was out. Edge and Christian with a double Spear on Strowman.
There were six men around the ring with Strowman, Edge, Christian, Riddle, Bryan and Rollins on the floor. Randy Orton wasn’t eliminated yet either, but he was in the backstage area. There were “this is awesome” chants. Bryan battled Riddle with strikes, then Bryan hit a running knee on Edge and Bryan with a dropkick on Christian. Edge looked exhausted on the apron, which is selling, but also he was in the match for a long time. Bryan with a running dropkick on Strowman. Bryan exchanged strikes with Riddle again, then they went into kneebar submission and armbars with Bryan going for a triangle choke. Joe was loving the submission moves. Bryan nearly eliminated by Riddle, but Bryan fired up and hit a missile dropkick on Riddle. As Bryan was building momentum, Rollins hit Bryan with a forearm and then The Stomp. Rollins eliminated Bryan from the match. Bryan was a popular pick by a lot of people, but it didn’t happen for him. Riddle with a ripcord knee on Rollins, but Rollins avoided an elimination. Riddle jumped over the top to the apron, Strowman punched Riddle and Rollins hit a Stomp on Riddle to eliminate him.
The final four men in the ring were Rollins and Strowman facing off against Edge and Christian. Rollins told Strowman it’s their time, they are the future, not Edge and Christion. Strowman picked up Rollins and spiked him with a huge slam. Edge and Christian went after Strowman, but Strowman ran them both over with a double clothesline. Strowman with running splashes on Edge and Christian. Edge tried to pull Strowman over the top, then Strowman stopped it and Christian got involved. Rollins dumped Strowman and Christian out of the ring. Rollins tried to do The Stomp to Edge, but Edge eliminated Rollins! Orton was back in the match looking fine and he hit an RKO on Edge. Orton tried to eliminate Edge, but Edge countered it and Edge eliminated Orton to win the match! Edge wins the Royal Rumble from the #1 spot in the match. It was 11 years to the day since Edge won the 2010 Royal Rumble. The match time was 58:30.
Winner of the Royal Rumble: Edge
Royal Rumble Facts & Opinions
Wrestler That Lasted The Longest: Edge and Randy Orton at 58:28.
Most Eliminations: Damian Priest and Big E with 4.
Best Performers (3): Edge, Daniel Bryan and Big E. Loved seeing Christian there too.
Analysis: ****1/4 I thought it was an excellent Royal Rumble match. Randy Orton being the dastardly heel that faked the injury only to fail at the end was a clever way of booking. I think that would have worked so well in front of a crowd too. It’s also Edge getting payback on Orton for all of the dastardly things that Orton did to Edge over the last year. I’ll go with some point form thoughts here too.
– Going into the show I thought Seth Rollins might win because I was looking at the betting odds. Rollins was +1200 initially, which meant he wasn’t considered a favorite at all. When I looked at the odds about two hours before the show, Rollins shot up to the top spot as a -120 favorite right above Daniel Bryan, which I thought meant that Rollins was going to win. Nope. Seth did have a nice showing and I’m glad he’s back.
– My pick was Braun Strowman, who had a dominant run in there and then came up short. That’s fine because he doesn’t really need a Rumble win to get a push. I just thought WWE had him sit out for a couple of months to have him come back strong.
– Christian was a nice surprise. I didn’t expect to see him back in the ring. That was such a cool moment to see him hugging Edge after Edge realized that Christian was part of the match. For two guys in their late 40s, Edge and Christian both looked great. I hope this leads to more matches for Christian, who retired due to injuries several years ago.
– Damian Priest looked like a man that belongs with the big boys since he did a lot of eliminations including Kane. Priest has a bright future wherever he goes although he is 38 years old, so he’s not a younger guy. He really had a nice showing in the match.
– I’m glad that Dominik Mysterio got to eliminate King Corbin because that fit their story. However, I would have liked to see Rey and Dominik in the ring together doing some cool spots.
– Carlito was in tremendous shape. Perhaps it will lead to him sticking around WWE again like MVP last year in the Rumble led to him being back. It’s possible, I guess.
– It’s a shame that Keith Lee wasn’t able to be in the match. I assume he was out because girlfriend Mia Yim tested positive for COVID-19, so Keith was a close contact and they’re probably being careful. I don’t know why Jey Uso was absent after being advertised for it.
– Big E was a guy that should have lasted longer although I think he had a strong showing in the match. I found it a bit strange that Omos would get rid of him since they are on opposite shows.
– Daniel Bryan was a popular pick to win, so when he was eliminated I’m sure it upset a lot of people. I think if Edge goes for WWE Title then Bryan could definitely be in the Universal Title match at WrestleMania. If not, maybe we get something like Bryan vs. Rollins, which would be cool to see.
– I did like the AJ Styles spots with Omos. They were clever. I just thought they would be against Raw guys more instead of Smackdown’s Big E and Rey Mysterio.
Edge was full of emotion as he celebrated in the ring. Edge pointed at the giant WrestleMania sign in the building and held his hands in the air while the pyro went off for the celebration. Edge can challenge for the WWE Title or the Universal Title at WrestleMania. Edge continued the celebration as the show ended there.
Analysis: Edge becomes one of the oldest Royal Rumble winners ever at age 47. He looks like he belongs. Edge could go after WWE Champion Drew McIntyre on Raw in a battle of faces or go against the heel Universal Champion Roman Reigns. I really want to see Reigns against Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania, so I’d prefer Edge against McIntyre, but I’m fine with either champion. I like everybody involved.
This event had a runtime of 3:50:15 on WWE Network.
Five Stars of the Show
- Bianca Belair
- Roman Reigns/Kevin Owens
- Rhea Ripley
- Christian – I missed the guy! Welcome back.
I’m going with an 8 out of 10 for this show.
This was a great PPV with both Royal Rumble matches booked well in a way that I’m sure made the late, great Pat Patterson proud. It’s tough to do those kinds of matches without a crowd, yet there were so many interesting stories throughout. The big thing is picking the right winners for the Rumble matches and I think they did that. Edge got some help from his best friend Christian, who was a nice surprise. It’s a cool story to see Edge win at 47 years old from the #1 spot in the match and he was able to beat Randy Orton in the end after Orton faked a knee injury for nearly one hour. Then there’s Bianca Belair who survived so many eliminations from the #3 spot to find a way to win. Even though Rhea Ripley didn’t win, she looked like another winner too. There were so many people that were booked well in both Rumble matches. I really enjoyed both matches a lot. I’d favor the men’s match a bit more than the women’s match, but both were awesome.
The Universal Title match between Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens was terrific. Owens was relentless in attacks, yet Reigns managed to find a way to win again. Lost of table spots in that match too. It looked like a hard-hitting fight as it should have been. The Banks match with Carmella was just average with the right woman going over as Sasha’s reign continued.
There were a few nervous moments when Drew McIntyre faced Goldberg, and it looked like Goldberg might win. Thankfully, WWE was smart enough to not put a title on Goldberg again and McIntyre ended up looking like a bigger star by beating a legend in convincing fashion.
Overall, I’d say this Royal Rumble was a lot of fun to watch and write about. It was just under four hours. I don’t think it was too long at all. It felt just right to me. Once again, the Royal Rumble PPV delivers the goods.
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