If you’re someone who says that you don’t like the Royal Rumble, you’re either…
A – Lying your motherfucking ass off
B – Far too blinded by this tribal nonsense of “MY WRESTLING COMPANY IS BETTER THAN YOUR WRESTLING COMPANY”
Either way, grow up.
We’re officially on WWE’s “Road To WrestleMania” now, and there are a lot of different options WWE could go in tonight. Some are more obvious options, while others could surprise people. Let’s find out together, shall we?
Men’s Royal Rumble Match
Pros: – Pat McAfee is back! WWE commentary is already better, and I’m very thankful for that.
– Starting the match off with Gunther and Sheamus. Hell. Yes.
– The size of the crowd. Good Lord. The setup for the arena had about 45,000 seats, and Michael Cole said they’re expecting about 50,000 people. Either way, that’s a ton of fans, and this show could see some LOUD reactions.
– The strength of the roof at the Alamodome. That opening riff of Brock Lesnar’s music hit, and the building nearly exploded. Say whatever you want about Brock and the way he is booked, but the WWE Universe still loves seeing him because they know shit’s about to go down when he arrives on the scene.
– “This kid is a piece of shi…” – Michael Cole, about Dominik Mysterio, before being cut off by Corey Graves. Amazing.
– Prison Dom’s heel heat. If Brock Lesnar received the biggest pop of the match so far, Dominik Mysterio received the most heel heat, and it isn’t even close. The guy’s a heat magnet.
– Surprises. The first surprise of the night is Booker T entering the match in the #21 spot.
– Edge’s love from the fans. The mega pop that “YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME…” gets remains top tier.
– Beth Phoenix is back again. You knew it was coming eventually, but Beth returns to go after Rhea Ripley, who just put the boots to Edge in the entranceway after Edge’s elimination. Good pop from the crowd for Beth’s appearance.
– Sheamus’ stamina. He lasted 52:30, according to Michael Cole, before being eliminated. Impressive.
– Logan Paul is back! The future WWE/Universal Champion has made his return to the company, and he got a ton of boos from the crowd, who then cheered the rest of the competitors for jumping him.
– Cody Rhodes! The crowd goes nuts for his return, to the surprise of nobody.
– Spot of the night. On opposite ends of the ring, Ricochet and Logan Paul do a springboard from the top rope and collide in mid-air. When I say they collided, I mean it. It sounded like a car crash. Holy shit.
– Gunther’s record-breaking performance. He officially has lasted longer in a traditional Royal Rumble match than anybody in history.
– The right man won. Cody was an “obvious” pick, but the story told here makes it worthwhile.
Cons: – Wrestling fans and their ability, or lack thereof, to count. It never fails. When there’s a ten-second countdown on a wrestling show, the fans will hit zero while the clock is still at two. It’s almost impressive.
– Baron Corbin’s future. He enters the match at the #14 spot. Well, before he even officially enters the match, he gets attacked by an angry Brock Lesnar, who was just eliminated. Corbin eats an F5 and he might not be counted as a living, breathing human being anymore.
Match Rating: I never know how to rate any sort of Battle Royal match, because they’re just so different than a “normal” match. With that said, though, this was fun. SO MUCH fun. Teases for future matches and feuds. Not a lot of leaning on retired talents. Stars made. Gunther lasting over 70 MINUTES before finally being eliminated. The story of Cody Rhodes winning. Brutal strikes. Comedy. It had everything you could ask for in a Royal Rumble. The women of WWE are in trouble having to follow that.
Bray Wyatt vs LA Knight – Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match
Pros: – The match didn’t last long. That’s about it.
Cons: – Bray’s makeup artist hates his guts. He came out looking like Ronda Rousey for the match. Yikes. It ends up being for the lighting of the match, but my point remains.
– The lighting. Seeing The Fiend wrestle with stupid lighting was bad. Having to see Bray Wyatt wrestle in what appears to be a Spencer’s from the 90’s is just as bad.
Match Rating: I’m not rating that. It was a lame ass corporate shill job for Mountain Dew that did nothing for either Bray Wyatt or LA Knight. The crowd didn’t care, and neither did I. Even the post-match stuff, with Bray stalking Knight to the stage setup and laying him out on a crash pad for Uncle Howdy to perform a dive, was terrible. Uncle Howdy wasn’t anywhere near LA Knight when he landed. Sigh. Either have Bray Wyatt be a somewhat “normal” wrestler again, or let him go, because all he’s doing is wasting time on television and pay-per-view now. To make all of this even better, I’m seeing reactions from people in attendance that they couldn’t really see anything during the match. Like I said… a waste of time.
Bianca Belair vs Alexa Bliss – Raw Women’s Title Match
Pros: – The match didn’t last long. Hooray?
Cons: – The crowd. WWE has killed the spirit of this crowd. They were molten hot for the men’s Rumble, and then have been given nothing but shit they don’t care about ever since. The Pitch Black Match was awful, and nobody seems to give a shit about Alexa Bliss getting a shot here. Nobody is buying her in this role. Again.
Match Rating: 2.25 Stars. Maybe? I guess? After the match, we get an Uncle Howdy video where he speaks to Alexa, and the crowd… didn’t care. Please end this whole story, and please give Bianca some sort of feud that she can really sink her teeth into.
Women’s Royal Rumble Match
Pros: – Rhea Ripley. She had her nose busted open, and she used her hand to smear the blood all over her face. She looks crazy right now.
– Roxanne Perez. She’s a surprise entrant in her home state. Not much of a crowd reaction, though. That’s partially due to the majority of the WWE Universe not knowing anyone in NXT, but also due to this crowd being d-e-d, dead.
– Damage CTRL. They were lucky enough to have their numbers really close to each other, allowing them to dominate the early portions of the match. They’ve teamed up to eliminate a few women so far.
– Becky Lynch. We’re halfway through the match, and her arrival has been enough to get a reaction out of the crowd.
– Asuka is back! Pardon me… Kana is back! At least in appearance. If you know Asuka’s pre-WWE career, you know what I’m talking about. She looks like a million bucks. If she’s going to wrestle like Kana… even just a little bit… the women of WWE are in a lot of trouble.
– Piper Niven. She has dropped the “Doudrop” name, and is officially back as Piper Niven. While it isn’t a guarantee for success, it’s much more likely now that she doesn’t have that stupid name.
– Zelina Vega’s ring gear. She is dressed as Juri Han from the Street Fighter video game series. It’s a great look for her. Not going to help her win anything, but hey, at least she looks good when she loses.
– The right woman won. It sure seemed like Rhea Ripley would be tied up with Beth Phoenix at WrestleMania, but that doesn’t appear to be the case now. I’ve been waiting for Bianca vs Rhea on the WrestleMania stage, and we’re one step closer to that happening now.
Cons: – The crowd. They’re still dead. As of right now, we’re about one-third of the way through the match, and the crowd isn’t reacting for anything. Even women like Bayley, who constantly get good reactions, is being treated like a nobody.
– Lacey Evans’ spray tan. Her body is literally a dozen different shades of tan, and that’s not counting her face being several shades of white because of her makeup. It looks like she just sprayed the ground and then rolled around in it, getting a little bit here, a little bit there, and a lot over here.
– Nia Jax is back. Oh, joy. She didn’t last long in the match, but at least she can say it took an entire third of the field to eliminate her.
Match Rating: Like I said earlier, it’s too difficult for me to rate these types of matches. It was a fun ride, though. As with the men’s match, there was an opportunity for several women to shine, and there wasn’t too much reliance on retired talent. That’s an important step for the current women’s division. While this match didn’t quite reach the levels of the men’s match, in my opinion, it was still really good. They have nothing to be ashamed of, and I think a lot of people are pleasantly surprised.
Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens – Undisputed WWE Universal Title Match
Pros: – Good pacing. Roman is a master of the WWE main event “style” match. No matter who he’s in the ring with, he controls the pace and the speed of what’s happening, and it works incredibly well for him.
– The love that the WWE Universe has for Kevin Owens. He has lost to Roman approximately 20 times during this title reign, but the crowd is still behind him 100% here. A lot of times, you’ll see crowds give up on someone if they’ve lost too many big matches. Not here. That speaks to how good Kevin Owens is, and also, how invested people are in this story about Roman possibly losing the title at some point.
Cons: – Botches. Owens with a miscalculation on the top rope, and he comes crashing down with all his weight on Roman. That looked ugly. Both men seemed to be fine after the fact, though, so that’s good.
Match Rating: 3.25 Stars. I’m going to be honest here… that was a disappointment. It was definitely good. It was just shorter, and a lot more dominant for Reigns, than I thought it would be. I didn’t see a chance in hell of Owens winning the match, but I figured it would be more of a heroic effort for Owens.
After the match, we got ourselves an ALL-TIME GREAT segment. The entire Bloodline hit the ring to beat the shit out of Kevin Owens, all while Sami looks torn emotionally. Owens gets handcuffed to the ropes, but just when Roman is about to end him with a chair shot to the face, Sami steps in to stop him. Instead of punishing Sami, Roman decides to order Sami to hit Owens instead. After being emotionally, verbally, and physically abused, Sami hits Roman with the chair to one of the biggest pops you’ll ever hear in your fucking life. Sami was in tears over the decision he was forced to make, and then Jey Uso, who went through hell to defend Sami, breaks down and asks how Sami could do this to him. Sami, of course, gets the shit kicked out of him for his betrayal… but Jey won’t do anything. Jey, in tears, leaves the ring and walks away. Holy shit, that was one of the best segments I’ve ever seen. LOUD “Fuck you, Roman” chants break out as he stands over a fallen Sami, causing him to take notice and shift what he was about to do. My goodness.