– The 2023 WWE Royal Rumble Kickoff pre-show opens live from The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas as Kayla Braxton welcomes us. A rabid crowd is behind her, chanting “Kayla!” now. Braxton is joined by WWE Hall of Famers Booker T and Jerry Lawler, along with Kevin Patrick and Peter Rosenberg. The crowd chants for each man. The panel goes over tonight’s matches and a “Cody!” chant breaks out when the Men’s Royal Rumble graphic is shown. They also chant for LA Knight over Bray Wyatt. We get the By The Numbers video for the Royal Rumble. We see footage of Zelina Vega and Lacey Evans picking their numbers off the lottery wall earlier. Lawler predicts a surprise entrant will win, while Rosenberg goes with Rhea Ripley, Patrick goes with Raquel Rodriguez. Matt Camp is now in the Cricket Fan Zone outside of the arena, where WWE memorabilia and trivia is on display.
We see footage of Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night. We also see what happened with Kevin Owens vs. Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn’s involvement. The Bloodline is backstage now, and everyone is in deep thought, looking a little worried. Reigns is upset over what happened at SmackDown as he previously ordered Zayn to stay gone until tonight. Reigns yells at Zayn and says he can’t wrap his brain around this… he gives an order, they follow it. It’s simple and the recipe works, it’s why they are where they are. Reigns says Sami couldn’t even follow instructions, and this is why he treats him like a child. Sami is looking for words to say but Jey Uso speaks up and says it was him. Uso says Adam Pearce kicked he and Jimmy Uso out, Sikoa had a match, and Reigns was on his private jet for The Tonight Show, so Jey called an audible and called Sami back to the building. Jey says Sami answered the call, he was there for The Family. This calms Reigns down. Reigns says why are we talking about last night, it’s all about tonight, this is fight night. Reigns says the gameplan is simple – The Usos stay in the back as he wants no trouble because this is a big night. Reigns says Sami will be with him the whole night, attached to his hip. Reigns says tonight is Sami’s night. He asks if Sami is ready. Sami is fired up and ready to go. We get a video package to hype up tonight’s Pitch Black match.
The panel discusses the Pitch Black match now and everyone predicts Wyatt to win, and Lawler believes Uncle Howdy will help. Greg Miller is backstage now. He thanks everyone for the success of WWE’s “This Is Awesome” show on Peacock and the WWE Network. Miller is joined by WWE Hall of Famer JBL now. JBL goes on about how he’s changed from the bad guy he was, so he brought a gift for Miller. He ends up hitting Miller with a pie in the face, then walking off. Back from a break and we get a promo for tonight’s RAW Women’s Title match. Lawler predicts Alexa Bliss will win with Howdy’s help. Booker and Patrick go with Bliss to win as well, while Rosenberg predicts Bianca Belair to retain. We go back outside to Camp, who is with a loud group of fans. One kid predicts Cody Rhodes to win the Men’s Royal Rumble, while another kid predicts Rhea Ripley will win the Women’s Rumble. The panel sends to a video package on Cody’s comeback. We go back to the panel and comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias has joined Braxton and crew. Fluffy wants to see Rey Mysterio win the Men’s Rumble tonight. He jokes about Dominik Mysterio. He teases that we may see him in the Men’s Rumble but he’s just joking around. We see footage of WWE NXT Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston, Santos Escobar and Drew McIntyre picking their Rumble numbers earlier in the day. Kingston and Escobar were happy, but McIntyre was not. Iglesias still wants to see Rey tonight, but he predicts Cody will win. Rosenberg also goes with Rhodes, while Patrick picks Brock Lesnar to win, Booker also goes with Cody. Lawler agrees that Lesnar will win.
Back from a break and we get a promo for tonight’s Undisputed WWE Universal Title match. We also saw Kevin Owens arriving to the arena earlier today. The panel all go with Roman Reigns to retain in the match, believed to be the main event. Kayla signs off and that’s it for the Kickoff.
– The 2023 WWE Royal Rumble Premium Live Event opens up with a video package to hype tonight’s big event. The video features country music singer Hardy, and his “Sold Out” single. We’re now live from The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas as the packed crowd cheers. Michael Cole welcomes us an says there’s more than 50,000 fans in attendance. Cole says this is his favorite match of the year, and we are here to officially kick off The Road to WrestleMania 39. We see the WrestleMania Goes Hollywood sign hanging high. Cole is joined at ringside with Corey Graves. They hype tonight’s show but the music interrupts and out comes Pat McAfee to make his big return. The crowd pops big for McAfee, while Cole and Graves act surprised. Mike Rome introduces McAfee as he heads to the ring. McAfee poses in the corners, then stands on the apron to throw a crotch chop to Cole and Graves. McAfee hugs Cole, then offers a handshake to Graves. Graves hesitates and McAfee pulls his hand back. Graves says there’s no way he can sit next to McAfee the whole night. Fans chant “welcome back!” as McAfee sits on the other side of Cole.
30-Man Royal Rumble Match
The bell rings as Mike Rome goes over the rules for the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match. The winner will receive a title match at WrestleMania 39. The music hits and out first comes Imperium – WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER with Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser. GUNTHER heads to the ring while Vinci and Kaiser head back to the back. The Ring General marches to the ring and raises his title in the air. Out next comes The Brawling Brutes – Sheamus with Ridge Holland and Butch. Sheamus heads to the ring at #2 while Butch and Holland head back to the back. Today is Sheamus’ 45th birthday.
Sheamus and GUNTHER meet in the middle of the ring to face off. They have words. GUNTHER strikes first and a brawl breaks out. Sheamus unloads against the ropes. They collide with shoulders. GUNTHER kicks Sheamus and they collide again. GUNTHER with a huge chop. GUNTHER tries to eliminate Sheamus but Sheamus goes for the eyes. Sheamus with the Irish Curse backbreaker..
Sheamus tries to dump GUNTHER but he hangs on. Sheamus with knees to the kidneys. The timer counts down and out next is The Miz at #3. Miz runs to the ring and hits the apron but jumps right back to the floor when he sees Sheamus. Sheamus keeps Miz from coming in. Sheamus chases Miz around the ringside area now. Miz runs in but GUNTHER levels him. Sheamus decks GUNTHER. Sheamus unloads on Miz in the corner now. GUNTHER gets involved in the corner as they all three trade shots. GUNTHER tries to dump Sheamus. The timer goes off and out comes WWE NXT Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston at #4.
Kofi goes to the top an leaps off with a crossbody to Miz and GUNTHER. Kofi unloads on all three opponents now, hitting SOS to GUNTHER for a pop. Miz takes a Boom Drop. Sheamus catches Kofi in mid-air and sends him to the apron but he comes back in. Sheamus and GUNTHER trade strikes while Kofi works on dumping Miz. The #5 entrant is Johnny Gargano, returning from a shoulder injury. Gargano takes his time getting to the ring, and flies in with a Spear to Kofi, then an enziguri to GUNTHER. Miz tosses Gargano but he hangs on and fights back in with the big DDT.
Gargano looks to go for 10 Beats of the Bodhrán but Sheamus shows him how it’s done as fans count along. Sheamus keeps going past 10 as Gargano watches. Gargano superkicks Miz but he hangs on. Sheamus eliminates Miz with a Brogue Kick. They all team up on GUNTHER now. NXT Tag Team Champion Xavier Woods is out at #6. The New Day team up on GUNTHER, then Sheamus, and then Gargano.
Kingston and Woods face off now with some friendly words. They go at it but just do some comedy moves. Sheamus kicks Woods, then GUNTHER decks Kingston. GUNTHER works on dumping Woods but Kofi saves him. The timer counts down and in at #7 is Karrion Kross. Scarlett comes out with him but then heads to the back. Kross marches to then ring, in a bad mood over last night’s loss to Rey Mysterio. Kross hits the ring and decks Woods with clotheslines, then a big boot. Kross launches Kofi across the ring. Kross unloads on Woods in the corner. GUNTHER chops Kross down. Kross and GUNTHER trade shots now. GUNTHER with a big boot then a huge clothesline. Kross launches GUNTHER with the Doomsday Saito. Sheamus attacks Kross and they brawl now.
The timer counts down and in at #8 is Chad Gable. Gable runs to the ring and decks Gargano, then Kofi. He drops them both with a suplex and a big throw. Woods and Gable face off and go at it now with mat wrestling. Sheamus works on dumping GUNTHER. Gargano works on eliminating Kross. Gable with a German suplex to Woods. The timer goes off and the #9 entrant is Drew McIntyre to a big pop.
Drew hits the ring and launches Kofi, then Woods. Drew drops Gable with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt. Drew with the Alabama Slam on Gargano, slamming him on top of Gable. Kross and Drew go at it now. Drew eliminates Kross with a big boot. Drew and GUNTHER trade huge chops now. Drew nails the Future Shock DDT. The #10 entrant is Santos Escobar. Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro escort him out but then go to the back. Escobar hits the ring and goes to work. Escobar decks Sheamus and hits a crossbody to Gable. Escobar goes back to the top but Gargano nails an enziguri. Gargano climbs up but can’t get him out. Sheamus and Drew double team Gable now. The #11 entrant is Angelo Dawkins.
Dawkins unloads on Escobar, then Drew, and others. Sheamus tosses Woods but his feet don’t touch the floor. GUNTHER tosses Woods but he hangs on now. GUNTHER eliminates Woods with a big boot. Kofi tries to dump GUNTHER but he hangs on. GUNTHER knocks Kofi out but he lands in an announce table chair, but apparently one of his feet are still on the chair. The #12 entrant is Brock Lesnar and out he comes to a huge pop and pyro.
Sheamus and Drew smile as Lesnar hits the ring. They attack as he enters. Lesnar tackles Sheamus and elbows Drew away. Lesnar launches Drew and Sheamus with Germans suplexes, then one for Dawkins. Escobar flies but Lesnar catches him and launches him to the floor. Escobar is eliminated. Dawkins is eliminated next by Lesnar. Gable jumps on Lesnar’s back but he is also eliminated. Lesnar continues to dominate, taking out Sheamus and Drew. Lesnar and GUNTHER face off in the middle of the ring to a huge pop. The #13 entrant is Bobby Lashley as GUNTHER chops Lesnar. Lesnar launches GUNTHER but Lashley hits a Spear on Lesnar. Lashley runs wild with Spears and slams to everyone else now. Lesnar attacks but Lashley eliminates him. The crowd goes wild, no one can believe it.
Lesnar takes the top off the announce table and throws it in at Lashley as they have words. The #14 entrant is Baron Corbin, who comes out with WWE Hall of Famer JBL, who goes to the back. Lesnar throws a fit at ringside and slams the steel ring steps on the announce table. Lesnar decks Corbin before he can enter the ring, then drops him with a F5 at ringside. Lesnar slipped when he first attacked Corbin but he seems fine. Lesnar is furious over the elimination. Adam Pearce and officials are out to talk Lesnar down. Lesnar decks a referee, tossing him over the barrier. The timer goes off and the #15 entrant is Seth Rollins to a big pop.
Rollins struts to the ring as fans sing his theme. Rollins rolls Corbin in the ring, then immediately eliminates him to a pop. Rollins and Sheamus brawl now. The #16 entrant is Otis. Otis levels Gargano, then slams Drew. Otis launches Sheamus with a big throw. Otis continues with offense around the ring. The #17 entrant is Rey Mysterio. Rey’s music plays but he’s nowhere to be seen. Rollins superkicks Lashley, then decks GUNTHER. Lashley catches Rollins and they tangle. Rollins eliminates Lashley in a big shocker.
Otis hits The Caterpillar to GUNTHER. There’s still no sign of Rey. GUNTHER goes for Otis but Sheamus and Drew take over. The next entrant at #18 is Dominik Mysterio, wearing his father’s mask. Otis was just eliminated by Sheamus and Drew. Rollins with a Buckle Bomb to Gargano. GUNTHER works on Drew. Dominik stalls, taunting Sheamus from ringside. GUNTHER and Rollins go at it. GUNTHER dumps Rollins but he hangs on and fights back in from the apron. Drew tries to dump Gargano but he hangs on. Dominik rushes in to attack Sheamus from behind but it does nothing. The #19 entrant is Elias, who has his guitar.
Elias runs in with shots to everyone. Elias with a guitar smash over GUNTHER. Drew drops him and delivers a Claymore, right as Sheamus hits a Brogue to Elias. Sheamus and Drew eliminate Elias quickly. Gargano works on Dominik. The timer counts down and in at #20 is Finn Balor. Sheamus and Gargano work on Rollins. Drew beats Dominik around the ring as Balor takes his time. Balor runs to the ring now and saves Dominik with a Slingblade to Drew. Balor unloads on Rollins now. Gargano tosses Balor but he hangs on. Dominik decks Gargano and tosses him but he hangs on. Balor and Dominik eliminate Gargano. The #21 entrant is WWE Hall of Famer Booker T to a big pop.
Booker heads to the ring and he’s in great shape. Booker rushes in and ducks Balor, then kicks him down. Dominik attacks but Booker kicks him down. Booker with the Book End to Balor. Booker with the Spin-a-rooni in the middle of the ring for a pop. GUNTHER eliminates Booker. Fans boo. The #22 entrant is Damian Priest. Sheamus and Drew punish GUNTHER for tossing Booker out. Priest hits the ring with big forearms to anyone in his way, beating Drew down in the corner. Priest drops GUNTHER with a big right. The Judgment Day triple teams GUNTHER now, then Sheamaus. They triple team Drew and Rollins as well. The timer counts down and the #23 entrant is Montez Ford.
Priest is trying to eliminate Drew s Ford hits the ring and almost eliminates Dominik. Ford rocks Priest as he tries save Dominik. Ford rocks Priest but Balor saves him. Balor tosses Ford but he hangs on and pulls himself back in. Ford drops Balor with a big right. Priest eliminates Ford. Sheamus and Drew attack Dominik. The #24 entrant is WWE Hall of Famer Edge to a huge pop. The Judgment Day is terrified. Edge with a Spear to Priest, then one to Balor. Dominik kicks Edge from behind but Edge intercepts him with a Spear to avoid the 619. Edge eliminates Priest, then Balor. Edge and Rollins face off now. Dominik attacks Edge. Edge tries to dump Dominik but Balor pulls Edge to the floor. Edge is eliminated. Priest and Balor stomp away on Edge at ringside now.
The timer counts down and in at #25 is WWE United States Champion Austin Theory.Edge attacks The Judgment Day on the entrance-way but they double team him. Balor fights them off and takes out Priest and Balor. Rhea Ripley runs out and drops Edge from behind. WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix comes out from behind and Ripley is terrified. Ripley attacks but Beth nails a Spear. Pearce and officials come out to escort Edge and Beth to the back. Theory hits the ring and drops Rollins, then Dominik, then Drew. The #26 entrant is Omos.
Omos takes his time marching to the ring. Sheamus and Drew double team Theory. Rollins and Dominik go at it. Omos enters as Sheamus and Drew attack. Omos shoves them off and hits a double clothesline. Omos drops Theory, then Dominik, then slams Theory again. GUNTHER comes from behind as Omos talks trash. GUNTHER with chops. Omos chokeslams GUNTHER. Braun Strowman is out at #27. Omos headbutts Drew down. Omos waits for Strowman, but drops Drew while waiting. Braun enters and Omos stares him down. Braun barks at Omos as they face off and fans pop. Omos strikes first but Braun fights back and they go at it now. Braun dazes Omos. Braun eliminates Omos with a clothesline. Omos is furious.
Braun unloads on Rollins in the corner now. GUNTHER works on Dominik. Sheamus and Drew work on Theory. Braun launches Theory across the ring, then drops Dominik with a big boot. The #28 entrant is Ricochet. Ricochet hits the ring and unloads with offense. Braun fights off Sheamus and Drew. Sheamus and Drew work on Braun, now delivering double Beats of the Bodhrán. Sheamus levels GUNTHER with a knee to save Drew. Rollins and Theory fight it out in the corner. Sheamus and GUNTHER go at it. Ricochet works on dumping Dominik. Drew saves Sheamus as GUNTHER almost eliminates him. GUNTHER eliminates Sheamus and Drew at the same time and they can’t believe it.
The #29 entrant is Logan Paul in a surprise WWE return. Paul rushes the ring and asks who wants it as some fans boo him. Rollins, Theory and Ricochet stare him down. Everyone attacks Paul and they beat him down in the middle of the ring now. Ricochet tries to toss Paul but he hangs on and fights in. Paul with a big slingshot clothesline from the apron to Ricochet. GUNTHER tries to dump Paul but he fights back in. Braun and Paul have words now. Paul ducks Braun and delivers body shots. Braun scoops Paul for a big powerslam. Ricochet follows up with the standing Shooting Star Press to Paul. Braun tosses Paul but he hangs on.
The #30 entrant is Cody Rhodes to a big pop. The entrance-way fills with smoke and the pyro goes off as Cody makes his way out. Rhodes removes his jacket as some fans sing along with his theme. Rhodes stands tall as pyro explodes in the arena. Rhodes rushes the ring now, dropping Theory, then Dominik, then Braun. Theory scoops Cody but he slides out, then hits the Cody Cutter. Cody removes his weight belt and tosses it into the crowd. Dominik with two suplexes to Cody. He goes for the third but Cody blocks it and nails the CrossRhodes to a big pop. Cody eliminates Dominik. Braun with a big powerbomb to Cody. GUNTHER with the Last Symphony to Braun.
Ricochet drops GUNTHER with a standing Sliced Bread. Theory sends Ricochet to the apron but he fights back in. Paul and Ricochet springboard in from opposite sides of the ring, and they collide in mid-air. They smack hard and both go down. Everyone is shocked. Cody tosses Ricochet but he hangs on as a “this is awesome!” chant starts up. Braun helps Ricochet but Cody comes from behind. Cody eliminates Braun. Ricochet and Cody go at it now. Theory eliminates Ricochet. Cody and Theory go at it now. Cody with right hands in the corner.
We’re down to Cody, Theory, GUNTHER, Paul and Rollins, and technically Rey? Cody takes Theory down and Rollins follows up with a Stomp. Cody eliminates Theory with a clothesline. Rollins, Cody and GUNTHER trade looks now. Cody and Rollins face off in the middle of the ring, and they have words. GUNTHER drops Rollins, then clubs Cody into the ring. Rollins holds GUNTHER while Cody decks him. They double team GUNTHER some more. Rollins with a Pedigree to GUNTHER. Rhodes kicks GUNTHER and delivers a Pedigree of his own.
GUNTHER has been in for more than 62 minutes now, setting a new record for traditional Rumble matches. Rollins and Rhodes go at it. They trade finisher attempts. Rollins superkicks Cody down. Paul rushes back in and eliminates Rollins to a big shock. Paul is fired up and the crowd is shocked. Paul decks GUNTHER, then Cody. Paul points up at the WrestleMania 39 sign but fans boo loudly. Cody ducks Paul and delivers a CrossRhodes. Cody eliminates Paul.
Cody and GUNTHER go at it now. Cody with big right hands. GUNTHER with another big chop. GUNTHER charges but gets hung up on the rope, then the apron. Cody goes for the Disaster Kick but GUNTHER decks him in mid-air. GUNTHER with a big forearm to the chest. GUNTHER places Cody on the top turnbuckle and chops him. GUNTHER climbs up an tries to dump Cody but he hangs on. GUNTHER stomps Cody while he’s down on the apron, focusing on the previously-injured pec. Cody fights in from the apron. Cody goes to the top but GUNTHER chops him. GUNTHER climbs up for a superplex, and he hits it. Rhodes lands hard in the middle of the ring.
Rhodes keeps trying to fight but GUNTHER kicks him while he’s down. Rhodes hypes himself up now. They go at it and Rhodes mounts offense. Rhodes with a Cody Cutter. Rhodes sends GUNTHER to the apron but he hangs on. GUNTHER tries to come back in but Cody leg whips him. Rhodes unloads in the corner now. GUNTHER is trapped in the corner, legs wide. Cody runs and nails a low kick and GUNTHER goes down. GUNTHER nails a huge missile dropkick across the ring. GUNTHER with the powerbomb at his 1 hour and 10 minute mark. GUNTHER tosses Cody but he hangs on. GUNTHER keeps fighting and chopping.
Cody fights from the apron. GUNTHER with a Sleeper now. Rhodes starts fading on the apron. Cody comes back in and leaps off the top but GUNTHER chops him in mid-air. GUNTHER looks to dump Cody but Cody nails Cross Rhodes. Rhodes runs and clotheslines GUNTHER over the top rope for the elimination and the win.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
– After the match, the music hits as Rhodes begins his celebration. Rhodes drops to his knees and kisses the mat, then looks up at the WrestleMania 39 sign. Cody hits the corner to pose as the pyro goes off. He points up at the WrestleMania sign. It looks like Kingston and Rey were never officially eliminated.
– We go to a break and a WWE 2K23 commercial.
Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match: LA Knight vs. Bray Wyatt
We go back to the ring for the inaugural Mountain Dew Pitch Black match as LA Knight comes out first. Samantha Irvin announces that there are no rules, and you must win by pinfall or submission. The Bray Wyatt logo flashes on top of The Alamodome as we cut to a video package showing what led to this match. We go back to the arena and the lights go low as Wyatt makes his entrance, lantern in-hand. Wyatt’s lantern goes out as he reaches the ringside area. Fireflies are still lighting the arena up, but things are still pretty dark as Wyatt enters the ring.
Wyatt’s lantern lights back up as he wraps his entrance. The full arena lights come on now. Wyatt is wearing new ring gear. The bell rings and Wyatt has his back turned. The lights go low and now neon lights are lighting the arena. Wyatt turns upside down in the corner and he’s wearing glow paint. LA’s tights are also lit up in neon. Wyatt attacks and beats LA down.
Wyatt works LA over and launches him with a big throw across the ring. Wyatt punches LA into the corner, then beats him into the opposite corner. Wyatt launches LA with a big overhead chokebomb, using the bottom rope for support.
Knight rolls to the floor and Wyatt follows. Wyatt works LA against the barrier. LA counters an Irish whip and sends Wyatt knees-first into the steel ring steps. LA drags the stairs next to the e announce table and the end of the barrier. LA attacks but Wyatt sends him into the crowd. Wyatt takes apart the announce table now. There’s some sort of glowing liquid knocked all over the place. Wyatt pounds on LA and brings him back over the barrier using the steps. LA blocks a suplex onto the announce table. LA leaps up onto the barrier, then slams Wyatt through the announce table. The glowing liquid is scattered even farther.
LA returns to the ring as Wyatt throws a tool box into the ring, with tools falling out of it. Wyatt rushes in but LA attacks and beats him up. LA fights Wyatt off but Wyatt knocks him back to the floor. Knight uses a kendo stick now. LA leaps off the top with a kendo shot to the head. Wyatt comes right back with Sister Abigail in the middle of the ring for the pin to win out of nowhere.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
– After the match, Wyatt sits up and looks around as his eyes glow. We go to replays. Wyatt comes back up with some sort of gas mask on. He stalks LA and chases him out of the ring. LA beats on Wyatt with a kendo stick but the blows do nothing. Wyatt continues to stalk LA, now to the stage, while eating kendo stick shots. Wyatt applies the Mandible Claw and brings LA down to his back. Wyatt looks up and we see Uncle Howdy looking down from a platform. Howdy smiles and leaps off the platform, crashing down below to put LA through the stage. Flames shoot up and there’s an explosion as Wyatt stares at them while standing up on the stage. We get a replay and Wyatt looks on as a fire burns where LA and Howdy are. The Firefly Funhouse puppets also appeared on a platform up high as Wyatt posed.
– Mike Rome announces 51,338 fans in attendance at The Alamodome tonight. Pyro shoots off as fans cheer.
RAW Women’s Title Match: Alexa Bliss vs. Bianca Belair
We go back to the ring for one of tonight’s two title matches. Alexa Bliss is out first as we see events that led to this match. RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair is out next. We see Michelle McCool sitting at ringside with her daughters.
The bell rings and they go at it. Bliss unloads but Belair fights her off, then tosses her around a few times. Belair mounts Bliss in the corner with right hands but Bliss slams her on the back of her neck, then dropkicks her in the back. Bliss with aggressive offense now, kicking Belair around.
Bliss stretches Belair over her knees, then pulls her hair for leverage. Bliss keeps control and delivers double knees while Belair is on the middle rope. Belair kicks out at 1. Bliss grounds Belair now. Belair powers out and blocks a roll-up attempt. Bliss stays on Belair and clubs her for a 2 count. Bliss grounds Belair with another headlock, talking trash. Belair fights free and goes on to hit a suplex.
Belair keeps control and kips-up for a pop. Belair mounts Bliss in the corner with right hands now. Belair back-flips to the mat, then goes back to work. Belair sits on the top turnbuckle and rag-dolls Bliss with a Sleeper. Belair drops Bliss again and goes for a handspring moonsault but Bliss gets her knees up. Bliss charges but Belair scoops her to her shoulders, then face-first to the mat. Blair nails the handspring moonsault now but Bliss kicks out.
Bliss blocks the KOD and fights back with strikes. Belair blocks a basement dropkick. Bliss avoids a powerbomb, then kicks Belair and drops her with a DDT. Belair kicks out just in time. Bliss keeps Bliss down, then drops double knees. Bliss stands on Belair, then falls on her with a senton. Belair kicks out at 2. They tangle in the middle of the ring and Belair nails the KOD out of nowhere for the pin to win and retain.
Winner: Bianca Belair
– After the match, Belair stands tall as the music hits. We go to replays. Belair is making her exit now, raising the title in the air. Bliss is down and trying to recover in the ring when a video suddenly interrupts, with flashes of Bliss and a playground. We see some of her previous looks, including the black liquid and time with Bray Wyatt. Bliss watches from her knees in the ring. We hear Uncle Howdy ask, “Do you feel in charge?” Bliss looks on from the ring to end the segment.
30-Woman Royal Rumble Match
Back from a break and Samantha Irvin announces the rules for the Women’s Royal Rumble Match. The music hits and out comes Rhea Ripley at #1. We see what happened with Ripley and WWE Hall of Famers Edge and Beth Phoenix during the Men’s Royal Rumble. The winner of this match will earn a title shot at WrestleMania 39. Out next comes Liv Morgan at #2.
The bell rings and Liv points at the WrestleMania 39 sign. They go at it now. Ripley beats Liv down and smiles. Ripley tosses Liv into the corner. Liv fights back but Ripley rocks her and runs over her with a big boot. Liv blocks a suplex and drops Ripley, then hits the hip attack in the corner. Liv leaps off the top but Ripley catches her for a big suplex right as Dana Brooke comes out at #3. Brooke has been in every Women’s Rumble now. Brooke goes to the top with a double missile dropkick.
Brooke goes to work now. She launches Ripley shoulder-first into the ring post. Brooke slams Liv and basement dropkicks her. Liv goes to the top but Brooke cuts her off. Brooke climbs up and they fight. Brooke with a superplex. The #4 entrant is Emma to make her Rumble debut. Ripley grabs Brooke for a slam but it’s countered, or botched and they fall to the mat. Emma attacks Ripley and they tangle. Emma with a takedown. Emma and Liv double team Ripley in the corner. They all three try to dump Ripley but she hangs on. The #5 entrant is Shayna Baszler.
Baszler drops Emma, then fights off Ripley by bending her fingers back. Liv attacks Baszler from behind but Baszler drops her and nails a roundhouse kick. Baszler blocks Brooke and nails a backbreaker. Baszler drops Brooke and stomps the elbow. Ripley works on Emma while Baszler works on Brooke. Liv attacks Baszler to save Brooke. The #6 entrant is Bayley. Bayley dances to the ring and enters but Liv catches her with Ob-Liv-ion. Liv tries to dump Bayley but she hangs on. Bayley fights Liv off and mounts her with kicks and a right hand in the corner. The #7 entrant is “B-Fab” Briana Brandy in her Rumble debut. B-Fab blocks Emma and drops her, then fights of Liv and Baszler. B-Fab slams Brooke, then side-steps Bayley and superkicks her. B-Fab tangles with Ripley but gets dropped. Ripley eliminates B-Fab.
Ripley taunts B-Fab after the 36 second elimination, and Ripley has blood on her face. WWE NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez is out next at #8. Perez leaps off the top with a crossbody to Brooke. Perez runs wild on Baszler and Emma at the same time in the corner. Brooke fights off Ripley and launches her with a scissors. Perez is fired up to the home state pop. Perez keeps control and tries to dump Bayley. Emma and Liv and Brooke help her but Bayley hangs on. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Dakota Kai is out next at #9. Kai saves Bayley, then delivers a backbreaker to Perez. Brooke and Liv attack the Damage CTRL members, and now others join in.
The #10 entrant is WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion IYO SKY. Bayley and Kai are about to be eliminated but SKY hits the ring and nails a double missile dropkick to Liv and Brooke. SKY keeps delivering offense, taking out Baszler and others to a pop. Damage CTRL tries to dump Emma but she fights back in. also kicking Brooke. Damage CTRL eliminates Brooke, then they laugh at her. Kai eliminates Emma. Damage CTRL eliminates Perez now. Natalya makes her return at #11, coming back from the broken nose caused by Baszler, who looks shocked. Natalya decks Bayley, then Kai, then SKY, then Liv. Baszler nails her from behind. Baszler unloads on Natalya in the corner. Candice LeRae is out at #12.
LeRae hits the ring and attacks Kai, then launches SKY to the apron. LeRae sends Bayley into them both as she charges, but they hang on after being sent to the apron. Baszler levels LeRae with a big knee to the jaw. Natalya works on Liv. Natalya and Baszler have words again. Natalya slaps her, then nails a big German suplex off a counter. Baszler sends Natalya to the apron but she hangs on. Natalya ducks a kick and sends Baszler to the apron but she hangs on, only one foot touched. Baszler with the Kirifuda Clutch. Damage CTRL eliminates Natalya and Baszler at the same time. NXT’s Zoey Stark is out next at #13.
Stark rushes in and levels Bayley, then superkicks Liv, then takes out Kai with a kick. Stark launches SKY onto her head. Ripley sends Stark to the apron but she hangs on and fights back in. Stark works on dumping Ripley but she hangs on Damage CTRL works on LeRae and Liv in the corner. The timer goes off and the #14 entrant is Xia Li. Bayley begs Cole for help as she hangs on. Li hits the ring and unloads with kicks to her opponents. Li climbs Ripley in the corner and elbows her, then drops her again. SKY and Kai double team LeRae but she spikes them both to the mat. Bayley decks LeRae. LeRae fights Damage CTRL off again. SKY shoves LeRae off the top to eliminate her.
Becky Lynch is out at #15. Damage CTRL is worried. Lynch marches to the ring to a pop. SKY and Kai meet her at ringside but she drops them. Becky enters the ring and unloads on Bayley, beating her down in the corner to a pop. Lynch goes through the second rope but she’s not eliminated. She pulls Bayley out and sends her to the barrier. Becky fights Damage CTRL at ringside but they triple team her, sending her into the barrier. Officials order them to get back in the ring but thy toss Lynch over the announce table. The #16 entrant is Tegan Nox. Nox flies off the top and goes to work on the other competitors. Nox with a Facebuster to Li. Nox with a knee to Kai’s face. Liv leaps off Nox’s back to deck Stark. Nox with a Shiniest Wizard to Stark.
The #17 entrant is Asuka to a massive pop. Asuka is wearing a new Japanese Namahage mask. She removes the mask and has new face paint on. Asuka enters the ring and everyone is terrified. Asuka levels Nox, then Liv. Stark attacks but Asuka nails a German suplex. Bayley charges but Asuka dodges her elbow drop. Asuka and Bayley go at it now after Bayley slaps her. Asuka just laughs and smiles after the slap. Asuka yells out and unloads with strikes. Asuka tosses Bayley but she hangs on. Bayley decks Asuka and hangs her over the top rope. Nox attacks Asuka and thy tangle. Nox kicks Asuka down. Asuka eliminates Nox with a big kick.
Asuka blocks an elimination by Bayley. The #18 entrant is Piper Niven, no longer being called Doudrop, and making her return from heart issues. Niven drops Bayley, then Nox, then Stark. Niven with a big corner splash to Stark. Niven catches Li in mid-air, slams her and hits a senton. Niven drops Liv and Bayley, then splashes them both at the same time. The #19 entrant is Tamina Snuka. Tamina rushes in and stares Niven down. They face off in the middle of the ring as fans pop. They’re attacked by others but they fight them off. Niven and Tamina go at it now. Tamina superkicks Niven down. Damage CTRL beats Tamina down but Lynch makes the save as she re-enters the match. Lynch with double inverted DDTs to Kai and SKY. The #20 entrant is Chelsea Green making her return to WWE.
Green talks trash and enters the ring but Ripley immediately tosses her out for the elimination. Green throws a fit at ringside. Becky eliminates Kai, then SKY. Bayley eliminates Lynch and fans boo. Liv comes from behind to eliminate Bayley. Damage CTRL triple teams Becky at ringside now. Lynch and Damage CTRL brawl through the crowd now. The #21 entrant is Zelina Vega, who is dressed as a Street Fighter 6 character. Cole says Vega will be doing commentary for the game. Vega hits the ring and hits a big Destroyer to Ripley. Niven scoops Vega and places her on the apron. Vega fights back and drops Niven. Vega points at the WrestleMania 39 sign. Li attacks Vega on the apron and they go at it. Vega catches a kick and slams Li on her face. Vega eliminates Li with a kick. Vega spikes Niven and kicks her.
The #22 entrant is Raquel Rodriguez to a big home state pop. Raquel runs wild with power moves, and takes down Ripley with a big shot. Raquel also takes Asuka down. Vega attacks but Raquel fights her off. The timer goes off and the #23 entrant is Mia Yim. Yim rushes in and fights Stark off, nailing a big tornado DDT. Yim dropkicks Tamina down in the corner. Yim keeps fighting and drops Ripley with a tornado DDT. Niven decks Yim and tries to eliminate her but she hangs on. Raquel works on eliminating Stark but she also comes back in. Vega and Yim, and Asuka, triple team Niven.
The #24 entrant is Lacey Evans. Evans rushes in and levels Niven with a kick, then she kicks Tamina and Liv. Tamina tosses Evans to the apron but she fights back in. Stark drops Evans on the apron but Evans kicks her down. Evans launches herself in from the apron with a big elbow drop to Stark. Evans stands tall and salutes. Tamina clotheslines Evans from behind. The #25 entrant is Michelle McCool.
McCool is still at ringside with her daughters. She removes her jacket and comes over the barrier. Tamina meets McCool at ringside but McCool sends her into the ring post and steel steps. McCool comes in and drops Ripley, then Niven, then catches Vega in mid-air with the Faithbreaker. McCool continues taking people out and poses for a pop. Tamina comes back in and attacks but McCool sends her to the apron. McCool eliminates Tamina. McCool works on Niven in the corner now. The #26 entrant is Indi Hartwell of NXT.
Indi hits the ring and mounts offense. A lot of people are down and suffering as the match goes on. The #27 entrant is Sonya Deville. Stark and Yim trade offense now. Yim hits Eat Defeat. Deville enters and levels Stark. Deville eliminates Stark, telling her to go back to NXT. Deville drops Raquel but Asuka attacks. Asuka and Deville go at it now, dropping each other with kicks. Vega fights off Evans. Raquel unloads on Liv in the corner. Evans chokes Vega out with the Cobra Clutch, then launches her to the floor. Vega has been eliminated.
Shotzi makes her return at #28, riding her TCB Tank. Shotzi rushes the ring and goes to the top, then flies at Raquel and Niven with a double crossbody. Raquel tosses Shotzi into the ropes but she fights back. Shotzi sends Evans to the apron but she hangs on. Deville tries to eliminate Shotzi but she hangs on. Indi fights Deville off from the apron. Deville eliminates Indi. The #29 entrant is Nikki Cross. Cross sprints to the ring and nails Shotzi, then fights off Deville, Liv, Asuka, Yim, McCool, Niven, Ripley Evans, Raquel. Cross is fired up as she removes her jacket and points to the WrestleMania 39 sign. Cross and Evans go at it now. Asuka works on dumping Liv. Niven works on McCool.
The timer goes off and the #30 entrant is Nia Jax. Everyone stops and watches Jax march to the ring. Jax is all smiles. She enters and dares anyone to attack. They all attack her but she explodes out. Jax starts dropping opponents now. Raquel and Jax face off in the middle of the ring to a big pop. Raqul can’t scoop Jax and she gets dropped. Liv jumps on Jax’s back but gets slammed. Jax screams out about being back, bitch. Everyone takes turns on Jax now, stunning her. Ripley beats Jax down. Ripley manages to hit a Riptide on Jax. Ripley then orders everyone to eliminate Jax. Jax has been eliminated.
Jax remains at ringside and she’s not happy. Cross and McCool fight in the corner. Niven and Liv go at it. Ripley kicks Raquel away. Deville works on Asuka. Evans and Raquel go at it. Raquel eliminates Evans. Asuka and Raquel go at it now. Asuka blocks the Texana Bomb and takes Raquel down in a submission. Raquel powers up and slams Asuka to the apron. Deville attacks Raquel. Raquel sends Deville to the apron but she hangs on. Deville and Asuka double team Raquel from the apron. Asuka knees Deville but Deville kicks her. Asuka kicks Deville to the floor an she’s eliminated.
Ripley eliminates McCool. Yim works on Shotzi, then eliminates her with Eat Defeat. Niven eliminates Yim. Niven with big power moves to Raquel to put her down in the corner. Raquel sends Niven tot he apron and eliminates her with a big boot. Raquel celebrates but Ripley attacks. They tangle and Ripley eliminates Raquel with a boot. Cross and Asuka fight Ripley off after she tries to dump them. Cross and Asuka fight on the apron now. Liv eliminates Cross.
It’s down to Liv, Ripley and Asuka now. Asuka fights them both off. Asuka is double teamed. Ripley is sent to the apron by Liv but she fights back. Liv is pulled to the apron and kicked down by Ripley. Asuka with a Hip Attack but Ripley blocks it. Asuka is also pulled to the apron, and all three are out. Asuka spits her mist but Ripley ducks and it hits Liv. Ripley eliminates Asuka.
Ripley smiles and taunts Asuka while Liv is blinded by the mist. Ripley grabs Liv but Liv nails Ob-Liv-ion. Ripley slips off the apron but she hangs on. Liv still can’t see but Ripley pulls herself up and grabs her with a scissors, then launches her to the floor for the final elimination to get the win.
Winner: Rhea Ripley
– After the match, Ripley sits up and bites the ropes as the music hits. She is all smiles as Asuka and Liv look on from the floor. Ripley hits the corner to pose, and she points up at the WrestleMania 39 sign s the pyro goes off. We see more pyro going off outside of The Alamodome. We go to replays. Ripley continues her celebration while sitting on the top turnbuckle.
– The announcers show us what happened with Brock Lesnar during tonight’s opener.
– Country rock singer Hardy performs his “Sold Out” single on the stage.
– Cole leads us to a video package for tonight’s main event.
Undisputed WWE Universal Title Match: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event and out first comes Kevin Owens to a pop. Out next comes The Bloodline – Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns with Paul Heyman and Sami Zayn. Reigns stops and Heyman hands him the Universal Title belt, the WWE Title is around his waist. Reigns raises the gold as the pyro goes off. Reigns, Heyman and Zayn then march to the ring as Owens looks on. Reigns barks strategy at Sami from ringside. They enter the ring and Reigns raises the gold to more pyro. Owens watches from the top turnbuckle. The bell rings and we get formal ring introductions from Samantha Irvin. Reigns slowly walks towards Owens during the introductions and taunts him with the belts.
The bell hits and here we go. They size each other up as Reigns talks to the camera about teaching Owens a lesson tonight. A “Sami Uso!” chant starts up. They lock up and Reigns applies a headlock. Reigns drops Owens with a shoulder. Reigns talks some trash, then talks to Sami about how to teach Owens a lesson. They lock up again and Reigns applies another headlock.
Reigns turns Owens inside out with another shoulder. Owens regroups in the corner as Reigns gloats. Reigns taunts Owens and they lock up again. They run the ropes and now Owens drops Reigns with an elbow Owens with a senton and some trash talking to Sami. Owens stomps away on Reigns in the corner, then delivers a corner cannonball. Owens yells out as Reigns rolls to the floor for a breather. Owens follows and works Reigns around the ringside area.
Reigns fights back but Owens rocks him. Owens blocks a whip and sends Reigns into the barrier, then clotheslines him. Owens with a senton on the floor as the referee counts. Owens brings it back in and beats Reigns into the corner with body shots. Reigns whips Owens hard into the corner and he lands on his neck. Reigns with a chokeslam in the middle of the ring for a 2 count. Cole wonders if that was a Rock Bottom. Reigns with a Drive By. Reigns brings Owens back in and works him over. Owens tries to fight back but Reigns unloads with big clothesline blows in the corner. The referee backs Reigns off. Owens fights Reigns and now they trade big strikes in the middle of the ring.
Reigns with a big boot but Owens comes right back with a clothesline. Owens beats Reigns against the ropes. They keep fighting and Owens clotheslines Reigns over the top rope to the floor. Owens with a Frogsplash off the apron to the floor. Owens brings it back in and hits a big Frogsplash from the top. Reigns kicks out just in time as Sami and Heyman look concerned from ringside.
Owens yells at Reigns to get up, calling him a piece of crap. Reigns blocks the superkick and nails a sitdown powerbomb in the middle of the ring for a close 2 count. Reigns turns to the crowd and raises his 1 for boos and cheers. Owens dodges the Superman Punch, then delivers a German suplex. Owens charges but Reigns nails a Superman Punch for a close 2 count.
Fans rally now as Reigns goes to the corner to wait for Owens. Reigns calls for the Spear but Owens side-steps and sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Owens superkicks Reigns down. Owens goes to the top and hits the big Swanton Bomb for a close 2 count. Sami and Heyman are worried. Owens delivers right hands to keep Reigns down now. Owens goes to the top but Reigns rocks him. Reigns climbs up for a superplex but Owens fights back. Owens knocks Reigns down but Reigns rocks him and climbs back up. Reigns tries for the superplex but Owens headbutts him. Owens sends Reigns to the mat with an elbow. Owens goes for the big moonsault but he slips and lands hard. Owens quickly recovers and hits Reigns. Owens goes on but misses a moonsault, then Reigns barely hits a Spear. Owens kicks out at 2. Reigns plays to the crowd now to boos and cheers.
Reigns calls for the Spear. Owens meets him with a knee. Reigns blocks the Stunner and sends Owens into the referee, who goes down. Reigns charges but Owens nails the Pop-Up Powerbomb. Owens covers but there’s no referee. Owens makes the pin for several seconds but the referee isn’t counting. Reigns drops Owens with a low blow. Reigns tells Sami to grab a steel chair. Sami says you told me to do nothing. Reigns yells and Sami grabs a chair but he’s having trouble finding it. He finally grabs a chair from under the ring but he hesitates. Reigns asks Sami what he’s doing. Reigns finally gets the chair but Owens meets him with a big Stunner. The referee counts but Reigns kicks out just in time. Sami breathes a big sigh of relief.
Reigns blocks Pop-Up Powerbomb with a Superman Punch. Reigns follows up with a Spear but Owens kicks out just in time. Reigns is also a bit worried now. Sami paces at ringside. Owens stumbles out and collapses at the announce table. Owens crawls to Sami near the barrier. Owens pulls himself up. Sami tells Owens to just stay down, what’s wrong with you. Owens tries to pull himself up using Sami. Reigns runs over and puts Owens through the barrier with a Spear.
Reigns brings Owens back in the ring but Owens falls back to the floor. Reigns follows and slams Owens back into the sharp part of the stairs, with the back of his head and his back hitting the steel. Sami is shocked. Reigns slams Owens back into the steps one more time. Reigns brings Owens back in. Heyman says this is why he worships Reigns. Heyman tells Sami to acknowledge his Tribal Chief. Sami raises his 1 as Heyman praises Reigns from the floor. Owens rocks Reigns with a punch but Reigns comes right back with a Spear for the pin to win and retain.
Winner: Roman Reigns
– After the match, the music hits as Reigns sits up on his knees in the middle of the ring. Sami looks relived that the match is over as he begins clapping. Sami and Heyman enter the ring to stand with Reigns as Reigns raises both titles in the air. We go to replays. Solo Sikoa and Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos are in the ring now. They all have red leis on, but Jey Uso holds the one for Sami. Reigns stops Jey from placing the lei around Sami’s neck because he has something planned for Owens, and wants Sami to watch. Jimmy Uso mounts Owens with right hands at Reigns’ direction. Jey joins in. Reigns smiles as he watches. The Usos lay Owens out with the 1D. Reigns has his arm around Sami while they watch, but Sami isn’t enjoying this. Jimmy beats Owens down in the corner. Jey grabs a chair and The Usos wrap it around Owens’ neck. Some fans chant for Sami. Sikoa delivers the Umaga Splash to Owens with the chair wrapped around his neck. Heyman hands two pair of handcuffs to Owens. The Usos cuff both of Owens’ arms to the top rope, holding him up there. The Usos take turns delivering eight superkicks to Owens, then one double superkick, and another double superkick, all while Owens is cuffed to the top rope by each arm. Fans chant “Sami!” now. Reigns has the chair in-hand as he talks trash to Owens about how Sami is his family. Reigns goes to swing the chair but Sami gets in the way, telling him to stop. Sami says this is done, it’s over, this is beneath Reigns and he’s better than this. Sami says this doesn’t need to go any further because Owens is done. Reigns then hands the chair to Sami. Sami doesn’t want it. Reigns stares at Sami while holding the chair up but Sami pleads. Reigns says there’s no going back now, we’ve come too far, Sami is ours, and they are Sami’s. Reigns says Owens has dragged him down from day one, while Reigns loves him and has let him be a part of something big when before he was doing Jackass shit.
Sami is behind Reigns now, with the chair. Reigns barks at Owens and turns to Sami, telling him to pull the trigger. Sami is crying now. Reigns mushes him in the face a few times. Reigns is yelling in Sami’s face now. Fans chant for Sami as he prepares to deliver the chair shot. Sami smacks Reigns in the back with the chair, bringing Reigns down. Everyone is shocked. Sami drops the chair and turns to The Usos, telling him he’s sorry. Jey yells back and asks Sami why he did this. Jimmy superkicks Sami down. Jimmy yells at Jey, asking if this is his brother. No, I’m your brother. Jimmy mounts Sami with right hands as Jey watches. Sikoa grabs Sami and nails the Samoan Spike. Sikoa holds Sami down while Jimmy beats on him and Reigns yells in his face. Sikoa with headbutts. Jey is almost balled up in the corner. Reigns yells at him about how Sami isn’t his family, we are. Jimmy pounds on Sami some more. Jey drops down and rolls out of the ring as the crowd erupts. Jey walks to the back but it looks like he’s a bit emotional. Reigns smacks Sami with chair shots over the back in the middle of the ring, numerous chair shots. Fans boo. Reigns mounts Sami with punches now. Owens is still cuffed to the top rope. Fans chant “fuck you Roman!” now. Jimmy hands the red lei meant for Sami to Reigns now. Reigns rips the red flowers off and tosses them on Sami and around the ring. The boos get louder. Jimmy has Sami’s Bloodline t-shirt that was ripped off him. Reigns exits the ring, and he’s followed by Sikoa, Jimmy and Heyman. The Bloodline, minus Jey, stops and looks back at the ring. We see Sami and Owens both laid out. We cut to a video package of highlights from tonight’s show. The 2023 WWE Royal Rumble Premium Live Event goes off the air.
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