Another year, another rumble. Another Royal Rumble. 1 year on from our first review back, it’s time to dig into another Royal Rumble. Massive spoilers ahead yo. Also I didn’t watch the preshow, so we’re not going to talk about that.
Token Women’s Match
The PPV kicked off with a Women’s Title match between Bayley and Charlotte. The commentators are still bigging up Charlotte’s PPV win streak. What are the odds she wins tonight? Pretty good I’d wager. The two have a pretty good back and forth match that sees Bayley get some great offense in on Charlotte, despite never hitting her finisher. Eventually Charlotte hits the Natural Selection on the ring apron for the three count. A short bun fun match that was a great opener for the PPV.
KO vs The BooMan
In the Dolph Ziggler champion slot, it’s Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns for the Universal Title, with Chris Jericho in a shark cage above the ring. The San Antonio crowd is hot for KO and Jericho, and not having any of Roman. The two have a real slugfest. The match is No DQ, so there are a lot of table, chairs, and painful uses for both. The lads work from big spot to big spot without any real breaks in between. Owens puts Roman through a table on the outside with a Frog Splash, Roman throws Owens through a chair pyramid, lots of brutal spots. Eventually Braun Strowman interferes and costs Roman the belt. It’s nice to see Roman lose, but the ending makes KO look weak, which only devalues the title. Overall a very fun and hard-hitting match.
My God heel Neville is great, isn’t he? I’ll admit 205 Live has generally been kinda shite but the one great thing on it is Neville. His heel turn was long overdue and he is knocking it out of the park. Rich Swann is good in the ring, but he’s pretty boring overall and he can’t hold a candle to Neville. The two work a very fast paced match with lots of high spots. Both guys get their licks in, and eventually Neville picks up the win with his excellent heel submission finisher. Lo and behold, the rightful King of the Cruiserweights is crowned. Good stuff.
Oh goody, it’s Big Match John vs The Nature Hoot. Cena vs Styles, one more time. The last match between these two was match of the year for the WWE, so could they top it this time around? Maybe. I can’t say a lot to sum up this match, but it was fucking excellent. The match had a far different feel from their Summerslam encounter but still somehow managed to be just as good, maybe. These two work so well together, and this match is match of the night, no question. Eventually Cena picked up the win and his 16th world title, tying Ric Flair’s record. Congrats John.
The Rimble, The Royal Rimble
Oh doctor, time for the one match a year everyone gets excited for and then disappointed by. This year’s was the first rumble in quite a while that wasn’t insanely predictable. People were extremely excited for the possibility of a real up and comer winning, like Sami Zayn. The rumble was very entertaining to watch, entrants were spaced out well and the action in the ring was very consistent. Without Roman in the rumble, the camera actually catches all the action, which makes it so much better to watch. One of the big detriments of the rumble is that there was only one surprise entrant. To be fair, Tye Dillinger coming out at number ten was the best moment of the rumble. Another problem with the rumble is how the part timers are booked to use the main talent as cannon fodder. When Brock Lesnar entered the rumble, he tossed out several stars ez- pz with no fanfare at all, including Dean Ambrose. Sure this makes Brock look good, but it chops the legs off the people who actually show up every week. All was well until the last 5 minutes of the rumble. The Undertaker came out at number 29, so naturally everyone assumes that number 30 is going to be a big debut or a big return. And then number 30 happens. And it’s Roman Reigns.
Roman enters the rumble to some nuclear heat, and eliminates The Undertaker straight away. This got the crowd to chant a mixture of “This is bullshit” and “We want refunds”. Eventually Randy Orton last eliminates Reigns to win the Royal Rumble.
Christ that last 5 minutes was infuriating. Consensus seems to be that Vince sent Roman out last as a heat magnet to ensure Orton would get a pop when he won. It worked, but if you need to do that to ensure the winner gets cheered, you probably picked the wrong winner. It’s not all bad, there are some guys who had incredible performances in the rumble; Sami Zayn, Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin, and Chris Jericho. So it was better than last couple of rumbles, but that’s not a very high bar.
Should You Care?
I suppose so. The show itself had its ups and downs, but the ups were pretty great. Most of the feuds for Wrestlemania were fleshed out (spoilers: we’re getting Roman vs The Undertaker). If you plan to watch Mania, give this a watch, if for nothing else then for Cena vs Styles. Let us know what you thought of the Rumble in the comments.