So the Royal Rumble just culminated, and I had a load of moments where I marked out. I had to talk about them.
The Last Man Standing Intercontinental Championship match opened the card, and Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose set the world on fire. They didn’t go to the extent of setting each other on fire, but they did do some brutal things to each other. The two have incredible chemistry, and the added stipulation served as a good purpose. Ambrose’s character doesn’t care about what happens to his body, and Owens was made to look hungry for his championship back. In the end, Owens was pushed off the top rope, through two tables on the outside, and Ambrose won. What a great start.
Following up, was the tag team championship match, between The New Day, who retained, and The Usos. It wasn’t the best match for me, at the start, but it started to pick up its pace as it went along, and was a fun match. Nothing spectacular, but it was good.
The next match was between Alberto Del Rio and Kalisto, for the United States Championship. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I loved this match. It felt like an homage to wrestling. It was pure. Both men went back and forth, and it was intense. There was no overbooking, no interference, just a wrestling match. And I was genuinely happy when Kalisto won.
The disappointment of the night was the women’s match for me. Charlotte and Becky Lynch should have stolen the show, and I have a feeling they could have. But the match felt out of place. For one thing, Ric Flair kissed Becky, completely out of context. For another, it was much too short. And it ended so awkwardly, with Flair being accidentally kicked by Charlotte, and then distracting Becky, and allowing Charlotte to win. With the insane amount of progress that women’s wrestling has had, especially on the main roster, I expected more. Sasha Banks did return, however, so it could be interesting going forward.
Of course, the match I’m going to talk about most is the Royal Rumble match, this time for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Roman Reigns, of course, entered at number one, defending his championship. In the most heelish of acts, Rusev was number two, but surprisingly was eliminated quickly. In fact, the booking decisions for the first third of this match were a bit odd, but that was good. It was different to other Rumbles.
After Rusev was eliminated, I, like the rest of the wrestling world, lost my mind. Rumoured for weeks, it may have been, but nobody could ever be certain. Roman Reigns was eyeing the stage, waiting to see who would enter, and foreign music hit. The crowd cheered the loudest it did the whole night. And AJ Styles stepped out. This gives the Rumble a billion extra points. Just for giving us this. It appears as if everything is right in the wrestling world today. Except TNA, of course.
The next few entrants came in, and were eliminated by Reigns and Styles. When Jericho came in, things started to shape into the traditional Royal Rumble, and it got crowded. Jericho was the longest runner in the match, lasting over fifty minutes. He was a part of the final five.
At number thirteen, one of the biggest stories in the match began, when Luke Harper entered. He was soon joined by Braun Strowman, and they slowly began to take control. In the meanwhile, Vince McMahon and the League of Nations pulled Roman Reigns out of the ring and assaulted him, leaving him helpless. He left. But was never officially eliminated. I knew from a mile away where they were going with this.
Soon, Kevin Owens and then Dean Ambrose, both men who got destroyed at each other’s hands earlier in the night, entered. Owens got the most boos of the night when he eliminated AJ Styles. Heels are fun. Sami Zayn made a surprise return, and eliminated his long-time rival Owens.
Erick Rowan entered, and The Wyatt Family took complete control, eliminating people left and right. At number twenty-three, Brock Lesnar made his way in, and shook everything up. He eventually eliminated all three Wyatts, and then Bray Wyatt entered. Despite being eliminated, all Wyatts surrounded and attacked Lesnar, eventually helping Bray Wyatt eliminate him. That was a great narrative element. And I am pretty sure we’ll get a match between Bray Wyatt and Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, or even Fastlane. Which is certainly good news.
Dolph Ziggler entered. Sheamus entered, at number twenty-nine. On his way down to the ring, Roman Reigns ran through him and started to tear the ring apart, with everyone in it. When the clock was ticking down to number thirty, Reigns was the only one standing, and eyed down the ramp.
And then, something incredible happened. The lights went green, and Triple H entered. The landscape changed completely.
When Triple H came down to the ring, he and Reigns brawled, and then came the best Royal Rumble ending in years. Ambrose, Jericho, Ziggler, Triple H, Sheamus, Wyatt and Reigns just wrestled each other out. It was beautiful to watch. Triple H eliminated Bray Wyatt, Sheamus eliminated Jericho, and Reigns eliminated Sheamus.
Then, from behind, Triple H eliminated Roman Reigns. That was it. Roman Reigns lost his WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H exacted revenge on Reigns, and there were two left.
Never would I have predicted that the final two would be Triple H and Dean Ambrose. The two went back and forth for a while, but in the end, Triple H became the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, which a lot of people aren’t happy with. Not me. I’m very happy.
In the end, I’m going to rate every individual match, and then the show overall.
On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating: