home | wrestling | flashback_reviews | wwe | royal-rumble

WWE Royal Rumble 2020

by Scrooge McSuck

Royal Rumble 2020

Presented LIVE on the WWE Network (remember a time before Peacock? Scrooge McSuck remembers) on January 26th, 2020, from the Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX, with an announced attendance of 42,715 fans (hopefully no one banging a trash can from the bleachers). Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T are all inside the park to call the action, unless otherwise noted. I'm surprised to see this wasn't in the archives, but then I went back and saw an unfinished file where I only covered the men's match. You could say this is when my love for WWE was waning. Matches featured on the Kickoff Show: Sheamus def. Shorty G (Chad Gable with a dumb name change) and Andrade def. Humberto Carrillo to retain the U.S. Championship.

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin:

"This rivalry has been brewing and percolating for months" sayeth Michael Cole. Corbin, along with Dolph Ziggler, humiliated Reigns by smearing dog food on his face. THOSE SAVAGES! I think I remember why I stopped giving a crap, just watching Corbin carried to the ring in attempt #8 in trying to make him a big deal, only to have the crowd react with apathy. Roman attacks the geeks carrying Corbin to the ring, allowing Corbin to get the first shot in at the bell. Roman turns it around, sending Corbin into the ring and unloading with right hands. Corbin bails out to escape a Samoan drop, but Roman cuts him off from entering the crowd. Back inside, Roman with the Cena-style back suplex for two. Roman loads up for the Superman Punch but Corbin counters with Deep Six (an angled back suplex) for two. Corbin dumps Roman and gently bops him with the ring steps. He wastes time undressing a table, allowing Roman to rally. Corbin bails into the "WWE universe", with Roman in hot pursuit. Corbin finds his way to the timekeeper's table, hitting Roman with the bell and slamming him onto the table for a near-fall. I honestly forgot this was Falls Count Anywhere. Roman fights back with right hands, but the Superman Punch is countered with a Chokeslam through the undressed table for another near fall. There's WAY too much silence from the commentary, especially knowing how anal Vince is. We take another long walk through the crowd. Now Corbin clears out the "International Tables", only for Roman to hit a Samoan drop through one of them. I guess the Spanish and German tables at ringside were the All-Access International Tables? Roman scoops up Corbin and puts him through another table for two. We get ANOTHER LONG WALK OF NOTHING HAPPENING. Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler show up to try and drum up interest, as do Jimmy and Jey Uso. Why should I care about 4 men fighting each other WHO AREN'T PART OF THE ACTUAL MATCH? Roman and Corbin return from the phantom zone, with Roman finally hitting the Superman Punch. They make their way to the port-o-toilets. Corbin gets sent into one ("the king gets to sit on his throne!") and Roman tips it over. I'm sorry, but without some chocolatey goodness on Corbin, there's no extra points awarded. Corbin whips a chair out of thin air to even the odds. Roman keeps spamming the Superman Punch and spears Corbin on the top of the visitor's dugout for three at 21:19. Going long for the sake of going long. I honestly wouldn't mind a 10-minute brawl between these two, but 20+ minutes? Pass. *½

30-Woman Royal Rumble Match:

Remember a time when the WWE had enough women under contract to fill the match without a bunch of guest appearances? 90-second intervals announced, but highly unlikely that is honored. #1 is Alexa Bliss and #2 is Bianca Belair. Belair was still part of the NXT roster at this point. Corey Graves comically says there isn't a lot of footage of the NXT roster to study, except for the years' worth of NXT content on the Network, along with several dozen Takeover specials. Neither woman wastes time attempting an elimination. Blair blocks the spinning head-scissors and counters with a back breaker before hitting a lion-sault. #3 is Mighty Molly. I'm always OK with a Molly appearance, thank you very much. She avoids a double-team, laying Belair and Bliss out with a clothesline, followed by a flying cross body press. #4 is Nikki Cross (pre A.S.H. days), best friend of Alexa Bliss. Bliss and Nikki work together and hug it out (you got to give the people what they want). Molly and Belair turn it around, with Belair giving Cross the KOD onto Bliss. This is a longer 90-seconds than Molly's. All four women end up down until the counter begins. #5 is Lana. She's got a microphone. Did they ever explain her sudden lack of a Russian accent? I know during the Dolph days she was "taking lessons", but that was abruptly ignored. X-Factor to Nikki and that's about it. #6 Mercedes Martinez. She gets the usual shine, tossing around everyone in the ring. She leaves Lana hanging out to dry, but Lana avoids being eliminated. #7 is Liv Morgan. We know who she's going for (Lana), spearing Lana through the ropes to knock her out as the 1st elimination at 8:31. Lana pays tribute to Daniel Bryan, screaming "No" a lot. Martinez sends Morgan over the top rope, allowing Lana to jerk her to the floor for the cheap elimination at 9:11. #8 is Mandy Rose (still blonde and teasing a babyface turn). Nikki challenges her to bring it and Rose puts her down with a shoulder block. Rose with a delayed suplex to position Nikki on the apron, but Nikki fights her way in, rips her jacket off and hits a diving body press. #9 is Candice LeRae. She comes off the top with a missile dropkick on Martinez and hits Nikki with our second lionsault of the match (but not called as such because AEW). Belair dumps Molly at 12:21. Mandy gets thrown over by Bliss, but she lands on OTIS, who allows himself to be used as a platform for Mandy to get back in the ring. AND THE CROWD LOVES IT. #10 is Sonya Deville. I don't think she cares for Otis and Mandy's flirting. She throws hands at all the bodies. Snap mare and sliding knee to the chest of Nikki. Fire and Desire target LeRae, unsuccessfully. They hit the high-low on Martinez and toss her at 15:22.

#11 is Kairi Sane. She comes off the top with her hypnotic umbrella and hits a double-spear on Bliss and Cross. Sonya gets sent across the ring with a spinning head-scissors. #12 is Mia Yim. Sane hits the Insane Elbow on LeRae. Yim hits Sane with a neck breaker, followed by Eat DeFeet on Cross. Cross tries saving Bliss, but Belair fights her off and uses Bliss to knock Cross off the apron at 18:26. Bliss winds up on the apron, holding onto Belair's hair for dear life. Sonya accidentally knocks Rose off the apron, but Otis catches her. Belair sends Sonya to the apron and knocks her off onto Otis and Mandy, eliminating Fire and Desire at 19:04. The match needed more Mandy, but whatever. #13 is Dana Brooke. No one cares. She comes off the top with a Swanton bomb, then hits a handspring elbow in the corner. Yim fights off the shoulders of Brooke and lights her up with slaps and kicks. Belair press slams LeRae over and out at 20:43. Bliss avoids the double stomp, knocking Sane off the top rope and to the floor at 21:22. I wonder if that was planned or a whoops elimination. #14 is Tamina. Even less people care (until WrestleMania 37, when people suddenly did). She throws herself a SUPER-KICK PAR-TAY until meeting her match in Bianca Belair and is eliminated at 22:39. Thanks for coming, Tamina. #15 is Dakota Kai. FRESHLY TURNED HEEL DAKOTA KAI, that is. She lands some kicks on Brooke. Meanwhile, Bliss eliminates Yim at 23:51. I'm happy to see they aren't cluttering the ring. #16 is Chelsea Green (with their knockoff Tony Khan). The crowd doesn't care. Maybe she should've pitched WWE some ideas. She immediately dumps Kai 24:55. Ouch. Your only shine was trading strikes with DANA BROOKE. Green showboats and Bliss dumps her at 25:01. Insert your favorite laughing gif here. Brooke tries to overplay her hand and is gone at 25:20, leaving the two women who started the match in the ring. Twisted Bliss meets the knees. They end up together on the apron. Bliss goes for the hair again, but Belair falls through the ropes, sending Bliss into the steel post and to the floor at 26:36. LONG 90-seconds. Belair stands alone after her 8th elimination. #17 is Charlotte Flair. OF F*CKING COURSE. For the record, if the intervals were truly 90-seconds, we'd be about 23-minutes in, so we've got a 4-minute inflation so far. Charlotte lights Belair up with chops. #18 is Naomi. It feels like Naomi disappears for months before making a Rumble appearance. Jumping head-scissors to Belair. She stalemates Charlotte on a dropkick, so they target Belair. The alliance is short lived, however. #19 is Beth Phoenix. Thankfully she didn't make goofy faces waiting for her music. Her shine is to set Naomi up for a springboard body press. That was nice of her. #20 is Toni Storm. She runs wild with clotheslines and puts the boots to Charlotte in the corner. Belair goes high risk, allowing Charlotte to boot her to the floor at 33:21 to end her impressive run.

#21 is Kelly Kelly. Meh. She busts out a Thesz Press on Naomi and still looks awkward hitting the ropes as she does an extended spinning head-scissors. Then we get a stink face to set the division back a few decades. Phoenix tries dumping Charlotte, unsuccessfully. #22 is Sarah Logan. She looks geared up for an insurrection. She lunges at Charlotte like a feral animal and can't get much of an advantage. Logan ends up on the apron and Charlotte boots her down at 36:31. That might be the quickest elimination of the match. Kelly Squared goes for Charlotte and gets dumped herself at 36:54. Good, I hate typing her name. #23 Natalya. She must be a heel; she's not smiling enough. She hits a discus clothesline on Charlotte and reunites with Phoenix for the eventual "turn on your former partner" spot we've only seen maybe three times already in the history of Women's Rumbles. Charlotte eats a double powerbomb, and instead of, you know, logically trying to toss her, Natalya and Beth go after someone tied up in the ropes. GOOD STRATEGY. #24 is Xia Li. She's doing her best Mortal Kombat cosplay you can when you aren't Zelina Vega. She boots people in the face. I don't know where it happened, but Beth has blood pooling on the top of her head. #25 is Zelina Vega. Speak of the devil, looking a bit like Syndel. She hits Naomi with a tornado DDT, then Phoenix with a flying hurricanrana. Triple team effort on Charlotte and she still holds on. #26 is Shotzi Blackheart. Will she outlast some of her NXT contemporaries? Who cares, time for Naomi to do the John Morrison/Kofi Kingston greatest hits of spectacular near-elimination, only to be eliminated a few seconds later. #27 is Carmella. Naomi is still in transit to the ring, standing on a ringside table. We get yet ANOTHER spinning head-scissors spot as someone's showcase. Here lies the problem with a Rumble where half the roster is trained to work the same style. Carmella gets hit with Natural Selection to my amusement. Meanwhile, Charlotte continues to take double-team offense that DOESN'T include being thrown over the top rope. Why are these women acting surprised she WASN'T eliminated by going through the ropes?! #28 is Tegan Nox. Naomi. Is. Still. Not. Doing. Anything. At least Nox has more to offer than a spinning head-scissors. FUTURE ENDEAVORED SLAM from the Glamazon. #29 is Santina Marella. Well, women were allowed in the men's rumble, so this isn't that big of a deal. It's stupid, yes, but not a big deal to complain on social media. "She" tries sucking up to Beth Phoenix, who makes faces like Hulk Hogan when he made the limo driver crap his pants in "No Holds Barred." Instead of facing the dangers of Beth and Natalya's poor acting, "she" gives "herself" the Cobra and takes a bump out at 46:51. The forced laughter on commentary is the biggest crime.

#30 is Shayna Baszler to round out the field. She attacks Charlotte on the floor to make sure she stays out of the ring a while longer. Xia Li gets dumped at 50:00, then Tegan Nox at 50:11. Zelina gets choked over and out at 50:28. Shotzi tries her luck and Shayna eliminates her at 50:35. Naomi finally gives up on leaping to the apron and builds a bridge with a piece of the table. THAT'S THE PAYOFF? Shayna continues to dominate, dumping Carmella at 51:06 and Toni Storm at 51:15. Naomi misses She Calls This the Rear View and gets tossed at 51:32, leaving a final four of Charlotte, Natalya, Beth Phoenix, and Shayna. Charlotte is still napping at ringside, leaving a 2-on-1 in the ring. They hit Shayna with the Hart Attack and immediately after, Phoenix gets revenge for a previous Rumble by tossing Natalya at 52:18. Charlotte finally returns and fails at bumping either woman. Beth tries the same strategy, but Shayna turns it around and dumps her at 53:50. Shayna blocks a head-scissors, but Charlotte hangs on. Charlotte runs it back, hooks the head-scissors, and eliminates Shayna at 54:17 to become the 3rd-ever Women's Rumble Winner. Like a lot of modern rumbles, this one seemed to run out of gas late in the game, with some uninspired or needlessly recycled shine spots that lost. Also, never a fan of guys and gals napping on the floor for extended periods and winning. The work was fine, and I did enjoy most of it, but it ended on a flat note for me despite Shayna's best efforts by destroying the competition. ***¼

Smackdown Women's Championship Match: Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans:

Rewind to that brief period where Evans turned babyface for no other reason than to be a babyface. If you would've asked me who Bayley's opponent was here and I wasn't allowed to look it up, I'd never have guessed it was Evans. Evans won a non-title match to earn this title opportunity. Surprisingly, it wasn't via surprise roll-up. Lacey's daughter is front row, so you know she's jobbing. The crowd gets to enjoy the extended cut of Evans' entrance as we visit the 167 broadcast teams on International Row. Lockup to the corner and Evans sends Bayley across the ring. Evans with a slingshot elbow to the midsection. Crisscross and Bayley pulls from the Hitman playbook, faking a knee injury and taking a free shot to swing momentum in her favor. Flying elbow drop gets two for the Champion. Bayley works the back and hooks a chin-lock as Cole puts over Evans' real-life credentials serving the U.S. military. Evans with blows to the body to escape, followed by a spinning head-scissors. Bayley quickly recovers, taking Evans to the ground with another chin-lock. Evans climbs to her feet with Bayley on her back and sends her into the turnbuckle. Bayley with another quick counter, running through Evans with a clothesline for two. The 40,000+ fans make the noise of about 200 trying to get behind Evans. Bayley gets cocky and pays for it, sent face-first into the turnbuckle. Evans with a slingshot roll-up for two. Bayley mocks Evans with a salute and misses a blind body press. Evans runs mild with clotheslines and a running knee strike. Evans botches a springboard. Bayley avoids a plancha and sends Evans into the barricade. Back inside, Evans blocks the Bayley-to-Belly and hits a swinging neck breaker. Standing moonsault connects, but a moonsault meets the feet and Bayley hooks the tights for the three-count at 9:26. Well, that was a match. A basic, by-the-numbers match. After a year-long push, Evans still wasn't ready for this kind of spotlight. *½

WWE Universal Championship; Strap Match:
"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan:

Daniel Bryan spent most of 2019 a heel, but that was quickly abandoned as the Fiend needed another victim to torture, including Bryan ditching the long hair and beard to sell an unseen attack under the ring. It's safe to say that the Fiend was an awesome character (until the bell rings). Can Bryan get something out of him? YES! NO? YES! NO? We'll see... Bryan starts by throwing right hands and kicks. Wyatt survives the assault, spiking Bryan with a Powerbomb out of the corner. The Fiend doesn't waste time using the strap as a weapon, repeatedly lashing Bryan. Bryan side-steps the Fiend, sending him through the ropes, but a tope suicida is blocked and Fiend sends him into the post. Cole uses the word "FLOGGING" to describe the action. While technically correct according to the dictionary, who uses that word in 2020?! Back in the ring, Wyatt continues torturing Bryan with the strap. Fiend with a uranage and more lashes with the strap. Bryan counters Sister Abigail, hitting the running knee for a two-count. Bryan sends Fiend to the floor and follows with a dive from the top rope. Bryan uses the strap to repeatedly pull the Fiend into the post. Bryan hits a knee from the apron, but the Fiend rebounds and turns him inside-out with a clothesline. We go to the tables again, with Bryan repeatedly going low before hitting a DDT. Now it's Bryan's turn to use the strap to his advantage. Back inside, Bryan with a missile dropkick. He mixes Yes-Kicks with lashes from the strap. Fiend challenges him keep bringing it, and Bryan obliges. Bryan does his best to kick the Fiend's head in and sets up in the corner for another knee. The Fiend counters, hitting Sister Abigail (out of nowhere) for a near-fall. Fiend smacks himself around in disbelief that Bryan kicked out. Bryan tries fighting out of the corner as the Fiend goes for the Mandible Claw. He goes for the triangle choke, but Fiend drags him into the center of the ring. Bryan breaks free and hooks the Yes-Lock assisted by the strap, and yes, watching live, I really thought that might be it, but nope, the Fiend muscles his way into a ground ‘n' pound mounted position. Bryan counters Sister Abigail a second time with a roll-up for two. Running knee for two. The Fiend pops up while Bryan psyches himself up. He no-sells the strap and grabs the mandible claw. Uranage with the hold applied and Fiend retains at 17:32. I don't know what magic powers Bryan has, but he somehow gets the best out of Wyatt, regardless of the character. I think people expected this to be decent, but they fought to make something more special out of it, especially based on some of the other Fiend matches. ****

Raw Women's Championship Match:
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka (w/ Kairi Sane):

The story here is that for whatever reason, Becky Lynch hasn't been ready for Asuka... until tonight. Maybe. It was at the 2019 Royal Rumble where Asuka defeated Becky Lynch to retain her Women's Championship, and 2019 ended with another loss at TLC. They start with a feeling out process. Asuka goes for a roll-up, but only gets a one-count. Waist-lock and roll-up for two. Becky avoids a dropkick and sends Asuka to the floor with a shoulder block. Asuka counters a baseball slide. Becky avoids a running hip attack and uses the top rope to hook the Disarm-Her. Back inside, Becky hits a missile dropkick for two. Asuka takes advantage of Lynch's aggression and hits a neck breaker in the ropes. Becky doesn't take kindly to being kicked in the face but is quickly sent back down with a missile dropkick. Asuka with a shining wizard for two. Lynch fights out of the corner and takes Asuka down with a bulldog. Lynch with a basement dropkick for two. They take it to the apron again. Asuka blocks the Exploder Suplex, then Lynch blocks a German. Becky wins the battle, dropping Asuka face-first from a suplex position, followed by an Exploder into the barricade. Back inside, Becky comes off the top with a leg drop for two. Asuka surprises Lynch with a back-slide and pops her on the chin with a knee. Asuka lays in with a series of strikes and hits a sit-out slam for two. I honestly have no idea what that was supposed to be. They fight on the apron again as Asuka uses a hip attack to knock Lynch into the post. Becky blocks a super-plex, hanging Asuka across the top rope and hitting a springboard uranage for two. Asuka catches Lynch diving off the ropes with double knees and hooks a cross arm bar. Lynch rolls through to stack Asuka up, but Asuka quickly counters with the Asuka-Lock. Lynch gets to the ropes, forcing the break. Asuka sends Lynch to the canvas with a release German Suplex and lands a kick to the chin. The referee calls Asuka off and wants to ring the bell, but Lynch insists she can go as she's still laying on the ground. THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS. Asuka with another kick to the face for two. Becky counters the Asuka-Lock and teases the Disarm-Her, but Asuka counters. Lynch with a reverse DDT for two. Becky survives more strikes. She avoids the green mist and forces Asuka to tap with the Disarm-Her at 16:24. The result was never in doubt since they hammered home so hard how Asuka had Becky's number, but they still put on a tremendous match. ****

30-Man Royal Rumble Match:

In a unique twist, we have the WWE Champion in the Royal Rumble Match. Not to defend his title, like Roman Reigns did in 2016, but to be a roadblock, and prevent anyone challenging him for the CHAMPIONSHIP at WrestleMania. I almost said belt. #1 is Brock Lesnar (reigning WWE Champion) and #2 is Elias. Elias plays his way to the ring, because he's got zero chance in hell of getting any significant offense. Brock has enough of his crap, chasing him into the ring and taking him to suplex city. Brock smacks the guitar across Elias' back and tosses him out at 1:01. #3 is Erick Rowan. He's got the concealed cage with him (it was a poorly designed spider). Brock ducks a clothesline and clotheslines Rowan out at 2:13. Cole claims that was 8-seconds. I'll accept it. #4 is Robert Roode. He takes his sweet time coming to the ring. Roode throws hands but is laid out with a clothesline. Brock hits the F-5 and tosses Roode at 4:29. #5 is John Morrison. At this point, everyone is a geek when it comes to squaring off with Brock. Morrison tries going toe-to-toe and gets launched over and out with a belly-to-belly suplex at 5:41. #6 is Kofi Kingston. Remember when Brock squashed him in under 10-seconds for the WWE Title? Scrooge McSuck remembers. He gets the best offensive flurry yet, and the crowd responds appropriately. Brock cuts him off and takes him out of the corner with a German suplex. #7 is Rey Mysterio. We're finally at a point where three men are in the ring at once. Rey uses his speed to the best of his ability, but Brock overwhelms his efforts. Brock pulls both men in for a double clothesline and throws more Germans. #8 is Big E. BUSINESS IS ABOUT TO PICK UP. The three men strategize at ringside and ambush FROM THE SAME SIDE OF THE RING. Brock shrugs them off but is nailed with Trouble in Paradise. Big E with the Big Ending and Mysterio adds a 6-1-9. Brock catches Mysterio launching off Big E's back and tosses him at 11:49. Then BROCK LEAPS OFF BIG E'S BACK AND KILLS KOFI WITH A CLOTHESLINE. Big E gets clotheslined out at 11:47, and Kofi is sent flying (literally) with an F-5 at 12:15. #9 is Cesaro. He unloads with uppercuts but Brock cuts him off with knees and sends him out with a clothesline at 13:06. #10 is Shelton Benjamin. Brock and Shelton have a friendly reunion dating back to their college days. Then Brock hits him with a surprise German suplex and clotheslines Shelton out at 15:20. Shelton might have the WORST track record in Rumble history.

#11 is Shinsuke Nakamura. For those who care, he's the reigning Intercontinental Champion. Shinsuke throws knees and connects with a spinning heel kick. Brock catches Shinsuke charging out of the corner and dumps him at 16:45. JESUS. #12 is MVP. Who knew, at this point, MVP would become a literal MVP for the company as Bobby Lashley's manager during the height of the pandemic days. Brock getting down to MVP's music a sight to see. Brock cuts him off, hits the F-5, and MVP is gone at 19:06. #13 is Keith Lee. Brock sells it like Lee is a worthy challenger. FUTURE ENDEAVORED. Lee with a pair of shoulder tackles, sending Brock to the canvas. He charges into the corner with an avalanche, followed by a left hand. Whip across the ring and Brock pops out for a double-down clothesline. #14 is Braun Strowman. Braun hits avalanches on both men and sends Lee through the ropes with a shotgun dropkick. Braun follows, hitting Lee with a shoulder block. Back inside, Brock hits Strowman and Lee with Germans. Strowman and Lee decide to throw hands with each other, allowing Brock to dump them both at 23:46, setting the record for a 30-Man Rumble, and tying the all-time (Braun tossed 13 in the 50-Man Greatest Rumble). #15 is Ricochet. Brock has victimized him lately to make a statement. Ricochet tries a springboard cross body, but Brock catches and counters with a back breaker. #16 is Drew McIntyre. Thankfully, he doesn't bring a sword with him. Wait a minute... maybe he should. Ricochet hits Brock from behind with a low blow (babyface heroes in WWE). Drew hits the Claymore and BROCK IS GONE at 26:23. Ricochet hits McIntyre with a springboard missile dropkick and standing SSP. Drew no-sells, roll to his feet, and throws Ricochet out at 27:29. I guess eliminating Brock allowed Drew to consume Brock's soul. #17 is The Miz. I don't remember if he was a heel or face at this point. Drew is STILL EYEBALLING BROCK. Drew with the Future Shock DDT on Miz. Claymore connects and Miz is tossed at 28:59. #18 is A.J. Styles. Maybe we can move on from the complete annihilation of the field and let a new story play out. McIntyre tosses Styles into the corner but misses a charge. Styles teases the Phenomenal Forearm, but Drew is ready for it and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Styles counters a suplex and hooks the Calf Crusher. #19 is Dolph Ziggler. YAY. Dolph gets in the face of his former friend (Drew), allowing Styles to clip the knee. Surprisingly dull 90-second period. #20 is Karl Anderson. He saves Styles from being eliminated. I'm guessing this was before he got back into shape, since he's working in a t-shirt. Dolph with a Super-Kick on McIntyre. Anderson with a spine-buster and there goes the shirt. I guess he was trying to sell merch. Usually that is reserved for house shows (back when they were still regularly done).

#21 is EDGE. Yes, the crowd loses their sh*t, as well as anyone who was watching live at home. Yes, he also gets pyro. Edge hits the ring and SPEAR TO DOLPH. OH MY GOD, THE NETWORK HAS THE GOOD CAMERA ANGLE! THERE IS A GOD! SPEAR TO ANDERSON! SPEAR TO MCINTYRE! Edge and Styles have the big face-to-face. Styles hits the Pele Kick, but Edge quickly comes back with one more Spear. #22 is King Corbin. Excuse me while I get my popcorn. He gives Anderson a back breaker but can't toss him to the floor. Corbin says Dolph (as allies, that makes sense). Edge tosses Styles unceremoniously at 38:36. Maybe an injury scare considering it happened without fanfare. #23 is Matt Riddle. Unfortunately, he doesn't have Brock to confront in the ring. He throws kicks on Drew in the corner, followed by a ripcord knee to Edge. Then Corbin comes from behind and tosses Riddle at 40:17. Thanks for coming, Riddle. #24 is Luke Gallows. "That's what you call a power walk." No, that's what I call someone who has bad knees. Corbin hits Edge with Deep Six, then McIntyre tosses Corbin at 41:35. The OC hit Edge with the Magic Killer and make no attempt to toss him. #25 is Randy Orton. He hits Gallows and Anderson with RKO's (out of nowhere). Edge and Orton give each other the look before sending both members of the OC out at 43:06. #26 is Roman Reigns. HERE COMES THE BIG DOG. He throws rights at everyone and hits Dolph with a Spear before tossing him at 44:24. Roman no-sells a chop from McIntyre and lands another uppercut. #27 is Kevin Owens. He rushes McIntyre into the corner with right hands and runs wild with cannonballs. Pop-Up Powerbomb to McIntyre. Roman avoids the Powerbomb, but Owens catches him with a Stunner. Orton teases an RKO and gets hit with a Stunner as well. #28 is Aleister Black. He nails Owens with a pump knee strike. McIntyre sets up for the Claymore and eats Black Mass. #29 is Samoa Joe. We've got some heavy hitters (and future endeavored talent) in there. Joe and Black trade kicks. Joe hits the enzuigiri and Owens adds a cannonball. Joe and KO shrug off their alliance and throw hands.

#30 is Seth Rollins to round out the field (with Buddy Murphy and the AOP in toe). Joe and Owens take the fight to Rollins and his posse. Edge gets pulled to the floor and thrown into the barricade. Meanwhile, AOP manhandle Orton. Rollins hits McIntyre with the STOMP and eyes Roman. Black interferes, so Rollins shoves him off and hits Roman with the Stomp as well. Black moves in for the planned spot and takes Rollins' head off with a high kick. Murphy interferes on a springboard, allowing Seth to recover and toss Black at 51:46. Owens hits Rollins with a Stunner and tosses him, but AOP catch and return him to the ring. Owens gets into it with AOP, and now Seth dumps Owens at 52:16. Coquina Klutch applied by Joe. Murphy helps break it and Joe is tossed at 52:38. The eliminated Superstars' brawl with Murphy and AOP, leaving Seth without his cronies. Orton, Edge, Drew, and Roman surround Seth, who pleads unsuccessfully for help. Superman Punch from Roman. Snap powerslam from Orton. Claymore from Drew, and Seth is tossed at 54:47. Orton sends Roman to the post and connects with a back breaker. RKO to McIntyre, followed by a Spear from Edge. Double RKO from the former Rated-RKO. Edge catches Orton attempting a sneak attack. They talk it out and Edge dumps Orton from behind at 57:20. I'm sure this won't lead to any deeply rooted bad-blood boiling over. Roman and Edge trade blows. Roman gets the better of the exchange with a Superman Punch. Edge avoids a Spear and hits a Spear of his own. He tosses Roman, but he hangs on from the apron. Roman avoids a spear through the ropes and snap mares Edge to the apron. Edge hangs on for dear life but Roman kicks his hands off the ropes to eliminate him at 59:31. Roman hits McIntyre with a Superman Punch. Drew blocks an elimination attempt, hits the Claymore, and tosses Roman for the victory at 60:11. You could argue eliminating Brock was enough of a rub, but with the remaining options, none of them needed the win more than Drew, so good call on that (especially since he received a strong, sustained push afterwards). The Brock Saga filling the first half was a breath of fresh air, and the rest of the match played out fine. ****½

Final Thoughts: Two strong Rumble matches (one much more so than the other) and a solid undercard makes for an entertaining show. It takes a concentrated effort to not enjoy the Royal Rumble PPV in the modern era, because even if there's a weak Rumble, the rest of the card usually delivers too.

Sound Off!
Comment about this article on Da' Wrestling Boards!

back to Royal Rumble Index