WWE Royal Rumble 2022
Presented LIVE on the WWE Network/Peacock Streaming Service on January 29th, 2022 from the Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, MO. Michael Cole, Pat McAfee, Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton are covering the action across both brands.
Roman now has words for Rollins, who responds with laughter. Roman takes the bait and gets caught in a triangle choke, but he fights to his feet and breaks the hold with another Powerbomb. Rollins gets a ringside tour of the post, barricade, and steps. Jimmy Smith is selling this like Roman is a triumphant babyface finally giving Seth his comeuppance, but the crowd clearly favors Rollins. Back inside, Roman with the Superman Punch for two. Roman tracks Rollins to the floor, hitting him with a Spear. Rollins counters a second Spear with the Pedigree, but that only gets two. Romans avoids the Stomp and Rollins fights out of a uranage. Crisscross and Roman with a second Spear. Rollins mocks Roman despite his inability to get to his feet, offering a fist bump. Roman hooks the guillotine in the center of the ring, but Rollins somehow gets a hand on the rope. Roman refuses to break and it's a cheap DQ at 14:25. ARE YOU SERIOUS?! "He deserves this!" OK, Roman makes a fair point. Roman isn't done, fetching a chair and hammering Rollins into the canvas like a spike. I'm not a fan of this kind of finish, but the match was fantastic. ****
#11 is Sonya Deville. It's Part 946 in our "heel authority figure abusing their powers" saga. She's got it out for Naomi, and decides to sit in on commentary until she feels like competing. #12 is Natalya. She looks like she's trying to be heel this week. Maybe she's jealous of her sister's OnlyFans success (kidding... I think this match pre-dated that). Liv busts out a sunset flip for no good reason in a Battle Royal setting. Tamina tries dumping Belair but Natalya ends up eliminating Tamina at 18:53 while Belair hangs on. #13 is Cameron. That "Somebody Call My Momma" song lives on! She busts out a Code Breaker and we get our zillionth wheelbarrow bulldog. Sonya decides to get in the ring, targeting Naomi's former friend (turned enemy) and tosses her at 21:00. #14 is Naomi. WHAT A COINCIDENCE. She's jogging with a purpose and wastes time checking on Cameron before getting in the ring. Naomi hits a Disaster Kick and eliminates Sonya at 22:32. That was a short 90-seconds. #15 is Carmella. I should note we're halfway through and we've only encountered one story inside this match. The rest is "stuff happening" and "guest appearances." Zelina is happy to see her, BUT THE COMMENTARY DOESN'T ACKNOWLEDGE WHY for nearly a minute (they are the reigning Champions). Carmella is our second heel in 5-minutes to refuse entering in a timely manner, choosing to remain at ringside. #16 is Rhea Ripley. PLEASE CLEAN HOUSE. She goes after Carmella and feeds her into the ring. Rhea survives a 3-on-1 and casually dumps Carmella and Zelina at 26:38. #17 is Charlotte Flair. She's the reigning Smackdown Women's Champion. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Are they suggesting Charlotte has the power of picking her opponent at WrestleMania if she wins? She finally rids us of Aliyah at 28:29. Naomi gets sent to the apron. Before she can bust out another trick to avoid elimination, Sonya reappears and finishes the job at 29:19. Good, the gimmick is played out anyway. #18 is Ivory. Sorry, RIGHT TO CENSOR IVORY. Talk about someone who took a dumb gimmick and played it to perfection. She does the trash talk routine until Rhea dumps her at 31:13. Ivory might be the old Rumble participant (for Women) at 62. #19 is Brie Bella. She's a house of fire and can't wait 10-seconds before ripping off her husband's old WWE shtick since she can't do anything to get herself over. Somehow Charlotte, Rhea and Belair mixing it up is taking the backseat to the other action. #20 is Mickie James. She's the reigning Impact Women's Champion and clearly the trash bag incident isn't enough to prevent a payday. LOVE THE CAMERA CUTTING AWAY AS SHE HOLDS UP THE BELT. McCool cuts her off for old time's sake but James whacks her with a spinning heel kick and McCool is gone at 35:08. I don't know if she was supposed to hang on for a little bit, but her feet touched as she was hanging from a head-scissors.
#21 is Alicia Fox. By this point, Fox is considered a "Legend" internally and I guess some fans believe it. I'm surprised we haven't had a ton of "everyone plays dead while new entrances get their ish in" spots. Natalya appears to take a nasty shot to the eyes based on the referee checking on her on the apron. #22 is Nikki A.S.H. Rhea stops to watch, allowing Nikki to run in from behind. Ripley avoids elimination and Nikk bails out to avoid disaster. #23 is Summer Rae. We're throwing the term "Legend" around too much. This is her first appearance in over 5 years, having mostly retired. She trades slaps with Natalya and hits her standing heel kick. Charlotte nails Summer from behind and Nattie dumps her at 40:36. Seems like almost every guest appearance ended in a 90-second or less appearance. #24 is Nikki Bella. At least she's a little more colorful than Brie. The Bellas hit Belair with a flapjack and dump Fox at 42:36. #25 is Sarah Logan. This is a guest appearance, between stints. She's already rocking the feral appearance and wastes time smiling at Liv Morgan, allowing Brie and Nikki to dump her at 44:08. That's what we call a jobber appearance. Liv tries avenging her former best friend and gets dumped as well at 44:30. #26 is Lita. That's FOUR STRAIGHT guest appearance entrances. That's how thin the roster was after the massive cuts of 2021. Lita blocks Mickie's corner head-scissors and DDT's her off the apron at 45:09. OK, that was a nice spot. #27 is Mighty Molly. Five straight. Nikki ambushes her on the floor and throws her into the steps. Nikki rolls her in and easily throws her out at 48:07. There's zero effort in the booking other than "come out, get tossed" for a lot of these women. Molly looks like she can still go and gets to do nothing. #28 is Ronda Rousey, making her first appearance in almost two years. She goes after Nikki and Nikki and knocks out A.S.H. at 50:01. Brie finishes off her own sister at 50:17 as payback for the first Women's Rumble. #29 is Shotzi. She comes off the top with a flying body press on Belair and Ripley. Rousey tosses Brie at 51:32 in another spot I feel was meant to be more but a slip of the apron cut it short. #30 is Shayna Baszler, rounding out the field.
Baszler and Rousey work together, with Baszler doing all the heavy work while Rousey has Ripley down in the corner. They tease fighting each other until Charlotte interrupts. Natalya goes after Rousey and gets thrown to the apron, saved by Shotzi for some reason. Rousey dumps Shotzi at 52:14 in another anticlimactic spot and Belair accidentally finishes Natalya's night at 52:26. Rousey has a choke on Belair… until Natalya runs back in and gets tossed again. What was the point of that? Did she just continue with the planned spot or what? Lita busts out the flying head-scissors. She teases a moonsault but Ripley shoves her to the apron and Charlotte boots her off at 55:55. Nice footwork from Lita to get all that in. Rousey blocks an elimination with a head-scissors on Ripley. Charlotte from behind, knocking Ripley to the apron. Rousey gets sent to the post and Ripley to the floor at 56:49, leaving a Final Four of Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey, and Shayna Baszler. One of these things is not like the other. Charlotte gets the flip to the apron and fights for survival. Belair plants Shayna with a spinebuster but the handspring moonsault is countered. Charlotte sneaks up and tosses Belair and Shayna at 58:22. Charlotte charges into the corner with a boot, but Rousey blocks and throws her out for the victory at 59:40. Well that was quite the rushed finish. Probably the worst of the Women's Rumbles, with too much of a crutch on guest appearances, a lack of creative use for said appearances, some sloppy elimination spots where planned spots were cut short, and until the final 20-minutes felt like a bunch of meaningless time filler with no in-match storylines to get excited about other than the brief altercation between Naomi and Sonya. Surely the men's Rumble will do better later in the night. **
#11 is Omos. OK, now we might see the house cleared. Dawkins is dumped at 16:09. Ford gets caught off the top rope and eliminated at 16:35. Styles gets whipped across the ring and cracks his ribs against the post, rolling to the floor in the process. #12 is Ricochet. He staggers Omos with a missile dropkick but is dropped face-first trying a follow-up attack. #13 is Chad Gable (half of the reigning Raw Tag Team Champions). He tries to rally the troops against Omos. Priest actually goes along with it, gets laid out with a clothesline and tossed at 19:38. DUMB BABYFACES ARE THE WORST. #14 is Dominik Mysterio. Everyone joins forces to toss Omos at 20:17. Why not do that with Priest in the first place?! More hugging in the corner. We've had two minutes of excitement in 20+ minutes. #15 is Happy Corbin. He's already making his SEVENTH Rumble appearance?! Austin Theory appears to be the go-to punching bag. Ricochet gets too flippy and Corbin dumps him at 22:02. #16 is Dolph Ziggler. This is his FIFTEENTH RUMBLE. He rocks Corbin with a Super Kick and that's all the excitement for this entrant. Corbin with Deep Six to Dominik before tossing him at 23:50. Styles eliminates Theory at 24:13. #17 is Sheamus. IT'S FIGHT NIGHT IN ST. LOUIS! Styles with the Pele Kick and clothesline to eliminate Holland at 24:55, just as Sheamus gets to the ring. OH WELL. He runs wild a bit. #18 is Rick Boogs. Hopefully this is short. He flips Gable around and flexes. Gable goes for a hanging arm bar but Boogs counters and slams Gable back in the ring. Wrong concept. Boogs with a one-handed press slam and the camera misses Gable getting dumped at 27:11. GOOD WORK, DUNN. Thanks for the replay, shouldn't have missed it in the first place. #19 is Madcap Moss. What a ridiculous outfit. Moss and Corbin run wild as a team. Boogs tries the press slam spot on Ziggler but we all know it takes more than that to get rid of Dolph. Corbin counters the Phenomenal Forearm and MOSS tosses Styles at 29:07. #20 is Riddle. There's so many people in this match I can't stand. Corbin and Moss go to work but Boogs saves. Moss sends Boogs to the apron and Corbin finishes him at 30:44.
#21 is Drew McIntyre. "The "Happy Folks" smile got turned upside down!" Drew is back from a neck injury that kept him out of action for about 2-months. Corbin throws bodies at Drew, but it only delays the inevitable. Moss gets sent out at 32:18, then Corbin at 32:22. Drew isn't through, bringing the fight to the floor. #22 is Kevin Owens. He meets McIntyre in the aisle for a quick brawl. Into the ring and Owens catches him with the Pop-Up Powerbomb. Riddle gets his foot stomped. #23 is Rey Mysterio. He runs wild with his signature flying head-scissors and cross body press. Owens cuts him off with the K.O. Stunner. #24 is Kofi Kingston. Is Kofi Mr. Royal Rumble, even if he's never won the Rumble? He tries a springboard but Owens shoves him off at 37:10. He was supposed to catch the barricade, but his feet touched. Time to retire the gimmick. #25 is Otis (the other half of the Raw Tag Team Champions). Beardless Otis will never look right to me. I just see Francis from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. #26 is Big E. Despite being the most recent former WWE Champion, it feels like he has no hope of winning. Big E with a belly-to-belly suplex and splash on Owens. Sheamus cuts him off with a Brogue Kick. Rey wakes up and Sheamus punishes him with back breakers. #27 is Bad Bunny. I forgot about this cameo. He hangs Sheamus up on the top rope and flies off the top with a cross body. Bad Bunny avoids the K.O. Stunner and takes Owens down with a spinning head-scissors. Riddle wants to be bros but Bad Bunny hits him with a Canadian Destroyer. Sheamus wants some more and gets eliminated at 42:59 after missing a Brogue Kick. This is a long 90-seconds. Dolph gets tripped into the ropes for Rey to hit a 6-1-9 and Bad Bunny tosses him at 43:52. #28 is Shane McMahon. OH. MY. GOD. I forgot about this. Otis eliminated Rey off camera at 44:15. Shane brings the potatoes to Owens and Riddle. SHANE. MCMAHON. OUT. FIGHTING. RIDDLE. Owens wants more and gets tossed at 45:05. #29 is Randy Orton and his killer mustache. RKO to Big E and he's tossed at 47:03. RKO to Otis and he's dumped at 47:28. Bunny is doing the Road Dogg strategy of 2000 and hanging onto the bottom rope. #30 is Brock Lesnar. I wonder who is winning this one. Brock slaughters people with clotheslines and suplexes. Lesnar clotheslines Orton out at 49:10. Bad Bunny steps up to Brock and gets hit with an F-5 before getting sent packing at 49:43, leaving a Final Four of... hold that thought, Brock dumps Riddle at 49:52. We're left with Brock, Drew, and SHANE MCMAHON. Brock eliminates Shane at 50:12 after one failed attempt. I didn't know St. Louis was known for sandbagging hulking brutes. Drew and Lesnar rekindle their Rumble rivalry. Lesnar avoids the Claymore Kick and dumps Drew with the F-5 to win at 51:14. This might not be the worst Rumble ever, but it was close. If this felt like a mess void of thought, I guess the agents structuring the match couldn't work together, and one of them, Shane McMahon, infuriated Vince so much that he was sent home with no future plans. VINCE SENT HIS OWN SON HOME FOR RUINING A MATCH. Think about that for a moment. *½
Final Thoughts: Except for the hot opening match (that ended under BS circumstances), one of the least enjoyable Rumble PPV's I can remember. It's bad enough when the show has a bad Royal Rumble Match to bounce back from, BUT TWO OF THEM? There's a couple of decent spots sprinkled throughout both matches, but the women's felt like an empty field padded by outside talent, and the men's was a lot of nothing happening, with the two celebrity participants being the strongest portions of the match. Solid thumbs down.