Tonight was the annual Royal Rumble event, which marks the beginning of the Road to Wrestlemania.
-Kickoff Match: Sheamus defeated Shorty G.
-Kickoff Match: Andrade defeated Humberto Carrillo to retain the United States Championship.
-Roman Reigns defeated Baron Corbin in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
-Charlotte Flair wins the Women’s Royal Rumble Match
-Bayley defeated Lacey Evans to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship
-Bray Wyatt defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Universal Championship
-Becky Lynch defeated Asuka to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship
-Drew McIntyre wins the Men’s Royal Rumble
The opening match of the night was the Falls Count Anywhere Match between Roman Reigns and Baron Corbin. I am honestly glad that this match was the first match of the night because I’ve been done with the feud for a while now. Both Reigns and Corbin need something new. I give them a lot of respect for making this match as entertaining as they could. I love how they made use of a porta-potty and the baseball field. I also love that this feud is hopefully over. Following the least exciting match we moved on to the Women’s Royal Rumble Match where there was very few participants announced beforehand. There were some very nice surprises like Bianca Belair, Mighty Molly, Mercedes Martinez, Candice Larae, Mia Yim, Dakota Kai, Chelsea Green, Beth Phoenix, Toni Storm, Kelly Kelly, Xia Li, Shotzi Blackheart, Tegan Nox, Santina Marella, and Shayna Bazsler. One of the highlights of the match was watching Otis save Mandy Rose from elimination. One of the scariest moments in the match was seeing Beth Phoenix busted open in the back of her head really bad.
I got tot give Beth credit because she was one of the final four along with Natalya, Shayna Bazler and the eventual winner Charlotte Flair. Even though Charlotte Flair won the match, I would have to stay the stars of the match were Beth Phoenix and Bianca Belair. Now we wait to see who Charlotte chooses to challenge at Wrestlemania. One thing that was surprising was not seeing Sasha Banks in the Rumble. She’s arguably one of the most popular Following the Women’s Royal Rumble Match, the Smackdown Women’s Title was on the line as Bayley defended the title against Lacey Evans. It’s been quite the few months for Lacey Evans as she’s become quit the fan favorite. This match felt very anti-climatic because there was nothing epic or exciting about it. I really had hoped for more in this match so hopefully the can regroup and have a better match later on.
I didn’t have many expectations for Bray Wyatt versus Daniel Bryan because of how “The Fiend” has been booked. I was presently surprised by how great this match was. For months, Bray Wyatt has looked invincible like nothing hurt him. It was nice to see Bryan make him vulnerable for the first time since his new character surfaced. I’ll be curious to see where Daniel Bryan’s Road to Wrestlemania takes him because he’s so loved by the fans. As you recall, Bryan has major fan support going into Wrestlemania 30 and 31 and made booking very difficult for WWE going into those two events. Another performer that has had major fan support over the last two years is Becky Lynch. She has beaten everyone that’s come her way except for Asuka. These two really put on a show and Lynch finally got her retribution.
The Main Event was the Men’s Royal Rumble Match where Brock Lesnar started number one and he was determined to outlast all 29 men in the match. This match was absolutely terrible with how Brock Lesnar pretty made everyone look like jobbers until Drew McIntyre came in at 16. Unfortunately, Brock Lesnar eliminated thirteen credible performers and it made for a very boring match until Ricochet kicked Lesnar in the ball and McIntyre eliminated Lesnar. Business really picked up when Edge returned after nine years at number 21. The excitement and action did pick up when Lesnar was finally eliminated but you almost have to forget about the first half of the Royal Rumble match. The final three of the Royal Rumble match were Reigns, McIntyre and Edge. At the end of the night, Drew McIntyre is finally getting his opportunity at a World Title. It’s been a long time coming for McIntyre and I can’t wait for his Road to Wrestlemania.
Going into to Wrestlemania, WWE has a lot of work to do to make a lot of guys look credible again. Even with the shocks and surprises this had to be one of the worst Royal Rumble events in it’s long history. The old saying goes, “It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.” The Road to Wrestlemania has started off really rough, but hopefully it can have a smooth finish.