After years of predictable Royal Rumbles, the fans were finally given something they couldn’t predict. I’d say this event lived up to that, but the main event may not have been executed as well as it could’ve.
Bayley vs Charlotte
This was the perfect match to open the show. It’s a hot feud, and it was guaranteed to get this crowd pumped for the rest of the show. The opening introductions also helped in terms of getting cheers for Bayley and heat for Charlotte.
The action started at a hot pace, and that made this contest an attention grabber immdietely. I thought the top rope cross body and apron spot were brilliant because it showcased how much these two dislike each other. Pacing and action aside, Charlotte was amazing with her in ring trash talk. It worked well for her character, and also managed to get Bayley more cheers. This was a great example of strong heel work in a match.
I don’t think there was a moment where these two slowed down. For the first match, Charlotte and Bayley certainly set the bar for the rest of the show. Not only did they wrestle a good match, but they the right story for their program. Personally, I thought the clean finish was a good way to end this. It only makes Bayley’s narrative more intriguing, and that means the women segment for Raw should be interesting.
Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns
Jericho going to into the shark cage needed to be a moment, and thankfully it was. His resistance was an extremely entertaining and it only made his presence stronger.
As per Roman and Owens, they started this the best way they could. Brawling from the ring into the crowd will get any wrestling fan pumped. The stipulation was no DQ, so it was only appropriate that they showcased this as much as they could. At this point, we’ve seen Roman and KO wrestle so many regular in ring contests, it was only fitting they changed the style. In terms of the top spots, nothing was as great as Owens’ frog splash that put Roman through the table.
From start to finish, these two kept the crowd on edge. For a match and feud that was considered stale, these two proved their critics wrong. I don’t believe there was a moment where anything felt predictable. With that being said, I can’t say anybody thought Strowman would interfere. My jaw literally dropped when he came out. Either way, it worked, and was a great way to start the Roman/Strowman feud.
Neville vs Rich Swann
After the last two matches, this very much felt like filler. Ironically, it also started slower than the previous contests on this show. Quite honestly, I had difficult time getting into the action.
Eventually the action did pick up, and this did become entertaining. Instead of using a fast pace, these two succeeded with more of a stiff style. In terms of the winner, it only made sense for Neville to win clean. He’s the right choice for top guy in the division.
AJ Styles vs John Cena
As a huge fan of both competitors, this felt like the biggest match on this show. These two have a special chesmitry that allows for their matches to feel bigger than life.
I’d say they started out with the perfect pace. It wasn’t to slow, and it wasn’t too impactful, which showed the audience how equal the two are. The finisher teases were also okay, because it was a sign of how confident both of them were with quickly wining.
While the second half of the contest moved at a slower pace, it was extremely intense. It allowed for each move to feel more impactful, and it showed how fatigued the two became from wrestling each other. At no point was this one sided. Both Cena and AJ had an equal amount of offense, which made this unpredictable.
While I was cheering for AJ to win, I was perfectly fine with the finish. It was done right. Cena using two AAs in a row to finish Styles only proved how difficult it was for him to come out on top.
With neither Enzo nor Cass having an appearance on this show (excluding the KFC commercial), it only made sense for one of them to enter first. It was a great way to grab the attention of the live crowd. Along with that, Y2J was a solid second pick. He didn’t get to do much in his match with Owens, and I’m sure the fans were itching to see him in action.
There’s no doubt Braun Strowman was memorable in this Rumble. There’s never been anybody as dominant that’s entered as early as he did. Having both Zayn and Big Show enter one after another was the perfect way to further Braun’s narrative. Thankfully Dillinger’s perfect 10 entrance wasn’t used as a quick elimination for Strowman.
While so much was built around Strowman, it was shocking to see how he was eliminated. At the same time, it wasn’t disappointing, because it was done by Smakcdown’s monster, Baron Corbin. With both men now being held in high regard, this spot worked.
While Cesaro’s run in was strong, it wasnt nearly as great as Orton’s. Myself and my friends popped for every single RKO that he landed. Also, his RKO on Sami from the top rope was undeniably the highlight of this Rumble. Along with that, the entire Wyatt Family drama was properly dealt with. In fact, it was probably the most progessed program.
Number 30 was a complete let down. I didn’t mind Reigns coming in, but he shouldn’t have come in last. That essentially turned the crowd against the match. I don’t blame them, because it completely sucked the energy from the match. Without being fully negative, I’d like to believe the tease for Roman vs Taker could lead to something more significant. I know I could be wrong, but this would be the opportune time to turn Reigns heel.
It was rumoured that Orton would win, but actually didn’t expect that to happen. At the same time, I’d say it was more of a pleasant surprise, because this now means his program with Wyatt is guaranteed to have a big spot at Mania.
Side note: I rolled my eyes with Lesnar and Goldberg.
About 95% of this show was extremely entertaining, and it progressed a ton of story. The last 5% was a complete sh*t show. I find it terrible how the WWE purposely set themselves up by having the crowd turn against the main event.
The low point was obviously the Rumble, while the high point was Cena vs AJ. Overall, I give this show a 7/10.