clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE Greatest Royal Rumble Results, Recap, Reactions: Braun Strowman Eliminates 13


The first ever “Greatest Royal Rumble” is in the books and, after weeks of controversy regarding Saudi Arabia, the exclusion of women, and human rights violations, what we got was a fairly “by-the-numbers” WWE pay-per-view.

Still, there were big moments, the most men ever in a Royal Rumble match, and a lot of building up of current storylines. And not a single champion lost his title.

Braun Strowman eliminates 13, wins Greatest Royal Rumble

“Big men” don’t usually fare well in Royal Rumbles — at least as far as taking home the victory — but Braun Strowman eliminated 13 men during the Greatest Royal Rumble and took home the trophy (and green belt) by outlasting 49 other men.

The final three in the match were Daniel Bryan, Big Cass and Strowman. Bryan, who entered number one, lasted a Royal Rumble record 1:16:05. While some may be upset he didn’t take home the victory, he gave a tremendous showing before being eliminated by Big Cass, which goes a long way to shoring up their storyline heading into their Backlash match.

Strowman’s 13 eliminations are also a Royal Rumble record, though a little misleading given the 20 extra participants in the match.

The lasting highlight will be Shane McMahon being launched from the top rope through the announce table.

The other top men in terms of eliminations were Elias with 5 and Randy Orton with 4.

Brock Lesnar is still champion

So much for the “have Roman Reigns win in front of a more receptive crowd” theory.

Reigns speared Brock Lesnar through the cage wall to again lose a bid for the WWE Universal Championship.

Do you like F-5s, spears, and suplexes? Because this match — as expected — certainly featured a lot of them.

Lesnar ran things early, throwing the Germans around and hitting a pair of F5’s. Reigns came back with four spears and was kept from leaving the cage when Heyman slammed the door on his head.

Once a chair was involved, it was Reigns doling out the punishment. But another spear drove the men through the cage wall, with Lesnar hitting the floor before Reigns to retain the championship.

The ending was a bit clunky, considering the ‘first man whose two feet hit the floor’ rules. Technically, Lesnar’s back hit first, but Reigns’ feet touched the ground first, which commentary focused on and made it more awkward.

Whether the ending confusion was intentional or not, one thing remains true: Brock Lesnar isn’t gone yet.

Rollins leaps to Intercontinental Championship

The ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship wasn’t an absolute “epic” or anything of the sort, but it was very solid.

Samoa Joe stood out in the action, continuing to look like a true badass while The Miz, Seth Rollins and Finn Balor were their usual dependable selves in putting together an entertaining match.

But, the thing we’re going to remember for years (and will certainly become a staple in ladder match video packages) will be the finish, with Rollins springboarding from the top rope to the ladder where he grabbed the belt, cutting off Balor.

It was a perfectly executed moment that could have come off rather embarrassing if Rollins was off by even the tiniest amount on the leap.

Instead, we got a moment that will forever be called to mind when discussing WWE ladder matches.

Cena gets first PPV win since SummerSlam 2017

Triple H and John Cena opened up the show with a simple old-school wrestling match, milking reactions from an incredibly enthusiastic crowd. We saw tests of strength ending in Triple H throwing a kick to the gut to get a shockingly large reaction and very basic punch, Irish whip, sleeper hold offense.

It was a clever, competent way to ease the crowd into five hours of action.

They picked up the pace down the stretch with Triple H kicking out of an AA, Cena kicking out of a pedigree before Cena got the win with an AA followed by a slingshot into the corner into another AA.

It’s not as though there was really much storyline to care about with the match, but it was good for what it was, a mostly very simple wrestling match designed to nurse a very hot crowd.

Best of the Rest

  • Cedric Alexander def. Kalisto - Alexander retained the cruiserweight strap in yet another very good 205 Live-style match. Unfortunately, following Cena vs. Triple H, what was a red-hot crowd absolutely died for this. Alexander countered a Salida Del Sol into a Lumbar Check for the win.
  • Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy def. The Bar - Hardy and Wyatt won the Raw tag titles with the victory. The pairing of Wyatt and Hardy is actually very functional as a tag team and hides the shortcomings of both fairly well.
  • Jeff Hardy def. Jinder Mahal - Hardy retained the United States Championship with a Twist of Fate followed by a Swanton Bomb. Not a lot going on here and felt a lot like a standard TV match. Though, there was a pretty great botch in the match.
  • Bludgeon Brothers def. The Usos - Fairly short and left no doubt as the champs retained. The Bludgeon Bros. are going to do the monster team thing with the titles for a while, it seems. Not that the WWE tag divisions are ever horribly deep, but there has been a lot of good tag wrestling over the past few years and this is going to change the tone of the top-end tag matches a bit, it seems. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is still up in the air.
  • A.J. Styles drew Shinsuke Nakamura - Chaos Nakamura is everything and he wrecked Styles’ balls again and A.J. snapped, delivering a beating outside the ring until the ref counted both men out.

This probably should go on the list of “big descriptions,” but it’s getting carried forward to Backlash and the double count-out means there’s no clean resolution. This was, in my opinion, a very good match that will probably be seen as disappointing by a lot of people simply because it wasn’t at the NJPW level. But the story was there, the action was very good and it sets up a higher stakes next step.

  • The Undertaker def. Rusev - Rusev and Aiden English were stuck in the casket together ... on Rusev Day, no less! All things considered, Taker looked better than expected, and the match was nearly 10 minutes long, which was a surprise. Even without a lot of hype or build-up, Taker moments still feel special. Now, if we can get on with accepting just how over Rusev is and building on it.

Grade: D

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats