A lot of people had fantasy booking in mind for the women’s storylines on Royal Rumble at Chase Field in Phoenix. What happens on Sun., Jan. 27 will impact what happens on April 7 at WrestleMania 35, after all.
But one popular plan was scuttled when Becky Lynch tapped clean to Asuka in the SmackDown Women’s title bout that opened the show. And some others were placed in doubt when the Women’s Royal Rumble match came midway through the show instead of in the main event spot.
It wasn’t the story some were expecting, but they gave her a lot to overcome en route to eliminating her nemesis Charlotte Flair. They also gave Charlotte some arguments to use should they want to put her in Lynch’s match at ‘Mania.
The action got under way after Beth Phoenix joined the commentary team. Here was the order of entry:
1. Lacey Evans
3. Mandy Rose
4. Liv Morgan
5. Mickie James
6. Ember Moon
7. Billie Kay
8. Nikki Cross
9. Peyton Royce
11. Xia Li
12. Sarah Logan
13. Charlotte Flair
14. Kairi Sane
15. Maria Kanellis
17. Candice LeRae
18. Alicia Fox
19. Kacy Catanzaro
20. Zelina Vega
21. Ruby Riott
22. Dana Brooke
23. Io Shirai
24. Rhea Ripley
25. Sonya Deville
26. Alexa Bliss
29. Nia Jax
* Replaced by Becky Lynch
The order of elimination (and who they were eliminated by):
1. Liv Morgan (Natalya)
2. Mickie James (Tamina)
3. Nikki Cross (The IIconics)
4. Peyton Royce (Lacey Evans)
5. Billie Kay (Lacey Evans)
6. Xia Li (Charlotte Flair)
7. Tamina (Charlotte Flair)
8. Sarah Logan (Kairi Sane/Natalya)
9. Mandy Rose (Naomi)
10. Naomi (Mandy Rose)
11. Lacey Evans (Charlotte Flair)
12. Maria Kanellis (Alicia Fox)
13. Alicia Fox (Ruby Riott)
14. Candice LeRae (Ruby Riott)
15. Kairi Sane (Ruby Riott)
16. Kacy Catanzaro (Rhea Ripley)
17. Dana Brooke (Rhea Ripley)
18. Zelina Vega (Rhea Ripley)
19. Sonya Deville (Alexa Bliss)
20. Ruby Riott (Bayley)
21. Rhea Ripley (Bayley)
22. Io Shirai (Nia Jax)
23. Natalya (Nia Jax)
24. Ember Moon (Alexa Bliss)
25. Alexa Bliss (Carmella/Bayley)
26. Carmella (Charlotte Flair)
27. Bayley (Nia Jax/Charlotte Flair)
28. Nia Jax (Becky Lynch)
29. Charlotte Flair (Becky Lynch)
- Evans got the honor of starting, and cut a promo promising to clean up the trash of the WWE women’s division.
- Liv Morgan was in the match for about a second. Natty side-stepped a charge and sent her over the top.
- Billie Kay refused to enter until Peyton Royce’s number was up. She did end up in the ring before Royce came out at #9.
- Nikki Cross attacked her when she entered, and lived up to her chaotic gimmick, crossbodying all the women in the ring and providing a needed boost of energy. She also stood up to Tamina and almost eliminated her before taking a Superfly Splash.
- Ember Moon got to do a Kofi/HBK-like save, grabbing the bottom rope with the tips of her boots to prevent herself from hitting the floor.
- Coming off her dual 2018 NXT Awards, Kairi Sane got a big early spot trading chops with Charlotte and dropping the inSane Elbow on Logan.
- Evans, after nearly 25 minutes in the ring, went after Flair for a big staredown and brawl in the corner.
- Naomi also got a Kofi-esque save, doing a handstand out of a rana attempt and walked the barricade to jump to the steps... where Rose pulled her off and beat her down at ringside.
- Alicia Fox’s entrance was very Foxy, and her mini issue with Maria had to do with Kanellis stomping on her hat.
- Ruby entered with her eliminated Riott Squad teammates. Logan and Morgan pulled Charlotte, Zelina and Alicia out through the bottom and attacked. Zelina hid under the ring. They powerbombed LeRae into the barricade before rolling her back in for Riott to eliminate.
- They singled out Sane after her elimination, and she was saved by Io Shirai (establishing their friendship for the main roster before the Women’s Tag scene gets fired up).
- Catanzaro also got a Kofi save, landing on her hands, doing a handstand to the ring post and spiderperson climbing her way back in. Ripley lawn darted her out shortly thereafter though.
- Hornswoggle was under the ring with Zelina, and chased her into the ring for her elimination, then chased her up the ramp.
- Lana was still selling an injury from the Kickoff, and was being checked on by officials when Jax destroyed her on her way in.
- Lynch showed up to plead with Fit Finlay, who was still checking on Lana, that this should be a 30 woman match. He eventually conceded as the crowd went wild.
- After eliminating her, Nia shoved Becky off the steel steps, sending her down to land awkwardly on her knee.
- Lynch waved off the trainers trying to call the match, and survived Charlotte sadistically targeting her knee, to forearm and kick her former friend to the floor.
Get complete Royal Rumble results and coverage of every match on the card by clicking here.