When WWE gets it right, they really get it right.
I was worried, y’all. Raw and SmackDown leading up to this pay-per-view. It was real bad.
Multiple things could have gone wrong - Goldberg as a champion again, Miz cashing in on Drew, Miz winning the Rumble, Charlotte winning the Rumble, Fiend/Fiendette Rumble winners, any magic in general… none of that happened. Not only was it mostly a great show, it provided a few emotional moments.
They relied so heavily on magic and spooky nonsense for Bliss leading up to this show. And as she was about to go to it again, and Rhea said nah fam you’re outta here. And that was it.
Thank you, Rhea Ripley. And thank you WWE for not pulling the Bad Bunny out of the hat.
Let’s get to the main hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of the Royal Rumble, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!
The big star
Bayley drew #1 and was mad that Michael Cole wasn’t out calling the match. #2 was NAOMI!!! Bianca came out at 3 and had the first awesome moment with Naomi as they both cartwheeled. Shotzi Blackheart came out after Billie Kay who decided not to get in the ring yet. That tank is super cool!
Kay had an excellent strategy throughout the match, trying to represent each of the women who walked down. Comedy played perfectly. Shotzi ended up being the first eliminated by Baszler. Jillian Hall was the first surprise entrant and took Kay up on her offer. Toni Storm and Ruby Riott had a test of strength, and then Billie and Jillie tried teaming up with Ruby.
Rhea Ripley was out at 14 and immediately eliminated her NXT foe Storm. Charlotte came out next and I was expecting a stare down moment between the two, but Charlotte just dominated her instead. Thankfully that didn’t last long, and Ripley was able to have a very dominant performance. I believe she ended up eliminating the most women. She was also the absolute smartest woman by eliminating Alexa Bliss as she was transforming.
An important elimination was Belair eliminating Bayley. I thought Bayley was going to eliminate her instead and of course WWE didn’t catch it as it happened. Belair and Naomi helped each other get back into the ring.
A big moment - Alicia Fox became the 24/7 Title winner thanks to Truth accidentally entering the Women’s Royal Rumble. Naturally she lost it back to him immediately because that’s the running gag.
A few head scratchers. They devoted time to the Lacey and Charlotte stuff, but after that moment they never interacted again and Baszler eliminated her. Lana eventually came in and never went after Baszler. Nia and Shayna never went after Lana. Shayna who was eliminated by Nia suddenly went back to not caring that she eliminated her.
The final three were Belair, Flair, and Ripley. The big yikes fell over me as I remembered that Ripley eliminated Fiendette Alexa Bliss. But then Ripley and Belair teamed up to eliminate Flair so I breathed a sigh of relief. Both women traded elimination attempts, and Belair eliminated Ripley! No Fiendette magic!
Bianca set the record as the new Iron Woman and won the Royal Rumble. I was totally stunned to see an actually great finish to this match. Bianca broke down and made me legitimately cry as she mentioned her Mom and Dad. I said on Friday that Bianca was my pick and I honestly did not expect her to get the win.
Give me Bianca and Sasha. Absolute fire!
After ten long years
Edge wasted no time attacking Orton before the bell even rang.
Sami Zayn was out third to continue his conspiracy theories, but teamed up with Orton, and then Mustafa Ali to try and take out Edge. Orton and Edge basically were having a rematch from the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever and focusing little on this match. In the process, Orton was taken out with an injury
Carlito was the first surprise! Yo Carlito is in amazing shape let this guy come back! Sadly Elias eliminated him, but he had a really nice 9 or 10 minutes.
One of the best spots in this whole thing was Bad Bunny coming out and avenging his DJ set up Miz destroyed. Damien Priest eliminated both Miz and Morrison, and then Bad Bunny went up to the top rope and dove off to take them out again. That was legitimately an amazing spot.
Lashley came in at 22 and nearly cleaned house. Big E and Lashley got time to shine. And then the Hurricane came out and tried to eliminate them both.
Christian came out and helped the field eliminate Lashley. Edge and Christian hugged and I started tearing up again, and then teamed up on Riddle.
The second biggest story out of this match is Omos eliminating dudes for AJ, specifically Big E. I’d love for that to lead to something. And then Seth Rollins returned. And the bastard eliminated Bryan.
The “final four” were Christian, Edge, Rollins, and Strowman. Rollins tried to get Strowman on his side, but he didn’t want any part of it. Finally, Edge and Rollins were left, and I thought for a second we would finally get the confrontation between them that was needed after a few years back when Rollins used Edge’s neck to get John Cena to reinstate the Authority, but Edge dumped him quick.
Psych! Orton came back and RKO’d Edge, but Edge was able to reverse and throw Orton over the top rope to win the Men’s Royal Rumble! The emotion out of him was beautiful.
I wanted Bryan, but Edge is a great second. 10 years after retirement, this man’s back and in the main event of WrestleMania. I’m tearing up again.
Oh my God.
Both of these men are absolutely crazy.
But Owens… he is batshit insane. INSANE!
They were all over the ThunderDome and the stadium. Owens got run over by a Samoan in a golf cart. (Feel like I’ve seen a spot like that recently!) Both men got their stuff in early and battled for the top prize.
Owens beat up Reigns and put him on a table. He then raised a forklift up high and did a Senton off of it. That was the best spot of the night.
Unfortunately, the finish got screwed up and messed up the whole thing. Owens handcuffed Reigns to a metal structure, and at the count of 9 Reigns took him out. Heyman came out and tried getting the handcuffs off, and a new referee came out and counted.
All of a sudden, the referee stopped counting at 6, and Reigns and Heyman were fussing around with the handcuffs for another 20 seconds.
Technically, Owens won the Universal title twice. That was crappy. Reigns locked in the Guillotine to win. It was super disappointing that it took a referee so long to come out, and then randomly stop counting. So there’s no way that this feud is over now.
Credit to both men though for putting their bodies through hell for us.
Drew McIntyre defeated Goldberg
Drew got back into the ring demanding the referee to ring the bell, Goldberg got his stuff in and then McIntyre hit the Claymore and Goldberg kicked out. Very rarely do people do that. Goldberg got momentum and hit a couple of spears and McIntyre kicked out. An actually decent looking Jackhammer got Goldberg a near fall. Then another Claymore and McIntyre picked up the win.
Alright, so this ended up not being so bad, but I really expected Miz to come and cash in. It really was the perfect time but it looks like they’re going to be dragging that crap out longer.
Sasha Banks defeated Carmella
Almost immediately Reginald was getting involved, and as usual the referee did nothing about it. Banks landed a bit awkwardly after the meteora and Carmella took advantage. She tried tying Banks’ hair up on the ropes but it didn’t do much. Reginald caught Banks and finally got injected, and Carmella nearly injured herself with a suicide dive. Banks countered the Code of Silence submission and Carmella superkicked her for a near fall. Bank Statement got Sasha the win.
This match wasn’t the best one between these two women. I gasped when Carmella did that suicide dive and nearly bent in half in ways a body shouldn’t. She didn’t move for a moment and I feared the worst. I kind of doubt that this feud is over though. I feel like it’s going to have one more match on SmackDown.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?