Hello Misfits! It’s the Wrestling Classic here with my Royal Rumble review. The Road to Wrestlemania officially begins at the Royal Rumble and the plans for Wrestlemania slowly become more clear. I was 4-4 with my predictions for the event. I got the WWE, Universal and Tag Team title predictions wrong a long with the Royal Rumble prediction. All the other matches I got correct prediction. This Royal Rumble will go down I’m history as one of the most hyped Rumble matches that either left you satisfied or completely disappointed. The tagline for this event was a play off of “Remember the Alamo” with “Remember the Rumble” and it’ll be debatable if this Royal Rumble will be remembered for how great it was or how disappointing it was.
I never watched the kick off because I wasn’t aware that the Royal Rumble was going to start an hour earlier than WWE PPV’s usually do. I was at work for majority of the kick off show but I did hear about what happened and watched the quick Sasha/Nia match on Instagram since it was basically long enough for one single post. I was super happy that The Club finally captured the tag team titles because its overdue and they truly deserve it. Although, I was quite shocked to see Cesaro and Sheamus drop the titles so soon. Also I was right about Naomi picking up the win for the Smackdown’s women team pinning Alexa Bliss to make her the rightful next contender for the Smackdown’s Women’s Title. I was also right about Nia Jax picking up the first win and in dominant fashion so that it will have to force Sasha to fight for her redemption against Nia Jax. Anyway lets get on with the rest of my review.
WWE Royal Rumble 2017
Image via WWE.com
WWE Royal Rumble comes to us from the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas.
– The show opened a video package hyping up tonights show and all of its championship matches.
Women’s Championship Charlotte Flair (C) def. Bayley in 13:05 by pinfall The Queen of PPV Charlotte defends not only her title but her undefeated streak on PPV against Bayley. Personally I was rooting for Charlotte here because I felt like it was too early for Bayley to win the title on the main roster because they’ve barley developed her character on the main roster for the casual fans to get behind. The only thing she has going for her is that she’s a babyface and most people want to see Charlotte lose the title. Anyway, the match was pretty good and what you would expect from both women. Bayley is a very good wrestler and Charlotte is freakishly athletic. It was a great match to kick off the show. Charlotte has really come in her own as a heel it’s going to be weird to ever see her as a babyface again. I mean the way she taunts her opponents and captures the audiences attention by being a heel is great. Similar to what I loved about Sasha Banks on NXT. Bayley also created a Royal Rumble moment for herself dropping an elbow drop reminiscent to her favourite (mine as well) in Macho Man Randy Savage’s elbow drop. The fans bought into Bayley’s near falls and felt hopeful in moments where it seem like she could have had that match won. Charlotte hit a pretty cool Natural Selection to Bayley on the apron for the finish but for some reason as cool as the move was it felt kind of underwhelming. After watching it a second time I realized it was perfectly fine and I just had my expectations pretty high during the first viewing but this is the first big match between the two and did its job well. Rating – ***
Chris Jericho in a Shark Cage
Universal Championship Kevin Owens (C) def. Roman Reigns in 22:55 I went into this match with some pretty low expectations. It’s not that I didn’t have faith in either guy but I just feel like we’ve seen this match between the two stars a bunch of times. They faced each other last month at Fastlane and on Raw a ton of times in some form the last two or three months. The biggest difference here was that Jericho was supposed to not be able to interfere because he’d be locked in a shark cage and hung above the ring. Of course, I immediately started thinking of ways that Jericho could get involved such as dropped brass knucks from the cage which he did do. Everyone knew that there would be smoke, mirrors and shenanigans due to the stipulation and there’s nothing wrong with that, because these two tore it up and delivered an amazing outing. They totally exceeded my expectations. One of the highlights for me was seeing Kevin Owens hit the superman punch, there was just something humorous about it. These two separately are great workers. Kevin Owens for a guy his size if very agile and entertaining. Reigns gets a lot of slack but he’s good at putting on a great match and bringing the intensity. However their matches against each other seemed to feel special but they lived up to their potential. It had a great energy, a good pace, a sense of hatred and violence. I thought that they used the stipulation extremely well, both guys worked like they desperately wanted to steal the show and they delivered on the big time spots. The match ended with Braun interfereing and attacking Roman giving Owens the ability to cover Reigns for a win. Personally I believe if this match had a clean finish it could have been epic but it seemed as if they’re building towards a Reigns/Strowman rivalry for either Fastlane or Wrestlemania. Considering what happens in the Rumble I believe its more for Fastlane. Also, Owens was able to come over the odds with some help and it wasn’t Jericho. Overall, I’d recommend this match for anyone who loves the entertainment part of wrestling because it had it all. Rating – ****1/2
Neville def. Rich Swann (C) in 14:00 by pinball The Cruiserweight’s has been missing something since becoming staple in the WWE again. Neville returning and being the self proclaimed King of the Cruiserweight’s has brought new fire to the division. Due to that I predicted it made more sense for Neville to walk out of the Royal Rumble as the new Cruiserweight Champion. They worked a good match, but it felt flat due to the lack of crowd reaction, despite the actual work in the ring being good. It also felt like the match was working to move into a faster gear or pick up but it just didn’t get there. I understand that the struggle they had to deal with following Owens and Reigns which was definitely a match that took a lot of energy from the crowd. However, the cruiserweight’s have been getting lousy reactions for a while now even thought they’re all super talented and what not. I hope Neville as champion can bring some more prominence to the division since he’s already some-what established with WWE’s current fanbase and I hope he hangs on to the title longer than the previous three champions. Rating – ***1/4
WWE Championship John Cena def. AJ Styles (C) in 24:10 via pinfall I don’t even know where to start with this match. The video package prior to the match was phenomenal (pun intended) and this match certainly had the big match feel. I went into the match with high expectations and it met all of them. I don’t remember a moment of this match where it lost my attention or I was bored. I still felt like Styles was the babyface going into this match and Cena was the heel. AJ Styles wanted to continue to prove that he’s the best in the world and Cena wanted to become Champion once again to prove he’s still the man and so he could tie Flairs record of 16 Time World Champion. Exactly like Summerslam last year, this match 100% stole the show. They completely emptied the tank and hit each other with anything and everything, making this feel huge, like they were both desperate to have this title. Cena was pulling out new moves we’ve never seen him use before and Styles was kicking out of moves we’ve never seen anyone kick out of before. The crowd was great, the near falls were great and Cena’s subtle facials, showing his frustration and teasing possible heelish tactics added so much to this. Styles was put over huge in defeat, he doesn’t lose anything because he survived so much of Cena’s best, kept coming and almost won. They also played well off of their past matches with some of the big spots we saw in the previous matches that got huge reactions. These two guys have amazing chemistry, and I want to see more. Styles continues to show why many considered him one of the best for so long, delivering again. Also, Cena once again steps it up and delivers in the big match setting. There were times where I thought Styles was going to retain and times where I thought Cena had it in the bag. I was literally on the edge of my seat for majority of this match. I’d recommend this match to any wrestling fan out there and I promise you that you will not be disappointed.
Now people might think I am being overly nice with my rating for the match but I honestly really enjoyed it and I see nothing wrong with what I rated it. If I was to change anything it would just be that I would have had Styles retain and not have Cena celebrate with a make-a-wish kid after the match because I’ve been enjoying his more heel-ish character these days but it was still nice to see. Now I know a lot of people are going to want to compare this match with Omega/Okada but you just can’t because like Omega said, you can’t compare apples with oranges. They were both great in their own ways but they’re involving different characters. In the end though the only thing I can recommend is to WATCH THIS MATCH. Rating – *****
Royal Rumble 30 Man Over-The-Top Battle Royal Winner: Randy Orton in 01:02:06 when Randy Orton eliminated Roman Reigns First things first, I told you so. I told you all the moment the rumours started that Kenny Omega would not be involved or making his debut at the Royal Rumble. I stuck by that belief the entire time even though I knew there was a slim chance I was wrong. However, I was right and you were all wrong and I just wanted to get that out of the way.
This was the match that had everyone talking after the show whether it was positive or negative. Quite frankly it should be the match everyone was talking about because it was the main event and the match this event is built around. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the Royal Rumble while I was watching it but I was disappointed in the lack of surprise entrants. I even watched this match twice so I could really sense how I felt about it. There were cool spots and moments but its true there were a lot of times where a major star like Goldberg, Lesnar or Taker came in and people were just laying around playing dead. I will be one of the first people to admit it was not one of the greatest Royal Rumble matches of all time, but it definitely wasn’t the worst or near the bottom of that list. It would just land somewhere in the middle. The WWE used the stars on their roster rather than surprise entrances. There weren’t any wasted spots on celebrities or legends that you knew didn’t have a chance of winning. Also there didn’t need to be surprise entrants with big names such as Goldberg, Lesnar and Undertaker promoted for the match. The inclusions of Gallagher and Dillinger were great. Gallagher with his umbrella antics was entertaining. Dillinger at number was predictable but something everyone wanted. They did a great job with Braun being a monster in the match with 7 eliminations and Corbin eliminating him after working with Zayn and Ambrose helped everyone stay over. The Lesnar and Goldberg interaction was great to their ongoing story. The Undertaker and Goldberg stand off was really something special because it was something we haven’t seen before involving the two legends who heavily influenced wrestlings popularity during the Monday Night Wars. The way Jericho became the 61 minute man in Rumble by being sneaky and hiding outside the ring most of the match as extremely clever if you consider his character during this current run. The confrontation between Harper, Orton and Wyatt was great in further developing the storyline between the Wyatt Family. There were some guys who entered that Rumble that easily could have been announced ahead of time such as Enzo Amore and Apollo Crews but it really didnt hurt the match unless you were stuck of the fact that their was a lack of surprise entrances.
The biggest flaw in my mind originally was the fact that they had Taker, Lesnar and Goldberg all come out late but before number 30 making you think number 3o was going to be a huge surprise. I mean it could have been Balor, Joe, Nakamura, Omega, Roode, Triple H, Rollins or even Kurt freakin’ Angle but instead it was Roman Reigns. To be honest I was really disappointed that it was Reigns. However, watching the Rumble a second time later that Sunday Night I realized how smart of a move it was that Roman Reigns was number 30. It added the drama of us thinking that he was going to win. Also if the WWE is as smart as I’m about to give them credit of being then Roman Reigns being number 30 was genius. They had to know people would be more against Roman winning the Rumble that when Orton won they’d be happy about it because there was the risk that Orton winning by eliminating anyone else had the chance of getting a bad reaction from the live crowd. Imagine Orton won by eliminating Wyatt or a special appearance. The crowd would have been disappointed but because it was Roman Reigns the crowd bursted out in cheers because you know….anyone but Roman. Plus they even put more heat on Roman and possibly planted the seeds for a Wrestlemania match when Roman eliminated Undertaker. They had brief stare down as the commentators described it as Roman telling Taker that this is his yard now. Roman felt kind of like a heel in this Rumbe and I was intrigued. It was clever and smart booking by the WWE. There were spears, suplexs, chokeslams and RKO’s a plenty and if you take away your expectations for surprise entrances, this Royal Rumble match wasn’t that bad. It was actually pretty good and helped further storylines and character development for a lot of people. Rating – ****1/4
Statistics from Wikipedia
Final Thoughts Personally, being an Orton mark for his entire career, I was not disappointed with Orton winning. I know a lot of people including myself had a moment where we went “wow John Cena won the WWE Championship and Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble…what is this? 2009?” I mean so much for the “New Era” but I don’t think we’ll see Cena vs. Orton at Wrestlemania. If anything Cena will be dropping the belt next month at Elimination Chamber. Hopefully he’ll be dropping it to Bray Wyatt which will lead us to Wyatt vs. Orton at Wrestlemania. That does leave the question of who will Cena be facing? Not a lot of things became clear for Wrestlemania besides that the rivalry between Goldberg and Lesnar will continue but a lot of stuff is still up in the air. Where does Kevin Owens go from here? Where does AJ Styles go from here? Are we on the road to Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns? What happens with Braun now? Another big thing missing from this show was the complete exclusion of anything to progress the Rollins/Triple H rivalry besides an announcement for a segment the next night on Raw.
However, the Royal Rumble is one of the big four events of the WWE calendar. Therefore, it’ll be remembered for many reasons including the night Orton won his second Royal Rumble and Cena won his 16th World Title. Both the WWE and Universal title matches are worth watching and the Royal Rumble match however not the greatest is fun to watch. If you didnt enjoy this event and mainly the Rumble match the first time watching it, I would suggest trying to watch it again with lower expectations because it was a really solid show. I think you’ll enjoy it more the second time around and appreciate what we did get.
Final Rating – 8/10
What were your final thoughts on Royal Rumble? What final grade would you give the event? Where would you rate it on a scale of ten? Do you agree with my review? Leave your comments, opinions and thoughts below in the comments section.