Is it worth mentioning that Stephanie and Vince McMahon gloated about the big opportunity Roman Reigns had in the Royal Rumble itself? That’s good enough, right?
We start the night with Dean Ambrose coming out first even though he is the IC Champion. Kevin Owens comes out and gets the match started quickly. Ambrose gets in an early suicide dive that knocks Owens over the announce table. Not long after, Owens breaks the barricade with a cannon ball. Owens sets up chairs in the ring but doesn’t get to take advantage. Ambrose Wiggles out of a move and gets to connect with the Lunatic Lariat. Owens tries to power bomb Ambrose through the chairs but instead gets back dropped through them. Owens rams Ambrose into the apron and steps. Owens sets up stacked tables on the outside. Ambrose gets out of the superplex with a chair to Owens head. Owens recovers quicker again and goes for a Pop Up Power Bomb. Amborse gives him a huracanrana. Ambrose gives Owens Dirty Deeds. Owens rolls to the outside and onto his feet to break the count. Ambrose sets Owens up on a table on the outside. Ambrose drops the elbow from the top rope. Both men break the count only to get another one in the ring. Owens puts Ambrose through a table witha DVD like move. Ambrose gets up at nine. Owens connects with a Pop Up Power Bomb. Owens sets up Ambrose on four chairs. Ambrose recovers and tosses Owens through the double stack of tables. Owens gets counted to ten for the Ambrose victory. The match was a great starter for the show. Ambrose needed a big win to continue the momentum for the IC Title. (Next Day Note: I think Ambrose has the cache at this point to help make the title important. Whether the WWE decides to push him as such is a whole different argument. It’d make sense though that he’s “crazy” enough to take on all challengers.)
Big E & Kofi Kingston are a bit baffled by the positive response by the crowd. Xavier Woods comes out with Francesca II. They are defending the Tag Team Titles. The Usos come out second. Jimmy starts off against Kofi. Jey gets tagged in and tosses Kofi outside. Jimmy clotheslines Kofi on the outside. Big E gets in and tosses Jey into the post. Woods suplexes Jey on the outside. Woods drops Francesca when the crowd chants for it to be played. Jey breaks up his own beating with an enziguri to Kofi. The partners get in. Jimmy cleans house with a pair of Samoan Drops. Jimmy gets distracted by Kofi beating up Jey. A belly to belly suplex on gets Big E a two count. Big E spears Jimmy and himself through the ropes. Woods distracts Jimmy. Kofi mounts him in the corner. Jimmy power bombs him and goes for a splash. He missed Big E tagging in. Big E catches him and gives him the Big Ending for the win. They were supposed to get booed but everyone was cheering their win. (Next Day Note: Both teams were over actually so it makes it a tough match to work. If New Day truly wants to go heel, I do think it’d be smart to drop Francesca.)
The Wyatt Family is the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Bray Wyatt brings back the “Whole World” chant. I guess all the heels are trying to get cheered tonight.
Alberto Del Rio is the third champion (US Title) to come out first. Kalisto uses his speed in the early going to get the upper hand. ADR stops him in his tracks with a back breaker. ADR turns a head scissors into a stomach breaker. ADR tries to pull the mask off. ADR dodges a spinning attack. Low side kick only gets ADR a two count. Kalisto dodges an enziguri. ADR charges. Kalisto turns it into a Tornado DDT. Kalisto connects with the spinning move. ADR gives Kalisto a reverse suplex onto his stomach. ADR gets crotched on the top ropes. Kalisto connects with Salida Del Sol but ADR grabs the ropes. Kalisto spring boards and gets another stomach breaker from ADR. Del Rio exposes a turn buckle. ADR bounces his head off the exposed buckle. Salida Del Sol for the second time for the victory. (Next Day Note: I really hope the hot potato with the US Title is done. Del Rio somehow manages to get put into poor spots for his character. I’ve never had problems with his in ring work and this match was no exception. Let Kalisto also take on all challengers and get him away from the League of Nations.)
“Cole” throws it to Renee Young. Shouldn’t she be saying his full name? The panel talks about nothing important much like any other expert for insert your sport here. Paul Heyman talks to Stephanie McMahon. Steph thinks that she’s just there to butter her up. Steph makes it known that Brock Lesnar should concentrate on Roman Reigns.
They hype Charlotte vs Becky Lynch better on the PPV than they have for pretty much the entirety of the feud. Lynch is the first challenger to come out first. This match is of course for the Divas Title. Ric Flair comes down with Charlotte. Becky is in control early with some basic moves. Becky gives Charlotte a side kick to knock Charlotte off the apron. Flair kisses Becky. Charlotte takes advantage. Charlotte is wearing down Becky with a head scissors. Lynch comes back with leg lariats. They counter each others moves until Becky finally hits the exploder suplex. Charlotte kicks out at two after another throw. Charlotte spears Becky but only gets two. Becky rolls into a cross arm breaker. Charlotte slams Lynch down to break the hold. Becky locks on the Disarmer. Flair throws his jacket at Lynch. Like a moron, she releases the hold. Charlotte pokes her in the eye. Charlotte spears Becky for the win. Sasha Banks shows up. She tosses Lynch out of the ring. Banks and Charlotte act like they are together. Sasha then locks on the Bank Statement on Charlotte. (Next Day Note: I like all three of these ladies. I would have thought though that having Charlotte drop the Divas Title to Lynch would have made more sense if Banks is going to continue to act like a heel. Having Lynch get her moment in the sun only to get beat down by Banks makes more sense to me. That being said, Sasha sure is getting a lot of cheers so hopefully she splits from the rest of Team BAD and the WWE backs into another good Divas story instead of writing it correctly to start with.)
The Royal Rumble commences. Roman Reigns starts against Rusev. Reigns goes through the middle ropes early. Rusev doesn’t realize it. Drive By by Reigns. He follows up with a spear. Rusev is eliminated. AJ Styles makes his debut. Styles connects with a Pele Kick. Reigns hits a Samoan Drop. Tyler Breeze is number four. Styles has Breeze on his shoulders. Reigns punches Breeze and eliminates him. Curtis Axel is number five. Styles eats a knee from Axel. Styles & Reigns take out the rest of the Social Outcasts. Styles clotheslines Axel over the top for another elimination. Chris Jericho is number six. Jericho goes right after Reigns. Kane is the next man up at seven. Kane beats down all three men. Goldust is number eight. Plenty of fighting but nothing significant before Ryback comes in at nine. Same can be said before Kofi Kingston enters at ten. AJ Styles going on a huge back drop is the only significant move before Titus O’Neil comes in at eleven. O’Neil eliminates Goldust. The director can’t get it together to show Reigns almost being eliminated. R Truth makes it a dozen. He brings a ladder into the ring. Kane pulls him off the ladder and eliminates him. Kane dumps Kofi onto Big E’s shoulders. Luke Harper is number thirteen. The League of Nations pulls Reigns out of the ring and beat him down. Vince McMahon is directing them. He’s on the outside guys. Rusev splashes Reigns through an announce table. They leave him alone outside of the ring. Big Show is number fifteen. I seem to have missed fourteen in the hub bub. I see now. Stardust was unlucky fourteen. Big Show eliminates Titus O’Neil and someone. Neville is sixteen. Braun Strowman is the next man up at seventeen. Strowman eliminates Kane. Big Show and Strowman have a show down. Strowman puts him to sleep with the modified bear hug. Strowman then eliminates Big Show. Kevin Owens comes out at eighteen. He’s struggling to the ring. He has a show down with Styles. Neville tries to toss AJ. Owens succeeds in eliminating Styles soon there after. Dean Ambrose is number nineteen. Sami Zayn is twenty. He goes right after Owens. Zayn ends up reversing a toss into an elimination of Owens. Erick Rowan is number twenty one. JBL makes sense for the first time telling people to team up and eliminate the Wyatts. Neville & Stardust bite the dust soon after because of the Wyatts. Mark Henry is a late arrival at twenty two. The Wyatt Family team up and eliminate Henry. Zayn gets tossed by Strowman. Brock Lesnar is number twenty three. Lesnar clothes lines Rowan out of the ring. He continues to battle Strowman & Harper. Jack Swagger is twenty four. Brock promptly tosses Swagger. The Miz is the next up to get tossed quickly at twenty five. Lesnar keeps tossing people around while The Miz mouths off on the mic. Lesnar clothes lines Harper for another elimination. Alberto Del Rio is twenty six. Lesnar finally eliminates Strowman after three clothes lines. Bray Wyatt is twenty seven. The Wyatt Family attacks Lesnar. Brock ends up tossing them from the rign again. The Wyatt Family is not deterred. Sister Abigail to Lesnar. The Wyatt Family eliminates Lesnar. Dolph Ziggler shows up at twenty eight. The Miz jumps into the ring. He gives Ziggler a Skull Crushing Finale. Sheamus enters at twenty nine. Reigns Superman Punches Sheamus. He tosses The Miz and Alberto Del Rio. Reigns Superman Punches Wyatt. HHH is number thirty. Ziggler gets Pedigreed by HHH. Reigns Spears Wyatt. HHH & Reigns attack each other. They all end uo getting spots. HHH side steps a charging Ziggler for an elimination. Wyatt goes after HHH after it looks like a deal is made. Sheamus Brogue Kicks Wyatt. Sheamus & HHH elminate Wyatt. Ambrose continues to fight but shows fatigue. Ambrose ends up eliminating Jericho. Ambrose attacks Sheamus. He runs off the ropes and gets caught with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus gets tossed by Reigns. HHH ends up eliminating Reigns. Dean Ambrose is the last man in the ring. He fights but ends up being back dropped out for the HHH win. (Next Day Note: I am not the biggest fan of the outcome but it makes a lot of sense. The WWE has repeatedly had chances to anoint a new star but they refuse to do it unless it’s at Wrestlemania a la Daniel Bryan. They could have done that with a Roman Reigns victory but instead we get the crowning at Wrestlemania. I’m sure we’ll get to sit through about three months of hoops for Reigns to get to the match at Wrestlemania. The WWE also set up a match with Kevin Owens and AJ Styles along with Brock Lesnar taking on Bray Wyatt or the Wyatt Family. All in all a good pay per view.) – Kevin