Finally, the Royal Rumble passed on.
Despite all the hype, the event almost disappointed. Yes, having great matches such as both world title bouts did help that ‘almost’, but the lack of real surprises during the rumble itself, as well as wrong choices, brought down the overall event.
Anyways, let’s rate! (I’m going to review the main card only).
1) Charlotte def. Bailey to retain the RAW Women’s Championship
Good fight. Not the best bout either contenders ever put on, but still an entertaining match. Also, there are not actual highlights to remember.
The result was pretty obvious, since Charlotte is going to retain the championship ’til WrestleMania, and it’s not sure if we actually have a title change in Orlando.
Anyways, a good match.
2) Kevin Owens def. Roman Reigns to retain the WWE Universal Championship
The result of this match pretty much spoiled the other world title bout.
Anyways, the No DQ stipulation guaranteed the fight to have a fast pace and fun approach. Weapons were the center focus from the two fighters. Okay, mostly chairs and tables, but still.
The fight was extreme and painful, as well ass well fought by both Roman and Kevin. The highlight is the Frog Splash on the table outside the ring from Owens to Reigns.
Generally, an interference would make a match like this worse. Yet, having Strowman coming in made total sense, hence acceptable, while not enhancing anything.
3) Neville def. Rich Swann to become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion
Fast and fun, and finally the cruiserweights had the chance to showcase their moveset more than before, getting to closer to what we saw on the CWC.
However, we knew beforehand that Neville was getting away with the gold. He was dominating pretty mich every match and angle following his return, so there was no other option.
4) John Cena def. AJ Styles to become the new WWE Champion
AJ Styles vs Cena. Third one on one encounter. Third great match, first official Match of The Year candidate by the WWE.
It’s basically anything we want from pro-wrestling: two performers go all out. And we exactly got that.
Everything was perfect, and even Cena getting over makes total sense. Yet, I don’t think this was the right moment to tie Ric Flair’s world title record.
Mostly because in keyfabe it doesn’t work and once again it felt Cena burying a talent. I know, in reality is not like that, but in the angles and matches leading to this John never fell down, he ended always on top, while AJ at tops didn’t do anything, ending most of the time down. Plus, Mr. Hustle, Loyalty and Respect came back after 3-4 months and got a title shot right away. If we stand by the fact that there’s some sport justice in the show keyfabe, he at least had to earn it.
All of this doesn’t diminish this great match, rather the creative team operation about how they lead to it.
5) Randy Orton wins the Royal Rumble match
First of all, we have confirmation that someone leaks the results to Vegas bookers. There was no reason to believe Orton was getting away with a victory. It makes sense now that Bray is going to win the title at Elimination Chamber (getting another Cena vs Orton doesn’t make sense, they should make it a fatal 4 way with AJ and Bray involved too at tops).
Anyways, the lack of surprises hurt the whole thing a little, since we already knew that Goldberg, Brock and ‘Taker were worth 10 minute ring-time at best. It would have been cool to see Samoa Joe debuting here rather than Raw, or even Nakamura. Tye Dillinger was called and honestly it didn’t had a big impact, since he’s not even a top star in NXT. Jack Gallagher was a fun sketch, and he actually had a good brief rumble run all considered.
Considering the rest, they did everything they supposed to: Goldberg eliminate Brock to continue their rivalry, Undertaker eliminate Goldberg to protect Bill, Roman eliminate ‘Taker to protect him and build ‘powaaaaah’ on Roman.
And, honestly, Roman Reigns #30 made total sense as he was the only choice to have people cheer for Randy.
OVERALL (not an average): 3.5/5
An overall enjoyable show, although the lack of surprises hurt it a bit.
Now we’re officially on the road to WrestleMania. Hopefully Rollins won’t be out a long time, so he can perform at ‘Mania, but I guess his match at Fast .Lane with Joe is scratched.
We have Bray vs Randy for the title lined up, with Luke Harper probably taking part in the ladder match for Dean’s Intercontinental title, although I’d prefer Dean and Miz going one on one for one final time on the grandest stage of ’em all.
Plus, we’re going to get Goldberg vs Lesnar 3, and it seems Bill is going to get the title from Owens at fast Lane.
Anyways, see you in two weeks when I review SmackDown’s Elimination Chamber.