The WWE Royal Rumble did not disappoint like the last seven years. For the first time, fans can say that they had a great Royal Rumble from start to finish. With two great winners of the Royal Rumble match and a shocking ending, this Rumble will be one we’ll never forget.
Kevin Owens get set to start off the match with AJ, but he tagged Sami Zayn right away. Sami Zayn tagged Owens back. KO would run the ropes once and tag Zayn right back in.
Zayn and AJ finally started a lock up. A quick tag back to KO saw AJ come between them to prevent the quick tag. To counter this, Owens slid under the ring and came back in right next to Zayn, who tagged back.
What’s interesting is that the commentators emphasised on putting AJ over as the “Shawn Michaels of this generation”. Kevin and Sami’s smart strategy saw them isolate Styles in their corner and then take him out ringside.
Owens had the better of AJ until he missed a cannon-ball, seemingly re-injuring his ankle. He immediately tagged in Zayn. An attempt at a Helluva kick was countered into a reverse springboard DDT.
AJ Styles took out Zayn while Owens, who was tagged in, was put in the calf crusher. He was seconds away from tapping before Sami Zayn saved the match.
Owens was soon sent into the barricade and Sami Zayn tagged in at the desperation moment and when the referee looked away, KO superkicked him to set up a blue thunder bomb by Zayn. AJ kicked out at what felt like 2.9!
When AJ was up, he knocked KO off the apron and elbowed Zayn, managing to land a phenomenal forearm. While it seemed like he had the match won, Owens broke the pin on time.
AJ, now the man with most in his tank in the match had a barrage of strikes to unload on Zayn. Sami tried to jump and tag KO, but AJ had him in his clutches. While Sami almost tagged Owens in, it was clear that they didn’t officially tag in. The referee missed this, and when AJ dumped Sami out of the match.and KO went for a pop-up powerbomb, but AJ countered it and had his leg locked down to get the pinfall.
AJ Styles defeated Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn to retain the WWE Championship
Backstage, KO and Zayn were furious and pleaded with Shane McMahon not to let another WWE title match end like that. They asked if he saw the controversial ending, and he simply responded “Yep!” and walked away to a mixed crowd reaction. Owens’ face turned red and he looked like he was about to explode.
The Usos(c) vs Benjamin & Gable – 2-out-of-3 falls for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Jey Uso and Shelton Benjamin kicked things off, and while Jey backed out for a second, Chad Gable tagged in. Gable’s suplex attempt saw a quick tag by the champions and a double superkick just miss.
Benjamin tagged in and a quick distraction by him saw Gable attack Jimmy Uso’s left leg. Benjamin would go on to attack Jimmy’s leg. Jey finally managed to get in the match and he took out Benjamin and the freshly tagged Gable. He hit his over-the-top-rope dive on both partners in the opposing side of the ring.
Benjamin threw Jey into Jimmy and nearly finished him. Benjamin threw Jey outside the ring and Gable hit a backflip moonsault onto the brothers.
A frog splash by The Usos still saw a nearfall, but a double superkick did.
The Usos got the first fall; 1-0
Gable and Benjamin isolated both Usos and took them both out, but the match ended abruptly when Jey Uso got a roll-up pin on Gable. Flat finish to what was otherwise a good match.
The Usos got the second fall to win 2-0 and retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Aiden English came out and the crowd was wild for Rusev Day. He announced Rusev as the first entrant to the Royal Rumble match.
Finn Balor was entry #2. Rusev lifted Balor and tried to eliminate him right away, but Balor slid under and stayed in it. It was clear that the power was on Rusev’s side, but what wasn’t was speed, which Balor utilised to land a slick dropkick.
Rhyno entered at #3. Baron Corbin entered at #4 and he took out everyone. Corbin eliminated Rhyno and was quickly dumped out by Finn Balor. In pure shock, he dragged Balor out of the ring and assaulted him, hitting the End Of Days outside.
He took out Rusev outside too and as he was leaving, Heath Slater was #5. He struck him with a big right hand and he got knocked out. It took referees and backstage officials to get Corbin out.
Elias entered at #6 to a great reaction. He kicked Slater along the way and entered the empty ring and said the clock was stopped until he gave the performance of the night(it wasn’t stopped).
None other than NXT Champion Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas! He got a thunderous response. He too kicked Slater along the way and he took out Elias fast, hitting the running knees. He couldn’t get the hammerlock DDT and got clotheslined. Bray Wyatt was out next at #8 and Slater almost crawled into the ring, only to get sent into the barricade.
Bray sent Slater into the barricade. Bray planted Elias with a urinage and took out Balor, who came back inside to try to fight off The Eater Of Worlds. Bray had complete control and he didn’t let Rusev back in.
Big E was entry #9 and he outpowered Bray, restoring order. Tye Dillinger was #10 but he didn’t come out. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn attacked Dillinger. Owens was ready to take his spot but Sami said that “he got this” and took his spot.
Did we mention that Sami attacked Slater too? Sheamus was #11 and he put Slater in the ring. Slater shockingly eliminated Sheamus in seconds. Funnily enough, this happened on his birthday. Bray then eliminated Slater.
#12 was Xavier Woods, who went straight after Bray. Big E and Woods used their teamwork to dominate everyone in the ring. Apollo Crews was #13.
#14 was the Royal Rumble favourite Shinsuke Nakamura. The crowd was still singing his theme while he was clearing the ring. He placed Sami Zayn on the top turnbuckle and hit the knee to his gut to eliminate him.
#15 was Cesaro. He almost eliminated Balor but Almas saved him. Rusev and Cesaro had a battle of strikes, with the crowd firmly behind Rusev. One of the most entertaining Royal Rumble performers Kofi Kingston was #16.
Apollo Crews was close to eliminating Cesaro, who grabbed the ropes on time. The two had a struggle in an attempt to eliminate each other, but an uppercut by Cesaro saw Crews eliminated.
Jinder Mahal was #17 and eliminated Big E and Xavier Woods. He was Jerry Lawler’s pick to win. Seth Rollins was #18, wearing the ugliest pants ever. Why did he think that was a good idea?
Rollins eliminated Cesaro in quick, slick fashion as he fell down and pushed Cesaro up and out with his legs. Jinder Mahal seemingly eliminated Kofi but Kofi’s leg was on Xavier’s body. Big E put a plate of pancakes to save his legs and he stepped on it. He used Big E & Xavier’s hands as a spring and jumped OVER the ropes before hitting an enziguri and eliminating Mahal in a stupid fashion.
Andrade threw Kofi over the ropes, eliminating him. #19 was Woken Matt Hardy. He confronted Bray Wyatt and they eliminated Rusev. He and Bray then eliminated each other.
John Cena was #20. All competitors in the ring attacked Cena and then went at it themselves. Elias tried to take out Cena but the 16-Time Wolrd Champion threw him out. Hurricane was the surprise #21 to a huge pop. Cena seemed bewildered and Hurricane tried to chokeslam him, but Cena threw him out.
#22 was Aiden English. #23 was none other than NXT superstar Adam Cole. He was taped up after his war with Aleister Black the prior night.
#24 was the two-time Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton. Almas tried jumping to Orton but he was met with an RKO and then eliminated. Great showing for the NXT Champion. #25 was Titus O’ Neil.
The Miz was #26! He hit the “It” kicks on Rollins & Cena. He hit a skull-crushing finale on Cena and Rollins superkicked the spit out of Miz’s mouth. #27 was the returning WWE legend Rey Mysterio! He got a thunderous ovation. He eliminated Adam Cole and hit a 619 on The Miz, dominating the match.
The Big Dog Roman Reigns was #28, and he struck Cena first thing. He hit everyone with a big right and confronted The Miz. He nearly eliminated him but The Miztourage saved him before getting taken out by the Superman punch.
Rollins & Reigns had a confrontation but they power bombed Miz to eliminate him. Roman directly eliminated Rollins, who could do nothing but smile.
Goldust was #29(why?). #30, the most anticipated entrant was Dolph Ziggler. Well, there’s nothing much to say there. Ziggler nearly eliminated Cena but didn’t. Ziggler was eliminated fairly quickly by Balor.
The star power saw six left in the ring. It was the new era vs the Ruthless Aggression era. They faced of 3 vs 3. Reigns would eliminate Randy Orton and Finn Balor dumped Rey Mysterio out.
One of the best final 4s ever: Roman Reigns, John Cena, Finn Balor & Shinsuke Nakamura. They came head to head and Reigns told Balor “You can’t see me” before attacking Nakamura. Cena and Reigns stood off, with Cena pointing to WrestleMania.
The crowd chanted “You both suck” before Nakamura and Balor attacked them and had a face-off of their own. This time the crowd was appreciative.
They battled and were then taken out by Cena and Reigns, who had their confrontation. Cena knocked Reigns down with the shoulder tackle and Reigns got back at him with a Samoan drop.
Reigns was cocked and loaded but Cena caught him and slammed him down. Nakamura got ready for a Kinshasa on Balor but Cena threw him out to a chorus of boos. Finn Balor lasted 57 minutes, officially being this year’s iron man.
Both Cena and Reigns attacked Nakamura but soon went at it themselves. Cena was trying to suplex Nakamura to the outside, but he evaded it. He put Cena over the top rope onto the apron. He struck Cena and had him down, knocking him out and eliminating him with a Kinshasa.
It was down to Nakamura and Reigns. Nakamura tried putting him in a triangle from the outside, but Reigns outpowered him and power bombed him to the centre of the ring.
Nakamura kneed Reigns and went for the Kinshasa with momentum on his side, but Reigns hit the spear. Another attempt at a spear was met with a Kinshasa and Nakamura eliminated Reigns, winning the Royal Rumble.
Shinsuke Nakamura won the Men’s Royal Rumble match
After the match, Renee Young asked which champion he wanted to face at WrestleMania, and he responded simple: “A.J Styles”.
The WWE Championship match for WrestleMania 34 is now confirmed!
Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan(c) vs The Bar – RAW Tag Team Championship
The match started off with some back and forth, but early on, Jason Jordan got sent into the ring post and was attended to by medical staff.
Cesaro & Sheamus isolated Rollins. During the ambush, Sheamus ran into the ring post, evening the odds. Cesaro was sent out but momentarily tagged in. This match was the clear sleeper break match.
Jason Jordan climbed and tagged back in, but tagged back out because he couldn’t compete. Cesaro & Sheamus hit the nail in the coffin and finished Rollins, making The Bar 4-time Tag Team Champions.
The Bar defeated Jason Jodan & Seth Rollins to win the RAW Tag Team Champions
Brock Lesnar(c) vs Kane vs Braun Strowman – Triple threat for the Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar went after Kane and Strowman splashed on them both and dropkicked Lesnar. Kane chokeslammed the champion and Braun went charging at The Big Red Monster.
Brock Lesnar kneed Kane, who came back in the ring with a steel chair. He took out Kane but Strowman wrecked Lesnar, even hitting him with steel steps outside the ring. Braun took out tables from underneath the ring, to a huge pop.
Strowman set up the tables and Kane had him ready for a chokeslam, but Strowman was the one who hit the chokeslam. Lesnar broke the pin and took Strowman to suplex city!
Strowman picked him up and slammed him through the table. Kane then pushed Strowman through the second table. Lesnar hit the F-5 on Kane but Strowman broke it up and suplexed Lesnar.
Lesnar would next hit the F-5 onto Strowman through the announce table. He took revenge on Strowman from Summerslam when he flipped the announce table onto him.
Lesnar then F-5’d Kane through the German announce table. That was brutal. Strowman then hit two powerslams on Lesnar. He was going for the third but Kane attacked him with a steel chair.
Lesnar pushed Kane onto Strowman to knock him down and when Kane went for the tombstone, Lesnar reversed it into an F-5.
Brock Lesnar defeated Braun Strowman and Kane to retain the Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar was walking away triumphantly and Braun stood up in the ring saying “You didn’t beat me”. Lesnar didn’t seem bothered and raised his title triumphantly.
First-ever Women’s Royal Rumble
First Maria Menounos made her way to the ring, then announcing Stephanie McMahon, the commentator. Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair, the two brand champions.
We don’t have anything against Maria Menounos, but her announcing was awful. Sasha Banks was #1 and the first-ever SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch was #2.
The two started it out back and forth, but they seemed to be completely even in every aspect. SmackDown Live’s Sarah Logan was #2. She clotheslined both Becky and Sasha Banks. Sarah Logan was described as the “backwoods girl”.
Mandy Rose entered at #4. WWE Hall of Famer and legend Lita made a surprise entrance at #5 to a huge pop. Mandy Rose and Lita went to battle.
Mandy Rose was the first to be eliminated by Lita. #6 was NXT superstar and Mae Young Classic winner Kairi Sane. She took out everyone in the ring and charged Lita with a beautiful forearm strike. She hit the sailing seas, her famous elbow drop on Sasha Banks.
Tamina entered at #7 in this weird white outfit. She took out everyone but Lita planted her with a DDT. The legend then hit a twist of fate onto Becky and hit her famous moonsault onto both Sasha and Becky. She took out Tamina and got “You still got it” chants from the crowd. She then got thrown out by Becky Lynch, who got booed by the audience for the first time.
Dana Brooke was #8. She had an impact almost instantly as she eliminated Kairi Sane. Another attitude era legend Torrie Wilson entered at #9. She attacked Sasha and the others but Sarah Logan brought her back to earth with a dropkick.
Sarah Logan had an impressive showing up till then. Torrie Wilson eliminated Dana Brooke after sending her onto the apron and then kicking her legs from underneath. #10 was Absolution’s Sonya DeVille.
She went right after Sasha Banks and Becky started attacking her but got outmatched. Sonya DeVille kicked Torrie Wilson and eliminated her from the match. Riott Squad’s Liv Morgan entered at #11.
The legends kept coming in as Molly Holly entered at #12. She was in good shape and was impressive early on, as she hit a moonsault from the top turnbuckles onto Sasha Banks before getting kicked by Sonya DeVille.
Becky was being isolated by Liv Morgan and Sonya DeVille. Lana came in at #13 and was attacked by the duo. Lana slapped the life out of Sonya DeVille and attacked Liv Morgan outnumbered.
Michelle McCool, who looked better than ever was #14. She eliminated both Sonya DeVille and Liv Morgan. She threw out Molly Holly before Lana attacked her and said “It’s Lana Day” McCool eliminated Lana. #15 was the leader of the Riott Squad, Ruby Riott.
Riott avoided elimination a few times, and Michelle McCool did too. Vickie Guerrero entered at #16 and shouted “Excuse Me!” all the way to the ring, even stopping all the action. She realised it too late, but all the women then threw her out of the ring, eliminating her.
#17 was the first ever Women’s MITB winner, Carmella. She was attacked by Vickie Guerrero at the entrance ramp. Natalya came out at #18 and dumped her jacket onto Carmella, but Ms MITB wasn’t taking any of it and pulled Natalya’s legs from under and entered herself. She superkicked Michelle McCool and Ruby Riott.
Kelly Kelly entered at #19 and almost got eliminated by Natalya right off the bat. Natalya celebrated prematurely and got taken out. Kelly Kelly hit the hurricanrana on Michelle McCool and Natalya eliminated McCool, who had an impressive showing in the match.
Naomi entered at #20 and started the offence on the competitors, with momentum on her side. Becky landed a top turnbuckle dropkick and took out everyone with bexploders, but sadly got eliminated by Ruby Riott. Becky lasted upto 35 minutes in the Rumble.
#21 was WWE Hall Of Famer Jacqueline. She took out everyone and attempted to eliminate Kelly Kelly with the help of Natalya, but she didn’t budge. #22 was the Rumble favourite, Nia Jax.
Jax eliminated Jacqueline and Kelly Kelly right away after flattening Sasha Banks. She did the same to Natalya. She lifted Ruby Riott and slammed her on the turnbuckles. She eliminated Riott and Naomi attacked her from behind.
She threw Naomi out but all the women caught her and she stepped on the barricade. NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon entered at #23 and took it to Nia Jax before getting flung.
Naomi took Maria Menounos’ chair and put her legs on the chair and dragged her hands to the steel steps, only to be eliminated by Nia Jax.
Beth Phoenix was #24 and had a dream face off with Nia Jax, which got “This is awesome” chants. Natalya and Beth together knocked Nia Jax, but through the middle ropes. The real-life best friends Natalya and Beth embraced each other and Beth cried in the moment. Natalya played along but slapped and eliminated the legend Beth Phoenix.
#25 was another favourite, Asuka. She took out Sasha Banks, Natalya and Carmella and had a face-off with her NXT rival Ember Moon. Ember landed the eclipse in their battle, but Asuka avoided elimination and eliminated Ember after slamming her injured arm(from her Takeover match the previous night).
Another future Hall Of Famer Mickie James entered at #26. The surprise entrant was up next, as it was Nikki Bella at #27. Nikki Bella cleared the ring and looked at Charlotte sitting ringside.
Carmella attacked Nikki Bella but Nikki managed to eliminate Ms MITB. Asuka attacked Nikki and all the other competitors in the ring then ambushed Nikki. #28 was her sister, Brie Bella, who came out of retirement.
Bayley was #29 and she prevented elimination by The Bella Twins. #30 was the spot everyone thought would go to Ronda Rousey, but it was one of the greatest of all time, Trish Stratus!
Trish then hit the bulldog on The Bella Twins and hit a hurricanrana on Bayley. Mickie James and Trish Stratus faced off to a thunderous ovation, twelve years after their WrestleMania match. Mickie would soon be eliminated by Trish.
Nia Jax steamrolled through Trish and the rest of the competitors in the ring attacked Nia Jax. The Bella twins first attempted to pull Nia Jax over the top rope and the rest joined to eliminate one of the Royal Rumble favourites.
Sasha Banks would then be quick to eliminate her best friend Bayley. Natalya meanwhile had Trish in a sharpshooter. The ever-persistent legend didn’t tap out and wound up eliminating Natalya.
Sasha and Trish had a face off and Sasha told Trish it was her time. Trish taunted Sasha to a big pop. Trish tried going for the springboard bulldog but Sasha threw her out, eliminating her. She bumped into Asuka, who she had a staredown with. Asuka looked at the Bella twins, indicating that they should take them out.
The Bellas and Sasha went after Asuka, isolating the favourite. Sasha was being a complete heel the entire time. The Bella twins threw Sasha Banks out. Sasha was the iron woman of the match.
The Bella Twins tried taking out Asuka and Brie was left on the apron. Nikki Bella then elbowed Brie to eliminate her. Nikki and Asuka were the final two, and a tense finish saw Asuka kick Nikki Bella from the apron to become the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble winner.
Asuka won the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble
After the match, Charlotte and Alexa Bliss stood in the ring. Before she could make a choice, Ronda Rousey made her entrance, entering the ring, looking at the WrestleMania sign and then to Asuka. She extended her hand to shake, but Asuka slapped her hand away. Rousey went to Stephanie, shook her hand and walked away, pointing to the WrestleMania sign one last time before going.