Royal Rumble Count-Up – 2020 (2021 Redo): Context Helps

Royal Rumble 2020
Date: January 26, 2020
Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 42,715
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jerry Lawler, Tom Phillips

Remember when we had crowds? It’s almost weird to see something like this but it’s a nice flashback to a show that feels like it was years ago. I remember the higher points of the show but given how many things have changed since then, it could be rather interesting to look back. Let’s get to it.

Kickoff Show: Shorty G. vs. Sheamus

Small guy with a ridiculous name vs. a monster, with Sheamus returning and pretending to save G. but then attacking him for being short. Sheamus shrugs off a single leg attempt to start and pulls G. down by the hair. A shoulder puts him down again but G. sends him outside in front of Green Shirt Guy. Back in and it’s way too early for G.’s ankle lock as Sheamus sends him into the post. There’s the shoulder breaker before Sheamus starts stepping on the fingers.

The armbar goes on and we take a break. Back with the armbar continuing, followed by Sheamus ax handling him in the face. Sheamus sends him to the apron for the forearms to the chest and asks the fans IF THEY ARE NOT ENTERTAINED. Eh it’s been a little slow so far so only kind of. G. slips out of a belly to back though and dropkicks the knee out, allowing him to stomp away on the leg in the corner.

The tornado DDT sets up the moonsault for two on Sheamus and the rolling Chaos Theory out of the corner is good for the same. Sheamus shoves him away and goes up, only to dive into the ankle lock. That’s broken up with a grab of the rope so Sheamus kicks him in the bad arm. The Brogue Kick is good for the pin at 12:37.

Rating: C-. This took some time to get going but the arm played into the finish and Sheamus needed the win to build himself up since he hasn’t even been back for a month so far. It was a slightly longer than usual TV match and unfortunately it saw G. lose again. I know it keeps happening, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Kickoff Show: US Title: Andrade vs. Humberto Carrillo

Andrade, with Zelina Vega, is defending in another of about 35 matches between these two. Humberto had been injured by Andrade but came back to save Rey Mysterio on Raw, setting this up. They go to the mat to start for a standoff but Carrillo sends him outside, only to glide over Andrade on the baseball slide again. Carrillo hits the Tranquilo pose on the apron and you just don’t do that, as Andrade gets in a cheap shot to take over.

We take a break and come back with Andrade hitting a basement dropkick to the side of the head. The armbreaker over the ropes has Carrillo’s arm being broken, at least until just before the DQ. The Fujiwara armbar goes on to keep Carrillo in trouble but he fights to his feet. That’s about it for the good though as his high angle springboard armdrag is countered with a faceplant. Carrillo is back up with a spinning springboard crossbody but a moonsault hits knees.

Andrade’s running knees in the corner are broken up and he misses a charge to the floor, allowing Carrillo to nail an Asai moonsault. Back in and Andrade hits Two Amigos but the third is countered into a suplex from Carrillo. Andrade kicks him into the corner though and the running knees connect for two. The hammerlock DDT is countered into a small package for two on Andrade and it’s time for the slugout.

Carrillo scores with a superkick for two as Vega is panicking. Back up and Andrade misses some running elbows to the face but he’s able to catch Carrillo on top with a shot to the jaw. Carrillo is fine enough to snap off a super hurricanrana for two and Vega starts giving fast paced advice. Andrade slips out of a fireman’s carry so Carrillo tries another hurricanrana but Andrade reverses into a sunset flip to retain at 14:18.

Rating: C+. These two might not have been the most interesting but they could have some nice, fast paced matches. That’s what we got here on the bigger stage and the right person won, as usual. Carrillo can do all the moves but he’s a complete hole of charisma. Andrade and Vega worked well together, though the stupid deal with Angel Garza getting involved and fighting with Andrade brought them both way down. Still though, pretty good here.

The opening video features Steve Austin talking about the importance of the Royal Rumble, as everyone is out for one thing. It doesn’t matter if there is one person or thirty, because this is their shot at glory. The other matches, which aren’t quite as important, get a little bit of time as well.

King Corbin vs. Roman Reigns

Falls Count Anywhere, which is hardcore based on the introductions but the former sounds better. This is fallout from the rather good dog food angle, which was the only good part of their months long feud. Reigns doesn’t wait for Corbin to get off of his throne and beats up the handlers to start things off. The brawl is on outside with Corbin bailing over the barricade, only to get knocked back to ringside.

They head inside where Reigns gets two off a belly to back suplex. It’s way too early for the Superman Punch so Corbin grabs Deep Six for his own two. They’re back on the floor with Corbin hitting him in the face with the steps and loading up the announcers’ table. Reigns punches him in the face though and they head over the barricade with Reigns following for more right hands. It’s already back to ringside with Corbin getting in a bell shot to the ribs.

Reigns charges at him and gets chokeslammed through the announcers’ table. It’s back over the barricade now with Reigns being sent into some chairs and then into an anvil case. A Samoan drop through a table gives Reigns a breather and they’re both slow to get up. It works so well that Reigns does it again, this time for two. Back up and Corbin drives him into another anvil case (Neil’s Workbox according to the label) and here are Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler to beat Reigns down.

Cue the Usos to even things up and we cut over to the tag teams fighting as Corbin and Reigns are gone. Roode sets up a barricade but Jey dives off the scaffold to make a save as the people actually in the match pop up again. Reigns throws him into some portable toilets (Cole: “Those structures.”) and then turns it over with Corbin inside. That doesn’t seem to mean much and they head back through the crowd. This time Corbin pulls a cover off of the dugout and hitting a few chair shots. Reigns comes back with a Superman Punch and the spear for the pin at 21:17.

Rating: C. These two just aren’t all that interesting together and Reigns is even harder to watch in this role after seeing what he could do later on in the year. The problem here was that they just walked around a lot and punched each other with some spots in the middle. The interference spiced things up a bit, but you shouldn’t need to spice up a violent gimmick match between two people who can’t stand each other. It’s not an awful match, but it wasn’t an interesting feud at the time and the version without seeing most of the build isn’t that much of an improvement.

Samoa Joe comes up to Kevin Owens, who is really excited about getting to beat up Seth Rollins. That sounds cool with Joe, who is more than willing to throw Owens out. Bickering ensues.

Sonya Deville says she’ll eliminate herself before eliminating Mandy Rose because they’re partners.

In Memory of Kobe Bryant, who died earlier in the day. That was quite the shock.

Women’s Royal Rumble

Ninety second intervals and Alexa Bliss is in at #1 and Bianca Belair, still in NXT at this point, is in at #2. Bliss doesn’t look impressed and they lock up to start. Belair starts fast by driving Bliss into the corner for a shoulder to the ribs. The standing moonsault connects and it’s Mighty Molly in at #3. The posing, complete with cape, draws the flashbacks and Molly hits a high crossbody onto both of them. We get some rather sped up intervals as Nikki Cross is in at #4.

Bliss and Cross have the big hug but get taken down, including the KOD from Belair to drive Cross onto Bliss in a crash. Everyone gets knocked down and it’s Lana in at #5. Lana, in the required Captain Marvel gear, brags about being a newlywed (oh man that nonsense) and finally gets in as Mercedes Martinez is in at #6 to clean house. Lana is almost put out and it’s Liv Morgan in at #7 to get rid of Lana in a hurry. Morgan makes the mistake of going up top though and Lana pulls her off. The catfight is on outside and Mandy Rose is in at #8.

Cross has to kick Rose away and gives her a crossbody as Candice LeRae is in at #9. A missile dropkick puts Martinez down and a Lionsault hits Cross. Molly gets tossed and Rose is sent over as well….but lands on Otis, who happens to be laying at ringside for your comedy bit. Sonya Deville is in at #10, giving us Bliss, Belair, Cross, Martinez, Rose, LeRae and Deville. Mandy and Sonya fail to get rid of Candice but they can get rid of Martinez. Kairi Sane is in at #11 and comes in with her umbrella because Sane is kind of weird. House is cleaned, including a Blockbuster into a top rope elbow on Rose. Mia Yim is in at #12 and Belair knocks Cross out.

Sonya tries to toss Mandy but Otis catches her again. That’s fine with Belair, who throws Sonya onto both of them for the double elimination. Dana Brooke is in at #13 and starts beating up Yim in a hurry. Belair tosses Candice out for her fifth elimination setting a women’s Royal Rumble record. Bliss gets rid of Sane and it’s Tamina in at #14 and she gets to fire off her superkicks. That’s fine with Belair, who avoids a charge to send Tamina out. NXT’s Dakota Kai is in at #15 and kicks Brooke in the face as Bliss knocks Yim out.

NXT’s Chelsea Green is in at #16 and tosses Kai but gets tossed by Bliss in about ten seconds. Belair gets rid of Brooke and we’re down to Belair vs. Bliss again. Twisted Bliss is blocked and they fight to the apron with Belair knocking her into the post for the elimination. Belair is alone and it’s Charlotte in at #17. Charlotte chops away at Belair and sends her flying with a quick suplex. That goes nowhere and it’s the returning Naomi in at #18.

Naomi starts sliding around to avoid some shots, setting up a staredown with Charlotte. Some chops in the corner have Naomi in trouble and it’s Beth Phoenix in at #19. Charlotte and Naomi and Beth and Belair pair off but it’s Toni Storm in at #20 to give us Charlotte, Naomi, Phoenix, Belair and Storm. Charlotte finally throws Belair out to a big reaction and it’s the returning Kelly Kelly in at #21.

Beth manages to send Charlotte over the top and stomp away but Charlotte manages to hang on. Sarah Logan is in at #22….and Charlotte kicks her out in about ten seconds. Charlotte knocks Kelly out and it’s Natalya in at #23. Clotheslines abound and Beth and Natalya powerbomb Charlotte out of the corner. NXT’s Xia Li is in at #24 and starts kicking various blondes. Zelina Vega is in at #25 as they’re flying through these entrants.

A tornado DDT plants Naomi but a bunch of people can’t get rid of Charlotte in the corner. NXT newcomer Shotzi Blackheart is in at #26 and Naomi is thrown over the top….but she manages to land on the steps and dive onto the barricade. Naomi pulls herself back up and crawls along the barricade so she can walk along the announcers’ table and try to figure things out. Carmella comes in at #27 and hits a very spinning headscissors, setting up a double Bronco Buster on Natalya and Beth (who is bleeding BADLY from the back of the head).

Charlotte gets sent shoulder first into the post and calls out to the floor as Tegan Nox is in at #28. Phoenix hits Nox with a Glam Slam….and Santina Marella is in at #29. Beth isn’t happy and glares Santina down, with Natalya joining her. With nothing else working, Santina whips out the Cobra, strikes herself, and is eliminations. NXT’s Shayna Baszler is in at #30, giving us a final field of Charlotte (on the floor), Naomi (still on the announcers’ table), Phoenix, Storm, Natalya, Li, Vega, Blackheart, Carmella, Nox and Baszler.

Shayna starts fast by posting Charlotte on the floor and dumps Li. Nox and Vega are out as well, with Shotzi joining all of them. Naomi has finally gotten the top of the announcers’ table off and uses it as a bridge to the ring for a big reaction (after about ten minutes to get back). Shayna gets rid of Carmella and Storm before dodging Naomi’s Rear View and tossing her as well.

Beth and Natalya grab a quick Hart Attack on Baszler but Beth throws Natalya out. Charlotte comes back in to send Baszler and Phoenix to the apron, setting up the Charlotte vs. Baszler showdown. Phoenix is back in but gets tossed by Baszler. Charlotte hang son and skins the cat into a headscissors to eliminate Baszler for the win at 54:17.

Rating: C+. They were flying through this and while it was nice to see the NXT stars popping in, there wasn’t a lot of interesting in the whole thing. The biggest problem is Charlotte winning, as she certainly didn’t need the win over a newcomer like Baszler. Charlotte was already one of the most successful women in WWE history. Did she really need something like this over a newcomer like Baszler? It makes even less sense when you consider where they both went at Wrestlemania, but again, Charlotte. It wasn’t a bad match at all, but just too fast and not overly interesting.

Post match Charlotte says nothing is stopping her from becoming champion again at Wrestlemania.

King Corbin promises to eliminate Roman Reigns from the Rumble tonight.

Smackdown Women’s Title: Bayley vs. Lacey Evans

Bayley is defending and gets shoved down to start. Some knee drops give Lacey an early two and a slingshot elbow has Bayley in more trouble. Hold on though as Bayley is favoring her knee, which is good enough goldbricking to let Bayley get in an elbow to the face for two. The chinlock sets up a suplex into another chinlock and the comeback attempt is countered into a third chinlock. Points for consistency? A clothesline gives Bayley two and she tells Lacey to “come on mommy.”.

The chinlock goes on again for a few seconds but Bayley misses a charge into the corner. Lacey grabs a slingshot rollup for two and nails a running knee. A slingshot dropkick almost sends Lacey falling out to the floor but she manages to hold on. The slingshot dive misses though and we see Lacey’s daughter and I’d assume husband in the front row. Back in and Lacey grabs a neckbreaker but the double jump moonsault hits knees (that’s what you get for stopping to salute). Bayley grabs a rollup with trunks to retain at 9:25.

Rating: C. Just slightly above a TV level match here but it was too early to take the title off of Bayley just yet. Bayley mocking Lacey was rather good but the amazing part is that Lacey still hasn’t won a title. You would just think she would have gotten one out of however many shots she has had over the years. It didn’t need to be here, but nothing since then? Really?

We recap Daniel Bryan vs. the Fiend. Bryan has brought back the YES Movement to fight against the Fiend and now it’s time to challenge for the title in a strap match. Bray Wyatt has brought up Bryan’s time as part of the Wyatt Family and wants some revenge.

Smackdown World Title: The Fiend vs. Daniel Bryan

The Fiend is defending in a strap match, but this time it’s pins/submissions instead of the four corners. I don’t miss the red lights but I do miss the severed head lantern (that’s one of those “only in wrestling” deals). As for the custom Fiend title… not so much either. Bryan kicks away in the corner but gets powerbombed out for his efforts. It’s already time to start whipping Bryan in the back but a kick to the face has Fiend on the floor. The suicide dive is swatted away though and Fiend whips him again.

As Cole refers to the Fiend as Reigns, they head back inside with Bryan being sat on top for some more shots to the back. The bright red marks are already starting to appear on Bryan’s back so Fiend laughs a lot. Bryan scores with a quick kick though and the running knee gets two. Fiend gets low bridged to the floor for the big dive, only to send Bryan into the steps. Bryan pulls him into the post over and over though and Fiend is rocked. He’s fine enough to clothesline Bryan inside out and it’s time to load up the announcers’ table.

Bryan kicks him low a few times to save himself and there’s a DDT onto the table for a thud. Fiend gets whipped for a change and it’s back inside for the YES Kicks, followed by several whips to Fiend for a change. As you might expect, Fiend wants more kicking and whippings so Bryan obliges. The running knee is countered into Sister Abigail (sweet) for two though and Fiend isn’t sure what to do. The Mandible Claw goes on on the top so Bryan pulls him into a triangle choke over the ropes.

That doesn’t work so Bryan pulls him into the YES Lock to….well not much as Fiend escapes and hammers away again. Another Sister Abigail is countered into another running knee for another two so Bryan starts firing himself up. Fiend pops up to his feet and you can see the defeat in Bryan’s face. Bryan’s whips are shrugged off and the Mandible Claw goes on again to finish Bryan at 17:36.

Rating: B. This was the Royal Rumble title defense as there was little doubt about who was going to win and there is nothing wrong with that. It was going to take someone special (or old) to beat Fiend and as great as Bryan is, it wasn’t the right place for him to get the title here. They had a hard hitting match but in the end, Bryan wasn’t enough to stop Fiend and that makes Fiend look a heck of a lot better.

Post match, a very damaged Bryan has to be helped out.

There is a new attendance record of 42,715.

We recap the Raw Women’s Title match, with Becky Lynch defending against Asuka. Lynch has been champion since Wrestlemania but Asuka was the last woman to beat her. That has weighed on Lynch and it is time for a rematch one year after the loss to Asuka. Green mist was used so you know it’s serious.

Raw Women’s Title: Becky Lynch vs. Asuka

Asuka, with Kairi Sane, is challenging. Feeling out process to start with the grappling setting up Asuka’s rollup for two. They roll around a bit until Becky clotheslines her to the floor. The followup earns Becky a shot to the arm but the hip attack misses, allowing the Disarm-Her (in the ropes) to go on. Asuka is right back with a neckbreaker over the ropes to take over and it’s time to kick Lynch in the face a few times. A Shining Wizard connects for two but Lynch comes back with some kicks to the face.

They fight to the apron with neither being able to hit a suplex so Becky release suplexes her to the floor. Asuka is fine enough to hit a knee to the face back inside and a fisherman’s suplex drop (as in she drops Becky down onto the mat) gets two. Asuka takes her to the middle rope, where Becky is back with a super Rock Bottom for two more. Becky can’t follow up so Asuka goes with the cross armbreaker into the Asuka Lock (how she beat Becky last year) but Becky makes the rope.

The Kawada Kicks knock Becky silly so we pause for a bit for the referee to check on Lynch. She grabs the referee’s leg to beg him not to stop it so Asuka hits another big kick to the head. Another Asuka Lock attempt is countered into a failed Disarm-Her attempt so they trade kicks for a double knockdown. They slug it out with the referee almost getting bumped, so Asuka loads up the green mist. Lynch is smarter than that though and kicks it out of her mouth, setting up the Disarm-Her to retain at 16:35.

Rating: B. These two beat the heck out of each other with Asuka winning most of the match until she tried to cheat and Becky was ready for her. This felt like Becky surviving until the end and then beating Asuka at her own game because she knew she had to get her win back. I really liked this and they told a good enough story that I got into it without remembering a lot of the details. That’s hard to do but they pulled it off here.

Post match, Becky gives Asuka a knowing look.

Wrestlemania XXXVI is coming to Tampa. My how things change, but the awesomeness of that pirate theme isn’t one of them.

The Street Profits go over the men’s Royal Rumble favorites as only they can.

Men’s Royal Rumble

Non-title and Booker T. is a guest commentator but hang on as Bobby Lashley and Rusev are ruled out due to a huge brawl earlier in the day. 90 second intervals again and WWE Champion Brock Lesnar is in at #1 (he wanted a challenge) and Elias is in at #2. Hold on though as Elias needs to call Lesnar a gorilla and Paul Heyman a zookeeper. Elias’ song is about how he is a sacrificial lamb so Lesnar charges to start the beating in the aisle.

They get inside with Lesnar unloading with shoulders in the corner. There’s the German suplex and a guitar shot to the back keeps Elias down. That’s enough for the elimination, which is good as face Elias never worked. Erick Rowan is in at #3 and lasts less than ten seconds. Good because the caged animal deal never worked either. After Lesnar walks around for a bit, Robert Roode is in at #4 and wisely takes his time.

Roode gets a boot up in the corner but walks into the F5 and is gone. More walking around, this time while holding the title up, kills some time until John Morrison (who makes Lesnar laugh) is in at #5. He beats Rowan’s time, lasting a full nine seconds. Kofi Kingston is in at #6 to get his chance at retribution for Lesnar beating him for the title in about ten seconds (Yeah remember that?).

Kofi gets in a few shots but is driven into the corner for another German suplex. Rey Mysterio is in at #7 and that gets Lesnar’s attention. The pace picks up (as you may have guessed) but Lesnar clotheslines them both down and gets to pace a bit. The German suplexes keep both guys down on the floor (not out) until Big E. is in at #8. Big E. rallies the troops and it’s the parade of finishers to rock Lesnar….who tosses Rey, uses Big E. as a launchpad to drop Kofi, and then tosses Big E. with ease.

Kofi is out as well and Lesnar is alone in the ring as Cesaro is in at #9. Less than twenty seconds later and Lesnar is all alone again for Lesnar’s eighth elimination. Shelton Benjamin is in at #10 and Lesnar likes this one for a change. Shelton hugs Heyman at ringside and tells him to go reunite with Lesnar (Booker: “Don’t fall for that!”). They hug and Lesnar German suplexes him, setting up another elimination.

Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura (with hype man Sami Zayn) is in at #11 and a spinning kick to the head rocks Lesnar. Then he throws Nakamura out, but he did get kicked down. MVP (in Black Panther gear) makes a surprise return at #12 (Lesnar likes his music) and is out in about 25 seconds. Keith Lee is in at #13 and that gets Brock’s attention (Lesnar: “Big boy!”) in a hurry. They stare each other down and Lee drops him with a shoulder (giving us a shocked Lesnar face), followed by a double knockdown. Braun Strowman is in at #14 and dropkicks Lee to the floor (not out).

Brock suplexes both of them twice in a row and they’re all down for a bit. Strowman and Lee start fighting….so Lesnar dumps them both to tie the eliminations record at 13. Ricochet (who Lesnar beat up on Raw) is in at #15 and gets knocked into the corner. There’s another German suplex to send Ricochet flying as Cole says he doesn’t want to hear anyone talking about how Lesnar doesn’t do anything. Drew McIntyre is in at #16 and there’s the next big staredown.

Lesnar takes the gloves off but Ricochet returns the low blow from Raw and McIntyre Claymores Lesnar out for a HUGE pop. Heyman isn’t sure what to do as the match starts the second half. McIntyre tosses Ricochet and stares down at Lesnar because that’s Wrestlemania. Miz is in at #17 and gets Future Shocked and Claymored for another elimination. McIntyre keeps staring down at Lesnar, who walks off through timekeeper’s area for some reason.

AJ Styles is in at #18 and starts kicking away at McIntyre’s leg. The Calf Crusher goes on for a bit but McIntyre drives AJ’s head into the mat for the break. Dolph Ziggler is in at #19 but would rather hit AJ than double team McIntyre. Karl Anderson is in at #20, giving us McIntyre, Styles, Ziggler and Anderson to tie the most people in the match at once. Anderson and Styles team up but Ziggler gets to make one of his signature Rumble saves (he does those A LOT).

In your shock of the night/show/year, EDGE is in at #21 and looks near tears to be in his first match in almost nine years. Spears abound and absolutely the fans are going nuts as Edge soaks in some cheers. AJ scores with a Pele kick to Edge but gets speared down as well. A banged up King Corbin is in at #22 as AJ seems to be hurt in the corner. Edge quickly eliminates AJ, who grabs his arm/shoulder on the floor.

NXT’s Matt Riddle is in at #23 and kicks away, only to get tossed by Corbin in about forty seconds. Luke Gallows is in at #24 and kicks away as well until McIntyre dumps Corbin (with Cole calling him Humpty Dumpty.). Randy Orton is in at #25 and it’s an RKO each for the Good Brothers. We get a quick Rated RKO reunion as Edge and Orton get rid of Gallows and Anderson and here’s Roman Reigns in at #26 (Cole actually gets in an interesting stat by saying it’s the latest entry to never have a winner).

Reigns goes after McIntyre and it’s Kevin Owens in at lucky #27 (even though the luck is more of cliché these days). Reigns can’t hit the Pop Up Powerbomb and Owens hits him with a Stunner. There’s another Stunner to Orton and it’s Aleister Black (I had forgotten his music) in at #28. Black Mass abounds but no one is tossed as Samoa Joe is in at #29. Owens and Joe, friends at the moment, slug it out until Seth Rollins is in at #30.

That gives us an outstanding final field of McIntyre, Edge, Orton, Reigns, Owens, Black, Joe and Rollins (Ziggler seems to have been eliminated off camera). This time though Rollins has Buddy Murphy and the AOP with him so Owens and Joe go outside to brawl with the team (sweet goodness with all the camera cuts). AOP starts wrecking people but doesn’t eliminate anyone. Murphy gets in a cheap shot on Black to save Rollins though and Black is gone.

Owens throws Rollins over the top but AOP catches him, allowing Rollins to toss Owens as well. Rollins gets caught in the Koquina Clutch but manages to toss Joe as well. Joe, Black and Owens brawl with AOP and Murphy to the back and we’re down to Rollins, McIntyre, Edge, Reigns and Orton (that’s a fine final five). Rollins tries to get on Reigns’ side but takes one finisher after another, setting up the easy elimination for McIntyre.

Edge and Orton agree to team up and the brawl is on again as the fans find this awesome. There’s an RKO to McIntyre and a spear takes him down again. A double RKO plants McIntyre again but Edge catches Orton waiting to turn on him. That lets Edge toss Orton (makes sense) and we’re down to three. The fans tell Edge that he still has it as he slugs it out with Reigns, who nails a Superman Punch. Reigns misses the spear so Edge hits his own and they go to the apron. Reigns gets the better of it and tosses Edge but heads back inside for the Claymore to give McIntyre the big win at 1:00:08.

Rating: B. And that’s how you make a new star, as McIntyre not only slayed the Beast but then won what was pretty much an all star second half to win the whole thing. You don’t see people get this kind of a rub in the Rumble often enough but man alive this worked very well. At least the second half though, which brings us to the 294lb gorilla in the Rumble.

Watching this Rumble back and knowing what is coming made it a bit easier, but the first half is still total overkill as Lesnar could have made the same point with, I don’t know, seven or eight people? I’d like to think that it’s not just to equal Strowman’s elimination record from the Greatest Royal Rumble, but WWE seems to consider that the same as this kind so maybe they are ridiculous enough to consider that a reason. Lesnar was a monster and some of the stuff he did was cool, but we got the point already.

Overall it’s a good enough Rumble and the positives outweigh the negatives, but the Lesnar stuff went on too long. I do like seeing Lesnar be treated like a monster instead of rushing through everything in three minutes, but how many villagers does the monster need to devour to prove his point? The McIntyre stuff made up for a lot of it, though I don’t need to see the two half Rumble structure again.

Overall Rating: B+. Overall, this is a heck of a show, but I can get why watching it with more knowledge of what it would mean would change things a lot. There are some weak parts to the show, but at the same time the big matches all delivered and that’s what you need in a show like this. They also kept it a little shorter than the huge shows and with nothing bad, I’m not sure what else you could want. Well less Lesnar dominance maybe but that might be nitpicking.

Ratings Comparison

Shorty G. vs. Sheamus

Original: C

Redo: C-

Andrade vs. Humberto Carrillo

Original: C

Redo: C+

King Corbin vs. Roman Reigns

Original: D+

Redo: C

Women’s Royal Rumble

Original: B

Redo: C+

Bayley vs. Lacey Evans

Original: C-

Redo: C

Daniel Bryan vs. The Fiend

Original: B

Redo: B

Asuka vs. Becky Lynch

Original: B

Redo: B

Men’s Royal Rumble

Original: B+

Redo: B

Overall Rating

Original: B

Redo: B+

Wait, I really liked the men’s Rumble better the first time? Reigns vs. Corbin being higher this time doesn’t surprise me though as that feud just destroyed me.

Here’s the original review if you’re interested:


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  1. January 28, 2024

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