We have reached the last stretch to the biggest show of the year, the road to Wrestlemania begins tonight with the WWE Royal Rumble event. We are nearly 24 hours out since NXT Takeover and boy did they deliver. Now let’s see how the main roster follows.

The kickoff show starts off with Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler, Booker T, & Beth Phoenix hyping and breaking down tonight show.

The first half of the kickoff show is all about video packages and hyping up the show. We get some guest appearances and honestly is just filler no one cares about so let’s get to some kickoff action.

Tag Team Match For Raw Tag Team Titles

Bobby Roode & Chad Gable Vs Scott Dawson & Rezar With Drake Maverick

Bobby Roode & Chad Gable win via Neckbreaker/Moonsault combo on Dawson and retain Raw Tag Team Titles

Grade: C

Coming into this match I was expecting just the typical tag team match we see weekly, but what we got was a cool dynamic and story being told. The story of Dawson & Rezar working great but making mistakes at the end let there be a good reason to care about the match. Roode and Gable retaining was the logical choice but I really hope we see more creative ideas and small stories to help the failing Raw tag division.

RELATED: WRESTLE THOUGHTS | 6 Must-See Creative Changes For WWE In 2019

Singles Match For WWE United States Title

Rusev With Lana Vs Shinsuke Nakamura

Shinsuke Nakamura wins via Kinshasa and wins WWE United States Title

Grade: C+

A pretty good match here, but it felt like their last match on Smackdown was way better. It’s really just sad to see how far both of these men have fallen in just a year. The finish was predictable, and them using Lana as a crutch in the plot is just lazy booking. I just want a decisive winner in this feud already.

Fatal Four Way Match For WWE Cruiserweight Title

Buddy Murphy Vs Kalisto Vs Akira Tozawa Vs Hideo Itami

Buddy Murphy wins via Murphy Law on Itami and retains WWE Cruiserweight Title

Grade: C+

Now before you destroy me with hate comments, this match was good and had some great spots but as an overall match, it lacked good flow. All 4 men just looked confused at times, and like they were just running until it was time for the next big spot. I expected more from all 4 men, and I just felt like they could have done so much more. Itami taking the pinfall just proves more, that his time in WWE will be deemed as a failure, as years later he is still without a title, and has not had a big win since he was in NXT.

Singles Match For Smackdown Women’s Title

Asuka Vs Becky Lynch

Asuka wins via Modified Reverse Asuka Lock and retains Smackdown Women’s title

Grade: B+

The best way to open up the main show, 2 of the best female workers who gave us a Wrestlemania worthy type of title match. This could have gone either way, and Becky losing does not make her look weak as the finish was so well crafted that it made both leave this match looking strong. After the match, seeing the disappointment in Becky’s face really told the story of how much being the best means to her. Asuka needed this one more than Becky and it really showed WWE has faith in Asuka.

Tag Team Match For Smackdown Tag Team Titles

The Bar Vs Shane Mcmahon & The Miz

Shane Mcmahon & The Miz win via Shooting Star Press on Cesaro and win Smackdown Tag Team Titles

Grade: C

Okay, this bothers me to such a high point that I had to wait 15 minutes before I could write it down. Match wise, The Bar did everything they could do to make this match good and The Miz played a good babyface, but what ruined it was the fact that not only is Shane Mcmahon a champion, but he pinned Cesaro to win it. This right here is why fans want AEW to succeed and this is why people hate the McMahons. Yeah, I know I’m complaining, but I just want tag team wrestling to mean something again.

RELATED: WWE Tag Teams Get A Revival of Hope

Singles Match For Raw Women’s Title

Ronda Rousey Vs Sasha Banks

Ronda Rousey wins via Pipers Pit and retains Raw Women’s Title.
After the match, Rousey helps Sasha Banks up and they shake hands. Sasha would leave as Rousey celebrates, and then return a few minutes later to return the handshake, but throws up the 4 horsewomen symbol instead.

Grade: B-

This is the kind of match I like to see from both women, Sasha carried the match in some big moments but Rousey looked like a real star and I will say that she is the best thing to happen to this division.  Hopefully, this helps Sasha get more big matches because tonight she showed why she helped fix this division. Great night of wrestling for the women so far and I love how they keep on hinting towards the 4 horsewomen match which we might see at Summerslam.

RELATED: Women’s Tag Team Championships | Breaking Down Elimination Chamber

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

ENTRY ORDER

  1. Lacey Evans
  2. Natalya
  3. Mandy Rose
  4. Liv Morgan
  5. Mickie James
  6. Ember Moon
  7. Billie Kay
  8. Nikki Cross
  9. Peyton Royce
  10. Tamina
  11. Xia Li
  12. Sarah Logan
  13. Charlotte Flair
  14. Kairi Sane
  15. Maria Kanellis
  16. Naomi
  17. Candice Larae
  18. Alicia Fox
  19. Kacy Catanzaro
  20. Zelina Vega
  21. Ruby Riot
  22. Dana Brooke
  23. Io Shirai
  24. Rhea Ripley
  25. Sonya Deville
  26. Alexa Bliss
  27. Bayley
  28. Becky Lynch
  29. Nia Jax
  30. Carmella

ELIMINATION ORDER

  1. Liv Morgan Eliminated By Natalya
  2. Mickie James Eliminated By Tamina
  3. Nikki Cross Eliminated By The Iconic
  4. Peyton Royce Eliminated By Lacey Evans
  5. Billie Kay Eliminated By Lacey Evans
  6. Xia Li Eliminated By Charlotte Flair
  7. Tamina Eliminated By Charlotte Flair
  8. Sarah Logan Eliminated By Kairi Sane & Natalya
  9. Mandy Rose Eliminated By Naomi
  10. Naomi Eliminated By Mandy Rose
  11. Lacey Evans Eliminated By Charlotte Flair
  12. Maria Kanellis Eliminated By Alicia Fox
  13. Alicia Fox Eliminated By Ruby Riot
  14. Candice Larae Eliminated By Ruby Riot
  15. Kairi Sane Eliminated By Ruby Riot
  16. Kacy Catanzaro Eliminated By Rhia Ripley
  17. Dana Brooke Eliminated By Rhia Ripley
  18. Zelina Vega Eliminated By Rhia Ripley
  19. Sonya Deville Eliminated By Alexa Bliss
  20. Ruby Riot Eliminated By Bayley
  21. Rhia Ripley Eliminated By Bayley
  22. Io Shirai Eliminated By Nia Jax
  23. Natalya Eliminated By Nia Jax
  24. Ember Moon Eliminated By Alexa Bliss
  25. Alexa Bliss Eliminated By Bayley & Carmella
  26. Carmella Eliminated By Charlotte Flair
  27. Bayley Eliminated By Nia Jax & Charlotte Flair
  28. Nia Jax Eliminated By Becky Lynch
  29. Charlotte Flair Eliminated By Becky Lynch

Winner: Becky Lynch

Grade: B+

Well, WWE finally listened to the fans and gave us what we wanted, and that is Becky Lynch. When she arrived in the Rumble match, that reaction was very attitude era like and it was insane to hear in modern times. So we got that out of the way, now let’s talk about the rest of the match. Props to Naomi and Kaci Catanzaro for giving us rumble moments that I will remember. We saw great showings from Lacey Evans, Charlotte Flair, Natalya, & Ember Moon. This was one hell of a rumble match and honestly could be one of the best of this decade. Props to WWE for making this match look like they care and giving us the proper result.

Singles Match For WWE Title

Daniel Bryan Vs AJ Styles

Daniel Bryan wins after Erick Rowan Chokeslams AJ Styles and retains WWE Title.

After the match, Rowan holds Styles up only for Bryan to hit the running knee.

Grade: B+

These 2 men put on a wrestling clinic and really showed that they are 2 of the best workers today, just like they were 10 years ago. This was their best match in WWE and the Daniel Bryan heel turn has really made this run seem important for WWE and Smackdown Live. The finish was tainted and I did not like that he didn’t win clean, but I get it as it was done to continue the story, but this should have ended the feud. Well, here is to another month of the political feud with Daniel Bryan & AJ Styles.

Singles Match For WWE Universal Title

Brock Lesnar With Paul Heyman Vs Finn Balor

Brock Lesnar wins via Kimura Lock and retains WWE Universal Title.

After the match, Lesnar takes Balor to suplex city and then finishes him off with an F-5.

Grade: B+

Another great title match in this great show. Brock Lesnar proves yet again, that if he cares, he will always give you a great match. The right guy won here as Lesnar is the draw at this moment, but I fully expect Balor to get some kind of mega push after Mania, or even before Mania because tonight he made his haters see why WWE went after him when he was a star in NJPW. I think Lesnar is in his last run in WWE, so seeing his great matches with Bryan and Balor over the last few months just makes me appreciate him, even when at times his contract can get annoying. Finn Balor still has time to become a megastar in WWE so do not give up hope just yet, as I think he will regain that title in 2019.

Royal Rumble Match

ENTRY ORDER

  1. Elias
  2. Jeff Jarrett
  3. Shinsuke Nakamura
  4. Kurt Angle
  5. Big E
  6. Johnny Gargano
  7. Jinder Mahal
  8. Samoa Joe
  9. Curt Hawkins
  10. Seth Rollins
  11. Titus Oneil
  12. Kofi Kingston
  13. Mustafa Ali
  14. Dean Ambrose
  15. No Way Jose
  16. Drew Mcintyre
  17. Xavier Woods
  18. Pete Dunne
  19. Andrade
  20. Apollo Crews
  21. Aleister Black
  22. Shelton Benjamin
  23. Baron Corbin
  24. Jeff Hardy
  25. Rey Mysterio
  26. Bobby Lashley
  27. Braun Strowman
  28. Dolph Ziggler
  29. Randy Orton
  30. Nia Jax

ELIMINATION ORDER

  1. Jeff Jarrett Eliminated By Elias
  2. Kurt Angle Eliminated By Shinsuke Nakamura
  3. Jinder Mahal Eliminated By Johnny Gargano
  4. Big E Eliminated By Samoa Joe
  5. Elias Eliminated By Seth Rollins
  6. Titus Oneil Eliminated By Curt Hawkins
  7. Curt Hawkins Eliminated By Samoa Joe
  8. Shinsuke Nakamura Eliminated By Mustafa Ali
  9. Johnny Gargano Eliminated By Dean Ambrose
  10. No Way Jose Eliminated By Samoa Joe
  11. Kofi Kingston Eliminated By Drew Mcintyre
  12. Xavier Woods Eliminated By Drew Mcintyre
  13. Dean Ambrose Eliminated By Aleister Black
  14. Samoa Joe Eliminated By Mustafa Ali
  15. Apollo Crews Eliminated By Baron Corbin
  16. Aleister Black Eliminated By Baron Corbin
  17. Pete Dunne Eliminated By Drew Mcintyre
  18. Bobby Lashley Eliminated By Seth Rollins
  19. Baron Corbin Eliminated By Braun Strowman
  20. Shelton Benjamin Eliminated By Braun Strowman
  21. Jeff Hardy Eliminated By Braun Strowman
  22. Drew Mcintyre Eliminated By Dolph Ziggler
  23. Mustafa Ali Eliminated By Nia Jax
  24. Nia Jax Eliminated By Rey Mysterio
  25. Rey Mysterio Eliminated By Randy Orton
  26. Randy Orton Eliminated By Andrade
  27. Andrade Eliminated By Braun Strowman
  28. Dolph Ziggler Eliminated By Braun Strowman
  29. Braun Strowman Eliminated By Seth Rollins

Winner: Seth Rollins

Grade: B

This match was everything I actually wanted. Less nostalgia and more NXT talent being showcased. The opening of the match annoyed me to pieces as it just should have been saved for an episode of Raw. The first 10 minutes of the match was pretty boring, but once we got some heavy hitters in the match, the action picked up and the crowd woke back up again. I only have a couple nitpicks about this match and that is mostly that Seth Rollins did not need this win and only was given the win for a feel-good moment with Roman at the end of Wrestlemania. Also, the whole Nia Jax spot was a waste and honestly in bad taste, and kinda made me sour on the ending. Other than those 2 things, I will say that this rumble did a good job getting people over and showing young talent to casual fans.

 

Show Grade: B

Was this show perfect? Not even close, the kickoff show was average and the Smackdown Tag Team Title match bothered me. But with all concerned we got great all-around title matches that I really enjoyed, both rumbles did what they were supposed to do, and the whole event helped build some stories heading into Wrestlemania.  Really good show to start off 2019 and I expect more like this in 2019, as they have the talent, now all they have to do is tell some good stories.

 

Which Rumble was better in your opinion, and which matches lived up? Where do you see the Road to Wrestlemania going from here? Sound off int he comments with your thoughts on this year’s Royal Rumble, and don’t forget to Subscribe by Email to discuss the results of Elimination Chamber next month. Follow Us on Social Media for exclusive content you won’t find here, and remember to drop a like/rate and Share to Support.

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