McNEILL’s Live Blog of WWE’s 30th Annual Royal Rumble



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By Pat McNeill, PWTorch Columnist

Yes, PWTorch Columnist Pat McNeill is getting caught up, and the WWE Royal Rumble is underway.

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Wow. Check out all the empty chairs!

Nothing like watching WWE Network while the announcers explain at length why I should subscribe to WWE Network.

Royal Rumble by the numbers: Number of times I will wish Howard Finkel was ring announcer tonight: 372.

Intros for the Smackdown women’s match. Only five hours to go.

Tell Mauro the last time I heard “distaff” was when Bob Haney was writing “Batman” for DC Comics.

Natalya says Nikki has no talent or charisma. Wrong. I’m told the left one is named “Talent” and the right one is “Charisma”.

Naomi pins Alexa. I’m 1 for 1.

See, I’m not the only one who gets all the short brunette interviewers confused. Jericho’s with me.

“Triple H made Kevin Owens the Chosen One”. If Owens comes out to “Cowboy” by Kid Rock, I quit.

I might have had Peter Rosenberg’s job if I hadn’t made fun of Triple H & Stephanie four or five thousand times.

WWE World Tag Team Title match. Is it 6 pm Eastern time already?

If we’re going to have this many announcers, WWE needs to create its own version of the CNN morning show set.

And…perfect time for WWE Network to crap the bed on me.

The challengers win. I’m 1 for 2. But congratulations to Gallows & Anderson. They deserve this.

That last pick was my own fault. Shouldn’t have picked anyone who’s here on a work visa. Not this weekend.

“Austin Aries, why do you think Neville slid under the radar?” “Bad booking.”

Dean Ambrose’s plan to win the Royal Rumble? Hide behind Big Show. Does he know Show’s lost weight?

When is it Mr. McMahon’s turn to play Colonel Sanders? Everyone else has had a shot.

Nia Jax is in complete control, so it must be time for a commercial break. And there it is.

WWE Champions ad. Pretty sure if Rock called someone a “monkey ass” in 2017, he’d be accused of a hate crime.

Nia Jax wins and I’m 2 for 3. Poor Sasha.

We don’t have a halftime show for next Sunday’s “Wayback Playback” episode, but I’ll see if Jim Valley’s up for performing “Pokerface”.

We’re underway in San Antonio. 50,000 fans in attendance and almost as many WWE announcers.

First match on the main show is Charlotte defending the WWE Women’s Title against Bayley. This should be good.

According to Michael Cole, 1992 was the last time the WWE Title was up for grabs in the Rumble match. (True, except for LAST YEAR.)

And there goes the WWE Network on my Roku. Just shoot me already.

We’re underway in San Antonio. 50,000 fans in attendance and almost as many WWE announcers.

First match on the main show is Charlotte defending the WWE Women’s Title against Bayley. This should be good.

According to Michael Cole, 1992 was the last time the WWE Title was up for grabs in the Rumble match. (True, except for LAST YEAR.)

And there goes the WWE Network on my Roku. Just shoot me already.

We’re back and Bayley is dominating. The Macho Man top rope elbow by Bayley isn’t the finish. Charlotte locks in the figure-four and Bayley turns it over.

Charlotte is off target on the moonsault. The good news for Charlotte is that she missed Bayley’s knees. But Charlotte hits Natural Selection for the win. 3 for 4 for me. 16 for 16 for Charlotte.

After missing all the “Holy Foley” episodes in Season One, I can’t wait to miss the last five.

We’re lowing the shark cage because Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens is next. What the…? Did I have a blackout or something?

In the video package, Chris Jericho claims that the shark cage looks flimsy and dangerous. If you were watching in 1999, these lines aren’t as funny as they read.

Owens is the clear fan favorite here (and most everywhere else).

Owens and Jericho double team Reigns before the US Champ can be loaded into the shark cage. The Texas crowd roots for the two immigrants to beat up the lone American.

Finally, Jericho is removed and the match begins. “Let’s see who the better man is”. I think the crowd’s already made up its mind, Byron.

It’s Walk ‘n Brawl time. And me without my Walk ‘n Brawl shoes.

“If Roman Reigns can’t breathe, he can’t fight”. No, I’ve seen enough of Raw to know Reigns can win without oxygen. He’s like Aquaman.

By the way, I’d like to thank the fans in San Antonio for not holding up any giant pictures of MY head.

Michael Cole with the Rumble history correction. Well done, sir.

Lots of furniture and Kev keeps working the ribs. Reigns hit the Superman punch and Owens falls off the apron through a stack of chairs.

Lots of furniture and Kev keeps working the ribs. Reigns hit the Superman punch and Owens falls off the apron through a stack of chairs. Then Reigns puts Owens through the announce table.

Then Braun Strowman emerges and attacks Roman Reigns. Owens gets the pin. And there was much rejoicing.

So what is the takeaway here? My takeaway is that all the other wrestlers hate Roman Reigns.

Big Cass & Enzo Amore hawk Kentucky Fried Chicken. Good ol’ Colonel Enzo.

You know what we need? That’s right. A long video package. Long enough for me to say this. 4 out of 5.

Did You Know? Triple H has lasted over 4 hours total in his 9 Royal Rumble appearances. (It just SEEMS longer.)

“Is this the tumbler?” No, Shane. It’s just a really cool popcorn popper. (Here’s your sign.)

SPOILER: Sami Zayn drew an early number.

Now I know why they blocked out six hours for this show. It’s for all the video packages.

Rich Swann vs. Adrian Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight Title.

Rich Swann is wearing a white jacket. According to Bruce Mitchell, this means Swann’s gonna blade.

Mauro introduces the Brazilian, Spanish, French and Russian announcers. What happened to the Farsi announcers? Um…don’t worry about it.

Good match. Neville wins the title, to the surprise of very few. By the way, 5 for 6.

“They’ve called me damaged goods. They’ve called me washed up”. What about “Bella whipped”? Can I be the first one to call you that?

JBL says Julius Erving was the greatest basketball player of all time. I’m shocked. I always saw him as a George Mikan guy.

Styles vs. Cena. David Otunga becomes only the 500th guy to make the New England versus Atlanta joke.

Does my $9.99 subscription earn me the right to watch #RoyalRumble via IPTV so I can actually see the show? Asking for a friend.

AJ Styles is a fan favorite everywhere except Mr. McMahon’s office.

Cena is having trouble breathing after Styles worked over his ribs. But…but Cena’s in the gym every day!

These two are so good that Cena kicked out of the Styles Clash and the fans didn’t see it coming.

AJ kicks out of the Code Teal. Here we go. Cena with Rolling Attitude Adjustments for the win. (6 for 7). A great match. Seriously. JBL nearly hurts himself putting the match over.

Elimination Chamber is two weeks from tonight. (Please tell me it’s not a six hour show.)

Time for the Rumble. Big Cass is Number 1, because Enzo needs time to cut a promo. I should have seen that coming. Jericho is Number 2. Kalisto is in at 3.

Mojo Rawley is Number 4. Lawler labels him “excitable”.

Jack Gallagher is Number 5. So much for this year’s surprises. Good writing dictates that if an umbrella is introduced in the first act, it must be used on someone’s groin in the third act.

Mark Henry is Number 6. He eliminates Gallagher, who does the Mary Poppins bump.

Braun Strowman is Number 7. Out goes Rawley. Out goes Cassady. And out goes Kalisto. And Mark Henry. Ouch. Jericho hides outside the ring.

Sami Zayn is Number 8, remember? And Big Show is Number 9. By the time Show hits the ring, Dillinger will be out at Number 10.

Braun eliminates Show, second year in a row. Tye Dillinger is Number 10.

Number 11 is James Ellsworth. This is underwhelming. Wisely, Ellsworth doesn’t want to go in against Braun. Ambrose is Number 12. Dean tricks Ellsworth into entering the ring. And out he goes. Ambrose doesn’t even try to catch him.

Baron Corbin is Number 13. Braun tosses Dillinger for Strowman’s seventh elimination. And then Baron Corbin eliminates Strowman. That’s an impressive pop for the Baron.

Kofi Kingston is Number 14. He circles the ring looking for props. Miz is Number 15. Kingston gets knocked off the top turnbuckle but somehow hangs on to the ringpost.

Sheamus is Number 16. Big E is Number 17. Big E spanks The Miz. You read that right. Rusev is Number 18. Yes, Jericho is still in hiding. Pay no attention to the man behind the barrier. Waiting on one of the big guns.

Cesaro is Number 19. Number 20 is Xavier Woods. New Day triple teams Sheamus. Number 21 is Bray Wyatt. No Goldberg, Brock, Orton or Taker. Not yet.

Apollo Crews is Number 22. Ziggler also hasn’t shown up yet. We know six of the seven remaining. Sheamus and Cesaro eliminate all three New Day members. Jericho eliminates Sheamus and Cesaro. That escalated quickly.

Randall K. Orton is Number 23. Ziggler is Number 24. One Man Superkick Party from Dolph Ziggler. The crowd wants to see Goldberg. But they get Luke Harper at Number 25 instead. Harper eliminates Crews, then goes after Bray and Randy. Oh, my.

Number 26 is Brock Lesnar. Here comes the pain. Brock tosses Ambrose. And Ziggler. F5’s all around.

Number 27 is Enzo Amore. You’ve GOT to be kidding me. Brock eliminates Enzo. Lesnar is President Trump’s one man welcome wagon.

Bill Goldberg is Number 28. Brock’s waiting. Spear. Clothesline. Goldberg eliminates Lesnar. Okay then. Orton & Wyatt team up against Goldberg.

The Dead Man is Number 29. Called. It. And yes, Taker was hiding under the ring. I love that man with a pure manly love.

Rusev eliminated. Corbin eliminated. Goldberg tosses Harper, but Undertaker eliminates Goldberg. Oh, my.

Number 30 is Roman Reigns. Crap. Graves says this is a terrible idea. Can’t argue with that. Everyone else clears out so Reigns can fight Undertaker.

Now Undertaker eliminates Miz. And Sami Zayn. And Reigns gets Taker from behind and eliminates Undertaker. The crowd is not pleased.

Reigns, Orton, Jericho and Bray Wyatt are the Final Four. Make that three as Roman eliminates Jericho. Then the Big Dog tosses Bray. And Randy Orton eliminates Reigns. Randy Orton wins the Royal Rumble. Setting up…Orton versus Cena?

Well, that was fun. Let’s meet on PWTorchLivecast.com and talk it over. Good night!

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