WWE ROYAL RUMBLE PPV RESULTS 1/27: Keller’s full detailed report including Lesnar vs. Balor, Rousey vs. Banks, Asuka vs. Becky, Bryan vs. Styles, Rumble matches

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor



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KELLER’S WWE ROYAL RUMBLE PPV REPORT
JANUARY 27, 2019
PHOENIX, ARIZ. AT CHASE FIELD
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK

KICK-OFF SHOW

[HOUR ONE]

Panel: Jonathan Coachman, Booker T, Jerry Lawler, Beth Phoenix… Roving Reporter JBL… Interviewer Kayla Braxton…

-The panel announced that Braun Strowman is in the Royal Rumble, replacing the injured John Cena. (This adds some doubt to the odds-on favorite Seth Rollins, with two real contenders to face Lesnar at WrestleMania in the mix.)

-Kayla interviewed Drake Maverick, who revealed that Akam of AOP is injured, so Scott Dawson would take his place later.

-More interviews and video packages.

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young

(1) BOBBY ROODE & CHAD GABLE vs. REZAR & SCOTT DAWSON (w/Drake Maverick)

Cole said if Rezar and Dawson won, each of their respective teams would earn a future title shot. After Dawson got pinned, Drake and Rezar were cleared upset with him.

WINNERS: Roode & Gable in 6:00 when Gable pinned Dawson.

[HOUR TWO]

Panelists: Shawn Michaels and David Otunga replaced Booker and Lawler for the second hour of the Kickoff Show. 

(2) RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA – U.S. Title match

In the end, Rusev charged toward Nakamura, but Nakamura moved and Rusev almost knocked Lana off the ring apron. Nakamura surprised a distracted Rusev with a Kinshasa for the win.

WINNER: Nakamura in 11:00 to capture the U.S. Title.

-The panel recapped Takeover and showed the footage that did air last night of Triple H restoring order backstage when a big brawl broke out with Velveteen Dream, Aleister Black, Adam Cole, Tomasso Ciampa, Ricochet, and Johnny Gargano last night. Then they announced Halftime Heat on WWE Network next Sunday during the Super Bowl would feature Black & Dream & Ricochet vs. Ciampa & Gargano & Cole.

Announcers: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson

(3) BUDDY MURPHY vs. HIDEO ITAMI vs. AKIRA TOZAWA vs. KALISTO – Cruiserweight Title match

In the end, Murphy pinned Itami.

WINNER: Murphy in 12:00 to retain his title.

-Drew McIntyre stood backstage and said it isn’t just his destiny to win the Rumble, but it’s a certainty. He said he’d be in the match, but Dolph Ziggler, Kurt Angle, The Shield, and John Cena were not.

-The panel gave their final thoughts on the Rumble as fans practiced counting down and cheering in the background.


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MAIN SHOW

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

(1) ASUKA vs. BECKY LYNCH – Smackdown Title match

Lynch came out first. Then Asuka came out with the floating masks on the screen, so “augmented reality” is back for this event. They threw to the Spanish announce team on camera to do their introductions. After formal ring introductions, they locked up in a test of strength. The screen noted #RoyalRumble was already the no. 1 trend on Twitter worldwide. Becky yelled, “Fight me. Fight me!” after nocking Asuka down. Asuka smiled and took her up on it. Becky, though, fended off Asuka’s attack with a punch and uppercut. Asuka fired back with kicks and scored an early one count. Lynch kicked Asuka off the ring apron at 3:00 and then rammed her into the ring apron at ringside. The ref was counting them, so Becky reset the count. Asuka dragged Becky right back to the floor and threw Becky into the ring apron. Back in the ring Becky took over and applied an armbar. Asuka cried out in agony. Asuka came back to surprise Becky with an Asuka Lock while Becky was tied up in the ropes. Becky avoided a charging Asuka, who went shoulder-first into the ringpost. Becky then applied a Disarm Her in the turnbuckles, so she also had to break within five. When Becky leaped off the top rope, Asuka kneed her out of mid-air.

Asuka landed a flying hip attack at 8:00 for a two count. Asuka leaped off the top rope, but Becky moved and then took Asuka down with a urinage for a near fall. Becky sat in shock, then moved in toward Asuka. Asuka was playing possum and surprised her with an armbar which shifted into an Asuka Lock attempt. Becky rolled to the bottom rope to force a break at 11:00. They took it to the ring apron and maneuvered to try to get the advantage. Asuka ended up leaping off the ring apron in a fisherman’s suplex position and landed with a twisting neckbreaker. Both were slow to get up. Asuka got up first and entered the ring. Becky just barely beat the count. Asuka surprised Becky with a running kick for a near fall. They stood and exchanged blows mid-ring. Asuka won the battle with a spin wheel kick for another near fall. Becky came back with a Becksploder Suplex off the second rope for a near fall.

Becky leaped off the top rope at 18:00 with a legdrop, but Asuka moved and applied an Asuka Lock then shifted quickly into a Disarm Her, but Becky escaped and applied an Asuka Lock. They rolled around on the mat and Asuka rolled out of it and leveraged Becky down for a two count. Becky then countered Asuka seconds later with a Disarm Her. Asuka reached for the bottom rope, but instead schoolgirled Becky for a two count. Becky rolled through for a two count. Asuka took Becky down instantly with another Asuka Lock attempt. Becky rolled, and then Asuka turned into a bridge with a choke and Becky tapped out. Graves said this isn’t how Becky saw this night going for her and she has to be more disappointed than any other time in her career.

WINNER: Asuka in 19:00 to retain the Smackdown Title. (***1/2)

(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match. Strong win for Asuka that cements her in the top tier of the entire Women’s Division rather than a “bridge” to get the belt onto someone else quickly.)

(2) THE BAR (Sheamus & Cezaro) vs. MIZ & SHANE MCMAHON

Miz hugged his father at ringside before the match, the reason this match is happening. Miz wore a shirt that aid “Miz & Mac.” Shane wore a shirt that said, “Shane-O-Mac.” (Who is a better teammate based on that?)

Shane speared Sheamus at the bell, a proper response given what The Bar did to him and Miz last week on Smackdown. Shane tagged in Miz who went after Cesaro. He scored an early one count after a sunset flip. Sheamus held Miz in their corner as Cesaro took a shot at him, giving the heel duo their first advantage of the match. Shane ran in. The ref scolded him and sent him back to his corner. Byron said Shane can be emotional and hot-headed. Sheamus knocked Shane off the ring apron. Miz then took it to Sheamus with a barrage of kicks.

The Bar double-teamed Miz at ringside, but before they could slam him on the Spanish announce table, Shane made the save. Shane put Cesaro on the announce table. Cesaro stayed there with way too little of a beating. Miz held Cesaro down, although Cesaro easily could have moved. Shane climbed to the top rope. Sheamus saved Cesaro and threw Miz into the ring. Shane still leaped off the top and hit Sheamus with a clothesline. Cesaro then charged at Shane and took him down with a running uppercut. Cesaro threw Sheamus back into the ring, then threw Shane into the barricade at ringside. In the ring, The Bar double chokeslammed Miz for a two count at 7:00.

They settled into an extended isolation of Miz. Miz eventually jaw-jacked Sheamus and hot-tagged Shane. Shane blocked a Sheamus attempt at a Brogue Kick and landed a flying back elbow. He danced before landing a DDT on Sheamus for a two count. He stomped away at Sheamus in the corner. Cesaro tagged himself in, though, and went at Shane. Shane knocked out Cesaro with a back elbow. Cesaro and Sheamus were both leaning in the corner. Shane went for a Coast to Coast, but Cesaro stood and caught Shane and slammed him. Cesaro then gave Shane a Cesaro Swing. The crowd cheered as it got past ten revolutions. Shane, though, reached up and went for a triangle on Cesaro. So much for the Cesaro Swing being damaging. Cesaro powered up Shane, but Shane held onto the triangle. Cesaro faded. Sheamus landed a flying knee drop onto Shane to break it up. Miz made the save with a running boot. Sheamus got the better of Miz at ringside with a clothesline. Cesaro and Sheamus hit a double-team White Noise for a believable near fall.

Cesaro held Shane up for a Brogue Kick. Miz entered the ring and shoved Cesaro into the path. Miz then it the Skull Crushing Finale. Shane landed a Shooting Star Press for the win. Miz celebrated with his dad at ringside. Shane joined them. Miz hugged Dana Warrior at ringside too.

WINNERS: Shane & Miz in 13:00 to capture the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. (**1/2)

(Keller’s Analysis: About what you’d expect for this. Solid action, although some of the more complex spots where Cesaro and Sheamus had to sell were quite the stretch. No signs of any dissension or a crack in the joyful union that is the Besties.)

-A commercial aired for WWE Network and they flashed logos on the screen for each of the big events on the calendar, which included Crown Jewel.

-They went to the announcers at ringside. Cole hyped 48,193 as the attendance for the Rumble.

-Charlie Caruso caught up with Sasha backstage and said people are saying she is destined to fail because she can’t keep her emotions in check. Sasha said her emotions are why she’d had the success she has had. She said nothing has been handed to her. She said Ronda has never been in the ring with a legit boss like her, and she will prove she is the best when she makes her tap out. Sasha walked out first. It’s strange seeing wrestlers come out from the dugout and not stand in front of a huge video wall on a stage.

-They showed various international announce teams on the screen.

-Before Ronda’s entrance, and after Sasha’s music stopped, there were boos. Rousey slapped hands on her way to the ring. The announcers talked about her history with WWE so far.

(3) RONDA ROUSEY vs. SASHA BANKS – Raw Title match

Sasha was cheered during formal ring introductions. Rousey got a mixed response, mostly boos. They had an intense face-to-face to close out ring entrances. The bell rang and Ronda blocked a Sasha slam. Ronda went for an armdrag, but Sasha countered with her own armdrag. She gloated a bit. Rousey imitated Sasha in mocking fashion after her first offensive move. Rousey went into a series of unreleased suplexes next, a la Eddie Guerrero. Sasha countered after two. They reversed each other. Sasha stood and slapped Rousey. Rousey kicked her to the floor. Ronda directed a side elbow at Sasha’s head, but Sasha moved and Rousey’s arm hit the post. Sasha then dove through the ropes onto Ronda. Back in the ring Sasha made a cover, but Rousey kicked out at one.

Sasha got in some methodical sustained offense. Rousey avoided a flying knee in the corner by Sasha. She then lifted Sasha onto her shoulders and set up her Piper’s Pit, but Sasha countered and took Ronda down into an armbar. She torqued her arm as Rousey struggled to escape. Fans were excited. Rousey rolled out of it eventually, but Banks just rolled Rousey into a Bank Statement. Rousey reached for the bottom rope, but Sasha instead let go. Rousey then caught Banks with a Piper’s Pit to break Sasha’s momentum. Rousey shook out her arm, then applied a submission hold in the ropes. She broke before five. Sasha sold on the mat as Rousey climbed back to the top rope, still shaking out her arm. Sasha got up and knocked Rousey off balance. Rousey fended her off. Sasha kneed Rousey and then executed a superplex. She mounted Rousey and pressed on her shoulders to get a two count. She immediately went back to an armbar on Rousey. Rousey powered out and twisted and slammed Sasha for a two count.

Rousey judo threw Sasha hard three times and then set up an armbar, but Sasha kicked Rousey out of the ring to the floor. Rousey applied an armbar at ringside and Sasha tapped, but it didn’t count. Sasha threw Banks into the ring. They exchanged wild swings. Rousey got the better of Sasha in the corner, then whipped her to the mat. Ronda sold her arm still being sore, though. Rousey landed a flying knee for a two count. Rousey went for a gut-wrench, but Sasha blocked it and threw Rousey into the lower turnbuckle. Sasha kicked Rousey’s arm, then leaped onto Rousey’s back. Rousey tossed her over her back, but Sasha countered and applied a Bank Statement mid-ring. Sasha wrapped a strap from her attire around Rousey’s mouth as she applied it. Rousey almost reached the bottom rope, so Sasha pulled her back into a pin position for a two count. Banks then applied a Fujiwara armbar mid-ring. Rousey cried in pain, but then spun out of it and gut-wrenched Sasha into a sideslam. Rousey then lifted Banks onto her shoulder and landed a Piper’s Pit for the three count.

WINNER: Rousey in 14:00 to retain the Raw Title. (***3/4)

(Keller’s Analysis: That was a blast. Just non-stop moves and countermoves with dramatic near falls and near tapout situations. Rousey’s best performance to date. Because Rousey has been kept so strong, and Sasha held her own for the entire match, I don’t she loses much in being pinned here.)

-After the match, Rousey consoled Sasha who was broken up over the loss. Rousey held the ropes open for Sasha. Sasha walked to the back as Cole said she’s feeling bitter disappointment. Graves said Sasha is always a sore loser. Rousey celebrated in the ring and then circled the ring, still selling her sore left arm as she carried her belt over to her husband. They kissed. Sasha walked back to shake Rousey’s hand in a show of sportsmanship. The she held up four fingers and turned and walked away. Graves said, “Maybe this isn’t over.” Rousey stared at Banks as she continued her march to the back.

-The announcers recapped the Kickoff Show results. They also noted Braun would be in the men’s Rumble match, but not Cena.


LISTEN TO THE PWTORCH DAILYCAST with live caller reaction to the Royal Rumble and an on-site correspondent from Phoenix…

In this episode of Wrestling Night in America, PWTorch columnist Greg Parks, with callers and emails, dissects the Royal Rumble event from all angles. Caller subjects include a live perspective from an on-site correspondent, thoughts on Becky Lynch tapping to Asuka, and Lynch’s WrestleMania match. Email topics cover Nia Jax in the men’s Rumble match and the Ricochet vs. Johnny Gargano bout from NXT: Takeover.

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(4) WOMEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE

Beth Phoenix joined Cole, Graves, and Renee Young on commentary. Lacey Evans (1) came out first. She said she was a real woman who was there to clean up the Women’s Division. Natalya (2) came out second. The announcers talked about a strategy when you enter this early to stay fresh but also avoid elimination. Mandy Rose (3) came out next. Natalya got the better of Evans and Rose including putting them in a double sharpshooter mid-ring. Evans tapped out, but it didn’t count. Next came Liv Morgan (4). Liv entered and shared at Natalya, but Natalya backdropped her over the top rope to the floor. Graves called it a glorious eight seconds.

#1: Liv Morgan

Mickie James (5) came out next. Mickie and Mandy battled on the ring apron. Mickie threw a punch that showed a lot of light, although it kind of looked like Mandy just avoided it by backing away. Ember Moon (6) entered next. The augmented reality of the moon above the ring was really cool as she came out. Billie Kaye (7) walked around ringside and said she was going to wait for Peyton. Renee asked if there was a rule you had to enter. Graves and Phillips said (which is truly ridiculous when you think about it). They pointed she can’t be eliminated if he never enters until the end.

Nikki Cross (8) attacked Kaye at ringside on her way to the ring, then leaped off the top rope onto a cluster of the rest of the women fighting in the ring. She tossed Lacey over the top rope, but Lacey held on and pulled herself back into the ring. Kaye finally entered the ring. Peyton Royce (9) ran to the ring and went after Nikki. Renee asked Graves if he’s watching anyone other than Mandy. She also called him a pervert. Tamina (10) walked out next. Tamina beat up several women, but didn’t score any elimination. Renee noticed the “serious build up of women.” Tamina landed a top rope splash on Nikki. Mickie then leaped off the top rope with a seated senton. Tamina kicked Mickie off the ring apron seconds later.

#2: Mickie James

Xia Lee (11) came out next. Graves said she’s the first Chinese-born women to compete in WWE. She showed real fire and went after Tamina first with strikes. Then she kicked Rose and Natalya and Moon and Evans one after another, including a spinning hook kick to Evans. Tamina forearmed her from behind. Li came back with a spin kick. She pounded her chest and got some cheers. Sarah Logan (12) came out next. Logan kicked Ember off the ring apron; Moon hung upside down and used her boots to hook the bottom rope and stay in the match. The IIconics worked together to eliminate Nikki.

#3: Nikki Cross

Next out was Charlotte Flair (13). Renee said she’s the clear-cut favorite and maybe everybody should just leave the ring on their own. Several women went after Charlotte right away. She survived the onslaught. Evans kicked the IIconics off the ring apron to eliminate both.

#4 & 5: Billie Kaye, Peyton Royce

Li went after Charlotte with some kicks. Charlotte tossed Li, but she held on and fought back from the ring apron. Charlotte kicked her out of mid-air to the floor. The announcers complimented the “valiant effort” by Li.

#6: Xia Li

Out next was Kairi Sane (14). Graves noted she was named the female wrestler of the year in NXT. Charlotte eliminate Tamina.

#7: Tamina.

Kairi chopped Charlotte’s chest over and over. Charlotte yelled and no-sold them. Then chopped back. Natalya eliminated Logan with help from Kairi

#8: Sarah Logan

Maria Kanellis made her entrance next (15) She insisted Charlotte and Lacey l=aoy attention to her. They beat her up, then argued with each other. Maria gave them a bulldog. Then she face planted Moon. As she celebrated, Charlotte speared her.

Naomi (16) entered next. She went after Rose right away. She tried to suplex her over the top rope to the floor. Rose blocked it, but Naomi kicked her in the head and threw her to the floor.

#9: Rose

Rose tried to knock Naomi to the floor, but Naomi walked with her hands over to the ringside barricade to stay save. She walked and almost lost her balance. She kept walking over to near the steps and then leaped toward them. She scored the landing and got cheered, but then Rose ran over and yanked her off the stairs to eliminate her. Big boos for Rose. “That was magnificent!” said Graves.

#10: Naomi

Referees pulled Rose off of Naomi at ringside. Charlotte gave Evans a boot to knock her off the ring apron to the floor.

#11: Lacey Evans

She leaped off the top rope and hit Moon with a flying dropkick. Alicia Fox (18) came out next. Fox and Maria decided to work together. Maria presented Fox with her hat. Fox put her heat on Maria. Maria then stomped on it. Fox turned and freaked out and threw a tantrum on the mat. Fox attacked Maria and knocked her off the ring apron to the floor.

#12: Maria Kanellis

Then out came Kaci Catanzaro (19), the American Ninja Warrior winner. Catanzaro used a leg scissors to nearly eliminate Fox, who landed on the ring apron. Out came Zelina Vega (20). Zelina hid under the ring. Ruby Riott (21) came out next, flanked by Morgan and Logan. Morgan and Logan powerbombed Larae against the ring barricade and threw her into the ring, at which point Ruby threw her over the top rope to the floor to eliminate her.

#13: Candace LaRae

Dana Brooke ran out next (22). Renee said Brooke is changing her training and getting back into high-intensity workouts to try to jump start her career. She attacked various women in a flurry of activity. Morgan and Logan yanked Dana to the floor and stomped on her. Riott flung Sane over the top rope.

#13: Kairi Sane

Io Shirai (23) came out next. She leaped off the top rope with an Asai moonault onto the Morgan and Logan at ringside, then officially entered the ring. Ruby yanked Shirai over the top rope with her legs, and they both landed on the ring apron. Rhea Ripley (24) came out next. Graves said he wanted to change his pick. Graves said she is the first-ever NXT UK Women’s Champion. Brooke shoved Catanzaro to the floor, but she landed on her butt. She scooted over to the ringside barricade and pushed herself into a hand stands and then walked back to the ring and wrapped her legs around the ringpost and yanked herself back in. Ripley and Catanzaro battled. Ripley eliminated her and then saved goodbye.

#14: Kaci Catanzaro

Out next was Sonya Deville. Ripley dropkicked Brooke off the ring apron to eliminate her.

#15: Dana Brooke

Zelina poked her head out. Then Hornswoggle suddenly appeared in full leprechaun outfit also under the ring. Zelina scurried away. Hornswoggle chased her into the ring. Ripley lifted and tossed Zelina out. Hornswoggle chased her to the back. Graves said, “This is what nightmares are made of!”

#16: Zelina Vega

Alexa Bliss (25) entered next. She landed a standing moonsault with her knees onto Moon mid-ring to start. Graves wanted to change his pick to Bliss. Charlotte then went after Bliss and set up a powerbomb, but Bliss punched out of it and then sunset bombed Charlotte. Bliss eliminated Deville.

#17: Sonya Deville

Out came Bayley (27). Bayley backdropped Riott to the floor.

#18: Ruby Riott

Bayley backdropped Ripley out next.

#19: Rhea Ripley

Next out was Lana with a heavily taped left ankle. (28) She walked gingerly to the ring. Renee complimented her heart and passion. She could barely put weight on her ankle. Graves said it’s not brave, it’s dumb. A medic and ref checked on her in the aisle. She hadn’t officially entered yet. Fans picked up on what this could mean and started chanting, “We Want Becky.” (So Becky wins, but she eliminates Charlotte to win, and since Becky wasn’t an original entrant, Charlotte on a technicality also wins, thus setting up the Triple Threat at WrestleMania against Rousey?)

Nia Jax (#29) came out next. She beat up Lana on her way to the ring. Graves noted Natalya set the record for the women lasting the longest in a Rumble match. Jax tossed out Shirai.

#22: Io Shirari

Natalya lifted Jax on her shoulders, but Jax broke free and then whipped Natalya out of the ring. When Carmella (30) came out next, fans were deflated when they realized that was it, but with Lana not officially entering, many were probably aware of Becky having a loophole here. Becky marched out and told Finlay she wanted to take Lana’s place. Finlay argued a bit as Lana kneeled in agony. He then gave in and waved her to the ring. Huge pop.

#23: Natalya

Becky confronted Jax as the crowd cheered loudly and chanted for her. Becky punched away at Jax. Charlotte tossed Becky over the top, but Becky landed on the apron and then mounted Charlotte. Jax tried to toss Becky, but she landed on the ring apron. Becky climbed to the top rope and leaped at Jax with a dropkick.

It was down to: Bliss, Moon, Jax, Charlotte, Becky, Bayley, Carmella.

Bliss and Moon fought on the ring apron. Bliss won the battle and slammed Moon hard to the floor.

#24: Ember Moon

Bliss and Carmella battled mid-ring. Bayley went after Bliss with a buckle bomb. Carmella helped Bayley eliminate Bliss.

#25: Alexa Bliss.

Jax clotheslined both Bayley and Carmella. Then she set up a face breaker punch, but Charlotte broke it up with a flying kick. Bayley landed a flying elbow to the back of Jax’s neck. Charlotte suplexed Bayley. Carmella attacked Charlotte and then hit a flying crossbody off the top rope. Charlotte rolled through and gave Carmella a backbreaker. Then she climbed to the top rope. Carmella punched her and then tried to head scissors her to the floor. Charlotte brushed her off and charged, but Carmella kicked her in the chest and let out a sarcastic taunting “wooo!” Charlotte gave Carmella a boot to knock her off the ring apron to the floor.

#26: Carmella

Bayley almost suddenly eliminated Charlotte. Charlotte fought back and whipped Bayley into Jax and Becky. Bayley gave Charlotte a neckbreaker. Jax then set up Bayley for a Samoan Drop. Charlotte kicked Jax, knocking Bayley to the floor.

#27: Bayley.

Charlotte stared down Becky and Jax, the final three. The crowd rose and chanted for Becky as Graves said they were over 65 minutes into the match. Jax avoided a Charlotte kick and then headbutted her. Jax lifted Charlotte and tried to toss her out, but Charlotte broke free. Charlotte then kicked Jax three times, knocking her into the corner. Next she lifted her, but barely held on befoe dropping her onto her head. That was not a good decision to attempt that. Charlotte tried again, and this time dropped her over the top rope. Jax headbutted Charlotte, but Becky yanked Jax off the apron to eliminate her.

#28: Nia Jax

It came down to Charlotte and Becky. Fans chanted “Becky! Becky!” As Becky began to enter the ring, Jax shoved her hard to the floor off the steps. Becky clutched her knee. Charlotte smiled. Graves said the referees should just award the match to Charlotte. Referees checked on Becky at ringside and she could barely stand. Becky lunged into the ring and said she can go. She could barely stand. “This is my time!” she said. Charlotte clipped Becky’s knee and then threw knees to her leg and then twisted her foot. Charlotte hung Becky upside down in the corner and kicked her. Becky kicked Charlotte to slow her home tum and then threw wherever the top rope. Charlotte battled back on the ring apron and kicked Becky’s leg. Charlotte re-entered the ring and overhead suplexed Becky. Charlotte charged with a big boot, but Becky ducked and forearmed Charlotte to the floor.

#29: Charlotte.

Graves declared Becky did it and she is going to WrestleMania. Becky’s music played and the fans rejoiced and chanted her name. He said she can now pick the champion of her choosing to challenge at WrestleMania.

(1) Lacey Evans
(2) Natlaya
(3) Mandy Rose
(4) Liv Morgan
(5) Mickie James
(6) Ember Moon
(7) Billie Kaye
(8) Nikki Cross
(9) Peyton Royce
(10) Tamina

(11) Xai Li
(12) Sarah Logan
(13) Charlotte Flair
(14) Kairi Sane
(15) Maria Kanellis
(16) Naomi
(17) Candace LaRae
(18) Alicia Fox
(19) Kaci Catanzaro
(20) Zelina Vega

(21) Ruby Riott
(22) Dana Brooke
(23) Io Shirai
(24) Rhea Ripley
(25) Sonya Deville
(26) Alexa Bliss
(27) Bayley
(28) Lana
(29) Nia Jax
(30) Carmella
(31) Becky Lynch (taking Lana’s 28 slot)

WINNER: Lynch in 72:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good final few minutes. The rest had some fun moments of creativity, but it wasn’t one of the better overall Rumbles. Long stretches were just so-so and this really dragged.)

-A video package aired on the Daniel Bryan-A.J. Styles rivalry.

(5) A.J. STYLES vs. DANIEL BRYAN – WWE Title match

Bryan bailed out early to stall. Styles eventually controlled for a couple minutes until Bryan jabbed Styles in the throat. Styles had a bloody nose at this point. Bryan lifted and dropped Styles onto the top of the ringpost. Styles tumbled to the floor and clutched his chest. Bryan went after him at ringside and threw him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Bryan controlled the action for a few minutes. Styles made a comeback by landing a dropkick. Then he landed a flying forearm in the corner and then a pump-handle backbreaker and a suplex into a neckbreaker for a two count. Nice sequence. Styles pinched his nose and winced a bit. Then he set up a Styles Clash, but Bryan countered and leveraged Styles shoulders to the mat. They switched back and forth with a series of two counts. Styles dragon screwed Bryan to the mat. Bryan gave Styles a Dragon Suplex onto the back of Styles’s neck. That looked nasty. Styles kicked out just before three. They replayed it slo-mo and Styles took the bump safely, but it still looked nasty.

Bryan lifted Styles to the top rope and set up a huracanrana. Styles held on, though, and turned it into a Styles Clash attempt. Bryan kicked Styles in the face. Both fell, Styles to the floor and Bryan onto the mat. Saxton called it a physically taxing, grinding match-up. Bryan and Styles battled at ringside. The crowd seemed a little spent now, three hours into the main PPV and well over three hours since most of them arrived to the stadium. Styles went for a springboard 450, but Bryan lifted his knees. Bryan then shifted into a LeBell Lock. Styles escaped and twisted Bryan immediately into a calf crusher mid-ring. Bryan grabbed the bottom rope.

A couple minutes later Bryan set up a top rope suplex off the top turnbuckle, but Styles flipped mid-air and landed on his feet. Bryan landed on his back. Styles took Bryan down hard and leveraged a two count, then shifted into a Calf Crusher. Bryan cried out in pain. Styles leveraged Bryan’s shoulders down for another two count. Both were slow to get up. Bryan kicked Styles out of mid-air. Styles dropped Bryan over the top rope. Styles then went for a Phenomenal Forearm, favoring his injured arm and using the ropes for extra help, but Bryan round kicked his head out of mid-air. Styles fired back with a Pelé Kick. Both were down and slow to get up.

Erick Rowan walked out. (Who had their money on this?) Styles got up first and kicked Bryan’s leg a few times to take him down. Bryan went for an enzuigiri, but Styles ducked and the ref went down. Styles then executed the Styles Clash. He made the cover. Rowan entered the ring and chokeslammed Styles. Bryan then pinned Styles to retain his title. Rowan held up Styles as Bryan delivered a running knee afterward.

WINNER: Bryan in 25:00 to retain the WWE Title. (**3/4)

(Keller’s Analysis: This was way too orchestrated with the ref just happening to go down a minute after Rowan came out. There was a better way to book that, with Bryan waiting to execute a low blow or intentionally KO the ref when he saw Rowan. Instead this just felt way too convenient and fake. It was good but not great. There’s just no reason for PPVs to go this long because this match would have been better as the main event of a three hour show instead of the third-to-last match on a show paced to go way way longer than four hours.)

-The Raw announce team recapped what happened after Takeover last night with a big shoving match with Aleister Black, Ricochet, and Velveteen Dream vs. Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa, and Adam Cole.

(Keller’s Analysis: Having Gargano and Ciampa team again under this situation seems like a letdown and anticlimactic. That said, the idea of Halftime Heat on WWE Network, You Tube, Twitter, and Facebook is good one.)

-A video package previewed the Universal Title match.

(6) BROCK LESNAR (w/Paul Heyman) vs. FINN BALOR

Balor went after Lesnar aggressively at the start. He landed some kicks and a stomp to his back, then a flying forearm and a dropkick. Lesnar caught Balor, though, and gave him a strong overhead suplex, sending Balor under the bottom rope to the floor. Lesnar went at Balor at ringside, throwing him into the ring apron, then yanking him hard into the ringside barricade. Lesnar overhead tossed Balor on the ringside mat. Then he set up a spot on the Spanish announce table. He lifted Balor, but Balor slipped out and shoved Lesnar into the corner of the announce table. Lesnar grabbed his abdomen where he suffered diverticulitis years ago. Lesnar fought back, though, and threw Balor into the ring. Graves brought up the diverticulitis. Lesnar looked to be in severe pain as he struggled to re-enter the ring. Balor attacked him with a barrage of strikes, but Lesnar lifted him and threw him hard into the corner.

They fought back and forth, with the announcers noting how much Lesnar was in pain and slowed by the abdominal injury. Balor scored a near fall after escaping an F5 and turning it into a DDT. Balor stomped away at Lesnar’s legs and then he did a double stomp to Lesnar’s chest. Balor flip dove onto Lesnar at ringside. He returned to the ring and then flip dove onto him again. And a third time. The crowd popped. Renee predicted they’d see a new champion. (That sealed it, Lesnar is retaining.) Balor set up a top rope double stomp and he hit it. Lesnar gasped in pain and scored a two count. The fans excitedly counted along. Lesnar, though, twisted Balor into a sudden Kimura Lock. Balor tried to maneuver to the bottom rope, but then tapped out.

WINNER: Lesnar via tapout in 9:00 to retain the Universal Title. (***)

(Keller’s Analysis: Exciting match. Would have been fun to see five minutes or so shifted from Styles-Bryan to this match. Balor looked good and there’s no shame in losing to Lesnar given how Lesnar is portrayed. It was neither a boost for Balor nor a burial. If the goal is to keep Lesnar really strong at WrestleMania for a potential Universal Title loss to the men’s Rumble winner, having him win clear here was smart. They gave fans hope that Balor could win, but Lesnar has the “excuse” that it was a past health issue that made him vulnerable.)

-After the match Lesnar attacked Balor with two German suplexes. Graves said Lesnar is doing this because Finn made him believe he was vulnerable to him. Lesnar delivered a third suplex. Heyman handed Lesnar his Universal Title belt. Lesnar held it in the air and marched around the ring to his music, still selling his abdomen pain. Just when it seemed he was about to leave, Lesnar gave Balor an F5. Fans booed.

(7) MEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE

JBL and Jerry Lawler joined in commentary. Elias (1) who drew no. 1, sat mid-ring with his guitar. He stalled as fans cheered for him. “I love that we’ve been here for four-and-a-half hours and he’s still taking his time,” said Graves. He joked that he should take a picture and send it to the Diamondbacks because they’ve never seen this many people gathered at that stadium. He said he’s going to start the Royal Rumble and finish the Royal Rumble, but first he had a song for everyone. He was interrupted by Jeff Jarrett (2), though, who walked out in his “Double J” outfit. JBL said he just needs to grow his blond mullet. He did the Jarrett Strut mid-ring and took off his flashing light. Jarrett cut a promo repeating his Double J spiel. Elias then said it’s a Hall of Famers with a future Hall of Famer, so they should do a duet. As Jarrett began doing his Double J routine again, Elias punched him. The crowd wasn’t sure whether they liked that or not. He stomped away at Jarrett and yelled he’s been compared to that guy his entire career. Was Jarrett supposed to be so annoying that fans popped for him attacking Jarrett? It didn’t seem to play that way with the crowd. Elias picked up a guitar and bashed Jarrett with it, then threw him over the top rope.

#1: Jeff Jarrett

Shinsuke Nakamura (3) came out next. He didn’t bring his newly won U.S. Title belt with him. Kurt Angle (4) came out next. Angle took it to Elias and Nakamura, moving around gingerly. Next out was Big E (5). He over-modulated as he yelled before entering. Big E hit some belly-to-belly suplexes on Shinsuke early and then gyrated over him. He then did his running splash. He clapped and fans chanted “New… Day Rocks!” Angle came up behind Big E and gave him an Angle Slam. Big E “cartoon sold.” Nakamura went after Angle with a running kneelift and then he knocked Angle off the ring apron to the floor to eliminate him.

#2: Kurt Angle

Next out was Johnny Gargano (6). Nice pop for him. Fans chanted “Johnny Wrestling.” He went after both Elias and Big E. Elias blindsided Gargano and threw him over the top rope. Gargano landed on the apron. Gargano slingshot himself into the ring and shoulder tackled Elias. An “NXT” chant broke out. Out next was Jinder Mahal (7) with the Singh Brothers. Jinder threw some kicks and then lifted Gargano. Gargano dumped hi over the top rope and then kicked him off the ring apron to eliminate him. Graves said, “I thought tonight was the night!”

#3: Jinder Mahal

Elias gave a Singh Brothers an atomic drop and then he bounced over the top rope to the floor. Big E pulled a pancake out of his trunks and gave the other Singh Brothers a Big Ending. Singh rolled out of the ring. Gargano, Elias, Big E, and Nakamura squared off. Then out came Samoa Joe (8). Joe and Gargano battled, but Gargano catching Joe with a boot, but then Joe casually walked out of the path of a flying Gargano. Big E went for a belly-to-belly, but Joe blocked it and easily tossed Big E out. Joe smiled.

#4: Big E

Next out was Hawkins, who Cole said is on a 256 match losing streak. Next out was Seth Rollins (10). Seth leaped into the ring with a flying clothesline at Elias. He took it to Nakamura and then gave Gargano a Falcon Arrow. Elias attempted to suplex Seth over the top rope to the floor, but Seth blocked it and rammed Elias into the ringpost and then knocked him to the floor.

#5: Elias

Seth tried to eliminate Gargano as fans counted down for the next entrant. Out came Titus O’Neal (11). Titus paused and then charged to the ring at full speed. He turned the corner without falling, then stopped before hitting the ring. He celebrated. Curt Hawkins was hiding under the ring. Titus went after him. Hawkins came out the other side of the ring. Titus pursued him. They entered the ring. Hawkins ducked a charging Titus, who flew over the top rope to the floor.

#6: Titus.

Joe came up behind a celebrating Hawkins and tossed him out.

#7: Curt Hawkins.

Next out was Kofi (10). Kofi leaped off the top rope and forearmed Nakamura. Gargano, Seth, Joe, Nakamura, and Kofi were the legal five in the match. Next out was Mustafa Ali who went after Joe, who was waiting. He slammed Joe. Lawler said Joe doesn’t fall down, he does “random gravity checks.” Ali dropkicked Nakamura off the top rope to the floor.

#8: Shinsuke Nakamura

Joe overhead tossed a charging Ali into the corner turnbuckles. Dean Ambrose (14) came out next. Seth took notice and waited for him, then went right after him. Ambrose threw Seth into the corner turnbuckle and then tried to eliminate Kofi. Kofi held on and sat on the ring apron. Dean kicked him down. Kofi’s feet almost hit, but ref Charles Robinson said his second foot did not hit. Kofi rolled sideways over to the ringside steps and then leaped off the top with a DDT onto Dean. Dean backdropped charging Gargano, but Gargano returned to the ring. Dean DDT’d him and then tossed Gargano.

#9: Johnny Gargano

Next out was No Way Jose (15) with the Conga Line. In the ring, Seth and Kofi worked together to try to take out Dean in one corner while Joe and Ali battled on the other side of the ring. As soon as Jose entered, Joe knocked him out within a second. The Conga Line was distraught for two seconds, then went back to dancing and partying. Jose slapped hands with fans on his way to the back.

#10: No Way Jose

Drew McIntyre (16) made his way out. Jose stopped in his tracks and looked intimidated and scared. Jose tried to dance to charm Drew, but Drew headbutted him. Drew then beat up two Conga Line members on his way to the ring. Drew delivered a Claymore Kick to Seth and Ambrose. Joe and Drew then exchanged blows mid-ring. Joe charged, but Drew kicked him in the face to drop him hard. Next out was Xavier Woods (17). Kofi was knocked off the ring apron, but he landed with one foot still in the air. Xavier sat on him and then lifted him up and Kofi made his way back to the ringside steps. Graves asked JBL if he remembers when he and Ron Simmons did that. Xavier and Kofi entered and Drew clotheslined them both over the top rope to eliminate them.

#11: Xavier Woods
#12: Kofi Kingston

Pete Dunne (18) came out next. Graves said he’s a big fan of Dunne, saying eveyrhtin the does hurts. He kicked Joe and then used joint manipulation on Drew fingers. He then took drop down and stomped on his elbow. He lifted and dropped Ali onto Drew, then strutted. Cole said Dunne is a reason to watch NXT UK. Next out was Andrade (19). He DDT’d Dunne center-ring to counter Dunn’s attack. Drew nearly tossed Seth over the top rope as fans counted down for the next entrant. Out came Apollo Crews (20). Cole said he’s been thinking all week about how he’s a sleeper pick after eliminating eight others in the Fresh Start Battle Royal weeks ago. Crews got in some early offense to nearly zero crowd response. Seth nearly eliminated Drew, but instead Drew ended up hanging upside down from the top rope. He got back to his feet and re-entered the ring and went after Seth. Next came Aleister Black (21) who got the biggest pop in a while. Graves touted Black’s lethal strikes. Fans chanted “NXT!” Drew and Black battled briefly, with Black landing a boot to Drew’s face. Ali then kicked Black. Black kicked Ali out of mid-air seconds later. Dean and Drew went after Black next. Andrade joined in. Black hit Dean with Black Mass and Dean took a cartoonish bump tumbling over the top rope.

#13: Dean Ambrose

Out next came Shelton Benjamin (22). Joe put Crews in a Coquina Clutch. He switched to Ali. Shelton kicked Joe. Ali then dumped Joe over the top to the floor. Ali celebrated as Joe sat fuming in a state of rage.

#14: Samoa Joe

Shelton tossed onto the ring apron. Out next was Baron Corbin (23). Corbin went after Crews and then delivered a Deep Six to Ali. He then tossed Ali, who held onto the ropes to survive. Corbin punched Crews over the top rope.

#15: Apollo Crews

Out next was Jeff Hardy (24). Jeff led the crowd in “Delete!” chants. Graves said earlier Jeff told him he has done everything there is to do in this business except win a Rumble. Hardy went on a flurry of offense, stopped eventually by a boot by Black. Dunne then yanked on Black’s fingers and landed an enzuigiri. Black fired back with a kick to the face. He popped his finger back into joint. Corbin then threw Black out to a chorus of boos.

#16: Aleister Black

He tried to eliminate Dunne, but Dunne yanked on Corbin’s fingers. Drew saved Corbin form a snap and threw Dunne out.

#17: Pete Dunne

Out next was Rey Mysterio (25). He went after Corbin, but Corbin caught him mid-air and gave him a backbreaker. Next Bobby Lashley (26) came out with Lio Rush. As Lasley entered, Seth ducked a charging Lashley and then Lashley fell over the top rope to the floor.

#18: Bobby Lashley

Lashley yanked Seth out of the ring under the bottom rope in anger and gave him an overhead suplex onto the mat. Rush cleared the announce desk and then Lashley threw Seth into the ringside barricade. Lashley cleared a second announce table. Lashley threw Seth off of one table through another. Cole called for medical attention for Seth who was flat out on his back not moving at ringside, selling the slam. Strowman went right after Corbin at the start, then clotheslined him over the top rope with force.

#19: Baron Corbin

Corbin then tossed Shelton out.

#20: Shelton Benjamin

Strowman headbutted Hardy. Rey tried to yank Andrade over the top rope with his legs. As Strowman battled Hardy, Drew threw both of them over the top rope. Hardy landed on the floor, but not Strowman.

#21: Jeff Hardy

Drew headbutted Strowman on the ring apron. Dolph Ziggler (28) came out next. Ziggler enters and eliminated Drew over the back of Strowman.

#22: Drew McIntyre

JBL said Mysterio is on the verge of spending over four hours in a Rumble along with Triple H and Chris Jericho. Next Randy Orton (29) walked out with Strowman staring him down as he made his way to the ring. Orton entered and walked right up to Strowman. He went for an RKO, but Strowman blocked it and then powerslammed Orton. Sat up and rolled to the side. Strowman lifted Andrade and Ali onto his shoulders. Andrade tried to suplex Ali while on Strowman’s shoulders, and then Rey leaped off the top rope and hit a flying tackle. Orton avoided a charging Strowman who went shoulder-first into the ringpost and fell to the floor. Next out was R-Truth (#30).

So the remaining legal wrestlers at this point were Strowman, Seth, Orton, Andrade, Ali, Mysterio, and Ziggler as Truth made his way out. Nia Jax attacked Truth and then made her way to the ring. Cole noted that Chyna, Beth Phoenix, Kharma, and now Nia Jax are women who have entered the men’s Rumble. Jax headbutted Ali and then gave him a Samoan Drop over the top rope.

#23: Mustafa Ali

As Jax celebrated with her arms out, Orton stared at her and prepared an RKO. She turned and stared at him. After a moment of tension, Orton went for it. Jax blocked it and shoved Orton into the ropes in position for a 619. Rey went for it, but Jax blocked it and lifted him. Ziggler then superkicked Jax. Rey dropkicked Jax against the ropes and then hit the 619. Jax staggered. Orton then delivered an RKO. “What the hell is happening?” asked Graves. Orton and Rey soaked up what just happened. JBL said that is something he didn’t expect to see tonight. Lawler said she’s still legal. Orton and Rey lifted her and dumped her over the top. She landed on the ring apron, though. Rey slidekicked her to the floor.

#24: Nia Jax

Rey looked down at Jax, then turned and ate an RKO. Orton then threw him out.

#25 Rey Mysterio

Andrade then came up behind Orton and eliminated him.

#26: Randy Orton

Andrade turned and stared at Ziggler. Fans then remembered Strowman and Seth were both still legal but at ringside. Ziggler and Andrade went at it. Andrade caught a Ziggler kick and then set up a hammerlock DDT. Ziggler blocked it and headbutted Andrade. Strowman entered and knocked them both down. Lawler said he completely forgot about Strowman. He charged and crushed Andrade in one corner, and then did the same to Ziggler on the other side of the ring. Strowman fetched Seth from ringside. Ziggler superkicked Strowman. Andrade hit Strowman with flying double knees. Ziggler hit a Zig Zag. Seth leaped off the top rope and landed a frog splash on Strowman. Strowman eliminated Andrade.

#27: Andrade

Strowman knocked Ziggler off the apron to eliminate him next.

#28: Dolph Ziggler

Seth then charged at Strowman and tried to eliminate him, but Strowman grabbed Seth by his throat and chokeslammed him. He then re-entered the ring. Seth from the ring apron tried to muscle Strowman over the top rope to the floor. Strowman stood on the ring apron and lifted Seth. Seth slipped free, shoved Strowman into the ringpost, delivered a stomp, and Strowman fell to the floor.

#29: Braun Strowman

WINNER: Seth Rollins in 58:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: A good Rumble match, but probably won’t be remembered years from now as being particularly noteworthy. With expectations of an inevitable Seth win, they did what they could to add drama with Braun Strowman at the end. I’m not a fan of the Nia Jax chapter in the match. The rules to the Rumble are just absurd. The idea you could attack someone and take their spot is ridiculous. A match like this doesn’t need stuff like that. Kurt Angle felt like a distant memory at the end, and it’s sad how much he’s been defined down in the last 18 months considering the type of career he had in WWE. There were some memorable stretches for newer names such as Mustafa Ali and Pete Dunne. They kept Baron Corbin strong. Dean Ambrose was the biggest name with the most forgettable role and throwaway elimination. Samoa Joe was portrayed as a dominant badass and came out ahead. New Day’s role was unbecoming, but they seem to be enthusiastically becoming a clown show in recent months. Big E was tossed out unceremoniously in a way that sent a message he’s not to be perceived as a serious player, and Xavier and Kofi were a brief novelty. The Elias-Jeff Jarrett stuff needed to be earlier in the show or part of a shorter show as most fans seemed to be ready to keep things moving, although despite that, Jeff Jarrett had to be largely happy with the reception he received.)


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16 Comments on WWE ROYAL RUMBLE PPV RESULTS 1/27: Keller’s full detailed report including Lesnar vs. Balor, Rousey vs. Banks, Asuka vs. Becky, Bryan vs. Styles, Rumble matches

  1. It’s interesting they didn’t bring in any of the old school women’s wrestlers but instead showcased a bunch of new talent. I think they introduced too much talent at one time as no one will remember them.

    • I’d disagree completely there, Shawn. Every newer talent that entered got quite their fair share of highlights that popped the crowd quite positively. I think fans will definitely remember these great wrestlers.

    • But if contractually they are promised a spot in the Royal Rumble match, and there are only so many spots in a 30-Woman match, then that’s how it works. It’s like the old saying: “This is your chance to shine and make an impression. Take advantage and sell yourself.” The ones who follow that advice will get noticed, just any sport (NFL, NBA, NHL, baseball, etc.) or real life. The ones who don’t … well, they may get another chance but are just as likely if not more likely to fade into obscurity.

  2. I’ve never liked battle royals, and nothing here changed my mind. The rest of the card was actually pretty good. I thought Balor got a little too much considering it’s such a mismatch. I was hoping for Mike Jackson vs The Road Warriors from the 80s, complete with the hold my head and kick my feet spot. I’d have Rollins sitting at home waiting for Roman to come back for the next Shield reunion, not headlining Wrestlemania, although there’s plenty of time for them to get out of that one. The whiny babyface promos just don’t get it for me. Whenever I see that “SR” the only thing I think is “Sears Roebuck.” I’m fine with another year of Brock as absentee champion, because a Rollins win just exposes the business. It’s way past time for a “future endeavors” event. AEW needs to stock its roster.

  3. The time between new entrants to the Rumble needs to be cut to 60 seconds, and they need to strictly adhere to it. This show ran way too long. I actually had to finish it this morning because it ran past my bedtime.

  4. I record it for later viewing. And of course I know enough to not come here or WWE.com to avoid spoilers, but i go on my favorite news site [NOT a sports site] and there third headline from the top… Seth Rollins wins Royal Rumble. Thanks guys. I enjoyed most of it. Shane – no, Balor – no but the rest was ok to good. Ronda won with a wrestling move. Holy Bat Guano!!! Loved NIA in the mens and also Becks in the women’s. Enough with the jumping on one foot stuff, it’s gotten very old.

    • I can’t believe you liked this show. I can tell by your comments you are an old school wrestling fan and I respect that, but man compared to the really good or even average Rumbles of the past, this one was a snoozer.

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