Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of the Royal Rumble from Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
If you are a Double Double, Iced Capp or Espresso member of the POST Wrestling Café, tune in LIVE immediately after the Royal Rumble to watch the Royal Rumble POST Show and have your chance to call in and chat about the event. We will be taking calls by phone and Skype near the end.
The free podcast version of the POST Show will be up late tonight after we finish recording.
Late in the day, the WWE announced that John Cena is off tonight’s show and will be replaced by Braun Strowman in the men’s match.
Drake Maverick announced that Akam is injured but Rezar wants to be a Raw tag champion again. He said Rezar will team with Scott Dawson against Chad Gable and Bobby Roode on the kickoff tonight. Akam recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and the estimate is two-months he will be out for.
Samoa Joe cut a great promo about his eyes stemming from the words of Mustafa Ali on SmackDown.
There was a taped segment with Daniel Bryan sitting in the empty stadium earlier. He had the Royal Rumble Burger and yelled “shame” for the animals that suffered for this burger. He said if AJ Styles is their last hope, he can’t wait to destroy it and stepped on the burger.
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs. Rezar and Scott Dawson for the Raw tag titles
Dawson and Rezar had the advantage on Gable. Rezar was in and Gable applied the armbar on the ropes. Roode fired up when he received the tag, including using a spine buster on Dawson.
Dawson missed a missile dropkick to Roode and hit Rezar. Roode and Gable took Dawson and hit their double team reverse neck breaker and Gable moonsault combination for the win.
WINNERS: Bobby Roode and Chad Gable at 6:54
It was a cold match until Roode received the hot tag and just felt like an idea to fill time. It didn’t seem to set up anything unless they go with Dawson and Rezar in a singles match on Raw after the missile dropkick mistake.
David Otunga and Shawn Michaels swapped in for Booker T. and Jerry Lawler on the panel. Michaels called himself “the worst dressed man” as he was sporting a jacket over an NXT UK t-shirt and NXT baseball hat.
Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the United States title
Nakamura came off the steps with a kick to drop Rusev and ran him into the barricade. In the ring, Rusev broke free of a front chancery and landed a great dropkick.
The audience woke up as Rusev made his comeback, he knocked Nakamura to the floor and called for a dive but was stopped with a kick.
Nakamura stopped the Accolade and attacked with kicks and a running knee. Nakamura set up for the Kinshasa but Rusev stopped it. Nakamura went for an armbar and transitioned to a triangle, Rusev lifted him and Nakamura moved to a guillotine, which was broken with a vertical suplex.
Nakamura came back and hit the Landslide. Nakamura went to remove the turnbuckle pad, Lana got onto the apron yelling that he was cheating and Rusev ran, missed Nakamura and nailed Lana to the floor. Rusev was concerned and got hit with the Kinshasa to the back of the neck to win.
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura at 10:13 to win the United States title
The audience got into the match near the end and the finish sequence was executed well. They were in a tough spot on the card to stand out.
They replayed the brawl after TakeOver ended and announced a six-man tag with Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream, Aleister Black and Ricochet for the return of “Halftime Heat” next Sunday on the WWE Network during the Super Bowl.
Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto vs. Hideo Itami for the Cruiserweight title
Everyone ended up on the floor as Itami just stood in the ring with a grin and waved in Murphy. They exchanged big slaps.
Kalisto was on the shoulders of Murphy on the floor, Tozawa dove through Itami’s legs to the floor and nailed Kalisto, who then hit a huracanrana to Murphy and looked great.
Kalisto hoisted Tozawa with his feet and flipped him off the apron onto Murphy on the floor.
Itami looked like he was spiked by a huracanrana from Tozawa and he fled to the floor. Kalisto landed a dive followed by Murphy with a tope con giro to all three.
Tozawa spun around to hit Murphy with a reverse huracanrana and Kalisto landed Salida del Sol onto Itami for a near fall.
Murphy landed a knee strike to Tozawa and caught Kalisto with one off a springboard attempt. Itami hit Murphy with a spinning back fist, Murphy came back with another knee strike to Itami and Murphy’s Law for the win.
WINNER: Buddy Murphy at 12:06 to retain the Cruiserweight title
This was an excellent match, the crowd was into it throughout and all four guys worked super hard. This was a big hit.
Drew McIntyre cut a promo taking credit for getting rid of Dolph Ziggler, Kurt Angle, and John Cena. He doesn’t care who wins between Brock Lesnar and Finn Balor, he will win the title at WrestleMania and is the “King of the Raw Jungle”.
The main show began with the SmackDown women’s title match.
Asuka vs. Becky Lynch for the SmackDown women’s title
Becky screamed at Asuka to fight her, the audience cheered loudly for her. On the apron, Becky nailed Asuka with a boot and dropped her to the floor. Becky hit a Bexploder into the barricade.
Becky started to work on Asuka’s left arm. Asuka ran into the corner and missed, Becky tried to apply the Disarmer while seated on the turnbuckle. Asuka caught her with a knee coming off the turnbuckle.
Asuka landed a spinning back fist and release German suplex. She missed a missile dropkick onto Becky but caught her with an armbar and turned it into the Asuka Lock and Becky rolled to the rope.
Asuka teased a German off the apron to the floor, Becky held on and broke free. Asuka then tried a fisherman buster and Becky crashed onto the floor, this looked scary as Becky’s head hit the floor.
Asuka hit a spinning wheel kick to the head for a two-count.
Becky came back with a Bexploder off the middle turnbuckle and Asuka kicked out. Then, Becky missed a guillotine leg drop and Asuka went for the Asuka Lock and then her own Disarmer, Becky countered with the Asuka Lock, who rolled on top of Becky for a two-count.
Becky got the Disarmer applied, Asuka escaped and rolled Becky to apply the Asuka Lock and did a variation where she bridged over top like the Cattle Mutilation and forced Becky to tap.
WINNER: Asuka at 17:09 to retain the SmackDown women’s title
This was a great match, although a scary spot with the fisherman buster attempt off the apron to the floor. The decisive finish with the tap was a surprise and leaves the door open for Becky to enter the Rumble tonight. A very solid opener.
Sheamus and Cesaro vs. The Miz and Shane McMahon for the SmackDown tag titles
The Miz’s father is in the front row.
Shane started the match with a double leg takedown on Sheamus, who was upset he was taken down.
They put Cesaro on the announcer’s desk as Shane climbed up, Sheamus attacked The Miz and saved Cesaro while Shane hit a flying clothesline off the top to Sheamus.
They got the advantage on The Miz for a long period until the hot tag to Shane. Shane’s strikes made their way to Phoenix. He set up both for the coast-to-coast dropkick but was caught by Cesaro who hit the Giant Swing with tons of rotations. Shane then applied a triangle onto Cesaro until Sheamus broke it up with a flying knee.
Sheamus missed a brogue kick and hit Cesaro allowing The Miz to take out Sheamus with a Skull Crushing Finale. Shane climbed to the top and hit Cesaro with a shooting star press to pin Cesaro.
WINNERS: Shane McMahon and The Miz at 13:21 to win the SmackDown tag titles
The audience popped for the finish. Shane’s offense is impossible to take seriously when he’s doing his strikes and submission work. The audience was behind them and they had two strong opponents to work off.
They celebrated with Miz’s father in the crowd and it came off as a notable title change.
Charly interviewed Sasha Banks and asked about others believing she will fail. Banks shockingly disagreed with this outlook and said she would tap out Ronda Rousey.
Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw women’s title
Each took turns trying to show the other up. Rousey went for the three amigos and then went for the armbar and was blocked.
Banks hit a suicide dive into an arm drag upon landing. Rousey went to punch her, missed and hit the ring post. Banks attacked the right arm when they returned inside. Rousey rolled into Piper’s Pit, but it was countered into an armbar with Banks pulling her by the fingers. Banks moved to the Bank Statement but got to the rope.
Banks attempted a kimura that Rousey flipped Banks to escape.
Rousey blocked a suicide dive and applied the armbar on the floor causing Banks to tap. Both were selling their arms after this spot.
Banks kept coming up with counters and then applied the Bank Statement while using part of her gear to wrap around Rousey’s mouth. Rousey escaped a Fujiwara armbar into a gut wrench suplex. Rousey rolled out and hit Piper’s Pit and beat Banks with it.
WINNER: Ronda Rousey at 13:48 to retain the Raw women’s title
This was very strong and had the feeling of a fight involving two intense rivals.
Rousey was congratulated by Travis Browne in the front row.
They shook hands after the match and displayed respect for the other. On the floor, Banks flashed the four fingers in front of Rousey and walked off.
Both women’s matches have been outstanding.
30-woman Royal Rumble match
Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Renee Young, and Beth Phoenix are calling the match.
1. Lacey Evans
She came out and a cut a promo and said they would witness history. She said she is here to clean up the women’s division.
Evans lost her balance and then botched a kip up, which wasn’t a great start as Corey Graves was putting over her athleticism.
3. Mandy Rose
Natalya applied a sharpshooter to both at the same time for a big reaction.
4. Liv Morgan
Natalya dumped Morgan in seconds after she entered and will probably be the quickest elimination of the match.
5. Mickie James
6. Ember Moon
7. Billie Kay
Billie will not enter the ring until Peyton Royce enters because they are a team.
8. Nikki Cross
Cross shoved down Kay on the floor and then took out everyone with a big crossbody as the audience cheered loudly. Kay finally entered the ring.
9. Peyton Royce
Tamina entered and delivered Samoan drops to several of the women. Tamina hit a splash off the top onto Cross.
Tamina eliminated Mickie James with a superkick.
11. Xia Li
Xia Li was in the Mae Young Classic last summer. She was flipped by Tamina but stumbled upon landing.
12. Sarah Logan
Cross was seated on the top rope and shoved down to the floor by the IIconics and eliminated.
13. Charlotte Flair
This has not been a stellar match so far and Charlotte is a welcome addition.
Evans knocked both Royce and Kay out.
Li was knocked off the apron by Charlotte to the floor as he attempted to leap back in.
14. Kairi Sane
Charlotte eliminated Tamina.
Sane and Charlotte exchanged chops. Sane hit the Insane elbow onto Logan. Sane and Natalya worked together to dump Logan out.
15. Maria Kanellis
Naomi delivered a head kick to Rose on the apron and eliminated her. Rose tried to powerbomb her out, she landed on her hands and head kicked Rose before leaping onto the steps. After landing on the steps, Rose yanked her off to eliminate her. This was excellent.
During this entire sequence, Evans was eliminated by Charlotte and lasted almost 30 minutes.
17. Candice LeRae
18. Alicia Fox
Maria Kanellis tried to form an alliance with Fox but then stomped on her captain’s hat and Fox threw a tantrum. Fox dropkicked Kanellis out.
19. Kacy Catanzaro
Catanzaro did an amazing head scissors from the apron to Fox rotating in mid-air.
20. Zelina Vega
21. Ruby Riott
Logan and Morgan returned with Riott. They pulled Charlotte to the floor and attacked her.
Vega snuck underneath the ring.
Riott threw Fox out.
Logan and Morgan attacked LeRae on the floor and threw her in for Riott to eliminate her.
22. Dana Brooke
Riott caught Sane by the legs and shoved her down landing face first on the floor to eliminate her.
23. Io Shirai
Shirai went after The Riott Squad for attacking Sane. She climbed to the top and hit a moonsault to all three on the floor. She had not entered the match yet so wasn’t eliminating herself.
24. Rhea Ripley
Brooke sent Catanzaro to the floor, her feet didn’t touch and she did a handstand and got to the post and climbed back in allowing the audience to applaud the save.
Ripley then lifted and dumped her to the floor for the real elimination.
25. Sonya Deville
Ripley dropkicked Brooke off the apron and out. Vega laughed from underneath the ring and Hornswoggle was also underneath and chased Vega. She ran into the ring and was eliminated by Ripley. Hornswoggle chased Vega to the back.
26. Alexa Bliss
Bliss got a big reaction when she entered.
Bliss eliminated Deville with a right hand.
Bayley caught Riott in the corner and then clotheslined her out followed by an elimination of Ripley.
Lana comes out limping and selling her ankle injury from the pre-show match. She couldn’t make it down the aisle and the audience began chanting for Becky Lynch.
29. Nia Jax
Jax attacked Lana on the way to the ring.
Natalya tried to lift Jax, was stopped and Jax eliminated Natalya after she was in for 56 minutes.
Becky Lynch stormed out to take the spot of Lana, who cannot enter the match. She enters and goes face-to-face with Nia Jax and the place is electric.
Bliss and Moon battled on the edge and Moon was eliminated when Bliss swept the leg out.
Bayley ran Bliss to the ropes with a powerslam and Carmella assisted to dump out Bliss.
Carmella took a big boot from Charlotte and was out.
Nia Jax lifted Bayley onto her shoulders, Charlotte landed a running boot and Bayley fell to the floor.
It is down to Charlotte, Becky, and Nia Jax.
Charlotte got Nia Jax onto the edge and then Becky pulled her down from the floor to eliminate her.
Charlotte and Becky remained with the crowd chanting for Becky. Nia sent Becky off the apron and she grabbed her left knee in pain but wasn’t eliminated.
Becky hobbled into the ring and refused to quit. Charlotte went after the knee. Becky fought back and Charlotte landed on the apron after missing a boot and a punch sent Charlotte down to the floor and out.
WINNER: Becky Lynch at 71:11 to win the Royal Rumble
The match was highlighted by the final ten minutes and the drama of the final two. I would say the first 75% of the match had its issues and some of the inexperienced talents stood out a lot when they were in the positions to carry the match.
This wasn’t one of the better Rumble matches but the audience wanted Becky Lynch to win and left happy at the end.
Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles for the WWE title
After avoiding Styles at the beginning, he ran Styles shoulder into the post and attacked the body part. Bryan turned a double underhook suplex into an armbar and targeted his submissions for the injured arm.
Styles stopped Bryan’s offense with a reverse neck breaker. The audience seems exhausted from the last match and knowing how much is left to come.
Bryan hit a Dragon suplex and Styles was dropped on his neck. Styles caught him on the turnbuckle and attempted the Styles Clash but Bryan kicked himself free. They went to the floor and Styles hit the reverse DDT off the barricade. Styles went for the springboard 450 and landed on the knee.
Bryan applied the LeBell Lock, Styles escaped and applied the calf crusher and Bryan made it to the rope. Bryan attempted a belly-to-back suplex from the top and Styles landed on his feet.
Styles hit the Bloody Sunday, he went for a springboard and Bryan kicked the wrist to stop him. Styles was selling the left arm and climbed to the top rather than a springboard.
Erick Rowan came out and stood at ringside. The referee was knocked down and Rowan choke slammed Styles allowing Bryan to pin him.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan at 24:32 to retain the WWE title
The audience was dead for this. In front of a different audience where it wasn’t sandwiched, it would have come off better.
The combination of the dead crowd, a very long match and then Erick Rowan causing the finish it was a disappointment for what you would want out of these two.
Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor for the Universal title
Balor was out in his regular attire.
Balor attacked with a running dropkick immediately and attacked until a belly-to-belly sent Balor to the floor.
On the floor, Balor popped off the shoulder and rammed Lesnar into the corner of the announcer’s desk. Graves brought up Lesnar’s history with diverticulitis. Balor continued with a kick to the mid-section and took Lesnar down with a sling blade. Balor was killed with a clothesline.
Balor countered with a DDT and fired up on Lesnar, sent Lesnar to the floor and hit two tope con giros. The audience was alive for this match and cheered loudly as Balor hit a third dive.
Balor hit the coup de grace and Lesnar kicked out as the place went crazy. Lesnar applied the kimura after kicking out and Balor had to tap.
WINNER: Brock Lesnar at 8:37 to retain the Universal title
This was the right finish for the guy in a major match at WrestleMania. They didn’t feel the need to go long and it was a benefit for the audience, who were heavily behind Balor and this worked well for the short time they had.
Lesnar attacked Balor with multiple German suplexes after the match as they booed. Lesnar ended by hitting an F-5.
30-man Royal Rumble
He appeared in the ring to sing a song before the match began. He kept delaying and then was interrupted by Jeff Jarrett in his old Double J outfit.
2. Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett got on the microphone and spelled out the name and did the whole gimmick. Elias said he is always interrupted but Jarrett brings something to the table. Elias wanted to sing a duet and had Jarrett spell his name out and then decked him with a right hand.
Elias grabbed the guitar and broke it over Jarrett’s back and eliminated him.
3. Shinsuke Nakamura
Elias scaled the top rope like Undertaker’s old school while getting the fans to yell “Walk with Elias”.
4. Kurt Angle
5. Big E.
Nakamura put Angle onto the apron and eliminated him with a running knee.
6. Johnny Gargano
Gargano received a big reaction.
7. Jinder Mahal
Gargano sent Mahal onto the apron and superkicked him out.
Elias and Big E. threw out the Singh brothers.
8. Samoa Joe
Joe eliminated Big E.
9. Curt Hawkins
Hawkins left the ring and hid out on the floor. Joe caught Hawkins in the ring with the Coquina clutch but was saved by Elias. Hawkins hid under the ring.
10. Seth Rollins
Rollins eliminated Elias, who failed to hold onto the ring post.
11. Titus O’Neil
Titus ran down and stopped to avoid falling again. He saw Hawkins under the ring and was pulled underneath. Titus chased Hawkins into the ring and was flew to the floor. Joe eliminated Hawkins.
12. Kofi Kingston
13. Mustafa Ali
Ali got his big spot eliminating Nakamura with a dropkick sending Nakamura off the turnbuckle to the floor.
14. Dean Ambrose
Rollins and Ambrose immediately went at it.
Ambrose knocked Kingston down, his feet nearly hit but rolled across the edge to get to the steps and back in.
Ambrose hit Gargano with Dirty Deeds and threw him out.
15. No Way Jose
Joe immediately clotheslined him out for the fastest elimination. He just danced to the back and didn’t care.
16. Drew McIntyre
McIntyre attacked Jose’s conga line on the way to the ring. He hit Rollins and Ambrose with the Claymore kick when he entered. Then, he fought with Joe and hit him with a Claymore kick.
17. Xavier Woods
Woods saved Kingston on the floor and lifted him off the ground and brought him to the steps. They entered the ring and McIntyre dumped both Woods and Kingston out.
18. Pete Dunne
Dunne stomped McIntyre’s elbow and delivered an X plex to Ali on top of McInytre.
20. Apollo Crews
21. Aleister Black
There was a loud “NXT” chant for Black.
Ali dove off the ropes and was struck with a knee by Black.
Black hit Ambrose with Black Mass and eliminated him.
22. Shelton Benjamin
Benjamin hit a running knee to Joe and allowed Ali to send Joe out to the floor. Joe was stunned on the floor.
23. Baron Corbin
Corbin eliminated Crews.
24. Jeff Hardy
Hardy hit the Twist of Fate to several of the people and then a Whisper in the Wind.
Dunne snapped Black’s finger and he popped it back in place.
Corbin then eliminated Black and was heavily booed. Dunne tried to snap Corbin’s fingers but was stopped with a Claymore kick and thrown out by McIntyre.
25. Rey Mysterio
26. Bobby Lashley
Lashley ran at Rollins, who ducked and Lashley landed on the floor. Lashley attacked Rollins on the floor and cleared the announcer’s desk and put Rollins through one of the desks.
27. Braun Strowman
Strowman went after Corbin and sent him out.
Benjamin was also eliminated here.
Braun dumped Jeff Hardy out
28. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler came out and sent McIntyre out to the floor.
29. Randy Orton
Strowman lifted Ali on his shoulders, who went for a superplex to Ali as Rey dove off the top for an incredible looking maneuver.
R-Truth was attacked by Nia Jax and thrown into the LED screen and she enters the ring.
Jax starts attacking all the men in the ring. She lifted Ali and dumped him to the floor.
Orton set up for the RKO and the audience was buzzing as they faced off. She stopped the RKO and he was set up for a 619 but Jax grabbed him. Ziggler superkicked Jax and Rey hit the 619 onto her. Jax staggered and was hit with the RKO.
Orton and Mysterio sent her over and Mysterio followed with a sliding dropkick to eliminate her.
Orton hit Mysterio with an RKO and eliminated him followed by Andrade eliminating Orton from behind.
It was down to Ziggler, Andrade, Rollins, and Strowman.
They worked together against Strowman, including a top rope splash from Rollins, who returned after the table spot.
Strowman lifted and dumped Andrade out. Ziggler was on the apron and knocked off by Strowman.
Strowman was on the edge and he caught Rollins with a choke slam inside the ring.
They fought on the edge, Strowman was sent into the post and hit with the stomp and fell to the floor.
WINNER: Seth Rollins at 57:23