Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/01/28/wwe-royal-rumble-report/
Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of the WWE Royal Rumble.
The show begins at 5 pm Eastern with the kickoff show.
The panel on the kickoff features Renee Young, Peter Rosenberg, and Jerry Lawler.
Alexa Bliss was a guest to discuss the women’s Rumble. It was noted that the winners of the Royal Rumble get to choose which brand’s champion they will face at WrestleMania.
Seth Rollins met with Jason Jordan, Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable walked in. Gable and Jordan hugged. Benjamin mentioned his history with Kurt Angle. Gable joked about Jordan dumping him for a singles career and now he’s a tag champion again. Jordan joked that at least he has a title and walked off.
TJP, JACK GALLAGHER, AND DREW GULAK VS KALISTO, GRAN METALIK, AND LINCE DORADO
There are barely any fans in the arena.
There was a big double moonsault spot to the floor by the babyfaces to set up the commercial break.
They got the advantage on Dorado in their corner.
Metalik scaled the top rope and hit an elbow drop from the top to Gulak. He followed with a tope con giro to the floor.
Kalisto was in with TJP and hit the Salida del Sol and pinned TJP.
WINNER: KALISTO (pinned TJP), GRAN METALIK, AND LINCE DORADO AT 13:05
TJP had a tantrum after the match and argued with Gallagher and Gulak.
They had a fine opener even with the crowd just filling in.
Charlotte was interviewed by the panel.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were interviewed for the social media lounge. There is no one better in a live, improvised setting than Owens. This segment was great. He ripped on Peter Rosenberg, spoke French, insulted the grammar mistakes by fans on Twitter and mocked Jerry Lawler about his elimination of Max Moon at the 1993 Royal Rumble.
THE REVIVAL VS KARL ANDERSON AND LUKE GALLOWS
Dawson and Wilder attacked the knee of Anderson and cut off the ring. Booker compared them to the Minnesota Wrecking Crew and isolating a body part.
Gallows received the hot tag and fired up on Wilder. Dawson ran in to stop the Magic Killer by Gallows and Anderson.
Gallows missed Dawson and ran into the post on the floor. Wilder chop blocked the injured knee of Anderson and pinned him.
WINNERS: THE REVIVAL AT 9:03
Wilder held up the “too sweet” sign after the win.
It was a good tag match with the focus on Anderson’s knee and a rare chance for The Revival to have some time and same for Anderson and Gallows.
Madusa joined the panel with JBL taking over for Jerry Lawler. The segment largely consisted of Madusa and JBL arguing with each other as JBL goaded her to make a pick for the women’s Royal Rumble. This was a tough segment to get through.
Bobby Roode came out for the U.S. title open challenge. He cut a promo about being in the birthplace of America.
The challenge is answered by Mojo Rawley.
BOBBY ROODE VS MOJO RAWLEY FOR THE U.S. TITLE
The whole arena is chanting “Mojo sucks” at the start of the match.
Rawley is in control as they go to break.
Rawley sent Roode into the post shoulder first. Roode quickly recovered and hit the Glorious DDT for the win.
WINNER: BOBBY ROODE AT 7:37 TO RETAIN THE U.S. TITLE
This match was there, nothing special about it and the mystery opponent only raise expectations when they had no intention of delivering anything special.
Ric Flair joined the panel and JBL called him the “Babe Ruth of professional wrestling”. Flair reminisced about the 1992 Rumble match and all the men involved in that match. He provided strategy tips for the Rumble. Flair said he is a big fan of A.J. Styles.
The main show begins with a big video package for the Rumble.
A.J. STYLES VS KEVIN OWENS AND SAMI ZAYN IN A HANDICAP MATCH FOR THE WWE TITLE
Zayn and Owens received separate entrances.
The crowd was hot for all three men as the match began.
Zayn and Owens kept tagging in and out as the match started. They had the advantage and wore down Styles.
It is all Owens and Zayn until Styles lands a top rope Frankensteiner and then an Inverted DDT to Zayn.
Owens went for a monkey flip and Styles turned it into a huricanarana on Zayn. Styles then locked on the calf crusher, the crowd was very hot and then Zayn broke it up.
Owens misses Styles and runs shoulder first into the post in the corner. Owens landed a superkick on Styles from the apron and Zayn followed up with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a big near fall.
Styles landed a phenomenal forearm on Zayn and Owens broke the cover.
Zayn got dumped to the floor and Owens entered and went for the pop-up powerbomb, Styles countered into a roll up and got the cover for the win.
They showed the replay and Zayn didn’t make contact in his attempt to tag in Owens.
WINNER: A.J STYLES AT 15:52 TO RETAIN THE WWE TITLE
The crowd was very hot for the match, the finish was something different and clever with the instant replay to leave an “out” for Owens and Zayn to complain.
Owens and Zayn complained about the finish to Shane McMahon backstage.
THE USOS VS CHAD GABLE AND SHELTON BENJAMIN IN A 2/3 FALLS MATCH FOR THE WWE SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES
The Usos cut a promo before the match, they ride “from the womb to the tomb” and they stay ready, so they don’t have to get ready.
Gable attacks Jimmy with a dragon screw leg whip and attacks the knee further.
Jey was tagged in and hit dives to both sides of the ring. He just narrowly cleared the top rope on both dives, but made it over. Gable hit a Tiger suplex for a two-count.
Benjamin powerbombed Jey into Jimmy in the corner, hit the Pay Dirt and Jey kicked out. The audience is not reacting to the near falls and perhaps because it’s the first fall.
Gable hit a moonsault to both Usos on the floor from the top turnbuckle. The Usos came back with superkicks to Gable and Jimmy hit a splash from the top and Gable kicked out.
Gable went for the Chaos Theory and a blind tag was made, Gable ducked one superkick but ate the second one and then took a double superkick from The Usos and they pinned Gable at 12:52 for the first fall of the match.
Gable and Benjamin took out Jey on the floor with a Doomsday clothesline and then attacked Jimmy in the ring. Gable hit a rolling koppo kick, they set up Jimmy for a double-team maneuver, but Jimmy blocked and caught Gable with an inside cradle at 1:25 and The Usos won the match 2-0.
WINNERS: THE USOS TO RETAIN THE SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES (2-0)
MEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
Jerry Lawler was introduced as he will be calling the match with Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton.
Aiden English comes out and the entire arena yells “Rusev Day” and English is only out to introduce Rusev.
2. FINN BALOR
There is an “ECW” chant for Rhyno.
4. BARON CORBIN
Corbin hit the Deep Six and tossed out Rhyno. Balor then dumped Corbin over for the big pop. Corbin took Balor to the floor and sent him shoulder first into the barricade and ended with an End of Days to Rusev and a backbreaker to Balor. Everyone is down on the floor.
5. HEATH SLATER
Corbin lays out Slater on the ramp as he is leaving to the back.
Massive pop for his entrance as he comes out playing his guitar. He stomps Slater on his way to the ring. He says, “time is just an illusion”. He plays inside the ring about spitting in the face of the Rocky statue. He stops as the countdown clock begins.
7. ANDRADE CIEN ALMAS
Almas is the first surprise entrant, he too nails Slater on the way to the ring and that looks to be the running gag of the match.
Elias nails him with a big clothesline.
8. BRAY WYATT
Balor returns to the match to attack Bray while the crowd chants, “Rusev Day”.
9. BIG E.
E feeds a pancake to Slater on the floor.
10. TYE DILLINGER (SAMI ZAYN)
He never comes out and they cut to the back with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn attacking him. Zayn takes the spot of Dillinger in the Rumble.
Sheamus tossed Slater into the ring and he immediately clotheslined Sheamus to the floor and eliminated him immediately on his birthday.
Bray then tossed out Slater.
12. XAVIER WOODS
Woods and E double-teamed Elias.
13. APOLLO CREWS
14. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
The arena is humming his theme song as he enters the match. Nakamura feels like a megastar in this setting.
Nakamura hits a running knee to the ribs of Zayn in the corner and eliminates Zayn.
16. KOFI KINGSTON
Cesaro landed an uppercut to Crews and sent him off the apron to the floor.
17. JINDER MAHAL
Mahal only came out with Samir Singh, as Sunil tore his ACL is out for a long time.
Woods was tossed over the top and is out.
Mahal and Big E. are on the outside of the apron and Mahal kicked him to the floor.
18. SETH ROLLINS
Rollins eliminated Cesaro right away.
Mahal dumped Kingston over but Kingston’s right foot landed on top of Woods and didn’t touch the floor. Big E. places pancakes on the floor for Kingston to place his foot on and he hops on one foot as Mahal tries to block him from returning.
Woods and E shoot Kingston into the air and leaps over Mahal back into the ring and then eliminates Mahal.
Almas nailed Kingston with the hammerlock DDT and sent Kingston to the floor for the big elimination of Kingston.
19. MATT HARDY
He has a face off with Bray Wyatt, but they work together and toss out Rusev, who has been in the match since the beginning.
Bray and Hardy start brawling and both tumble over the top to the floor.
20. JOHN CENA
Everyone gangs up on Cena as he enters the ring.
Cena gets up, lifts Elias onto his shoulders and dumps him to the floor. The audience booed Elias’ elimination.
21. THE HURRICANE
Hurricane goes to chokeslam Cena, he blocks it and lifts Hurricane and dumps him to the floor.
22. AIDEN ENGLISH
23. ADAM COLE
Cole comes out with his ribs taped up from Saturday’s match with Aleister Black.
Balor kicked English off the turnbuckle and sent him to the floor.
24. RANDY ORTON
Almas went for a springboard and was caught with an RKO and tossed out of the match by Orton. The audience booed the elimination.
25. TITUS O’NEIL
26. THE MIZ
27. REY MYSTERIO
Rey comes out in spandex and looks in great shape. He eliminates Adam Cole.
28. ROMAN REIGNS
Reigns tossed Titus out of the ring.
Reigns went to eliminate Miz when Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel appear to block him. Reigns nailed them off the apron.
Seth Rollins hit “The Stomp” to Miz.
Reigns and Rollins hit a powerbomb to Miz onto Dallas and Axel on the floor.
Reigns then took Rollins and tossed him out.
30. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Ziggler tried to land on his feet from an AA and responded with a superkick from Cena.
Ziggler superkicked Goldust and eliminated him.
Balor leaps and knocks Ziggler off the apron.
There was a standoff with Reigns, Balor, and Nakamura against Cena, Orton, and Mysterio.
Orton ducked a kick and landed an RKO to Nakamura.
Cena blocked an RKO, Reigns hit a superman punch and tossed out Orton.
Mysterio hit a double 619 to Reigns and Cena.
Balor grabbed Mysterio and eliminated him.
The final four are Cena, Reigns, Nakamura, and Balor.
Reigns and Cena have a face-off as the fans chant, “you both suck” and roar as Balor and Nakamura jump them. Balor and Nakamura then have their own face off.
Balor landed a sling blade on Cena and Reigns. He hit running dropkicks to both. Balor stopped a Kinshasa with a double foot stomp coming down near his throat. Cena grabbed Balor and eliminated him.
Balor lasted 57 minutes and 37 seconds.
Cena landed the AA onto Reigns. Nakamura places him onto the edge of the apron and eliminates Cena with the Kinshasa to a massive reaction.
It is down to Nakamura and Reigns.
Reigns landed a superman punch onto Nakamura. He tosses him over the top, but Nakamura hangs on.
Nakamura applied a triangle in the ropes, Reigns lifts him and powerbombs him inside the ring.
Reigns went for a spear and were caught with a knee from Nakamura, he hit a Kinshasa off the turnbuckle, then went for a Kinshasa in the ring and was met with a spear.
Nakamura hit the running knee coming off the ropes, Reigns staggered to his feet and Nakamura tossed him out to the floor. Huge pop for the win.
WINNER: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA AT 65:27
Renee Young interviews Nakamura inside the ring. She asks if he has decided who he wants to face at WrestleMania. Everyone is chanting “A.J. Styles”. Nakamura says, “A.J. Styles” and they cheer.
Kurt Angle and Stephanie McMahon were backstage with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan. Bryan and Shane celebrated Nakamura’s victory. Stephanie said tonight the women would make history.
They aired the “Colonel Rumble”, which featured Ric Flair dressed up and part of the match/commercial for KFC.
SETH ROLLINS AND JASON JORDAN VS CESARO AND SHEAMUS FOR THE RAW TAG TITLES
Jordan is run into the post on the floor by Cesaro. Rollins is working the match with The Bar in control.
The Bar went for a Doomsday Device and Rollins avoided the clothesline with a hurricanrana.
The crowd is down for the match coming off the Rumble match.
Rollins hit a splash to both Cesaro and Sheamus at the same time and crawls over to Jordan.
Jordan finally returns and tags in, he is dizzy and immediately tags out and Rollins has to continue. The audience is just dead for the match.
Rollins is beaten down and takes a Brogue kick, an assisted White Noise by both and is pinned.
WINNERS: SHEAMUS AND CESARO AT 12:48 TO WIN THE RAW TAG TITLES
A very flat match, even though it was laid out to advance the dissension between Rollins and Jordan. This was in a dead spot.
BROCK LESNAR VS BRAUN STROWMAN VS KANE FOR THE UNIVERSAL TITLE
Strowman hits Lesnar flush with a knee to the head.
Lesnar decks Strowman with right hands, he goes for the F-5 and is stopped by a chokeslam from Kane.
Lesnar returns with a chair and smashes Kane in the back. Strowman kills Lesnar with a clothesline and tosses him to the floor.
Strowman and Kane both go for chokeslams and Strowman hits it. Lesnar returns and suplexes Strowman with three straight Germans. Strowman staggers up and powerslams Lesnar through the table set up inside the ring.
Kane and Strowman messed up a table spot in the corner and Strowman basically put himself on the table. Michael Cole attempted to cover by stating, “it was almost like Braun knew it was coming.”
They went to the floor and Lesnar out Strowman through the announcer’s desk with the F-5. Lesnar took the desk next to Strowman and tipped it over and on top of Strowman. Kane then grabbed Lesnar and he avoided a chokeslam, lifted Kane and hit the F-5 onto the Spanish desk. Strowman emerged from underneath the desk.
Strowman hits a powerslam to Lesnar inside the ring, lifts him and hits a second one, then Kane returns with a chair shot to Strowman.
Lesnar shoved Kane to knock Strowman off the apron, he hit a F-5 to Kane on top of a chair and pinned Kane.
WINNER: BROCK LESNAR AT 10:58 TO RETAIN THE UNIVERSAL TITLE
It was about what you would expect, perhaps more physical than you would expect. The audience was still down for this match and if you had a hot crowd it would have made a big difference. Kane took the fall as expected and kept Strowman strong.
The trailer for the HBO’s Andre the Giant documentary aired.
WOMEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE
Maria Menounos introduced Stephanie McMahon, who joined Michael Cole and Corey Graves.
Alexa Bliss and Charlotte came out and will be seated at ringside for the match.
- SASHA BANKS
2. BECKY LYNCH
3. SARAH LOGAN
Logan pressed Banks into the air and headbutted Banks.
4. MANDY ROSE
Stephanie let us know Mandy can squat 300 pounds.
Lita gets a huge response as the surprise entrant.
Lita knocked Mandy Rose out as the first elimination.
6. KAIRI SANE
Sane hit a forearm off the top to Logan. She attacked everyone and then climbed to the top and hit her elbow drop to Banks and then one to Lynch.
Lita hit a Twist of Fate to Banks and Lynch. Lita went for a moonsault and nearly landed on her head as he hit it onto Banks and Lynch.
Lita eliminated Tamina and then Lynch eliminated Lita.
8. DANA BROOKE
Brooke seats Sane on the top turnbuckle and shoves Sane out of the match.
9. TORRIE WILSON
Torrie dropkicked Brooke off the apron and eliminated her.
10. SONYA DEVILLE
Deville attacked everyone with knees from the Thai clinch. She struggled to lift Wilson and then dumped her out.
11. LIV MORGAN
12. MOLLY HOLLY
Molly eliminated Sarah Logan and then hit the Molly Go Round to Sasha Banks.
The crowd chants “Rusev Day” at Lana.
14. MICHELLE McCOOL
McCool eliminates Deville and Morgan as they chant “Undertaker” and then eliminates Molly Holly and Lana.
15. RUBY RIOTT
- VICKIE GUERRERO
Vickie comes out yelling, “Excuse me” over and over to a big reaction.
She yells at Sasha, McCool, Becky Lynch, and Ruby Riott. They all grab Vickie and dump her to the floor.
Vickie attacked Carmella from behind on the floor with Carmella’s briefcase.
Carmella and Becky struggled for way too long for Becky to hit a Bexploder.
19. KELLY KELLY
Kelly is in a sweater and tries a tilt-a-whirl onto McCool. This was not good.
McCool is eliminated.
Ruby Riott sends Becky over the top and she is holding up, but then knocked off after 31:00 in the match.
22. NIA JAX
Jax eliminates Jacqueline and Kelly right away.
Jax press slams Riott onto the top turnbuckle and shoves to the floor.
Jax knocks Naomi off the apron and the women caught Naomi and placed her on the barricade.
23. EMBER MOON
Moon has her arm wrapped to sell the attack from Shayna Baszler last night.
Jax eliminated Moon quickly.
Naomi crawled over on a chair and got to the steps and returned. She went for a high cross, was caught by Jax and tossed to the floor.
24. BETH PHOENIX
She has a stare down with Nia Jax.
The audience is chanting “this is awesome.”
Phoenix kept trying to lift Jax and couldn’t. Natalya returned to the ring and they shoulder tackled Jax to the floor through the middle rope.
Phoenix and Natalya hugged, Natalya hugged her and then attacked Phoenix and eliminated her.
Moon returns and has a showdown with Asuka.
Moon gets placed on the edge of the apron, Asuka snaps the injured arm on the rope and eliminates Moon.
26. MICKIE JAMES
27. NIKKI BELLA
Nikki snaps Carmella on the top rope and eliminates her.
28. BRIE BELLA
Brie gets a big reaction.
30. TRISH STRATUS
Stratus hit a double Stratusfaction to the Bellas.
Mickie and Trish faced off and the people went wild. Mickie was placed on the top and Stratus kicked her out to the floor.
Everybody ganged up on Jax, but she fought them all off.
They all worked together to toss Nia off the top and the people booed her elimination.
Sasha took Bayley and eliminated her.
Natalya applied the sharpshooter to Stratus, who broke free and then eliminated Natalya with a kick to send Natalya off the apron.
Stratus went for the Stratusfaction to Banks, she stopped Trish and tossed her to the floor mid-move. Banks was acting very heelish throughout this.
It is down to Asuka, Sasha Banks, and The Bella Twins.
Sasha set up Asuka for the double knees, The Bellas stopped her and dumped her to the floor after 55:00.
Asuka kills The Bellas with kicks.
Brie is on the apron, Nikki nails Brie and eliminates her.
Asuka takes Nikki over the top by the neck with her legs. They are both on the edge, Asuka attacks Nikki and knocks her off the apron and Asuka wins.
WINNER: ASUKA AT 58:59
Charlotte and Alexa Bliss both enter the ring and hold their titles in the air.
“Bad Reputation” plays and Ronda Rousey comes out. She extended her hand and Asuka knocked it away. Rousey points at WrestleMania sign and leaves. She is wearing one of Roddy Piper’s leather jackets.
Rousey goes over to Stephanie McMahon and shakes her hand.