The Royal Rumble is one of the biggest nights in WWE history. If one male and female superstar can survive 29 other competitors they will punch their ticket to WrestleMania. This ticket allows them an opportunity to challenge the champion of their choosing in April. With that being said, let’s recap the action that took place at this years Royal Rumble.
30 Man Royal Rumble Recap
The night is big on surprises and this was certainly one as the men’s Royal Rumble opened up the show. Gunther and Sheamus entered as the number one and two competitors for the match. The ring slowly started to fill with superstars. All was going well until Brock Lesnar was eliminated by his rival Bobby Lashley who entered the match right after him at thirteen. An enraged Lesnar started to destroy the announcers table, throw ring steps and even F5’d Barron Corbin. Corbin hadn’t even made it into the match yet.
Our first surprise entrant for the night came at the number twenty-one spot as Booker T made his way to the ring. Our second surprise entrant at number twenty-four, Edge, came in to get revenge on the three remaining Judgement Day members that had yet to be eliminated. Logan Paul was entrant number twenty-nine and Cody Rhodes made his return to the ring in the final spot at number thirty.
NEVER in rumble history have entrants one and thirty ever made it to the end, but The final two, Gunther and Cody Rhodes, did Saturday night. Even after 28 other male superstars were eliminated these two put on thrilling match for everyone watching with their time remaining in the rumble. Cody Rhodes came out victorious as he stood pointing at the WrestleMania sign earning his ticket to Hollywood.
The Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match
No one really knew what to expect out of this match. Except that Mountain Dew overpaid to be a sponsor for it as LA Knight and Bray Wyatt made their way to the ring. The lights came on for a moment showing the Mountain Dew logo, then quickly turned off to show a neon-lit ring. The match was quick as a glowing face painted Bray Wyatt won.
Wyatt retreated to his corner and changed into a mask that covered his face, becoming his alter ego. He then approached LA Knight who delivered no sell kendo-stick shots as he was trying to escape the crazed beast. Wyatt followed Knight into the crowd and on to a nearby stage where we saw Uncle Howdy high a top a structure. Uncle Howdy leaped from the structure crashing down into LA Knight as flames shot from the stage. The FireFly Fun House pal appeared on the structure as the arena cut to black and they head to commercial.
Alexa Bliss vs Bianca Belair (Raw Women’s Championship)
The crowd did not seem to be as into this match as the previous two. Still, credit to the ladies for putting on an amazing performance. Belair would end up retaining her WWE women’s championship after hitting a K.O.D on Bliss. Afterwards, Bliss sat in the ring while a vignette played of herself and Uncle Howdy. Asking her “Do you feel in charge?” before cutting to a commercial.
30 Women Royal Rumble
Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan started this rumble match as entrants one and two. The ring filled up quickly with the ladies before the first elimination of B-Fab came at entrant seven. Becky Lynch and the women of Damage Control brawled on the outside of the ring after being eliminated. Michelle McCool was the only legend female wrestlers to make an appearance in the match, who was originally in the audience as a spectator. She seemed surprised that she was even in this match when her music hit.
All week long we were entertained with rumors of Nia Jax returning at the rumble on Twitter and it turns out they were true. At number thirty, Nia Jax finally made her return to WWE after a year absence. Whoever was working backstage managed to botch her entrance as her music hit before the counter ever hit zero. Your final two came down to Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley, the original two who started the match. Rhea would end up winning the rumble by using her legs to wrap around Morgan’s head to toss her over the top rope to the floor. Making Ripley the fourth competitor in the 35 year history to win it all entering at the number one spot.
Right before the main event, the action for the night was paused. Musical guest Hardy performs the theme song for the Royal Rumble. I don’t know why they waited until this point to book a performance in an event that was running smoothly, yet they did.
Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns (Undisputed Universal Championship)
Finally, our main event of the evening. From the start, the match was very predictable. However, it was the end that left everyone in San Antonio speechless. Roman Reigns won the match with a spear, extending his 881 day title reign as champion.
With Owens disposed of, the bloodline looked to prove their point even more by beating down the challenger. They handcuffed Owens to the ring ropes. The Usos then took turns super kicking him several times before Reigns grabbed a chair. Sami Zayn stepped in to plead with Roman for mercy for Owens. This lead to him putting the responsibility in Zayn’s hands to deliver the final blow. Instead Sami, fed up with Roman, struck him with a chair ending the honorary Uce’s tenure with the bloodline. As the rest of the Bloodline started to pummel Zayn, Jey Uso sat in the corner refusing to beat down Sami. An emotional Jey left the ring turning his back on the Bloodline. Setting up for a very shaky future for the group moving forward.
I can say the WWE started the year off right with their first pay per view of 2023. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a great year for the company with more to come.
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