The pre-show kicked off with the news that John Cena will not be in tonight’s Royal Rumble, and that Braun Strowman has been added.
Backstage, Kayla interviewed Drake Maverick, who said that Akam of AOP is injured, but AOP still want the tag titles. He staid that he is negotiating a deal for Rezar and Scott Dawson of The Revival to team together. If they win, both teams will be in line for a title shot. I assume this means it would be against the champions Bobby Roode and Chad Gable.
JBL and Charly Caruse talked about how Chase Field had a special Royal Rumble Burger for this night only. I think I gained two pounds just looking at it. Daniel Bryan cut a promo on the burger and squashed one.
Raw Tag Team Champions Bobby Roode & Chad Gable b. Rezar & Scott Dawson in a non-title match when Gable pinned Dawson with a moonsault – Had Rezar and Dawson won, then both AOP and The Revival would be in line for title shots. That was not to be, as the champions outteamed them. Roode tagged in Gable, and held Dawson in place for Gable’s moonsault.
Lio Rush and Lashley walked in on JBL and Charly Caruso. Rush cut a promo saying Lashley would win tonight.
Shinsuke Nakamura p. United States Champion Rusev with a Kinshasa to win the title – Back and forth early on, with neither man gaining long term control. Rusev hit a Machka kick, and went for a uranage. Nakamura countered with a triangle choke. Rusev powered out into a suplex for a two count. The finish came when Nakamura tried removing a turnbuckle pad. Lana got on the apron and yelled that he was cheating. Nakamura taunted back at Lana. Rusev charged, but Nakamura moved and he ran into Lana instead. Lana fell tot he floor and clutched her ankle. Nakamura followed up with a Kinshasa to get the pin and regain the title.
Shawn Michaels announced that Halftime Heat will happed again. This time, it will be Tommaso Chiampa, Johnny Gargano, and Adam Cole will face Ricochet, Aleister Black, and Velveteen Dream. That sounds like a heckuva match.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion b. Kalisto, Akira Tozawa, & Hideo Itami by pinning Itami with Murphy’s Law – The expected multi-man high flying showcase. Each men hit the obligatory dives to the outside Tozawa hit a reverse hurricanrana on Murphy, which caused everybody to try to get a pinfall. Kalisto hit a Salida Del Sol on Itami, but only got a two count. All four men traded superkicks. In the end, Murphy hit Murphy’s Law on Itami to score the pin.
Smackdown Womens Champion Asuka s. Becky Lynch to retain the title – Becky controlled most of the match early on. Asuka battled back with kicks and hip attacks, but missed a missile dropkick. Both women tried moves to the floor, with Asuka winning with a neckbreaker. The two exchanged shots in the middle of the ring. Lynch managed a top rope Becksploder for a two count. Asuka dodged a knee drop and trried for the Asuka-Lock. each woman used each other’s finisher submission. But in the end, Asuka used an inverted chancery like submission and got the win
The Miz & Shane McMahon b. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) when Shane pinned Cesaro with a Shooting Star to win the titles – Shane speared Sheamus immediately after the bell rang.. The Bar cut off Miz and worked him over. Shane got the hot tag and ran wild for a bit unti Sheamus broke up a submission attempt. Cesaro used the Swing and set up Shane for the Brough Kick. Miz made the save and knocked Sheamus out of the ring. This allowed Shane to hit a Shooting star on Cesaro to get the pin and the title.
Raw Women Champion Ronda Rousey p. Sasha Banks with a Piper’s Pit – Ronda kept reversing averything Sasha tried in the early moments. Sasha left the ring, perhaps to buy some time, but Ronda followed her out. Banks threw Rousey into the ringpost and took control of the match. Rousey kicked out of a Superplex. Banks used several submissions, but couldn’t get the taput. Rousey made her comeback, and got the pin wil a move she calls Piper’s Pit.
After the match, Rousey helped Sasha up and held the ropes to help her leave the ring. Sasha gave a Four Horsemen sign before walking to the back.
Lacey Evans came out for the Womens Royal Rumble, having drawn #1. She cut a heel promo saying she was here to clean up the Womens Division. Natalya’s music hit, and she came out for #2.
I will not be able to cover the RUmble matches move for move, so I’ll just keep track of the entry numbers and eliminations
#3 – Mandy Rose came out and helped Evans double team Natalya. Nattie put both women in the Sharpshooter while 34 was intoduced.
#4 – Liv Morgan of The Riott Squad, now making it a 3 on 1 in favor of heels. It didn’t last long as Natalya eliminated her very quickly. Evans and Rose continued teaming up on Natalya, until Evans turned on Rose.
#5 Mickie James came out to even the odds. At least I think so because last time I checked she was acting like a babyface.
#6 was Ember Moon which resulted in a multi-woman brawl.
#7 Nikki Cross ran out and ran wild.
#8 Billie Kaye made it to ringside, but did not enter the ring. Cross smacked her against the barried and returned to the ring
#9 Peyton Royce Ran out and immediately went after Cross. The Iiconics double teamed her for.
#10 Tamina entered and tossed everybody around until Nikki stood up to her. It became pretty clear at this point that the intervals were not even, as Tamina and Cross went at it for lot longer than 90 seconds. Mickie James got eliminated as the buzzer for #11 went off.
#11 was Saya Li, who came out and kicked everybody.
#12 Sara Logan went after Moon first, and almost eliminated her. Nikki kept Moon from falling to the floor. Why? I don’t know but stranger things have happened. The Iiconics eliminated Cross together. The crowd was NOT happy with this.
#13 was Charlotte Flair got a lot of shine while Lacey Evans eliminated both Iiconcs. Flair then eliminated Li.
#14 was the second surprise entry, Kairi Sane. Flair eliminated Tamina while Sane was getting to the ring. Flair and Sane exchanged chops. Natalya helped Sane eliminated Logan.
#15 Maria Kanellis made her return to TV and debut in a Womens Royal Rumble. She screamed at Flair and Evans, who both responded by smacking her.
#16 turned out to be Naomi and The Glow. She of course went after Mandy Rose. She managed to eliminated her, but Rose reacted by tossing Naomi onto the barrier. Naomi made an impressive jump to the ring steps. However, it was for naught, as Rose knocked her off the steps to eliminate her. At the same time, Flair eliminated Lacey Evans, meaning the two first entrants are now gone.
#17 Candace LaRae made her way into the ring, but did not attack anybody off the bat.
#18 Alicia Fox danced her way to the ring. She formed a short lived team with Maria until Maria smashed her hat. Fox had a tantrum in the ring. Maria got eliminated as the buzzer for #19 went off.
#19 Kacy Catanzaro came out and went at it with Natalya.
#20 Zelina Vega made her way out wearing the mask and claws from Street Fighter’s Vega. She went after LaRae
#21 Ruby Riott came out accompanied by the rest of the Riott Squad. They attacked several women and pulled them to the outside. In the confusion, Zelina Vega crawled under the ring, snickering like a silent film villain. Alicia Fox and LaRaegot eliminated by Riott. with help from The Riott Squad.
#22 Dana Brooke ran out but got pulled to the outside by Logan and Morgan. Sane got eliminated by Riott.
#23 Io Shirai attacked The Riott Squad before entering the ring. She and Riott battled on the ring apron.
#24 Rhea Ripley hit the riing and ran wild. Kacy got tossed to the floor, but she landed on her hands. She walked on her hand to the ringpost and used her legs to pull herself back in. Like Naomi before, it didn’t help because Ripley tossed her right back out.
#25 Sonya Deville ran out and went at it with Riott. Ripley kicked Brooke to the floor, eliminating her. Vega peeked out from under the ring, followed by Hornswoggle. Why she didn’t see him under the ring, I don’t know but it’s not a big deal. Swoggle chased her back into the ring where she got eliminated by Ripley.
#26 Alexa Bliss got a huge pop when she came out. She got attacked by heels, so I’m not sure if she’s still a heel or not. Either way, she managed to eliminate Deville.
#27 Nayle ran out and ran wild. She eliminated both Riott and Ripley.
#28 Lana limped out, heavily favoring her ankle from earlier. Crowd is starting to chant “We Want Becky”.
#29 was Nia Jax, much to the chagrin of the crowd. She attacked Lana’s injured leg. Upon entry into the ring, she eliminated Shirai and Natalya. If anybody but Becky is #30, the crowd is going to be PISSED.
#30 was of course Carmella. So much for my plan of Becky winning.
As soon as I typed that, Becky came out and pleaded to Fit Finlay to get into the match, since Lana was never officially entered. Finlay allowed it somehow, and she took to the ring immediately targeting Nia. Alexa and Moon battled on the apron, but Bliss came out on top by legsweeping Moon to the floor.
Six were left in the ring (I’m pretty sure I missed some eliminations. Bayley BuckleBombed Bliss, and Carmella helped Bayley eliminate her. Carmella hit a flying bodypress on Charlotte, who rolled through it and hit a backbreaker. Carmella eliminated Carmella, and was immediately attacked from behind by Bayley. The final four wew Charlott, Becky, Bayley, and Nia. Nia held Bayley on her own shoulders, and Charlotte eliminated Bayley by kicking her over the rop rope.
The crowd got very into this, as it was Charlotte and Becky staring down Jax. Charlotte lifted Nia into a firemans carry, and got her to the apron. Lynch then eliminated Jax from behind. The two stared down each other whle Becky was on the outside. Jax attacked Lynch before she could get back into the ring. Lynch sold her knee as she made her way into the ring. She refused medical attention and yelled at Charlotte that she’s not taking this away from her too. Flair right away targeted the knee. Becky wouldn’t stay down, and made her comeback. She eliminated Flair by dropping the top rope to trip Flair to the apron, and then kicked her to the floor.
WWE Champion Daniel Bryan p. AJ Styles after Erick Rowan interfered – Definitely a main event level match. AJ hit the backflip DDT on the floor, which made me cringe. I’m not too keen on the guy with massive concussion history to get DDT’d on the floor. Bryan kept putting AJ in the LeBell Lock, but AJ kept escaping. Erick Rowan made his way to the ring and stood on the outside. When the referee got knocked out, Rowan came in and slammed AJ. Bryan made the cover and got the pin as the ref came to. Looks like Bryan is going to have The Bludgeon Bros. on his side.
WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar s. Finn Balor with a Chimera to retain the title – Balor jumpastarted the match by attacking Lesnar right off the bat. He used hit and run tactics to keep ahead of Lesnar. He reversed an F5 into a DDT for a near fall. Balor hit several dives onto Lesnar on the floor. He hit the Coup De Gras, but Lesnar kicked out and put him in the Chimera Lock, and got the submission in a relatively short match.
After the match, Lesnar hit several German Suplexes and an F5.
Elias came out for #1 on the Mens Rumble, and wanted to play a song. Jeff Jarrett came to the ring, and they teased doing a song together. However, Elias attacked Jarrett to start the match. He hit Jarrett with the guitar and tossed him out.
#3 Shinsuke Nakamura came out and went back and forth with Elias.
#4 Kurt Angle came out for the second surprise entry. But it didn’t take long until he was double teamed.
#5 Big E gave The New Day promo and made his way to the ring and tossed pancakes to the crowd. He hit a couple suplexes on Nalamura and landed a big splash. Kurt Angle got eliminated right before #6 was introduced.
#6 Johnny Garganop hit the ring and locked up with Elias
#7 Jinder Mahal entered accompanied by the Singh Brothers, but was quickly eliminated by Gargano.
#8 Samoa Joe walked out as everybody ganged up on Nakamura. He quickly knocked everybody to the mat and eliminated Big #.
#9 Curt Hawkins Made his way to the ring, and got caught in the Kokina Clutch by Joe. He was able to roll out of the ring and hide under the ring.
#10 Seth Rollins hit the ring and ran wild. He was able to eliminate Elias.
#11Titus O’Neill ran out, and teased slipping into the ring again. He saw Hawkins under the ring and went after him. He chased Hawkins back into the ring but got eliminated by Hawkins. Joe immediately eliminated Hawkins.
#12 Kofi Kingston entered his 12th Rumble at #12 but didn’t eliminated anybody right away
#13 Mustafa Ali tore into the ring but got grounded by Joe
#14 Dean Ambrose’s music hit, and Rollins waited for him in the ring. They didn’t fight because Ambrose got attacked by Gargano. Ambrose managed to eliminated Gargano and tossed Kofi to the outside. Kofi made one of his signature returns into the ring without his feet touching the floor.
#15 No Way Jose came to the ring accompanied by his Conga Line, but was immediately eliminated by Joe. Most likely the quickest elimination of the night.
#16Drew McIntyre attacked the Conga Line on the way out, and hit several Claymore Kicks when he got in the ring.
#17 Xavier Woods ran down to the ring and noticed Kofi on the floor. Only one of Kofi’s feet hit the floor, and he was laying on his back with one foot in the air. Woods carried him to the ring steps. When they both got into the ring, they were simultaneously eliminated by Drew McIntyre.
#18 Pet Dunne came out and tossed around Ali
#19 Andrade “Cien Almas got to the ring without Zelina Vega
#20 Aleister Black entered, and surprisingly eliminated Ambrose
#21Shelton Benjamin hit the ring, and shortly after Ali managed to eliminate Joe.
#22 Apollo Crews came out but didn’t eliminate anybody
#23 Baron Corbin came to the ring in regular clothes, and eliminated Crews
#24 Jeff Hardy hit the ring and leveled several guys with a Whisper In The Wind. Corbin tossed out Black, and McIntyre eliminated Dunne.
#25Rey Mysterio dove into the ring and got caught by Corbin. Almas started stomping away at Mysterio.
#26 Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush walked down to the ring, but quickly got eliminated by Rollins. He attacked Rollins out of frustration on the floor and chokeslammed him through a table.
#27 Braun Strowman came to the ring and quickly eliminated Corbin
#28Dolph Ziggler ran out but didn’t fare well.
#29 Randy Orton calmly walked to the ring as Braun stared him down. Braun knocked him to the mat and tossed Alas, Ali, and Mysterio to the mat from the turnbuckle.
#30 R-Truth starteed rapping his way out, but Nia Jax attacked him from behind and tossed him into the stage. She ten made her way to the ring apparently entering the match.
Jax headbutted Ali and tossed him to the outside, eliminating him. Orton crept up on her. He tried an RKO but Nia blocked it. She caught Mysterio and looked to eliminate him. However, Dolph superkicked her, Mysterio hit the 619, and Orton hit the RKO. Maybethis is due to the Becky Lynch fiasco? Anyway the three tossed her to the apron, and Mysterio dropkicked her to the floor. Orton eliminated Mysterio, only to get eliminated by Andrade. Ziggler and Andrade were the last two in the ring, though I think Rollins is still knocked out on the table.
Just when I started wondering if I missed Strowman’s elimination, he got back in the ring and corner splashed Alams & Ziggler. Back outside the ring, he charged through Rollins. This makes Strowman, Rollins, Almas & Ziggler are the final four. The three smaller guys teamed up on Braun. Andrade got eliminated by Braun, followed by Ziggler. Strowman lifted Rollins to the apron, and the two battled on the ledge. Rollins rammed Strowman into the post, and curbstomped him to the floor to win.
Rollins celebrate in the ring as the show went off the air.