It’s officially time to start the Road to WrestleMania. After a classic NXTTakeover, it’s time for the Royal Rumble. The Royal Rumble is one of the most exciting PPVs the WWE put together because of the uncertainty. This year, things are a little bit different as we have the First-Ever Women’s Royal Rumble. Besides the Rumble matches, we have a pair of championship matches. First, we have A.J. Styles defending the WWE title against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a 2-On-1 Handicap match. Brock Lesnar defended his Universal Championship Against Braun Strowman and Kane. Cesaro & Sheamus look to recapture the Raw tag titles against Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan. The Usos defended their Smackdown tag titles against Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable in a 2 Out of 3 Falls match. Let’s see what happened at the Royal Rumble and who were the surprised entrants.
We kicked things off with A.J. Styles defending his WWE title against Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. It was a 2-on-1 Handicap Match that saw him battle both guys. Zayn & Owens played games in the beginning by making quick tags. After a while, Styles got his chance to separate them and work on both individually. Towards the end of the match, it seems like Zayn & Owens were about to become co-champs. Kevin Owens hit a sick superkick on Styles that lead to a nearfall when Zayn hit the Blue Thunder Bomb. Later on, Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Zayn, but Owens broke up the pinfall. After Zayn & Styles traded punches, Styles tossed him over the top rope after he almost tagged Owens in. Kevin Owens came from behind to hit the pop-up powerbomb, but it was countered to a roll up for the three count. Winner and Still WWE Champion: A.J. Styles
Match Rating: 3.75/5- Really good match and a nice way to kick off the Royal Rumble. During the replay, it showed that Zayn never made the tag to Owens and he wasn’t the legal man.
This is the 2-out-of-3 Falls Match for the SmackDown Live tag titles. The Usos have been battling Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin a few months now and almost lost the titles a few weeks ago on Smackdown. The first fall was amazing as they battled with all four guys doing their thing. One thing I’ll say, and that Chad Gable is one of the strongest dudes I’ve ever seen. In addition to his strength, he’s a damn good wrestler and can fly around that ring. Gable tried to his Chaos Theory multiple times, but the last time he tried Jimmy broke it up. Afterwards, Gable ducked a superkick, but walked into a double superkick and Jey pinned him for the first fall. Benjamin & Gable hit their finisher on Jimmy on the outside. In the ring, Benjamin picks up Jey, but gets rolled up for the pinfall. Winners and Still SmackDown Live Tag Champs: The Usos
Match Rating: 3.25/5
We had the Men’s Royal Rumble match and as I’ve stated above, the uncertainty is the best part of this match. The first surprise came in a #7 when NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas showed up. Almas had a great showing throughout the match and was the only surprise until The Hurricane came out at #21. The crowd went crazy as he hit the ring and done his thing with John Cena. He even tried to chokeslam Cena but was tossed rather quickly. At #23, Adam Cole hit the ring and #27 we saw the return of Rey Mysterio as he looked great. The final four came down to Finn Balor, John Cena, Roman Reigns and Shinsuke Nakamura. Cena eliminated Balor, then Nakamura eventually tossed Cena leave him and Reigns. In the end, Nakamura tossed Reigns to become the winner as the crowd was going crazy. 2018 Royal Rumble Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Match Rating: 4.25/5: This wasn’t a bad Rumble match and I was very excited to see Nakamura walk away the winner. After the match, he said he’ll challenge A.J. Styles at WrestleMania, which is a dream match.
This was for the Raw tag team titles as the Bar faced the champs, Jason Jordan & Seth Rollins. The main story of this match was how Jason Jordan is in the middle of his heel turn. The doctors were checking on Jordan throughout the match, but he would wave them off. Throughout the match, Cesaro & Sheamus work on Rollins, but there were times he fought back. Rollins damn near almost picked up the win by himself a couple of times, but Cesaro & Sheamus continued to punish him. After Rollins frog splashes both Cesaro & Sheamus, Jordan tagged himself in. Jordan stumbled around the ring for a minute and then tags Rollins right back in. Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick and The Bar hit their finisher to pick up the win. Winners and New Raw Tag Champs: Cesaro & Sheamus
Match Rating: 3.5/5
This was for the Universal title as Brock Lesnar defended against Kane & Braun Strowman. This match went exactly how we thought it would go with so much physicality. They brought in chairs, tables and used the announce table during the match. During the match, we saw Braun Strowman deadlift Lesnar out of the ring. Strowman cleared the announce table as he was attempting to put Lesnar through it. Lesnar eventually hit the F5 on Strowman through the announce table. If that wasn’t enough, Lesnar tossed the other announce table on top of Strowman. With Strowman out of the picture, Lesnar & Kane fought in the ring. Lesnar & Strowman went at it again after Lesnar F5’d Kane through another announce table. Strowman hit a pair of powerslams on Lesnar, but Kane leveled Strowman with a chair sending him on the outside. Kane went for the Tombstone, but Lesnar countered with the F5 for the win. Winner and Still Universal Champ: Brock Lesnar
Match Rating: 3.25/5
It was time for the Women’s Royal Rumble! The first surprise entrant came in at #5 and it was none other than Lita. After her, Kairi Sane from NXT and Mae Young Classic winner was next. Torrie Wilson, who’ve I have always been crazy about came in at #9. At #12, we saw Molly Holly return and #14 Michelle McCool came out. I was thinking about a match between McCool and Charlotte could be good. In a surprise, Vickie Guerrero came out at #16 and started yelling EXCUSE ME! Kelly Kelly was another surprise entrant at #19 and Jacqueline came in at #21. The NXT Women’s Champ, Ember Moon hit the ring at #23 and Beth Phoenix followed her at #24. The Bellas returned by entering back-to-back at numbers 27 & 28. The final entrant of the Rumble was my personal GOAT and that’s Trish Stratus. The final four was the Bellas, Asuka and Sasha Banks. Banks was the first entrant, which was crazy. The Bellas tossed Banks and Nikki actually eliminated Brie. Asuka finally eliminated Nikki to become the first-ever winner. 2018 Royal Rumble Winner: Asuka
Match Rating: 4/5- After Charlotte and Alexa Bliss hit the ring, the music of Ronda Rousey hit, and she went to the ring and pointed at the WrestleMania sign.