Reviews

The John Report: WWE Royal Rumble 2024 Review

wwe royal rumble 2024 review tjrwrestling

It’s WWE Royal Rumble featuring Men’s & Women’s Royal Rumble matches, a huge Roman Reigns title match, and more.

This has been a very busy week full of WWE news some of which has been positive and some negative too. It started with big news with The Rock joining TKO’s Board of Directors and that Netflix would be the home of Raw starting in January 2025 as well as airing WWE shows internationally, including here in Canada. Did you think WWE announced those things purposely earlier this week because they knew what was coming on Thursday? Maybe.

On Thursday, yet another Vince McMahon scandal story was released by the Wall Street Journal. A former female WWE employee detailed stories of sexual harassment, sexual assault and sex trafficking involving other people associated with WWE. After a couple of years, Vince agreed to pay her millions of dollars, she signed an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) and then Vince stopped paying her, so now she’s coming back with this lawsuit. Vince has denied the woman’s claims while saying he would fight back. Then on Friday night while Smackdown was on, Vince McMahon resigned as TKO & WWE’s Executive Chairman due to all negative attention toward the company.

All of that brings us to the Royal Rumble, which is the first Royal Rumble without Vince McMahon being part of the company in some way. Triple H has been booking the shows since July 2022 when Vince first retired and after Endeavor acquired WWE officially last fall, they made sure Triple H had full control. I’m glad Vince is gone. With all that said, I’m ready for the Royal Rumble.

The Kickoff Show had a panel with Jackie Redmond, Wade Barrett, Booker T and Peter Rosenberg going over the show. Triple H was interviewed by Kayla Braxton at the end of the Kickoff Show to hype up the show. Let’s get to it.

WWE Royal Rumble
From Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg/Tampa, Florida
January 27, 2024

There were shots of the crowd at the Trop. They showed some of the key superstars arriving at the show earlier in the day.

Hulk Hogan narrated the open video package while they showed clips of WWE superstars training. Hogan spoke about how he knows what it takes to win and people making legacies by winning. It also covered the Roman Reigns and Logan Paul title defenses. Hogan is from the area and it’s 40 years since Hulkamania so that’s why they picked him for this. Good opening promo video package.

Michael Cole welcomed us to the show telling us there were over 40,000 fans at the show. The WrestleMania XL (that’s 40) logo was in the building. They also showed Cody Rhodes and CM Punk earlier in the day. Cole was joined on commentary by Corey Graves.

Pat McAfee made his entrance to be on commentary for the show. This year, Michael Cole knew all about it while Graves acted like he had no idea and Graves wasn’t happy about it.

30-Woman Royal Rumble Match

It was Natalya in the #1 spot. It was her seventh Royal Rumble match. Here’s Naomi at #2 making her WWE return. Welcome back to Naomi feeling the glow! She is back in WWE for the first time since May 2022 when she left the company. Naomi’s return was expected, but still cool to see. Fans chanted “Welcome back” to Naomi. Cole even mentioned that she held the TNA Knockouts Title as well. Natalya and Naomi have been close friends for a long time, so I’m sure they love starting together.

Naomi and Natalya did some counter moves early on in the match. Natalya blocked a kick and hit a basement dropkick. Natalya and Naomi hit a cross body block collision. It was Bayley at #3 and she is one of the favorites to win the match so the fans chanted her name even though she’s a heel. Naomi hit a bulldog on Bayley followed by Natalya hitting a running dropkick on both women. Bayley hit a back elbow on Natalya and Naomi hit a jawbreaker on Bayley. The #4 entrant is Candice LeRae, who is on Raw and didn’t get much of a reaction. LeRae went after Bayley with punches and kicks. LeRae kicked Natalya in the knee along with a kick to the face. LeRae hit a double knee attack on Bayley while also landing on Natalya’s back. LeRae did a headscissors to Bayley followed by a boot to the face. Bayley was back up with a clothesline for LeRae. Jordynne Grace was #5 as the TNA Knockouts Champion. Cole mentioned the title and she brought the title down to the ring with her. Cole mentioned Grace took the TNA Knockouts Title from Naomi. Pat had no idea about Grace. That led to Grace cleaning house with suplexes and powerslams. Grace hugged Naomi in the ring and then they got into a slugfest. Grace hit Naomi with a back elbow to the head followed by a lifting slam. All five women were battling in corners for a bit as the clock ticked down.

It was Indi Hartwell at #6 as an ally for LeRae. Indi cleared house including a spinebuster on Bayley. Indi slammed LeRae onto Bayley. Grace nearly eliminated LeRae, but LeRae managed to hang on. There was a lot of standing out and trying to toss people out, but nothing was happening. Asuka, who is a Women’s Tag Team Champion, is #7 in the match. Bayley had a shocked look as if she had no idea. Asuka hit a missile dropkick to knock two women down. Bayley and Asuka hit a double clothesline with Natalya. Asuka didn’t touch Bayley’s hands for a double high five. Bayley and Asuka hit a back elbow on Indi. Asuka sent Indi over the top, then a kick to the head and Indi grabbed Asuka, but Bayley saved Asuka there. Indi tried to eliminate Asuka and Bayley made the save by kicking Indi to eliminate Indi from the match. Ivy Nile is #8 wit ha running kick on Asuka. Nile hit a gutwrench slam on Naomi that wasn’t smooth at the start of it, but they got through it. Nile hit Natalya with a forearm to the chin. Lerae hit a double knee attack on Grace. Bayle trash talked Cole at ringside. There wasn’t much going on. Katana Chance was in at #9 as perhaps the smallest woman in the match although she is an excellent athlete. Chance did a headscissors takedown and a dropkick on Asuka. Grace caught Chance leading to a belly-to-back suplex. Nile and Grace each hit delayed vertical suplexes at the same time to show off their power. The #10 entrant was Bianca Belair, who is the 2021 Rumble winner and a contender this year. Belair was aggressive with punches on the Damage CTRL ladies followed by a double neckbreaker by Belair. Belair nearly sent Bayley out, but Bayley hung on. Bayley saved Asuka from elimination again. Belair delivered punches on two women at once followed by a Belair suplex on Bayley. Belair hit a spinebuster on LeRae and Belair tossed Chance onto two other women. Belair hit a moonsault on three women at once.

The #11 entrant was Kairi Sane, who is a Women’s Tag Team Champion with Asuka. Sane jumped off the top with a punch on Belair. Sane hit a Spear on Chance as well. Bayley hit a running bulldog and Sane/Asuka hit a double dropkick. LeRae jumped on Bayley’s back and Bayley threw her off. The trio of Bayley, Asuka & Sane eliminated LeRae from the match. It’s Tegan Nox at #12 as an ally of Natalya. Nox got some offense including a Chokeslam on Chance along with a running attack on Bayley against the turnbuckle. Sane hit a Molly Go Round off the top onto Bayley. Grace tried to eliminate Nox, but Natalya saved Nox and Natalya nailed Grace with a discus clothesline. Natalya hugged Nox, then Natalya tried to eliminate and Nox eliminated Natalya. Bayley eliminated Nox right after that. Kayden Carter was #13 and worked with Chance immediately. Carter hit a springboard leg drop on Bayley and Carter hit a running boot on Asuka. Sane charged, she was sent over the top and Sane held onto the side of the apron with her feet against the apron, but then Sane fell down. Asuka was triple teamed by Belair, Carter & Chance and Asuka was eliminated. Bayley was frustrated that her teammates were eliminated. It’s Chelsea Green at #14 with Cole noting she was the fastest elimination of all time in a Women’s Royal Rumble match. Belair almost eliminated Green twice, but Green came back with a neckbreaker. Grace nailed Green with a spinebuster. Belair sent Grace to the apron, Grace pulled herself back in and Belair sent Grace to the apron. Belair gave Grace a KOD on the apron and Grace was eliminated. Cool spot while Grace had a good showing. We are now halfway through the match with Piper Niven at #15 as the tag team partner of Green. When Niven made her way down to ringside, Green was almost eliminated, but Niven caught Green and put Green on the steel steps to save Green. Niven slammed Chance and Carter onto eachother leading to Niven hitting a senton splash on both women. Nive n headbutted Nile. Niven hit a back suplex on Bayley. Niven body slammed Naomi. Niven hit a running splash on Green and Noami at the same time, but maybe Naomi slipped out of it. A few women went after Niven against the turnbuckle as the clock ticked down.

Xia Li was #16 with kicks on several different women as she got into the ring. Li hit an overhead suplex on Carter across the ring. Li did a spinning neckbreaker to Green. Belair worked over Naomi a bit with a jumping splash. There really wasn’t much going on with the others. Zelina Vega was #17 representing the LWO. Vega sent Carter into the turnbuckle, then a kick to the head and Vega hit a Meteora attack on Carter. Vega sent Naomi into Belair as well. Niven nailed Vega with a headbutt, but Vega came back with a DDT. Maxxine Dupri entered her first Royal Rumble match at #18. Dupri hit a sloppy headscissors takedown on Bayley. They did the spot again and this time Dupri swung around a few times to take Bayley down. Dupri fell to the mat to avoid a punch from Niven. Belair kicked Niven leading to Vega hitting a Code Red on Niven. Carter battled Niven, but Niven sent Carter to the apron and Niven punched Carter to eliminate Carter. Nia Jax was #19 and Cole said “I told you” because he said Jax by accident when talking about Niven moments earlier. Jax walked down with confidence. Jax threw Vega onto somebody else. Jax eliminated Li with a headbutt. Jax sent Nile to the apron and Jax threw Nile into the ring post so Nile was out. The fans booed Jax a lot. Niven accidentally splashed Green and then Jax splashed Green. Niven rammed Jax into Green a few times so Green was selling it like she was knocked out. Jax and Green ran into eachother, but Green was in between them, so Green bumped again. Jax dumped Niven onto Green on the mat. Naomi hit a springboard kick on Jax, who landed on Green. Shotzi was in at #20 on her tank as we are now 2/3 of the way through the match. Niven hit a cross body block on Jax and Naomi hit a leg drop on Jax. Shotzi hit a senton splash off the top on Jax. Dupri did a reverse caterpillar into an elbow drop on Jax. All the women in the match tried to eliminate Jax, but Jax fought them off and shoved them down. The fans booed that. There were eliminations for Li, Dupri, Niven, Chance as Jax cleared the ring a bit.

Becky Lynch was in at #21 and she was my pick to win the match. Huge pop for Lynch. Jax went after Lynch, who hit Jax with a few kicks along with Lynch hitting a missile dropkick off the top onto Jax. Lynch hit a DDT/reverse DDT on Shotzi and Vega. Lynch hit a Bexploder on Bayley. I thought Green was eliminated, but she was still in there. Lynch tossed Green over the top to the apron and Lynch tossed out Green. It was Alba Fyre at #22, who was joined by Isla Dawn, who was not in the match. Fyre hit a DDT on Belair. Fyre picked up Vega and Shotzi for a double team move. The clock showed that Naomi had been in there for over 42 minutes and Bayley had been in there for over 40 minutes. Fyre superkicked Jax, but Jax ran over Fyre with a clothesline. Naomi sent Bayley into the turnbuckle. There’s Shayna Baszler at #23 delivering some strikes along with an armbar on Fyre. Baszler hit a German Suplex on Belair. Baszler hit a couple of suplexes in a row along with a knee to Shotzi. Baszler did a hiptoss style move on Jax. Shotzi hit a cross body block on Lynch. Valhalla was #24 and she was wearing the antlers, so Cole was thrilled about it. R-Truth’s music hit and Truth went into the ring. The fans loved it. Truth asked where are the guys and Jax tossed Truth over the top to the floor. Raw GM Adam Pearce told Truth it’s the Women’s Royal Rumble. When Valhalla went in, Jax threw Valhalla out right away. Valhalla was only in there for five seconds, so she ties Chelsea Green’s record for the shortest appearance in a Women’s Royal Rumble. Michin (Mia Yim) from The OC was at #25 with an impressive springboard Tornado DDT on Fyre. Jax put a stop to Michin by running her over. Naomi nearly eliminated Fyre and then Naomi hit her own version of the Heatseeker on Fyre to eliminate Fyre from the match. There were five women left.

There is Zoey Stark at #26 with some offense when she got in there. Baszler saved Stark from a move by Vega and Baszler lifted Vega over the top to the apron. Vega tried a headscissors, but Baszler blocked it and Stark kicked Vega, so Baszler tossed Vega out and Vega went crashing onto Fyre on the floor. It was NXT’s Roxanne Perez as #27 as she jumped onto Stark with a Thesz Press along with punches. Perez hit uppercuts on Baszler and Stark. Perez hit an impressive headscissors on Stark. Bayley tossed Perez over the top to the apron, but Perez held on and used her legs to send Bayley across the ring. Belair held on from an elimination while battling Lynch. Baszler tried a submission on Jax, but Jax dumped Baszler out. Jax sent Michin over the top to the floor. Jax picked up Shotzi and Powerbombed Shotzi onto two women on the floor. The fans booed Jax heavily. Jade Cargill was #28 for her WWE debut match and the fans popped for her. Jax was the only woman standing when Cargill got in there while the other women were laying down on the mat. The fans chanted “holy shit” for the showdown. Cargill picked up Jax and slammed Jax back first onto the mat. Cargill kicked Jax and Cargill picked up Jax over the top rope to the floor. Lynch was happy about that. Bayley took a shot at Cargill, then Cargill fought her off and Cargill went after Lynch, who moved and Cargill hit the ring post. Tiffany Stratton was #29 making her Royal Rumble debut. Stratton hit a Swanton Bomb off the top onto a few women in the match. Stratton hit a spinebuster on Lynch and a spinebuster on Perez. Stratton hit a cartwheel elbow on Lynch along with double boots. At #30 is the returning Liv Morgan, who has been out of action for about six months with a shoulder injury. Good to see Liv back.

There were no more women left as Morgan got some offense including an Oblivion to Bayley. Stark superkicked Morgan, who sent Stark to the apron and Morgan nailed Stark with a punch to eliminate Star. Perez hit a headscissors on Stratton. Stratton sent Perez over the top rope and eliminated Perez. They showed WWE Women’s Champion IYO SKY watching and Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley was also watching in another part of the building.

There were seven women left. Cargill and Belair each did press slams at the same time. Belair and Cargill had staredown while the fans came alive for it, so Bayley & Stratton hit both women to stop that. That drew boos. Good way to get heat. Cargill battled Lynch by the apron, Cargill sent Lynch to the apron and Naomi got involved, so Cargill swung Naomi around and that eliminated Lynch. There goes my pick Lynch. Stratton, Belair and Morgan battled on the apron with Morgan hitting a Codebreaker. Stratton pulled Belair by the hair and Bayley kicked Stratton/Belair to eliminate both of them!

The final three were Bayley, Morgan & Cargill. Morgan nearly eliminated Bayley, but Bayley held on. Morgan teased an Oblivion on Cargill, but Cargill held on. Bayley almost got eliminated, but Bayley held on. Cargill lifted Morgan to the apron, so Bayley and Morgan tried to eliminate Cargill. Morgan kicked Cargill and hit Oblivion on Cargill to eliminate her. Bayley kicked Morgan off the apron to eliminate Morgan. Bayley gets the win! It’s her first time winning the Women’s Royal Rumble match. The match went 1:05:00.

Winner: Bayley

Analysis: **** I thought it was a very good Royal Rumble. It’s always hard to write a few sentences about an hour long match with 30 women in it. I’m certainly happy with Bayley as the winner even though it wasn’t my prediction. Nia Jax was a force throughout the match, then Jade Cargill showed up and she destroyed Jax by herself to eliminate Jax from the match. Bayley was crafty throughout the match by capitalizing on opportunities when they were presented to her and that set up the finish with Bayley eliminating Morgan right after Morgan got rid of Cargill. I think the first half of the match had some dull moments, then it was pretty good around the middle and then the final 15 minutes or so were excellent. I may change my rating a bit if I watch it again and I may add more words here. It’s tough to summarize it all after one viewing. Lastly, I thought the R-Truth spot was funny. He pulls it off well all the time.

Bayley celebrated the win and pointed at the WrestleMania 40 sign. Some fireworks went off as well. Other women that were among the final eliminations watched Bayley’s celebration. They showed IYO SKY and Rhea Ripley watching on monitors as well. Bayley had a big smile on her face.

Analysis: I know that Bayley said in the past that she would challenge Rhea Ripley for the Women’s World Title, but I think Damage CTRL is going to turn on Bayley. That is the obvious storyline direction. That should turn Bayley face and Bayley will then beat IYO SKY for the WWE Women’s Title at WrestleMania. That should also mean Becky Lynch wins at Elimination Chamber and sets her up for WrestleMania against Rhea Ripley too.

Here are match stats for the Women’s Royal Rumble from WWE’s website.

There were some commercials. After typing a lot of words for the last hour plus, I don’t mind some commercials.

There was a plug for the Royal Rumble press conference after the show. I wonder if there will be any interesting questions there.

LA Knight was shown taping up his wrists for his match up next.

The video package aired for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match.

Randy Orton was up first for the Fatal 4-Way match. The fans popped big for Orton, who did a slow walk to the ring. McAfee was in awe of how muscular Orton is. He kept on marveling at Orton’s physique. AJ Styles was next and since he is more of a heel now he wasn’t cheered that much. There was a brief Slim Jim commercial featuring LA Knight and Bianca Belair leading to Knight making his entrance. Good ovation for Knight as well.

Roman Reigns was up next as the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. and he was joined by “Wise Man” Paul Heyman as usual This is Roman’s first match since November 4th. When Roman got into the ring, they had an impressive pyro display. All four guys stood in the ring as Samantha Irvin did the championship introductions.

Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles vs. LA Knight vs. Randy Orton

The first fall wins. No disqualifications and no countouts in the four-way match.

The three challengers all targeted Reigns, who tried to escape, but the three challengers stomped on Reigns. The challengers took turns to punch Reigns. Styles and Knight exchanged punches. Reigns battled Orton on the floor while Knight clotheslined Styles. They left the ring so Knight rammed Styles’ head against the turnbuckle and Styles sells it better than most while still using his hand to make the noise. Orton gave Reigns a belly-to-back suplex on Reigns onto the commentary table. Orton gave Styles a slam onto the commentary table too. Knight slammed Orton’s face onto the table as well while the fans chanted “YEAH” for it. Knight charged, Orton moved and Orton slammed Knight back first onto the commentary table. Orton whipped Reigns into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Orton stomped on the limbs of Reigns. Orton clotheslined Reigns over the top to the floor. Styles chopped Orton a few times followed by Orton hitting some clotheslines and a powerslam. Knight back in with a kick to Orton’s face. Knight with a side Russian legsweep to Reigns. Knight hit a running knee smash on Orton and Knight clotheslined Styles on the apron. Reigns nailed Knight with an uppercut punch for two. Reigns worked over Knight with corner clotheslines against the turnbuckle. Reigns hit a leaping clothesline on Knight followed by the crowd booing him. Styles was back in with a chop block to Roman’s left knee and Styles kicked Reigns in the left leg. Reigns came back with a back body drop on Styles. Reigns went for a Superman Punch, Knight avoided it and Knight worked over Reigns with a “YEAH” punch combo. Knight hit a leaping clothesline along with a DDT on Reigns. Knight with a powerslam on Orton for two. Styles battled Knight by the turnbuckle, Orton stopped that and Orton sent Knight into the turnbuckle. Knight with a boot followed by a bulldog. Knight jumped up to the top rope leading to a superplex on Styles. Reigns was back in, but Knight dropped him with a BFT and Styles fell onto Knight to stop a pin attempt.

Orton picked up Styles, who came back with a clothesline. Orton was grabbing his left arm. Styles knocked Knight and then Styles hit a Pele Kick on Reigns. Styles hit a Styles Clash on Reigns for two, but Knight was there with a clothesline to break up the pin. Orton got back into it with a draping DDT. Orton was grabbing at his left arm/shoulder and I don’t know if it was selling. Styles with a forearm to Orton. Orton grabbed Styles off the top rope and Orton hit an RKO. Orton hit an RKO on Knight too. Reigns charged and Orton hit an RKO! That was awesome because it was countering a Superman Punch. Orton covered Reigns, but Solo Sikoa showed up and pulled the referee out of the ring. Orton grabbed Solo, but Solo hit Orton with a Samoan Spike to the throat. Solo hit a Samoan Spike on Knight as well. Solo stacked Knight onto Orton. Solo left the ring and focused on Styles on the floor. Solo went for a running hip attack, but Styles moved and Solo went crashing through the barricade. Reigns was back up where he saw Orton and Knight stacked in the ring. Reigns was looking around for Styles, who hit Reigns with a Phenomenal Forearm. Styles covered the stack of three guys and the entire pile of guys kicked out.

Styles was back up first while the other three guys were down in the ring. Styles brought out a chair from under the ring. Styles jabbed Reigns in the ribs with the chair followed by Styles hitting Reigns in the back with a chair about a half dozen times. Styles jabbed Knight with the chair and Styles hit Knight with chair shots to the back. Styles went after Orton, but Orton hit an eye poke. Orton hit Styles with an uppercut to knock him out of the ring. Reigns hit a Spear on Orton, who rolled out of the ring. Knight picked up Reigns leading to a powerslam followed by Knight hitting an elbow drop. Knight went for a BFT, Reigns sent Knight into the ropes where Styles was going off the ropes and Styles was knocked down. Reigns hit Knight with a Superman Punch followed by Reigns hitting a Spear on Styles for the one…two…and three. It went 19:33.

Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns

Analysis: ***1/4 The match was full of action from the start and going about 20 minutes is plenty of time for a match like that. The issue is that nobody thought that Reigns would lose, so there wasn’t that much drama in the match. It’s still a good match because they had some creative spots and worked well together throughout the match. The key thing was that Orton had it won with his RKO, but Solo Sikoa broke up the pin and it wasn’t illegal in a match without disqualifications. I think that might set up an Orton-Solo match at WrestleMania because it makes sense to do that and have Orton facing a rising star like Solo. Orton grabbing at his left arm/shoulder is concerning. I hope he’s okay and it’s nothing serious. Knight did fine in the match and so did Styles, but Orton came across as the biggest threat to Reigns in this match.

Roman Reigns celebrated with his championship and Paul Heyman by his side. The announcer put over Roman’s greatness as usual.

There were some commercials.

They showed singer Jelly Roll at ringside. I don’t know anything about him, but he has a lot of tattoos.

A video package aired for the Logan Paul-Kevin Owens match.

United States Championship: Logan Paul vs. Kevin Owens

Owens had his right hand taped up. It’s just a storyline injury and Owens sells it well. Owens stomped on Paul to start, Paul left the ring and Owens tossed Paul into the barricade. Back in the ring, Owens hit a German Suplex. Paul bailed to the floor again, Owens sent after him and Paul tackled Owens into the apron. Owens hit a clothesline on the floor followed by a senton splash. Paul did a slingshot attack over the top onto Owens on the floor. Paul rammed Kevin’s right hand into the ring post twice. Paul rammed Owens into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Paul hit a cross body block off the top followed by a standing moonsault for two. Paul applied an armbar on the right arm and Paul attacked Kevin’s right hand/arm with punches. Paul did a series of uppercuts to knock Owens down. Owens did a split leg drop on Owens for two. Paul choked Owens against the middle ropes. Owens avoided a 619 kick attempt by Paul and Owens hit a clothesline. Owens went for a senton splash, but Paul got the knees up to block. Paul hit Owens with uppercuts. Owens came back with a cradle suplex onto the knee. Owens fired off with some chops followed by two cannonballs by Owens onto Paul against the turnbuckle. Owens went up top and hit a Frog Splash for two, which is the usual for KO for that move. Owens went up top again, he went for a Swanton Bomb and Paul got the knees up to block. Paul went up top and went for his own Swanton Bomb, but Owens moved out of the way. Paul with a necksnap across the top followed by Paul hitting his version of a Buckshot Lariat. Paul went up top and hit a Superfly Splash for a two count. Paul told Graves that he was going to suplex Owens, so that led to Owens doing his counter twisting suplex off the middle turnbuckle for a two count. You can always tell that’s coming by how Owens’ feet are placed on the turnbuckle.

Owens went for a Stunner, Paul blocked that and Paul kicked KO’s right hand. Owens came back with a superkick. Paul avoided a Popup Powerbomb, Paul avoided a Stunner and Paul hit a big right hand to the jaw for a two count. Paul was shocked that it was a two count. Paul’s friend was at ringside to try to help Paul, but some guys made Paul’s friend leave. Paul was up top, he jumped off and Owens did a double clothesline spot with Paul. Grayson Waller and Austin Theory went down to ringside. Theory gave brass knuckles to Paul. Owens got a rollup on Paul for two. Paul went for the punch with the brass knuckles, but Owens blocked it. Owens took the brass knuckles and punched Logan in the head for the one…two…no because the referee saw the brass knuckles on KO’s hand. It’s a disqualification. The match went 14:03.

Winner by disqualification: Logan Paul

Analysis: ***1/4 A non-decisive finish to end a match that was entertaining most of the way. Owens sold his right hand/arm injury well throughout the match. Most of Paul’s matches have him get help from a friend, so at least this time they stopped Paul’s friend from interfering. Grayson Waller and Austin Theory nearly helped Paul win, but Owens was too smart for that. I thought the finish was clever in the sense that Owens had his hand in the perfect spot for the referee to see it, so they executed it perfectly. I didn’t expect Paul to lose. I’m fine with the result of Paul keeping the title.

After the match, Owens attacked Paul with a forearm to the back to knock Paul out of the ring. Owens sent Paul into the steel steps. Owens gave Paul a Powerbomb through the commentary table and it broke the table. KO’s music played while Paul was down on the table.

Analysis: It was some revenge for Owens after the frustrating loss. Perhaps they will do a rematch, but I think Paul might be against LA Knight at WrestleMania 40.

There were some commercials and videos to fill a few minutes.

The next Premium Live Event is Elimination Chamber in Perth, Australia. That’s on Saturday, February 24th and a very early start time for a lot of us.

A video aired about Philadelphia to promote WrestleMania 40 on April 7th and April 8th. I am planning to be there. I haven’t been to Philly before, so I’m looking forward to it. WrestleMania 40 is 70 days away. One of the official WrestleMania theme songs is “Gasoline” by The Weeknd and it’s the fifth straight year that The Weeknd had a song at WrestleMania.

The attendance was announced by Samantha Irvin as 48,044 people. They said it was a Tropicana Field record.

CM Punk was shown getting ready for the Men’s Royal Rumble match.

They aired the Royal Rumble “By The Numbers” video before the Men’s Royal Rumble match.

30-Man Royal Rumble Match

Jey Uso was #1 in the match with the fans popping huge and dancing along with Jimmy’s entrance. Jimmy Uso was the #2 man in the match. I predicted this in my preview of the show, so I’ll give myself a Horowitz pat on the back for that. I think this is going to be a WrestleMania match too.

The Usos had a staredown to start the match followed by slugfest. The fans were strongly behind Jey chanting “YEET” for his punches. Jimmy avoided elimination. Jimmy delivered some kicks, but Jey came back with a superkick. Jey jumped off the top rope for a splash, but Jimmy got his knees up to block. Grayson Waller is in at #3 so Waller hosted his Grayson Waller Effect talk show on the way to the ring. Waller said nobody cares about this sibling rivalry. Waller told Jey that “YEET” was cringe. Waller was on the apron when Jey kicked him off the apron to the floor. Jimmy avoided elimination. Waller was back in with a flatliner on Jey. Jimmy and Waller tried to eliminate Jey, but Jey fought back. Andrade was back in WWE as #4. His return to WWE was expected and the fans gave him a good reaction. Andrade nailed Waller with a back elbow and a running forearm on Jimmy. Andrade hit double knees on Jimmy and Waller. Andrade hit two vertical suplexes on Waller, but Waller blocked the third one. Carmelo Hayes from NXT was #5 and he’s been on Smackdown recently. Melo hit a springboard clothesline on Waller. Jimmy superkicked Waller and Melo superkicked Jimmy. Jey superkicked Waller too. Melo hit a double knee attack on Waller and a clothesline to send Waller over the top to the floor. That was the first elimination of the match.

Shinsuke Nakamura was in at #6 with the crowd singing the song while McAfee loved it because he loves Nakamura’s song. Melo went for a springboard attack, but Nakamura kicked Melo. Nakamura hit a sliding knee on Melo and Nakamura kicked Jimmy. Nakamura with an enziguri kick on Andrade. Santos Escobar was #7 as the leader of the Legado del Fantasma group. Escobar went into the ring with jumping kicks, a jumping knee on Jimmy, double knees on Nakamura and double knees on Jimmy. Escobar launched Melo into the air leading to a knee to the ribs by Escobar. Escobar hugged Andrade, but Andrade didn’t really like that and Andrade nearly eliminated Santos. The six guys in the ring battled in the corners as the clock ticked down. It was Karrion Kross at #8 with his wife Scarlett walking with him. Kross nailed Melo with a clothesline and Kross hit an elbow smash on Jey. Jimmy hit a running hip attack on Jey against the turnbuckle. The seven guys all battled by the turnbuckles as the clock ticked down again. Dominik Mysterio was #9 and he was booed the loudest out of anybody in the match. Dominik took his time going into the ring. Dominik went after Kross, but Kross came back with an overhead suplex. There wasn’t much going on after that. Carlito was #10 so Escobar went under the bottom rope to leave the ring. Carlito knocked down Dominik with a body attack. Carlito had an apple with him, so he took a couple of bites and Escobar sent Carlito to the apron. Carlito spit the apple into Escobar’s face and Carlito sent Escobar over the top to eliminate Santos. Kross hit Carlito with a Final Prayer slam.

There’s Bobby Lashley at #11. Lashley hit Spears on Nakamura and Jimmy along with Lashley hitting a spinebuster on Andrade. Dominik tried to go after Lashley, but Lashley was ready for him with a Spear. Lashley went after Kross, Carlito was on the apron and Lashley hit Carlito to eliminate Carlito, who I guess was sent over the top before that. Lashley hit a Spear on Kross and Lashley eliminated Kross right after that. AOP’s Akam & Rezar walked down to ringside with Paul Ellering. Lashley was getting attacked by multiple guys and Kross pulled Lashley off the apron, so it was a short Rumble for Lashley. AOP got into a brawl with Lashley at ringside. The Street Profits duo of Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins brawled with AOP at ringside. That interval went longer than most of them with poor Lashley only lasting a couple of minutes. Ludwig Kaiser was #12 as he went into the ring and hit a jumping kick on Melo. Kaiser nailed Dominik with a punch. Most of the guys were standing around doing nothing. It’s Austin Theory at #13 with a rolling dropkick on Kaiser. Theory hit a flipping slam on Melo. Theory tried to eliminate Melo, but Melo held on. There was a lot of standing around and stomping. Finn Balor was in at #14 and he’s one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions. Melo tried to eliminate Dominik, so Balor saved Dom and Balor eliminated Melo. Balor hit a Slingblade on Andrade and he went for an elimination, but Andrade held on. Cody Rhodes was #15 in the match as the crowd sang along with the song and did the “WHOA-OH” shout at the right time. Huge pop for Cody, who hit a Cody Cutter on Theory and Cody eliminated Theory right after that. Balor and Dominik went after Cody, but Cody fought them off.

The big man Bronson Reed is #16 as the heaviest man in the match. Reed hit a running splash on Cody and Nakamura. Reed hit a double clothesline on Balor and Dom. Reed hit a double Samoan Drop on Balor and Dom at the same time. Andrade went for an elbow on Reed, but Reed ducked it and Reed launched Andrade over the top to get rid of Andrade. Cody battled Nakamura to continue that Nakamura as Nakamura hit a spin kick on Cody. Kofi Kingston was #17 for his 16th Royal Rumble and he’s second all time with most appearances behind Kane with 18. Cody gave Nakamura a Cross Rhodes across the middle rope to eliminate Nakamura, who must have been sent over the top rope first. Kofi used his legs to send Kaiser over the top to the apron. Kofi hit a springboard kick on Kaiser to eliminate Kaiser. The great GUNTHER was #18 as the Intercontinental Champion. Gunther saw Kaiser on the floor and wasn’t happy about Kaiser being eliminated. Gunther chopped Kofi and chopped Balor. Dominik chopped Gunther to no effect and Gunther chopped Dominik. Gunther nailed Jey with a chop and Gunther chopped Jimmy too. Gunther gave Reed a body slam. Cody battled Gunther just like the end of last year. Kofi nearly eliminated Gunther, but Gunther held on and chopped Kingston. Gunther pulled Kofi over the top leading to Gunther kicking Kofi for the elimination. No hanging on spot for Kofi this year. Ivar from the Viking Raiders was #19. Ivar hit a spinning slam on Balor and a spin kick on Dominik. Ivar with a sitdown on Cody followed by a superkick on Jey. Ivar nailed Gunther with an elbow to the head. Ivar nailed Jimmy to knock him down. Reed and Ivar hit eachother with strikes and a running cross body block collision. Bron Breakker is #20 making his Royal Rumble debut. Bron hit a running Spear on Jimmy, a spinebuster on Balor and Bron hit a clothesline too. Bron eliminated Jimmy Uso and Balor back to back. Bron faced off with Gunther. Bron lifted Gunther over his head, Gunther slipped out of it and Bron hit a Spear. That was an impressive performance from Bron in that spot.

The 7’3” giant Omos was #21 with MVP by his side. Omos is rarely used by WWE these days, but here he is taking a spot in the Rumble match. Omos was aggressive right away with a Chokeslam on Dominik. Omos kicked Reed in the head and eliminated Reed. Ivar went for a springboard attack on Bron, but Bron hit Ivar with a Spear. Bron eliminated Ivar. Let’s go…it’s Pat McAfee at #22 with Pat acting surprised that he was in the match. Pat got into the ring while Omos was staring at Bron, so Pat was scared. Pat climbed over the top to the apron and left. Cole said it was 38 seconds. Omos went for a boot, Bron avoided it and Bron clotheslined Omos over the top to the floor. Dominik snuck up behind Bron and Dominik eliminated Bron. I enjoyed that Bron run, but didn’t expect it to end there. JD McDonagh was #23 in the match, so Bron hit JD with a Spear on the floor. Gunther battled Cody with Cody delivering a kick, but Gunther avoided elimination. The others in the ring were Dominik and Jey while JD was out on the floor. It’s the great R-Truth at #24 and he tossed McDonagh into the ring, so Jey Uso clotheslined JD over the top to eliminate JD from the match. Truth was confused and wanted Dominik to tag him in. Dominik hit a jawbreaker on Dominik and tagged in Truth, who hit two shoulder tackles. Truth hit a spinning slam on Gunther. Truth did the “You Can’t See Me” to Gunther, who got back up and Gunther kicked Truth to stop that. There were five guys in the ring as the clock ticked down. The Miz was #25 with Cole noting it was Miz’s 15th Royal Rumble match. Miz hit an impressive DDT on Gunther and a boot by Miz on Dominik. Miz and Truth hit a double hip toss. Truth saved Miz from eliminating Dominik. Dominik hit the 619 kick on Miz.

Damian Priest was in at #26 as Senor Money in the Bank and WWE Tag Team Champion with Balor. Priest eliminated Truth. Priest hit an impressive South of Heavwen slam on Gunther. Cody avoided a charging Priest and Cody lifted Priest to the apron, but Priest fought back. CM Punk was in the #27 spot that has produced a lot of winners over the years. Good ovation for Punk. It was Punk’s first WWE TV match in ten years. Punk delivered a kick to Priest, then running knees on four guys and a bulldog/clothesline combo. Punk looked more muscular than ever. Dominik tried to eliminate Punk, but Punk eliminated Dominik instead. Ricochet was #28 in the match with a springboard cross body block on Miz. Ricochet hit a jumping kick on Gunther and a springboard clothesline. Priest nailed Ricochet with a clothesline. The Miz was on the turnbuckle and Gunther nailed Miz with a hard chop to eliminate Miz from the match. Drew McIntyre was #29 as the 2020 Rumble match winner. Drew went into the ring with punches along with a kick to Gunther. Drew launched Ricochet overhead with a belly-to-belly suplex. It was 50 minutes into the match as Drew pounded on Jey with punches. Drew hit a spinebuster on Priest. Jey with a superkick on Drew and Jey hit Gunther with a Spear. Jey tried to eliminate Gunther, but Gunther pulled Jey over the top to the floor. Jey was in there for about 50 minutes. Sami Zayn is #30 making his return after missing nearly two months of TV time after Drew McIntyre took him out. Zayn went right after Drew with punches.

Priest tried to slam Zayn, but Zayn avoided elimination and nearly eliminated Priest. Zayn clotheslined Drew, who managed to hold on. Gunther chopped Zayn. Ricochet hit the Recoil double knees and Ricochet hit a jumping kick on Priest. Drew blocked a Ricochet kick and lifted Ricochet over the top to the floor.

There were six men left: Priest, Zayn, Rhodes, Gunther, McIntyre and Punk. Cody gave Priest a Pedigree. Gunther with a dropkick on Cody, Punk with a knee on Gunther and Drew with Future Shock on Punk. Zayn with an Exploder Suplex on Drew along with a Helluva Kick. Priest with a jumping kick on Zayn. Zayn managed to counter Priest and Zayn hit a clothesline to eliminate Priest. Drew flipped Zayn over the top to eliminate him. Seth Freakin Rollins and Roman Reigns were watching from separate skyboxes.

The final four were Cody Rhodes, CM Punk, Drew McIntyre & GUNTHER. They were all big favorites going into this match. Drew worked over Punk with chops. Cody broke free from Gunther leading to a Cody Cutter. Gunther came back with a huge lariat. Drew chopped Punk. Gunther chopped Punk while Drew chopped Punk so it was a competition between the powerful European heels. Drew hit a neckbreaker on Punk. Drew set up for a Claymore Kick, but Punk avoided it. Punk with a lift, Drew slipped out and Drew hit a headbutt to Punk. Cody kicked Drew. Drew hit a Claymore Kick on Gunther when Cody moved. Drew hit a Claymore Kick to Cody too. Drew hit a Claymore Kick to Punk too so that’s three straight Claymore Kicks by Drew. Drew told Punk he wasn’t the same kid he was ten years ago and told Punk “your ass belongs to me now.” Punk lifted up Drew over his head and Punk sent Drew over the top to the floor. Gunther was back up with kicks to Cody and a dropkick on Punk. Gunther gave Punk a Powerbomb. Gunther lifted Cody to the apron, Cody pulled Gunther over the top and Cody eliminated Gunther from the match! That was great.

The final two men were Cody Rhodes and CM Punk. There were shots of Reigns and Rollins again watching from skyboxes. The announcer hyped it up as a big deal with Cody and Punk. Cody and Punk exchanged punches. Punk kicked Cody in the ribs, Punk ran the ropes and they did a double clothesline. They sold it for a bit. They were back up to their feet with Punk delivering punches along with a back fist to the head. Cody hit Punk with a powerslam. Cody went for the Cody Cutter off the ropes, but Punk caught Cody with three German Suplexes in a row. Punk hit a running knee attack followed by a bulldog like he’s been doing for decades. Punk signaled for the Go To Sleep. Cody slipped out of a GTS attempt, then Punk avoided Cross Rhodes and Cody hit the bionic elbow like his father Dusty. Punk came back with a kick to the head. Cody was near the ropes, so Punk tried an elimination, but Cody was able to get back in under the bottom rope. Punk pointed at the WrestleMania 40 sign. Punk lifted Cody for the GTS, Cody avoided it and Cody hit Cross Rhodes. Cody picked up Punk, but Punk was back up with a Go To Sleep knee to the face. Punk collapsed after he hit it and both guys were down on the mat. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them but it wasn’t that loud. Punk looked at the WrestleMania sign again. Punk lifted up Cody by the ropes, Cody hung on and Cody tried to pull Punk over, but Punk held on. Cody was back in the ring. Punk hit a Pedigree and he laughed about it. Punk said he didn’t wait ten years to lose to Dusty’s kid. Punk lifted Cody up, Punk went for GTS again and Cody blocked it. Cody tossed Punk over the top to the floor. Cody wins! The match went 1:08:25. Cody wins the Royal Rumble for the second year in a row.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Analysis: ****1/4 I thought the final four wrestlers in the match elevated this match to where I can call it a four-star level Royal Rumble. It didn’t have enough interesting moments early other than Bron Breakker putting on a show and standing out with his performance. I’m so excited about Bron’s future. That final four of Cody, Punk, Drew and Gunther were tremendous. Drew really stood out with his dominant performance while Gunther was his usual great self. The final two with Cody and Punk was well done because they got plenty of time and it wasn’t rushed. It looked like Punk was going to win, but they kept on countering eachother with Cody finding ways to hang on. I like how Punk said he didn’t come back after ten years to lose to Dusty’s kid and then Cody blocked the GTS leading to Cody tossing out Punk easily. I was happy with that ending.

Cody Rhodes celebrated in the ring and pointed up at the WrestleMania 40 sign. The pyro went off by the sign again. Cody turned around as the camera showed Roman Reigns in the skybox and Cody pointed at Reigns saying he was coming for him. Reigns held up the Undisputed WWE Universal Title. Cody was shown in the ring while Cole asked what inning are we in now? Cody celebrated to end the show.

Analysis: I picked CM Punk to win the Royal Rumble, but I wanted Cody to win. I just thought WWE was going to have Punk win. With that said, I think Cody going against Roman and Punk going against Seth is still going to happen. Punk can get there by winning Elimination Chamber and that’s probably what will happen.

Here are match stats for the Men’s Royal Rumble from WWE’s website.

A video package aired with highlights of the show.

This event had a runtime of 3 hours, 56 minutes on WWE Network.

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Five Stars of the Show

  1. Bayley
  2. Cody Rhodes
  3. CM Punk, Drew McIntyre & Gunther
  4. Jade Cargill
  5. Bron Breakker

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Final Thoughts

I’m going with a 7.75 out of 10 for this show.

I think the two Royal Rumble matches were very good and maybe even great. It’s difficult on first watch while I’m trying to recap it for our readers. I think the Men’s Royal Rumble match was a bit better in part thanks to how great the final four sequence was as well as the final two with Cody Rhodes-CM Punk. You really couldn’t tell who would win between Cody and Punk, so to have Cody find a way to win was a cool ending to the show. Hopefully Cody wins at WrestleMania this year.

I’m so happy for Bayley winning the Women’s Royal Rumble match as well. I picked Punk and Becky to win. Even though they didn’t win here, I think they’ll still be in major title matches at WrestleMania. In the Women’s Royal Rumble, I was really impressed with how well Jade Cargill did. They treated her like a big deal and she did a tremendous job of taking out Nia Jax, who was dominant before that. Bron Breakker also had a standout performance in the Men’s Royal Rumble matches.

The Roman Reigns title defense against Randy Orton, LA Knight and AJ Styles was good, but it didn’t feel like an epic, great match. Reigns got help from Solo Sikoa yet again, so it was yet another case of Reigns surviving again. The US Title match with Logan Paul/Kevin Owens felt just average to me with a DQ finish, so it was disappointing that way.

I think the two Royal Rumble matches were clearly the highlights of the show. Both of them had strong endings, so that helped a lot. I did enjoy it overall.

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As a reminder, I have a listing of every WWE PPV that I reviewed in order by year. Thank you for supporting us at TJRWrestling. We appreciate you.

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