The 2019 Royal Rumble goes down from Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona!
Asuka (c) vs. Becky Lynch – SmackDown Women’s Championship: A highly enjoyable match where it was back and forth, counter for a counter to the very end. Multiple risks were taken by both Lynch and Asuka but neither could really take control of the match. The closing moments saw each woman attempt to put the other in their own submission. In the end, Asuka slapped on a modified Cattle Mutilation forcing Becky to tap. Again, great match. Rating: ***3/4
The Bar (c) vs. Shane McMahon and The Miz – SmackDown Tag Team Championships: To my surprise, Shane and Miz looked pretty good as a team. There was a really cool Cesaro Swing spot that was a counter to Shane’s Coast to Coast. Cesaro held Shane up for a Brogue Kick by at the last second Miz shoves Cesaro in the line of fire. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale to dispose of Sheamus. Shane heads to the top and hits a Shooting Star Press. 1…2…3! Shane McMahon and The Miz are the SmackDown Tag Team Champions. Rating: ***
Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks – RAW Women’s Championship: Rousey tried breaking out a version of the Three Amigos which made everyone really take notice. There is a lot of animosity between both of these women really adding to the match. Banks worked the arm of Rousey. Banks broke out a submission that would make Zack Sabre Jr. proud. Rousey is able to fight out and hit Piper’s Pit. Now the match breaks down into a battle of breaking limbs. Rousey has a slight comeback but gets tossed outside the ring. On the outside, Rousey locks in an armbar. As Michael Cole stated, this one is getting very physical. Banks goes right back to the injured arm. Amazing submission work from Sasha. Rousey fought out of the Banks Statement and transitioned into a Gutwrench Powerbomb then hits Piper’s Pit for the win. I really enjoyed the physicality of the match and the great submission work of both women. Rating: ***1/2
On the walkway, Ronda and Sasha shook hands as a sign of respect but Sasha made sure to throw up the Four, as in Four Horsewomen, before walking away.
30 Women Royal Rumble Match: The match begins with Lacey Evans and Natalya. The third entrant is Mandy Rose. The fourth entrant is Riott Squad member Liv Morgan. As quickly as Liv enters the match she is dumped out of the ring by Natalya. The fifth entrant is Mickie James. The sixth entrant is Ember Moon. The seventh entrant is IIconics member Billie Kay who won’t get in the ring until her IIconics partner Peyton Royce enters. The eighth entrant is Nikki Cross who wipes everyone out with a dive. Billie Kay finally got in the ring. The ninth entrant is, in fact, Peyton Royce. Entrant number ten is Tamina Snuka. Entrant number eleven is Xia Li of NXT. Tamina eliminated Mickie James. Xia Li takes out as entrant number twelve is Sarah Logan. Nikki Cross is eliminated by the IIconics. Entrant number thirteen is Charlotte Flair. Both the IIconics were eliminated by Lacey Evans. Charlotte eliminates Xia Li. Entrant number fourteen is Kairi Sane of NXT. Charlotte Flair eliminates Tamina. Kairi and Natalya work together to eliminate Sarah Logan. Entrant number fifteen is Maria Kanellis. The sixteenth entrant is Naomi who eliminates Mandy Rose. Mandy tried to eliminate Naomi from the outside but somehow makes it to the ring. As she is about to get in the ring she is swiped by Mandy. Charlotte eliminates Lacey Evans. The next entrant is Candace LaRae. The eighteenth entrant is Alicia Fox. Entrant number nineteen is NXT’s, Kacy Catanzaro. Alicia Fox eliminated Maria Kanellis. Entrant number twenty is Zelina Vega. Entrant number twenty one is Ruby Riott who is flanked by Liv and Sarah. The eliminated members of the Riott Squad are pulling people out of the ring. Alicia Fox is eliminated by Ruby Riott. Entrant number twenty-two is Dana Brooke. Kairi Sane is eliminated by Ruby Riott. Zelina Vega is hiding underneath the ring. Entrant number twenty-three is NXT’s Io Shirai who takes out the Riott Squad. Entrant number twenty-four is the first ever NXT UK Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley. Catanzaro uses her gymnast background to make it back in the ring. Unfortunately, she is eliminated by Rhea Ripley. The next entrant is Sonya Deville. Ripley eliminates Dana Brooke and Vega who was forced out of her hiding spot by Hornswoggle! Alexa Bliss, who has not performed since September, is your next entrant. Alexa Bliss eliminates Sonya Deville. Your next entrant is Bayley who eliminates Rhea Ripley and Ruby Riott. Entrant twenty-eight is Lana who is suffering from a bummed ankle, hurt during Rusev’s pre-show match. Medical officials intervene and it looks like Lana cannot compete in the match. Entrant number twenty-nine is Nia Jax who attacks Lana. We know Carmella is the thirty entrant because she won the Mixed Match Challenge. Io Shirai is eliminated by Nia. Natalya, who lasted 55:28, is also eliminated by Jax. As officials are checking on Lana, Becky Lynch makes her way down to the ring and pleads with Fit Finlay to be added. Her wish is granted. Lynch goes right after Jax then Flair. Bliss eliminates Ember Moon with an STO on the apron. Carmella and Bayley worked together to eliminate Alexa Bliss. Carmella is eliminated by Charlotte for her fourth elimination. Bayley is eliminated as Nia Jax has her on her shoulders but gets hit with a boot from Charlotte. Becky Lynch, who was on the outside not eliminated, pulls Nia Jax off the apron to eliminate her. As Becky is getting back in the ring she is shoved off the ring steps, hurting her knee. Still hurt, she says she can still go. Charlotte immediately goes after Becky’s knee. Charlotte runs in for a big boot but Becky moves out of the way and Charlotte ends up on the apron. Becky hits Charlotte with a clothesline and eliminates Charlotte Flair. Becky Lynch is the 2019 Women’s Royal Rumble winner. Rating: ***1/2
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles – WWE Championship: For the majority of the beginning, Daniel worked the arm of Styles keeping him grounded. Styles fights back and finds an opening. After a pin counter sequence, Styles keeps Bryan grounded with a Dragon Screw Leg Whip. Styles runs in for an attack but is sidestepped by Bryan. The action spills outside where Styles lands his moonsault reverse DDT off the barricade. AJ goes for a Springboard 450 but Daniel traps him in a LaBell Lock, wrenching at the nose of Styles. The challenger Styles is able to fight out and lock on a Calf Crusher. Both men are spent. Daniel back to being dominant on defense. Styles escapes the impact of a top rope Back Suplex and locks Bryan in another Calf Crusher. Neither man can get that opening to allow them to take control of the match. Suddenly Erick Rowan makes his way down to the ring. The official gets knocked out due to an enziguiri from Styles who hits Bryan with a Styles Clash. With no referee to count, Rowan runs in and chokeslams AJ. Bryan covers AJ and the referee mysteriously comes to just in time to count the three and Daniel Bryan retains the WWE Championship. The match was decent I just felt it was a little slow with not enough drama. I’m interested in seeing the alliance between Rowan and Bryan however, they look like a good fit. Rowan holds up Styles so Bryan could hit him with a Running Knee Strike. Rating: ***1/4
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Finn Balor – WWE Universal Championship: Balor does the wise thing and hits Lesnar with quick offense but it was only short lived. Lesnar begins destroying Balor on the outside. Balor fights out and shoves Lesnar into the commentary table twice. Finn keeps bringing the fight to Brock but he is unmatched. Brock squashes a comeback from Balor with a vicious clothesline. Brock is really hurt. Balor counters an F5 with a DDT. Balor has Lesnar reeling after three tope dives. Balor hits a massive Coupe de Grace for two. Lesnar locks on a Kimora Lock and Balor has no choice but to tap. This was a good match that really made Finn look like a threat to Brock despite everyone knowing what the ending was going to be. Rating: ***1/2
After the match, Brock drops Finn with a series of German Suplexes.
2019 30 Man Royal Rumble: Elias and WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett start off the Royal Rumble. Elias had Jarrett thinking they were going to sing a duet but Elias smashes his guitar over the back of Jarrett and eliminates him. The third entrant is last year’s winner Shinsuke Nakamura. Entrant number four is Kurt Angle. The fifth entrant is New Day member Big E. Kurt Angle is eliminated by Shinsuke Nakamura. Next to enter the Rumble is NXT North American Champion, Johnny Gargano. at number seven is former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal who is quickly eliminated by Gargano. the eighth entrant is Samoa Joe, entering his first ever Royal Rumble. Big E eliminates Big E. The next entrant is Curt Hawkins who is reluctant to enter the ring. He goes in but gets dumped out and hides under the ring. The next entrant is The Kingslayer, Seth Rollins who eliminates Elias. Entry number eleven is Titus O’Neil who doesn’t take a dive under the ring but does go after Hawkins. Somehow Hawkins is able to eliminate O’Neil but then is eliminated by Samoa Joe. The next entrant is Kofi Kingston. The thirteenth entrant is Mustafa Ali who goes right after Samoa Joe. Shinsuke was perched in the corner but is eliminated by Ali via a dropkick. The next entrant is Dean Ambrose who eliminates Johnny Gargano. Entrant number fifteen is No Way Jose who is quickly eliminated by Samoa Joe. The next entrant is Drew McIntyre who destroys No Way Jose’s entire conga line. Entrant number seventeen is Xavier Woods who helps make sure Kofi Kingston isn’t eliminated, that is until Drew McIntyre eliminates them both. Entrant number eighteen is the WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne. The nineteenth man to enter the Rumble is Andrade. Entrant number twenty is Apollo Crews. The twenty-first entrant is the former NXT Champion Aleister Black who eliminates Dean Ambrose. The next man to enter the Rumble is Shelton Benjamin. Mustafa Ali eliminates Samoa Joe which I can’t tell is a good idea. The next man to enter the match is Baron Corbin who eliminates Apollo Crews. The twenty-fourth man to enter the Rumble is Jeff Hardy. Baron Corbin eliminates Aleister Black while Pete Dunne is eliminated by McIntyre. Entrant number twenty-five is Rey Mysterio. The twenty-six man to enter is the Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley with Lio Rush. Bobby ended up on the apron where it appears he slipped and gets eliminated. In a fit of rage Lashley pulls Rollins out of the ring under the rope and slams him through the German commentary table. The next entrant is Braun Strowman who eliminates his nemesis, Baron Corbin. The next entrant is Dolph Ziggler who eliminates his former partner Drew McIntyre. The twenty-ninth and final surprise is Randy Oron. The thirtieth and final entrant is R-Truth who won the right to be number thirty by winning the Mixed Match Challenge. As R-Truth was doing his entrance he is jumped by…Nia Jax?! Nia Jax is actually entering the Royal Rumble. Nia Jax eliminates Mustafa Ali! She eventually gets hit with a Superkick, an RKO, and a 619. Orton eliminates Mysterio while Andrade comes from behind and eliminates Orton. Ziggler, Andrade, and Rollins work together on Strowman. Unfortunately, Andrade gets dumped and eliminated by Strowman who also takes out Ziggler. Rollins and Strowman battle on the apron where Seth Rollins hits Strowman with a Curbstomp to eliminate him. Seth Rollins is your 2019 Royal Rumble winner. I thoroughly enjoy this year’s men’s, Royal Rumble. It was a great mix of competitors from all across the WWE spectrum. Rating: ***3/4
Overall I thought this year’s Royal Rumble was a great watch. Both Rumble matches were laid out very well and were convoluted with any mess. Nice to see Gargano, Black and Dunne in the match as well. Fun, albeit very long show.
What did you think of the 2019 Royal Rumble PPV? Comment below with your thoughts.