|Date: January 24, 2016
|Venue: Amway Center |City: Orlando, Florida
|Attendance: 15,170 |Buys: 91,000
|tweet me: @BastionBlogger
The show begins with a limo pulling up in the car park. Vince and Stephanie get out and they are quickly accosted by Jojo. Vince says that Roman Reigns has the chance to make history tonight and win the Royal Rumble match.
A video package then plays hyping up the Royal Rumble match and the odds stacked against Roman Reigns. One verses all.
Michael Cole welcomes us to Orlando, Florida over some dramatic music.
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kevin Owens – Last Man Standing match for the Intercontinental Championship
Previous PPV matches: This is the third consecutive pay per view match between these two men, Dean Ambrose has won the previous 2.
Royal Rumble record: Dean Ambrose is 0-2 at this event, Kevin Owens makes his debut at Royal Rumble tonight.
Match: The match starts at a frenetic pace. Dean Ambrose lays into Owens but there’s a bit of a miscommunication with an Irish whip which KO responds to well. Ambrose hits a suicide dive on Owens who in turns crashes into Michael Cole. Owens makes sure that Cole gets the worst of it and a few hands in his face. Michael Cole then supports Ambrose as he lays into Kevin with a kendo stick. Cole claims his glasses are broken. Owens hits a bowling ball on Ambrose through a barricade which was a nice spot. Owens pulls 6 chairs out from under the ring at one point and launches them into it. There are a few false finishes in this one as is often the case in Last Man Standing matches. Owens sets up a couple of tables on the outside, stacking one on top of another and then looks to superplex Ambrose through them but Dean fights him off. Ambrose counters a pop-up powerbomb and hits dirty deeds but it doesn’t keep Kevin down. Ambrose hits a second dirty deeds, this time on a chair but Owens makes it to his feet again. Ambrose sets up KO on a table and then hits him with an elbow drop but the match can’t finish until the tables that are stacked up on the other side of the ring are used. Ambrose sets up a table in the middle of the ring and looks for a superplex but Owens counters with a suplex of his own. KO lays Ambrose down on some chairs and then goes to the top for a moonsault but Ambrose gets to his feet and pushes KO down through the stacked up tables on the outside! And that’s the spot that decides the match!
Result: Dean Ambrose wins after pushing Kevin Owens through two tables.
Review: This was a great way to kick off the show. Loads of action, loads of big spots. The match finished with a great spot too. This match should finish this feud and they can both move on to different things heading into Wrestlemania season.
There’s a couple of ads. next for Cricket Wireless and the WWE Network.
We shown some footage from Raw, mostly showing Chris Jericho destroying Xavier Woods’ trombone. The Usos then beat The New Day to earn themselves a shot at the Tag Team Championships.
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (c) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) – WWE Tag Team Championship match
Background: The Usos defeated The New Day to earn themselves a shot at the Tag Team Championships. There have been plenty of six man tag matches in the build and even a singles match between Jimmy Uso and Kofi Kingston. There has also been lots of mention of the trombone being destroyed. The Usos were also voted tag team of the year at the slammy’s which New Day took offence to.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time tag team match between just these two teams on pay per view.
Match: Xavier Woods walks out an introduces his new trombone, Francesca 2 which gets a big pop. We get a New Day promo before the match where they say that they’ll retain their Tag Team Championships and then win the Royal Rumble match. The Usos get the early advantage but Big E soon gets the advantage back for his team. Xavier Woods also helps his team, hitting a tornado DDT on Jey Uso. New Day then keep the advantage for much of the match, isolating Jey Uso. Jimmy gets the hot tag but there are a lot of audible boo’s for the Usos, mostly because of their allegiance to Roman Reigns. Xavier Woods helps Kofi Kingston escape a pin and there are cheers from the crowd. The finish comes when Big E makes a blind tag and when Jey Uso comes off the top for a splash on Kofi, his partner Big E catches him and hits the big ending for the three.
Result: The New Day win by pinfall.
Review: This was a good tag team title match. These are two talented tag teams who have a lot of chemistry. The New Day are having a good reign at the moment but I don’t see their rivalry with The Usos being over. The problem is that the crowd are siding with the New Day over The Usos so at least one of the teams is going to have to turn soon.
There’s a couple of ads for wrestling figures and a WWE Network documentary.
We’re shown some footage from Raw with a brawl between Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, the League Of Nations and the Wyatt Family.
The Wyatt Family are backstage saying that tonight they will slaughter everyone.
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Kalisto – WWE United States Championship match
Background: Kalisto beat Alberto Del Rio on Smackdown in a non-title match to earn himself a shot at the US title. Kalisto would then beat Alberto for the title on Raw but the next night on Smackdown Del Rio won it back with help from King Barrett. Kalisto gets another shot at the gold tonight.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.
Match: Kalisto really feels like the second coming of Rey Mysterio. Michael Cole even refers to JBL’s rivalry with Rey Mysterio. JBL calls them both annoying pests. Del Rio had a big rivalry with Rey Mysterio. Alberto Del Rio dominates most of the match. He’s throws Kalisto around the ring and bullies the much smaller opponent. Del Rio nearly pulls Kalisto’s mask completely off at one point but Kalisto fights him off. Kalisto is really smooth in the ring, he’s polished for someone who is such a rookie in WWE. Kalisto botches a pendulum powerbomb and lands on his head but he recovers pretty well. There are some decent false finishes, with Del Rio kicking Kalisto in the head and Kalisto hitting the salida del sol but too close to the ropes. I take back what I said about Kalisto being polished, he’s botched a couple of moves trying to go to quickly. Del Rio takes off a top turnbuckle pad but Kalisto ends up hitting a hurricanrana on Del Rio into the exposed metal before hitting the salida del sol to become a two time United States Champion.
Result: Kalisto wins by pinfall.
Review: This was a really fun match. It had a fast pace and Kalisto bring a lot of energy to his matches. Alberto Del Rio was a great foil for Kalisto but it looks like the United States Championship is now going in a new direction.
Over to the Royal Rumble kick-off panel which is Renee Young, Booker T, Corey Graves and Jerry “The King” Lawler. They talk about what they’ve seen so far and Jerry Lawler looks forward to the surprises in the Royal Rumble match.
We’re shown some footage from a random fatal four way match to decide which two men would be in the Royal Rumble match. Jack Swagger and Mark Henry won the match, defeated The Dudley Boys, The Ascension and the random team of Damien Sandow and Darren Young.
Stephanie McMahon is backstage on her phone giggling. Paul Heyman shows up and wants Brock Lesnar in the main event of Wrestlemania. Stephanie tells him to go and win the Royal Rumble then.
There’s an ad next for the Edge and Christian show. And an ad for Fastlane.
There’s a video package next for Charlotte and Becky Lynch.
Charlotte (c) vs. Becky Lynch – WWE Divas Championship match
Background: Charlotte attacked her friend Becky Lynch after Becky beat her in a singles match. Lynch was given a Divas Championship match on Raw which Charlotte won by cheating. Becky demanded another shot at the title and guilted Ric Flair into accepted the match on behalf of his daughter.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time singles match between these two girls.
Royal Rumble Record: These girls make their Royal Rumble debut tonight.
Match: Charlotte is of course accompanied by her father Ric Flair. There’s plenty of good wrestling in the early going as both girls jockey for position. These are two of the best wrestlers on the roster as divas go. Becky Lynch has horrendous ring gear though, she needs to sort that out. Charlotte tries to take the advantage by hiding behind her father but that fails. Ric does become useful, distracting Lynch which allows Charlotte to take the advantage. It’s worth noting that both of these girls are undefeated on PPV so far. Charlotte has wrestled a lot more matches than Becky though. Charlotte is so impressive and has adapted to the main roster very quickly. Becky looks to win the match with disarm-her but Ric Flair jumps up on the apron and throws his jacket on her. Charlotte then poked Becky in the eye and hits her with a spear for the win. After the match Sasha Banks comes out to a huge pop and kicks Becky Lynch out of the ring claiming it’s time for her spotlight. Banks and Charlotte shake hands before Sasha attacks Charlotte and locks on the Banks Statement!
Result: Charlotte wins by pinfall.
Review: This was a solid match between two of the best girls on the roster. Charlotte gets the win by cheating and she has really grown into her heel role. I like the partnership with her dad but I think she’ll end up ditching him because he gets cheered so much.
There’s another ad for the WWE Network. All of these ads makes me think that a lot of people must have ordered the show on PPV and they want them to transfer over to the Network.
The next VT is the Royal Rumble numbers VT. It’s updated every year and I like it, I’m a numbers guy.
The 2016 Royal Rumble match with the WWE Championship on the line
Background: This year the WWE Championship will be on the line in the biggest match of the year. Roman Reigns has taken a couple of shots at Vince McMahon as of late who made the announcement that Reigns will be defending his title in the 30 man match. Last week on Raw there would be a random draw to see who would draw number one but it was a fix and Roman Reigns was drawn out multiple times.
Match: The crowd boo as Roman Reigns comes out. He is not popular. But we knew he was starting the match. Number 2 is Rusev who are the two men that finished last years Royal Rumble match. Reigns makes quick work of Rusev, eliminating him before #3 can come out. There is a huge pop for #3 who is making his debut in the WWE, AJ Styles! Tyler Breeze and Curtis Axel don’t last long. Kane wrestles in his 17th Royal Rumble match, he’s never won one though. Goldust, Kane and Chris Jericho all in the ring at the same time takes me back to the attitude era. The crowd are very much behind AJ Styles. Ryback isn’t popular! The New Day come out acting like Xavier Woods is going to be in the match but the graphic spoilers that it’s actually going to be Kofi Kingston. Titus O’Neil seems to get boo’d a bit too. He’s getting a lot of mainstream attention which is why he has been getting more screen time. R-Truth runs out and grabs a ladder out from under the ring before sliding it in and setting it up. R-Truth is a great comedy character. He climbs the ladder but there’s nothing to get at the top. Kane pulls him down and eliminates him to some boo’s.
There’s a spot with Kofi being saved from elimination as he lands on Big E’s shoulders. There’s always a Kofi spot. Vince McMahon shows up with The League Of Nations (Rusev, Alberto Del Rio & Sheamus) and they drag out Roman Reigns and destroy him on the outside. He’s not officially eliminated though. Rusev splashes Reigns through a table which should give Roman a rest for a while. Big Show enters, he’s lost in 16 previous matches at Royal Rumble events. A stretches comes out for Roman Reigns and takes him as far as the entrance ramp but Reigns gets off it and instead walks to the back. There’s a great moment with AJ Styles and Kevin Owens slugging it out. Owens shouts “welcome to WWE” just before he eliminates AJ from the match. The crowd boo but Owens is the perfect man to eliminate the popular star from the match. Sami Zayn is the second surprise entrant to enter the match. They have a good exchange too. It’s Zayn’s PPV debut and he eliminated Kevin Owens.
Braun Strowman powerslams Mark Henry which looked pretty impressive before They Wyatt Family eliminate Henry. Brock Lesnar gets a huge pop and he takes down anyone and everyone with suplexes. Brock is really stiff with his shots to Braun Strowman. Jack Swagger doesn’t last long. Enters, F5, eliminated. 15 seconds. Lesnar hits Strowman with some stuff knee shots. Miz doesn’t get in the ring, instead getting on commentary and telling Brock Lesnar that he’ll turn Suplex City into Mizney World. Brock Lesnar single-handedly eliminates three members of the Wyatt Family. But the Wyatt Family must’ve been hiding at ringside (Rowan for ages) as they all rise when Bray Wyatt comes out. The Miz finally decides to join the Royal Rumble match following Lesnar’s elimination. Roman Reigns re-joins the match during Sheamus’ entrance and he is all fired up, eliminating Miz and Alberto Del Rio. There’s a big pop for Triple H when he comes out at #30.
Triple H had a very risky spot when he was out on the apron and let go of the ropes for a second. Bray Wyatt and Triple H is an interesting face-off. The final four are Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Sheamus and Triple H. Roman Reigns eliminates Sheamus and Triple H then eliminates Reigns. The final 2 are Dean Ambrose and Triple H which is a bit of a shocker. The crowd cheer on Ambrose. But it’s Triple H that wins the match and becomes a 14 time WWE Champion. Stephanie and Vince McMahon celebrate with The Game.
Result: Entry (Elimination # – Eliminated By)
- Roman Reigns (28 – Triple H)
- Rusev (1 – Roman Reigns)
- AJ Styles (11 – Kevin Owens)
- Tyler Breeze (2 – Roman Reigns)
- Curtis Axel (3 – AJ Styles)
- Chris Jericho (26 – Dean Ambrose)
- Kane (9 – Braun Strowman)
- Goldust (4 – Titus O’Neil)
- Ryback (8 – The Big Show)
- Kofi Kingston (6 – Chris Jericho)
- Titus O’Neil (7 – The Big Show)
- R-Truth (5 – Kane)
- Luke Harper (19 – Brock Lesnar)
- Stardust (14 – Luke Harper)
- The Big Show (10 – Braun Strowman)
- Neville (13 – Luke Harper)
- Braun Strowman (20 – Brock Lesnar)
- Kevin Owens (12 – Sami Zayn)
- Dean Ambrose (29 – Triple H)
- Sami Zayn (16 – Braun Strowman)
- Erick Rowan (17 – Brock Lesnar)
- Mark Henry (15 – Braun Strowman, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan)
- Brock Lesnar (21 – Braun Strowman, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan)
- Jack Swagger (18 – Jack Swagger)
- The Miz (22 – Roman Reigns)
- Alberto Del Rio (23 – Roman Reigns)
- Bray Wyatt (25 – Sheamus & Triple H)
- Dolph Ziggler (24 – Triple H)
- Sheamus (27 – Roman Reigns)
- Triple H – Winner
Review: This was a fantastic Royal Rumble. They upped the stakes by putting the WWE Championship on the line and it added a lot of intrigue. There were three surprise entrants with AJ Styles, Sami Zayn and Triple H, the latter of which won the match. This will presumably set up the main event of Wrestlemania between Triple H and Roman Reigns. I liked the Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt interaction. I’m a big fan of comedy spots too which Curtis Axel and the Social Outcasts were responsible for.
And that was the 2016 Royal Rumble event. This was a really good show. One of the greatest PPV’s in history as far as consistent quality from beginning to end goes. Every match on the card was great so if you’re looking for a shot to go back and watch then this one will be high up the list. The opening match between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens was really good, two great works who made it seem like they really hated each other. There were some really good spots and I liked the finish too. Two great workers bringing a lot of prestige to the Intercontinental Championship. The other three undercard matches were good too. The New Day retaining their titles against The Usos in a match between two teams with a lot of chemistry. You get the impression that they could put on even better matches but this match seemed like it could be the end of this feud. Kalisto became United States Champion again, he’s a special talent who brings a unique lucha libre style to the WWE. He could be the next Rey Mysterio and should make a great underdog champion. And Charlotte, who has fully completed her heel turn, beat Becky Lynch. Charlotte has really come into her own as a heel, she can work with anybody but they’ve started the ball rolling on Sasha Banks now in a feud that I think will continue into Wrestlemania.
And then the Royal Rumble match itself which is really setting up the Wrestlemania feuds. Expect a big Triple H vs. Roman Reigns feud over the next few months and also potentially Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt and maybe even Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles. Wrestlemania is shaping up nicely already. It’ll take a lot to beat this show though, it was packed full of quality and if you haven’t seen it then go check it out now!
Overall Rating: 71/100 (ranked joint 5th out of 323)
Match Of The Night: The 2020 Royal Rumble match
Worst Match Of The Night: Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch
Surprise Of The Night: The debut of AJ Styles
Worst Booking Of The Night: Jack Swagger and Mark Henry’s win on the kick-off show
Superstar Of The Night: Triple H
Royal Rumble 2016 Will Be Remembered For: Triple H returning and winning the Royal Rumble match