|Date: January 29, 2017
|Venue: Alamodome |City: San Antonio, Texas
|Brands: Raw & Smackdown
|tweet me: @BastionBlogger
A video package kicks us off, firstly showing some classic Royal Rumble moments before hyping up the Kevin Owens and Romans Reigns match, Charlotte and Bayley and then AJ Styles and John Cena.
Michael Cole welcomes us to the Alamo Dome in San Antonio!
Charlotte (c) vs. Bayley – Raw Women’s Championship match
Background: Bayley won a number one contender’s match against Nia Jax (with a little help from Sasha Banks) to become number one contender to Charlotte and the Raw Women’s Championship. Bayley has beaten Charlotte before on more than one occasion but she has faced belittling from both Charlotte and Stephanie McMahon in the lead up to this match.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV singles match between these two ladies.
Match: Charlotte beat Becky Lynch at last years event, Bayley wrestled at the Royal Rumble for the first ever time tonight. Charlotte starts the match well and then throws Bayley out of the ring. Bayley then throws Charlotte out of the ring and drops her on the middle rope. Bayley hits some high flying moves to the outside. Charlotte throws Bayley into the ring apron and then the steps. Charlotte takes the advantage for a while and uses her power to make sure Bayley can’t capitalise. Charlotte is such a good heel. Best women’s wrestler in the world right now if you ask me. Bayley has some unique offence as she starts a comeback. Bayley hits a flying elbow drop for a near fall. Charlotte locks on a figure four but Bayley rolls on her front to counter. Charlotte manages to re-reverse it and locks on a figure eight, using the ropes for leverage but gets caught. Charlotte looks for a moonsault but Bayley gets her knees up. Charlotte hits natural selection on the ring apron which is enough for the three. That finish came from nowhere. Quite abruptly.
Result: Charlotte wins by pinfall.
Review: This was a decent enough match but the finish seemed quite abrupt. Charlotte and Bayley are both great competitors and with a better finish this could have really rated highly. There were a few miscommunications but it was still a good match.
There’s a video package next showing what has led up the WWE Universal Championship match.
Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns – No disqualification match for the WWE Universal Championship
Background: At Roadblock: End Of The Line, Kevin Owens beat Roman Reigns to retain the Universal Championship when Chris Jericho hit his friend with the codebreaker. Mick Foley then announced that Roman Reigns would get a rematch at Royal Rumble in a no disqualification match with Chris Jericho suspended in a shark cage above the ring. Since then Owens and Jericho defeated Reigns in a handicap match that meant Jericho won the United States Championship.
Previous PPV matches: This is a second PPV match between these two men. Kevin Owens beat Roman Reigns at Roadblock last month.
Match: Before the bell can even ring Owens and Jericho beat down Roman Reigns. Reigns manages to fight them off and throw Jericho in the shark cage which gets elevated. The fight between Reigns and Owens goes through the crowd and past the international commentators. They go back to the ringside area where KO lays into Reigns with chairs. Reigns looks to get a table involved but Owens kicks it back out of the ring. Reigns sets up the table on the outside but Owens ends up laying Roman on it and then going up top and hitting a frog splash right through it! Jericho throws down some brass knucks for KO and Owens does the Reigns pose and then hits a superman punch for a near fall. Reigns hits a superman punch of his own for a near fall. Roman looks for a spear through a table but Owens counters and hits a stunner for a near fall. Reigns hits a superman punch and KO falls to the outside through a pile of chairs he’d set up earlier.
Roman Reigns powerbombs Owens through a table. He then rolls the Universal Champion back into the ring and motions for a spear but Braun Strowman appears! Strowman drags Reigns out of the ring, throws him into the announce desk and then powerslams him through a table! Strowman has had his issues with Reigns as of late. Owens covers Reigns and gets the 3! Kevin Owens wins the match!
Result: Kevin Owens wins by pinfall.
Review: This was a decent enough match. Not a classic main event but a good match. You wondered how (and if) Owens could win this one. I was expecting Jericho to get out of the cage somehow. Braun Strowman showing up was a shocker and he essentially gave the match to Owens. Will Owens hold the title all the way until Wrestlemania? Are we going to see Owens vs. Jericho? It[ll be interesting to see if Jericho wins the Royal Rumble match later.
There’s a VT for the top 30 Royal Rumble moments. This VT goes from 30 to 15. The VT is actually the numbers VT. It’s just different facts.
Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley are backstage with the tumbler when Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan show up. They give the balls a good mix and Sami Zayn shows up to pick his number. Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose turns up and also picks a number. Zayn asks Ambrose to open his number and he reveals Zayn’s number is #8.
There’s a VT next for Rich Swann and Neville.
Rich Swann (c) vs. Neville – WWE Cruiserweight Championship match
Background: Neville returned from injury at Roadblock: End Of The Line and attacked Swann after he’d retained the Cruiserweight Championship. Swann and Neville are old friends but Neville doesn’t care for that anymore. Neville is sick of being mocked for his looks and height and wants to be taken seriously. He’s ploughed through the Cruiserweight division and now gets his shot at Rich Swann.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.
Match: Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves and Austin Aries are the commentators for this match. It’s a fast paced start to the match with both men getting their offence in and taking the fight to the outside. Neville starts to slow the pace and he’s methodical in his attack. Neville dominates for a long time, mixing high flying assault with technical holds. He takes the fight to the outside where Neville rams Swann into the barricade. Swann starts a comeback with a superkick and a standing phoenix splash. Swann nearly gets the victory with a roll-up and then heads to the top but Neville goes up with him and hits a superplex for a near fall. Neville then locks on the Rings Of Saturn and Rich Swann taps out!
Result: Neville wins by submission.
Review: This match was decent enough. Both men are very talented in the ring but there wasn’t as much high-flying as you’d expect as Neville now has a much more technical and grounded style so not to get cheered. Neville wins the Cruiserweight championship and he’s an awesome face for the division but the title is getting passed around on a monthly basis at the moment. Swann’s reign doesn’t last long.
There’s a video package next for AJ Styles and John Cena.
AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena – WWE Championship match
Background: AJ Styles and John Cena went back and forth for a lot of 2016 with AJ Styles always coming out on top. John Cena recently returned to Smackdown and he’s been given a WWE Championship opportunity against AJ Styles. It’s turned into a personal war of words between the two with Cena cutting some of his best promos in the build-up to this match.
Previous PPV matches: These two men wrestled at Money In The Bank and Summerslam last year and AJ Styles won both of those matches.
Match: Cena goes right for Styles as the bell rings and out-powers the WWE Champion. Cena looks for his trademark offence in the early going but AJ counters with a hurricanrana. AJ hits a nice facebuster for a near fall. AJ hits a spinning powerbomb for another near fall. Cena hits an attitude adjustment, his first of the match for a near fall. AJ hits a phenomenal forearm for a near fall. AJ locks on the calf crusher and Cena counters into the STF. AJ counters again and we get a succession of reversals. Cena looks for a top rope fame-asser but AJ counters and hits the Styles Clash! Cena kicks out of the pinfall attempt and the live crowd are loving this. Styles looks for a springboard 450 but Cena counters, getting his knees up before hitting a powerbomb for a near fall.
John Cena hits an attitude adjustment off the middle rope and hooks the leg but AJ kicks out! Styles counters another attitude adjustment with a Styles Clash and both men are down. AJ crawls out to the apron but Cena grabs him and hits two more attitude adjustments for the three! John Cena equals the most World Championship reigns, a record held by Ric Flair.
Result: John Cena wins by pinfall.
Review: This was a fantastic match. It’ll be right up there as a match of the year contender. Styles and Cena are just so damn talented. I’m surprised to see Cena win the match but Cena will probably be in a headline match at Wrestlemania. A really really good match, as these two tend to have. Plenty of false finishes and a loud crowd who lapped it up.
There’s an ad for the WWE Network.
We’re reminded that Seth Rollins isn’t in the Royal Rumble after getting distracted by Triple H’s music in a match against Sami Zayn. Rollins would then crash NXT Takeover and call out Triple H. Triple H sent security guards to kick Rollins out of the arena. There is then a video of Triple H seemingly accepting Seth Rollins’ challenge.
Jerry “The King” Lawler is introduced to call the Royal Rumble match alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves.
There’s more Royal Rumble facts.
The 2017 Royal Rumble match
Background: This is my favourite match of the year. The winner of course goes on to main event Wrestlemania. Seth Rollins won’t be in the match after his spot was put on the line against Sami Zayn and he lost.
Match: Enzo and Big Cass are the first two men out and they get a huge pop whilst cutting a classic promo. Big Cass starts the match against Chris Jericho. Kalisto gets the dreaded #3 spot. Generally whoever gets that number is first eliminated. Mojo qualified by winning an over the top challenge on Smackdown, he’s going solo at the moment due to an injury to his tag team partner Zack Ryder. Jericho has broken the record for being in Royal Rumble matches longer than anyone else ever. #5 is Jack Gallagher who is making his WWE PPV debut tonight. Mark Henry is a bit of a surprise entry, they love him in Texas. The camera cuts away form Mark Henry’s entrance as the entranceway is so long he gets on the back of a golf cart. Gallagher comes off the top, umbrella in hand but Henry catches him and throws him out for the first elimination of the match.Strowman comes in and clears the ring. Strowman and Henry is a fun face-off. The Big Show enters the match with a 0-17 record at Royal Rumble events.
Number 10 is the Perfect 10 from NXT, Tye Dillinger! He gets a huge pop as the “10” chant breaks out! The match gets ore bizarre as James Ellsworth comes out at 11 accompanied by Carmella. Dean Ambrose enters at #12 and forces James Ellsworth into the ring after the chinless wonder refused to get in. Strowman tosses Ellsworth out and the landing was nasty. That was Ellsworth’s PPV in-ring debut. Chris Jericho has been hiding on the outside for much of this match. Lots of boo’s when Tye Dillinger is eliminated. Triple teaming from Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin results in Corbin eliminating Strowman. Kofi gets his moment as Corbin pushes him off the top rope and Kofi hangs on to the ringpost. Rusev is sporting a broken nose following a cross body from Kofi Kingston last week on Raw.
Cesaro gets a decent pop. He swings around anyone that comes near him. There are no eliminations for quite a while following Strowmans elimination. New Day are all in there at the same time and they triple team Sheamus. They revisit the feud between Bray Wyatt and Xavier Woods which is quite nice. Chris Jericho is still outside the ring. Sheamus and Cesaro eliminate The New Day and Chris Jericho then eliminates Sheamus and Cesaro! That clears the ring a bit. ORton hits RKO’s on Rusev and Corbin which gets some decent pops. and then counters Zayn with an RKO form a dive off the top. Luke Harper shockingly nails Bray Wyatt with a clothesline! He’s been having issues with Randy Orton but this might just confirm that Harper is out of the Wyatt Family. Harper looks for sister Abigail on Wyatt but Orton stops that with an RKO.
You know business picks up when Brock Lesnar makes his entrance. He hands out German suplexes and F5’s like they’re going out of fashion, quickly eliminating Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler in the process. Enzo Amore comes in with a lot of passion and confidence but Lesnar kills him pretty quickly. We get the showdown we wanted when Goldberg comes out at #28 with Brock Lesnar waiting for him. Goldberg hits a spear to Lesnar and then eliminates him from the match! another epic showdown follows when The Undertaker comes out at #29 and goes toe to toe with Goldberg. Undertaker and Goldberg clear a few out from the ring and Undertaker then eliminates Goldberg! Roman Reigns enters the Rumble at #30 to a mixed reaction. Reigns and Undertaker slug it out which is another interesting confrontation.
There’s boo’s as Roman Reigns eliminates The Undertaker. We’re down to a final four of Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. Reigns superman punches Jericho off the top rope to eliminate him. Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton then double team Roman Reigns. Reigns fights them off and eliminates Bray Wyatt. Reigns then looks for a spear on Orton but Randy counters with an RKO! He then clotheslines Roman Reigns over the top and becomes the 7th man to have won 2 Royal Rumble matches!
Result: (Elimination # – Eliminated By)
- Big Cass (3 – Braun Strowman)
- Chris Jericho (27 – Roman Reigns)
- Kalisto (4 – Braun Strowman)
- Mojo Rawley (2 – Braun Strowman)
- Jack Gallagher (1 – Mark Henry)
- Mark Henry (5 – Braun Strowman)
- Braun Strowman (9 – Baron Corbin)
- Sami Zayn (25 – The Undertaker)
- The Big Show (6 – Braun Strowman)
- Tye Dillinger (8 – Braun Strowman)
- James Ellsworth (7 – Braun Strowman)
- Dean Ambrose (16 – Dean Ambrose)
- Baron Corbin (21 – The Undertaker)
- Kofi Kingston (10 – Sheamus & Cesaro)
- The Miz (24 – The Undertaker)
- Sheamus (13 – Chris Jericho)
- Big E (12 – Sheamus & Cesaro)
- Rusev (20 – Goldberg)
- Cesaro (14 – Chris Jericho)
- Xavier Woods (11 – Sheamus & Cesaro)
- Bray Wyatt (28 – Roman Reigns)
- Apollo Crews (15 – Luke Harper)
- Randy Orton – Winner
- Dolph Ziggler (17 – Brock Lesnar)
- Luke Harper (22 – Goldberg)
- Brock Lesnar (19 – Goldberg)
- Enzo Amore (18 – Brock Lesnar)
- Goldberg (23 – The Undertaker)
- The Undertaker (26 – Roman Reigns)
- Roman Reigns (29 – Randy Orton)
Review: This was another fun Royal Rumble match. There were some really big names in the back end with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, The Undertaker as well as your Randy Orton’s and Roman Reigns. There weren’t too many memorable moments in this one but Tye Dillinger was a fun surprise at #10. Randy Orton was actually a surprising winner for me, I was convinced it would be Goldberg. Orton goes to Wrestlemania though, are we going to see John Cena vs. Randy Orton? Or does Bray Wyatt get involved?
And that was Royal Rumble 2017. It was a really good show from top to bottom which was helped by a good crowd. There wasn’t a bad match on the show. The four matches prior to the Royal Rumble match were all title matches and there were a couple of title changes with Neville winning the Cruiserweight Championship and John Cena winning the WWE Championship. Charlotte and Kevin Owens retained their titles. John Cena and AJ Styles was the pick of the matches, they put on an all0time classic. I don’t think AJ Styles has put on a bad match since he debuted at this event in 2016. The Royal Rumble match itself was a good one, there were some really big name in there with the likes of Goldberg, Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. Randy Orton wins though and will we see him against John Cena again? I guess we’ll find out over the coming months. Overall, a really good show, one worth checking out.
Overall Rating: 71/100 (ranked joint 7th out of 339)
Match Of The Night: AJ Styles vs. John Cena
Worst Match Of The Night: Charlotte vs. Bayley / Rich Swann vs. Neville
Surprise Of The Night: Tye Dillinger debuts in the #10 spot
Worst Booking Of The Night: John Cena wins the WWE Championship again..
Superstar Of The Night: Randy Orton
Royal Rumble 2017 Will Be Remembered For: Randy Orton winning the Royal Rumble match and the classic between AJ Styles and John Cena