|Date: January 27, 2019
|Venue: Chase Field |City: Phoenix, Arizona
|tweet me: @BastionBlogger
The show kicks off with a video package focusing on the two Royal Rumble match, the Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles match, Becky Lynch vs. Asuka, Ronda Rousey vs. Asuka and Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor. It’s my favourite PPV of the year and I cannot wait.
Tom Phillips welcomes us to Phoenix, Arizona and the 32nd annual Royal Rumble.
Asuka (c) vs. Becky Lynch – Smackdown Women’s Championship match
Background: At TLC, Asuka defeated Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in a triple threat Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Following the event, The McMahon Family (Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, and Triple H) decreed that champions would no longer have automatic rematch clauses, ruling Lynch out of a guaranteed rematch. After she, Flair, and Carmella all pleaded their cases for why they deserved a title opportunity on the January 1, 2019 episode of SmackDown, WWE Chief Operating Officer Triple H scheduled a triple threat match between the three for the following week to determine Asuka’s challenger at the Royal Rumble, which was won by Lynch.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time 1 on 1 match between these two girls.
Match: There’s no doubt that Becky Lynch is over at the moment. She has the advantage in the early going, taking the fight to the outside and then back in. Asuka manages to get back into it and actually locks on an Asuka lock in the ropes which is pretty impressive. Not long after Becky locks on the Disarm-Her in the ropes. Becky fights out of an Asuka lock attempt and the two girls get into a slapping contest. Becky hits a Bex-ploder off the top rope for a near fall. Both girls trade submissions as the pace quickens. Asuka locks the Asuka Lock on in the center of the ring, bridging the move, which I have never seen before and Becky taps out!
Result: Asuka wins by submission.
Review: This was a really good match to kick off the show. Two of the best women in the division and they didn’t disappoint. Asuka retains the title which I guess will mean Becky finding a way into a match against Ronda Rousey at Wrestlemania. Asuka wins clean though which is a little surprising and slows Lynch’s momentum slightly.
The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) vs. Shane McMahon & The Miz – Smackdown Tag Team Championship match
Background: At Crown Jewel, Shane McMahon won the WWE World Cup, replacing The Miz in the finals, who was deemed unable to compete due to a pre-match brawl. Following this, The Miz began a pursuit to form a tag team with Shane, claiming that they could be the best tag team in the world. Shane finally agreed to the pairing, and on the January 8, 2019 episode of SmackDown, Miz challenged The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus) for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at the Royal Rumble, and The Bar accepted.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two teams.
Match: Shane McMahon spears Sheamus to the mat as the bell rings. It’s then The Miz and Cesaro that kick off the match. It’s not long before some double teaming from The Bar allows them to take the advantage. They look to put Miz through a table but Shane makes sure that doesn’t happen. Shane then looks to hit an elbow drop on Cesaro through the announce desk but Sheamus saves his partner so Shane dives down on Sheamus instead. The Bar go back to double teaming The Miz, keeping him away from his partner. Miz eventually makes the hot tag to Shane McMahon who fires up on Sheamus. I’m not a fan of Shane’s working punch but he brings a lot of energy to a match. McMahon looks to hit coast to coast on both members of The Bar but Cesaro catches him and swings him around. Cesaro holds Shane for a brogue kick but Miz pushes Cesaro in the way and Sheamus nails his own partner! Miz hits Cesaro with the skull-crushing final and Shane hits a shooting star press for the three! Miz and McMahon celebrate with Miz’s father who is at ringside.
Result: Shane McMahon and The Miz win the Smackdown Tag Team Championships by pinfall.
Review: This wasn’t a bad match. It was pretty standard really but there was nothing wrong with it. Shane and Miz win the tag team championships and you wonder if they will break up or go into Wrestlemania as champions. I’m sure it’ll all end badly at some point anyway.
We’re told there’s a big attendance tonight, 48,193.
We’re shown some footage from Raw last week with Ronda Rousey talking down Sasha Banks and Sasha talking herself up. Sasha and Ronda would get in each others faces after Sasha defeated Natalya.
Charly Caruso is backstage with Sasha Banks who says that she will make Ronda tap out tonight.
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Sasha Banks – Raw Women’s Championship match
Background: At TLC, Ronda Rousey retained the Raw Women’s Championship against Nia Jax. On the January 7, 2019 episode of Raw, Rousey appeared on Alexa Bliss’ interview segment, “A Moment of Bliss”, and stated that she wanted to face Sasha Banks next, believing Banks to be a true test of her abilities. Jax interrupted, wanting a rematch against Rousey. Banks then came out and challenged Jax to a match in which the winner would face Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship at the Royal Rumble, which Banks won.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time match between these two girls.
Match: Ronda hits some shots early in the match and then mocks Sasha Banks. Rousey then looks for the three amigos but Banks counters. There is a lot of nice wrestling in the early stages of this match. Sasha gets back into the match and controls a slow pace. Sasha locks an armbar on Ronda and then the Banks Statement but then breaks the hold herself? Rousey hits Piper’s Pit. Banks hits a superplex for a near fall. The fight goes to the outside where Ronda locks on an armbar. Sasha taps but it won’t count on the outside. Back in the ring and Sasha looks for a backstabber but Rousey counters. Sasha then counters a throw and uses her gear to lock on a Banks Statement and then transitions into a Fujiwara arm bar but Ronda counters and hits a gut-wrench powerbomb and Piper’s Pit for the three.
Result: Ronda Rousey wins by pinfall.
Review: I really enjoyed this match. Ronda Rousey has been fantastic in the WWE and this match was another example of that. Rousey retains the Raw Women’s Championship and I can see her holding it until Wrestlemania.
Ronda and Sasha shake hands after their match. Sasha then flashes for Four Horsewomen symbol as she leaves.
We’re shown some footage from the kickoff show with Buddy Murphy defeating Kalisto, Hideo Itami and Akira Tozawa. Shinsuke Nakamura also defeated Rusev to retain the United States Championship.
Beth Phoenix is introduced as a special guest commentator for the Raw Women’s Championship match.
2019 Women’s Royal Rumble Match
Background: This is of course the annual 30 women Royal Rumble match. The winner will go on to face whichever champion they choose at Wrestlemania.
Match: Lacey Evans from NXT is the first entry and she gets on the mic and says that she is here to clean up the women’s division. I’m not sure if she forgets her words but there’s an awkward silence before Natalya comes in at #2. I do like Lacey and have a feeling she will be a big star one day. Mandy Rose is in the ever-cursed #3 spot so I expect her to be eliminated first. It’s actually Liv Morgan who comes in at #4 who is first eliminated, she’s straight in and out. It feels like a lot of filler in the early going, nobody I’d expect to win so far. Billie Kay is amusing though as she refuses to get into the ring until Peyton Royce comes out. This match marks a PPV debut for Nikki Cross who is nuts as ever. Same goes for Xia Li who like Lacey Evans, is also from NXT. There’s a nice spot with Ember Moon hanging upside down from the ropes to avoid elimination.
Business finally picks up as Charlotte enters the match at #13. It’s no co-incidence that the ring starts to clear following Charlotte’s entry. I mark out when Maria’s music hits. What a tune. Charlotte and Lacey Evans is an interesting face off. Two statue-esque blondes. Naomi does her own Kofi Kingston when she does a balancing act on the barricade, kicking Mandy Rose in the head as she does and then jumps onto the ring steps but Mandy Rose then pulls her down to eliminate her. Candice LeRae from NXT makes her PPV debut at #17. Alicia Fox dancing during her entrance is the best thing ever. Alicia Fox eliminates Maria after Marie stomped on Alicia’s hat. Kacey Catanzaro debuts on PPV, she’s another of the girls from NXT. IT looks like they’re using girls of the future rather than the past to make up the numbers this year.
Ruby Riott comes out at #21 flanked by Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan and they start triple teaming the likes of Charlotte, Zelina Vega and Alicia Fox. Zelina Vega hides under the ring. Io Shirai makes a hell of an entrance, taking out all of the Riott Squad with a moonsault. NXT UK’s Rhea Ripley comes in at number 24 and I’m a big fan of Rhea. Kacey Catanzaro does an impressive handstand on the outside before walking on her hands and pulling herself back into the ring by the ringpost. Zelina Vega peeks out from under the ring but is then chased by Hornswoggle! He lives under the ring of course. He chases Vega into the ring where Rhea Ripley eliminates her. Hornswoggle then chases Zelina to the back! Alexa Bliss gets a huge pop as she returns to the ring. For me she’s the only competition to Charlotte so far in this match. Add Bayley to that list. Lana comes out at #28 and she’s limping after being blasted off the ring apron earlier in the night. Medical staff check on Lana who has stopped on the entrance ramp.
Nia Jax cheap shots Lana as she makes her entrance and smashes her into the barricade. Nia eliminates Io Shirai and it didn’t look like a good landing. After Carmella comes out at 30 the crowd go nuts as Becky Lynch walks out from the back and asks Finlay for Lana’s spot. Finlay lets her have it and the crowd go nuts as Lynch makes her way to the ring! Bayley hits Alexa Bliss with a buckle bomb. The Final four are Becky Lynch, Bayley, Charlotte and Nia Jax which is a really solid final four. Charlotte scoops Nia up on her shoulder but then drops her, I think accidentally. So she scoops her up again and plops her on the apron before Becky eliminates Nia from the match. Jax attacks Becky after she’s eliminated and Becky sells the knee. Becky Lynch and Charlotte finish the Rumble match and it’s a big right hand from Becky to win the match and go on to Wrestlemania.
Result: Becky Lynch wins, last eliminating Charlotte.
- Lacey Evans (#11 – Charlotte)
- Natalya (#23 – Nia Jax)
- Mandy Rose (#9 – Naomi)
- Liv Morgan (#1 – Natalya)
- Mickie James (#2 – Tamina)
- Ember Moonn(#24 – Alexa Bliss)
- Billie Kay (#4 – Lacey Evans)
- Nikki Cross (#3 – Billie Kay & Peyton Royce)
- Peyton Royce (#5 – Lacey Evans)
- Tamina (#7 – Charlotte)
- Xia Li (#6 – Charlotte)
- Sarah Logan (#8 – Natalya)
- Charlotte (#29 – Becky Lynch)
- Kairi Sane (#15 – Ruby Riott)
- Maria (#12 – Alicia Fox)
- Naomi (#10 – Mandy Rose)
- Candice LeRae (#14 – Ruby Riott)
- Alicia Fox (#13 – Ruby Riott)
- Kacey Catanzaro (#16 – Rhea Ripley)
- Zelina Vega (#17 – Rhea Ripley)
- Ruby Riott (#20 – Bayley)
- Dana Brooke (#18 – Rhea Ripley)
- Io Shirai (#22 – Nia Jax)
- Rhea Ripley (#21 – Bayley)
- Sonya Deville (#19 – Alexa Bliss)
- Alexa Bliss (#25 – Bayley)
- Bayley (#27 – Nia Jax)
Lana Becky Lynch
- Nia Jax (#28 – Becky Lynch)
- Carmella (#26 – Charlotte)
Review: This was a really fun match. I can’t help but think there was a lot of filler and I don’t know if that’s because there’s a big gulf between the big names in the women’s division (Charlotte, Becky, Bayley, Alexa, Nia) and everyone else. I guess there’s main eventers in the mens division and those not as likely to win the match. This was an enjoyable match though and really picked up towards the end. Not a hall of famer in sight this year.
There’s a video package next for Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles.
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles – WWE Championship match
Background: At TLC, Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles to retain the WWE Championship. On the January 1, 2019 episode of SmackDown, Styles earned another opportunity against Bryan at the Royal Rumble by defeating Randy Orton, Mustafa Ali, Rey Mysterio, and Samoa Joe in a fatal five-way match. Vince McMahon wanted to see more aggression from AJ Styles so Styles attacked the owner of the company!
Previous PPV matches: This is a second PPV match between these two men. Daniel Bryan beat AJ Styles at TLC last month.
Match: It’s a back and forth start to the match with both men getting plenty of offence in. The crowd seem a little quieter than usual but it’s probably a comedown after the last match. This is going to sound terrible but I’ve zoned out of this match. Bryan counters a springboard 450 by getting his knees up and then lays into Styles with the yes kicks. Bryan hits a belly to back suplex off the top but AJ lands on his feet and manages to lock on the calf crusher! AJ then decides to use it to roll Bryan up but the WWE Champion kicks out at 2. Erick Rowan then walks out from the back and watches on from the outside. Bryan accidentally takes out the referee with an enzeguri but AJ then hits a Styles Clash! That’s when Erick Rowan gets in the ring and hits Styles with what I can only describe as a claw-slam. Daniel Bryan crawls over and covers Styles as the referee wakes up and counts the 3!
Result: Daniel Bryan wins by pinfall.
Review: Honestly, with these two guys, I wanted to love this match but I just couldn’t get into it. They have chemistry and they are both phenomenal wrestlers but I just think it lacked the psychology and drama. Daniel Bryan wins the match with help from Rowan and I think a bodyguard figure was needed so this makes sense. I guess Bryan will go on to Wrestlemania as champion but who will his challenger be?
There’s a video package next for Brock Lesnar and Finn Balor.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Finn Balor – Universal Championship match
Background: At TLC, Strowman defeated Corbin in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match, earning a Universal Championship match against Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. On the January 14 episode of Raw, Corbin confronted Strowman and insulted him, leading to a chase to the parking area where Corbin hid in a limousine. Strowman shattered the glass and broke the door off, only for WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to appear, revealing that was his limo. Mr. McMahon then fined Strowman $100,000. Strowman then argued with Mr. McMahon, who then cancelled his match with Lesnar. An angry Strowman proceeded to flip over the limo. Later that night, John Cena, Drew McIntyre, Corbin, and Finn Bálor expressed their interests in facing Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Mr. McMahon scheduled a fatal four-way match where the winner would face Lesnar, which Bálor won after defending his spot earlier in the night against Jinder Mahal.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.
Match: The bell rings and Finn Balor hits a running dropkick on Lesnar which gets the crowd right into it. Balor is all over Brock in the early going until he gets caught and Lesnar hits him with a belly to belly. The fight goes to the outside where Balor shoves Brock into the corner of the announce desk. Brock really sells the stomach as he suffered with an injury there a few years ago. In the ring and Brock throws Balor from one side of the ring to the other with belly to belly suplexes. Lesnar sells his stomach still as he looks for an F5 but Balor counters with a DDT for a near fall. Balor dives out of the ring on Lesnar three times and fair play to Brock, he did everything he could to protect Finn. Balor hits the coup de gras but Lesnar kicks out at 2 and then locks on the kimura! Balor taps out!
Result: Brock Lesnar retains the Universal Championship by submission.
Review: I enjoyed this match. It felt more impactful than the previous match and the crowd were really into seeing Balor win. I love a Brock Lesnar match too. Good chemistry between the two and Brock did plenty of selling for Balor. Brock retains and will probably go on to Wrestlemania to defend the title.
After the match Brock Lesnar hits Finn Balor with German suplexes before leaving with his title.
Jerry “The King” Lawler and John “Bradshaw” Layfield join Michael Cole and Corey Graves on commentary for the men’s Royal Rumble match.
The 2019 Men’s Royal Rumble match
Background: This is the annual men’s Royal Rumble match where the winner will go on to face a champion of their choosing at Wrestlemania.
Match: Elias is introduced as the #1 entry and he kicks off with a song. Before he can sing though he is interrupted by the #2 entrant, Jeff Jarrett! Jarrett is in his old school mid 90’s gear. It’s great to see Jarrett but he looks ridiculous. Jarrett gets on the mic and hits all of his old catchphrases. Elias teases a duet with Jarrett but then hits him with a right hand. The match officially begins and it’s all Elias who even smashes Jarrett with his guitar before eliminating the hall of famer from the match. Elias walks the top rope at one point which seems stupid in a Royal Rumble match. Kurt Angle is in at #4 to a deafening chorus of “you suck”. Kurt is second to be eliminated which really surprised me. #6 is Johnny Gargano from NXT making his main roster PPV debut. Jinder Mahal comes out accompanied by The Singh Brothers and it doesn’t take long for them to become involved but Johnny Gargano eliminated Mahal quickly! Elias and Big E then dispose of Samir and Sunil Singh. Curt Hawkins is a pretty random entry at #9. He’s on a 250 match losing streak. Hawkins hides under the ring.
There’s some big entries in the first third with Seth Rollins and Samoa Joe. Titus O’Neil is in at 11 and slows down as he gets to the ring so not to slide like he did at the Greatest Royal Rumble last year. Titus then goes under the ring to chase Curt Hawkins, chasing him into the ring but Hawkins ducks the clothesline and Titus goes over the top, eliminated from the match. Samoa Joe then eliminates Hawkins. Kofi was very nearly eliminated but he rolls his feet around the apron to get over to the ring steps and back into the ring. No Way Jose makes his PPV debut in the #15 slot bringing his whole conga line with him. Jose gets into the ring and Samoa Joe eliminates him right away with a clothesline. No Way Jose dances to the back to his music with his conga line. Drew McIntyre comes out at #16 and wipes out No Way Jose and the conga line. Drew McIntyre and Samoa Joe get into it in a battle of the bulls.
Xavier Woods comes in just in time to save his partner and carry him back to the ring but when they get back in Drew McIntyre eliminates both with a clothesline. Pete Dunne is #18 making his main roster PPV debut. Aleister Black also makes his main roster PPV debut and gets a good pop. I like this guy. Aleister Black hits black mass on Dean Ambrose which eliminates him from the match! Mustafa Ali eliminates Samoa Joe which is also a big shock, I thought Joe would be around until the end. Bobby Lashley is a big favourite but he’s eliminated in second by Seth Rollins! Lashley the drags Rollins out of the ring and puts him through the German announce table! There’s a great spot with Andrade suplexing Mustafa Ali whilst on Braun Strowmans shoulders.
R-Truth comes out in the #30 spot but he’s attacked by Nia Jax who throws Truth into the video wall and leaves him for dust. Jax then makes her way down the entrance ramp and enters the Royal Rumble match in his place! Nia eliminates Mustafa Ali! Nia Jax and Randy Orton have a staredown and Orton looks for an RKO but Jax fights him off. Jax looks to throw Rey Mysterio out but Ziggler hits Jax with a superkick and Rey Mysterio follows it up with a 619! Randy Orton then drops Nia Jax with an RKO! Rey Mysterio eliminates Nia Jax but then turns around into an RKO. Randy Orton eliminates Rey Mysterio but Andrade then eliminates Orton! Only Andrade and Dolph Ziggler remain in the ring. They slug it out until Braun Strowman gets back into the ring and mows through both. Seth Rollins is still in the match too so Strowman throws him back into the ring. The final four are Andrade, Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins. Strowman gets triple teamed by Rollins, Andrade and Ziggler. Strowman eliminates Andrade and Ziggler. Rollins hits stomp on Strowman on the apron to knock him down to the floor and win the match.
Result: Seth Rollins wins, last eliminating Braun Strowman.
- Elias (#5 – Seth Rollins)
- Jeff Jarrett (#1 – Elias)
- Shinsuke Nakamura (#8 – Mustafa Ali)
- Kurt Angle (#2 Shinsuke Nakamura)
- Big E (#4 – Samoa Joe)
- Johnny Gargano (#9 – Dean Ambrose)
- Jinder Mahal (#3 – Johnny Gargano)
- Samoa Joe (#13 – Mustafa Ali)
- Curt Hawkins (#7 – Samoa Joe)
- Seth Rollins
- Titus O’Neil (#6 – Curt Hawkins)
- Kofi Kingston (#12 – Drew McIntyre)
- Mustafa Ali (#23 – Nia Jax)
- Dean Ambrose (#12 – Aleister Black)
- No Way Jose (#10 – Samoa Joe)
- Drew McIntyre (#22 – Dolph Ziggler)
- Xavier Woods (#11 – Drew McIntyre)
- Pete Dunne (#17 – Drew McIntyre)
- Andrade (#27 – Braun Strowman)
- Apollo Crews (#15 – Baron Corbin)
- Aleister Black (#16 – Baron Corbin)
- Shelton Benjamin (#20 – Braun Strowman)
- Baron Corbin (#19 – Braun Strowman)
- Jeff Hardy (#21 – Braun Strowman)
- Rey Mysterio (#25 – Randy Orton)
- Bobby Lashley (#18 – Seth Rollins)
- Braun Strowman (#29 – Seth Rollins)
- Dolph Ziggler (#28 – Braun Strowman)
- Randy Orton (#26 – Andrade)
R-Truth Nia Jax (#24 – Rey Mysterio)
Review: Yeah, I do love a Royal Rumble and this one was a lot of fun. It was amazing to see some of the big favourites like Samoa Joe, Dean Ambrose, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley get eliminated so early. Nia Jax was a fun addition at number 30 and I was actually shocked to see Dolph Ziggler superkick her. Plenty of NXT guys and a surprise legend in Jeff Jarrett.
And that was the 2019 Royal Rumble event. It was a seven match show and a show that I enjoyed from top to bottom. Asuka beat Becky Lynch in the opening match which was a good one. I was surprised that Asuka beat Becky clean as Luynch has had so much momentum as of late. It’s a big win for Asuka who is really starting to find her feet on the main roster. We all know whre the Becky Lynch angle is going though. Shane McMahon and The Miz then beat The Bar to win the Smackdown Tag Team Championships. This was an interesitng one and I do like the storyline but we know this tag team will implode at some point. I wonder if come Wrestlemania, The Miz and Shane McMahon will still be a team or enemies? Ronda Rousey beat Sasha Banks in a really solid match. I’m glad we got to see this match. Ronda won though, which was fairly predictable result but the right one. Good match here.
The women’s Royal Rumble match was a good one. The twist came with Becky Lynch replacing Lana and going on to win the match. We all know that this is about Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch at Wrestlemania and I look forward to it. Daniel Bryan beat AJ Styles with a lot of help from Rowan. This is all about the new Daniel Bryan and I’m enjoying this new side but I only see Bryan as a babyface. This is definitely a dream maytch though and I’m glad we got to see it on PPV. Daniel Bryan wins tonight. Brock Lesnar then beat Finn Balor in another good match. Brock is unstoppable and I always look forward to his matches. Balor was a good opponent but was simply in place for Lesnar to throw around. Seth Rollins then won the mens Royal Rumble match, last eliminating Braun Strowman. I like Rollins going back into the main event after spending a lot of 2018 feuding over the Intercontinental Championship. He’s still a great worker and I honeslt hope he goes on to face Daniel Bryan as that is a big dream match for me.
Overall Rating: 70.35/100 (ranked joint 11th out of 370)
Match Of The Night: 2019 Royal Rumbe match / Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks
Worst Match Of The Night: The Bar vs. Shane McMahon & The Miz
Surprise Of The Night: Asuka beats Becky Lynch clean
Worst Booking Of The Night: Asuka beating Becky Lynch clean
Superstar Of The Night: Seth Rollins
Royal Rumble 2019 Will Be Remembered For: Seth Rollins winning the Royal Rumble match