Royal rumble reaction
By Justin Hopkins
I have said it before, but the Royal Rumble is my favorite wwe event of the year. It’s the kickoff to the road to WrestleMania. The matches are normally exciting and anything can happen in the Rumble itself. Surprise entrances, shocking moments, and standoffs that either build to rivalries or never seen before, and this year didn’t disappoint and was thrilling to me as ever. Before I jump into things I need to say, I didn’t watch the pre show matches that saw Shinsuke Nakamura regain his US Title, Murphy retain the Cruiserweight title, and Bobby Roode and Gable pick up the tag win. Sure they were good, just missed them. Without said, going to discuss my opinon on the regular matches and then the rumbles, so let’s get to it shall we.
Going to start with the women’s matches which really stole the show. Sasha Banks and Rhonda Rousey put on a surprisingly exciting match. That had such an old school back and forth match with alot of submission matches. That harkened back to the days of technical wrestling. Alot of moments where Sasha looked like she was primed to win with how she went from one hold to the next and Rousey getting the win with a pinfall. Rhonda showed that she can go with one of the best Raw has to offer while Sasha got a long awaited return to glory, with a little tease to a four horsewomen match. Meanwhile Becky Lynch and Asuka opened the event to a great performance that had everything a match needs. Pushing each other to the limit for nearly twenty minutes. Going from technical prowless to high impact moves and Becksploder off the top for a two count. Telling a hell of a story with Asuka getting the tap out victory with a crazy reverse Asuka Lock with a bridge. It made Asuka look dominating and not the last time we see The Man for the evening.
The men’s side of the card was a little lackluster, but still pretty decent. Shane McMahon and The Miz dethroning The Smackdown Champs The Bar was the men’s match of the evening. A good solid tag match that could have gone either way, with a fun moment that saw Caesaro catch Shane in mid air during Coast-to-Coast. Definitely interested in seeing what happens going forward. While The Brock vs Balor match may have ended as perdicted but glad to see a Brock match that used more then just three or four moves. The Daniel Bryan vs Aj match was a real let down though. They are both so talented but the match was so dull and seemed to lack any sort of energy, and the Rowan involvement was just weird.
Going from the match card to the Royal Rumble matches and will start with the men’s. I always love these matches and this one didn’t disappoint and was a little more special this time for the fact that we didn’t have any real Legends involved, with the exception of Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle, neither of which lasted very long and in Jeff’s case, minutes. They utilized their regulars, Nxt, and Pete Dunne from The UK brand and they put on a show with the time they had. Nia coming into the mix and changing the usual big guy being swarmed to Mysterio, Ziggler, and Orton having to team up to have to deal with the threat she was imposing on everyone was a fun twist that really worked well. The fact she got time to show off her ability against the guys and did well was exciting to see and hope it carries on. Seth Rollins getting the win was kind of expected since it leaked out a few weeks ago. May have been hoping for Braun myself, but Rollins has been a machine in 2018 and one of the hardest workers on the raw brand. Will deserved win despite my lack of interest in seeing him take on Lesnar which is looking like will come to be.
The women on the other hand, was so good. Again, they didn’t have really legend involvement. Relying on their main roster and NXT for the most part. They were all just so terrific. Lacey Evans, Rhea Ripley, Xia Li, Kairi Sane all grabbed their moments and ran with it. While the main roster showed they are the best part of wrestling today and I am so freaking excited to see more of Nikki Cross. So much fun to watch her insanity flow in the ring, and of course The Man, Becky Lynch entered to a huge pop, myself included, and got the win.
And now we are on the Road to WrestleMania. Starting off with a massive bang and plenty of room to run going forward. Becky and Rollins cementing their place on the show of shows and the women’s tag team titles looking at Elimination Chamber. These next few months are looking to be a legitimate wild ride that has been missing for WWE for quite some time and I am excited to see where it leads. As always thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed.