Hey, my favourite WWE PPV on the calendar! Woo-hoo!
Not only did I watch it but I tried live tweeting during it, and sucked really badly at that, so we won’t be trying that again…
Anyway, I did watch it. My picks were: Sheamus, Andrade, Corbin, Baszler (Rumble), Bayley, Fiend, Lynch, Reigns (Rumble). Let’s see how I did!
10 Thoughts away!
1) Sheamus def Shorty Gable (pre-show). Gable had a good showing, but there was no doubt the guy who bullied him was going to win because WWE rewards bullies. Despite what it says, bullies win in WWE. Hypocrisy in televised form. Morons. Anyway, not too bad. Gable needs to get somewhere where he’ll be appreciated. Impact, ROH, AEW – anywhere but here.
2) Andrade def Humberto Carrillo to retain the US Title on the pre-show. This felt muted. I was expecting some lucha libre goodness, but got a dull affair. It was not bad, just lacking any excitement.
3) Roman Reigns def Baron Corbin in a falls count anywhere match. What an odd choice for opener. This was a standard boring Corbin match. Man, that guy is a black hole of suck, isn’t he? Mind you, Reigns playing the Cena role didn’t help. This was another dull match. Not bad, just boring and lacking the intensity of the sort of feud-ending match this is being set up to be. They avoided the ring, the pin was done on a dugout. What this told me was that this feud was over and Reigns was definitely winning the Rumble. Still, not a good opener.
4) Women’s Royal Rumble is won by Charlotte Flair. This was a match in two parts. It started off sort of odd and disjointed (thought Otis’ save was freakin’ awesome!). Then, after Belair was left alone and Flair came out at number 17 it was like a different match, lifting intensity and looking really good. So sue me, I liked it. Baszler (and Belair before her) looked like killers, Phoenix looked like she was bleeding nastily, and I did like the ending as well, the way Baszler was dumped. That, I think, sets up Flair v Baszler nicely for a new match-up. As it is, I think Flair might go after Bayley, to get revenge for losing the title to her. Better than last year.
5) Bayley def Lacey Evans to retain the Smackdown Women’s Title. And yet again, the person who has been the bully wins. Well done, WWE – support and reward sh*tty behaviour. Now, I’m not saying Evans should have won – God no; her work has not been at that standard – but why bring the bullying thing into it in the first place? Anyway, the match was not a good one. I rag on Evans and her abilities in the ring, but Bayley has not been in a good match for a long time either.
6) The Fiend def Daniel Bryan to retain the Universal Title. No red light about bloody time! This match was okay. Fiend had the upper hand, Bryan got on top for a little bit, they exchanged submission holds, and The Fiend won. There were some really sweet moves – Sister Abigail out of nowhere was cool – and the strapping looked painful. But there was more blood in the women’s rumble, and that too me out of this – no colour. Anyway, it was far better than I was afraid it was going to be, but the way it went down it was like no matter what Bryan did it was not enough. So who is going to take the Fiend down? My money will be on Sheamus, Reigns or Orton, none of which fill me with any sense of satisfaction. Personally, now that Bryan couldn’t do it, I’d like to see Cesaro get a run against him and take the title at Wrestlemania.
7) Becky Lynch def Asuka to retain the Raw Women’s Title. As expected, a good match between these two. Really good match between these two. That front suplex Asuka took from the apron to the floor was an insane bump. And Lynch sold really well that fact that Asuka was in her head and she doubted herself. This was a hard-hitting match. Not a hard-hotting women’s match, but hard-hitting, full-stop. Like the wrestling I used to like “back in the day”. Becky’s counter to the mist was awesome. But… why does WWE always give us a “but”? The referee sort of stoppage, keeping Asuka away after the kicks to Lynch’s head was stupid. Still, one bad point in a great match. Lynch has been WWE’s MVP for over a year.
8) The start of the men’s Rumble had more than a shade of Diesel’s run in 1994 as Lesnar just threw everyone out that came after him. Even those with issues – Kofi, Rey – were tossed like yesterday’s newspaper. And… I loved it. It was so freakin; awesome. Then, the only way they got rid of Lesnar was Ricochet and McIntyre working together.
9) Men’s Royal Rumble is won by Drew McIntyre. After Lesnar left, it slowed down a little until Edge came in and then it was non-stop action. A genuine surprise entrant in Edge, who made it to the final 4, nice team moves, and the winner being the loner. And, judging by his interactions with Lesnar in the match, I think we know whose title he’ll be going after at Wrestlemania. One of the better Rumbles in a long time. And best of all – this was some-one new! A different person at the top, challenging! And I think in McIntyre they’ve picked a good one. Looking forward to whatever match he is in.
10) Match of the night – Lynch/Asuka; the rumbles were an equal second. I got 3 matches wrong in my predictions. The two rumbles were very good. Asuka/Lynch was even better. Fiend/Bryan was better than I thought it would be. Sheamus/Gable was also better than I thought it would be, though with an unfortunately predictable winner. US match was dull. Street fight was dull. Evans/Bayley was not good. For WWE, that makes this one of the best PPVs in a long time.
Based on Rumble, some matches for Wrestlemania look like:
McIntyre v Lesnar
Samoa Joe & Kevin Owens v AOP
Edge v Orton
Let’s see how wrong I am this time!
All right, quick update.
NWA Hard Times:
2 matches were stand-outs.
Thunder Rose def Allysin Kay to become the new NWA Women’s Champion. Not as good as Lynch/Asuka, but far far far better than Bayley/Evans.
Nick Aldis def Flip Gordon to retain the NWA Heavyweight Title. This was a good old-school wrestling match, the sort I really like.
NXT Worlds Collide
3 matches were stand-outs.
Jordan Devlin def Angel Garza, Swerve Scott & Travis Banks to become the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion. Oh, this match gladdened my heart, harkening back to the cruisers of WCW. Loved it.
Johnny Gargano &Tommaso Ciampa def Trent Seven & Tyler Bate. Another old-fashioned match that was just a gang of fun to watch.
Rhea Ripley def Toni Storm to retain the NXT Women’s Title. On a par with the NWA match, I liked this one, but Storm did feel outclassed by the end.
(And for what it’s worth, Imperium v Undisputed Era was a good match, but only good, nothing amazing to me. I understand I am in the minority there, but… meh.)
Tags: Allysin Kay, Andrade, Asuka, Baron Corbin, bayley, Becky Lynch, Brock Lesnar, charlotte flair, Cruiserweight, Daniel Bryan, Drew McIntyre, Edge, Flip Gordon, Gable, Hard Times, Humberto Carrillo, johnny gargano, Jordan Devlin, Lacey Evans, Nick Aldis, NWA, NWA Heavyweight Title, NXT, NXT Worlds Collide, Raw, Rhea Ripley, Roman Reigns, royal rumble, Royal Rumble 2020, Sheamus, smackdown, The Fiend, Thunder Rose, Tommaso Ciampa, Toni Storm, Trent Seven, Tyler Bate, US Title, WWE