Hey kids, it’s that time for one of the biggest shows of the year, WWE presenting to us the show that marks the road to WrestleMania, in the 2016 edition of the Royal Rumble. I hope you have your Chex Mix ready to go, because it’s going to be a crazy one.
First up is the pre-show, with a interview with the League of Nations, Sheamus declaring one of the League will emerge champion after the Royal Rumble.
The pre-show match is a Fatal 4-Way tag match to determine which person makes it into the Rumble Match. First introduced were the Dudley Boyz, followed by the team of Mark Henry and Jack Swagger. Surprise entrant Damien Sandow and partner Darren Young. Sandow coming out to “Hallelujah”, resembling a budget Ric Flair in a deep blue terrycloth robe. The Ascension are the final team in the match.
Swagger and Young start the match, Henry getting quickly tagged in to mistreat Young. Sandow is over with the crowd, dropping the Elbow Of Disdain onto Swagger. Lots of quick back and forth tags, and quickly all 4 teams are in the middle of the ring arguing before the inevitable “commercial during the show” commercial and Twitter explodes in anger because they don’t get that not everyone is watching the pre-show on the Network.
Back from commercial. The Ascension and Dudleys seem to be at it, with Connor and D’Von in the ring after both teams have a quick skirmish, before Bubba Ray and Viktor square off. Swagger breaks up a pin and Bubba takes out Mark Henry with a big boot as he tries to run in. The Dudleys get Young by himself, do the “Whassup?” and Bubba then tries to pin Viktor before Henry jumps in. Mark splashes Bubba and Viktor to get the pin and the right to be in the Royal Rumble. No longer partners, Henry and Swagger are in the Rumble for themselves.
Winners: Mark Henry & Jack Swagger
Royal Rumble panel of Renee Young, Booker T, Jerry Lawler discuss the Becky vs Charlotte feud. Shucky Ducky Quack Quack Moment TM for Becky in her plight against Charlotte. Corey Graves doesn’t need graphics or catch phrases to say he thinks Charlotte is taking the match. Jerry Lawler talks about how Becky has “daddy issues” and is jealous of Charlotte. What is wrong with that guy? Seriously.
Renee presses the panel for their RR pick: Booker T: Roman; Jerry Lawler: Surprise; Corey Graves: Brock.
AND THE ROYAL RUMBLE PPV IS ABOUT TO BEGIN!!!!
Vince starts the show off with Stephanie by his side, cutting a promo on Roman Reigns and how he has the unenviable task of facing 29 men to win the Rumble. He then tells the world that he loves himself. This is going to be fun.
This started off good. Ambrose and Owens turning up the heat immediately. Owens chopping Ambrose repeatedly until Ambrose turned him around for the same. Ambrose tope through the ropes into Owens caused Michael Cole to end up in a pile of destruction. “Maggle, you OK?”
Dean quickly finds a kendo stick and he’s not afraid to use it on Owens. Owens does a running cannonball into the barricade next to the announce table to break it. Owens threw Ambrose back in the ring and dropped a senton. Owens goes looking for plunder, but only finds soda and water until he hits the mother lode of chairs, using one on Ambrose before sitting down on a couple to wait for Ambrose to come back in the ring. Owens tries another chair out for strength testing, wrapping it around Dean’s back. Dean manages to back body drop the 2 chairs that Owens set up earlier and Ambrose flies out of the ring after Owens, before Owens catches him and drives him into the steps.
Owens sets up a table outside the ring, then pulls another table out. A fan screams out “I feel like you’re wasting time right now.” 2 tables are stacked on top of each other, and Owens attempts a superplex on Ambrose, but he escapes and wraps a chair around Owens’ face. Ambrose hits the chair, which hits Owens. then Owens superkicks Ambrose and tries the pop-up powerbomb, but Ambrose reverses for a Dirty Deeds. Ambrose drops Owens head first into a chair with another Dirty Deeds. Ambrose rolls out of the ring at 9 to break up the ref count. Crowd loudly starts a “Fight Owens Fight” chant.
Ambrose now begins setting up his own table, first bouncing Owens off the announce table then draping Owens on the folding table and drops a flying elbow on Owens to break it (and Owens). They are both able to get up and into the ring before the ref gets to 10 again, then Ambrose starts hitting Owens with chairs before setting up another table, this time in-ring. Ambrose pushes Owens up to the top rope, but Owens is able to get Ambrose in a fisherman’s suplex and drove him through the table. A pop-up powerbomb is also landed by Owens and Dean struggles to get up. Owens then starts piling chairs on top of chairs and drapes Ambrose on them before climbing to the top rope. Ambrose is playing possum and he shoves Owens off the ropes and flying into the double stacked table outside, but Owens can’t make it to his feet in time.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
New Day come out and start off with a moment of silence to mourn the loss of their trombone, Francesca. In a wonderful surprise, Francesca II is revealed after Xavier lets us all know that “a brother’s got needs” when asked about what happened to Francesca I. New Day tell us that 2016 is going to be full of gold, whether it be gold championship belts or even gold unicorns. How can you not love these guys?
It is made mention that this is the first straight up tag team match for the Usos in over 10 months due to Jay’s injury and they look like they are charged up to try to take that belt back.
Big E drove Jey into the post shoulder first before he got hit by Xavier’s illegal interference. The crowd chants “Play Francesca” at Xavier, but he does not let the people hear her beautiful tones.
Big E splashes Jey in the ring, grabbed him in a reverse headlock and played the “New Day Rocks” song on his nipples. Kofi in to take over for E and Xavier starts playing Francesca, but quickly stops as to not give the people too much of a good thing. Jimmy is able to get a tag, and does a head of steam before Samoan dropping E and Kofi back to back. He then hits a corkscrew off the top rope onto E, then climbs up again, E able to get up and knock him down before delivering a belly to belly on Jimmy.
Some high flying from Jey to Kofi on the outside, then Big E flies out to greet Jimmy. Trouble in Paradise attempt from Kofi, but he missed and it was reversed by Jimmy, who tagged in Jey. A roll-up attempt from Kofi is reversed, but neither results in a 3. Jey jumps off the top rope to hit E, but he catches him and presses him to the ground and the pin.
Winners: New Day
ADR starts by roughing up Kalisto, who he called a “mosquito” earlier since he keeps bugging him and won’t go away. Kalisto knows that in order to stand a chance, he will need to chop down ADR, so he focuses on his legs. He flies off the top rope to hit Alberto, but then Alberto stops his momentum with a well-placed enziguri. Alberto also sends Kalisto flying out of the ring sliding out on his stomach. Kalisto tries to pay him back with a hurricanrana, but Del Rio is able to quickly turn things back in his favor. He then tries to rip Kalisto’s mask off, as he had done a couple of times already in previous encounters. Kalisto hit a spinning DDT to get a 2 count, then a hurricanrana to bring ADR down face first. An ill-advised high risk maneuver from the top by Kalisto ended badly, ADR able to roll out in time. Del Rio gets the same idea and Kalisto is able to crotch him as well. The double boot stomp was missed by ADR, but Kalisto is able to hit Alberto with a Salida Del Sol, which is unfortunately not enough to keep ADR down long enough to secure a victory. A second Salida Del Sol is enough to do the trick and Kalisto once again gains the United States Championship. And the hot potato bounces back. Can someone explain what the point of having ADR win the belt back for like a week was again? Actually, don’t answer that one.
Paul Heyman came out to tell Stephanie that he can see the excitement in her pores and she could barely hold back the vomit in her throat. He lets us know that his client, Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrock Lesnar, will emerge the champion going into WrestleMania, eliminating the League Of Nations, the rest of the roster, and most importantly, the Roman Empire.
Before the bell even rings, you can tell this is going to be good. Face off was full of jaw-jacking and Becky gets the best of the first exchange when she got Charlotte in a disarmer. They do lots of good running the ropes and playing a game of one-up. Becky had the advantage early on, as she was able to get a couple of deep arm drags and keep a hold on the arm. Charlotte turned things around, getting an arm bar of her own. Becky is able to drive Charlotte into the ring post before kicking her out of the ring. Ric jumps in between her and Charlotte, then put his “disgoostin” tongue down Becky’s throat to distract her and make the at home viewers sick to their stomachs. JBL explains that was how Ric got the “Kiss Stealin'” moniker. So basically, sexual assault? Neat.
Charlotte wrapped up Becky in her long legs and kept total control from that moment, rolling Becky, flipping her and pretty much making Becky do whatever she wanted her to do.Becky was finally able to stand up with Charlotte on her shoulders and she dropped Charlotte backwards onto her head. Becky then started driving forearms into Charlotte before catching a head of steam and going from post to post hitting Charlotte. Charlotte tried a Figure 8, but Becky had the answer and countered her. She hit a really nice exploder suplex on Charlotte to phase her. Becky tried again for the disarmer but reversed and Charlotte hit a spear and a pin attempt.
Becky rolled into an armbar attempt, but Charlotte is able to overpower Becky and slam her to the canvas. Charlotte lost her cool at this point, screaming “Why?” at her, then baseball sliding into Becky. Flair distracted Becky by throwing his suit jacket on her and Charlotte got the spear and pin. As much as people shit on the failed Divas Revolution, this was a solid match that I enjoyed watching.
Post-match, Charlotte brutalized Becky with some stiff shots, then coolly paraded around with Ric. This didn’t last long as Sasha Banks came out, swaggering her way to the ring to let Charlotte know she has her eyes on the championship. She strolled up to Becky, kicked her in the gut and out of the ring, said “This is my spotlight” before the crowd started a “Sasha !” chant.
Charlotte said “What do you want?” to which Sasha said ” You know what I want”. She let Charlotte start to exit the ring before running up and attacking her, stretching Charlotte in a Bank Statement, then held the belt up in the air before exiting. A very pissed off Charlotte stared at her as she left. Now you really have my interest.
Now, because it is about to be the Royal Rumble match, we get to see the “Royal Rumble By The Numbers” video package for the 900 millionth time. At this point, I’m pretty sure I know this thing by heart. The one wrinkle for this gimmick is that Roman has to eliminate 29 men from the Rumble to win and retain his championship.
Roman comes out to start the Rumble, knowing the cards are stacked. Byron Saxton makes a terrible reference to Pink Floyd & says “Roman will need to make himself comfortably numb to win”. I don’t even understand what the hell that is supposed to mean. Wondering if Vince got in his ear thinking he had a hip reference that the kids would dig, daddio.
#2 in the ring was Rusev, who was quickly eliminated before #3 came to the ring:
AJ STYLES HAS ENTERED THE ROYAL RUMBLE!!!! I REPEAT, AJ STYLES HAS ENTERED THE ROYAL RUMBLE!!!!!
#4 is Tyler Breeze, but really who cares when you have AJ FUCKING STYLES in the ring?!? Styles & Reigns both help to eliminate him to make clear the ring once again for #5.
#5 is #SocialOutcasts’ very own Curtis Axel, who is still living his gimmick of never being eliminated from the Rumble. Since this is a no DQ Rumble, all of the Outcasts interfere, but are made quick work of by Reigns and Styles.
Y2J Chris Jericho is entrant #6, and seeing him face off against AJ Styles is really almost too much to process.
Kane comes out next, almost eliminating Jericho and trying to do the same for Styles, who is able to fight out of getting unceremoniously dumped.
#8 is Goldust, who gets in a couple of quick drop-downs and chops before blending into the scenery.
Ryback came out next, first trying to eliminate Jericho before Stardust tried to dump him and Jericho joined in to gang up against Ryback.
Kofi was #10, I guess because we couldn’t have a Royal Rumble without his wacky athletic spots. Ryback does a huge back body drop on AJ Styles.
Fathers Incorporated Spirit Award winner Titus O’Neill is entrant #11 and he broke Jericho and AJ in half as he came in. He dumped out Goldust a few seconds later.
R-Truth ran out to the ring as entrant #12, mistakenly thinking he was signed up for a ladder match. He scaled to the top, realized there was no belt waiting for him, and Kane dumped him out for his troubles. My bad.
Kofi is almost eliminated after he is thrown out of the ring, but he lands on Big E’s capable shoulders and they run around the ring.
Lucky #13 is Bray Wyatt. Right after he gets in, Vince McMahon comes to the ring and leads a beat down courtesy of the League Of Nations.
Stardust comes out as #14, which is a shame as he can’t save his brother.
On the outside, Reigns is spread across the Spanish announce table, running across 2 other announce tables and dives onto Roman, breaking the Spanish announce table in the process.
We are halfway through the introductions at this point, with a big #15 coming courtesy of The Big Show. In all the melee, Roman Reigns is stretchered off, but is able to walk away on his own as they get him down the aisle. Does this mean he’ll be back later since he was never technically thrown over the top rope? Betting so, but we shall see.
#16 is Luke Harper, which works out well as #17 is Braun Strowman, who makes short work of Kane before he squared off against Big Show. Strowman is able to almost choke Big Show completely out, and he is able to dump Big Show out as well.
Kevin Owens, who has already been beaten up in his match earlier, hobbled his way to the ring, making a quick path to AJ, who he trades shots with. Owens throws out AJ Styles, much to the dismay of the crowd, but as Byron said, 28 minutes in a WWE ring isn’t a terrible run. The crowd loudly chants “AJ Styles!” again after the elimination, then they count down to:
#19, Dean Ambrose. Dean not surprisingly, attacks Owens to continue their fight from earlier in the night.
Cole points out that Roman was never eliminated when they show a replay of the beat down. So I’m guessing he will be entrant #31?
A huge #20, as Sami Zayn is here and he is looking for a fight with Owens, who he throws some massive shots on. Zayn is on fire & he just FLINGS Owens out of the ring and to the floor below.
Erick Rowan comes out next, making this 3 of the Wyatt Family in the match simultaneously. At this point, they are at a distinct advantage with the 3 on 1 ratio. They dump out Neville and Stardust, only Jericho, Zayn and Ambrose as the remaining non-Wyatt entrants.
This doesn’t last long though, when Mark Henry runs out because apparently somebody gonna get they ass kicked. Or not, as the Wyatts make short work of him and it’s a quick pay day. Zayn is also chucked out of the ring at this point.
The place came unglued for the next participant, BROCK LESNAR! He takes the Wyatts to Suplex City, leveling Strowman then eliminating Rowan in the process.
#24 turned out to be Jack Swagger, who has an F5 delivered on him by Brock before he is slung out of the ring. Exact time in the ring stated as 15 seconds.
Lesnar starts hitting flying knees on the Wyatts, because you know, he’s Superman or something.
The Miz came out next, being waved into the ring by Brock. He instead gets on the headset & cuts a promo for Mizney World. He then makes commentary drop down a notch by continuing to flap his gums instead of stepping foot into the ring. Brock continues to kill men, tossing out Luke Harper in the process.
ADR is 26 in the Rumble, returning to the ring after dropping his title earlier in the night to Kalisto. Lesnar backs up and bounces off the ropes to hit Strowman. A second attempt knocks him out of the ring. There are no more Wyatts in the ring any longer… for a second.
The music hits for entrant #27, who turns out to be Bray Wyatt. Since the other Wyatts are still around the ring area and this is a no DQ match, a 4 on one attack is not out of question. Quadruple teaming is too much for even the Beast Incarnate, as they were able to overwhelm him and get him out of the ring.
Dolph comes in next, and the Miz hit him with a Skull Crushing Finale from behind. The buzzer goes off again and Sheamus strolls out at #29 without a care in the world. To the surprise on no one, Reigns runs in from behind & knocks him to the ground. ADR is eliminated shortly afterwards.
Speaking of non-surprises, the coveted #30 slot goes to Triple H. Left in the ring at this point are Reigns, Ambrose, Bray, Ziggler, Jericho, Sheamus and Triple H.
HHH hits Ziggler with a pedigree and Reigns speared Ambrose. The whole time HHH & Roman are circling each other like vultures. HHH tries to hit a pedigree but isn’t able to. Trips tries to eliminate Dolph, but he hangs on. Dolph tries to make another pass to hit Triple H, but he is side-stepped & planted outside of the ring.
Wyatt & HHH square off and for a moment you think they may strike a bargain before Wyatt slams HHH & gets him in a Sister Abigail that is interrupted by Sheamus. Bray is thrown out a moment later.
At this point, every man is attacking every other man. Jericho celebrates after a successful move, leaving just Sheamus, Ambrose, Reigns & HHH.
Reigns eliminates Sheamus and HHH dumps Reigns out while he is distracted. This means that we WILL have a new champion, either HHH or Dean Ambrose. WHO WILL MAIN EVENT WRESTLEMANIA?
After some struggle, Triple H is able to flip Ambrose out of the ring, “AND NEWWWWWWWW CHAMPION!!!!” Triple H celebrates climbing to the second rope and proudly holds up the championship one more time, joined by Vince and Steph.
Winner: Triple H
Overall, this was quite an enjoyable show. I could have used a different finish, maybe a new champion who we’ve never seen before (hint hint AJ), but in the end considering the choices they have to hold the belt, it makes sense from a long story line perspective. Now we will get the Roman fighting against all odds contender run leading into WrestleMania, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Can’t wait to be in Cowboy Stadium to witness it firsthand.