Review and Results: Royal Rumble 2018 (28.1.2018)

I think it’s safe to say that once again NXT Takeover proved to be a better Special Event that its main roster bigger brother, Royal Rumble 2018. However, it’s always difficult to better an NXT event, especially when that contained a main event that was phenomenal! Royal Rumble 2018 was the first Rumble event in a long time that provided lots of entertainment in the titular (male) match itself! Yes, that may be because it gave us a winner worthy of a WrestleMania main event, but also it was booked (fairly) well! The women’s main event was probably the second best match of the evening. The disappointments were most of the other matches, unfortunately…

AJ Styles (c) vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (Handicap Match for the WWE Chapionship)

I can’t deny that this was an entertaining bout…but what was the point of it? It didn’t seem to further any storylines or put a halt to anything. Daniel Bryan didn’t interfere in any way. After the bout, Owens and Zayn complained to Shane McMahon. And that was that. It’s clear that the Smackdown bookers don’t have any idea what to do with Owens and Zayn. These three great wrestlers find it hard to put on a terrible bout. But this was constrained by the booking and the handicap stipulation.


VERDICT: 7/10. The three wrestlers put on a decent opening bout, and Styles played the valiant babyface well. But what did it amount to? Not a lot.

The Usos (c) vs Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin (2/3 Falls Match for Smackdown Tag Team Championship)

The action leading up to the first fall was brilliant. There’s no doubt about that. But the crowd couldn’t care less, and that does affect the match. It looked like this could be yet another contender for Match of the Year. However, shortly after, The Usos won their second pinfall and ended the bout. I know sometimes, it’s good to have our expectations usurped. Our expectations are for a 2/3 Falls match to reach the third fall. But for the second fall to come so quickly deflated the entire bout and left a bad taste in the mouth.


VERDICT: 7/10. A brilliant first fall was devoured by a quick second fall that ended the match. What a shame.

(MALE) Royal Rumble

In an ideal world, this would have been the opening bout. The Rumble event should have been bookended by both Rumbles. After the male Rumble ended, the crowd were exhausted! They didn’t have much time (relatively speaking) to rest in time for the Women’s Royal Rumble. However, that’s not a negative for the bout itself. As it’s the best Rumble I’ve seen for years. It may be that because the Rumbles have been garbage for such a long time, anything approaching half-decent would be looked upon as awesome. But this Rumble seemed mostly logical, consistent with appropriate storylines, and jam-packed full of surprises and action.

Okay, we didn’t get a surprise on the level of Kenny Omega, but the two NXT entries were a welcome surprise, as was Rey Mysterio! How great did he look? He’s the best Legend entry for aeons. There’s plenty of memorable moments that will endure until next Rumble, such as Baron Corbin’s breakdown, Heath Slater’s being beaten up by every entry, Almas and Cole entering, Kofi being saved from elimination by pancakes, and the Final Two being Reigns and Nakamura. WWE teased the biggest troll of the year by having Reign in a position to win…only to be eliminated by Nakamura! Finally, the winner we deserve…and the winner we need! Of course, it couldn’t be a complete success. Cole and Almas were eliminated by WWE veterans. The Hurricane barely made an impact before being eliminated by John Cena. And Woken Matt Hardy is being lost in the shuffle. But on the whole…bravo, WWE!

Let’s hope WWE start treating Nakamura like a megastar!

WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura!!!

VERDICT: 8/10. Compared to any Rumble match of recent memory, this Rumble is a masterpiece. Of course, compared to the REAL Rumble masterpieces, it’s not a masterpiece…but WWE actually gave us the winner we wanted!!!

Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan (c) vs The Bar (Raw Tag Team Championship)

I’m sorry to all four competitors…but no one cared about this match. That’s why the Rumble is usually the main event. It exhausts the crowd and the viewers! We just didn’t care for this thrown together tag team of Rollins and Jordan. This basically turned into a handicap match after Jordan was injured…but even Rollins couldn’t grab our attention by fighting valiantly against Sheamus and Cesaro. There was nothing wrong with the wrestling…I just found it hard to care about what was happening! And I’m sick of Rollins fighting The Bar! Let’s hope Jordan and Rollins split and Rollins never fights The Bar again.


VERDICT: 5/10. I was exhausted after the Rumble, so maybe watching this tag team match out of context will improve the viewing. However, even as a handicap match it became boring to watch.

Brock Lesnar (c) vs Braun Strowman vs Kane (Universal Championship Triple Threat Match)

I’ll remember this match only for Strowman’s errant knee to Lesnar’s face and Lesnar’s irate reaction to said knee. Lesnar swore and potatoed Strowman in the face! Temper, temper, Lesnar…it’s not as if you’ve never been sloppy in the ring! Kane should be nowhere near the main event and every time he was the offence my mind wandered. Yes, they tried to mimic the destruction of the two ‘monster’ Fatal 4-Ways of last year, but much of it came off as stale and dull. Again, it was decent, but I knew who was going to win. And I don’t want to see Kane ever again!

WINNER: Brock Lesnar

VERDICT: 5/10. Reasonably entertaining, with a reasonable amount of destruction, but most of it we’ve seen before (and better!). And Kane merely being there put me off the match.

(FEMALE) Royal Rumble

There wasn’t enough time to cool down from the Male Rumble to fully appreciate this one. That’s why they should have bookended the event with each Rumble! But down to the match itself. It was ruined for me by Stephanie McMahon’s commentary. Why did she have to put herself into that position? Why not have her as the Ring Announcer? Instead, she made Percy Watson look like freaking good ol’ JR. She irritated me to the point of insanity. I see people raving about this match…but I thought it was merely okay. There was no way they could have filled the match with main roster/NXT women, but why shove in (practically) non-wrestlers like Kelly Kelly and Torrie Wilson? They did nothing but make the match laughable. And the other Legends almost overshadowed the main roster women! Lita, Trish Stratus, Beth Phoenix etc ran roughshod over the newcomers (especially the newish call-ups from NXT). And on the subject of Absolution/Riott Squad…it’s clear that most of them aren’t ready for the main roster. They should have stayed in NXT for a while.

However, just like the Male Rumble, the WWE gave us the winner we wanted: Asuka! She could have been a lot more dominant during the bout. She could have had a better opponent to face than Nikki Bella in the closing moments of the bout. Why oh why were the Bella Twins in the Final Three of the first Women’s Royal Rumble ever? Wouldn’t have been more appropriate to have Asuka against Banks/Lynch/Bayley?

And why oh why didn’t WWE let Asuka have her moment of glory? Instead, Charlotte and Bliss rushed into the ring. Then, to top it off, freaking Ronda Rousey came down the ramp and pointed at the WrestleMania sign (in a contender for cringiest WWE moment of 2018!). I mean, Nakamura had a little bit of time to soak up the glory. Why not let Asuka have that time? Have Rousey come out on the following Raw?


VERDICT: 6/10. The first ever Women’s Royal Rumble was intermittently entertaining…but was full of flotsam and jetsam to make up the numbers. Of course, it was good to see the legends back…but aren’t they supposed to make the current wrestlers look good? But at least Asuka was the winner!

OVERALL VERDICT: 6/10. The rest of the card may have been mediocre, but for once the (male) Royal Rumble was a match worthy of having an event named after it! Not only did it give us the winner we wanted, but it provided great entertainment! The women’s Rumble provided moderate entertainment…but everything before/between the Rumbles was mostly forgettable.

What did you think of Royal Rumble 2018? Leave your thoughts/comments below!

Click here for my review of NXT Takeover: Philadelphia (27.1.2018)

5 thoughts on “Review and Results: Royal Rumble 2018 (28.1.2018)

    • Hammy Reviews January 30, 2018 / 11:02 am

      Cheers! The sudden second fall deflated the entire match. It needed another ten minutes or so


  1. The Otaku Judge January 30, 2018 / 6:16 am

    I am pleasantly surprised by the results, given that WWE don’t usually use their Japanese talent well.

    Liked by 1 person

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