The Royal Rumble, my father's favorite wrestling event where we all sit around the television to watch the event with all of us choosing a number for the Rumble. (My number was 19 and I did quite well this year if you watched the Rumble). Now let us waste no more time and review the first WWE pay per view of 2016. Will it be a hit or a miss?
The opening promo hypes us the main story heading into the Rumble, that being the odds being stacked against Roman Reigns as he defends his championship against 29 other superstars in the Royal Rumble match. Great work here by WWE as always. Cole welcomes us to the action in Florida, announcing that this is the 29th Royal Rumble.
Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens(Intercontinental Title Last Man Standing Match)
Ambrose enters the ring first which is frustrating as he is the champion and the champion should enter the ring last(Little nitpick number 1!). Back and forth exchange between the two before Owens and Ambrose have a miscommunication and mess up a move. Owens shouts as Ambrose that its going his way, chopping Ambrose into three corners while Ambrose asks for more before chopping Owens in the corner. Running Bulldog by Ambrose, Owens powders so Ambrose hits a suicide dive sending Owens over the announce table into Michael Cole(Ha I love it!). Ambrose grabs a kendo stick going to town on Kevin Owens' ass before a superkick by Owens knocks Ambrose down, Owens smashes Ambrose through the barricade with a cannonball onto Ambrose. Clothesline and senton combination by Owens, Ambrose will not stay down. Owens brings in several chairs and gives Ambrose a taste of the chair. Owens takes a seat in the ring on the chairs as the crowd applauds. Rebound clothesline by Ambrose leaves both men on the mat. Chair shots to the back by Owens who continues to taunt the champion. Owens attempts a powerbomb onto two chairs but Ambrose reverses as Owens smashes through the chairs. Ambrose attempts the suicide dive but gets caught and eats the steel steps as Owens rams in repeatedly into the steps. Two tables are stacked on top of one another outside of the ring as Owens tries a suplex. Unfortunately, Ambrose has other plans, Owens attempts the pop up powerbomb but hurricanarana into the Dirty Deeds by Ambrose. Owens makes it to his feet at 9 by rolling to the outside of the ring(Great little way to survive the count). Elbow drop through a table by Ambrose as the referee begins his count. Chair shots by Ambrose to Kevin Owens who tells Ambrose that he hates him as he is beating the crap out of him. Another table enters the fray as it looks like Ambrose is sending Owens through the table but it is a reversal by Owens who sends Amnrose crashing throiugh the table with his own suplex. Up at the count of 9 for Ambrose. Powerbomb by Owens as Ambrose lays prone in the ring. Ambrose stands up at 9 again as frustration is building for Kevin Owens who starts stacking chairs. Owens lays Ambrose on the chairs and ascends the turnbuckle for what looks like a moonsault. Ambrose brings up off the chairs and pushes Owens through the two tables placed on the outside of the ring. Owens doesn't answer the 10 count and we have a winner and still champion...Dean Ambrose. Fantastic match from two individuals that I love to watch, I thoroughly enjoyed this match and was entertained from start to finish. They were given the time to shine and they made the most of it. Great Rumble opener and possibly one of the best matches of both men's career and Rumble history.
New Day vs The Usos(Tag Team Title Match)
Opening promo by The New Day which is great as always, I feel bad for anytime put against these guys because they are almost untouchable in the tag team division. We mourn the loss of Francesca before Xavier introduces Francesca 2 and all was well in the world. The Usos enter the ring. Kofi and Jimmy kick off the match, Jimmy and Jey have the advantage early on as they throw Kofi to the outside and he is clothesline by Jey, it is really strange as it is like The Usos are working as heels but they don't keep it up as the match goes on. Don't get me wrong, The Rock was super effective at working as a heel if the crowd was turning on him, he would show heels tendencies but The Usos seem to play with the idea of being heels but never go as far as they could have gone. Jey Uso takes the brunt of the beating by The New Day which makes sense as the announcers bring up that he was injured for a number of months. Hot tag to Jimmy, Samoan drops and Umaga hip attacks by Jimmy. Whisper in the wind by Jimmy, he climbs the top rope as Kofi is attacked by Jey who Kofi sends over the barricade. Big E attempts his suicide dive but s topped by Jimmy's knee, Kofi returns but is knocked down by Jey and Big E hits the suicide dive on Jimmy. All four men are down before Kofi and Jimmy are left in the ring. Trouble in Paradise misses but Jimmy's superkick does not miss as Jimmy tags Jey who climbs to the top rope. Splash and pin but Xavier places Kofi's foot under the ropes, breaking up the pin. Jimmy continues to punish Kofi before Big E makes the blind tag and as Jimmy prepares to splash Kofi, he is caught in mid air by Big E who drops him with the big ending 1...2...3. Good ending to a good match, The New Day are over like crazy and they deserve to be champions, nobody can touch them at the moment. What's next for The New Day? I am interested to find out!
Alberto Del Rio vs Kalisto(United States Title Match)
After losing the title back to Del Rio, I found it very hard to be interested in this feud, Kalisto should have held the title until the Rumble. Win or lose, he should have had the title going into the Rumble but obviously Vince had other plans and Kalisto was portrayed as a loser and didn't really get over as a result of the poor booking decisions. Del Rio begins by softening up the ribs of his opponent, ten punches in the corner as Kalisto kicks Del Rio over the top rope, following up with a plancha. Running enziguri by Del Rio, Kalisto fires back but Del Rio nails an tilt to whirl backbreaker. Hurricanrana by Kalisto on the outside, Del Rio nails a lungblower reversal to a headscissors(Awesome counter right there). Kalisto hits a dive onto Del Rio before being cut off with the kick to the head for a two count. Del Rio misses the armbreaker and the enziguri, gets caught with a tornado ddt. Two count so Kalisto continues his offence with more kicks and diving attacks but Del Rio hits a reverse suplex from the turnbuckle, flattening Kalisto. Del Rio attempts his finishing stomp from the second rope but misses and falls into the Salida Del Sol. Kalisto cannot believe it as Del Rio reaches for the ropes breaking the count at two. Del Rio catches Kalisto with another lungblower after a springboard attempt. Exposing the turnbuckle, Del Rio looks to smash Kalisto face into pieces but with a hurricanrana, Kalisto sends Del Rio into the exposed turnbuckle and plants him with The Salida Del Sol. We have a new champion in Kalisto. The finish felt flat and that is the best way to sum up this feud as Kalisto should have never lost the title but there is nothing we can do about it, Kalisto is champion and I hope they do something with him so this chance is not squandered because if you want to be popular with the Latino fan base, give them a credible star to cheer for and Kalisto should be that man if they are using Del Rio as a heel.
Becky vs Charlotte(Divas Title Match)
Wow Charlotte, the champion actually came out second, I am so happy about this you have no idea. Anyways, on to this match, good wrestling from both with Charlotte asking for a break. Charlotte takes over on Becky after Ric Flair kisses Becky? Wasn't expecting that and can't say I am glad I witnessed that moment. Moving swiftly along, the crowd is into Becky as Charlotte continues to heel it up in the ring. Headscissors by Charlotte as she continues to wear down the challenger, Becky fires back with clotheslines and exploder suplexes(Akiyama would be so proud!). As the match continues, Charlotte does her best to keep Becky down with spears and figure eight attempts but Becky counters her at every turn, resulting in Becky locking in the disarmer. As she has Charlotte beaten, Flair throws his jacket at Becky who is now distracted. Taking advantage with a poke to the eyes, Charlotte hits the spear for the win. Charlotte continues to attack Becky until Sasha Banks enters to a huge pop from the fans. Banks kicks Becky to the outside before attacking Charlotte. This was a great moment as she stayed true her character, they didn't try to make her bland or change her from what she was in NXT. Make no mistake about it, Sasha Banks has everything to lead that Woman's division and I am sure she will establish herself as the main diva's wrestlers sooner rather than later. I wish Becky had won the match though, it felt like it was her time to win the title and Becky vs Sasha Banks would have been a great match and easy to book as it would be heel vs face. With this story you have heel vs heel even though Banks is cheered by the fans. Nonetheless, it looks like an exciting time for the Diva's division.
The Rumble Match(WWE Title on the line)
I am not going to go into huge detail on this one, I am just going to talk about a few things I like and disliked about this year's rumble. First positive of this rumble was we have feuds that can be made purely based off the Rumble. The likes of AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens, Bray Wyatt vs Brock Lesnar, Jericho vs Ambrose, and Reigns vs Triple H. The stories for all these matches were put into motion in the Rumble and I like that, it makes like the Rumble had more than one purpose such as making the people feel bad for Roman. Another positive is AJ Styles, some may argue he did not do enough in the Rumble but it was just awesome to see him finally get his chance in WWE. Most sites are reporting his shirt sold out in two hours after the Rumble and we all know what WWE thinks about those who sell a lot of merchandise, I really don't see WWE screwing this up for some reason but maybe I am just an optimist. The last positive I have coming out of the Rumble was the finish to the match. Having Reigns not be eliminated last was a great move as the fans thought that there was a possibility of Ambrose winning and my god did they do a great job of fooling us to believe he could win. It was great story telling as Ambrose gave it everything he had but due to the injuries and the beating he had taken at the hands of Kevin Owens during the Last Man Standing match, he was simply exhausted and Triple H became a 14 time World Champion. The negatives of this Rumble was there was a lot of dead weight wrestlers in this Rumble. The match seemed very slow and boring in different parts as we were treated to jobber after jobber entering the ring. Where were the legends this year? It is such a little thing but I wanted to see some legends come back and hit their moves before being tossed out. They also brought back Sami Zayn who logically went to kill Kevin Owens, tossed him out and then did nothing for the rest of his time in the Rumble. To me, it seemed like a waste but perhaps they will do this feud at Fastlane as Ambrose seems to be staying in the title picture for the moment. The other negative for me in this match was the lack of logic displayed in this match. For example the League of Nations destroyed Reigns so that he would be taken out of the match. Seems logical but it fails for two reasons. Why destroy him and not roll him into the ring so he can get eliminated? It wouldn't take any effort to throw him back in and there is no disqualifications in the Rumble so why couldn't they have eliminated him? Second reason this fails is you are trying to make Roman Reigns look like the ultimate tough guy and a badass so why do you have him get off the stretcher only to walk to the back and rest for 20 minutes? It makes no sense at all if you are trying to make him look tough. Anyone with a brain could figure out he was coming back well rested and ready to fight so I thought this was a stupid move. The other stupid moment was the Wyatt family eliminating only Brock from the ring and leaving after his elimination. Why? Why not help Bray, your leader win? Nobody can tell you to stop, it is no disqualification, it just made no sense at all to me from a logical standpoint. However, I think the positives outweigh the negatives and this was a good show overall.
I hope you enjoyed my review of The 2016 Royal Rumble. WWE put on a good show and they have started 2016 with a bang as Mania season begins. The next few months will be a very interesting time in WWE so I will be keeping a close eye as I am sure all of you will be doing too. For now, it is goodbye and see you next time!