Ladies, gentlemen and everyone in between, it’s Rumble time once again. 30 men and 30 women will clash for a shot at whichever title they may choose. It’s the start of the Road to Wrestlemania and there are some shocks to come. Throw in a slew of personal rivalries and title affairs and this looked set to be another good one. The Rumble is nearly always good so let’s get into the action and see who won big, who lost massively and who came away in pain.
The Pre-show had two nice matches to warm up the crowd. The first was Sheamus making a return to the ring to completely torture Chad Gable. He used the plucky underdog for a punching bag and merciless twisted limbs and pummeled Gable into a mess. Gable succeeded in coming back into the match but in the end Sheamus was just too powerful. The second match saw Humberto Carrillo take on Andrade in a losing effort at the US Title. This was a strong match but the crowd just didn’t care about Carrillo. It was a strong stiff affair that made me happy since Andrade retained the title he had so rightly earned. Carrillo is great as an underdog but the crowd need to give more of a damn before he really takes off. Also, once again, WWE stop with the adverts during matches.
Corbin/Reigns Kill Each Other
It’s always good to start your show with a falls count anywhere match. Very few rules often equals very few chances to be boring. Plus, Corbin vs Reigns has been a fairly good feud to follow. The pair were going to tear each other apart here. The pair started brawling before having the match descend into madness as The Usos, Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler all got involved for their respective sides. Even when they were the only two in the match, Reigns and Corbin had excellent chemistry together. Corbin is great at pacing a match and being a cheered-on punching bag. This was especially prevalent when the fight broke out into the crowd. It was great to see a big WWE PPV opened by a plunder match. Reigns predictably won but it was still fun to see all the same. One of my favourite moments being Corbin’s unfortunate trip in a port-a-loo.
Women’s Rumble Rules
I’m not going to rundown every entry and moment from the Rumble. That would take way too long, instead I’ll pick some highlights and just praise this Rumble for being full of fun and surprises. Plus, an absolute ton of NXT talent. It started with Alexa Bliss vs Bianca Belair and just ramped up from there. Within the first few spots we had Mighty Molly and Mercedes Martinez in the Rumble. We had Lana and Liv Morgan eliminate each other because that story exists. Mandy Rose was saved by Otis, who made himself a mat for her to land on so she didn’t touch the floor. Kairi Sane making one of the best entrances into the Rumble and taunting Alexa and Nikki Cross with her wagasa (umbrella.) Alexa used Bianca Belair’s braid to stay alive whilst Sonya Deville accidentally eliminated herself and Mandy Rose.
It was excellent to see Dakota Kai make an appearance even if she was quickly dumped out by Chelsea Green. Naomi made her return at number 18. Beth Phoenix came out at 19 making things even more interesting. We finally got an NXT UK star at number 20 as Toni Storm came out to play. Charlotte eliminated Bianca Belair, taking out the longest lasting star so far. Charlotte kept making eliminations as she took out Sarah Logan and Kelly Kelly too. Xia Li made a return to the Rumble and Zelina Vega rocked a Sindel from Mortal Kombat entrance. Things got wild as Shotzi Blackheart came in at number 26. Naomi survived being eliminated by spider grabbing the barricade.
The crowd went mild as Santina came out at 29, people were not happy with this one. He bit himself with the cobra and eliminated himself. Yeah, I think it was a bit of a waste. At 30 came the big bad choice to win it all, Shayna Baszler. She quickly eliminated Vega and Blackheart as Naomi built a bridge back to the match. Baszler quickly eliminated even more as she took out Carmella, Naomi and Toni Storm too. Beth turned traitor and eliminated Natalya. Baszler eliminated Phoenix but fell victim to Charlotte Flair. She has won the 2020 Women’s Rumble and now has a shot at either title. As you can see a lot happened and most of it was good.
A Strapping Good Time
This was my match of the night. I adored this. It’s a match type we haven’t seen in a long time and it was every bit as brutal, violent and terrifying as it could have been. Daniel Bryan was mad to propose this match type but, in his defence, had he been fighting anyone else he would have won. He was beaten down, bruised and bloody as the Fiend continuously lashed him with the strap and decimated him throughout with strikes and vicious power moves. Bryan came back multiple times and kept swinging. I swear this match had more whipping than a dominatrix session. Words cannot describe how fun this was to watch. The Fiend appeared rocked for the first time in forever but as per usual, his inhumanity finally arose and he powered through everything to hit a Mandible Claw Chokeslam and finish Bryan off. The dedication on display from Bryan during this match is commendable. He really did give it his all, fighting through bruises and cuts to try and best the biggest baddie not called Brock Lesnar.
Finally, Ready for Asuka
So, this match probably wasn’t for everyone. I’ll admit my bias since I love Asuka. I think she’s the best women’s wrestler in the WWE right now, excluding NXT. She has had Becky’s number throughout 2019 and into 2020 so in this one, Becky got mean. This was physical, brutal and full of big moments. I loved the back and forth, Becky constantly trying to murder Asuka and the ever-present drama around the mist. There isn’t too much to say about this one, just that it was bloody fun to watch.
Drew McIntyre and The Men’s Rumble of Awesomeness
There was no Rusev or Lashley in this rumble any more. That was the news that broke just before Lesnar came out for his #1 spot in the rumble. Elias was #2… poor guy. Elias pissed off Brock and died instantly as Brock pummeled him to death before throwing him out. Rowan was next and went out even quicker. Brock was decimating and casually waiting around for his next opponent.
Robert Roode died next then John Morrison, the corpses continued to pile up. Then we got salt in the wounds as Kofi came in and got beaten up. He did however last to the next competitor, Rey Mysterio. Finally, the numbers started to turn against Brock. He ate the finishers of all three men in the ring but held on enough to eliminate both Big E and Mysterio. Kofi came next with an F-5. Brock was untouchable. He took out Cesaro and his former college teammate Shelton Benjamin next. It kept going with Shinsuke Nakamura. Then all of a sudden, MVP made a surprise return… and went out in under a minute. Lucky number 13 shocked Brock though as the Limitless One, Keith Lee made his rumble debut. He was the first man to properly have Brock’s number.
The meat count continued as Strowman was 14. He had his fun with Lee and Brock but this just powered Brock up for a trip to Suplex city and eliminated them both in one go. Brock kept the murder on still, punishing Ricochet next. Number 16 would be his reckoning though as Drew McIntyre came to beast hunt as he teamed with Ricochet to kick him out of the ring.
McIntyre finished off Ricochet and then the Miz. The ring started to fill as McIntyre had to contend with Ziggler, Karl Anderson and AJ Styles. Then EDGE CAME OUT.
He came back, production royally f**ked up his return with shoddy camerawork but he came out, speared the hell out of everyone Next was someone no one wanted to see, King Corbin. Edge eliminated Styles as Corbin battered the hell out of McIntyre. The surprises continued as Matt Riddle came next. Unfortunately, he didn’t last as killjoy Corbin eliminated him. Orton, Reigns and Owens were the next entries and both made their marks on arrival. Aleister Black was 28 and proceeded to murder everyone. Samoa Joe and Seth Rollins rounded out the rumble with Rollins flanked by his goons. They cleared out everyone as Seth stomped everyone. Buddy Murphy cost Black the rumble and AOP saved Rollins from being eliminated by Owens. He eliminated Owens and Joe causing a brawl between the eliminated and the goons. Thankfully he was eliminated soon after. Edge betrayed Orton by eliminating him.
Edge showed Roman how to hit a spear but couldn’t eliminate him. The pair fought on the apron with Roman eliminating Edge. Drew kicked Roman’s face off to win his first Royal Rumble! What an excellent pick to win.
Let me preface this by saying I think Charlotte is an amazing wrestler. She is as talented as the come and without a doubt capable of carrying a division. My problem here is why pick her to win a Rumble? Every story she can make has happened many times before be it against Becky or Bayley. The crowd hated her winning and I honestly dread to see what she does at Mania as it could be more repetition. Charlotte was great in the Rumble, I just don’t think she needed the win, especially with everyone else in the Rumble.
This is just a comment on the weird way WWE went about revealing people in the rumble this year. I don’t get why they revealed so many men and so few women. It just made one Rumble too unprepared for and one too predictable. Ah well, it was still fun to watch so it’s not really much of a complaint.
Where were all the tag titles? There could have been some time set aside for at least on of the tag champs to make an appearance in a match. Or there could have been that teased Harlem Heat vs The Revival match. It just seemed like a certain element that is often neglected was neglected once again. #FTR
So, there you have it, Royal Rumble 2020 reviewed for your reading pleasure. What a show. There were a couple of dud matches in the mix but overall a really strong showing from WWE. The rumbles were fun, Bryan/Fiend was amazing and Becky finally overcame Asuka. The show just oozed fun and honestly, if not for Charlotte, both rumbles would have had surprise winners. I just found this show fun and can’t fault WWE for putting on such a show. The rumble is nearly always good and having Edge come back was just breath taking. More of this quality please.