WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Results and ThoughtsLast night’s Royal Rumble was one of my favourites in a long time. The undercard was really, really good and up until the last 15 minutes of the main attraction, I was really enjoying the Royal Rumble match. Here are the results and my two cents.
Naomi, Nikki Bella, and Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Natalya
This was a run of the mill Smackdown TV match (not that there’s anything wrong with that). All the ladies had some time to show their arsenal to the audience. In the end, Naomi got the pin on Smackdown Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss. I guess the rationale is that Naomi is next in line for a feud with Bliss for the championship while Nikki will continue feuding with Natalya, and Becky will feud with Mickie James. I don’t think the right team won here because I think the heels needed the win to further the other girls need to seek retribution. Naomi could have got a non-title pin on Bliss on TV to tell the same story they did tonight.
Two questions I had during this match were: 1) why are they still breaking to “commercial” during the preshow matches and 2) why did they allow Mickie James to keep her old theme music and happy, skipping entrance? It doesn’t make her come across as a heel.
Winners: Naomi, Nikki Bella, and Becky Lynch
Cesaro and Sheamus (Champs) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson –
Raw Tag Team Championship Match
This match was also similar to their past TV matches, which is OK, but these teams could deliver much more. Even with two refs, there was the mandatory “ref bump” we all saw coming and the confusion as a result. In the end, Anderson got the pin on Cesaro by hooking the tights.
I’m very surprised with the title change because I would have hoped a title change of this magnitude would have been done on the actual show or on Raw. I bet we see a rematch tonight on Raw and probably the end of the Cesaro/Sheamus tag team. Could we see the blow-off match between these two that we wanted to see last year? Hmmm…. The big question now is after the team of Cesaro and Sheamus, who is there to feud with The Club? I hope it’s not The New Day again. Please…anyone but The New Day.
Winners: Gallows and Anderson
Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
Colour (yes, Canadian spelling) me surprised here but I can’t believe Banks looked that weak and lost to Nia Jax in such a short period of time (just under five minutes). Yes, Banks has the knee injury that gives her a bit of an out here, but they must have some big plans for Nia Jax as she just decimated a former champ who went toe to toe last year with Charlotte, the best woman on the roster. This match was the best Nia Jax has performed so far, but she still has a long way to go.
Winner: Nia Jax
Charlotte (Champ) vs. Bayley – Raw Women’s Championship Match
I really liked the flow of this match. I think both women performed well, although the first couple of minutes of the match looked like the women weren’t synching up as well as they should have been. There were believable near falls and both women put in great offense and defense – especially when Bayley flew off the top rope and delivered a “Macho Man” Randy Savage style elbow from the top rope on Charlotte. It look like it f’n hurt.
In the end, Charlotte set up Bayley perfectly to deliver a Natural Selection on the ring apron. The move was very well done and it really looked like Bayley sank her head hard onto the ring apron. I turned to one of my buddies before Charlotte pushed her into the ring and said if Bayley wasn’t beat after this, I have no idea what they’re doing…and Charlotte ended up getting the pin. It was the perfect spot to end the match with and leave me wanting to see these two square off once again.
Winner (and still the Queen of PPV with 16 consecutive PPV wins): Charlotte
Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns – WWE Universal Championship Match
Holy spotfest, Batman! There was some good, fun action in this match! Yeah, Reigns got booed all to hell again, which is fun to see/hear, but he did well up to a certain point in the match when it just turned absolutely ridiculous, even for me.
The part that took me out of enjoying this match was when Jericho, who was above the ring in a cage, tossed Kevin Owens brass knuckles. Owen wound up and clocked Roman Reigns in the head with them. Let that sink in for a second: Reigns got punched in the head with brass knuckles. Not only did Reigns kick out, but he got offense in on Kevin Owens after it happened.
This overbooked shit needs to stop. There’s only so much “superman” shit that WWE can throw at us and this was the breaking point for me. ANYONE else (real life or in wrestling) would have been knocked the hell out if they were hit with brass knuckles, but oh no…Reigns HAD to kick out. Why plan such a spot then? It was cringe worthy and it sucked me right out of enjoying the match.
When we thought the Roman Reigns machine was going to put Owens out of his misery (after a massive spot where Owen landed on a stack of set up chairs), Braun Strowman showed up and destroyed Reigns. I jumped out of my seat when Strowman put Reigns through the Raw announce team table because they didn’t clear one of the monitors and Reign’s head just missed it.
Strowman then rolled Reigns into the ring and power-slammed him through the table and left the ring, allowing Owens to pin Reigns to retain the championship. Although the match WAS good, that whole brass knuckles spot pissed me off. I’m going to watch this again, now knowing the ending to see if I can focus a little bit more on the action that took place after the brass knuckles spot instead of fuming like a disgruntled fan-boy. Mind you, I’m laughing hard on the pop and applause Strowman got for putting Reigns out of his misery in the match when the opposite is supposed to happen.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Rich Swann (Champ) vs. Neville – WWE Cruiserweight Championship
I really enjoyed this match and I think it was great WWE gave these guys a spot on the main show to try and further expose the Crusierweight division. I think Neville got a good reception, but when Swann came out, no one seemed to care. Can we get Swann a bit more in the “character development” department? All he has is dancing to the ring (seeming like he’s not taking anything seriously) and the announcers mentioning that his parents died when he was young. Give us more to be invested in. Thorough great back and forth action, and some insane high spots, Neville ended up pinning Swann to become the new WWE Cruiserweight champion.
One of my friends was streaming the show at his place and was texting me during the match asking who these guys were but telling me he was enjoying it (he rarely watches but decided to due to the hype of the event). We both came to the conclusion this should have been dubbed the “boot to the head” match because these Swann and Neville gave and took so many kicks to the head it they should have technically had concussions.
AJ Styles (Champ) vs. John Cena – WWE Championship Match
What a match! What an f’n great match! I will be watching this one a couple of times this week when I have the time because I really, really enjoyed it. I didn’t like the ending, but I enjoyed everything up to the end of it. I’m not going to go into huge details about it as this is the kind of performance that you need to see, if you haven’t. Odds are, if you’re reading this, you probably have.
Look, I understand and agree that the last 6-8 minutes of the match was an overblown kick-out of everything festival but it didn’t bother me that much because I assumed it was coming. After Styles gave Cena the second Styles Clash, one of the people watching the show turned and said, “look, Cena’s already moving and starting to get up” as Styles was heading to spring board off the ropes at Cena. At that point, I knew the end spot was coming and I gulped knowing that Styles was about to get pinned. It happened and I wasn’t happy. I’m still not.
As I said in my prediction piece, you knew Cena tying Flair’s championship record was coming. You know Cena breaking that record is coming. I just don’t know WHY it had to happen here at the expense of AJ Style – the man who has been on fire and has delivered in every match and scenario the company has put him in since coming to the company. The win for Cena sucks even more in my mind due to the verbal exchange they had on Smackdown last week where Cena was talking about Styles and others who honed their craft on the indie scene not being on his level. Here’s hoping that this championship reign was just a quick rub to Cena’s ego and he’ll drop it in two weeks the Elimination Chamber PPV, so Styles can take his right place at Wrestlemania in a championship main event.
Winner: John Cena L
The Royal Rumble Match
I’ve got some love and hate for this year’s match and this part of my article may take a while for you to get through.
Up until Brock came into the Rumble (and realizing that they were holding off on the “big names” until close to the end) it wasn’t too bad. There was the dominance by Braun Strowman that had the crowd red hot and his surprise elimination from Baron Corbin was a great spot. Just these two things helped build their characters in this match. The group elimination of The New Day was a cool way for them to leave the match, and more animosity arose right between the former tag team champs after Sheamus and Cesaro were eliminated.
Seeing the “part timers/big names” near the end once again had me shaking my head in a way because so many of the wrestlers on the roster work so hard and they were all put into the ring just to take the big hits from these guys. They’re the ones providing the action for about 40 minutes of the match! I have to laugh because The Miz seemed to be one person in that ring that got nailed by almost every single person that entered after him.
I was shocked to see Brock Lesnar get eliminated so quickly by Goldberg but it really plays up and continues the dominance of Goldberg over Lesnar that started at the Survivor Series. I still wonder why Lesnar didn’t get pissed off and try to get back in the ring and interfere (just like he did nothing and walked away when the Wyatt family eliminated him last year and had no follow-up whatsoever).
I have been a fan of the Undertaker since his debut at Survivor Series 1990 but fell off the fan wagon during his American Badass days until he returned as the Deadman again. Why I mention that is because I made the decision last night that I don’t want to see The Undertaker in a ring anymore or at least hope that his Wrestlemania match will be his last. He looked horrible last night. He was winded, could barely move, looked stiff, and just doesn’t have “it” anymore. I’m not saying that to knock him at all and lord knows I’d never be able to do what he does NOW after all the punishment he’s taken over the years.
Roman Reigns entered the Rumble at number 30, which makes no sense. How does it make sense that after a match where he was beaten silly during it, making an unbelievable comeback and then getting decimated again that he could participate in the Rumble? So he’s just fine after all of that?? Reigns participating in the Rumble match basically nulled everything he dealt with earlier on in the night. You’re also telling me he just so happened to get lucky number 30 in a draw that was already supposed to have happened? This was bullshit and another thing that took me, and a lot of the live crowd, totally out of the disbelief mode you’re supposed to be in while watching wrestling. I just don’t understand the rationale of WWE creative. Let’s also add to it all of this that Reigns was well enough to eliminate The Undertaker.
The crowd was immediately deflated. They knew then it was coming down to options of people they really didn’t want to see win this thing and that there was nobody else coming down that aisle. For one minute I was hoping that Bray Wyatt would win because I didn’t want to see Orton or Reigns headline Wrestlemania but Wyatt was eliminated quickly and the Orton eliminated Reigns.
I see the rationale, in one way, for WWE Creative putting Reigns in at the end because they KNEW the crowd would piss all over it and ANYONE that eliminated Reigns would temporarily be cheered – so that would help make Randy Orton’s win look even better.
Why they chose Orton to win this match is beyond me when a) he’s been a heel for a few months, b) has been part of a tag team, and c) had been out for most of the year until Summerslam.
I was a tad disappointed that there were really no surprise Royal Rumble entrants besides Tye Dillinger. Why Jack Gallagher and James Ellsworth were doing in the Rumble match is confusing, albeit Gallagher did provide some comedic relief – but that’s not what I want to see in the Rumble match.
I am not on board with seeing Cena vs. Orton at Wrestlemania or in any matches against each other again. Been there. Done that. Don’t care. I don’t want either of these two headlining Wrestlemania. I want fresh match ups and feuds. But then again, WWE doesn’t care what I personally want.
My Spidey-sense, though, is telling me that Cena won’t have the belt come Wrestlemania and he’ll be involved with somebody else. I think that’s the magic of having about ten weeks until Wrestlemania and two more PPVs because there’s a lot of time for WWE to change things up. We’ve seen in the last few years that winning the Royal Rumble doesn’t automatically mean things are set in stone for sure any more…and I sure as hell hope not. WWE has to really build up an amazing card and extraordinary road to Wrestlemania this year after last year’s crapfest.