WWE Royal Rumble 2020 Review: January 26, 2020 by Felix Pichler
Shorty G vs. Sheamus
This match was the first one of the kickoff show and was also the in-ring return of Sheamus. Logically, Sheamus completely dominated Shorty G most of the time, but G also had a period when he was able to show off his offence. He even countered a Borgue Kick into an Angle Lock, but moments after that Sheamus was able to hit his opponent with the kick and picked up the pinfall victory.
Opinion: Shorty G looked stronger than I expected since I thought that he would get finished off extremely quickly. However, it was clear and makes sense that Sheamus is the one who picked up the win.
Andrade (C.) (w/ Zelina Vega) vs. Humberto Carrillo for the United States Championship
This was the second match of the kickoff show. As expected, these two men showed off a great match but the ending was a bit flat as it was just a kind of a roll-up which allowed Andrade to defend his title.
Opinion: The match was good but not as great as you would expect a match from these two outstanding athletes.
Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
They really tried to make use of the rule that the pinfall or submission could fall anywhere and not just in the ring. It didn’t take that long until they started to bring their fight to the ringside and later in the crowd. King Corbin was able to show hard moves like a Chokeslam through the announce table but the Big Dog was always able to kick out. When they were in the crowd, suddenly Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler attacked Reigns, but the Usos came out to save the Big Dog.
In the end, Reigns performed a decent Spear on the top of a dugout in the crowd to get the three count and win this match.
Opinion: Ahead of this fight, it seemed really weird that Reigns would choose that type of match since it gave Roode and Ziggler the chance to get involved, but a good idea to let the Usos make the save. They tried to include creative and innovative spots and done well. The match was good but it’s hard to be interested in this horrible feud and due to that, I hope that this was the last match between these two for some months.
Women’s Royal Rumble
The first two performers were Alexa Bliss and Bianca Belair. Liv Morgan came out as number seven while Lana was already in the match. Morgan immediately eliminated Lana but then Lana shoved Morgan from the apron to eliminate her too.
Moments later, Mandy Rose almost got eliminated but landed on Otis who was suddenly lying on the floor at ringside and she landed on him. Due to that, Rose was able to get back into the ring and was still in the match. However, shortly later Rose and Sonya Deville got eliminated at the same time even though Otis tried to save Rose.
Belair showed an outstanding performance as she eliminated several opponents and lasted extremely long in this Royal Rumble. Charlotte Flair was able to send her over the top rope just moments before the number 21 Kelly Kelly came out.
Naomi also got her spot as it seemed as she would be eliminated, but she was able to hang up on the apron to not touch the floor. From there she later made her way to the announce tables from where she went back into the ring. Just moments after that, Santino Marella came out as Santina Marella, but immediately eliminated herself.
Shayna Baszler came out as number 30 and eliminated one woman after another until only Natalya, Phoenix and Baszler were in the ring. Phoenix surprisingly eliminated Natalya even though they worked until then together in this match. So, it seemed as Phoenix and Baszler would be the last two women left, but suddenly Charlotte came back into the ring as she never went over the top rope and eliminated Phoenix.
So, just Charlotte and Baszler were left in the ring and the Queen was able to win the Women’s Royal Rumble by eliminating the former NXT Women’s Champion.
Opinion: The good thing was that there were not that many performers confirmed ahead of the PPV and so we saw several superstars from NXT, NXT UK (Toni Storm) and some surprise entrances. Also, a good idea to let Belair look extremely strong as she will face Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship soon. However, I would have loved to see Baszler winning this match as it would be a surprise while Charlotte was clearly the biggest star in this match and it was a bit predictable that she would win it. However, all in all, it was a good Women’s Royal Rumble match, but I’m wondering why Sasha Banks wasn’t part of it.
Bayley (C.) vs. Lacey Evans for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
This match was quite short as it not even took 10 minutes and in the end, Bayley countered a Moonsault of Lacey Evans with her knees to get the pinfall victory.
Opinion: I’m not happy at all about this match since it had such a good build-up and it’s not good that this leads then to such a fight. However, it makes sense that this match didn’t take long as the fans ha to cool down from the Women’s Royal Rumble match.
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (C.) vs. Daniel Bryan in Strap Match for the Universal Championship
Surprisingly, this time they fought in normal light and not the red lightning which they used until then in every match of the Fiend. Strap Match means that they were permanently connected with each other since both had a strap around one of their wrists.
At some point, Bray Wyatt was able to counter Daniel Bryan’s Running Knee into a Sister Abigail for a near fall what looked amazing. However, in the end, Wyatt no-selled Bryan’s strap lashes and applied the Mandible Claw to win the match after about 17 minutes.
Opinion: I quite liked this match as it was something new and besides, they did a good job in letting both look strong. So, even though Bryan lost this match, he didn’t look weak at all. Wyatt doesn’t look that supernatural anymore as he did against Rollins what is good, but still no-sells moves in the right moments.
Becky Lynch (C.) vs. Asuka (w/ Kairi Sane) for the Raw Women’s Championship
Surprisingly, at no point of this match Kairi Sane got involved in any way and due to that Asuka and Becky Lynch were able to perform a good match without any interference. Both women showed several moves while it wasn’t the case that anyone would be able to dominate the other one.
In the end, Lynch kicked Asuka in the gut right at the moment when she was about to perform the Green Mist. Due to that, Asuka sprayed the mist into the air and the Man instantly applied the Disarmher for the submission win.
Opinion: A really good match especially when you compare it to the other match for the women’s championship on this card. No surprise that Lynch would finally defeat Asuka, but still a very interesting fight.
Men’s Royal Rumble
As we already have known before, Brock Lesnar was the first enterer while number two was Elias. While Elias made his way to the ring, he sang a song and since Lesnar had enough of it after a while, he left the ring and attacked Elias. After that, they went back into the ring as the match started and Lesnar continued the beating. Elias got eliminated by the Beast before even the number two Erick Rowan came out. Rowan also got eliminated immediately by Lesnar.
The first one who survived with the Beast so long until the next performer came out was the number six Kofi Kingston. Robert Roode and John Morrison got immediately eliminated by Lesnar (number four and five). Just moments later, Kingston, Rey Mysterio and Big E created a three on one situation in the ring against Lesnar who then thrown out all three of them out of the ring after one and another.
Number nine, 10 and 11 (Cesaro, Shelton Benjamin and Shinsuke Nakamura) also immediately got eliminated by Lesnar. Then, surprisingly MVP came out as number 12 and was the first surprise entry. However, he immediately ate an F5 and got eliminated.
Next, Keith Lee came out and was able to really challenge Lesnar on his own. Then Braun Strowman came out as number 14. These three men had a bit of a fight, but then Lesnar threw both big men out at once. Ricochet was the next one and survived until Drew McIntyre came out. Richochet gave Lesnar a low blow from behind followed by a Claymore Kick by McIntyre which sent the Beast over the top rope (he was at this point over 26 minutes in the match). The crowd logically cheered extremely loud.
With number 21 we had clearly the biggest surprise of the PPV with Edge’s return and the crowd completely went crazy. After some time, he was able to eliminate AJ Styles. Matt Riddle came out as number 23 but sadly immediately got thrown out by Corbin who shortly later got eliminated himself by McIntyre.
As number 30 Seth Rollins came out accompanied by Buddy Murphy and the AOP. Aleister Black, Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens got eliminated by Rollins with the aid of Murphy and the AOP. Then, Roman Reigns, McIntyre, Randy Orton and Edge teamed together to destroy Rolins and eliminate him.
After that, it seemed as Edge and Orton would work together against Reigns and McIntyre, but suddenly Orton wanted to hit Edge with an RKO, but Edge saw it coming. Moments later, the Viper got thrown out by him. Edge then got eliminated by Reigns and so just the Big Dog and McIntyre were left in the ring. It seemed as Reigns would be able to eliminate his opponent, but McIntyre stayed in the match to hit the Big Dog shortly later with a Claymore Kick to then eliminate him and win the Royal Rumble.
Opinion: I’m really happy with the ending and it’s great that McIntyre now finally gets the push which he deserves. However, I didn’t like the opening 26 minutes with Lesnar as he let look 14 WWE superstars look extremely weak and especially that Morrison got eliminated so fast by him makes no sense. So, they gave him two wins since his return just to send him over the top rope after a few seconds in the Royal Rumble?
Besides, Edge and MVP were the only two surprise enterers what is really bad but it’s no surprise as there were already so many superstars officially confirmed ahead of the match. However, it will be interesting to see if Edge will now be seen frequently back in the ring.
However, there were several bad things about this Royal Rumble match but the most important thing was great as McIntyre eliminated Lesnar and won the match. Due to that, he’ll surely challenge the Beast at WrestleMania and not the Fiend.
All in all, it was a good Royal Rumble PPV but one thing that the people often look forward to the most wasn’t that good: surprise entrances. However, WWE (especially Raw) got at the moments so many big superstars which they all wanted to put into the Royal Rumble match. However, the PPV was overall quite good and entertaining and thankfully McIntyre won the Royal Rumble.