The Good And The (Really) Bad From Last Nights WWE Royal Rumble
the 30th annual gave fans an incredible 4 hour show that closed on a sour note for some. Here's the rundown of the good and the bad from last night.
The WWE made it a point to load up their 30th annual Royal Rumble with some very recognizable names and a star studded undercard as well. Most of it worked to leave fans satisfied, but other things not only fell flat, but left fans irate on social media.
John Cena vs. AJ Styles
The finish may have been predictable for some, but Cena hung with one of the best in-ring wrestlers in the world. Not only that, Cena busted out a couple new moves that left the crowd impressed. Styles will get another title run, but Cena needed this win to re-establish himself as the Smackdown brand's #1 man. It was easily the match of the night.
Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens
Aside from the non-sensical Chris Jericho shark cage stipulation, Reigns and Owens delivered on a terrific no DQ match. Owens hasn't been booked well through this title run, but we've all seen enough of super-Reigns and the crowd in Houston made it quite clear they weren't interested in another title run. Owens is likely to drop the title before Wrestlemania, but a match against his best friend Jericho for the title would have the right kind of sizzle.
Gallagher hasn't been given enough spotlight in the cruiserweight division, but he was definitely a highlight of the Royal Rumble match. His two spots with his umbrella, William III, were fun and a terrific use of a rising star amongst the cruiserweights.
WWE hasn't had a guy with the size and raw athletic ability like Strowman possesses since...Brock Lesnar. But for whatever reason, the WWE seems hesitant to really push Strowman to the main event. Why? Strowman was easily the most exciting part of the Royal Rumble match and the fact that he never came face to face with the Undertaker, Goldberg or Brock Lesnar is a huge disappointment.
The Royal Rumble Match
It had its moments, but with all the hype surrounding its star-studded cast, it just didn't live up to the hype. Lesnar, Goldberg, and the Undertaker probably spent a total of 10 minutes in the actual match. Cue the shame bell from Game of Thrones. Additionally, some of the younger and promising stars in the match were dismissed with little drama. Dean Ambrose carried the WWE title for half the year and he was tossed out with absolute no struggle, what gives? Also, where were the surprises? Tye Dillinger at #10 was a predictable piece of excitement, but did Samoa Joe sleep with somebody's girlfriend? What does that guy have to do to get on the main roster?
Orton was the lesser of two evils at the end of the match, but was anyone hoping for an Orton return to the main event? He's been playing second fiddle to Bray Wyatt for 3 months now, so to say this was a surprise would be an understatement. Was there something in Orton's contract where he HAD to main event again? Also, what is WWE's issue with Wyatt? At any live event across the country, the dude stirs more reaction than 95% of the roster and he hasn't even sniffed the world title picture. Boring.
The Cruiserweight Division
Having Neville win the title over Rich Swann was a positive outcome but the WWE needs to rehab this project quick. How is Neville in this division but Kalisto, Enzo Amore and Xavier Woods aren't? It needs star power in the worst way, and leaving notable and recognizable stars out seems arbitrary and a waste of talent.
Enough. Reigns is a far better performer than the crowd gives him credit for, but can you blame them? WWE has been unintentionally burying the guy they want to be their top star. When Reigns music hit for #30, the crowd was 90% boos, and Twitter exploded with wretched disdain for the booking decision. It literally was like a giant middle finger to all fans in paid attendance. If the booking doesn't change for Reigns, he will get savaged by the Wrestlemania crowd worse than ever before, especially if he faces off against the Undertaker.