Welcome to the Royal Rumble, and WWE is getting ready to set the stage for who can make the run for a title shot at WrestleMania, along with other matches that should get you interested for the road to WrestleMania.  

If you haven’t seen our predictions for the Countdown to the Royal Rumble, shame on you. It’s better than the WWE Pre-Show, and it should be something you can see/hear on a podcast.


Michael Cole and Corey Graves have the call, and we start with Pat McAfee coming out, with Graves claiming his night is ruined.

Well, sucks to be him, but let’s start tonight with the First Match of the Night, and announcer Mike Rome announces it’s the …

WWE Men’s Royal Rumble

Gunther is announced at number one, followed by Sheamus at number two.  As they start to fight, next in is The Miz, and he pulls up going in the ring. Sheamus chases and then it’s a three-way match.  The fourth entrant is Kofi Kingston, and he gets a crossbody to all three men, and then the fifth entrant is Johnny Gargano, and he spears Miz and gets him on the ropes for clubs but defers to Sheamus with over a dozen Irish Clubs and then a Brogue kick eliminates Miz from the ring.

The sixth entrant is Xavierv Woods, and he and Kingston start to double team, but then the seventh entrant is Karrion Kross, and he starts strong on everyone in the ring.  The eighth entrant is Chad Gable with suplexes aplenty for everyone, and then the ninth entrant is Drew McIntyre who tosses everyone with belly-to-belly suplexes.  He gets a boot to Kross and he is eliminated from the Rumble. McIntyre sees Gunther and they tee off in the ring.  The tenth entrant is Santos Escobar for his first Rumble appearance, and we’re a third of the way through.  Andre Dawkins comes in at eleven, and Woods almost sends out but hung onto the ropes. Gunther knocks out Woods, followed by  Kingston, so no surprise re-entrances this time by Kingston.

Brock Lesnar comes into the Rumble at 12, and Sheamus and McIntyre go to Suplex City, Bitch. He eliminates Escobar and begins to stare down Gunther and then the thirteen is Bobby Lashley who spears everyone, and he eliminates Lesnar(!) from the ring. Lesnar ain’t happy as he throws the tabletop from commentary into the ring and then number 14 is Baron Corbin (which, by the way, the less said the better) as Lesnar clobbers him and delivers an F-5 him before he enters.

At number 15 is Seth “Freaking: Rollins who provides us mercy and eliminates Corbin early.  Next is Otis who slams everyone in sight, and then at 17 is Rey Mysterio. Rollins eliminates Lashley, and then Otis nails the Caterpillar elbow to Gunther.  At 18 is Dominik Mysterio coming out to his dad’s mask, wearing an “I’m your Mami” shirt (RIP Eddie Guerrero and Chyna) and is in no hurry to enter. At number 19 is Elias (no sign of Ezekiel for some reason) carrying a guitar, and he slams it on Gunther’s back. Then a claymore by Sheamus and McIntyre to Elias means he’s eliminated.

At number 20 is Finn Balor and he enters with a sling blade to McIntyre. Dominik tries to eliminate Gargano, but Balor helps to get him out, and then at 21 is Booker T, and can you dig it SUCKA!!!  At number 22 is Damien Priest and Judgment Day is in full force beating Sheamus, then Rollins.  But at number 23 is Montez Ford. He gets some offense in before Priest eliminates him, and that leads to the surprise entrant at number 24 with Edge and business is picking up.  He cleans the house, eliminating Priest, and then he eyes Rollins, and Dominik tries to eliminate him, and then Balor sends him out of the ring, alongside himself and Dominik.

At 25 is Austin Theory and no one cares.

Edge is battling Judgment Day up to the back, and Ripley comes out to attack.  That brings out the Glamazon herself, Beth Phoenix, and she spears him.  At number 26 is Omos and…yawn. Then at 27 is Braun Strowman and has a monster fight with  Omos. Strowman sends Omos over, and starts sending others over.  At 28 is Ricochet and he and Strowman work over everyone since they’re tag partners. Sheamus and McIntyre club the Monster Among Men, but can’t send him out. Gunther manages to send Sheamus and McIntyre out to eliminate them.

Then at number 29 is Logan Paul.

(Author’s Rant:  I do not like that Logan Paul man.

I do not like anything he does in life before he began.

I do not like him with wrestlers in the ring.

I do not like the influencers he or his stupid brother bring.

I do not like him in any case, my man.

I do not like to be in a place with him along with Green Eggs and Ham.)

At number 30 is Cody Rhodes, and he eliminates Strowman and Ricochet, and then Rollins nails with a stomp to Thoery’s head and Rhodes sends him out.

Now Rhodes, Rollins, and Gunther are left. It’s a three-way dance and Rollins and Rhodes work together reluctantly with a Pedigrees to the Ring General.  Rhodes and Rollins eyeball until Paul throws Rollins out of the ring. He eyes the WrestleMania sign, but Rhodes delivers the CrossRhodes to Paul and throws him out.  Rhodes and Gunther are left and he attempts a Disaster kick but Gunther punches him midway through.  Then Gunther lands with a boot, and Rhodes still stays in. He lands a superplex, but can’t put away Rhodes.  Then he drapes Gunther’s legs in the corner over the ropes and pays homage to Brother Dustin with a shot to Golden Globes (ouch).  Gunther fires back with a powerbomb, but Cody hangs on.  There’s a series of close calls but a CrossRhodes later and then Rhodes sends Gunther over the top rope and…

Your Undeniable Winner:  Cody Rhodes

He points to the WrestleMania sign, and this looks like a good match to look forward to in the middle of the year.

Now we get your next match and it’s a…

Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match: L.A. Knight vs. Bray Wyatt

(Author’s Note:  Ever been to that one rave?  You know, the one where you’re tripping balls and can’t make sense of what’s going on, let alone what you’re seeing?  This match is like that, so…enjoy, I guess?)

As the intros begin the “fireflies” are out and Wyatt comes out with the lantern.  As the “Pitch Black” match starts, the ring is bathed in ultraviolet and Wyatt has some kind of face paint that is more creepy than any Fiend mask.  Knight tries to beat down Wyatt but he’s out of his depth.  He even gets a toolbox involved but to no avail.  Knights swings with a kendo stick, but Wyatt catches and a sister Abigail finishes him off.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Bray Wyatt

Wyatt’s face paint changes and he chases Knight.  He tries to fight him off but to no avail. Wyatt applies a mandible claw on the ramp, and then  Uncle Howdy appears. He jumps onto Knight with a coffin drop/elbow drop to the ramp and flames appear. Welcome back, indeed, Bray Wyatt.

Up next is the…

WWE RAW Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair vs. Alexa Bliss

Not much to say except Belair is in control for most of the match.  Belair picks up Bliss for the KOD but she gets out and nails a Future Shock DDT for a two count.  A couple of reversals but Belair delivers the KOD for the pin and the win.

Your Winner, and Still WWE Raw Women’s Champion:  Bianca Belair

After the match, there is a video package with a swing set and Uncle Howdy is calling.  So…I guess that’s something.

Next up is the…

WWE Women’s Royal Rumble

Rhea Ripley starts at number one, and McAfee says, “Mami is in for a long night!”  She heads to the rings feeling sore after Beth Phoenix hit her with a spear early in the night.  Liv Morgan enters second and they throw bombs.  The third entrant is Dana Brooke and she missile dropkicks both Ripley and Morgan.  At the fourth is Emma (Welcome back) as she makes short work on all three in the ring followed by a crossbody to Ripley in the corner.  The fifth is Shayna Baszler and the Queen of Spades makes short work of everyone.

Number six is Bayley. Morgan tries to send her out but she stays in the match.  The seventh is Hit row’s B-Fab, and she is sent out quickly by Ripley (we hardly missed ye).

At number eight is Roxanne Perez, and the student of Booker T is a ball of fire.  Ninth is Dakota Kai, followed by Iyo Sky, and all three of Damage CTRL are running roughshod.  Brooke is out and so is Emma. Perez is out too.  At number eleven is Natalya and she gets in with a purpose.  Candace LeRae comes in at twelve.  Baszler and Natalya fight on the apron and then Bayley and Kai eliminate both of them.  Zoey Stark enters at thirteen and the NXT star is a ball of fire.  At fourteen is Xia Ali, and she just kicks everyone in sight. Sky pushes off LeRae off the top rope but doesn’t go down to the floor.

At sixteen is Becky Lynch, and she just wails away at Bayley until the rest of Damage CTRL beat down The Man at ringside.  At seventeen is Tegan Nox and she starts hot in the ring, until Asuka arrives at eighteen with a scary Oni mask and some Great Muta face paint that spooks the holy bejeezus out of everyone that faces her in the ring.

Nox is eliminated by Asuka and at nineteen is Piper Niven (no Doudrop), followed by Tamina and she and Niven stare down.  The surprise entrant is Chelsea Green at twenty and she is gone that quickly by Ripley at five seconds.  Then Kai and Sky are gone, as is Lynch by Bayley. Morgan eliminates Bayley and all four women brawl on the outside (without going over the ropes).  Next at 21 is Zelina Vega dressed as Juri from  Street Fighter VI. Then we get Raquel Rodriguez, Michin (Mia Yim), and Lacey Evans in short order, followed by Michelle McCool at 25, who’s at ringside with her kids, but interestingly is dressed for a match, along with Indi Hartwell joining at 26.  Vega nails a Code Red to Ripley and then gets dumped by Niven to the ring apron, where she and Li battle it out until she gets Li eliminated.

At 27 is Sonya Deville and she eliminates Starks, then Evans gets up top with Vega in a Cobra Clutch and then dumps her to the floor.  At 28, Shotzi comes out a short tank, and Deville eliminates Hartwell.  At 29 is Nikki Cross, and she sprints to the ring.  At 30 is Nia Jax (and pray for the safety of everyone in the ring.  No, really, because expect botched moves).  The fans aren’t happy with the 30th entrant and their boos say it all.  The remaining wrestlers work over Jax, and no one can lift her until Ripley nails her with the RipTide, and then they all eliminate her (whew!).

After that, Evans is eliminated by Rodriguez, then McCool, Deville, and Shotzi are out by Mia Yim, and Niven eliminates her next.  Niven nails a cannonball in the corner to Rodriguez, and then a kick to the face eliminates her from the ring.  She tries to eliminate Ripley but gets sent over the edge. There are three women left, and Asuka gets a blind codebreaker to Ripley.  She tries to knock her hands off the ropes, but Ripley sends both organ and Asuka over the top and that means…

Your Winner for the Women’s Royal Rumble:  Rhea Ripley

Country “rock” artist Hardy is in the ring and I will not search that out.  That is a Reese’s peanut buttercup of suck, so the less we talk about it, the better.

But here is your Main Event and it’s for the…

WWE Undisputed Championship: Roman Reigns (c) (with Paul Heyman and Sami Zayn) vs. Kevin Owens

None of Bloodline is out with the Tribal Chief except for Zayn and Heyman.  What could it mean?

After we get boxing-style intros, the bell rings and there’s a tie-up and Reigns is toying around with the challenger.  But Owens comes back with a senton and a cannonball, and now he is in the driver’s seat.  He throws the champ to the barricades and nails a clothesline on the outside.

The best part was Cole wondering what this meant, and McAfee exclaiming, “Don’t be a mark, Cole!”  If only we could all say that to his face.

Reigns gains control and keeps Owens grounded, but it isn’t long before they go back and forth until Owens sends Reigns out and gets a frog splash to the floor.  Back in and he nails another frog splash for a two count.  Owens’ superkick is blocked and Reigns nails a powerbomb to cover for two.  Reigns gets a Finger raised and his Superman punch is blocked and Owens sends him into the corner. He goes for a cannonball senton and Reigns gets up with the Punch for a two count.

Zayn worries on the outside and Reigns measure for Owens for a spear, but Owens anticipates and sends him into the post. A Swanton bomb allows Owens to cover for one, two…ooh, so close.  Owens goes back up top and Reigns closes the gap. They battle up top and Owens beats off with an elbow. He goes for another Swanton but came down awkwardly. Reigns uses the opportunity to come back with a spear and gets a two count.  He tries another spear, but Owens blocks for a stunner and then pushes him into the ref and a pop-up powerbomb, but there is no one to count. Reigns manages with a low blow and orders a semi-reluctant Zayn for a steel chair/  He reluctantly throws one in, and Owens used the pause to get back up and nail another stunner for a two count.  Owens attempts another pop-up powerbomb but Reigns lands his Superman punch and then a spear.  Owens rolls to the outside, and Zayn says to stay down. Reigns comes out and rams him into the barricade and then throws him back into the ring.  Owens rolls out and then Reigns follows and slams his back into the steel step edges twice.  As Zayn looks on in concern, Reigns taunts Owens and hits a final spear to cover for the one, two, and three.

Your Winner, and Still Undisputed Champion:  Roman Reigns

Cole notes that at 881 days and counting, Reigns is still the champion of the WWE.  Now The Bloodline come out Jey is about to give a lei to Zayn but Reigns holds off. They go for more of a beatdown, and Usos hit the One and Done to Owens for good measure, then set up a chair for Solo Sikoa to nail with a hip attack. Then they handcuff Owens for a Superkick party (apologies to The Young Bucks) and Reigns gets ready to tee off with a steel chair until Zayn blocks.  He tries to beg off, but Reigns gives him the chair and tells Zayn to finish him off. Reigns shouts that he needs to do this, and tells him to pull the trigger. He does..at Reigns’ back. 

Afterward, The Usos superkick away and make mincemeat of Zayn. Jey then rolls out of the ring in disgust at his Bloodline, as Reigns rips the shirt off Zayn as they all off and fade to black.

2023 Royal Rumble

The Alamodome in San Antonio, TX

The Men’s Rumble should have been the end of the show instead of at the beginning, but the end result is still okay.  Curious about what will happen with Ripley and Rhodes will do to pursue their title shots, but there is time between now and the end of Wrestlemania to see how it will shape up.

The Owens/Reigns match was better suited for Smackdown, but we got there, and now we see what Zayn will do in light of the Bloodline’s business and focus.

We’ll see you soon once the dust settles on this PPV, and check back for more updates.