The Royal Rumble never fails to deliver, and last night’s event was no different. The show offered up an array of great action, big surprises and huge wins.
We got to see a good tag team match, a great title match and an excellent Women’s Royal Rumble.
Let’s get to the action;
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match – Asuka and Charlotte vs Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax
The two teams went at it with some intense back and forth action with Asuka looking particularly good.
The end of the match came when Lacey Evans struck Charlotte with a “loaded” hand as she applied the Figure Eight on Baszler. Jax took advantage and dropped a huge legdrop for the win and to become two-time women’s tag team champions.
The result was the right as Asuka can now do RAW women’s champion things, Charlotte and Lacey can continue their uncomfortable feud and Baszler and Jax can go on to face the Riott Squad or Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke.
SmackDown Women’s Championship match – Sasha Banks vs Carmella
Sasha Banks and Carmella’s heated rivalry culminated at the Royal Rumble with a great match that saw the “Boss” retain the title.
The action was solid and intense with Banks going for the Banks Statement straight away. Carmella played the villainous heel perfectly using all kinds of nasty tactics to gain the advantage.
Her sommelier, Reginald got involved and paid for it when Banks sent him spilling to the floor. Carmella hit a scary looking suicide dive but luckily she was ok and recovered well.
The end of the match came when Banks locked in the Banks Statement again, which forced Carmella to tap out.
The match was another stellar performance from Banks, who consistently proves that she is the best in the world right now. Carmella looked great and has really found her groove with the “Untouchable” character. WWE now needs to carry her momentum into another feud going forward.
Women’s Royal Rumble match
The enitre Rumble match was great fun and joy to watch from start to finish. The surprise entrants were great and it was glorious to see Victoria back in a WWE ring, which hopefully leads to a Hall of Fame induction.
Jillian Hall was another fabulous surprise and Jilly and Billie is the tag team we never knew we wanted.
The final sequence between Ripley and Belair was fantastic edge-of-your-seat action with both competitors coming close to being eliminated. The two future superstars of WWE’s women’s division proved that the future is here and now with an epic climax to a brilliant Royal Rumble match.
Bianca Belair winning the Rumble was the right choice as she has been reading to breakthrough to the main event for months. Her match against Sasha Banks at WrestleMania is going to be incredible.
Lets get to the winners and losers.
Winner: Bianca Belair
Bianca Belair is going to WrestleMania after this amazing performance and an emphatic victory. The EST of WWE has been on an incredible run since joining the SmackDown brand last year. Her feud with Bayley was very entertaining and now she is going to one-on-one with the best in the world, Sasha Banks at the “Showcase of the Immortals”.
Victoria made her shocking return to WWE after an eleven-year absence. Her return is everything the Royal Rumble is all about and a genuine memorable moment. She looked great in the ring and made her presence felt throughout her time in the match. She even dropped Peyton Royce with the Widows Peak, which was amazing to see again.
Winner: Billie Kay
Billie Kay is wonderful and a joy to watch. Her attempts to team up with every entrant was hilarious ans when she eventually got the ring with Jillian Hall her interactions with her former allies were brilliant.
Loser: Alexa Bliss
WWE has spent months creating a compelling character with Alex Bliss. She is featured heavily on every episode of RAW and when she declared her place in the Royal Rumble many fans were expecting a strong showing with some creepy goings-on as her fractured psyche manifest itself physically. However, what we got was a brief flurry of offence and just as it looked as if she was about to transform, Rhea Ripley chucked her out. Talk about anti-climatic.
The Royal Rumble is always a great show that creates stars and storylines going forward. Belair, Bayley and Banks are going to have fantastic interactions over the coming weeks while Ripley and Charlotte have unfinished business. It will be interesting where Asuka goes from here as she has no clear challenger and Alexa Bliss’ reaction to being eliminated so quickly could have dire consequences for Ripley.
What did you make of the Royal Rumble and who were your winners and losers? Let us know in comments below.