WWE Royal Rumble 2017

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The 30th Royal Rumble event (but the 29th Annual… Get it right, WWE!) is in the books, and a great show it was too. Let’s have a look!

Quick Info:

The PPV (or part of your 9.99 WWE Network monthly subscription!) aired live on the 29th of January 2017. Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton are your RAW commentators, while Mauro Ranallo, John “Bradshaw” Layfield and David Otunga handle… the one Smackdown! Match. Austin Aries joins in for the Cruiserweight title match, and Jerry “The King” Lawler joins in for the Rumble match itself. That’s a lot of English language commentators…

The Card:

29th Annual Royal Rumble Match for a Title Shot at WrestleMania

WWE Championship Match – John Cena vs. AJ Styles (C)

No Disqualification Match for the WWE Universal Title – Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens (C)

WWE RAW Women’s Title Match – Bayley vs. Charlotte (C)

WWE Cruiserweight Title Match – Neville vs. Rich Swann (C)

Pre-Show Match: WWE RAW Tag Team Title Match: The Club (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) vs. Sheamus and Cesaro (C)

Pre-Show Match: Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax

Pre-Show Match: Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella and Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James and Natalya.

Note: Full Spoilers From Here On Out!

The Good:

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Not sure which is funnier, referee Charles Robinson’s reaction or the fact it looks like John Cena has a beard…

John Cena vs. AJ Styles is a great match, from top to bottom. I don’t know if it surpasses their Summer Slam match, but its certainly entertaining from start to finish, which is surprising given the finish, but I guess I don’t mind Cena as much nowadays. Still, him equalling Flair’s 16 Time record is a bit much given his comparative age…

Likewise, the Universal Title match over on the RAW brand was great as well, some good plunder and Kevin Owens looked good… until the end, which I’ll get to later.

The Rumble Match was fun, and full of top talent from the currently active roster, which makes a change, as well as a couple of part-timers. “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger coming up from NXT at Number 10 was a tad fourth-wall breaking, but it was fun and the crowd loved it, so who cares. Jack Gallagher appearing from the Cruiserweight Division/brand was a fun surprise, though a few comedy spots then being thrown out was a bit of a waste. Then we get to the end, with appearances from Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and The Undertaker, as well as current stars like Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt and … Roman Reigns, which was hilarious! The man a good portion of the crowd can’t stand reappearing at the end and looking like he was going to win it… It certainly made the crowd pop for the Orton win, that’s for sure!

Although I still don’t get the idea behind Goldberg destroying Lesnar back at Survivor Series, the way he easily eliminated Lesnar in the Rumble and Lesnar’s dejected face as he sat there was great. The unstoppable beast is realising there is someone who he just can’t beat… I just wish that person wasn’t a 50-year-old who barely wrestles any more…

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Goldberg, dominating like it’s 20 years ago… for some reason.

The WWE RAW Women’s title match was really good, loved the finish, though the commentary at the end put me off the whole thing (see below!)

The Pre-Show Six Woman Tag Team match was fine for what it was, if I had a “The Average” part of these reviews it would go there.

The Bad:

The whole idea of “Chris Jericho will be suspended in a cage!” is based around the storyline that Owens can’t retain his title without interference, so wouldn’t it make sense for him to do just that? I’m not talking about Jericho throwing an item down to Owens, because that happens in EVERY “person suspended above the ring in a cage” match, but I mean how Owens got beat down at the end of the match, only for Braun Strowman to run down and lay out Reigns, leading to Owens getting the pin. So, what we’ve been told is that Owens really can’t retain the title on his own. Great story. Kevin Owens is such a great talent on the mic and in the ring, he deserves a much stronger title run, or at least ONE match where he wins on his own.

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The old battling through the crowd routine, although now with Brazilian and Chinese commentary desks!

So The Club FINALLY win a set of Tag Team Titles, and it’s on the Pre-Show, and not even the main event of the Pre-Show. All four men deserved better than this, you could have at least waited until the RAW-brand only PPV next month, or done it on RAW TV, at least then it wouldn’t seem like as much of an afterthought.

So when Charlotte retains the RAW Women’s Title, the commentators go on and on about how her PPV record is amazing and amongst the biggest achievements ever in wrestling, etc, etc. Drove me nuts! I’m not taking anything away from Charlotte, but she’s not even the best in the division, in my opinion, so to make it out like she’s some outstanding hero of wrestling was laying it on a bit thick, to say the least.

On that note I’m all for building up the RAW women’s division, which is falling behind SD! in terms of over-all booking, but having Sasha Banks get literally squashed in a few minutes seems counter productive…

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Nope, don’t need to come up with a funny caption for this, really…

I would have liked one or two legends to make the classic surprise appearance, but I do understand that with Lesnar, Goldberg and Undertaker, we have plenty of not regularly active stars in the match, plus thanks to the brand split (which happened thanks to NXT) we have plenty of upper-mid to top guys to put in the match, so it came off as better than a lot of previous years.

Overall Thoughts:

If you go onto the WWE Network and ignore the Pre-show, selecting just WWE Royal Rumble 2017, you have a great top-to-bottom show, including two great top title matches and a top-class Rumble. A good start to the 2017 PPV run.

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