02nd Feb2020

‘WWE Royal Rumble 2020’ PPV Review

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this review of the Royal Rumble 2020, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have Brock Lesnar’s Rumble run to get to, so screw your family.


Match #1: Sheamus def. Shorty G (Chad Gable)

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Sheamus has promised punishment for his fellow SmackDown Superstars, and if his return to in-ring competition was any indication, he intends to follow through. The Celtic Warrior defeated Shorty G in a Royal Rumble Kickoff Match, his first bout since last April.

My Opinion: 2.6 out of 5 – This was good, due to Gable selling for Sheamus.

Match #2: Andrade def. Humberto Carrillo – WWE United States Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Following a month on the sidelines thanks to Andrade’s Hammerlock DDT on exposed concrete, Humberto Carrillo returned to action seeking retribution. However, Carrillo’s hopes to finally capture the United States Championship were dashed as Andrade fended off the young Superstar’s challenge and left with the title. After Andrade defeated Rey Mysterio in a ladder match on Raw, Carrillo made his return and attacked the United States Champion, proving there was no love lost. Andrade methodically worked to dismantle his young opponent, focusing on Carrillo’s left arm. Struggling to stop Andrade’s onslaught, Carrillo finally countered an advance from the champion with a huge moonsault on the outside. After Carrillo missed another moonsault, Andrade capitalized by drilling the challenger with running double knees, but Carrillo remained in the battle. After hitting a huge hurricanrana off the top rope, Carrillo was still unable to keep Andrade down for the three-count. Back in the center of the ring, Carrillo rolled up the U.S. Champion for another pinfall attempt, but Andrade reversed it into pinfall of his own for the victory. While Carrillo’s return to action did not end the way he hoped, he proved that he could push the United States Champion to limit.

My Opinion: 3.4 out of 5 – This was a good taste of what these guys could do together, but not good enough for Pay Per View.

Match #3: Roman Reigns def. King Corbin – Falls Count Anywhere Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

After enduring months of humiliation at the hands of King Corbin and his cohorts, Roman Reigns exacted payback at Royal Rumble, besting Corbin in an extremely physical Falls Count Anywhere Match that ended atop one of the Minute Maid Park dugouts. The ring couldn’t contain the carnage, and fortunately, it didn’t have to. The Falls Count Anywhere stipulation, which was selected by Reigns, meant count-outs and disqualifications would not be a factor and that the deciding pinfall or submission could happen anywhere in the ballpark. As such, it didn’t take long for the brawl to spill outside the squared circle, and like a tornado, it carved a path of destruction wherever it went. The ringside area was the first to be decimated, with Corbin chokeslamming Reigns through the Spanish announce table. Reigns returned fire as the fight trekked into the outfield, hitting King Corbin with back-to-back Samoan Drops through two more international announce tables. Corbin regained offense and dragged Reigns even further into the Minute Maid Park outfield, a strategy that was soon revealed to be a trap when Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler attacked The Big Dog. Before Roode and Ziggler could realize their plan of handcuffing Reigns, however, The Usos swooped to even the playing field and neutralize the intruders. With his ploy foiled, Corbin tried to retreat, but Reigns punished him with repeat Superman Punches. The Big Dog also tossed the menacing monarch into a portable toilet and tipped it over, elating the Roman Empire and giving new meaning to the “king’s throne.” The brawl then ventured to the roof of the dugout, where Reigns Speared Corbin to earn the three-count, his first one-on-one victory over Corbin since the King’s coronation. Now that he’s dealt a loss to his bitter nemesis, Reigns has taken a big step toward making 2020 his year as he’s promised. Whether The Big Dog’s success will carry over to tonight’s Men’s Royal Rumble Match, where he might once again cross paths with Corbin, will be known by the end of the night.

My Opinion: 3 out of 5 – This was brawling. That’s all this was. The brawling was good, but that’s all there was.

Match #4: 30-Woman Royal Rumble Match – Winner: Charlotte Flair

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Charlotte Flair was already the most decorated woman in the history of WWE, but even her gaudy list of accolades was still missing something before Sunday. The Queen seized the most prestigious accomplishment to allude her, last eliminating Shayna Baszler to win the 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble Match and punch her ticket to WrestleMania 36 in Tampa, Fla. But earlier in the bout, no star shined brighter than NXT’s Bianca Belair, who set a new record with eight eliminations in her first Royal Rumble appearance — twice as many as the previous mark. That tally was later matched by fellow black-and-gold brand stalwart Baszler. Belair also displayed excellent conditioning, lasting 33:20 before being eliminated by Charlotte, who also dumped Kelly Kelly and Sarah Logan in addition to Belair and Baszler. The field saw more than its fair share of surprises with unexpected entries, including WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, Mighty Molly, Santina Marella and most notably, Naomi, who entered at No. 18 to make the WWE Universe feel the glow for the first time in months. Naomi wowed the audience with resourcefulness after being stranded in no man’s land. Propelled to the outside, Naomi clung to the barricade before her feet touched the floor. She then climbed across the barricade to the announce tables, and after searching for a way back in, she finally decided on using the top portion of the desk as a makeshift bridge back to the ring. Belair was far from NXT’s only representative, as entrants from the black-and-gold brand also included Candice LeRae, Mercedes Martinez, Mia Yim, Dakota Kai, Xia Li, Shotzi Blackheart, Tegan Nox and NXT UK’s Toni Storm. But no arrival changed the match’s complexion more than Baszler at No. 30, and she immediately targeted Flair on the outside of the ring after The Queen had been sent through the ropes by Phoenix and Natalya. Baszler wasted no time before going on an absolute tear, tossing aside Li, Nox, Blackheart, Storm, Zelina Vega, Carmella and Naomi. Her rampage left her in the final four with Phoenix, Natalya and Charlotte. With Charlotte still incapacitated at ringside, Natalya and Phoenix executed a Hart Attack on Baszler, only for Beth to stunningly send longtime ally Natalya soaring over the top rope immediately after. Charlotte sprung into the ring to face off with Baszler in an electrifying moment that brought Minute Maid Park to its feet. Phoenix briefly interrupted the confrontation before being dispatched by Baszler, who then set her sights back on Flair. But with her hands gripping the top rope, Charlotte hooked Baszler with a leg scissors, muscling the former two-time NXT Women’s Champion to the outside for the victory. The events of last year’s Royal Rumble no doubt made the moment all the more satisfying for The Queen, who was the last woman eliminated en route to Becky Lynch’s win. Charlotte soaked up the hard-earned moment, using Charly Caruso’s in-ring interview immediately afterward to remind everyone that the WWE Women’s Division is still hers — something that’s especially hard to dispute after this signature performance.

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5 – This match was booked with the wrong winner, as Shayna should have won here. Outside of the booking snafu, the best parts were when Molly Holly, Candice LeRae, Mercedes Martinez and Beth Phoenix were in here, along with Naomi’s Kofi spot to the ring. The match was wrestled pretty well, but far from what it should have been, especially with the amount of talented wrestlers in it.

Match #5: Bayley def. Lacey Evans – SmackDown Women’s Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Lacey Evans’ dream of becoming the SmackDown Women’s Champion stalled at Royal Rumble, but it wasn’t because defending champion Bayley had stronger offense, superior work ethic or more grit. Instead, the result can be chalked up to Bayley’s veteran wiles. Bayley resorted to underhanded tactics almost immediately after the opening bell. First, she loosened the pad on a turnbuckle, only to be stopped by the referee. Moments later, Bayley feigned a leg injury, creating a pause in the action before sucker-punching the U.S. Marine-turned-WWE Superstar. The SmackDown Women’s Champion alternated between fisticuffs and a grinding submission game to weaken The Lady of WWE. When the action spread to the floor, Bayley slammed Evans into the barricade that separated champion and challenger from Evans’ husband and daughter Summer, who sat front row. Showing incredible determination, Lacey fought off a subsequent Bayley-to-Belly attempt and flattened the titleholder with a standing moonsault. She then took to the air with another moonsault, this one from the top rope, but Bayley blocked it with a pair of boots and quickly rolled up Evans, using a handful of tights for added leverage to score a pin that was as illegal as it was decisive.

My Opinion: 2.1 out of 5 – This was a lame PPV match, but Bayley did well and won, so there you go.

Match #6: Bray Wyatt def. Daniel Bryan – Strap Match For The WWE Universal Championship

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Even with his renewed focus and determination, Daniel Bryan proved to be no match for the other-worldly power of Universal Champion “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, as he was unable to stop the macabre and menacing Superstar at Royal Rumble 2020. Bryan wanted the Strap Match so that “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt could not escape his wrath. Attached to the champion by a 13-foot strap, Bryan immediately got the jump on Wyatt. Bryan delivered several strikes in the corner before finding himself on the receiving end of a powerbomb before being whipped repeatedly with the strap. In an act of desperation while battling his foe on top of the announce table, Bryan unloaded with a series of kicks below the belt and a thunderous DDT. With Wyatt reeling, Bryan finally delivered receipts by whipping his opponent with the strap. Taking the battle back inside the ring, Bryan dropped Wyatt with a missile dropkick followed by “Yes!” Kicks, strap strikes and stomps to the face. Preparing to deliver the final blow, Bryan was caught in a Sister Abigail but kicked out at the last second. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt locked the challenger in the Mandible Claw, but Bryan countered and applied the LeBell Lock while using the strap to crank back on the champion’s mouth. Once Wyatt broke the hold with his uncanny strength, Bryan answered by countering another Sister Abigail with a second Running Knee, but it still wasn’t enough to secure the win. As Bryan recalibrated, Wyatt rose to his feet. The former WWE Champion furiously attacked with the strap, but Wyatt once again applied the Mandible Claw, finally slamming Bryan with the claw intact and securing the three-count. Daniel Bryan no doubt put forth a valiant effort to stop the reign of Wyatt, but the master of the Firefly Fun House has shown he may be unstoppable.

My Opinion: 3.6 out of 5 – This match was all about Bryan making this work like a well-oiled machine. Screw Bray…he didn’t do s—. This was the night to give the strap to Bryan, but they went with the tubby candy-cane instead and we all have to live with it. If I were Bryan, those bingo halls would be looking mighty tempting right now, because those would actually have good booking.

Match #7: Becky Lynch def. Asuka – Raw Women’s Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Becky Lynch will forever remember Royal Rumble 2020 as the night that she unquestionably became The Man. Although the moniker has been glued to Lynch since late 2018, it took beating Asuka — the one woman that Lynch had never previously defeated — for Becky to justify her best-in-the-world reputation in her own mind. It’s only poetic that The Man accomplished that goal at Royal Rumble, the same event where Asuka made Lynch tap out one year earlier, forcing a loss that haunted Lynch for a full year. Just like their first encounter, the rematch was an absolute classic, the type of career-defining title defense that the 42,715 WWE fans who witnessed it in person will talk about for years. As the battle wore on, both Superstars gave and received big hits. Lynch launched Asuka off the apron onto the floor with a brutal gordbuster. The Empress of Tomorrow rallied by hip-checking The Man into the ring post (to the delight of her WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship partner, Kairi Sane) and eventually locking in the Asuka Lock, only for Lynch to reach the ropes. Visibly frustrated by her inability to put The Man away, Asuka pelted Becky with soccer kicks to the face, and the last devastating strike caused Lynch to crumple. After checking on the unresponsive champion, the referee was prepared to call the match, but the defiant Lynch regained her senses and desperately pleaded with him not to, just in the nick of time. After absorbing another round of kicks from Asuka, the champion fought back and tried applying the Dis-arm-her, but Asuka shoved her toward the referee. Becky avoided colliding with the official and instead hit Asuka with a spin kick to the stomach, causing The Empress of Tomorrow, who was apparently planning a mist attack, to spew a green fog into the air. Sensing her opportunity, Lynch quickly cinched in the Dis-arm-her, leaving Asuka no option but to submit and paving the way for The Man to continue her historic march toward day 300 as the Raw Women’s Champion.

My Opinion: 4 out of 5 – This was a really strong, fierce match that delivered what it should have, which is great action at full-speed. Becky or Asuka could have won here, but Becky has needed a win like this for a while now, so I’m cool with her getting to keep the strap.

Match #8: (Main Event) 30-Man Royal Rumble Match – Winner: Drew McIntyre

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

After 10 years over two stints in WWE, Drew McIntyre will finally receive the championship opportunity he’s always coveted, and it will come on The Grandest Stage of Them All after winning the 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble Match. The initial tone of the bout was perhaps more unique than any other Rumble in history with WWE Champion Brock Lesnar entering himself at No. 1. The Beast was far from impressed by the song that the No. 2 entrant, Elias, serenaded he and Minute Maid Park with before entering. In fact, Lesnar didn’t even let him finish, chasing him down to force the match to begin on his own terms before smashing Elias’ guitar over his back and unceremoniously tossing him out. The rampage continued for Brock with eliminations of Rowan, Robert Roode and John Morrison. The arrivals of former Lesnar rivals Kofi Kingston — out for retribution after losing the WWE Title to Lesnar in eight seconds last October — and Rey Mysterio seemed to change the match, and The Beast soon found himself on the wrong end of a 3-on-1 assault when Big E joined the fight at No. 8. But that disadvantage did little to slow Lesnar’s frenzy, and he picked them off one-by-one, dumping Mysterio and Big E before F-5ing Kingston to the outside. Lesnar ran his elimination tally up to 13 — all in succession — to tie the all-time Rumble record after his simultaneous removals of NXT North American Champion Keith Lee and Braun Strowman, catching his two fellow behemoths off guard from behind. McIntyre, who entered at 16, turned the match upside down with a Claymore that sent The Beast toppling to the outside moments after Ricochet caught him with a swift kick below the belt. Afterward, the powerful Scot’s fearless glare lingered on Lesnar for what felt like an eternity. The WWE Universe exploded when WWE Hall of Famer Edge came out at No. 21 for his first action since his retirement in 2011. The Ultimate Opportunist showed little rust, summarily cleaning house with Spears for everyone in the ring. Seemingly in perfect position to win the Rumble for a second consecutive year, Seth Rollins joined as the final entrant with AOP and fellow Raw Tag Team Champion Buddy Murphy in tow. The Monday Night Messiah’s disciples helped him eliminate Aleister Black, Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe — all of whom then brawled with Rollins’ associates to the backstage area. With his reinforcements suddenly nowhere to be found, Rollins failed to recruit Roman Reigns — who entered at 26 — for a temporary Shield reunion, and he was soon eliminated by McIntyre. Edge and Randy Orton rekindled their Rated RKO alliance for the second time in the evening for a double RKO on McIntyre after earlier dividing and conquering The O.C.’s Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. But little had changed between The Rated-R Superstar and The Viper, as Edge — moments after nearly being caught with an RKO from out of nowhere — instead surprised Orton with an elimination when the two seemed poised to team up on Reigns. The Big Dog eventually won a battle on the apron with Edge, eliminating the returning legend to leave himself and McIntyre as the final two competitors. With one more colossal Claymore Kick, Reigns was ripe to be thrown out, giving way to a visibly emotional celebratory moment for McIntyre. Among those who took notice was The Rock, who wrote “Very happy about this. I’m a big fan of DM,” on WWE’s Instragram post recognizing McIntyre’s triumph. The Scottish Terminator had worn his lack of title opportunities as a proud chip on his shoulder in recent weeks. And for the man who had been cast aside from WWE in 2014 after an up-and-down career that saw him once dubbed “The Chosen One” by Mr. McMahon, everything had finally come full circle. No longer mired in self-admitted complacency or false starts, McIntyre has breathed new life into his career and is one step closer to realizing the potential that has long made him one of the industry’s most promising Superstars.

My Opinion: 4.5 out of 5 – Holy s—. Now this was a Rumble. Brock Lesnar’s reign of terror in here was fantastic, with all sorts of great action sequences here to keep it riveting. Edge returning from his tragic retirement will go down in history as one of the great moments in all of professional wrestling. There are numerous moments of awesome action and suspense all throughout this f—–. There are a few lulls in the middle, but there is so much going on here that it’s hard to keep this thing down. Drew winning after taking out the Brock Lesnar super-run was incredible. It’s about damn time.

Final Verdict: 4.1/5

With all my gripes, the good out-weighed the bad and made for a hell of a show.


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