Review for WWE Royal Rumble 2018
I hate spoilers. I sometimes find it difficult writing reviews knowing that I could give away the result of a match. I feel like I don’t need to bother with WWE’s latest release of the Royal Rumble 2018. If you want to know the results…
JUST LOOK AT THE COVER?!?
Now, I understand that they are released under the impression that this is a second or repeat viewing. However, it doesn’t take into account that sometimes people want to revisit PPVs years later. I used to be able to rattle off every Royal Rumble winner, but around 2007/8 I lost track and I couldn’t tell you who won in 2011? This PPV? Well, I don’t even need to guess as to who won the Female Rumble or indeed who made a surprise appearance?
That being said, this was a really enjoyable PPV and considering how disappointed I have been with the outcome of the last few Rumbles this was a refreshing return to form for my favourite event of the year.
The WWE Championship Handicap match between AJ Styles against ‘Team Yep’ Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn was a mess, plain and simple. I understand that the two were playing the Heels, but this match made no sense. It was enjoyable in parts and it is always great to watch AJ Styles, but the match felt a little off and maybe should have been elimination style as I knew WWE would not be stupid enough for the ridiculous two people being champion concept that has never worked in the past.
The 2 out of 3 Falls Match for WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship between The Usos and Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin was a great match. It was odd that it did not go to the third fall as this made the Cable/Benjamin team look weak, but both falls were great and the action throughout showed why The Usos are such a dominant tag team.
30- Man Royal Rumble Match was probably one of the most enjoyable Rumbles I have seen in a long time and not just because I was satisfied with the winner, although that did help. The match did not have as many surprises as I thought it would, with only The Hurricane and Rey Mysterio appearing unexpectedly alongside NXT Champion Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. The hilarious use of Heath Slater was fantastic and one of my highlights of the match as was Elias who has really started to grow on me the last few months.
Kofi Kingston’s pancake shenanigans was funny as always, but I always wish it went somewhere… and no I don’t just mean back in the ring. There was no real dominant performer in the Rumble and though Roman Reigns had the most eliminations, the four he had seems a little low compared to his record 12 from 2014.
The ending of the match was insanely tense with the final four being increasingly so. I am so happy that WWE have gone along with the push of Shinsuke Nakamura who was on fire in NXT, but seemed to lose something when he moved to the main roster. I did expect this to be Finn Balor’s year and he put on an amazing performance throughout the match lasting nearly an hour. But I will say that I am thoroughly impressed with this match and was happy with it, which has made my year.
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship between Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan against Cesaro and Sheamus was a waste of time. For Rollins, it showed how great he is selling and performing on his own, but the taking out of Jason Jordan made him look weak and pointless. The match just felt off because of this.
Triple Threat with Brock Lesnar defending his WWE Universal Championship against Braun Strowman and Kane was a brutal match. A decade earlier this would have been full of blood and guts, this match just felt hard and painful. All three had some great moments, but I had hoped this would be the unseating of The Beast to crown a new champion, but not to be. The ending was a little bizarre, but I do hope this doesn’t derail the momentum of Braun Strowman.
The first ever 30- Woman Royal Rumble Match was a monumental event that had such a bizarre and disappointing aftermath. The match itself was great, though I will admit by the third or fourth surprise return I was all surprised out. It was great seeing people like Trish Stratus, Lita and Vicky Guerrero were entertaining, but people like Torrie Wilson and Kelly Kelly (though easy on the eye) were never a great example of the women’s division from the past.
My issue with the match was that it felt that the whole event was geared to promote only a few people so a lot of spotlight was given to Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch who both lasted the longest in the match and then apart from a few highspots from the likes of Nia Jax and the final moments of the match it really was just a by the numbers event. I enjoyed it, but we all knew Asuka was winning as soon as she entered the ring.
Then we come to the ending. The shock appearance of former UFC Champion Ronda Rousey, who instead of laying out one of the champions or Asuka or doing something instead just came in the ring, pointed (repeatedly?) at the Wrestlemania sign and then left. What did it mean? What did any of it mean? It was insane and really should have been handled better. Look again at the cover of the box and the confused look on Charlotte, Alexa Bliss and Asuka’s faces. That’s how I ended this PPV. Utterly confused.
The only features included are the three Kickoff Matches. I am shocked that they don’t include more features especially considering how special this Rumble was. Even a few interviews regarding the Women’s Rumble or some of the Raw or Smackdown vignettes regarding the build to some of the matches would have been good. Sadly, that is not the case.
The three Kickoff Matches are Kalisto, Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado vs. TJP, Gentleman Jack Gallagher, Drew Gulak which is a good, exciting match, but nothing special. The Revival vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson which again is a good tag match, but doesn’t really do anything to build either as a team and surprisingly US Championship Match Bobby Roode vs. Mojo Rawley which really should have been on the main card as it was a great mid-card match that deserved more than just to be on the pre-show. Was never a huge fan of Roode, but he is growing on me and his performance here was excellent.
Royal Rumble 2018 is the best one I have seen in a long while (though if you have seen my previous reviews of this event that is not saying much). The two Rumbles were great, it was just a shame that the matches surrounding them were a little average. However, I am here for the Rumbles and watching them was great and they are definitely ones I will revisit. Hopefully, in a few years I will forget who won the Men’s one… but I will have to destroy the cover to forget about the women’s and WWE needs to stop doing this.