LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well we did rumble, last night that is.
Last night was every WWE fan’s favorite time of year, the Royal Rumble. The time when 30 superstars battle it out in the ring to be the last man standing. The prize you ask? To headline the biggest event in sports entertainment, WrestleMania!
So hey everyone! I’m Adrienne, I’m your writer and wrestling guru for the rest of this article. I’m here to tell you the facts and be real with you on everything from the gimmicks to the performance.
Now, let’s start with the kickoff show (btw which airs exclusively on the WWE network for just… $9.99) The match was The New Day v.s. what Natalya is calling Team C.A.T (Cesaro, Adam, Tyson Kidd) Okay first let me start with, is anyone getting as sick and tired of the whole New Day Gimmick as I am? I personally hate having the whole “power of positivity” crap stuffed down my throat every week. But let’s get down to the match.
Kidd capitalized on a distracted Kingston to seal the victory for his squad. Big E & Kingston showcased their double-team skills early on, with Big E using his strength to launch his opponents into the energetic Kingston’s dropkicks and cross bodies, while fellow New Day member Xavier Woods cheered on from the outside. Though The New Day duo focused on quick shots and slams in the early goings, Cesaro & Kidd grounded and tired the opposition with a technical approach, preventing Kingston from making a tag for several minutes.
Kingston eventually reached Big E, who reentered the match with a great fury, but taking a little of the swiftness from Kingston’s arsenal midway through the match allowed Cesaro & Kidd to take the advantage when the match broke down.
Adam Rose jumped onto the apron, catching Kingston’s attention … and a Trouble in Paradise kick. With Kingston distracted, Cesaro was able to hit him with a devastating uppercut and Kidd followed with a decisive Fisherman’s Corkscrew Neckbreaker.
Let’s move on to the first official match of the ppv, The Ascension v.s. The New Age Outlaws. Now I’m sorry I have to take a second here to mention the elephant in the room. I love legend returns more than anyone but Road Dogg said it himself! There was fourteen years between title reigns! Their time is over. Yes, The Ascension is extremely arrogant but they were NXT tag team champs for how long?! They are the future of the WWE!
Gunn’s quick takedowns of Viktor prompted “You still got it!” chants from the WWE Universe, while Road Dogg’s strung together stinging left hands and a strutting knee drop to elicit huge applause.
Eventually, The Ascension’s illegal double-teaming and supreme physicality took over. Once they found their opening, Viktor & Konnor successfully cut off the ring, preventing Road Dogg from tagging Gunn into the match. The immense Konnor put all of his 290 pounds on Road Dogg as he clinched in a rear chin lock, and Viktor let out a primal roar before dropping a fist onto his opponent’s head.
After a lapse in judgment by The Ascension, Road Dogg slyly escaped their clutch and tagged in Gunn, who followed up by tossing Konnor out of the ring and nailing Viktor with a picture-perfect tilt-a-whirl slam. Viktor, however, then avoided a Fameasser attempt, and after leveraging a tag that Gunn never saw, the monstrous duo took down the Attitude Era Superstar with the Fall of Man to score the victory.
Now on to the tag team championship match!
Tag team champs Jimmy and Jey, The Usos, defended their championship against the awesome one, The Miz and of course his stunt double Damion Mizdow. Despite the Philadelphia faithful’s rabid response to Mizdow, The Awesome One refused — as has been his M.O. for almost his entire association with the former Mr. Money in the Bank — to tag in his long-suffering understudy. This seemed to irritate the former WWE Champion a bit more than it usually does, especially during the match’s opening, when a deafening roar in Mizdow’s favor overshadowed an impressive opening by Miz.
Truth be told, Miz’s entire performance in the match was on point. The Awesome One set about systematically dismantling Jimmy Uso to spite the crowd that called instead for his doppelganger, pausing only once to tease Mizdow with the taunt of a tag. Even a four-Superstar pileup outside the ring didn’t slow Miz down. First, he sacrificed Mizdow to one airborne Uso, then fielded a plancha from the other before hitting Jey with an unsuccessful Skull-Crushing Finale.
It was a rare break of character for Mizdow, though, that truly had the bout all but sewn up for his boss. As The Usos began to rally, Mizdow ditched his trademark mimicry to haul Jimmy Uso into the barricade and pummel a rolling Jey with a textbook Skull-Crushing Finale, but Miz couldn’t capitalize in time for the three-count. That missed opportunity proved to be the costliest misstep of them all. Worn down from shouldering the match on his own, a super kick to a turnbuckle-perched Miz knocked him straight into a sky-high power bomb from Jey. Jimmy provided the exclamation point, taking flight for a splash that changed direction in midair to pancake Miz, and ensure the Tag Team Title stayed with The Usos.
Okay, up next was the Bella Twins v.s. Paige and Natalya. Now if you ask me this was a pretty pointless match. I mean Nikki didn’t even risk her title!
The unlikely duo of Paige & Natalya working extremely well together. However, when the Divas Champion Nikki Bella and her equally beautiful twin sister Brie finally cut the ring in half, the Bellas finally seized the advantage.
Yet no matter what was thrown at Natalya, The Queen of Harts refused to give in. And, after single-handedly repelling a double assault, it looked as if Nattie might finally get to The Diva of Tomorrow’s waiting hand and make the much needed tag. Before she could, though, Brie sneaked over and yanked Paige off the apron. This opened the door for Nikki to hit a vicious forearm to the jaw of her third-generation opponent and pick up the three-count for a huge pay-per-view victory.
Next came the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. If you ask me this was the highlight of the entire night! This was truly THE BEAST coming out!!!
Despite suffering from injuries — including a broken rib at the hands of Rollins — Lesnar picked up a massive victory in one of the most impressive championship bouts in the history of the Royal Rumble event, ensuring that he’ll traverse The Road to WrestleMania as the ruler of the WWE Universe.
Lesnar started things off by methodically picking Cena apart with his now-infamous German suplexes, then dished out some early punishment on Rollins’ associates, J&J Security, in this no-disqualification encounter. However, The Architect couldn’t avoid Lesnar’s fury for long, and soon found himself on the receiving end of those spine-rending suplexes. The Beast Incarnate then refocused on Cena, trapping the 15-time World Champion in his infamous Kimura Lock submission hold. Somehow, Cena rose to his feet with the move still applied, giving Rollins an opportunity to launch an aerial attack on both preoccupied Superstars and leave Lesnar truly vulnerable for the first time in the match. After Cena hit Lesnar with an Attitude Adjustment, the opportunistic “future” of WWE made the cover. Lesnar kicked out at one.
Rollins and Cena used every tool in their arsenal to end Lesnar’s rampage, all the while battling one another to the point of exhaustion. After preventing Lesnar from sealing a pin fall victory via F-5, Cena boldly attempted three rapid-fire Attitude Adjustments, getting a mere two-count thanks to The Architect. Rollins’ Curb Stomp attempt was then thwarted by Cena, who took the fight to the outside, sending The Beast crashing through the barricade, pummeling the champion with steel stairs and splaying the battered Lesnar atop the Spanish announce table. Then, Rollins made his move. Soaring through the air in one of the night’s most spectacular feats of athleticism, The Architect drove his elbow right into Lesnar, obliterating the announce desk in the process. Lesnar, it seemed, was out of the equation.
Back in the ring and breathing hard, Cena and Rollins — after transforming the match into a one-on-one clash — turned their aggression on one another, with Cena not only finding himself up against Mr. Money in the Bank, but a recovered J&J Security as well. Facing a three-on-one assault, Cena retaliated with a double Attitude Adjustment on Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury before hitting Rollins with the impactful finishing move. Neither Superstar had noticed Lesnar beginning to stir at ringside, though, rising to his feet as medical personnel scattered around him. The Beast was back!
After Rollins hit Cena with a Curb Stomp and yet another huge aerial attack, Lesnar stormed the ring and German suplexed both of his opponents, but The Architect battled back. Evading a second suplex, Rollins clocked Lesnar twice with his Money in the Bank briefcase before attempting to put the titleholder away with a Curb Stomp onto the gold, metal armament. However, Lesnar caught Rollins mid-stomp, hoisted The Architect onto his massive shoulders and hit Rollins with an F-5 to win the match.
This match was beyond intense! The beast carried this entire show!
Now let’s get done to what I found to be a SHOCKING Royal Rumble. The Miz who started things off with the No. 1 draw, followed by his former tag team partner, R-Truth, who entered second. After a bit of back-and-forth, the Philly faithful were treated to the first surprise of the night when ECW veteran Bubba Ray Dudley became the third Superstar in the Rumble. Competing in the match for the first time in his career, Dudley immediately set about tearing the house down, and even had Truth fill in for his partner, D-Von, to execute 3D on The Miz then toss him out of the ring.
Dudley was surprisingly effective in the bout considering his 10-year absence from WWE, but he found himself outnumbered by Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper who double-teamed the ECW icon and dumped him from the ring. The Wyatt Family reunion turned awkward when Erick Rowan, who hadn’t qualified for the Rumble, attacked No. 6 entrant Curtis Axel and stole his spot in the match. Rowan tangled with his former comrades only to be dismissed from the match alongside Harper by The Eater of Worlds.
The seven spot offered another shock for the WWE Universe as the bizarre Boogeyman returned to WWE and met the equally unusual Wyatt in the center of the ring. The oddballs paraded about the ring in some strange alpha male freak show before Bray clotheslined the colored contacts out of Boogey’s head and sent him over the top.
Wyatt controlled the match from there, tossing Sin Cara and a returning Zack Ryder with minimal effort. At one point, The Eater of Worlds became so overcome with confidence that he grabbed a microphone and warned the locker room, “This is Bray Wyatt’s year!”
Daniel Bryan — whose absence from last year’s Royal Rumble Match sent the WWE Universe into a near riot — entered at No. 10 and proceeded to do what he does best, which is kick the crap out of people. If Wyatt has trouble walking tomorrow morning, he can thank Bryan’s blistering kicks to his legs for it.
The ring filled up from there with Fandango, Tyson Kidd and Stardust all entering the fray along with surprise entrant Diamond Dallas Page. The 14th competitor hit Stardust with his trademark Diamond Cutter then did the same thing to both Fandango and Wyatt before a very appreciative crowd. Page’s fun was cut short by the 16th entrant, Rusev, who immediately tossed the former WCW Champion and Fandango from the ring. The Super Athlete’s dominance rarely faltered for the remainder of the match.
The night’s major disappointment followed as Daniel Bryan was eliminated after being dumped onto the outside apron by Rusev and then knocked to the floor by Wyatt. A palpable feeling of discontent in the Wells Fargo Center was momentarily cut short when Kofi Kingston kept his streak of miraculous Royal Rumble Match survivals alive by landing in the clutches of Adam Rose’s Rosebuds after being launched from the ring by Rusev. The party posse carried Kingston back to the ring, helping him avoid elimination in what has become his trademark fashion.
The 19th spot introduced the heavily favored Roman Reigns to the Rumble, who stomped through the Philly faithful, and dispatched of Gold and Stardust only seconds after entering the ring. The crowd showed serious support for No. 21 entrant Damien Mizdow, who got involved even after The Miz attempted to take his spot. Mizdow showed some fire before being sent to the floor by Rusev.
If the notoriously tough Philly crowd had a favorite after Daniel Bryan’s elimination, it may have been Dean Ambrose, who came in like a house of fire at 25. Throwing his limbs at anyone who entered his periphery, The Lunatic Fringe teamed up with his old Shield cohort Reigns to dump Titus O’Neil in a lightning fast four seconds.
Eliminations began to slow as heavy hitters like Ryback, Kane and Cesaro battered each other in a sagging, overpopulated ring. The weight limit was seriously tested when Big Show joined the bout at 29. Clearly carrying out a plan designed by the wicked Authority, The World’s Largest Athlete paired up with Kane and the two giants set about clearing the ring of everyone who got in their way.
The 30th and final entrant was Dolph Ziggler, who sent Bad News Barrett falling to the floor with a super kick before getting scooped up in the Cesaro Swing. Ziggler managed to avoid dismissal, though, and won a dramatic battle with Cesaro on the outside apron to score a second elimination. Dolph’s luck ran out quickly, however, as he was KO’d by Big Show and dumped over the top rope with the help of Kane. With that, The Devil’s Favorite Demon broke Shawn Michaels’ record to become the Superstar with the most eliminations in Royal Rumble Match history, going on to score 42 total.
The final four Superstars then took their places on opposite sides of the ring as The Authority’s giants stared down Ambrose and Reigns. The onetime Shield members were clearly exhausted, and it didn’t take long for Kane and Show to pick apart Ambrose and send him on his way. Reigns nearly suffered the same fate before a miscue turned the big men against one another. The Authority’s titans began to trade heavy fists and then grabbed each other by the throats, which allowed Reigns to run up from behind and lift both behemoths off the ground and over the top rope with pure power.
A year after he set the record for most eliminations in a single Rumble, Reigns had won the whole thing and earned his spot in the main event of WrestleMania. There was no celebration, however, as Big Show and Kane got back in the ring and hit Reigns with a double choke slam. Before they could do anymore damage, though, three familiar words rang out across the arena: “If you smell!!!”
A second later, The Rock burst from the back in a full sprint and launched himself into the ring. With the crowd coming unglued, The Great One delivered a series of right hands to the villains, and even rocked Kane with a People’s Elbow. It was thrilling ending to the bout, until it turned out that the match wasn’t actually finished.
Rusev — who had left the ring but had not gone over the top rope earlier in the bout — climbed back in and threw himself at a vulnerable Reigns. The agile Superstar avoided the sneak attack, and bounced off the ropes, coming back at The Super Athlete with a gut busting spear. Moments later, Rusev was on the floor and Reigns was the official winner of the 2015 Royal Rumble Match.