Welcome to The WK's LIVE Royal Rumble 2017 PPV Coverage!
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6-Woman Tag Team Match Nikki Bella, Naomi & Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James & Natalya
RESULT: Nikki's team wins via pinfall; Naomi pinned Bliss following a split-legged moonsault.
THOUGHTS: Not the best effort from the six ladies here, and I'm rather surprised at the lack of Mickie's presence in what was supposed to be her return match. Typical finish with the rapid-fire finishers from everyone, and Naomi pinning Alexa makes sense, as we had the tease from last Tuesday, so this puts Naomi in line as the next opponent for the SD Women's Title.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 0/15 Brian - 0/15 Julie - 1/15 Nick - 1/15 Greg - 1/15
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship (Two Referees At Ringside) Cesaro & Sheamus (c) vs. The Club
RESULT: NEW CHAMPIONS The Club wins via pinfall; Anderson rolled up Cesaro with a handful of tights for the win.
THOUGHTS: Surprising title change for me here, as I really thought Cesaro & Sheamus had enough to leg out the title reign for at least another month. The match seemed on par with the tag title match on RAW from a couple weeks ago up until the ending. I felt like the whole "two refs" deal, especially with the ref bump and the scheming roll-up by Anderson, was a little much. On the other hand, the announce team did a decent job of bringing up whether The Club would've won the straps if the second ref had been conscious to see the handful of tights, so this feud will and must continue.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 0/15 Brian - 1/15 Julie - 1/15 Nick - 1/15 Greg -1/15
RAW Women's Singles Match Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
RESULT: Nia Jax wins via pinfall; Jax pinned Sasha following a pop-up Samoan Drop.
THOUGHTS: Once again, not the smoothest exchange from the women tonight, but the point was made well enough; Sasha accepted a challenge her body wasn't ready for, and Nia was all too happy to steamroll her in short fashion. Sasha gets an out due to her bum leg and Nia picks up a dominating win over a former Women's Champion to put her firmly in the conversation for challenging the RAW Women's Champion in the near future.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 1/15 Brian - 3/15 (LOCK) Julie - 2/15 Nick - 2/15 Greg - 2/15
RAW Women's Championship Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Bayley
RESULT: Charlotte wins via pinfall; Charlotte pinned Bayley following a Natural Selection on the ring apron.
THOUGHTS: Overall, this was not the best night put forth by either the RAW or SD Women's roster. It felt like they skipped the opening exchange and went straight to the part where Charlotte wore down Bayley before her brief comeback.
Bayley didn't feel like someone on Charlotte's level, and yet unlike most midcard opponents, I think that was the point being made here. The fact that Charlotte dispatched her decisively means that Bayley needs something more than what she brought tonight to stay on the level with the "PPV Queen" of WWE on the way to WrestleMania.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 2/15 Brian - 4/15 Julie - 3/15 Nick - 2/15 Greg - 3/15
WWE Universal Championship No Disqualifications Kevin Owens (c) w/Chris Jericho vs. Roman Reigns
RESULT: Kevin Owens wins via pinfall; Owens pinned Reigns after Strowman powerslammed Reigns through a table.
THOUGHTS: Appreciated the ramped-up aggression between Reigns and Owens; Owens had a chip on his shoulder going into this, having the opportunity to pull off a victory cleanly without Jericho's help, and Reigns was tired of Owens' shenanigans and looked to put him away decisively.
It was a fantastically brutal No-DQ affair, with splashes through tables, big-time falls through mountains of chairs and beatdowns throughout the arena and at ringside. Jericho's interference (brass knuckles) was thankfully kept to a minimum. Strowman's interference makes sense since he never got his vengeance for the double spear from Reigns and Goldberg, and now we can likely expect Roman to seek comeuppance and cost him during the Rumble.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 3/15 Brian - 4/15 Julie - 3/15 Nick - 2/15 Greg - 3/15
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Rich Swann (c) vs. Neville
RESULT: NEW CHAMPION Neville wins via submission; Neville submitted Swann with a crossface/armbar combo. TIME: 13:28 THOUGHTS: A solid, physically terse match between Swann and Neville, which was set up effectively through their background as former friends. Neville was constantly challenging Swann throughout, forcing Swann to take more risks, such as the Pheonix Splash on the outside, and Swann proved resilient himself, kicking out of Neville's superplex finisher before falling victim to a nasty-looking crossface/armbar combo.
It was a fun sprint between these two; with Neville on top, we can hopefully expect more action-packed matches like this one.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 3/15 Brian - 5/15 Julie - 3/15 Nick - 4/15 (LOCK) Greg - 4/15
WWE World Championship AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena
RESULT: NEW CHAMPION John Cena wins by pinfall; Cena pinned Styles after back-to-back Attitude Adjustments.
THOUGHTS: Firstly, kudos to John on tying Flair's record. I may not always have respect for the man's on-screen personality, but he still pulled off a big-time accomplishment, so I tip my fedora to him.
Anyway, this was a fantastic match from start to finish. Great call backs to their previous encounters, and they pushed each other past their limits and empty their respective arsenals to put the other man away. Cena's reactions were the best part; every near fall he looked more and more frustrated, and Styles' sudden kickout after the avalanche AA had me thinking for a brief second that Cena may resort to far more heelish tactics to supersede AJ as champion.
AJ looked fantastic here as well, having looked amazing in the loss after taking practically everything Cena had to throw at him and even seeming like he could pull out another squeaky clean win. The chemistry between these two is par excellence, and I definitely want to see this continue.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 3/15 Brian - 6/15 Julie - 5/15 Nick - 4/15 Greg - 5/15
30-Man Royal Rumble Match Winner Earns a Championship Match at WrestleMania 33
WINNER: Randy Orton wins the Royal Rumble; Orton last eliminated Reigns following a RKO and clotheslining him over the top rope.
IRON MAN (Longest Lasting): Chris Jericho - 1 hour, 15 seconds (N/A)
FINAL FOUR (Each correct pick scores a point; the RR winner scores an additional point): 1. Randy Orton (Winner) (Greg - 2 points) 2. Roman Reigns (N/A) 3. Bray Wyatt (Nick - 1 point) 4. Chris Jericho (Ken - 1 point)
THOUGHTS: I'll just get to the nitty gritty of my problem with the Rumble right away: Roman sucked the life out of it, for a number of reasons. The first being that his #30 entry made no sense in terms of storyline; you would think he would want revenge against Strowman by coming in a time where Strowman was in a precarious position or not even bother with an entry and just storm the ring to get back at Braun. The other problem is the fact that WWE supposedly had the entire NXT roster backstage, so why not give one of them the vaunted #30 spot? Perhaps to a certain Samoan Submission Machine?
This leads to my second problem with the Rumble: Aside from Jack Gallagher and Tye Dillinger, there was a serious lack of "surprise" entries. No Joe, No Angle, and apparently if Balor was going through medical testing, it was mostly likely to assure that he could be soon be cleared to compete rather than get back in the ring post haste. Not even a paltry Legend to bolster the ranks for this Rumble, which would lead to some pretty tedious lulls at points throughout the match, particularly with Jericho doing Jerry Lawler proud and spending most of his second "Iron Man" run on the outside.
I'll admit the Orton win was a surprise in of itself, the first-time exchange between Goldberg and Undertaker was intriguing, and Roman's elimination of the Deadman drew a rather riotous reaction (and not the good kind, the "BS! BS!" kind of reaction that means Vince is going to have pull teeth once again to get Roman over a favorite, particularly difficult considering it's an immortal favorite in Taker).
As far as Orton's victory goes, I'd have to imagine something concerning a changing of the WWE World Title is going down at Elimination Chamber in February, unless WWE really thinks "John Cena vs. Randy Orton: 2017 - Thousandth in A Lifetime" is going to wrangle anyone in for WM 33.
WK KING OF PPV: (Because Greg failed with his "Big 4" pick, he loses a point) Ken - 5/15 Brian - 7/15 (KING OF PPV WINNER) Julie - 5/15 Nick - 5/15 Greg - 6/15 (BIG 4 WINNER)