The Road To WrestleMania was about to kick off in a big way and it all starts at the Royal Rumble. The night was full of action and with a six-hour show. Including the kickoff show, the Royal Rumble was the length of about three XFL football games. So without further ado, let's get right into it.
Drew Gulak, TJP, and Jack Gallagher vs Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik, and Kalisto (Kickoff Show)
There was hardly anyone in the building at this point because the doors had just been open twenty minutes.
There was a nice spot where all three masked men hit moonsaults at the same time in different directions off the same turnbuckle onto their own heel who stood on the floor to catch them below. It was pretty basic, yet enjoyable cruiserweight action overall and those guys really do work way too hard to receive the spots they usually do.
Lince Dorado hit a double springboard stunner on Drew Gulak followed by a dive on the outside to Gulak from Gran Metalik. Kalisto was left alone in the ring with TJP to take a Salida Del Sol for the win.
Winners: Kalisto, Lince Dorado, and Gran Metalik
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were in the social media lounge where the debated about how to properly spell "Brian" and then made fun of all the misspelled questioned they received from fans while refusing to answer a question from Peter Rosenberg.
Luke Gallow and Karl Anderson vs The Revival (Kickoff show)
The Club ganged up on Dawson at first and he powdered out to stall a bit before tagging in Wilder from the outside but the referee didn't let that happen. While he was distracted, Dawson racked the eyes of Gallows and the Revival took over from there until Luke fought back with a slam for both of them.
The Revival eventually scored a blind tag and Dawson started taking some punishment to Karl Anderson for a bit. They hung Anderson up in the tree of woe and hammered away at him before Wilder came in to continue the damage.
Anderson finally got to Gallows and he took the fight to Wilder and rallied. Then Gallows landed a kick to Dawson and tagged Wilder in. They sat up for the Magic Killer but Dawson broke it up. Anderson hit a spinebuster to Wilder for a near fall and Gallows took a bump to the floor but pulled Dawson out and ran face-first into the post.
Wilder hit a chop block on Karl Anderson and got the pinfall.
Winners: The Revival
Bobby Roode US Open Challenge
Bobby looked great with his title and he was out to face an unknown opponent. He took the microphone and said tonight's all about numbers and he's the one who picked up the US Title in the tournament and then he opened up the US Open Challenge and the only question was who is going to jump?
Surprise... it was Mojo Rawley and a sea of boos followed.
Bobby took control early on but Mojo avoided a Glorious DDT and sent him to the outside. Rawley tackled Roode into the barricade and he hit very hard. Then Mojo tossed him in to continue his aggression.
Bobby tried for a Blockbuster but Mojo just caught him, Roode hit some suplexed and followed with a neckbreaker for a two count. Mojo reversed out of a Glorious DDT and almost picked up with win with a slam but Roode came back after Rawley took too long talking trash.
Roode went for another Glorious DDT and Rawley reversed it once again. Roode got his legs up and blocked Mojo Rawley's running punch in the corner and hit a messy looking DDT off the second turnbuckle for the win.
Winner: Bobby Roode
Ric Flair was on the kickoff show and he's looking great. It's always amazing to see The Nature Boy, especially now. Flair said as someone who wrestled Brock Lesnar when he probably shouldn't have had to, he wouldn't wish for anyone to be in the ring with Lesnar. Needless to say, The Nature Boy's pick for the Universal Title Match was The Beast Incarnate.
This was a handicap match because, why not? Kevin and Sami tagged in and out without touching AJ before Kevin and AJ really started it out, but Owens didn't take a bump and tagged Zayn back in after a little mind game.
Kevin avoided taking any injury early on and even ran around the outside of the ring to slide in and tag in Zayn. Owens and Zayn continued to tag in and out letting Kevin get some damage and tag Sami back in for a minute.
Kevin tossed AJ against the barricade and then tagged Sami back in without taking any damage once again.
AJ took on Kevin by avoiding a cannonball and later avoided a Helluva Kick to hit a flipping reverse DDT on The Underdog From The Underground.
But KO and SZ kept tagging in and out very well to keep a fresh guy in there. AJ countered a double team move from Zayn and Owens and locked on a Calf Crusher but Zayn broke it up.
AJ cleared the ring of Sami and KO took a ring post to the shoulder and Sami tagged in. KO landed a kick to the back of the head followed by a blue thunder bomb for a very close near fall.
AJ ended up on the apron and knocked KO off. Then he landed a Phenomenal Forearm on Zayn but Kevin jumped in to break up the cover.
Zayn didn't get the tag off to Kevin although he tried and AJ tossed him over the top rope. KO jumped in the ring and tried for a pop-up powerbomb but AJ rolled him up for the pin... but he pinned the illegal man. This won't be the last we hear of this.
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: AJ Styles
The Usos vs Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin (SmackDown Tag Team Titles 2 out of 3 falls match)
This match was very close and back and forth without a pinfall for a good bit. Then they took Gable to Superkick City to win the first fall.
Then Gable and Benjamin hit a nice double team move on Jimmy on the outside. Gable hit a kick to Jey but Benjamin was rolled up by Jey for a sudden pinfall win for the Usos
Winners: The Usos
The 2018 Men's Royal Rumble
Let's get right to it. Rusev and Finn Balor started it off and the two fought a little bit before Rhyno came in. Rhyno took some punishment to both Rusev and Finn but Rusev stopped Rhyno when he started to eliminate Balor for some reason.
Baron Corbin came out and Rhyno tried to Gore him but he turned it into a Deep 6 and tossed him outside. Then Finn eliminated Corbin and he was so upset that he dragged Balor under the ropes and destroyed him against a barricade. He dragged Rusev outside and hit an End Of Days on Rusev.
Heath Slater came out but was floored by Baron before he even got to the ring. It looked like a car crash on the outside and then Elias came out to play a little guitar. Andrade Cien Almas came out to stop Elias' song and the crowd popped huge for the NXT Champion. Almas hit the running knees on Elias but Elias avoided the DDT to hit a clothesline.
Bray Wyatt joined the match and took out Heath Slater along the way because he was still trying to crawl his way to the ring. Balor jumped in and fought with Balor for a bit as Rusev still struggled to come back in the match
Big E came out and stuffed some pancakes in Heath Slater's mouth before Tye Dillinger's music played at #10 for the 2nd year in a row but he never came out. They showed Kevin and Sami beating him down backstage and Zayn ran out to take his spot.
Sheamus came out and rolled Slater under the rope but the One Man Band turned right around and clotheslined him outside. Then Bray eliminated Slater.
Xavier Woods came down next so he and Big E did some double team moves and then Apollo Crews came out in #13. Nakamura came out next and started fighting with Sami, Rusev, and Bray then he took out Apollo and Elias while the crowd kept singing his song. Nakamura eliminated Sami Zayn right before Cesaro made his entry.
Kofi Kingston joined the match next so all three members of the New Day were in the ring at the same time.
Cesaro eliminated Apollo Crews and then Jinder Mahal made his entrance. Then Mahal eliminated Xavier Woods and Jinder Mahal just before Seth Rollins entered.
Kofi was almost eliminated but was saved by Woods and then Big E put a plate of pancakes under him so he could try and get in but Mahal kept blocking his path so Woods and Big E launched Kofi into the ring so he could throw out Mahal. But Almas hit a DDT on Kofi and eliminated him after that.
Woken Matt came out next and he and Wyatt teamed up to toss out Rusev and then they fought over the top rope and eliminated each other.
John Cena came out next and eliminated Elias. The Hurricane came out next and that's a big surprise! The Hurricane tried to chokeslam Cena, but he was quickly dumped over the top rope.
Aiden English came out next followed by Adam Cole. English was thrown out by Balor before Randy Orton entered and he hit an amazing RKO on Almas before eliminating him.
Titus came out next followed by The Miz who started landing It Kicks on both Cena and Nakamura. Shinsuke avoided the last kick and The Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale on Cena.
Then Rey Mysterio came in... yup. Mysterio looked great and took Adam Cole out of the match. Then Roman Reigns came out to a sea of boos.
Roman and Seth double Shield powerbombed The Miz onto Axel and Dallas before Roman eliminated Rollins right after that. Goldust came down to enter his 12th Royal Rumble tying Shawn Michaels and The Big Show for most appearances in the big match.
Dolph Ziggler entered last but was soon taken out by Finn Balor. Then it was a melee. Cena hit an AA on Balor. Nakamura took an RKO but Cena blocked it and Roman threw out Randy Orton. Then Rey hit Roman and Cena with a double 6-1-9 before Finn Balor eliminated him.
The final four were Cena, Reigns, Balor, and Nakamura as the crowd chanted for Nakamura. Reigns took to Balor and Cena took on Nakamura before Cena and Roman looked at each other and John pointed to the WrestleMania sign. Balor and Nakamura came back and beat Cena and Reigns down.
Nakamura and Balor fought it out for a minute as Finn Balor reached his 55th minute in the match.
Cena and Roman fought on but Balor soon took Roman out and Nakamura nailed a kick to Balor followed by a double stomp by Balor and then Cena eliminated Finn. The place was booing insanely loud after his elimination.
Cena and Roman ganged up on Nakamura for a moment before Cena turned his attention to Reigns where he finally hit the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Reigns nailed a Superman Punch on Cena and then looked down at Nakamura to kick him out of the way.
Roman geared up but his Spear was countered into an AA. Nakamura came up behind Cena but John prepped Nakamura up to eliminate him. He placed Cena on the apron and hit two knees to eliminate him
It was down to Roman and Shinsuke.
Roman hit a Superman Punch and tried to throw Nakamura out but he landed on the apron. Nakamura fought back but took a powerbomb on the inside for his troubles. Roman geared up for a Spear but Nakamura nailed him with a knee and then caught a knee to the side of the face from the second turnbuckle. He went for a Kinshasa but Roman nailed a Spear.
They fought on for a bit and Roman tried to throw Nakamura over but was unsuccessful once again. Suddenly, Nakamura hit a Kinshasa and threw Roman over the top rope to win the match. Philly was very happy.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan vs The Bar (Raw Tag Team Title Match)
The crowd was pretty much shot already but they still got into this match a little bit as things went on. Jason Jordan took a ring post to the face by Sheamus while the medics tended to him immediately. They said he looked banged up although JJ didn't compete in the Royal Rumble either.
The Bar hit Seth with one double team move after another for a while but The Architect wouldn't stay down. But while Cesaro trash-talked in the corner, Seth tried to mount a comeback but The Bar was too much. Rollins had a very nice counter where he avoided a doomsday device looking move to give him some breathing room as JJ remained on the outside.
Rollins hit a slingblade on Cesaro followed by a blockbuster. Sheamus set up for a top rope White Noise but Seth avoided that and eventually knocked both Cesaro and Sheamus down to land a splash on both of them.
JJ got back to his spot and took the tag but he was still acting injured so he tagged Rollins back in. The Bar soon took advantage of Seth and won the match. Jason Jordan was yet again a disappointment for Rollins.
Winners: The Bar
Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman vs Kane (Universal Title Match)
Lesnar took Kane to the corner and tried gain an advantage but Braun nailed Lesnar in the face with a knee and seemed to only agitate him. Brock picked Braun up for an F5 but Kane stopped them. Then Lesnar came in with a chair and took it to Braun for a bit until Strowman punched the chair out of his hand before launching Brock over the top rope.
Strowman got a table and sat it up in the ring. Kane latched on his hand around his throat and Braun down the same to him and chokeslammed the Big Red Machine. Suddenly there was another table in the ring and Brock suplexed Strowman.
Braun hit a running powerslam on Lesnar through a table but Kane broke up the pin. Then Kane sent Braun through the other table in the ring.
Strowman landed a German suplex to Brock that sent him out of the ring and then he tossed him into the barricade so he could clean off the announce table. But Lesnar turned things around on Braun and hit an F5 through the table.
Then Lesnar started looking at the other table and he tipped it over on Strowman. Kane brought the fight to Lesnar but was just F5ed through the other table. Then Strowman was awake suddenly and fighting Lesnar. He tossed Lesnar back in the ring and Brock looked shook. Braun hit two running powerslams and should have pinned Lesnar because Kane came in with a chair and whacked Strowman to send him outside.
Brock got up and hit Kane while Strowman got on the apron. Braun was knocked off by Kane and turned around to take an F5 on the chair as Brock Lesnar retained the Universal Title.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
The Women's Royal Rumble Match
It was the moment so many have waited for and Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch started things off.
Sarah Logan came in next while the two still fought on. Logan was very stiff and hit a clothesline on Lynch that almost took her head off before Banks stopped her for some reason. Logan hit a headbutt to Banks and then focused on Lynch for a bit.
Mandy Rose came out next and mixed it up with Banks before Lita came out. Yes, Lita.
Lita took out Banks and Lynch but Rose jumped her as Banks and Logan fought in the other corner. Rose nailed Lita in the side of the face but was eliminated. Then Banks jumped her before Kairi Sane came out.
Sane destroyed everyone with one move after another and landed a top rope elbow drop on Banks. Tamina came in and was eventually eliminated by Lita but she was eliminated by Lynch after Lita hit both Banks and Lynch with a top rope moonsault.
Dana Brooke came in and eliminated Kairi Sane. Then Torrie Wilson came in. Wilson eliminated Brooke as Sonya Deville made her entrance into the match.
Liv Morgan came in next followed by Molly Holly who said she wasn't told to be there. That sneak!
Lana got a huge pop when she came out and huge "Rusev Day" chants were coming at her and she loved it. When she got in the ring, Sonya Deville and Live Morgan tried to gang up on her, but she did a good job fighting them off.
Then Michelle McCool came out and the "Undertaker" chants were very loud this time. McCool eliminated Deville and Morgan one after another before Molly Holly took her down only to be taken out herself by The Undertaker's wife. Then Lana kicked her which was a mistake because she just tossed her over the top rope too.
Ruby Riott came out and they all fought a little until Vickie Guerrero came out screaming "excuse me!" But nobody paid any attention to her until it was too late. Vickie tried to run but everyone picked her up and tossed her over the top rope.
Carmella came out next but was taken out when Vickie grabbed her briefcase and nailed her with it. Nattie came out next and upset Mella when she stepped on her so Carm came in the ring and started nailing everyone with kicks. Then Kelly Kelly entered.
Natalya eliminated Michelle McCool and Naomi joined the match. Jacqueline came out next and took the pain to everyone in sight before Nia Jax came out to eliminate her and Kelly Kelly.
Jax hit Naomi off the apron and into a sea of women who placed her on the barricade as Ember Moon came out to fight Jax. But Nia tossed her like a sack of potatoes. Naomi walked the tightrope to Maria's announce chair which she used to walk her hands over to the ring and get back in. The Glow went for a top rope cross body but was caught by Nia and dumped to the outside.
Beth Pheonix came out next and got in Nia Jax' face and Beth tried to pick Jax up but it didn't work until Nattie helped her out but then Nattie turned on her to send her friend out of the match.
Suddenly Asuka came out and squared off against Moon who hit a one-armed Eclipse but was soon tossed outside by the Empress Of Tomorrow. Mickie James came out next followed by Nikki Bella who received a huge ovation.
Nikki speared Nattie and Mella kicked her to slow her down. She soon took Carmella out of the match and then her sister Bri came out to join the match.
It was a true Bella Twin moment as they dropkicked Nia Jax back to the floor who was on the outside but not eliminated.
Bayley came out next and had a nice little run with moves until Asuka stopped her and hung her up in the ropes. They all fought on as the clock ticked down to the final entrant. Then Trish Stratus' music hit and she came down to the ring looking better than ever.
Trish took a moment with the Bella Twins, Nattie, and Bayley before she stood toe to toe with Mickie James once again. She eliminated Mickie but then Nia Jax took Stratus out. Asuka and Stratus kicked Nia as everyone else joined in and took Jax out. Then Banks eliminated Bayley.
Banks and Trish had a nice moment and then Sasha eliminated the WWE Hall Of Famer only to turn around and find Asuka standing there. But after everyone ganged up on Asuka, The Bella Twins and Asuka tossed Banks to the floor.
The final three were The Bella Twins and Asuka. The Empress Of Tomorrow hit kicks to both Nikki and Brie which was a nice welcome back. Asuka tried to toss out Brie but Nikki clotheslined her. Then Nikki hit a forearm to Brie and knocked her out. Ask Nikki turned around she hit Asuka but Asuka struck first and got to the top rope for a missile dropkick.
Nikki landed a nice springboard kick to Asuka's head and then she took her time before picking up Asuka and placing her on the apron. Nikki nailed a forearm to the face but Asuka held on. Then she went for a running shot but Asuka countered and wrapped her leg around her neck to drag her over the top rope and they were both on the apron.
Nikki Bella nailed Asuka with a forearm but Asuka kicked her off the apron to win the match and claim her spot at WrestleMania.
After the match was over, Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair got in the ring and stood on either side of Asuka. They raised their titles up high as Asuka looked at them in anticipation.
Suddenly, Ronda Rousey came out to Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" and simply pointed at the WrestleMania sign then she turned to Asuka and tried to shake her hand but Asuka knocked it away. Rousey pointed at the WrestleMania sign once more and grinned. It looks like she flew in from Columbia after all. After that, Rousey just left without saying a word. Although she did share a very interesting handshake with Stephanie McMahon before she left as well.
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