The Royal Rumble 2018 happened finally and the fans are still talking about it all over the world.
The most interesting WWE PPV has not always lived up to the expectations of the fans and pundits alike in recent memory. Here we list down a few reasons why this year’s rumble did so.
AJ Styles finally left as champion after 3 consecutive WWE title matches:
AJ Styles is the hottest thing happening in the WWE right now. Considered by most to be the greatest in ring performer of all time, the world travelled athlete has been a part of all the WWE title matches at the last 3 Royal Rumble PPVs ever since his debut. After getting eliminated by Kevin Owens in the 2016 Rumble match for the WWE title and losing the title to “Super Cena” last year, the Phenomenal One faced off against best friends Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a handicap match. Even with the odds staked against him, Styles came out victorious after a controversial ending. The win increased Styles’s chance of staying champion up until Wrestlemania and main event WWE’s magnum opus which is nothing short of what he deserves.
Women’s Rumble Main Eventing the PPV:
Women’s wrestling has come a long way since the Attitude era days of Bra and Panties matches. The women made history on Sunday once again with the first ever women’s royal rumble match. If that wasn’t great enough, the Women’s rumble match was the MAIN EVENT of the whole PPV. This made the Women’s rumble match and the whole women’s roaster a lot more relevant.
Great Surprise Returns of Legends:
The Royal Rumble always boasts of great surprises when it comes to the returns. It was expected that the Women’s Rumble was going to have a lot of them because of having lesser number of female stars on the current roaster. The returning superstars’ list consisted of 4 WWE Hall of Fame members with Lita at 5, Jacqueline at 21, Beth Phoenix at 24 and Trish Stratus at 30. The list also consisted of Michelle McCool (with the most eliminations at 5), Torrie Wilson, Kelly Kelly, Molly Holly, The Bellas and Vickie Guerrero. All of the legends were booked properly to legitimize their entries.
In the men’s rumble there were 2 surprise returns with “The Hurricane” returning at 21 and former Rumble Winner and 3-times WWE World Champion Rey Mysterio at lucky 27. Both the entries made the Philadelphia crowd chant “Holy Shit”.
Asuka winning the rumble:
Asuka continued her undefeated streak after winning the Royal Rumble match on Sunday with yet another strong show. Although the WWE Universe is divided as to whether this will be good or bad for the Women’s division, it is needless to say this will definitely make sure that Wrestlemania will be good for the Women’s division. Asuka is one of the greatest Women’s wrestler ever to step into the WWE ring and her challenging for the title at the grandest stage will be a great advertisement.
Great Debuts for the NXT Superstars:
In the two rumble matches there were 4 superstars(2 each) from NXT who made an entry. In the men’s rumble WWE NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas was the first NXT entry when he entered at number 7 and was the only one amongst the 4 to earn an elimination when he eliminated Kofi Kingston. The crowd were treated to the presence of “Adam Cole Bay Bay” when the leader of Undisputed Era entered at 23.
In the women’s rumble Mae Young Classic Winner Kairi Sane entered at 6 before the NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon entered at 23. All the call ups were justified and everyone had their moments at the Rumble.
Ronda Rousey Debuts:
The Main Event saw Asuka winning the first ever Women’s rumble match. Both the Women’s champions Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair watching from ring side, came inside to know which championship Asuka was going to challenge for at Wrestlemania when a music hit much to the awe of the fans. Former UFC Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey arrived in style and announced her presence that left the incident trending on Social Media worldwide. She pointed at the Wrestlemania logo indicating that she’ll be there.
Best Men’s Rumble Match in years with a Nakamura victory:
One particular thing that let down WWE in the recent past was the finish of the marquee event of the show. The winners in the Rumble match since 2013 have been John Cena, Batista, Roman Reigns, Triple H and Randy Orton. The fans were clearly not happy with either of the finishes and the ratings dropped heavily. The 2018 Rumble match was clearly headed to another Reigns win and when crowd favourite Finn Balor was eliminated by Super Cena the crowd fumed tremendously.
With John Cena, Roman Reigns and another crowd favourite Shinsuke Nakamura left in top 3 the crowd started to get behind the Japanese artist even more. The WWE finally gave the world what they wanted thankfully by not letting either of their beloved duo of monumentally hated Roman Reigns, and John Cena win the Rumble and letting the artist pick up the win eliminating both. This made the former 2-times NXT Champion even more over as a baby-face. It also ensured the epic showdown everyone has been dreaming for, after he challenged AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania, which deserves nothing short of being the main event.
Photo by John Jewell