|Date: January 31, 2021
|Venue: WWE Thunderdome |City: Orlando, Florida
|tweet me: @BastionBlogger
A Batman type video package kicks us off, first showing some of the previous winners of Royal Rumble matches and then focusing on some of this years entries as well as the two world title matches.
Tom Phillips welcomes us to the Royal Rumble event.
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Goldberg – WWE Championship match
Background: Following Drew McIntyre’s successful WWE Championship defense during the special “Legends Night” episode of Raw on January 4, WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg, in his first appearance since WrestleMania 36 in 2020, appeared to confront McIntyre. After Goldberg praised McIntyre’s work and abilities, he stated that McIntyre did not have respect, claiming that McIntyre viewed the legends as being “washed up” and that McIntyre felt he was better than any of them when they were in their prime. Goldberg then formally challenged McIntyre for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. McIntyre responded that Goldberg was not the man he used to be and that facing him would be like facing his own dad. Goldberg then taunted and shoved McIntyre, who rose to his feet and stared down Goldberg. The following week, McIntyre refuted Goldberg’s claim and said that he actually did have respect but that he was going to reject Goldberg’s challenge until Goldberg pushed him, prompting him to accept the challenge and make the match official. McIntyre had accepted Goldberg’s challenge via satellite as during that same episode, he announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19; following the standard 14-day quarantine procedure, McIntyre was cleared for the Royal Rumble, appearing live on Raw on the January 25 episode to have a final face-to-face meeting with Goldberg before their match.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.
Match: Before the bell can even ring Drew McIntyre hits a headbutt and a spear causing Goldberg to retreat out of the ring. Goldberg reverses an Irish whip, sending McIntyre into the ring steps and then spears the WWE Champion through the barricade. They get into the ring whre McIntyre tells the referee to ring the bell. Drew counters a spear and then hits a claymore for a near fall. Goldberg then hits two more spears and hooks the leg but Drew kicks out. Goldberg hits a jackhammer for a near fall. McIntyre hits another claymore and hooks the leg for the three.
Result: Drew McIntyre retains the WWE Championship by pinfall.
Review: This was pretty short and sweet. Shorter than I thought it would be even though Goldberg matches don’t tend to go long. McIntyre was made to look really strong here, kicking out of three spears and then beating Goldberg with two claymores. I expecft McIntyre to go all the way to Wrestlemania as champion, he’s been a great champion, I’ve been really impressed. I’m not sure if this was the best match to kick things off with but it wasn’t terrible.
Drew McIntyre and Goldberg embrace after the match with Goldberg raising McIntyre’s hand.
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Carmella – Smackdown Women’s Championship match
Background: At TLC, Sasha Banks retained the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Carmella. Over the next couple of weeks, Carmella continuously taunted Banks, yearning for a rematch. On the January 15 episode of SmackDown, Banks stated that she would give Carmella a rematch only if she faced Carmella’s sommelier, Reginald, in a match first. The intergender match occurred the following week, in which Banks defeated Reginald. Banks kept her promise and a title rematch between Banks and Carmella was scheduled for the Royal Rumble.
Previous PPV matches: This is a second PPV match between these two girls, Sasha won the previous match at TLC.
Match: Carmella is joined by her sommelier Reginald and it isn’t long before he gets involved which allows Carmella to take an early advantage. Carmella looks for the old Trish Stratus hurricanrana in the corner but Sasha counters and hits a double knees off the top. Banks seels an injury to her knee and Carmella goes right to work, tying Sasha’s hair up in the bottom rope and laying in some stomps. Sasha looks for the three amigos but Carmella through her out of the ring and into the arms of Reginald who Banks hits with a head scissors. The referee then sends Reginald to the back. Carmella hits a suicide dive and nearly lands very badly. Back in the ring and Sasha hits a suplex and looks for a frog splash but Carmella gets her knees up. Carmella then locks on the code of silence but Banks gets out. Carmella counters a backstabber and hits a couple of superkicks for a near fall. Carmella drags Sasha to the middle of the ring but Banks wraps her up in the Banks statement and Carmella taps out!
Result: Sasha Banks retains the Smackdown Women’s Championship by submission.
Review: This was a good match, one of Carmella’s best to be fair. This match showed that Carmella can compete with the best of the women’s division even though she came up short tonight. Sasha is a solid choice to go into Wrestlemania with the title. Decent match here.
There’s an ad for a Yokozuna documentary coming to the WWE Network.
Xavier Woods and Intercontinental Champion Big E are backstage talking about how Retribution have beat down Woods the past few weeks. Big E wants Xavier Woods to go the distance tonight in the Royal Rumble match. Sami Zayn shows up talking about conspiracies and that New Day have probably got cushty numbers in the Rumble tonight. Kofi Kingston jumos in scaring Zayn. New Day are wearing gear in tribute to Luke Harper who recently passed. Kingston isn’t medically cleared tonight but if one of New Day wins the Royal Rumble then they all win the Royal Rumble!
Bad Bunny is out next to sign his song “Booker T”. The actual Booker T is stood on the stage with his arm crossed as Bad Bunny raps around him.
Next up is the Royal Rumble “numbers” video package.
The 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble match
Match: It’s a big start to the match as Bayley draws #1. She has “Cole” shaved into the back of her head. Naomi returns in the #2 spot. Naomi looks great in the early going. Bianca Belair is #3 and we get an interesting cartwheel spot with her and Naomi. Billie Kay is #4 and joins commentary instead of getting in the ring. Kay says that she is going to find a partner to get into the match with. Shotzi Blackheart is #5 and enters in a tank, hitting Billie Kay with a missile as she looks for a team mate. Shayna Baszler and Toni Storm have no interest in teaming with Billie Kay either. Shotzi Blackheart is the first girl eliminated, courtesy of Shayna Baszler.An absolute shock in #8 is Jillian Hall! Jillian Hll agrees to team up with Billie Kay! Billie Kay is hilarious in this, she’s been trying to join the Riott Squad and she saves Ruby from a couple of situations. Victoria is another shocker at #10. The Iiconics briefly get back together to double team Victoria but Ruby Riott doesn’t seem happy.
#12 is Santana Garrett from NXT who makes her PPV debut tonight. The relationship of Billie Kay and Jillian implodes and Billie eliminates Jillian from the match. Billie then gets eliminated by Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan. Rhea Ripley from NXT then joins the match at #14 and immediately eliminates Toni Storm. Shayna Baszler eliminates Victoria and Rhea Ripley eliminates Santana Garrett. Charlotte and Dana Brooke are in, Ruby Riott is out. Dana misses with a cartwheel elbow in the corner by a mile but she just walks out. Liv Morgan, who is wearing Christine Aguilera inspired gear gets eliminated by Peyton Royce. Torrie Wilson is #17! Rhea Ripley powerbombs Dana Brooke on the apron to eliminate her. #18 is…Ric Flair? Ric walks out for Lacey Evans entrance. Lacey struts to the ring in one of Charlotte’s robes. Charlotte and Lacey battle to the outside where purple feathers from the robe fly everywhere.
Shayna Baszler elimimates Torrie Wilson but we miss Bayley getting eliminated by Bianca Belair! Mickie James then enters at #19. Nikki Cross at #20 picks up the pace. Alicia Fox enters at #21! But she is followed by R-Truth! Truth is getting chased by the 24/7 division! Alicia helps to fight off R-Truth but then pins Truth to become the new 24/7 champion! Mandy Rose hits a stiff knee to Alicia Fox and then eliminates her from the match before Truth rolls up Fox to win the 24/7 championship! NXT’s Dakota Kai enters at #23. Lacey Evans eliminates Mickie James with a women’s right. Carmella pulls double duty tonight as she enters at #24. Rhea Ripley disposes of Dakota Kai and Mandy Rose. Nikki Cross looks to elimiate Carmella quickly but Reggie makes the save. Carmella then eliminates Cross.
Rhea nearly eliminates Carmella but Reggie catches her again. Tamina then superkicks Reggie who drops Carmella, eliminating her from the match. Bianca eliminates Naomi but she actually doesn’t because Naomi keeps her feet in the air. Naomi then uses Bianca’s ponytail to get back up on the apron! Bianca and Naomi help each other to get back into the ring. Lana makes a return at #26. Alexa Bliss is in at #27 and all of the girls jump her. Bliss then looks to “transform” but Rhea Riply eliminates her! Ember Moon who has gone back to NXT is in at #28. Shayna Baszler is outside the ring as Nia Jax makes her entrance and the two girls look to clean house as they eliminate Lacey Evans, Ember Moon, Naomi and Tamina. Jax then eliminates Baszler! Lana then eliminates Nia Jax! Natalya enters but Nia and Shayna beat her down. Nia and Shayna then get back in the ring and take down everyone left.
Natalya enters the match and is one of the last 5 with Charlotte, Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley and Lana. That becomes a final four pretty quickly as Natalya eliminates Lana. Bianca eliminates Natalya. Bianca and Rhea double team Charlotte but Charlotte fires up. Bianca and Rhea hit simultanious forearms to eliminate Charlotte from the match. Charlotte laughs from the outside. Rhea tries to elininate Belair and both girls topple out to the apron before agreeing to get back into the ring together. Bianca counters a riptide, Rhea counters the KOD but Bianca then clotheslines Ripley out of the ring to win the match!
Result: Bianca Belair wins the match, last eliminating Rhea Ripley.
1. Bayley (#12 – Bianca Belair)
2. Naomi (#22 – Nia Jax)
3. Bianca Belair
4. Billie Kay (#3 – Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan)
5. Shotzi Blackheart (#1 – Shayna Baszler)
6. Shayna Baszler (#24 – Nia Jax)
7. Toni Storm (#4 – Toni Storm)
8. Jillian Hall (#2 – Billie Kay)
9. Ruby Riott (#7 – Bayley)
10. Victoria (#5 – Shayna Baszler)
11. Peyton Royce (#10 – Charlotte Flair)
12. Santana Garrett (#6 – Rhea Ripley)
13. Liv Morgan (#8 – Peyton Royce)
14. Rhea Ripley (#29 – Rhea Ripley)
15. Charlotte Flair (#28 – Bianca Belair & Rhea Ripley)
16. Dana Brooke (#9 – Rhea Ripley)
17. Torrie Wilson (#11 – Shayna Baszler)
18. Lacey Evans (#20 – Shayna Baszler)
19. Mickie James (#14 – Lacey Evans)
20. Nikki Cross (#17 – Carmella)
21. Alicia Fox (#13 – Mandy Rose)
22. Mandy Rose (#16 – Rhea Ripley)
23. Dakota Kai (#15 – Rhea Ripley)
24. Carmella (#18 – Rhea Ripley/Tamina)
25. Tamina (#23 – Nia Jax)
26. Lana (#26 – Natalya)
27. Alexa Bliss (#19 – Rhea Ripley)
28. Ember Moon (#21 – Nia Jax)
29. Nia Jax (#25 – Lana)
30. Natalya (#27 – Bianca Belair)
Review: I really enjoyed this match. This was really well booked, it had some great surprises like Victoria and Jillian Hall and it came down to two very deserving girls who weren’t the usual suspects. It’s a massive win for Bianca Belair who will go on to Wrestlemania. A really fun match and the start of a really fun ride for Bianca Belair.
Kayla Braxton interviews Bianca Belair who is in tears. She says that she will put the “EST” into Wrestlemania.
There’s another ad for the Yokozuna documentary.
The Miz and John Morrison visit Bad Bunny. Miz says that Bad Bunny should colloborate with Miz and Morrison. Bad Bunny declines. Miz lays into Booker T who appears behind them. Bad Bunny and Booker T wish The Miz good luck in the Rumble.
Over to the Royal Rumble kickoff panel. Charly Caruso, Sonya Deville, Peter Rosenberg and John “Bradshaw” Layfield. They discuss Bianca Belair winning the Royal Rumble match. We’re then shown footage of Nia Jax and shayna Baszler winning the women’s tag team championships from Charlotte and Asuka because of interference by Lacey Evans. R-Truth then shows up and he’s freaked out by Foxes and Bunny’s. Peter Rosenburg then tells Truth that John Cena is here before rolling up Truth to win the 24/7 championship!
There’s a video package next for Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens.
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owens – Last Man Standing matchfor the Universal Championship
Background: On the January 8 episode of SmackDown, Universal Champion Roman Reigns took issue with the recent booking decisions made by WWE official Adam Pearce, including a gauntlet match that Pearce had scheduled for that night to determine Reigns’ challenger for his title at the Royal Rumble. Reigns questioned if Pearce booked himself for the match, to which Pearce responded that would have been a conflict of interest. Later, Reigns’ special counsel, Paul Heyman, confronted Pearce backstage and stated that he was able to pull some strings and that Pearce would also be competing in the gauntlet match along with Rey Mysterio, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, King Corbin, and Daniel Bryan. Nakamura survived the gauntlet to face final entrant Pearce; however, before the final round began, Reigns’ cousin, Jey Uso, taunted Nakamura, which led to Reigns and Jey attacking both Nakamura and Pearce. Jey placed Pearce on top of Nakamura for the pinfall, thus Pearce won the match. The following week, Heyman confronted Pearce backstage and gave him the match contract to sign. The stipulation for their match was originally a no disqualification match; after Heyman gave the signed contract to Reigns, however Reigns wanted the stipulation changed to a Last Man Standing match. Later in the ring, Pearce and Reigns signed the amended contract, but as Pearce was leaving, he feigned a knee injury, citing that the contract allowed him to choose a replacement for himself in the event of an injury and chose Kevin Owens, who Reigns defeated at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in a TLC match thanks to interference from Jey. Owens then made his entrance and signed the contract to become Reigns’ opponent for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble.
Previous PPV matches: This is the fourth PPV match between these two men, Kevin Owens has won 2 of the previous 3 and Roman Reigns won the other.
Match: It’s a fast paced start to the match but Roman gets the first knockdown in with a superman punch. Owens hits a pop-up powerbomb but it doesn’t keep Reings down. The fight goes to the outside where Roman hits a spear. Reigns uses the ring steps as the two men battle up the entrance way. The fight goes up in the stands, through the Thunderdome screens. Reigns throws Owens off the third row and through a table below. KO beats the count and retreats backstage but Roman runs him down with a golf cart! Owens fights back and hits a powerbomb on to a table before climbing a ladder and hitting a frog splash for a 9 count. KO throws Reigns onto another table and then raises a forklift before climbing it and hitting a senton bomb! Roman beats the count at 9.
They fight back to the entrance ramp where Reigns hits a superman punch and then spears Owens through one of the LED boards! Owens beats the count at 9 but Reigns has handcuffs. He approaches Owens but Owens manages to get the handcuffs from him and beat him down. KO handcuffs Reigns tothe bottom of a lighting rig and Roman can’t get to his feet! The referee starts counting but Roman pulls the referee into the rig to stop the count. Reigns then low blows Owens and Paul Heyman walks over with a key to unlock Roman. Another referee starts counting but Heyman can’t actually unlock Reigns so the referee stops counting. Reigns locks on a guillotine and Owens passes out! The referee counts to ten and Roman Reigns is declared the winner.
Result: Roman Reigns retains the Universal Championship.
Review: This was a good match. Matches like this are few and far between these days and by that I mean matches that go backstage and we gets lots of “hardcore” fun. Roman Reigns wins which is fine because I’m loving his current persona and championship run. This might be the end of this rivalry unless they go to Elimination Chamber.
There’s an ad for championship belts and an ad for Wrestlemania. 69 days away.
2021 Mens Royal Rumble match
Match: Edge and Randy Orton are the first two men in the match but Edge attacks Orton as he makes his entrance. They finally get into the ring and the match kicks off officially. The fight goes back outside the ring where Edge throws Orton into the ring steps and barricade. Sami Zayn and Mustafa Ali are out next and they help Orton beat down Edge. Edge and Orton fight back to the outside where Edge hits Randy with a DDT on the announce desk. Edge then smashes Ortons knee with a chair. Jeff Hardy is the first man eliminated, courtesy of Dolph Ziggler. Officials tend to a frustrated looking Randy Orton. #8 is a surprise entry in Carlito! Man I was always a big fan of Carlito. Randy Orton is helped to the back by referees. New Day get consecutive numbers , hit Sami Zayn with the midnight hour and eliminate him from the match.
Damien Priest from NXT is the #14 entry. The Miz is out in #15 and uses his Money In The Bank briefcase to smash up Bad Bunny’s DJ booth from earlier. Bad Bunny then walks out which distracts The Miz and John Morrison which allows Damien Priest to eliminate both! Bad Bunny then goes up to the top rope and dives down at Miz and Morrison! Kane is a surprise entrant at #18 and he quickly eliminates Dolph Ziggler and Ricochet. Kane and Daniel Bryan then hug it out before Kane chokeslams Bryan. Damien Priest is the man to eliminate Kane! It’s a Royal Rumble debut for Dominik Mysterio and a first elimination for him as he takes out King Corbin. Bobby Lashley looks so good as he comes in and eliminates Dominik Mysterio and Damien Priest. The Hurricane is a surprise at #23. He doesn’t last long.
#24 is a shocker in Christian! Christian along with Riddle, Daniel Bryan and Big E eliminate Bobby Lashley! Edge and Christian embrace in the ring. Omos saves AJ Styles from being eliminated. Omos then eliminates Big E! Omos doesn’t stop there, dispite not being in the match he also eliminates Rey Mysterio. Cesaro brings his swing to the Rumble, first swinging Sheamus and then Daniel Bryan. Seth Rollins is a big entry in 29th and Braun Strowman is a bigger entry in 30th! Strowman eliminates Sheamus, Cesaro and AJ Styles pretty quickly. There’s a technical exchange between Daniel Bryan and Riddle. This would be a good match. Rollins, who has been hiding, eliminates Daniel Bryan.
Just Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Edge and Christian remain. The ending is quick with Edge and Christian eliminating Braun Strowman but Seth Rollins then eliminating Christian. We’re down to Edge and Seth Rollins but Edge quickly eliminates Rollins. Randy Orton then shows up and hits an RKO but Edge counters the elimnination attempt and eliminates Randy to win!
Result: Edge wins, last eliminating Randy Orton.
2. Randy Orton (#29 – Edge)
3. Sami Zayn (#2 – Xavier Woods & Big E)
4. Mustafa Ali (#4 – Big E)
5. Jeff Hardy (#1 – Dolph Ziggler)
6. Dolph Ziggler (#9 – Kane)
7. Shinsuke Nakamura (#12 – King Corbin)
8. Carlito (#5 – Elias)
9. Xavier Woods (#3 – Mustafa Ali)
10. Big E (#19 – Omos)
11. John Morrison (#8 – Damien Priest)
12. Ricochet (#10 – Kane)
13. Elias (6 – Damien Priest)
14. Damien Priest (#16 – Bobby Lashley)
15. The Miz (#7 – Damien Priest)
16. Matt Riddle (#25 – Seth Rollins)
17. Daniel Bryan (#24 – Seth Rollins)
18. Kane (#11 – Damien Priest)
19. King Corbin (#14 – Dominik Mysterio)
20. Otis (#13 – King Corbin)
21. Dominik Mysterio (#15 – Bobby Lashley)
22. Bobby Lashley (#18 – Christian, Big E, Riddle & Daniel Bryan)
23. The Hurricane (#17 – Big E & Bobby Lashley)
24. Christian (#27 – Seth Rollins)
25. AJ Styles (#23 – Braun Strowman)
26. Rey Mysterio (#20 – Omos)
27. Sheamus (#22 – Braun Strowman)
28. Cesaro (#21 – Braun Strowman)
29. Seth Rollins (#28 – Edge)
30. Braun Strowman (#26 – Edge & Christian)
Review: This wasn’t a bad Royal Rumble. Nothing too special about it though. There was a lot of star power at the end and some fun surprises with Carlito and The Hurricane. Edge wins the match though and goes to Wrestlemania to face a champion of his choosing. Not sure how popular that result is but Edge still looks great.
And that was the 2021 Royal Rumble event. For the most part it felt like a good show. Drew McIntyre and Goldberg kicked things off and it was pretty much a match you’d expect. They tried to make a contest out of it without making it too much of a match. It wasn’t here or there really. But McIntyre wins and it is a huge win for Drew beating a true legend. Sasha Banks beats Carmella in what will presuably end their rivalry. This was decent enough, Sasha can start thinking about her Wrestlemania match now. The women’s Royal Rumble match was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it. Bianca Belair is a great choice for a winner, they truly made a star tonight. I loved the finish with Rhea Ripley as I thought Ripley could have won it. It was a nice way to eliminate Charlotte too. I marked for Jillian Hall, she is such a great character.
Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens put on a good Last Man Standing match. The botch at the end ruined it for me when the referee stopped counting because Roman couldn’t free himself from the lighting rig. This will be the end of this rivalry and Roman can now look to Wrestlemania. Owens has had a good run in the main event and I hope it’s not the last we see of him there. Edge then won the mens Royal Rumble match. I’m not keen on this result at all but it wasn’t a terrible match. I loved Carlito’s being a surprise entry and Christian was also a cool touch. I reckon we’ll get Edge vs. Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania. I don’t think Edge needed to be #1 and win, it’s starting to become less impressive and it makes it look easy to do. Overall a good show, The Royal Rumble delivered much like it always does.
Overall Rating: 66.5/100 (ranked joint 55th out of 397)
Match Of The Night: The 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble match
Worst Match Of The Night: Drew McIntyre vs. Goldberg
Surprise Of The Night: Jillian Hall & Carlito
Worst Booking Of The Night: Edge winning the Men’s Royal Rumble match
Superstar Of The Night: Bianca Belair
Royal Rumble 2021 Will Be Remembered For: Bianca Belair and Edge winning the Royal Rumble matches