Nia Jax's new gear is cool. The footwork, not so much. Shayna has some bad ass, sheer gear. There was a very weird looking slingshot move from Charlotte at one point. Nia Jax works the lion's share of the opening of this match, which is a decision. It works out better for Charlotte's hot tag, but the double Natural Selection might have been a first. The Double Moonsault hits and Ric Flair comes out to distract his daughter, as does Lacey Evans. Charlotte Flair fights off distractions repeatedly until a brass knuckled Women's Right hits on Charlotte. A leg drop wins it for Nia Jax. I love a good leg drop to the back of the head. This was really overbooked. It could have just been Lacey and Ric without all the fudgery.
Drew McIntyre (c) defeated Goldberg to retain the title
The entrances for this match took ten minutes alone. Drew McIntyre hit a Glagow Kiss and a spear immediately, then gets speared through a barricade before the match even started. Goldberg kicks out of the Claymore, then hits multiple spears. Drew McIntyre kicks out of a bad jackhammer. Drew McIntyre hits a Claymore for the win. This was exactly what it should have been, and was a blast to watch. WWE was very self aware of their previous shitty booking, and played off of it. Goldberg was KNACKERED as he endorsed Drew McIntyre.
All things considered, a fun time. So much of the intrigue was based on the fact that WWE has miserably booked him for the most part.
Smackdown Women's Title
Sasha Banks (c) defeated Carmella to retain the title
It seems like Carmella delivers every time she's put in situations like this. Sasha Banks continues being one of the most fun wrestlers in the world to watch. Carmella throws Sasha outside, but Reginald catches her. Sasha answers with a headscissors that gets him kicked out. AHHHHHHHHH MY GOD! I'm so glad Carmella is okay. Shades of Lita on that suicide dive. A Frog Splash attempt ends in a Code of Silence. Banks taps out Carmella, and gets the win.
Carmella doesn't get the credit she deserves for her role in matches like this. She was incredible, and being in there with Sasha Banks didn't hurt either. This was a really good match.
Women's Royal Rumble
Bianca Belair wins
Bayley at #1, Naomi at #2. Naomi looks awesome!! Bianca is number 3. I want Bianca and Bayley to go Bulldog. There's an awesome carthweel spot with Naomi and Bianca. Billie Kay enters and joined commentary. Shotzi Blackheart shoots a cannon at Billie Kay.
Shotzi is the first person out, by Shayna Baszler. KENTUCKY'S OWN JILLIAN HALL! Her first WWE match since September 2010, and she buys in to Billie Kay's pitch. Billie keeps helping Ruby Riott. VICTORIA IS HERE! Widow's Peak on Peyton Royce. I'm so happy to see this. The Riott Squad eliminated Billie Kay
Santana Garrett was actually called up to the WWE main roster months ago, and just hasn't been used. Rhea Ripley is the clearer of rings, then Charlotte Flair is out next.
Bayley has an innovative elimination, sliding under Riott on the apron and hitting a sunset flip bomb on Ruby Riott. Torrie Wilson, who apparently has improved as a wrestler by not wrestling, is here. She looked great.
Rhea Ripley apron powerbombs Dana Brooke out of the match. Weird that Lacey Evans would come in, turn her back and expect not to get attacked. WWE production MISSED Bayley being eliminated by Bianca Belair. Woof. Mickie James is back, and she's got new gear and a little ring rust.
WWE LEGEND Alicia Fox wins and loses the WWE 24/7 Title, with a NASTY knee from Mandy in the interim. Dakota Kai comes in, and it's great to see her. Carmella is in, too. Reginald saves her.
I loathe this "land on your back, but not your feet, you're still in the rumble" stuff. On the other hand, I love how quick and urgently Bianca Belair gets back in the ring after she almost gets eliminated. She wastes no time.
Rhea Ripley was having none of the Alexa Bliss shit, and eliminates her quickly. They had Naomi look big strong. 47 minutes and it took both tag champs to eliminate her after over five months off!
LANA ELIMINATED NIA JAX! Nia and Shayna attack Natalya. Still, Natalya makes it into the ring.
Natalya, Bianca Belair, Charlotte, Rhea Ripley are the final four, and Natalya is out quickly. Charlotte Flair is eliminated by both women and laughs.
BIANCA BELAIR WINS!! One of the best Royal Rumble performances of all time! She broke the women's time record. This was a mini-match within the Rumble itself. A fantastically booked Royal Rumble match that played off of emotions and much more!
This match is batshit bananas crazy. A huge spot off the top of the Thunderdome screens. A big powerbomb onto a table, then a dive through it. THEN Owens is on a forklift and does a wild swanton through a table.
Roman Reigns continuing the family tradition of running over people who do Stunners, and later spears Owens through a video wall. They're chucking and ducking, and Reigns gets the advantage. I feel like Kevin Owens walks into buildings and says "what can I jump off of? Can we build something?" Owens won't die, and it's a great story.
Reigns is handcuffed to the set and almost loses, but attacks the ref to save his spot. Heyman helps him out and Reigns puts Owens to sleep. That's a wrap.
Royal Rumble Match
ALL of the heels gang up on Edge through the first four. Orton got Impalered on the table and is taken away. Holy shitting balls, Carlito is jacked. Ali ends up eliminating Xavier Woods, and Big E kills him for it. Elias pops up and uses Damian Priest's chokeslam, then eliminates Carlito. Elias uses Damian Priest's South of Heaven chokeslam right before Priest comes out. What a rib.
This isn't that noteworthy until Miz smashes Bad Bunny's laptop DJ setup. Bunny distracts them, and Priest eliminates Miz and Morrison, then BAD BUNNY HAS SOME HOPS and dives onto Miz and Morrison.
KANE comes in. Kane has now been in Royal Rumbles in the 90s, 2000s, 10s and 20s. He joins Edge as the only person to do that, and joins Jim Duggan and Shawn Michaels as other four-decade Rumble entrants. Damian Priest eliminates him and is showing out!!
Corbin pretty quickly eliminates Nakamura, which is a shocker. Otis is tossed out pretty quickly too. He's eliminated by Dominik. Well, then Lashley comes in and HEAVES people out. Hurricane is one of those, who tries to chokeslam he and Big E.
CHRISTIAN IS BACK!!! He looks great!!! He and Edge reunite in the ring and do their double team offense.
Omos pulls Big E over the top rope, which should not be allowed as an elimination. I don't like the Omos Big E elimination. Why wouldn't Ali have all his buddies come out and eliminate a bunch of people if that were allowed? Omos also catches Rey Mysterio and eliminates him.
Cesaro LIFTS BRAUN, but Braun throws him out. AJ is tossed out, too.
There is an INCREDIBLE mini-match between Riddle and Daniel Bryan. Bryan gets stomped and eliminated. So does Riddle, AFTER HE JUMPS ONTO THE APRON. This was such a stupid spot.
Edge and Christian eliminated Braun, then Seth eliminates Christian at the same time. Rollins gets tossed, but Randy Orton pops up. Orton ALSO gets eliminated, in quick fashion.
This was a fun Rumble match, but had way too much stupid shit in it for me to look at as great.
10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor
Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5. The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones that may change upon a second viewing, or sitting on the match for a period of time. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!