- Best Match: Cena vs. Styles
- Worst Match: Jax vs. Banks
Slightly disappointing RR Match with all the big stars being saved for the end (felt very fake).
I am 33 years old and I had lots of friends telling me they were watching the Rumble and wanting to come over to watch the show. Guys who were teens in Attitude Era and haven't watched wrestling in over 10 years were all of a sudden wanting to see the show.
There was a lot of interest in this show from casual fans and I was told Hooters restaurants in Toronto were showing RR. Haven't heard of that happening since UFC got hot in 2008. Goldberg seems to be a bigger draw than I would have ever imagined in 2017.
- Frank Fronte
Best Match: Cena vs Styles
I was disappointed Samoa Joe wasn't in the Royal Rumble match but it was a really good Rumble match. Plenty of storyline opportunities coming out of the match, lots of heat early and late.
When do we get a Cena vs. Styles rematch that gets that kind of time. Wow.
Great job WWE. Can't wait for the next two months!
- Erik "T-Bo" Thibault
Overall a thumbs up, but what a huge letdown at the end, even with Orton beating Reigns. Of the 5 main matches, 3 were excellent, 1 meh and the Rumble was such a letdown, I can't even call it good any more.
Best Match -- Owens/Reigns. Barely over Swann/Neville and Styles/Cena. Swann/Neville would have won if the crowd had any interest because technically it was really, really good. The Owens stunt show made that match as good as it could have gotten and while the interference was predictable, at least it was well done. Styles/Cena was great except for kicking out of WAYYYY too many finishers and the fact that Cena still can't punch worth a damn and it irritates me he doesn't try to get better at it.
Worst Match -- Rumble. Barely over Charlotte/Bayley. I still don't see what people see in Bayley. Meh charisma, bad on the mic, bad in the ring. She was so off on some of those moves, it almost looked as bad as Goldberg in the Rumble.
No interesting surprises in the Rumble hurt it a lot. Dillinger at 10 was pretty predictable. Maybe there was no Styles-like moment to be had, but to put Reigns in there at 30 just killed the crowd and the match. I don't care if it does set up Reigns/Taker; I have no interest in that match since it's clearly a vehicle to put Reigns over and pass the torch that no one wants to see. Vince is just insisting on forcing that piece of garbage Reigns down our throats and I'm sick of it. Cancelling my network subscription AGAIN (I got the 3 free months). I'm never paying for it again.
- Dan Graulich
Thumbs in the middle
- Best match: Cena vs Styles
- Worst match: Royal Rumble
Can't give a show with a match as good as Cena/Styles a thumbs down so it's getting a thumbs in the middle. The Rumble match was one of the most disappointing in some time. Even without Orton winning, which to me is a total bore, the match lacked almost everything you want in a Rumble. No good surprises, no real good hope spot, no super over baby face, the big guys etc etc
- Dan Atwood
Just wanted to share my thoughts on the Royal Rumble. I gave the card a thumbs in the middle since nothing really jumped out at me as being spectacular. I think the best match of the night was Roman and Owens, and the worst match in my opinion was probably Cena and Styles. Usually the Rumble event is my favorite match of the year, but with no surprise entrants, and nothing really spectacular in my opinion, it was just an ok match. I didn't see any of the pre show matches. But you would think if the tag titles were going to change hands they would have moved it to the main card, great way to elevate the tag belts.
1. Charlotte VS Bayley -- I thought it was a very good match and with good crowd reactions, but too short for some reason. Charlotte really carries herself perfect as champ. Good to see her retain.
2. Owens VS Roman -- Awesome match! Best match of the night in my opinion. Kevin Owens is just spectacular. This guy has great matches with everyone. Very physical match. Hard bumps by both. Good to see Owens retain the title. They just need to get rid of that god awful Universal title, and replace it with a better looking belt. I'm transfixed by how ugly that title is, lol!
3. Swann VS Neville -- Good match, good to see Neville win the title. I don't think Swann was really standing out as champion and a change was needed. Neville plays a good heel, better than I thought he would be.
4. Styles VS Cena -- Odd match in my opinion. I just don't think it really clicked that well. Although everyone seemed to like it. the crowd was going nuts for it. Seemed to me like Cena was wrestling hurt and it slowed down the pacing of the match. Looked like he tweaked his leg or knee at the start of the match but wasn't sure. Cena wins, geez. I've never been a Cena fan. Don't want Flair's record to be broken, but now it's tied. Was hoping Styles would retain but no such luck.
5. Royal Rumble match -- I thought it was ok, but not the best rumble match I've seen. No surprise entrants was disappointing. Crowd popped huge for Ellsworth, lol. Not really much to the match until the last few entrants with Taker, Lesnar, and Goldberg. All 3 of which didn't do much when they were in there. Orton wins and we get Cena and Orton for Mania. Does not really intrigue me as a main match. Seems like it's been done a million times.
The crowd popped huge for everything all night. I think the crowd made the Rumble match and the event bigger then it actually was. Thought for sure there would be a swerve with Seth Rollins running in as a surprise entrant and even winning the match. But now we are heading into Mania season which is a good thing since the company seems to focus on good booking this time of year. Can already see a few matches for mania already booked. Looks to me like Triple H and Rollins, Taker and Roman, Goldberg and Lesnar, and of course Orton and Cena.
- Jon Southerland
- Best Match: AJ Styles vs. John Cena
- Worst Match: Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks
I'm glad they threw the hardcores a bone with Tye Dillinger at #10. Styles/Cena and Owens/Reigns were both great. The Rumble match had too many wrestlers laying on the mat like they were selling in a New Japan tag match, which created some one-on-one battles that felt artificially created. But with plenty of star power it was a fun Rumble match, and overall I liked this show better than NXT TakeOver.
- Lou Pickney
- Best match: Cena-Styles
- Worst match: Charlotte-Bayley
Good show overall. Rumble was interesting, especially since the ultimate winner (Orton) was not telegraphed in advance...we had four or five potential "winners." Good job getting Lesnar, Goldberg and Undertaker in and out.
Cena-Styles had good chemistry as always. Since we have seen Reigns-Owens constantly on TV, PPV's and house shows, it was actually a nice change to have Jericho in a cage and tables/chairs, which I normally don't like. The cruiserweights didn't excite me or apparently the crowd, but they tried hard.
- Mike Omansky
- Best Match: Cena v Styles
- Worst Match: Sasha v Jax
Okay this was a blowaway event overall great fun stuff but..WWE could have really put a cherry on top of everyone sundae with the Rumble match by having:
1) More interplay by the three folks who closed Raw. Specifically Taker and Lesnar. Since they "cannot fight each other anymore" this is your chance to see it. Don't know about Goldberg owning Lesnar again building for another match.
2) Announced ahead of time the World title match losers can enter. Granted there was no Styles but would have avoided the bad shock reaction of Reigns.
3) Have Rollins in. We know they came up with something to explain why not but him being involved as a main player, which he is, and getting tossed unjustly by Hunter adds to the feud to a bigger audience that will see TakeOver.
4) Don't have Reigns eliminate Taker. Anyone should be able to see the problem there if you really are working on rehabbing him.
5) Have Kane in. Sounds silly but really character has been so involved with Rumbles (consecutively too) that him being in over Enzo or someone should have happened. Is he hurt?
6) Work in a Shield spot. Guaranteed hit every time!
But in general the Rumble match was great. Strowman's elimination sequence was a nice piece of work and think him going out at that moment was a shock. Tye Dillinger at 10 was just such a fun moment. It's goofy and makes no context storyline sense that he would get that spot but man that made folks happy. Good stuff.
Cena/Styles was amazing and this was after really enjoying the other main title match to a high degree and wondering if it could be topped. Loved the cruiserweight title match too just wish it went on before Owens/Reigns to maybe get a better chance.
Know there will be many twists and turns on that winding "Road to WrestleMania" but they better make it clear Orton/Cena is not happening at Mania 33 pretty quickly!!!
- Michael O'Brien
- Best: AJ Styles vs. John Cena
- Worst: Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks
Styles/Cena and Reigns/Owens were the best WWE matches in months. I'm glad Kevin Owens finally had a great match in a title defense on a big event as that was long overdue. The Rumble was good but nothing too memorable -- I hated that Orton won but luckily the last WON prepared me emotionally for that. Although I don't agree with all the booking decisions it was still a super enjoyable show.
- Nick Randall
- Best match: AJ Styles vs John Cena
- Worst Match: Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax
What does it say about building for 2017 when your only babyface victories are Naomi, who already failed in an attempt at the title, and John Cena, who has been around as the face of the company for a decade?
As far as Rumble surprises, no Samoa Joe, no Finn Balor, but then again, no Titus O'Neil.
Crowd booed Reigns out of the building, and eliminating Taker might have served to cement him as most hated babyface in the promotion.
Cena won a super match but the way be buried Styles with TWO AAs as the finish may have taken Styles out of the title picture for awhile. Especially if Orton vs Wyatt is the direction for the World belt on SmackDown.
- Jeff Cohen
Thumbs Up -- 2 great matches and the Rumble is always fun
- Best Match: Owens vs Reigns although it is a coin flip against Cena vs Styles
- Worst Match: Nia Jax vs Sasha Banks
Not sure if Goldberg being eliminated at that moment was early or not. He didn’t look happy. Looked like he slipped off the ropes.
Surprised there were no surprises for big pops but with so many people on the roster and Lesnar, Goldberg and Taker…didn’t really need them.
- Grant Zwarych
Best Match: Cena v. AJ Styles. Great performance by both guys. I thought Styles should go over, but he still looked great in defeat, and Cena looked strong in victory. Cena's last promo on SD was tremendous -- that and this match shows he still has a lot of gas left in the tank.
Honorable mention: Great work by Owens and Reigns also. I would rather see a finish like this to protect Reigns instead of putting the title on him. Hopefully, his heel turn begins tonight. I think people will appreciate how good this guy is in the ring much more when he is heel. I do not want to see the Jericho/Owens act break-up yet (if ever) and I'm glad we didn't really see any hints of that tonight.
Least Good Match: Charlotte v. Bayley. The right result here, with Charlotte looking strong in victory. I don't think the build to this match did Bayley any favors. Same mistake as with Sami Zayn. You can do an underdog angle without making the underdog look weak, but Bayley looked weak in the lead-up to this. It also didn't help that she missed a couple spots. I'm sure Bayley's future is bright, but her time is not yet now. Not a bad match overall, but there was a lot of competition on this card.
Royal Rumble comments: The Rumble was still exciting, despite the odds being correct about the winner. A lot of things to come out of this (Wyatt family shake-up, re-building Lesnar, ROMAN REIGNS HEEL TURN -- what is more heelish than telling the Undertaker, after eliminating him, "this is my yard"?) The two standout spots (Lesnar elimination by Goldberg, Undertaker elimination by Reigns) were more storyline spots than athletic spots, which is perfectly okay.
- Richard Orloski