Thumbs in the middle
I'll just give my thoughts in the Rumble match:
- Triple H wins...yay...yay.......Is he up to Ric Flair's record now? Speaking of Ric...
- Ric Flair won his Royal Rumble by fighting all comers the entire match. Roman Reigns get's pulled out and get's to rest for a half hour before returning to a chorus of boos.
- Who eliminated AJ Styles? Quite a debut.
- Who knocked the New Day guy off the other New Day guy's shoulders?
- Brock got eliminated by guys who were already eliminated. Huh?
Great effort buy the guys, but I'm tired of the McMahon/HHH show.
I watched this show only to see if AJ Styles would debut, and how they would treat him. I was pleased he got as much time as he did, but can't help but feel that being eliminated by Owens means he's going to be part of the upper-mid card crew. Personally, I am also confused why they would, in introducing him tonight, bring in ANOTHER wrestler that the crowd would cheer for more than their chosen superstar during the Rumble, but maybe they'd assume that was a given?
Best match: Owens/Steen
Worst match: Royal Rumble. Pretty much a perfect match that captures everything I dislike about WWE booking, and why I haven't watched anything of their's since Wrestlemania 30. Triple H...incredible. Plus side, I did get to see Stardust, and can now confirm that the gimmick sucks as bad as you have mentioned on WOR.
Thanks for all your great work!
Best Match - Becky Lynch vs Charlotte
Worst Match - New Day v. Usos
Note that New Day v Usos was a good match, but if I had to choose one that one is it and that's only because the Usos are past the point of tolerable blandness by now. New Day was thoroughly entertainingtonight.
Awesome Royal Rumble, awesome PPV. HHH winning may not be much better than Roman but at least it's not as forced, especially after the whole stretcher/injury gimmick mid match led the viewers to believe a Roman return + win is highly likely. No bad match on the card, really. Becky Lynch and Charlotte has my nod for match of the night despite the AWFUL finish (and Ric sex assaultish spot) because they really told a story in the ring tonight, and the match was focused on winning, and being the best. That's a major change for the positive.
Highlight of the night for me was most certainly AJ Styles. With the awesome, AJ-appropriate new theme, the Styles Clash tease, and his long run in the match, it was thrilling to see. I hope he isn't relegated to mid-card hell sooner than later, and he's utilized like the rock star that he is. Can't help but be skeptical of what's in store for him.
Best Match: the Royal Rumble match
Worst Match: Usos vs New Day
A really great Royal Rumble match, much more exciting and intriguing than the Rumble of the past few years! It seems like the Road to Wrestlemania season is also the season of booing Roman Reigns. After the past few months of crowd support, they turned on him! Perhaps centering the whole event around one single person backfired? The match was really exciting overall, but it felt like the momentum dropped a bit after Brock Lesnar was eliminated. It was a clear signal at that point that Roman was going to win (if not Triple H, who wasn't in at the moment). What a debut for AJ Styles! Really glad the crowd knew who he was with rampant cheers throughout. I was really glad (and maybe surprised?) that they let AJ Styles keep his name!
Aside from the Rumble itself, I thought they did a good start to the new women's program! The Ambrose vs Owens match was a great opener as well. The other matches seemed insignificant.
Overall an enjoyable show.
2016 WWE Royal Rumble
Thumbs in the Middle
Best Match: Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
Worst Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto
If you're not watching with Spanish commentary, you're missing out.
It's a much less frustrating experience. Even the commercials are
considerably more tolerable with the Spanish announcers translating
them in real time.
Nice seeing AJ Styles debut as AJ Styles.
Thumbs Up for the show. Thought that it was an absolute blast from start to finish. There were a couple of lulls in the Royal Rumble but they didn't massively drag it down. Loved seeing AJ Styles, possible feuds going into Wrestlemania are promising (Bray vs. Brock, Owens vs. Styles or Zayn), and thought the undercard was great.
Best Match: Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose - Last Man Standing Match for the Intercontinental Championship. Both men were booked very strongly and it made them seem like they both would do anything for the championship. Great finish to cap off a tremendous slug fest.
Worst Match: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte - Somewhat narrowly beating out Kalisto vs. Del Rio (which was good aside from some botches) because I thought that the finish wasn't that great and the action was, at times, slow. I saw that some people really didn't like the spot where Flair kissed Becky but I thought it was kind of funny. However, I don't understand why Flair wasn't ejected or Charlotte wasn't DQ'd for that.
Good evening Dave,
Just wanted to send my Rumble thoughts to you.
Best match: Becky/Charlotte
Worst match: Pre-show tag (didn't really hate any of the main matches on the show)
Overall, I thought the Royal Rumble was an enjoyable show but it had some problems. I know everyone will likely rave about the Owens/Ambrose match but I honestly didn't get too into it. I don't know if it was the Last Man Standing stipulation or the frequent camera cuts in the match, but something kept taking me out of it. I felt the rest of the matches on the card did a better job building a story than it and ultimately voted for Becky/Charlotte because I'm more into where that will go next after that finish and post-match.
As for the Rumble itself, I felt it had a strong start but ultimately petered out by the end. AJ's elimination couldn't have been done better and showed some foresight that the last two Rumbles lacked. Brock's elimination drew a collective groan from the people I watched the show with as nobody wants to see this feud at all. But I think what made the ending of the Rumble feel flat to me wasn't Triple H's expected victory; it was the tease for a match that I think should really be the main event for WrestleMania. I'm thinking after tonight it's time to change directions and go with Dean Ambrose.
Royal Rumble: Thumbs Up
Best Match: Royal Rumble
Worst Match: PreShow Tag Team 4 Way
The preshow match was nothing special and I really thought the Dudley's might actually win here, but it wasn't to be.
Main show starts with excellent Ambrose vs. Owens match and what a perfect table smash from Owens.
Entertaining tag title bout as well although I am tired of this cominbation. Wish there were more teams to mix things up. New Day act is funny, but maybe a little too over done.
Del Rio vs. Kalisto had some badly mistimed spots, but still pretty good and why Kalisto needed to lose on Smackdown to get it back here I'm not sure. Let's see what they do with him now.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte was very good. Glad they got some time to do a match. A few weird spots that I thought for sure the ref saw and should have sent Ric to the back and Becky trying to get rid of the jacket off of her was a little too comical, but I guess Charlotte is holding on and the feud with Banks for Mania should be good.
Royal Rumble match was very good and the best one in quite some time. Debuting AJ Styles was great and glad he was treated well in the match. They played it out well although the Triple H was somewhat predictable. I guess he had to find a way to get the title back. I mean otherwise how will catch Cena's number.
Overall a very good show. Good way to start the year. Hope they continue the momentum.
Best match - Ambrose-Owens
Worst match - Kallisto-Del Rio by default (but it wasn't bad)
Great show, best WWE show since at least Summerslam. Opener was so good - two best guys in WWE right now going at it. There weren't any stinkers and it was logically booked throughout the night. Rumble set up so many stories going into Mania - Owens-Styles, Ambrose-Jericho, Bray-Brock, HHH-Reigns. They wrote themselves out of the corner they put themselves into, let's hope they can keep it up.
Best Match - All were good, probably Ambrose vs Owens.
Worst - Rumble. Not bad per se, but some blah spots.
Good Rumble overall. However there were a few points that were troublesome going forward.
Number one is HHH vs Roman. They undid a lot of good work for Roman tonight. The perception was Romans has been handed everything and hasn’t had to work for it. So the company decided to answer that by giving him the breather at the 20 minute mark, and bringing him back at 29. Meanwhile Styles and Jericho carried large chunks of the in-ring. They can't be shocked HHH got cheered. Mania could be horrible for him, even if he has The Rock in his corner. They have a star on the roster from the shield. Just that it’s Dean Ambrose. They had a chance to have Roman turn on a Dean win, and have a fresh main event with a fresh dynamic. Instead we will continue to get Stone Cold Roman Reigns.
Also, I understand the why, but the entire Wyatt family coming back in to remove Brock dragged on, and I think the having people come and go into the Rumble as they please thing hurts the match overall.
Beyond that, the show itself was great, and most of the Rumble was well done.
Just some feedback on the Rumble match. I give the show a thumbs up for a really good undercard, but the rumble match itself left a lot to be desired. Hard to pick a best match of the night but would probably go with Ambrose / Owens, and worst match of the night is probably the Rumble itself since it was really predictable and not very excited about the boss making himself the winner.
1. Pre show match - Fatal 4 way tag with the winning "team" advancing into the rumble. Was hoping the Dudleys would get the win since it would be cool to see them in the Rumble. But no such luck, we get Henry &Swagger advancing, not a good sign. lol
2. Ambrose / Owens - Very good match, hardcore bumps, probably the best match of the night. Don't think it really mattered who won the match since neither guy will be affected by the loss, but would be cool to see Owens the I/C champ again. Was great when Cole got bumped and fell over breaking his glasses, which meant we did not have to hear him commentate for at least a few minutes, lol. Would have been nice to see Mario Renallo added to the Rumble announce team as he brings that big fight feel in my opinion. But I digress.
3. New Day VS Uso's - A pretty good match, I like the New Day trio. Was not a big fan at first but they eventually won me over. Good match with the Usos.
4. Del Rio VS Kalisto - Good to see Kalisto getting a push and winning the US title again. Good to see the undercard guys getting elevated. Maybe Kalisto is going to be the next Rey Mysterio. Good match, good win, does not really hurt Del Rio to lose in this situation and pushes Kalisto,
5. Charlotte VS Lynch - The match told a very good story with the former friendship between the two being built into the match and made it that much more enjoyable. Both women are very talented. and Charlotte is amazing. Very good match. Huge pop by the crowd when Banks came out, I really like where this is going and hope they feature a match at Mania between Banks and Charlotte and give them ample time to build a really good match for Mania.
6. Royal Rumble match - This match was ok I guess. Have seen better, have seen worse. But no huge surprises in the match with the exception of AJ Styles, which was really cool, otherwise somewhat of a lackluster rumble. The crowd seems to turn on Roman at strange times for some reason. And not really thrilled with Triple HHH basically putting himself in the main event of Mania as the champion since it would seem it's just really to feed is own ego, but hopefully they will go somewhere positive with this. Hopefully Brock is involved somehow since he was eliminated by guys who were already eliminated, so I'm sure they will make that into a storyline. Will be interesting to see where this goes with Triple HHH as champion. But it's just a little self serving to push himself as champ when and being in the main event of mania when there is a ton of talent to push right now.
Best match: Charlotte - Becky Lynch
Worst Match: Usos - New Day
Definitely a ton better than the last two Rumbles. The Rumble itself held my attention despite the fact the ending was inevitable. It amazing how over AJ Styles was with the crowd. I'm cautiously excited about watching him on this roster. HHH also super over, which only goes to show how much hardcores still resist Reigns.
All the matches were at least OK. Opener was tremendous. Owens and Abrose have great chemistry together. A perfect match of brawlers who can go.
But the women's match was the highlight for me. Charlotte is tremendous as a heel and Sasha and Lynch played their parts. The Divas are probably the strongest angle in WWE.
On the negative I couldn't care less about the tag team division. I wish they would push Kalisto but fully expect him to lose Monday. Just another botched push.
Thumbs up for the whole card but thumbs WAY down for the Rumble booking with HHH winning the title.
Best match on the card was Becky vs Charlotte. Really well done. Hope there will be a 3-way at Mania with Becky, Charlotte, and Sasha.
To me, with regards to HHH, it's the same old shit. I will continue to watch this product. But I know casuals who only watch the Rumble and Mania. Maybe Summerslam. They see HHH with the title and think, "this guy was champ when I was in high school or college. Same old shit. Nothing has changed. I'm gonna watch something else on Mondays and Thursdays."
You got AJ. Why not book AJ's debut the way The Giant was booked in his first WCW match, where Giant beat Hogan for the title? Do something fresh. Something different. Something shocking, but in a logical way that makes sense. The announcers stated AJ was a former IGWP champ, like Lesnar. Imagine he comes in and wins the WWE title in his first WWE match? It would have been tremendous and shake things up a bit, and make AJ an instant main event WWE star.
Isn't the WWE in business to make new WWE stars to make money?
Instead, the casuals see HHH with the title and mutter "same old shit" and tune out. With all the eyeballs on Royal Rumble, this would have been the time to do something daring, take a chance, and elevate AJ, in his debut, to the main event. And they blew it because they are determined to ge Lex Luger 2.0 over.
Best Match: Rumble by default but really HHH winning in a totally non creative way is it 2003 again? Brock vs the Wyatts honestly who cares. Best part of the show Sasha Banks at the end of the really good Charlotte vs Becky match. Girls starting to get better reactions then most of the guys. Even though most of the guys are booked horribly so it's not their fault. Ambrose vs Kevin Owens was good and the New Day is entertaining for what it is. They better have something huge planned with Rock. Brock vs Wyatts and HHH vs Reigns and Undertaker vs random opponent as your top matches at mania is going to suck if that's the best they have. Thumbs barely in the middle cause of Sasha and Brock killing people.
My Royal Rumble review:
Match of the Night: Owens vs. Ambrose
Worst Match: Kalisto vs. Del Rio
Thought the undercard was great. The Owens vs. Ambrose match was fantastic and might end of being a WWE MOTY candidate. Both guys looked like huge stars and felt really important. Tag title match was also good and the New Day seemed back on form (they've been jumping the shark lately). Del Rio vs. Kalisto wasn't bad, but it was a bit sloppy... this always seems to happen when Del Rio faces other Mexican guys. The title change didn't feel important whatsoever though due to all the flip flopping lately. The Divas match was better than usual (on the main roster) and I thought the spot where Flair threw his jacket on top of Becky's head was one of the funniest things I've seen in the WWE in years, I literally couldn't stop laughing. That got the match bonus points in my book, it was so ridiculous in a crazy old man Flair kind of way. And it's great they've finally set Sasha up for a Mania match as a babyface.
The Rumble match itself had its ups and downs. It actually didn't seem as much as a mid-card geek fest as it appeared it would on paper. For better or worse, basically everything we thought needed to happen in terms of storyline progression happened. HHH/Authority screwed Roman, Wyatt's screwed Brock, Zayn got his revenge on Owens.
It was great to see the reaction AJ Styles got, that was a great reaction and moment. Although, I knew the problem of debuting him in a Rumble match he's not going to win in that he's got to end up laying in corners or selling for monsters most of the time. You realize how big everyone in the WWE is when you get a guy like AJ come in and you have all these monsters like Big Show, Kane, Harper, Rowan, Titus, etc. in there. I don't think they made him look bad or anything, but I would have rather seen Bullet/Balor club debut as a group. At the very least, I think he should have stayed in until near the end instead of Jericho.
Back to the match, I thought they took a big step backwards with Roman by stretchering him out and then having him leave the match on his own. Cole noted "he's refusing a gurney" as if that mattered. Isn't the babyface supposed to want back in the match no matter what? As Bryan noted on Twitter, Owens the heel dragged himself back out there. They could have at least said the doctors are forcing Reigns out of the match to be tested backstage or something. And then of course later on, just like last years entrance against Sting, Hunter positioned himself with a huge babyface return, so after all the hard word they've done to get Roman cheered, they certainly once again positioned him to get booed tonight.
I wasn't a fan of all the interference with the Wyatt's on Brock since we already had the L.O.N. do a number on Roman earlier. It was a bit overkill in that sense, although I get why they did it. I'm really not excited at all about Bray vs. Brock for Mania. Bray is great with the right opponent, but with Brock I want to see him in a physical/athletic match, not all the wacky goblins and demons stuff we'll be forced to watch leading up to Mania.
As for the finish, did anyone really expect anything different? There was no way around HHH and the Authority getting their revenge. As much as we may like to bitch about it, there weren't a lot of options due to all the injuries. For all the speculation as to what might happen, when dealing with HHH, just think of this quote from The Simpsons...
Marge: "I guess it's never the most likely suspect."
Lisa: "Actually, Mom, in 95% of cases, it is. The rest of the time, it's usually some deranged lunatic who did it for no reason."
- Tim Dudle7
They killed each other!!! I was so happy that Ambrose won, and it was even better that he and Owens beat the ever loving shit out of each other in one hell of a match!
Worst Match: Royal Rumble
I feels weird saying that because I actually liked the Rumble. They did a good job setting up matches for Wrestlemania, and we got the debut of AJ STYLES!!! However, with the exception of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, none of the matches they set up were matches I want to see. Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt? Triple H vs. Roman Reigns? No thanks. Also, Triple H as WWE Champion in 2016? Gimme a break... (One other good thing: I wasn't ready for Ambrose to be one of the final two. I actually thought he would win at that point, and I was standing up for the rest of the match ready to flip my shit if he won. But, he didn't...)
Overall: Thumbs Up
Despite Triple H winning, I thought the show as a whole was pretty fun and a thousand times better than last year's Rumble.
Royal Rumble Feedback
Best Match: Kevin Owens vs Dean Ambrose
Worst Match: New Day vs Usos
I thought the show was overall very good. The opening Last Man Standing match with Kevin Owens vs Dean Ambrose was great and it was the perfect stipulation. I also thought Kalisto winning the US title worked well. I have no issue with the tag title match but it wasn't as good as the rest of the undercard which was really good. This includes the women's match.
The Rumble match itself was almost entirely good. AJ Styles got such a great reaction and performed well. I think he would make a great opponent for either Undertaker or Chris Jericho at Mania.
HHH winning the rumble and the title doesn't enrage or interest me really. The biggest problem to me is Roman Reigns being taken out of the match as it took away from the feeling of him being screwed over. But it was better than last year's rumble match as it got over Styles, Owens, Zayn and Ambrose. Wyatt was doing great but the elimination by HHH killed him a bit. This might sound like a thumbs in the middle review but i enjoyed the show overall, and especially the first match and then AJ definitely liked the show
THUMBS UP without question. Undercard was great, Rumble match itself was great, esp. considering that the winner was obvious as soon as HHH came out as #30. This show was also helped by a great crowd all night.
BEST MATCH: Has to be the Rumble match. There were some disappointments (as there often are in the RR) but overall, one of the best in recent memory.
WORST MATCH: I didn't watch the preshow, but by default, I would wager quite a bit the preshow match was not as good as any of the matches on the main card.
AMBROSE v OWENS: I was worried somewhat by having Ambrose in a match like this where he would have to actually do some real selling. (I didn't foresee his not selling his beating by being the RR runner-up.) That said, a very strong match, that Owens carried. If there was a category of performance of the night, it was Owens. The only negative in the match was a change of momentum because Ambrose threw a chair on Owens head, which negated all the punishment Ambrose had taken. Ambrose had better watch some Ricky Morton matches: babyfaces need to sell!
USO v NEW DAY: Great finish to this match, and a lot of this probably has to do with the camerawork. Big E had to already be in the ring to catch an Uso, but the camera angle made it look like he just slipped in at the perfect time. The New Day schtick seemed fresh to me, not too overdone. A lot of strong spots in the match. Even though this was a "smart" crowd, I think this match supports the idea that the Usos could be heels, and maybe they should be.
KALISTO v. ADR: A pretty good match that had some blown spots, which is to be expected with these kind of spots, and a great size disparity of performers. More important is that this was the right result, to resurrect Kalisto. It was bad enough when he got slapped around by the League of Nations during an interview, but when ADR was slapping him around during the match, I really felt that Kalisto had to win here or else he would really be buried, and he did. I think he is a good person to put this belt on, and maybe have the US title be a de facto small guy championship, instead of two mid-card titles with basically no distinction.
BECKY v. CHARLOTTE: I wish they would let Becky Lynch have human-colored hair. But for Charlotte, I thought her bedazzled face is in keeping with being a heel. The match was very solid, exciting, and honestly, I thought Michael Cole did a good job with supporting the challenger in his commentary. Sasha Banks return, sans BAD and looking for the title, was one of the best 3 moments on the show. I especially liked how she was true to her character, and threw out Lynch first -- she is all about #1, not a team player. If she goes back to BAD, this moment will be ruined.
RUMBLE MATCH: I would have been SO pissed if Roman Reigns won after "going to the back without being eliminated" for half the match. It made NO SENSE that the League of Nations didn't throw him in the ring to get eliminated after the beat down. Some kind of worked-shoot fake injury would have been better to get him to the back. This was the worst moment of the night.
I loved KO limping into the aisle, reminiscent of Bret Hart. He was selling his beating earlier like a babyface, whereas Ambrose gets hit by a Mack Truck, and 30 seconds later he is doing his ridiculous mugging. I like Ambrose as a performer, but I hate his present "lunatic" character.
SZ eliminating KO was the most predictable moment of the night, and sets up a WM (presumably) that should be good. KO had the excuse that he was in a tough match earlier, so you can still make him look strong, EXCEPT Dean Ambrose is seemingly impervious to injury.
Shouldn't Miz have been eliminated when the number after him got into the ring? I seem to remember that was the rule in past years, that you have the 2 mins to get into the ring, or you forfeit your spot. If you don't have to get in the ring, why doesn't everyone just wait in the back until #30 is called? Why does it matter than Roman Reigns was #1 if he never had to get in the ring?
I knew that Lesnar was going to clear out the dominant Wyatt family, but only when I saw the Wyatts return to eliminate him (the only way you could really do it) I was disappointed to realize that this Wyatt push is only about feeding him to Lesnar at WM. Disappointing. VERY disappointing. (At least the Wyatts understood the need the ELIMINATE their man, which the League of Nations and VKM didn't figure out.)
AJ Styles looked GREAT in the ring. One of the best performances of the night. But he needs a haircut.
When you got to the end of the Rumble, with AJ Styles being the only real surprise, it was something of a let down to know that one of the people in the ring would be champion, and since I knew the odds, I knew it would be HHH. I was interested that the Rumble fans are STILL rejecting Reigns, and were rooting for HHH to eliminate him. I knew there would be a big pop when Reigns was eliminated, and there was. The Samoans, Reigns and the Uso, should form a heel stable. VKM, I knew Steve Austin, I watched Steve Austin during the Attitude era, I felt like Steve Austin was a friend of mine. VKM, Roman Reigns is no Steve Austin. At least not yet. (With apologies to the late Lloyd Bentsen.)
Overall: Thumbs up. I watched all three nights of NJPW Fantastica Mania. Each night was fun and enjoyable. It is interesting to see the NJPW wrestlers and fans embrace the components of Lucha Libre that make it unique while maintaining some of the qualities of Japanese wrestling that set it apart from other forms of the genre. The mood was light, the atmosphere was happy, and the action was low on stop and high on go. I did feel a though a level of sameness and repetition set in on each show, hurting the overall presentation and entertainment factor. Too many of the masked wrestlers (luchadors) are too similar to stand out and the match formulas and spots are strung together in a similar format to the point of being interchangeable.
Best Match: Dragon Lee vs.Kamaitachi. Far and away, this was the standout match of all three nights. With his physique and athleticism, Dragon Lee is a talent who demands your attention. Some of the spots in this match were insane and the timing was spot on. One of my consistent complaints about Lucha Libre is that entertainment often compromises the competition. This match felt like an intense competition between two athletes trying to make a name for themselves.
Worst Match: The Liger/Virus match was bizarre to a level of being bad.
Overall: Thumbs up. Start to finish, it was an entertaining show. The undercard, especially the Owens and Ambrose match, exceeded expectations. The momentum was sustained going into the best Rumble match in recent memory. The outcome was predictable, but the path to the destination was a rollercoaster of surprises. WWE should feel good about booking an entertaining Rumble match and an overall good event. Probably more importantly, WWE should be worried that the momentum that Reign’s gathered after TLC has dissipated going into WrestleMania.
Best Match: Ambrose and Owens was 20 action packed minutes that started the show on a high note.
Worst Match: Nothing was bad and nothing caused the momentum of the show to wane.
1. IC Championship Last Man Standing Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens. In WWE, a Last Man Standing Match is as close as it comes to a sure shot for an entertaining match. The aggressiveness, creative transitions, and awe inspiring table spots pegged this match above the majority of similar contests. Moreover, a lively crowd created a hot atmosphere for an equally seamy match. ****
2. Tag Team Title Match: The New Day vs. The Usos. Some rough spots during the heat segment, but they overcame the miscues to build a solid match. The good outweighed the bad and the finish was strong. They aimed to steal the show and came up short. They need to turn The New Day face and stop swimming upstream. In addition, wrestling a quasi-fan favorite team handicaps a traditional hero team such as the Usos. **1/2
3. US Title Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Kallisto. For the most part, this was a well wrestled match. The few miscues hurt the build towards the finish and took the crowd out of the moment. Nonetheless, the deciding pin fall got a noteworthy reaction. I still wonder why they did the back and forth with the title. **3/4
4. Divas Title Match: Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch. Timing wise, it was not perfect. From a crowd investment perspective, it was a successful match. I count this as the first notable success in the “Divas Revolution.” We now have an over baby face (Becky) and a heel with heat (Charlotte). And we have Sasha. I don’t know if she is friend or foul, but it sounds like she is over. Unfortunately, I feel Becky might be pushed to the backburner in favor of Sasha. **3/4
5. WWE World Title Royal Rumble Match. The video packages and announces were pushing the “one versus all” story way too hard. By doing so, they were asking for a backlash against Reigns. The backlash did occur, but enough thought went into the Rumble match to control the emergence of an all-out rebellion. This was perhaps the most well layed out and consistently entertaining Rumble match in recent memory. Twists, turns, surprises, and possible eggs that will hatch into WrestleMania season feuds. The outcome was predictable, but the path to the destination was a rollercoaster of surprises.
Great show, one of the best in a while. Happy they’ve started the road to wrestlemania well after last year’s debacle.
Thumbs way up
Best match – the rumble!
Worst match – preshow tag if counts, if not then kalisto – del rio
Was really pumped for AJ Styles, they’ve not even changed his gloves. Loved them putting over the styles clash I was worried he wouldn’t be able to do it because he’s injured a few people with it. (saying that I note he didn’t actually do it)
Would really like to see an AJ styles – Chris Jericho match at wrestlemania which is possibly the direction they were going?! or him involved in the intercontinental scene with KO and dean ambrose.
Sami Zayn was a bit plus coming out so soon after AJ’s elimination.
Super rumble put together really well. Very happy fan seeing reigns eliminated, was cheering in my bedroom.
Best Match: Owens-Ambrose
Worst Match: Pre show 4 way
All around great show with not even remotely a bad match on the main card. Typical intense traveling big event crowd too for the event which always adds to the atmosphere. The one bad match was the 4 way for entry into the Rumble. With these hour pre-shows I don’t know why they don’t give folks some time and a chance to shine a little and actually warm up the crowd. Don’t need a **** match or anything just a little something more.
Last Man Standing was a war, those two really know how to project that hatred for each other and desire to win or keep the title more than most of the roster and for the most part they took time between spots to make the damage mean more. Was very worried Owens would take a big bump with that chair around his neck thank goodness that wasn’t the plan. New Day continues to really entertain at times, even though they have flirted with overexposure. Their comedy and work in this one stood out. Usos worked hard as normal as well. Del Rio and Kalisto had another solid match, I’m hoping the flip flopping of the title lead to a best of 7 series. The divas title match was on the better side of main roster women’s matches. Was not feeling the teased Sasha being a lackey and lo and behold she laid Charlotte out and it’s time to pull the trigger on Banks with the title.
The Rumble itself was very good but had some challenges at times that brought it down a notch or two for me. The camera work was really bad. Just straight up missing some stuff or some weird angles and cuts really interfered with the viewing experience, and can’t recall the last time this occurred to take me out of a big match. There’s a lot going on in the Rumble but the crew should be used to it. It’s not like this is the first WW3 event or something. Missing the Kofi elimination was ridiculous. Isn’t it odd that they have had a couple years now with the Kofi spot resulting in a no big deal elimination afterwards? Why was the camera on Reigns when Styles hit? Though this piece of camera view was intentional; I HATED the dedication on the Reigns beat down. Couldn’t we at least get split screen? It was on Reigns and the League so long it felt like the 99 Rumble which is not a good reference point. I felt at times there wasn’t enough of a sense of urgency to get Reigns out or the fact that these people were going for the title which held it down a little as well. After all that though the work in the match was very solid and enjoyed the story. Not minding Triple H as champion at all because it’s a logical path for him to do it himself after all the failed attempts with a chosen one representing the “Authority’s Best Interests”. Hoping after Mania though they go in a different direction with some fresh ideas. Was thinking it was possible Wyatt may stay and be able to eliminate Hunter and Reigns at the end and have Wyatt-Brock for the title as well OR a potential Ambrose turn at the end when it came down to the final 4. Not saying any of that should have happened but it’s always nice when you feel that the end of the Rumble could have different outcomes.
No issues during the show but once again had the monthly issue where it took many attempts to start the show at 7. Saw a little more feedback than normal on Twitter that folks were losing or lagging, not to a crazy level but noticeable. Was so tempted to stay up and watch the WWE24-WM31 special but wiped out after a lot of shoveling this weekend on the East Coast. Will be watching it ASAP though, looks awesome.
Easy Thumbs Up
Best Match: Last Man Standing.
Worst Match: U.S. Title Match (but it wasn’t bad)
This was a really good show despite some strange booking decisions by the WWE. (We seem to be back where we don’t feel the need for people to be heels or faces). Example: Sasha hits Becky prior to a face turn. HHH feels like a face going over Ambrose (the timing, how he made his comeback). The WWE has really prioritized workers in the talent they hire now so PPV’s (where they get time for the matches and have real finishes) are almost always good. Best woman’s match in a long time in terms of heat and crowd reaction. I also love how they teased a future Styles/Reigns program, as well as Zayn/Owens or Styles/Owens. Any of that would be awesome. Styles was SO over and the announcers talked about him like he was such a star everyone knew him. (Former IWGP Champ just like Brock!) Hopefully the WWE is able to get some momentum from this going into Fastlane. I would assume the main event of that show will be a match for the #1 contender, maybe inside the Chamber or something like that.
Royal Rumble 2016
Best Match: Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens
Worst Match: New Day vs The Usos
Another record for the books.
Kane eliminated one more wrestler to continue his dominance of opponents thrown over the top rope in the Royal Rumble.
Also, HHH won his second Rumble after a 14-year gap. If he were not responsible for the booking, it would truly be a remarkable accomplishment.
Sasha Banks became the biggest female babyface on the roster, although WWE can botch the booking by setting a three-way for Fast Lane that includes Becky Lynch, in an effort to put off the solo Charlotte-Sasha match for WM.
The Kalisto/Alberto Del Rio booking becomes even stupider with the recapturing of the U.S. title on Rumble. Now Del Rio has done TWO jobs to Kalisto in the span of two weeks. And is just as dead in his position, as is Kalisto.
If three-person matches are the way to go for Fast Lane, Kevin Owens vs AJ Styles vs Sami Zayn would be the way to go, putting AJ in with two quality, motivated workers and again pushing off the Owens vs Zayn solo match for WM.
Strowman is abominable. Atrocious. And looks like the latest monster to be fed to Undertaker for an "easy" victory. There goes the streak of great Undertaker matches.
Kofi's annual Rumble spot was fine. But the elimination was completely missed during the Reigns beatdown. They couldn't wait another two minutes? At least, it should have been used for crowd distraction as Reigns was WALKING to the back for "treatment."
R-Truth brought in a ladder into the Rumble as if this was a Money in the Bank match, continuing his "I'm a moron" gimmick. It's amazing that with the increased awareness of CTE and concussion injuries, they give a guy a gimmick where his long career may have played a part in him not clearly thinking about his surroundings and the matches he's in.
Overall I give the PPV 4.5 stars (out of 5).
Best Match: Dean Ambrose (C) vs Kevin Owens, Last Man Standing
Worst Match: If I have to choose one, it would be the Tag Titles match, but I don’t think it was awful.
1. Opening match was awesome. It was the perfect way to start. Ambrose and Owens were great as usual, and I am looking forward to big matches for each of them at Mania. They deserve the spotlight.
2. Tag match was ok. It seemed a little sloppy to me, or that they were just missing something. All worked hard and the finish was exciting.
3. US title match was good too, which I expected given their recent matches together. I expected Kalisto to win, but am curious where they go from here, and hope they keep the belt on him for the next couple months at least.
4. I loved the women’s match! Both did a great job, and I thought the match built well. The crowd really wanted Becky to win, which I thought they should’ve done only if they were going to continue the feud. They’re clearly not going to do that, which is fine because Sasha/Charlotte should be great and I’m looking forward to the promos and matches. It bums me out that Becky was literally kicked to the curb here tho. Like she was just a stand in, which is not the right play in my opinion.
5. Royal Rumble match was great. Happy to see AJ Styles in, perform well of course, and be in there a long time. Zayn was a good addition as well. I do think they should’ve kept Reigns in the whole match. Even if he doesn’t win, (which I didn’t think he should), it would’ve been a better story in my opinion to have him actually go the gauntlet and get thrown out by HHH at the end. The finish is what I expected, and I’m glad that HHH won, and Ambrose was the last guy he had to throw out.
Right now I’m looking forward to WM32, which I wasn’t sure I’d be saying considering how the shows have been the past few months, but I’m hoping they build these new feuds well (fingers crossed).
Janice Bates—Denver, CO
Thumbs Way Up
I am astonished at the amount of negative feedback this show has been getting on various comments sections. I marked out at Sasha and AJ's entrances. I also really enjoyed the last 5 minutes of the show. I get people's frustrations with using HHH and I personally was hoping for Goldberg's music to hit at #30 but what we got was good enough.
Best Match - Rumble
I don't think people understand how difficult it must be to book a 30 man match that gives the audience as much as this did. Probably in my Top 5 Rumble matches. The flow of the match was one of the all time best and I thought the Roman heroic comeback swerve and timing of Roman's return at #29 was perfect. They could even play it like HHH decided to take matters into his own hands seconds before #30 was due.
Worst Match - Del Rio Kalisto
I just don't care about Del Rio. That is, I care as much as he clearly does. He's been sleepwalking for months now.
Great job by all involved. If only it can continue...
Iain Couper, Edinburgh, Scotland
Thumbs way up
BEST: Royal Rumble match
WORST: Preshow 4 way tag match
- The Preshow match got the show off to a lousy start, when a team with no history (and no one who was over like Sandow) won, then went on to last about a minute combined in the Rumble.
- Owens/Ambrose delivered greatly. Everything looked outstanding, and largely safe but they were really drilling each other with the chairs. Crowd liked both guys.
- New Day was very over among the hardcore fans in the audience, but they do need new challengers as the Usos seem a bit stale now. Great display of strength by Big E for the finish.
- Assuming he doesn't lose the title on Raw, it's good to see them doing something with Kalisto as this was a clean win with his finish, unlike the Raw one where he won with a roll up.
- Hopefully WWE paid attention to the women's match. Good presentation, storyline, build up with the video package, match placement right before the Rumble that's usually the spot of the World title match, plus the championship ring introductions did 1000x more for the women than a blanket DIVAS REVOLUTION branding. Hopefully they keep this up and this is the feud that goes down as the game-changer. The crowd was into this the whole way, it was worked like a big time match, and Banks' return at the end positioned her as a star as it looks like Team BAD is history.
- Not much bad to say about the Rumble match at all. Smart move to have Owens eliminate AJ since he's loved by the same group of fans. The only thing that didn't make sense was Brock going meekly to the back after being eliminated. Most people were expecting him to destroy the Miz at the announce table before he left. I guess the League of Nations not throwing Reigns in the ring to eliminate him after destroying hiM also didn't make sense. HHH as 30 was a surprise as I think people were expecting him to come in after Reigns tossed everyone in more of a screwjob finish. He really won this one clean, except for the fact that they will probably play up that Reigns was forced to be no. 1 and HHH was given no. 30. Two of the three top Mania matches appear to be set in stone though, with Undertaker the only question mark. AJ/Owens and Ambrose/Jericho also look likely for Mania, if not before.
- Building was jam packed from before the pre show match. Everyone went through metal detectors, but there were no delays getting in.
- Return date announced for a house show on 6/26.
- Crowd was mostly into everything. The tag match was a little flat at times because the crowd didn't want the Usos and once the New Day gets in the ring they aren't as over as they are for their promos. Everyone liked the finish though.
- There was very bad timing in the Rumble as the spot were Reigns got put through the table and Jericho eliminated Kingston off of Big E's shoulders happened at the exact same time. I don't think anyone saw both as people were explaining the spot other people missed.
- The crowd really didn't expect Reigns to be dumped out before getting to the final 2, but it was clear that it was done so HHH wouldn't get a gigantic face reaction for winning the belt if he eliminated Reigns last.
- The crowd getting behind Ambrose was probably the loudest part of the night besides Styles' debut. Zayn's entrance and Sasha Banks' return also got major reactions.
- The Rumble match is an awesome live experience. Probably more fun than any match I've seen with the exception of a really major PPV main event or a huge Mania match.
- Chris H
Overall, I give the show a thumbs up. The best match on the card was Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens, followed by the Royal Rumble. The worst match was Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto.
This Rumble was vastly superior to many of the recent ones, especially the last 2. The perfect guy eliminated AJ Styles in Kevin Owens, and the perfect guy to eliminate Owens was definitely Zayn. While I'm not too eager to see Lesnar/Wyatt, they set it up well. Closing the Rumble with Ambrose and Triple H seemed to be a great choice. Everything about this Royal Rumble match felt far better booked than the previous ones, and it might be one of the best Royal Rumbles ever.
New Brunswick, Canada
Best Match - Ambrose / Owens
Worst Match - Tag team match on the pre show
Really fun show. Not thrilled with the ending. Thought it could have been time to turn Dean and have him help HHH dump Roman.
The problem with Lesnar/Wyatt is that no one will expect Lesnar to lose at Mania.
Fingers crossed AJ Styles gets a singles match at mania.
Have to give a thumbs up when all the matches are good or close to good, but this is the third Rumble in a row when you come away with a very negative feeling for the future... Roman was really made to look weak and HHH to strong when HHH won more or less clean with Roman apparently making a full recovery from the earlier beating then not even needing to cheat to win... Roman doesn't even have the excuse of lasting an hour given he missed half the Rumble. Definitely two steps back for him.
Best: Ambrose vs. Owens was best, New Day vs. Usos was second best
Worst: Del Rio vs. Kalisto was the least of the matches
Thumbs WAY up.
Best Match: Ambrose-Owens narrowly edges the Rumble Match
Worst Match: None.
Great PPV (or are they now simply “Special Events?”). For the 3rd year in a row, WWE puts on an overall very good card which has me revved-up for “Wrestlemania Season.” Would’ve loved to have seen Owens go over Ambrose in the Last Man Standing Match but they still had the show-stealer of the night. Both Owens & Ambrose should be future World Champions and hopefully their WM 32 match-ups feed into building them up even further. The Tag Team Title match was entertaining with the right team going over. The New Day being chased heading into WM is better than The Usos being into that position. The finish of Del Rio-Kalisto surprised the hell out of me as I thought there was no way Kalisto would go over though I thought it was the right thing to do. Kalisto has the potential to eventually hold the position on the roster that Rey Mysterio used to hold. You want to draw in Latino markets and sell some merch to the kids? Kalisto is the guy and no better time than now to start building him up further. As much as Charlotte-Becky kicked ass, I things we’re still ways away from Becky getting the strap. I think stretching out her chase could be money eventually but Charlotte-Sasha is the best Women’s Title match-up they can have. I don’t think they’ll quite touch what they did in NXT (don’t see Vince giving them the on-air ring time they had at Full Sail) but I’m still excited to see this match-up on the main roster. I thought the booking of the Rumble match was excellent. There were no noticeable lulls, the seeds of many storylines seemed to be planted, and a number of new/ different talent was given a chance to shine (especially Braun Strowman & AJ Styles. On a sidenote: Michael Cole kept putting over Styles which tells me he’s in a promising position and we shouldn’t assume he won’t be utilized well) ) Loved the Owens-Zayn clash and LOVED how they set-up The Final Four of Sheamus, Reign, Ambrose, Triple H. Was entertained the entire time and though speculation heavily gave away the eventual ending, the ride was still worth it. I’m a 3 hour car ride outside of Cleveland and I just may have to go to Fast Lane. The Road to Wrestlemania looks promising.
Thumbs in the middle: Overall an entertaining show but I just can't relate to their product anymore. It's like watching a compilation of good matches but with no build up or compelling characters. This was their last opportunity to create a genuine interest for the Mania season and they just did the contrary. Nobody gives a shit about Roman Reigns, or him being champion, or him vs. The Authority. In fact, the heel owner thing is at least 15 years past it's prime, and in this particular case is beyond stupid since everyone knows that he is their hand picked guy and that they have pushed him for the last 4 years with no results. Not to mention that they never explained why The Authority don't like Roman as champion as part of the storyline. Really, this is one of the worst cases of forcing someone down people's throats.
Best Match: Ambrose vs. Owens
Worst Match: 4-way opener
1. Henry & Swagger vs Dudleys vs Sandow & Young vs Ascension. Pointless. Sandow got a better reaction than Roman Reigns, think about that. *1/4
2. Ambrose vs Owens. Really great match. A perfect was to end a feud but given how this company works they'll probably have five more matches. Really, the only negative about this match was that they both were booked in the Rumble, specially Ambrose since he is the champion. ****1/4
3. New Day vs. Usos. Good, but they couldn't follow the opener and people didn't care about the Usos (probably because their association with Roman) ***1/4
4. Kalisto vs ADR. Fine but lacked something. The quick title switches killed this feud. **1/2
5. Charlotte vs Lynch. Very good match. Charlotte is the only real heel in the company and Becky is great at the underdog role. The post-match was fine, although they treated Becky like an afterthought. Again, Sasha got a better reaction than Roman. ***3/4
6. Rumble Match. Match was good early on but lost heat at the end. The Wyatt vs. Lesnar segment took forever and mostly dragged. AJ, an outsider doing his debut, got the best reaction on the show but you could see their backhanded intentions in the booking. He sold like 80% of the time he was in and then was eliminated by Owens who himself was selling a beating. If they knew any better he should have been the last one with HHH. At least that way people would have been mad about Hunter winning. Dean Ambrose as the next to last was lame as everyone knew that he, as IC champion, had no chance of winning a second belt. The biggest pop was the Roman elimination and this year they don't have the Daniel Bryan excuse. ***1/2
So Mania looks like Roman vs HHH for the title, Brock vs Bray and Taker vs Braun. If Vince McMahon thinks that he is going to sell 100,000 tickets with those main events he should quit WWE and join Sarah Palin as one of Donald Trump's supporters because he is equally delusional. Actually, I feel bad for the the people who already got Mania tickets since that show is going to suck.
San Sebastian, PR
How you doin' Dave,
Sandow & Young vs. Ascension vs. Henry & Swagger vs. Dudleys **1/2
Was surprised The Dudleys didn't win, although really I shouldn't have been, the treatment they receive continues to flummox me. Fair enough they should be putting the younger guys over, but I feel they're taking it a little too far. Thought the match was ok, although the finishing sequence was extremely awkward.
Best Match: Ambrose vs. Owens ****
Felt it was a very good match with high work-rate and lots of spectacular spots, that was well-paced for the most part. Ambrose's need to work on his showmanship was very apparent again I thought. For awhile he was trying a spot where he'd be on his knees and then lift his head, similar to Taker's sit-up spot, attempting to garner a reaction. Now for awhile, especially in matches with Owens, he's been doing this deal where he travels to all four corners selling strikes and then no-sells, but he does it very poorly. If you're going to do that spot, do that spot. Slap yourself on your own chest after taking chops, pull down the straps, fire-up and get the heel to beg-off, do something. Instead he rushes the spot with very little dramatics and it fails every time. Just an observation. Also I liked the finish as it somewhat protected Owens, with it being a semi-fluke finish.
Worst Match: New Day vs. Usos **
Thought the match was an absolute clunkfest for the first two-thirds, although it did pick-up towards the end. After months of killing babyfaces with his antics, it amused me that Woods tried to heel himself by not obliging the crowd requests to play the trombone. New Day simply have to turn.
Del Rio vs. Kalisto ***1/2
Thought the match was quite rushed, but it had some nice spots as well as a lot of good fluid work with good technique, although there was one particularly large botch. Taking the title off Kalisto made no sense at all. If it was a babyface who was already established and quite over, and you want to play hot potato with the title, fair enough. But his big singles push had just started, it wasn't productive at all, it can be overcome but they've made life harder for him and themselves.
Becky vs. Charlotte ***1/4
Thought it was a good smooth solid match, although they did start rushing towards the end. This storyline has really enabled Becky to gain some steam, and to prevent it from fizzling out I would've liked her to come with the title, at least for a short run, especially with the nature of the storyline. However part of that maybe my preference effecting my judgment, as I am quite fond of Becky Lynch. I'm just worried she may lose the overness she's gained. Thought the post-match angle was really good.
Royal Rumble Match ****
Thought it was absolutely gripping rumble, and a damn sight better than the two previous years. Had good pace to it and not a lot of lulls. I expected Styles to get a big pop, but I must admit not that big. It was absolutely thunderous. Overall the crowd put to bed the East Coast rumble crowd myth. It was a very hardcore Orlando crowd, clearly full of travellers. I enjoyed watching AJ sell like a crazy man for everybody, no doubt to attempt to get over with the locker room, although I did worry about his back. I was fairly happy with his showing, although I would've like him to make it to the last six-eight. However I was somewhat understanding as you leave him in too long as there's a risk it could overshadow the finish, but perhaps I'm giving them too much credit. Also I expect there was a certain amount of testing his attitude, which we'll no doubt see more of in the weeks to come. He's not going to be a top guy there so I don't think we can expect too much, he'll be somewhere in that 4-6 babyface range.
Otherwise I thought Brock's elimination could've been handled a little better, would've liked Owens to get a longer run especially after eliminating AJ, and wasn't fond of the winner. I thought there was a chance HHH may just interfere and cause Reigns to be eliminated, or may've shown-up on Raw to start-up the feud with Reigns after a Reigns victory. Triple H as champion in 2016 leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Also in all honestly I was hoping/thought there was a small chance Bryan maybe 30, but it wasn't to be. Reigns being 3rd was a surprise, and I'd be interested to know if that was an audible, in response to the Reigns boos, in a last-ditch attempt to get HHH some heat by beating Ambrose. WWE are just going to have to accept that with the hardest of their hardcore fans, they simply are never going to accept having someone forced upon them, and want a choice in who the top guy is.
Big thumbs up for this show.
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose - Last Man Standing IC Title Match:
I can only imagine how great this match was live. Camera work here was horrifying and made me sick. Loved the spots. If it means anything, I had trouble staying in HD using the Network app on my LG. ****
The Usos vs. New Day - Tag Team Title Match:
I found it hard to give a shit about this match. Cool spots, but not much in substance. **1/2
Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio - U.S. Title Match: Solid match! Loved the finish! ***1/4.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte - Divas Title Match:
Really good match! Post match was EXCELLENT! Really hope it leads to a Mania 4 way with It's Bayley. ***1/4
The Royal Rumble Match: Rumble was incredible, best of the ones I've watched by a good bit. Only things I didn't approve of was the handling of Brock. He should've jumped back into the ring and whopped Bray's ass. You can't make The Beast sympathetic. AJ was amazing, Sami was awesome, and everything that happened from Triple H on (with the exception of Sheamus) was awesome. ****1/2
Camera work was terrible throughout the night. Otherwise, a fantastic show.
Overall: Thumbs down
Best match: Royal Rumble
Worst match: Fatal four-way tag team match
That Becky Lynch-Charlotte match had one of the worst finishes I've ever seen in a title match.
The Royal Rumble, and really WWE as a whole, can be summarized by Owens throwing out AJ Styles while screaming, "WELCOME TO WWE!" Vince's geriatric mindset never ceases to amaze in its obliviousness. They've burned this heel authority angle on both sides of the candle and now that the wicker has turned to ash and the wax is all melted they STILL, in TWENTY SIXTEEN, will not move on.
-Matthew Burrill @mattb425
Thumbs in the middle
Best match: Owens- Ambrose
Worst match: Divas
Entertaining show, but AJ Styles was the only "surprise" -- they had alluded to multiple surprises.
Rumble was decent,but not incredible. Styles was good; live crowd support made his appearance even better.
Liked the clean elimination by HHH of Reigns, which seemed to please the live fans .
Owens-Ambrose a great opener. Del Rio-Kalisto also delivered another
strong match. Usos lost as usual. Divas just filler.
It sounded on TV like Reigns was heavily booed, so they still have a problem to overcome there.