The road to Wrestlemania officially began last night with the Royal Rumble, which was held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here’s all the action that went down. First up, the pre-show match results:
- Kalisto, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado def. TJP, Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher
- The Revival def. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
- United States Champion Bobby Roode def. Mojo Rawley (United States Championship Kickoff Match)
With the kick-off show done and dusted, it was time to get serious.
WWE Champion AJ Styles def. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Outnumbered and outgunned in a handicap match against Kevin Owens and Sami Zay, WWE Champion AJ Styles needed to get creative to retain his title. That he did, by surviving the relentless assault by Zayn and Owens, eventually countering KO’s signature Pop-Up Powerbomb into a roll-up pin to secure his title for another day.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos def. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin (2-out-of-3 Falls Match)
Deciding to play this match with cunning, Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin focused their mat tactics on Jimmy Uso’s leg. Solid strategy, but the match kept shifting momentum whenever Jey Uso entered the fray as the champions scored the first pin by dropping Gable with a double Superkick. Pin deux would fall out of Gable and Benjamin’s hands, when Jey caught the gold standard in a roll-up pin that earned them a victory and kept their titles intact.
Shinsuke Nakamura won the 2018 Men’s Royal Rumble Match
Thirty men, one ring and only one rule: If you go out over the top rope, you’re out and your Wrestlemania dream is finished. Outlasting 29 other men, Shinsuke Nakamura proved to the craftiest competitor in the ring when he entered at No. 14. The match was full of moments, from Kofi Kingston surviving another elimination in style to Woken Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt teaming up to eliminate a few superstars.
In the end, it was Nakamura vs Roman Reigns in the ring. Outsmarting Reigns at the last second, Nakamura survived the Rumble and declared who he would challenge at Wrestlemania: WWE Champion AJ Styles.
Sheamus and Cesaro def. Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan
Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan had made for an unlikely duo as tag team champions. A partnership that sadly failed to last, as Cesaro and Sheamus reclaimed the gold which they had used to dominate the tag team division in much of 2017. Cesaro’s cunning plan saw to Rollins being isolated for much of the match, as Cesaro sneaked in a punishing attack on Jordan during the match that left the young superstar dazed and confused after his face met steel on the ringpost.
With a battered Rollins valiantly trying to battle back, the two-on-one assault reached a fever pitch that resulted in Sheamus landing the Brogue Kick and a White Noise/ DDT finisher that saw The Bar reclaim the gold once again.
Universal Champion Brock Lesnar def. Braun Strowman and Kane
Over the last couple of weeks, WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar had been on the receiving end of some hellacious abuse by the hands of Kane and Braun Strowman. Last night didn’t just see the Conqueror triumphant in his defense, it saw the true beast incarnate unleashed. With seemingly no holds barred at all, the three men used everything and the kitchen sink to batter one another around the ring.
The finish came when Kane knocked Strowman off of the ring, leaving Lesnar the perfect opportunity to catch the devil’s favourite demon in an F5 that connected with a steel chair. One two and three: Brock Lesnar was still WWE Universal Champion, having defeated two of the toughest monsters to ever enter the ring.
Asuka won the 30-Woman Royal Rumble Match
It wasn’t just the men who were going over the top last night! Proving that 29 of the WWE’s toughest ladies weren’t ready for her, the empress of tomorrow claimed victory in a thrilling match that saw man a challenger ejected from the ring.
Asuka’s victory earned her not only another notch on her undefeated streak, but also the chance to challenge either Alexa Bliss or Charlotte Flair for one of the women’s championships. A decision that was interrupted by a surprising new face in the WWE: Former UFC champion Ronda Rousey.
Last Updated: January 29, 2018