Greetings from San Antonio! OK, not really, I am comfortably in my home in New York, which is great as it means I get to avoid the insane airports, and I can take in the Rumble in comfort, with cheap snacks and a great view thanks to a big screen and the WWE Network. We are getting an early start tonight, which means either we wrap up early or the Rumble itself is going to get a good long runtime. Guess we will find out soon enough. In the meantime, let’s all get comfortable, as we’ve got RAW tag titles to win, as well as the RAW women’s title and both main championships on the line. And, oh yeah, a thirty man, over the top rope, battle royal to determine who gets to head to WrestleMania. Are you ready to Rumble?
Best Match of the night:
Honestly, it will be nearly impossible for anything to top Styles and Cena. It’s almost funny to me, when you think about it. Styles was the darling of the IWC, and Cena has gotten a ton of crap from all over for all sorts of things, from his seemingly limited offense, to his shorts, and anything in between. And yet, recent history has proven that when you put these two guys in a match together, you are going to get an excellent effort. They have a chemistry that I’d presume few expected they would have, and yet they have it in spades. Either man deserved the win tonight, but Cena got it done after losing his prior singles clashes with Styles.
Worst match of the night:
Hmm….this is hard, but I’d say Nia Jax and Sasha Banks. It was just disappointing, because someone who was so recently the RAW women’s champion, you just don’t expect a five minute squash match, but that’s effectively what we got.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
John Cena sucks
Let’s go Cena
How you doin’
New Day rocks
I didn’t pick up all the chants, but man was the San Antonio crowd hot tonight. Very hot. At times in the Rumble especially, it was hard to keep up. Crowd was awesome though.
Star of the Night
Non-Rumble winner? Hands down, John Cena. Honorable mention to his opponent, AJ Styles. But Cena finally rose up and finished the deal and claimed his record tying 16th world heavyweight championship.
Rumble winner? Orton, for actually winning it. Strowman for a dominant performance early on.
Spot of the Night:
Nice move from AJ. Escapes a top rope superplex attempt, reverses into an Argentine backbreaker which he then transitioned into a sit-out power bomb. Nice sequence.
2nd rope AA, and AJ still kicked out. Wow.
Cena catching Styles attempting a phenomenal forearm, hitting one AA, then swiftly collecting him, popping up and hitting a 2nd AA.
Jobber of the Night:
So, since tonight is the Rumble, I am choosing to have two of them. One is the non-Rumble winner, one will come from a rapid elimination in the Rumble match itself.
First up, and I can’t believe I am saying it, but Sasha Banks. Why? Because in a short match against Nia Jax, she did the job and put Jax over. Either someone in the back has soured on Sasha, or perhaps she does have a legit injury that needs attention, so squashing her allows her to go get well. There are other options, sure, but those two came to mind the fastest.
Rumble jobber? James Ellsworth. Any questions? Well, OK, fine. Enzo wants to be mentioned too.
Upset of the Night:
Upset, in the sense of he wants to throw a tantrum. That would either be Strowman for running into a Lone Wolf. Or Lesnar, for once again being made to look like nothing by Goldberg.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
When WWE announced that the Owens/Reigns title match was going to have Jericho in a cage above the ring but also be no DQ, you just knew Owens was finding a way to win. You just didn’t necessarily realize that way was going to be a massive assist from Braun Strowman, who came down and destroyed Roman Reigns, allowing Owens to once again retain his title. Guessing this sets up Reigns/Strowman, which was foreshadowed several weeks back.
Lesnar. In and out of the Rumble in way too quick a fashion. Eliminated, of course, by Goldberg, before Big Bill broke a sweat.
Botch of the night:
Cole said “356 characters have entered the Rumble, but only 23 have won it”. Characters, Cole? We know a lot of these guys work under stage names, but I don’t think he meant to call them characters.
From a wrestling perspective, there were plenty of botches in the Rumble itself, but I can allow it because with that many guys in there, sometimes calling your spots isn’t so easy. It was chaos by design, and with the action happening so fast, as quickly as you noticed one, it was forgotten.
Commentary of the night:
Neville might not know what state he’s in, but in the ring he’s never lost.
I can’t think of anything smart to say right now, I’m just enjoying the Hell out of it
Someone call the San Antonio PD, these boys just stole the show.
If it were up to me, Enzo would be searching for Pee Wee’s bike in the basement of the Alamo right now.
LOL Moment of the night:
Gallagher brought his umbrella, and used it on Jericho, crotching him, and then he opened it up for Jericho to spin as a prop.
In the AlamoDome, WWE announcers said we had over 52000 in the building to watch the show. Nice turnout.
Jericho now holds the record for most time in the Rumble.
Wasn’t a fan of how the undercard got handled. Having the SmackDown women’s champion on the losing side of a six woman tag match, early in the show? When that title is already seen as inferior to Charlotte’s RAW belt? Not a great move.
I put Sasha’s showing here, with an asterisk. It depends where they go with Nia, and with Sasha, if this one makes much sense or not.
The final four of the Rumble. After what was a good start to it, I think it was an iffy final four, if only because Roman Reigns was part of it. At least they didn’t have him win it.
Anderson and Gallows finally claim tag team gold.
John Cena wins his 16th world championship.
Neville finally has his cruiserweight crown.
Tye Dillinger makes his main roster debut.
Strong Rumble, the final few guys notwithstanding.
After the final bell:
A few surprises here. Very surprised that Orton was the winner. With Wyatt in the final four, I had hoped we might finally get a Wyatt push, but no chance.
We had lots of possibilities teased in the Rumble though. Will we maybe see Corbin and Strowman in a RAW versus SmackDown match at ‘Mania? Undertaker and Roman Reigns? Goldberg and Lesnar was a given, but man how bad did Lesnar look at Goldberg’s hands once again.
Really surprised, even though we know we are getting Hunter and Rollins at WrestleMania, that they actually kept Rollins out of the Rumble. Figured he would come in and steal a spot from Ellsworth or something.
Also figured they’d work the UK Champ in, since he was indeed in town. Kind of disappointed that they didn’t.
Also disappointed that we did not get the main roster debut of Samoa Joe, and there was no return for Finn Balor, either.
So, now we wonder…will Orton face Cena yet again? Or will he opt to go after KO instead? I presume that we will get the sure thing, the known quantity of Orton and Cena, avoiding any brand-switching drama.
Now, it’s really all eyes on WrestleMania. Things should start falling into place soon enough.