It is time for us to talk about the Royal Rumble, 2023 edition. With that, we have to talk about the best and worst of the night.
As in, the best and worst surprises. Or perhaps the best and worst moments?
I could also go with the best and worst eliminations, or performances. You see how this could go, right?
So, with the 2023 edition now in the books, let’s discuss the best and worst, shall we?
Royal Rumble 2023: The Best And Worst Of The Night
Do we start with the best, or the worst?
The Best: Surprises
In the men’s match, there weren’t many.
We saw the semi-predictable return of Edge. There was also the announced return of Cody Rhodes, this year’s winner.
Other than that, the two surprises would be Logan Paul and Booker T.
Logan Paul is absolutely a better entrant than Bad Bunny…but I could have done without it.
That being said, I think the fact that we had a loaded match with 30 (really, 29) Superstars and no absolutely bonkers surprises?
Speaks to the depth of the roster. I mean, we might have been dreaming of Jay White, who is still under contract.
But we didn’t need to dream for Bronson Reed, or Matt Cardona or Dexter Lumis. Heck, we didn’t even see a single NXT Superstar in the men’s match.
For the women?
Michelle McCool…when they showed her early in the show, you figured OK, she’s not in the match.
And then she was in, from the front row, in Uggs.
While the men had not one NXT Superstar, the women’s match had a few.
We also got the reboot for Piper Niven (thank you!) and the re-birth of Asuka.
And, at number 30, Nia Jax. Even if WWE did botch her entrance (fitting, kind of).
The Worst: Surprises
The men’s match was light on surprises. Edge, Booker T and Logan Paul.
I really don’t mind Edge. However, I could have done without the others.
Or, taking it in a different direction, I would have liked a couple more (Bron Breaker perhaps). I would have skipped Alpha Academy, perhaps even the Street Profits, to make room for more.
After all, the one of those most primed for a singles run-Montez Ford-was rapidly eliminated.
On the women’s side, I really can’t complain about their surprises. It was, I think, well balanced.
Though, I actually do have one gripe. The legends were poorly repped on RAW is XXX, and speculation was we’d see a few in this Rumble instead.
We got Michelle McCool. No Bella Twin, no other legends or Hall of Famers.
Heck, I figured we’d see Beth Phoenix twice, and we did not. I really thought she’d help eliminate Rhea…
And, with Naomi still nowhere to be seen, and Lana in San Antonio…neither wound up in the Rumble.
The Best: Eliminations
How crazy was Brock Lesnar going out that fast?
Not an elimination, but I need to call it out and here’s that spot. Logan Paul and Ricochet, meeting in mid-air.
That spot will be replayed a lot.
WHAT DID WE JUST WITNESS?!?@LoganPaul and @KingRicochet just blew our minds at #RoyalRumble with an unbelievable moment! pic.twitter.com/V5HIMhT0yQ
— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2023
On the women’s side, you briefly thought Nia Jax could be a surprise winner.
Then…Rhea Ripley made 11 Superstars heave Jax out quickly.
And that last sequence of eliminations-for Asuka, then Liv? Really unique and, if for a moment, I thought Liv could do it.
Also in the process…both Liv and Rhea became the two longest-lasting women’s Rumble competitors.
The Worst: Eliminations
Kofi, for the second year in a row, didn’t have the magic to stave off elimination.
And for the second year, it seems he went out due to a botch, or just things not working out. Landing on a chair with wheels could do that.
Plus, it seemed like he may have taken a bad bump, so who knows…
For the women, we finally got Chelsea Green back. However, she lasted all of like, 5 seconds.
At least she didn’t get injured?
The Best: Performances
Cody will get the love for the tremendous story. I personally loved the nod to his brother during the match.
Gunther, however, had the best performance in the men’s match-he went from opening bell until the last man out.
Honorable mention to Sheamus, who was second man in and made it quite deep.
For the women, without a doubt, Rhea Ripley as your 2023 winner, with the honorable mention to Liv Morgan.
Honorable mentions? Probably to Asuka, Piper Niven and I would say Roxanne Perez impressed too.
Otherwise…the main event…but it has it’s own section.
The Worst: Performances
Stunningly short night for Brock Lesnar, who went berserk following his under three minutes of work.
That will almost surely lock us in to a big match for him and Lashley at WrestleMania, no? I mean, that feels like a feud worthy of Hell In A Cell.
The Rumble has not been kind to Kofi the last couple years.
Nia Jax was cursed from the get-go, as the timer on screen started the 10 second countdown, her graphics and music hit. So that’s actually more a knock on someone in the trucks, I guess?
And, maybe I am showing my age, but I was not feeling Hardy’s performance. Especially as we are staring at 11:30PM and one match left.
One I don’t know…
That Pitch Black match was probably better than I expected it to be…but it was more spectacle than anything. So…unique, I guess.
As Bray Wyatt and @RealLAKnight met in the first-ever @MountainDew Pitch Black Match at #RoyalRumble, Uncle Howdy made a big splash! pic.twitter.com/TqYhpt1sAZ
— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2023
Or bizarre. I am curious what others thought.
But, it was certainly interesting.
The Main Event…
I have to at least comment on it. For going on so late, I was surprised it ran as long as it did, but wow.
Long term storytelling in play. KO and Roman had a great match, some insane bumps.
Zayn steps in to save KO, and instead of doing as he was told, he drills Reigns with the chair.
So, that was a long time coming, but at the same time, with WWE calling this his final chapter (in the pre-match montage), perhaps they overdid that.
No Rock, no Austin, no problem. We had an Uso walk out when the brutality got to be too much, and a metric ton of top shelf heat on Reigns in particular.
The crazy thing here? We know Cody Rhodes has a title shot at ‘Mania, but how will we get Sami Zayn one too?
I mean…we have to, right?
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