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Csonka’s Royal Rumble Review 1.24.16

January 24, 2016 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s Royal Rumble Review 1.24.16  

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2016 WWE Royal Rumble Review

Last Man Standing Intercontinental Title Match: Champion Dean Ambrose defeated Kevin Owens @ 20:20 [****¼]
WWE Tag Team Title Match: Champions The New Day (Kofi and Big E) defeated The Usos @ 10:52 via pin [***¼]
WWE United States Title Match: Kalisto defeated Champion Alberto Del Rio @ 11:30 via pin to become the new US Champion [**¾]
WWE Divas Title Match: Champion Charlotte defeated Becky Lynch @ 11:40 via pin [***]
Royal Rumble Match: Triple H won the Royal Rumble @ [***¾]

– Vince and Stephanie arrive in a limo; JoJo stops them for an interview, and Vince makes sure to mock her for being short. They magnanimously claim that they are giving Reigns a chance to make history. Vince also talked about loving himself, but did not confirm touching himself.

– We have French and Spanish announcers tonight, so basically extra tables to break.

Last Man Standing Intercontinental Title Match: Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens: The crowd was hot for both guys during the announcement, which is a good thing. At the bell they charged and started to kick the shit out of each other, working the feel of the feud, which is what led us to this match. Ambrose sent Owens to the floor and hit a suicide dive, which caused Owens to roll onto the commentary table. He then made sure to roll onto Cole, pulling him down and patting him on the head while on the floor. I laughed, but it also works because Owens has been giving Cole shit forever. Owens put Ambrose through the barricade with the cannonball, and then beat on his with a kendo stick. We got chairs in the ring; Owens worked over Ambrose with shots to the gut and then had a seat and put his feet up as the ref counted on Ambrose. The chairs were used for general battery; Ambrose slammed Owens onto them and went for a dive but was caught and slammed to the apron and ten the step (repeatedly). Owens then brought in some tables, and stacked them on the floor. They fought up top and teased the table spot; Ambrose fought back and slammed a chair onto the heave of Owens (who wore it like a tie). Ambrose they started the big comeback, rights, chops and kicks. He countered the pop up powerbomb and hit dirty deeds. Owens survived the count, but Ambrose hit dirty deeds again (onto a chair this time) and the ref counted on Owens again. Ambrose would make it to his feet by rolling to the floor; Ambrose followed and pulled out another table. This led to Ambrose hitting the top rope elbow on Owens. Back in the ring we had another table set up, they battle don the roped and that led to Owens hitting the spinning Fisherman’s buster through the table. Both survived, leading to Ambrose eating the pop up powerbomb. When he survived that Owens worked him over with chairs and then made a platform with the chairs and laid Ambrose on them. Owens claimed for a moonsault, but Ambrose was able to get up and shove him off through the previously stacked tables. That was enough to finish off Owens, allowing Ambrose to retain. That was an overall excellent opener, with a great crowd and these two finally delivering the match many had hoped for. It’s didn’t have a deep layer of drama, but it delivered the spots and played well off of the hate that the two had built through out the feud. From a show opener standpoint, it’s a hot way to kick things off; I just hope that they didn’t burn out the crowd.

– Kofi and Big E say that they have been in mourning due to the loss of Francesca the Trombone. They ask for a moment of silence for her passing. But then we heard trombone music and Woods appeared with a new one, named Francesca II!

WWE Tag Team Title Match: Champions The New Day (Kofi and Big E) w/Woods vs. The Usos: The Usos controlled the early portion, much to the dismay of the live crowd. Big E posted Jey, and they went to the floor. Woods got involved with a tornado DDT off of the barricade, allowing New Day to take full control. During the heat, the crowd chanted “Play Francesca,” but Woods refused. The crowd was behind New Day, Jey eventually hit an enziguri and got the tag. Jimmy in to jeers and he ran wild. Jimmy hit the Samoan clambake on Kofi, and then the whisper in the wind on Big E for a near fall. On the floor Jey was sent into the crowd, allowing Big E to battle back on Jimmy and get a near fall off of a belly to belly. It broke down with Jey taking out Kofi on the floor, but then Big E hit his spear through the ropes to the floor on Jimmy. Dear lord Big E is going to hurt himself with that one-day, but it looks great. Jimmy escaped the double team big ending, posted Big E and then they hit the big splash on Kofi, but Woods pulled his foot under the ropes, Dive onto Woods, an Uso slammed to the barricade and Big E blind tagged in. Big E in, catches the Uso off the top and hits the big ending to retain. That was a great finish to a well-worked match, that had some great heat and near falls. I feel that was the right call to keep the belt on New Day as well. We’re off to a strong start here tonight.

WWE United States Title Match: Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto: Del Rio tried to pummel Kalisto early, and succeeded for a bit. Kalisto was able to send him to the floor and followed with a dive, and laid in kicks to Del Rio. Del Rio cut him off with an enziguri as JBL started his bullshit that Goliath always wins. Kalisto was getting beaten on here as JBL talked about tossing little people, Kalisto did manage a RANA on the floor, but Del Rio almost immediately took back control as they worked on the floor and he slammed him to the barricade. Del Rio set Kalisto up top and went to take his mask off, which he’s previously done. JBL and Cole said he should respect the match because his father wore one, instead of mentioning that Del Rio wore one. They suck. Kalisto sent him to the mat and hit the seated senton, but Del Rio cuts him off again and gets a near fall off of the superkick. Kalisto would counter the cross arm breaker, and then spiked Del Rio with a DDT and covered for 2. Kalisto came back with the springboard corkscrew dive, but when he went up top Del Rio cut him off and hit the reverse superplex. This led to Del Rio slapping him around, and then Kalisto hit a roll up that was rather sloppily executed. I think he was going for the step up into the code red, which he has done in the past, but it did not work. Kalisto then crotched Del Rio as he headed up top, they battled, Del Rio knocked Kalisto down and he grabbed the ropes for the double stomp, but Kalisto avoided and hit the Salida Del Sol, but it was only a near fall as Del Rio grabbed the ropes. Kalisto sent to the floor, but right back to the apron and jumped in and ate a dropkick and Del Rio got 2. Del Rio exposed the buckle, Kalisto fought back and sent Del Rio to the exposed buckle (Del Rio took a lazy bump for that). Salida Del Sol hits and Kalisto wins. Not as good as the previous matches, it had rough spots and the crowd wasn’t nearly as involved. Glad to see Kalisto win the title back; hopefully he holds it past Tuesday this time

– Paul Heyman kissed Stephanie McMahon’s ass.

– They showed a great video package for Becky vs. Charlotte. Becky has been great during the build to this show.

WWE Divas Title Match: Champion Charlotte w/Ric vs. Becky Lynch: They worked a by the rules beginning, both were aggressive and Lynch was looking for the disarmher right off the bat. Nice work from both to begin, Lynch sent Charlotte to the floor and when she chased, Ric got in the way. Lynch didn’t let that bother her and was on the attack, Ric then grabbed Lynch and kissed her, so Lynch slapped the shit out of him. Commentary played it off as fun and games, it really felt out of place to me. That allowed Charlotte to take control. Charlotte took control, the crowd was with Lynch big time here, which was nice to hear after the great work she’s done to build this angle. Charlotte kept the heat, working some heel tactics like pulling the hair to keep Lynch from building momentum. Charlotte dropped that stupid head scissor roll and instead did the skull fucker. Of course right as I saw that, she goes ahead and does it. Lynch was able to fight back and it an electric chair drop on Charlotte, and both ladies were down. She then fired up with clotheslines and kicks, hit the corner clothesline and wanted the XPLODER, but Charlotte fight that off and hit the neck breaker. Lynch punched her in the face to counter the figure four, Lynch tried one and Charlotte got a sloppy roll up for 2. Lynch finally hit the XPLODER, and the got a near fall. Leg drops by Lynch, another suplex and the cover got 2. Lynch tried for disarmher, but Charlotte countered with the spear for a near fall. Not great reactions for the near falls compared to earlier in the match. They battled in the corner and Lynch hit the rolling arm bar. Charlotte did the Gotch lift escape and planted Lynch with the powerbomb, but that only got 2. Charlotte then accidentally hit a baseball slide on Ric as Lynch moved, and then Lynch got the disarmher and Ric tossed his jacket onto the head of Lynch. Charlotte then escaped due to that and hit a spear for the victory. How the jacket thing isn’t a DQ I don’t now, but that was a shit finish that took away from a strong effort from both ladies. I really disliked the finish, because we see so much of it and it doesn’t mean anything as far as telling the story, it is just lazy these days. Not only that, the match was being done well and making me care, but the old reliable lazy finish was used in and ruined a lot of that for me. It’s a shame to waste a women’s match with real heat for the same old same old, but there you go.

– Post match Charlotte beat down Lynch, and then Sasha Banks’ music hit and she made her way to the ring. Sasha then kicked Lynch to the floor and said that this was her spotlight. Sasha made nice but then attacked, hitting the Banks Statement. She then stood tall with the Divas title. See how easy it is to push Sasha; they were in the right location to do so, but she came off like a player here more than she has since her main roster debut. The only thing wrong with it was Charlotte’s shit selling of the attack and submission hold. She just had a match and then took Banks’ finish, sell that shit. I hope they aren’t completely writing Lynch out of the title scene, because she’s been great.

Royal Rumble Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title: The boo-birds are out for Roman, it could be a LONG night for him. Rusev, who was last in with Reigns last year, was #2. Reigns got rid of him in quick order, and AJ STYLES was next. I know the reports were there, but this was some surreal shit. Reigns and Styles worked a bit, and then spent time tossing goofs like Breeze and Axel. Jericho was then in at #6. Watching Jericho and AJ was cool, because it’s something I wanted to see years ago. Oh hey Kane is still alive and in the Rumble. Goldust and the Ryback were next, with Ryback sing CM Punk style knee charges in the corner. Kofi was in at 10. Xavier Woods talking to AJ from the floor, “Hey AJ, how you doing?” was amusing. Truth was out and got a ladder, you see because he thinks he’s in another match. He even climbed it, but there was nothing to get. He was quickly eliminated. Big E caught Kofi on his shoulders to save him, and Big E ran around the ring with Kofi on his shoulders. Sheamus, Del Rio and Rusev arrived with Vince barking orders, they pulled Reigns to the floor (not eliminating him) and worked him over. Not sure why they wouldn’t charge the ring and eliminate him, but ok. Stardust and Harper entered, as Rusev ran across the commentary tables and plashed Reigns through the final one. Rusev hugging Vince and saying, “OK BOSS” was hilarious. So Reigns will take his nap now. Oh joy, Big Show is now in the match. Show tossed Titus and Ryback as Reigns was being taken to the back. Neville is in next, with new gear. Neville flew around and threw kicks, Kofi got eliminated during the Reigns drama. Strowman is now in, he does Strowman things and then tosses Kane. We get the big man stand off with Show, hey traded horrible punches and then Strowman got the hug and tosses Show after getting his foot unwrapped from the ropes. Owens then limped his way out to the ring at #18. Sell that shit brother. He and AJ brawled right away. After some interaction with Neville, Owens then eliminated AJ, which did not please the crowd. Not sure that was the time to toss him, as he was the most over guy in the entire match. Owens was likely drooling over the reaction he was going to get. Ambrose then arrived at 19, and he went right after Owens. Sami Zayn was 20, and Owens’ reaction was priceless as he made his way out. BIG BRAWL between those two, because they are destined to do this forever. Sami tossed Owens, and we got the big NXT chants. Here comes Rowan at 21, and he’s in with Harper and Strowman. The Wyatts eliminated Stardust and Neville as they took over the match. Strowman tried to choke out Jericho, and here comes Mark Henry. Strowman slammed him and then the Wyatts worked together to toss him out. They then beat down and tosses Sami, and BROCK SMASH was next at 23. Suplex time bitches. Strowman cut him off, but Brock just started laying in rights and dropped him. Brock tosses Rowan, more suplexes and he and Strowman battled again. Strowman then posted himself and Brock continued to work over he and Harper. Swaggger at 24 was next. F5 for him and he got tossed by Brock. Ambrose and Jericho are still in there, as Brock worked over Strowman with running knees. The Miz is 25, he talked trash and then walked around the ring and went to commentary. Jericho and Ambrose powdered as Brock worked over Harper and Strowman. He then eliminated Harper. Del Rio was 26, Brock tossed him around as things have greatly slowed. They need to get Reigns back out soon. Brock then tosses Strowman, and we have Jericho, Ambrose, Brock and Del Rio. 27 was Bray. Harper, Strowman and Rowan returned and attacked Brock. Bray entered and they tried to work over Brock but he tossed them back out and went face to face with Bray. Harper saved Bray from an F5, and the rest of the Wyatts returned to beat down Brock. Sister Abigail by Bray and the family tossed Brock out. If you’re willing to have them out there for Brock, why aren’t they staying to help bray even more to ensure his victory? Ziggler was in at 28, he ran wild a bit and Miz finally snuck in and tried to toss him. He failed but hit the skull-crushing finale on Ziggler. Miz again tried to toss him, Ziggler survived as Jericho attacked Miz. Sheamus is 29, and as he made his entrance, Reigns returned to take him out. He tossed Miz, and then Del Rio. The crowd HATED Reigns, and then #30 was Triple H; he got a massive face pop as well, yup. They face off, pedigree to Ziggler, and they have the stand off. Reigns then speared Wyatt and they stood off again. Reigns and the Hs finally brawled and this crowd hates Reigns. The others finally got back to action, they teased eliminating Reigns and Triple H, but they both survived. Triple H eliminated Ziggler, and then went face to face with Bray. Triple H tried to talk Bray into helping him but bray attacked. Sheamus saved Triple H, and then they tosses bray. Reigns fought back, Jericho and Ambrose still in as well. Ambrose eliminated Jericho, and now it is Triple H, Sheamus, Ambrose and Reigns. Sheamus got tossed, and then Triple H tosses Reigns to set Triple H vs. Ambrose as the last two. If Reigns was a good friend, he’d come back and toss Triple H so his buddy could win. Instead, Roman is a shit friend. After some back and forth, Triple H tossed Ambrose to win the match and the title.

As with every Rumble, there is a lot to discuss and not all of it good. I will say that as a whole I enjoyed the match. They set the stage for several matches (Zayn and Owens, Owens and Styles, Bray and Lesnar, Ambrose and Jericho) and that is a good thing coming out of this. The Styles appearance was really cool, although if they were going to have him in there, I would have had him last near the end in the Jericho role. The middle was a bit boring it had some drag to it, it happens, but I think that they can fix that. Some Rumbles just has a better flow overall. The Triple H win didn’t bother me so much because I felt that is what would be the call once he title was on the line, and that is what they did. With Rollins and Rock out as opponents for Triple H, they felt that this needed to happen to make the match important, and I don’t really disagree. But damn, this crowd HATED Reigns, and the fact that Triple H is God in Florida did not help matters. We’ll see how the reactions are tomorrow, but the evil authority figure getting a heroes welcome and the “hero” getting booed out of the building are not good things.

– Triple H, Vince and Stephanie all celebrated to close out the show.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Overall I felt that this was one of the better WWE PPVs in some time as they had a lively crowd, good wrestling up and down the card and it actually felt as if it mattered. We’re on the road to WrestleMania, the question is if can they keep the momentum going after this show and if they can keep Reigns the hero/top face they ant him to be.