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Kevin’s WWE Royal Rumble 2021 Review

February 1, 2021 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s WWE Royal Rumble 2021 Review  

WWE Royal Rumble
January 31st, 2021 | Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: Asuka and Charlotte Flair [c] vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Somehow, they managed to overbook this even though it was relatively short. It only lasted 10:17 on the Kickoff Show but featured some weird shenanigans and a lot of Ric Flair and Lacey Evans. The match itself wasn’t very good other than some solid exchanges involving Shayna Baszler. It felt like Nia kind of held this back. Add in the aforementioned Ric Flair appearance and Lacey Evans using a weapon on Charlotte and you had a mess. After Charlotte was knocked out, Nia hit her with a leg drop to win back the titles. Now Shayna get saddled with this for longer and Charlotte probably wins the Rumble. [**]

Onto the main card!

WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre [c] vs. Goldberg
I popped for Drew hitting Goldberg before the bell and even nailing a Spear. They fought outside and Goldberg Speared him through the barricade. Drew wanted the bell rang anyway. He cut off a Spear with a kick and then got two on a Claymore. I hate the overuse of finisher kickouts. Anyway, Drew survived a Spear and Jackhammer before winning with another Claymore in 2:31. Just what it needed to be. Drew beats a Hall of Famer in two minutes, which I prefer to him working an average 10 minute bout with John Morrison or something. What it needed to be. [**½]

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks [c] vs. Carmella
Their match at TLC was really good and again proved that Carmella has skills. Both women looked incredible. Sasha went for the Bank Statement early, looking to set the tone. Carmella resorted to trash talk and help from Reginald. That was kind of the story of this. Carmella got the upper hand with her wits while Sasha did the same with her skills. I dug the way they kept Reginald being involved and after Sasha slapped him, he got ejected. Carmella nearly injured herself on a tope suicida. It was nearly shades of the famous Lita bump. She came close to winning on a few occasions by blocking or stopping some of Sasha’s biggest offensive moves. In the end, she tapped to the Bank Statement after 10:20. I think I preferred the TLC match but this was still really good. The Carmella hate will continue to blow my mind. The woman is damn good and Sasha is in the conversation of the best wrestler on the planet. [***¼]

Women’s Royal Rumble Match
The women’s rumbles so far from me have gotten (****¼, ****, and ****). Awesome. Bayley was #1 and the returning Naomi got #2. Love that she’s back. Bianca joined in for athletic action at #3. Billie Kay was a comedic #4 and joined commentary before NXT’s Shotzi Blackheart entered and shot her from the tank. Billie kept asking people to be her partner. Getting to see Toni Storm in this was also very good. Victoria came back! I’m just basically writing notes at this point. The ring got too filled at one point so Rhea Ripley arrived at #14 and started cleaning some house. Also, I loved Liv’s Christina Aguilera gear. Charlotte was #15 and got to battle with Rhea. The camera totally missed Bayley’s elimination. Carmella had a fun elimination spot. They continued to build the awful Evans/Flair feud. Naomi survived elimination with the help of Bianca’s braid, which was really well done. We got an IIconics reunion at one point. Alexa, a favorite to win, went to do her Fiend transformation but Rhea cu tit off and eliminated her surprisingly quickly. Naomi lasted 47 minutes and was impressive. They reignited the Lana/Nia angle and Lana actually eliminated her. The final four were Bianca, Natalya, Charlotte, and Rhea. Bianca got rid of Nattie and I’m like “Charlotte doesn’t need this, Bianca and Rhea could.” So obviously, Charlotte seemed like the clear winner. The two new stars teamed up to eliminate Charlotte and then went at it. They had the best exchange of the match, won out by Bianca after 58:50. There were some awkward moments but it mostly worked. I loved some of the surprises andPlus, Bianca delivered one of the best Rumble performances ever. [****]

WWE Universal Championship Last Man Standing Match: Roman Reigns [c] vs. Kevin Owens
Right off the bat, these guys did a really good job of using the Thunderdome. They battled all over it and utilized most aspects from throwing Reigns into a screen to throwing Owens off a level and through a table. I loved Owens going after Roman’s legs with a chair since you can’t answer the 10 count if you can’t stand. Owens also got run over by a damn golf cart in what was a wild ass match that went all over Tropicana Field. Owens came back with a splash through a table and then a Swanton off of a forklift and through another table. It’s interesting to see how little of Tropicana Field is used for the Thunderdome. They fought back towards the arena where they got to do WWE’s favorite spot as Roman Speared KO through the stage setup. I loved how KO only beat the count because he slid off of where he was laying. I also dug the whole, “I CAN’T QUIT, THERE’S NO WAY I CAN GO HOME IF I QUIT” deal. The best close call was Roman getting handcuffed to the point where he literally couldn’t get up, only to take out the referee and stop the count. After a low blow from Roman, Heyman showed up to uncuff him. Reigns choked out KO with the guillotine and a new referee counted him down for 10 after 24:52. Another absolute banger from Roman Reigns. That man simply cannot miss right now. There is nobody better than Roman since his return. Match quality, character work, he’s nailing everything. [****¼]

Men’s Royal Rumble
As noted on Backstage, #1 is Edge and #2 is Randy Orton. Edge went after Orton during his entrance and they brawled. Sami Zayn and Mustafa Ali joined in on beating up Edge but Jeff Hardy made something of a save. Edge used a chair to basically take Orton out of the match as officials checked on him. Not as many surprises this go around, though Damian Priest was a good one, as was Carlito. By the way, Carlito IS RIPPED. They continued angles like New Day/Mustafa Ali and Ricochet got a chance to shine. Miz talked smack to Bad Bunny earlier in the night and destroyed his turntables so Bunny came out after Miz and the distraction led to Miz getting eliminated. Bunny also hit him with a move off the top and sold the ribs. Kudos. I popped for the Team Hell No reunion/hug. The biggest surprise came when Christian came back. I was legitimately almost in tears. Edge is my all-time favorite and Christian is top five so seeing them reunite after never thinking I’d get it again was beautiful. Seth Rollins also returned at #29 in a cool moment. It came down to Edge, Braun, Seth and Christian. Seth dumped out Braun and Christian before he was tossed by Edge. Orton returned with a sneaky RKO but Edge still threw him out to win from #1 after 58:24. I was a bit bored at a few parts but this mostly worked and was one of the better Rumbles I can recall. Edge did wild things, we got some great returns, and stuff for the future was set up (I small AJ/Big E for the IC Title). [****]

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
I love the Rumble. It has been a hell of a show for years now. This was no different. It wasn’t overly long and featured two tremendous Rumble matches. KO/Reigns ruled and Carmella/Sasha was very good. Drew beat Goldberg quickly too. Plus, fun Rumble moments and a Christian return. What’s not to love?

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Royal Rumble, Kevin Pantoja