wrestling / TV Reports

Watry’s WWE Royal Rumble 2020 Review

January 28, 2020 | Posted by Justin Watry
Drew McIntyre Royal Rumble 2020

As always, the Kickoff Show was just background noise. I was just coming home from work and ordering food. Let’s just get to the main card, shall we?

WWE Royal Rumble 2020

Roman Reigns VS King Corbin – This was a Falls Count Anywhere match and also (hopefully) the blowoff match to this feud. Before discussing the actual bout, I will say the look and feel of the show was awesome. I love the idea of going to more baseball stadiums. The presentation of Safeco Field in 2003 for WrestleMania XIX is still one of my favorite all-time wrestling buildings. Now, as for Reigns vs. Corbin, the story line has dragged and really not helped anybody…unless you count the crowd actually supporting the face and booing the heel for a change. This was entertaining though. Your standard crowd brawl with a few fun spots thrown in between. I had no issues with it. The Big Dog wins, and the weasel bad guy gets his comeuppances in the end. Paint by the numbers acceptable.

Womens Royal Rumble – I am going to try and be nice here, but once this match was placed second, it was clear we were not getting Ronda Rousey and if we had a surprise winner, it would not be a major name. Immediately, I exhaled and accepted the fact that Charlotte Flair was really the only true option to win. I loved the 2018 Womens Royal Rumble. I was so-so on the 2019 Womens Royal Rumble. The 2020 version was somewhere in between, leaning more towards the 2019 side of “meh.” Here’s what I did like about the match:

– Mighty Molly is always fun!

– Bianca Belair looked like a million bucks before her NXT (Womens) Title match at the next Takeover event. Call up over to Raw or Smackdown already! Geez.

– Otis was great. No shock there.

– Loved the fact that Mercedes got a moment on WWE pay-per-view after so long. Also loved all the other NXT/NXT UK girls getting a shot, even if it was short lived.

Ultimately though, this was all about whether Charlotte Flair would get the accolade or Shayna Baszler showing up to steal her thunder. Well, Shayna did indeed show up late as most suspected, but it was all for nothing. Charlotte was the winner and now gets to challenge for a women’s championship at WrestleMania. From what I understand, it will NOT be against Becky Lynch, so there is hope we get something cool here. Four Horsewomen deal with Bayley and Sasha Banks? Rhea Ripley showdown for NXT? I will see where this goes but in the moment, BLAH. Minus a few highlights (and Santina), this was just as advertised: Charlotte vs. everyone else…

Bayley VS Lacey Evans – For the Smackdown Womens Title. Silly me for giving Lacey Evans even a chance to leave with the belt at the Royal Rumble. Silly me. I should have known better. I mean I did. However, I expected at least a couple of close near falls. This was the bout that followed a Royal Rumble match, and it never stood a chance. The hype was actually very solid. The bell to bell here…was not. Outside of something with Sasha, any ideas for Bayley come WM36?

The Fiend VS Daniel Bryan – Now we’re talking! I didn’t care for the pointless trap match stipulation but still, this was a Universal Championship showdown between two very talented guys. Their Royal Rumble 2014 bout may have been six years ago, but they could have just as easily created that same type of magic again. Not sure if they topped it but certainly these two got very close. The Fiend Bray Wyatt was the obvious choice to come out as the victor. However, do not sleep on Bryan’s performance here. He is the one who made this feud work. The hair, the fire, the passion, the painful lashes, the loss, the post-match scene – that was all Daniel Bryan. Personally, I’d be up for an NXT run for him, but I also understand WWE may value the Yes Man way too much for that. Especially during WrestleMania season. Two thumbs up guys. Great match.

Becky Lynch VS Asuka – One last debt to collect. A rematch from last year’s Rumble PPV event. Kinda cool thinking about everything and how it always comes full circle. Becky Lynch was clearly going to retain here. The question was HOW she would retain. Asuka will be fine. She is still one half of the WWE Womens Tag Team Champions. Do not worry about her. At the drop of a hat, she is right back in contention. All eyes are on either Ronda Rousey or Shayna Baszler it seems. As noted on the 411 Foresight Wrestling Podcast by the one and only Steve Madsen, Ronda is Plan A. Shayna is Plan B. With Rousey involved, it’s main event material. Without, it’s one of the coveted co-main events for the WM36 show. Make no mistake though, Becky Lynch is making it to Mania as champ…a one year journey. Nicely done.

Mens Royal Rumble – This really broke down into three main sections. First was Brock Lesnar destruction. Second was the return of Edge. Third was The Stud Drew McIntyre fulfilling his prophecy as the Royal Rumble winner. Like with the women’s Rumble, I will state some of my highlights first…

– MVP coming down the ramp was a genuine shock. Nice of Brock Lesnar to dance along. Always loved that theme song.

– Everybody wanted Keith Lee, so there you go. I didn’t think he would win or eliminate Brock, but it was still a deserving spotlight after Survivor Series.

– Personally, I was rooting for a Matt Riddle cameo instead. I got that BRO.

– I enjoyed Seth Rollins and his goons taking out the field, especially the Buddy Murphy/Aleister Black callback.

– Hey, Ricochet sorta got ‘one up’ on The Beast Brock Lesnar. Think about that for a second. He technically went over the WWE Champion…kinda. More than Kofi Kingston can say.

Alright, let’s get to the three main points of the 2020 Rumble.

1. Brock Lesnar destroying everybody was great. I can tell you my girlfriend HATES him. Every time somebody would get tossed over the top rope, she would get upset and eagerly count down for the next participant. When Keith Lee and Braun Strowman came out, she legitimately sat up and said “Oh yeah, now we got something!” Telling you folks, casual fans are great to watch professional wrestling with. For the predictable complaint about all these guys not putting anybody over or Brock damaging the roster, shut it. Cesaro? John Morrison? Elias? Shelton Benjamin? You know who they put over? They put over The Stud Drew McIntyre. With each elimination, it made the impending Brock moment that much bigger. My one gripe was he only tied the elimination record. If you are going to go all the way, go all the way. One more would not have hurt much at all. More on The Stud later…

2. The return of Edge was incredible. We are all on the internet. We all read the rumors. We all saw the denials. We all saw the Summerslam physicality. It was happening folks. It just took some of us longer to believe. As great as the moment and run was, you just knew fans had to complain and whine and gripe about something. The stupid cutaway crowd shot during his initial spear to Dolph Ziggler. First of all, he hit Elias with a spear months back, so this was not his “first” return spear. Secondly, we are all human. Whoever missed the shot is a human too. WWE is absolutely top notch with their production. They captured the moment beautifully. The fans, the crowd, the reaction, the close up of Edge, the pyro, the commentators, etc. Soak in that amazing emotion, not negativity about a split second missed shot. I loved him teasing a Rated RKO reunion, and I also dug the AJ Styles and Seth Rollins stuff. Future feuds with all three if you ask me. Bottom line: Edge is back. If only somebody said such a thing would happen…

Point me.

3. Enough about that. Let’s get to the big moment of the night and why this was one of the best Royal Rumble from the past decade. We had the fun and innovative Brock run. We had the super intense Edge entry, but the last man to be standing was The Stud Drew McIntyre. That’s right. After Vince McMahon declared him a future World Champion over ten years ago, it is finally time to pay that off. He had been building momentum and if you listened to the 411 Foresight Wrestling Podcast last week, you knew what was coming: next for him Brock Lesnar and that WWE Championship! Thanks to the Ricochet low blow, he not only got the crowd pleasing Brock Lesnar elimination, he also got the annual Roman Reigns runner-up elimination moment. Two things the fans will eat up with a spoon. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. One sign point later and it was official. Drew McIntyre is going to WrestleMania baby. If only somebody said such a thing would happen…

Point me.

SUMMARY: Kind of a blah undercard if you ask me. The Universal Title match was great. Becky vs. Asuka was predictable but fun. The Womens Rumble was alright. None of that mattered though, as the final image was the correct one. The Stud Drew McIntyre stepping up to Brock Lesnar and soon to be a first time WWE Champion. A star is born ladies and gentlemen. Too late to get on the bandwagon now. You all had your chance. He is too good and has been a main eventer in the making for years. Tampa Bay, get ready.

article topics :

Royal Rumble, Justin Watry