Royal Rumble 2016 Recap/Analysis

The road to Wrestlemania has begun, ladies and gentlemen.

And what a beginning the Royal Rumble was. Aside from the finish of the Rumble itself, young talent stole the show every step of the way: from AJ Styles to Sami Zayn to Dean Ambrose to Sasha Banks…the future has never looked so bright.

Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens (Last Man Standing match)

The match got very brutal, very fast, as Ambrose took Owens out of the ring, throwing him out of the ring and unloading on him with a kendo stick soon after. Owens fought back with a canonball into the barricade soon after. This time it was Owens who would beat Ambrose with the stick.

Physicality ruled this match. The men pulled out all of the stops, throwing each other through steel chairs, steps, the apron, and everything imaginable. Midway through the match, Ambrose even managed to hit Dirty Deeds on Owens twice, into a steel chair the second time.

He then sent Owens through a table with his flying elbow from the ropes, but even that couldn’t keep Owens down long enough for a victory. After exchanging heated, “I HATE YOUs” with each other, Owens hit the Pop-Up Powerbomb on Ambrose, setting up a group of chairs to throw Ambrose into, but Ambrose countered by sending Owens through two tables, securing a thrilling win.

In the words of my dad, “That’s Wrestlemania material.”

 

The New Day vs. The Usos (Tag Team Championship match)

The New Day entered gloriously, introducing us all to Francesca II, since, as Woods put it, “A brother’s got needs.”

The Usos started out strong, but with interference from Xavier Woods the New Day powered back, much to the crowd’s delight. The Usos seemed to be staging a comeback, but Big E powered back, getting a near-fall before hitting a harrowing move through the ropes.

A few splashes and dives later, Xavier Woods was the only man left on his feet. The Usos made a real comeback, nearly landing a pinfall on Kofi, but he kept his feet under the ropes, and a sneaky tag by Big E into the Big Ending landed the New Day another victory.

The New Day continues to amaze me with their endless charisma and skill in the ring. I cannot WAIT to see what they do next.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto (United States Championship match)

Just like their other two bouts, Del Rio and Kalisto put on a fantastic clash of different styles. Del Rio took early control, pushing Kalisto around with ease before the Luchador utilized his agility and speed to mount a comeback.

Kalisto put on a wonderful fight, hitting Del Rio through the ropes and then again with a tilt-a-whirl. Del Rio tried taking control again, but Kalisto kept gaining momentum. However, Del Rio kept breaking it, even trying to unmask him at one point.

Kalisto hit a spinning DDT on the champion, but even that couldn’t get him the pinfall. He continued battering Del Rio with quick-paced moves, including his Solida-Del-Sol, but Del Rio grabbed the ropes. However, Kalisto survived long enough to once again reclaim the title he never should have lost in the first place.

Kalisto and Del Rio’s in-ring chemistry was as vivid as ever in this match, and Kalisto’s win made it even sweeter.

Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch (Divas championship match)

Chemistry is an integral component of any wrestling match. You can have two very talented performers but not feel any investment whatsoever because their story just doesn’t ring true.

Becky Lynch came out strong, maintaining a swift, physical style that perfectly countered Charlotte’s heelish antics. She sent the champion flying out of the ring, and looked to be throwing quite the beatdown, but then Ric Flair intervened, kissing Becky before Charlotte threw her to the ground.

Charlotte took control after that, throwing Becky around and taunting her loudly. But Becky fought back, lifting Charlotte onto her shoulders and throwing her down to buy some recovery time before hitting Charlotte with a series of clotheslines and nearly locking in her submission move.

But once again, Charlotte’s father interfered, throwing his jacket on Becky to get Charlotte enough distraction for the win.

But the night didn’t end there, as Sasha Banks entered, taking out an already down Lynch before taking down Charlotte ferociously.

My friends, the Divas Revolution may very well have arrived.

Royal Rumble Match (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match)

Entrant 1: Roman Reigns

(beaten down by the League of Nations)

Eliminated by Triple H

Entrant 2: Rusev

Eliminated by Reigns.

Entrant 3: AJ Styles

Eliminated by Kevin Owens

Entrant 4: Tyler Breeze

Eliminated by Reigns and Styles

Entrant 5: Curtis Axel

Eliminated by AJ Styles

Entrant 6: Chris Jericho

Eliminated by Dean Ambrose

Entrant 7: Kane

Eliminated by Braun Strowman

Entrant 8: Goldust

Eliminated by Titus O’Neil

Entrant 9: Ryback

Eliminated by Big Show

Entrant 10: Kofi Kingston

Eliminated by Chris Jericho

Entrant 11: Titus O’Neil

Eliminated by Big Show

Entrant 12: R-Truth

Eliminated by Kane

Entrant 13: Luke Harper

Eliminated by Brock Lesnar

Entrant 14: Stardust

Eliminated by Luke Harper

Entrant 15: Big Show

Eliminated by Braun Strowman

Entrant 16: Neville

Eliminated by Luke Harper

Entrant 17: Braun Strowman

Eliminated by Brock Lesnar

Entrant 18: Kevin Owens

Eliminated by Sami Zayn

Entrant 19: Dean Ambrose

Eliminated by Triple H

Entrant 20: Sami Zayn

Eliminated by Braun Strowman

Entrant 21: Erik Rowan

Eliminated by Brock Lesnar

Entrant 22: Mark Henry

Eliminated by the Wyatts

Entrant 23: Brock Lesnar

Eliminated by the Wyatt Family

Entrant 24: Jack Swagger

Eliminated by Brock Lesnar

Entrant 25: The Miz

Crap…I don’t know.

Entrant 26: Alberto Del Rio

Eliminated by Roman Reigns

Entrant 27: Bray Wyatt

Eliminated by Triple H

Entrant 28: Dolph Ziggler

Eliminated by Triple H

Entrant 29: Sheamus

Eliminated by Reigns

Entrant 30: Triple H

WINNER: TRIPLE H

Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you, along with most other wrestling news outlets. While predictable, the ending sets up a good story going into a Wrestlemania without John Cena, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, or Cesaro. And not just that, I barely stopped smiling the entire night. This was, all in all, a fun show to watch.

AJ Styles owned the show absolutely and completely. His entrance was as glorious as it could be, and boy, I cannot WAIT to see what else he does on the road to Mania. I couldn’t take my eyes off him his entire time in the ring, and the WWE Universe will be the same as he makes a name for himself in the WWE.

Welcome, AJ. We love you. Chris Jericho shouldn’t have outlasted you.

And to those of you upset with Triple H as champ . . . good. You’re supposed to be pissed. The ultimate victories are saved for Wrestlemania. This is storytelling. Roman Reigns winning tonight would have been a disaster. Dean Ambrose as a double champion would be great, but at this point is simply not gonna happen.

This feeling, this euphoria and anticipation that I feel as I write this recap? THAT is what makes wrestling so magical. That is why I keep coming back, even after everything Creative has put me through.

Bring on Fastlane. Bring on Wrestlemania. I cannot wait.

DON’T SCREW THIS UP.

 

 

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