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Immediate Royal Rumble Thoughts

This was one of the first PPVs in almost a year I watched from start to finish without a small interruption, which bodes well for what I thought of the show.

Charlotte Flair and Asuka vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler was fine for a kickoff match, and I'm glad to see the more permanent of the two teams get the win here. The only disappointment was the furthering of the Lacey Evans-Charlotte program, especially since they went over it again during the later Rumble match.

Drew McIntyre vs. Goldberg was fairly harmless - and it had the potential to be fairly harmful had Goldberg won. I'm glad WWE recognizes that they have something special in McIntyre and weren't willing to sacrifice it for a quick loss to Big Match Bill. I also wonder whether we've seen the last of Goldberg for a while now...

I didn't love Sasha Banks vs. Carmella, but it paid off the angle well enough.

The Women's Royal Rumble dragged on a bit too long, especially given there weren't a ton of "classic" Rumble moments to be had here, no offense to Jillian Hall, Victoria and Torrie Wilson. I popped for Lana's comeback here (though I was probably in the minority), and I will say that strapping the rocket to Bianca Belair was definitely the right way to go in this match.

Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns was the match of the show for me, and the latest in a string of hard-fought matches between these two. The different presentation of this match, including the golf cart drive-by and brawl through the virtual bleachers, made a massive difference, and even the handcuff spot felt unique. I could see these guys battle again and again and not be bored by it.

The Mens Royal Rumble was solid, mixing some solid surprises (Christian! Hurricane! Super Jacked Carlito!) with some great storytelling. While Daniel Bryan was my pick to go the full monty here, Edge makes a ton of sense going forward, with a tremendous comeback story and (hopefully) a WrestleMania main event against Roman Reigns for the ages. One small nitpick: wouldn't it have made more sense for Randy Orton to have been eliminated by The Fiend (either in person or through the video walls), paying off the current storyline? Still, hard to complain about that.

Overall, a rock-solid show and probably the best WWE show I've seen since... well, last year's Royal Rumble.



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