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WWE Royal Rumble 2021: Results and Match Ratings

The WWE Royal Rumble took place Sunday night as the Road to Wrestlemania officially kicked off. In addition to the men and women’s rumble matches, multiple championships were also on the line. Let’s break down the winners, the  losers, and a few highlights, as well as ratings for each match.

WWE Title Match

Drew McIntyre (Champion) defeated Goldberg
Goldberg made yet another return to the WWE earlier this month on Monday Night Raw. This time, the former champion challenged Drew McIntyre for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble. McIntyre connects with a head butt to Goldberg as both men head outside the ring. Goldberg gets the advantage before hitting McIntyre with a spear through the guardrail. Goldberg and McIntyre return to the ring where the referee officially starts the match. McIntyre delivers the Claymore for a surprising two count. Goldberg makes his comeback, hitting two spears and a jackhammer but McIntyre is able to kick out at two. Despite Goldberg’s attempt to deliver another spear, McIntyre was able to avoid it before connecting on another Claymore for the win. Both men embrace after the match.

Match Analysis: This is exactly what you want in a Goldberg match. It was short, all action, and to the point. It had a very similar feel to Goldberg’s match with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 33. Worth a Watch, **3/4

SmackDown Women’s Championship Match

Sasha Banks (Champion) defeated Carmella
Sasha Banks continues to prove that she’s one of the best wrestlers in the WWE’s women’s division. Banks took it to Carmella from the bell and never really let up. As Banks heads to the outside, she takes down Carmella’s sommelier Reginald with a headsiccors. Carmella then hits Banks with a suicide dive to the outside but lands awkwardly which couldn’ve been much worse. The match continues to go back and forth with Carmella landing a superkick. She tries it a second time but gets caught in the Bank Statement and is forced to tap out.

Match Analysis: Pretty solid match but nothing too special. Would’ve been better as a TV match on Smackdown with Sasha Banks moving forward with her title reign. Skim it, **/12

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

Since its inception in 2018, the women’s WWE Royal Rumble match has been less than spectacular. Thankfully the 2021 women’s rumble took a big step up. Bayley drew #1 with the returning Naomi taking the #2 spot. From the get-go, the match moved at a breezing pace. Bianca Blair entered at #3 and it was clear that she had her working boots on. The ring began to fill up before Ruby Riott entered the ring at #9. Several legends also made rumble appearances, including Tori Wilson, Alicia Fox, and Victoria.

The final four in the women’s WWE Royal Rumble included Bianca Blair, Rhea Ripley, Charlotte Flair and Natalya. Blair is able to sneak up behind Natalya and dump her out of the ring as the remaining women circle the canvas. All three get their shots in, but when Charlotte found herself on the apron, she was eliminated after double forearms from Ripley and Blair. With Blair and Ripley remaining, each woman came close to being eliminated. With Ripley on edge, Blair delivered a closeline for the elimination as she punched her ticket to Wrestlemania.

Match Analysis: Without question, this year’s women’s WWE Royal Rumble match was the best in its short history. The pacing moved along well, with Naomi and Blair both playing the role of the iron woman. Blair’s win at #3 echos the success of Ric Flair who won the rumble back with the same number in 1992. Must-Watch ***3/4

Last Man Standing Match for the Universal Championship

Roman Reigns (Champion) d. Kevin Owens
The long-running feud between Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens has found a way to stay interesting. In recent weeks, the matter at hand has gotten personal and they fought like it at the WWE Royal Rumble. The Last Man Standing Match delivered several high-profiled spots, including Owens getting tossed from the Thunderdome platform through a table. Both men brawl to the backstage area where Reigns drove a golfcart into Owens.

After making it up before the 10-count, Owens took the fight to the WWE Universal Champion. After setting up Roman on a table, Owens climbed up a forklift and landed a Swanton bomb. Reigns shakes it off and spear Owens through the LED light structure. Ever the competitor, Owens was able to handcuff Reigns to the light fixture who knocked out the referee to break up the 10-count. The match came to a close after Reigns choked Owens out who couldn’t make it to his feet by the time the referee counted 10.

Match Analysis: Roman Reigns is the best heel in wrestling, period. His work since being paired with Paul Heyman has been gold and Kevin Owens is the perfect opponent for him. The Last Man Standing Match hit all the right buttons and the signature spots fit well. Must Watch, ****1/4

WWE: Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Edge draws number 1 and his bitter rival Randy Orton gets the number 2 spot. Before Orton can even make it past the entranceway, Edge runs up the ramp to attack Orton. Both men brawl back to the ringside area before Sami Zayn enters at #3 followed by Musta Ali at #4. Jeff Hardy follows at number 5 before Edge takes Orton back outside. Edge then hits the Edgecution on Orton on a table before smashing his knee with a chair. Edge returns to the ring, but Orton needs help to the lockerroom due to a bad knee despite not being eliminated. The returning Carlito comes in at #8 looking jacked and ripped.

 

Moving forward in the WWE Royal Rumble the ring fills up, with The Miz coming in at #15 as he breaks up the DJ equipment put in place for the Bad Bunny musical performance earlier in the night. After The Miz and John Morrison enter the ring, Bad Bunny comes down to confront them. Both men are eliminated by NXT’s Damion Priest who came in at #14. Bad Bunny then climbs to the top and hits a dive onto both men.

Daniel Bryan is in at #17 and makes an immediate impact in the WWE Royal Rumble. Kane follows and makes an even bigger impact, eliminating Dolph Ziggler and Ricochet. King Corbin then enters and eliminates Nakamura before being dumped out by Dominkick Mysterio not long after. Bobby Lashley is out at #22 as he eliminates Dominick and Damian Priest.

Hurricane Helms enters the WWE Royal Rumble at number #23 for more nostalgia. In the biggest surprise of the night, Christian makes his return at #24 as he helps eliminate Lashley. Christian and Edge hug it out before going to work on Matt Riddle. AJ Styles (with Omos) and Rey Mysterio both enter, followed by Sheamus and Cesaro. Omus assists Styles from the outside by eliminating Big E and Mysterio. Seth Rollins enters at #29 but is met with a stiff forearm by Cesaro. Braun Stroman enters at #30 and starts to clean house.

WWE: Final Seven

The final seven in the WWE Royal Rumble include Strowman, Edge, Christian, Byran, Riddle, Rollins, as well as Orton who was never eliminated. After a great sequence between Bryan and Riddle, Rollins attacks Bryan and tosses him over the top rope. Rollins then does the same to Riddle and attempts to get Strowman on his side. Strowman slams Rollins to the corner and takes on Edge and Christian. Edge grabs Strowman from the apron as Christian assists with the elimination. Rollins then comes behind to throw out Strowman and Christian. Edge sidesteps Rollins and gets the elimination before Orton returns to attack Edge. A failed RKO leads to Edge throwing out Orton and winning the Rumble and doing so from the #1 spot.

Match Analysis: One of the best WWE Royal Rumble matches in years. Great sections throughout the match with several spots being worthy of checking out. Carlito and Hurricane were both fun to see, with Christian’s return being the biggest highlight. Edge getting the win from the #1 spot is a great moment and only time will tell who he challenges to face at Wrestlemania. Must-Watch. ****1/2

 

Robby Steven

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