On today’s episode of The Main Event Podcast, we’re chatting the WWE Royal Rumble, which is turning out to be a marmite event, and Jez will also be discussing his appearance at BCW Super Scuffle on Saturday night.
WWE Universal Championship – Roman Reigns (c) vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins
The opening contest at the Royal Rumble saw The Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns, defend his Universal Championship against Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins. Roman Reigns entered first, suggesting that some shenanigans were to come, and they did in the form of Seth Rollins entering through the crowd to the old Shield entrance music. Would the 516 day Reign of the Universal Champion come to an end here? Reigns went on the offensive quickly sending Rollins reeling with powerful strikes. Rollins, however, used his quickness to take control, first trapping Reigns in the corner then sending him out of the ring. Rollins followed this up by delivering a powerbomb through the announce table. After returning him to the ring and hitting the frogsplash, Rollins picked up a two count. Reigns tried to get back in the match with a spear but Seth escaped, hit a buckle bomb and a stomp and got another very close nearfall. Reigns finally got into the match here, delivering his own powerbomb and getting a two count of his own, but Rollins was still in the head of Reigns and was put off his game by Rollins’ laughing. Reigns persisted and hit the Superman Punch but once again Rollins kicked out. Another spear attempt was countered into a modified Pedigree by Seth for another two count. Rollins tried to rattle Reigns once again with the offer of a Shield fistbump but Reigns stayed focused and locked the Architect into the Guillotine. Rollins, fading, reached the ropes but Roman refused to release the hold and after the count of 5, he was disqualified. With the match over, the mind games of Seth Rollins came back to haunt him when Reigns launched into a relentless attack on his former Shield buddy with steel chairs. Reigns looked satisfied with what he’d done as he took his Universal Championship and walked out of The Dome at America’s Center.
Jez’s Pick: Seth Rollins
Dan’s Pick: Seth Rollins
Winner: Seth Rollins (via DQ)
Jez 1 – Dan 1
Women’s Royal Rumble Match
The next contest was the Women’s Royal Rumble Match. Starting the match at numbers 1 and 2 were Sasha Banks, dressed as Sailor Moon, and Melina, dressed as herself. Sasha declared her intention for WrestleMania, pointing at the sign before throwing out Melinda with ease. Entry number 3 was Tamina, who unsurprisingly fared better than Melinda and survived at least to the next entrant, Kelly Kelly. Kelly showed off the three moves she learned all those years ago but found herself dumped out of the ring by Banks. Aaliyah entered at 5 and went to work on Banks and Tamina as entry number 6, Liv Morgan arrived. Liv almost eliminated Sasha but with four women still in the ring, Queen Zelina joined the group as entrant 7. Zelina continued her streak of resourcefulness as she was jumped by Sasha, she capitalised on The Boss being dumped over the top rope and on to the apron, eliminating her with a big big boot. At 8, last year’s winner Bianca Belair joined the fray, followed by Dana Brooke at 9 and Michelle McCool at 10. Dana Brooke almost found herself eliminated but Reggie caught her at ringside and put her back in the match. This wouldn’t last long as she was once again thrown over the top rope by Tamina but this time there was nobody there to catch her.
Entrant number 11 was Sonya Deville but we use the term entrant loosely as Sonya went to ringside rather than entering the ring. Joining the match at 12 was Natalya, who was reunited with her old tag team partner, Tamina, and her current foe, Aaliyah. Natalya would try to eliminate both Tamina and Bianca Belair as they brawled but as Tamina went crashing to the floor, Belair held on to the ropes and fought Natalya off before getting back under the bottom rope. At unlucky 13, former Funkadactyl Cameron made her way to the ring. As a potential ally of Naomi, this sprung Sonya Deville into action, launching into the ring to eliminate Cameron immediately. The brawl was on big time when Naomi joined at 14. Too late to save her former partner, she got revenge for her, eliminating ‘Cruella’ very quickly. At 15, Carmella joined the match… slowly… after going to the commentary table to tell everyone how beautiful she is. At 16, Rhea Ripley, perhaps one of the favourites to win the whole thing, entered the match and forced Carmella into the ring. The pack ganged up on Rhea at first but this didn’t stop her eliminating both Queen Zelina and Carmella at the same time. Next, it was SmackDown Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair, at 17. Flair quickly eliminated Aaliyah and threw Naomi over the top rope. As Naomi was about to put on her best Kofi Kingston impression, Sonya Deville appeared at ringside and pulled the hands out from under Naomi, sending her crashing to the floor and eliminating her. Entrant number 18 was Ivory, in Right to Censor mode, who kept chirping away on the microphone as Rhea Ripley picked her up, put her on the apron and shoved her off and out of the match. Making her return at number 19, Brie Bella entered the match, followed by IMPACT Knockouts World Champion, Mickie James, completing two-thirds of the entries in the Royal Rumble.
The final ten of the Women’s Royal Rumble got underway with entrant 21, Alicia Fox, who arrived just as James renewed an old rivalry with Michelle McCool, eliminating her. For entry 22, the music of Nikki A.S.H. played but she did not immediately enter, instead trying to jump Rhea Ripley from behind. Unfortunately for Nikki, this didn’t work and so instead she joined the rest of the match. Entrant 23 was Summer Rae who, with a face of thunder, made a beeline for Natalya, renewing old tensions between the two of them. But, despite the effort, Summer Rae was quickly eliminated by Natalya, aided by Charlotte. Natalya met another old rival at 24, as Nikki Bella entered the contest. Reunited with her sister, Nikki and Brie had a moment with their former partner Alicia Fox but the twins quickly betrayed her and sent her out of the match. Number 25 was Sarah Logan in full Viking attire, who came face to face with her former Riott Squad partner, Liv Morgan, but the moment was interrupted and Logan was eliminated by the Bella Twins. The Bellas continued their dominance by eliminating my pick to win, Liv Morgan. Entrant 26 was WWE Hall of Famer, Lita who eliminated Mickie James after a big DDT. The 27th woman to enter was Mighty Molly, who was jumped by fellow fake superhero Nikki A.S.H. before she could enter the match. Nikki brought Molly into the ring for the role purpose of eliminating her immediately. Entrant number 28 was a surprise entrant in new mother, Ronda Rowsey. Rowsey eliminated Nikki A.S.H. and threatened to take out Nikki Bella but her sister, Brie, did that instead. Disgusted with the treachery, Rowsey opened up on Brie as the 29th entrant, Shotzi Blackheart, joined the match, and then Rowsey eliminated Brie. The final entrant in the match was Shayna Baszler and after sharing a knowing nod with friend and ally Ronda Rowsey, Baszler went to work on Lita.
As we entered the final phase of the match, Shotzi was eliminated by Ronda Rowsey, followed closely by Natalya. Natalya came back into the ring to try and get Rowsey out but Nattie found herself eliminated again. Thanks for coming, Nattie. Mixed up in the action, Lita found herself on the top rope and was about to deliver the Moonsault to Rhea Ripley but after Ripley got up, Charlotte Flair leaped into action and pushed the Hall of Famer over the top rope, eliminating her. Charlotte also capitalised on a battle between Rowsey and Ripley and was able to eliminate Ripley with a big boot. The final four came down to Bianca Belair, Shayna Baszler, Ronda Rowsey and Charlotte Flair but the former two were taken out of the match simultaneously as they battled on the ropes. Distracted by each other, Flair lifted both Belair and Baszler over the top rope and sent them out of the match. Now down to two, Flair and Rowsey grappled but as Charlotte went for a big boot, Ronda struck and launched the SmackDown Women’s Champion over the top rope and booked her place at WrestleMania.
Jez’s Pick: Charlotte Flair
Dan’s Pick: Liv Morgan
Winner: Ronda Rowsey
Jez 1 – Dan 1
Raw Women’s Championship – Becky Lynch (c) vs. Doudrop
Back to one-on-one competition, the next match was the RAW Women’s Championship match between the champion, Becky Lynch, and her challenger, Doudrop. As expected, Doudrop used her size and strength to dominate the early portion of the contest but Lynch used her quickness to avoid big moves such as a big splash from the middle rope and a cannonball into the steel steps. Becky focused on trying to keep Doudrop off her toes, figuratively and literally, stomping away at the challenger whilst down on the mat and employing mind games to try and annoy Doudrop to the point she lost control and got herself disqualified. Lynch almost picked up the win after a Molly Go Round from the top rope but Doudrop kicked out at two. She secured another nearfall after a leg drop to the back of the head while Doudrop draped off the ropes but still the challenger survived. Doudrop got a nearfall of her own and went for the kill but Becks rallied and delivered a huge Manhandle Slam from the middle rope and pinned her challenger to retain the RAW Women’s Championship.
Jez’s Pick: Becky Lynch
Dan’s Pick: Becky Lynch
Winner: Becky Lynch
Jez 2 – Dan 2
WWE Championship – Brock Lesnar (c) (with Paul Heyman) vs. Bobby Lashley (with MVP)
With two championships retained so far at the Royal Rumble, our third and final of the night was on the line as Brock Lesnar defended the WWE Championship against Bobby Lashley in a first time meeting between these two big men. The match started slowly with both men sizing each other up but it was Lesnar who struck first, surprising Lashley with a German Suplex. The All Mighty returned the favour quickly, dropping the champion with a German Suplex of his own. Brock upped the ante with a visit to Suplex City and a succession of Germans but Lashley matched his stake with a series of Spears. The final Spear backfired on the challenger, though, as Lesnar stepped aside and allowed Lashley to crash through the ringside barricade. Further visits to Suplex City weakened the challenger but as the match progressed, Bobby Lashley was able to surprise Lesnar with the Hurt Lock. Lesnar started to fade but Brock forced Bobby into the turnbuckle to break the submission. Lesnar hit the F5 but inadvertently took out the referee with the feet of Lashley in the process. With Lesnar unable to pick up the win, and Lashley down, Roman Reigns appeared out of nowhere and delivered a huge Spear to the WWE Champion. He then demanded that Paul Heyman hand him the title belt and he did! Reigns nailed Lesnar in the face with the WWE Title and after a new referee arrived, Bobby Lashley pinned Brock Lesnar to become the NEW WWE Champion. Roman Reigns walked up the ramp with Paul Heyman in tow. In shades of Brock Lesnar’s first championship reigns, he has been betrayed once again by his own advocate.
Jez’s Pick: Brock Lesnar
Dan’s Pick: Brock Lesnar
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Jez 2 – Dan 2
Edge and Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz and Maryse
The next contest was less about championships and more about personal pride as the team of The Miz and Maryse took on Edge and Beth Phoenix. The women started the match, or at least were supposed to, but Maryse ran away from Phoenix, eventually needing to be pulled out of the ring by her husband, The Miz. Miz tagged in, forcing Edge to join the match as per mixed tag team rules. Thanks to distractions, Miz took control of the match and isolated Edge away from his wife so that Maryse would not have to face Beth Phoenix. However, the tag was made and Maryse had to enter the ring but The Miz intervened and Beth Phoenix went on the offensive on him instead. Maryse jumped Phoenix from behind, hitting her in the back with her purse and Maryse actually wore down her opponent in the middle of the ring but, when Beth got back to her feet, she tagged in the Rated R Superstar, raising the pace of the match. Edge came in like a house of fire and hit the Edge-O-Matic and set up for the Spear. Edge missed, hit the turnbuckle and, while The Miz feigned an injury, Maryse hit a Hurricanrana to Edge and a French Kiss DDT to Beth Phoenix. The Miz hit Skull Crushing Finale and went for the win but Edge kicked out. Maryse tried to help out again and the It Couple tried to deliver a double Skull Crushing Finale to Edge but, thanks to Beth Phoenix, the move was thwarted and the Grit Couple nailed dual Glam Slams to pick up the victory in the match.
Jez’s Pick: The Miz and Maryse
Dan’s Pick: Edge and Beth Phoenix
Winner: Edge and Beth Phoenix
Jez 2 – Dan 3
Men’s Royal Rumble Match
It was now time for the 30 Man Royal Rumble match. Would there be any surprise entries that could take it all the way in this match? Entrants one and two, were AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura. The two fought in a preview of a dream match we might never actually get and were joined by entrant number 3 Austin Theory, and 4, Robert Roode. Styles eliminated Roode as Ridge Holland joined the match at 5, then Styles eliminated Nakamura. The next string of entries arrived uneventfully, number 6 Montez Ford, 7 Damien Priest and 8 Sami Zayn but with the entry of number 9, Johnny Knoxville, business picked up. Knoxville entered the match and took down Zayn with ground and pound strikes before pointing at the WrestleMania sign. AJ Styles, sportingly, gave Knoxville a free punch, but this just set up Styles to nail 6 or 7 quick strikes of his own. The Jackass-bashing continued when Montez Ford hit him with the frogsplash before Ridge Holland carefully placed him on the apron over the top rope and was about to clothesline him down when Sami Zayn sprung to action and hit Knoxville with a Helluva Kick, eliminating him. Styles eliminated Zayn while he celebrated. At 10, Angelo Dawkins joined the match, uniting the Street Profits.
The giant, Omos, entered at 11. The Superstars in the ring attacked Omos one by one but to no avail as Omos eliminated the Street Profits and sent Styles crashing under the bottom rope. Ricochet joined the match at 12 and he went right to work on Omos but fared no better than those who tried before him. Unlucky number 13 belonged to Chad Gable who tried to organise the troops. He sent the biggest man remaining, Damien Priest, in first but Priest was easily eliminated by the much bigger, Omos. From here, the horde struck. Dominick Mysterio joined the effort to oust Omos when he entered at 14 but it was a running start and a forearm from Styles that allowed the group to put Omos over the top rope and eliminate him. Entrant number 15 was Happy Corbin who made quick work eliminating Ricochet with a smile on his face. The next participant, Dolph Ziggler entered his 15th Royal Rumble at 16, making him second all time in entries behind only Kane. After nailing Dominick with a brutal Deep Six, Happy Corbin eliminated him. This was followed shortly by the elimination of Austin Theory by AJ Styles, who was on quite the run of eliminations. Sheamus entered at 17 but didn’t make it to the ring in time to save his protégé, Ridge Holland, who was dumped at his feet by, you guessed it, AJ Styles. Sheamus tried to avenge Holland and eliminate Styles but he was unable to do so as entrant 18, Rick Boogs, joined the match. Boogs bodypressed Gable and tossed him out of the ring, eliminating him. Happy Corbin got company with the entry of number 19, Madcap Moss and between the two Happy Folks, they shocked the world and eliminated AJ Styles, as well as Rick Boogs as the 20th entry, Riddle, joined the match.
The fun ended for the Happy Folks with the introduction of entry number 21, Drew McIntyre, whom the pair had attacked and taken out at the start of the month at WWE Day 1. McIntyre got a quick measure of revenge, eliminating the pair before leaving under the bottom rope and continuing the beatdown on Corbin and Moss. The 22nd entrant, Kevin Owens, met Drew McIntyre at ringside and the pair brawled back into the ring. Rey Mysterio joined his 13th Rumble at 23 and Kofi Kingston returned from injury at 24 to enter his 14th Royal Rumble. Kingston didn’t last long, though, as he was shoved from the top rope and tried to grip the ring barricade and save himself but his feet touched the floor in the process. At 25, Otis joined the match and Dan’s pick, Big E at 26. At 27, Bad Bunny made his return to WWE… for some reason, and hit a Canadian Destroyer on Riddle. Sheamus tried to eliminate Bunny but he survived and was himself eliminated when he tried to Brogue Kick him from the apron. Bunny teamed with Rey Mysterio to eliminate Dolph Ziggler, and Rey was eliminated by Otis as entrant 28 arrived – Shane O’ Mac. McMahon eliminated his old rival Kevin Owens. The penultimate entrant, Randy Orton, joined at 29 and teamed with his partner, Riddle, to eliminate Big E and Otis.
The big surprise entrant of the match was Brock Lesnar who entered in the coveted number 30 spot and angrily suplexed everyone in sight before eliminating Randy Orton and Bad Bunny to leave a final four of Lesnar, Riddle, Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre. This final four quickly became three as Riddle was dispatched by Lesnar, followed closely by Shane McMahon. The pair brawled and McIntyre went for the Claymore but missed. Lesnar set up for the F5 but rather than downing Drew in the ring, he launched the Scottish Warrior over the top rope and etched his name in history as the winner of the 2022 men’s Royal Rumble match.
Jez’s Pick: Roman Reigns
Dan’s Pick: Big E
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Jez 2 – Dan 3
Dan awards 3 out of 5 Brock Lesnar Top Knots
Jez also awards 3.75 out of 5 Brock Lesnar Top Knots
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