Tuesday, February 2, 2021

WWE: Royal Rumble 2021 Review - January 31st, 2021

WWE Royal Rumble 
January 31st, 2021 

Hey y'all it's a couple days late, but I'm finally getting this posted. My friend Mike (@mikexklinsky) is joining me for this one. Make sure to give him a follow on Twitter, he's a true king. 


1) Charlotte & Asuka vs. Nia Jax & Shayna Basler - WWE Women’s Tag Team Title Match 

ETHAN: This really wasn’t bad at all, even if the finish left a lot of people unhappy. Charlotte & Asuka are great together and Nia didn’t fuck anything up. Charlotte hit an awesome moonsault off the top turnbuckle to the floor wiping out Jax & Basler before Ric Flair & Lacey Evans showed up. Flair slipped Lacey Evans brass knuckles and she cracks Charlotte in the head and it allows Nia Jax to hit the leg drop for the pin. 

Match rating - **1/4 

MIKE: This was the only match that took place on the kickoff showed, and I hate that this is the match that fell in such an unfavorable spot. This had some fun spots, most notably being the Charlotte moonsault. Nia hit a huge sit out powerbomb on Asuka in a near fall, and it was the single best Nia Jax spot I’ve seen in years. Ric Flair and Lacey Evans with a huge interference, causing the titles to change hands. 

Match rating - **

Main Show:

2) Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Goldberg - WWE Championship Match 
ETHAN: Formula bullshit here. Goldberg puts Drew through the railing before the bell. Bell rings and it’s just finishers for a few minutes before Drew retains with the claymore.

Match rating - **

MIKE: This match was, realistically, the best you could hope for from a Goldberg match in 2021. Some extra-curricular activity before the match officially went underway had McIntyre in a compromised state as the bell rung. Drew’s ability at garnering sympathy is severely underrated. Thankfully, the title stays with the Scotsman at an official match time of 2:30.

Match rating - **1/4

3) Sasha Banks (c) vs. Carmella (w/ Reginald) - Smackdown Women’s Title Match

ETHAN: Carmella really has improved so much. This match was a lot better than I expected heading into it. Some nice spots down the stretch and the ladies nailed just about everything. The ref throws Reginald out and Carmella hits a crazy dive on Sasha that sorta misfires, but looks intense as a result. Back in the ring, Sasha fights back and gets the win via submission. 

Match rating - **3/4

MIKE: The best match on the card thus far! I’m absolutely positive that Sasha can make anyone look like a superstar. Reginald with a little interference, and Sasha makes him pay for it. All the elements of the match that I was expecting, and for the most part these women delivered.

Match rating - **1/2

4) Women’s Royal Rumble Match 

ETHAN: Maybe it was because I was in a room full of my friends, but this was a load of fun. The entire first 17-20 entrants or so was awesome. You had surprise nostalgia acts like Torrie Wilson, Jillian Hall, & Victoria plus some unexpected new entrants like Santana Garrett. Naomi had a great showing. Once Nia Jax, Tamina and Shayna Basler showed up things kinda slowed down. It would soon pick back up although the finish felt a little drawn out. Loved the final exchange between Bianca & Rhea, though. Awesome performance from Bianca in this match as a whole in what will be remembered as a star making moment. 

Match rating - ***3/4

MIKE: The women’s Rumble was a really, really fun match. Some great surprises like Victoria and Jillian Hall added some pops in the room. Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair’s elimination of Charlotte Flair, and eventual face off was awesome. Who knew that “bullshit Shawn Michaels NXT booking” could be so riveting? All jokes aside, I love Bianca Belair’s potential, and hope that WWE rides her momentum for a while. 

Match rating - ***3/4

5) Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owens - Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Universal Title

ETHAN: Reigns & Owens with another outstanding effort. Owens went nutty with spots including a huge swanton onto Reigns off a forklift. The best of all may have been Reigns running Owens over with a golfcart and Owens going assfirst through the windshield. Hilarious shit. This was just vintage WWE Last Man Standing Match stuff and I enjoyed the hell out of it. Owens more than proved himself as a main eventer in this feud as if he needed to prove himself any further. The finish was slightly weird, but didn’t hinder the match quality too much. Reigns escapes from being handcuffed to a steel tower thanks to Paul Heyman and chokes Owens out with a guillotine. Ref counts to 10 and Reigns retains. 

Match rating - ****

MIKE: Man, this match was ROUGH. Believable beatdowns from both men started this match, and it never slowed down. They mauled each other throughout the venue, with KO hitting a huge senton off of a forklift through a table being the big spot of the match. Reigns retains, but Kevin Owens’ stock in WWE should skyrocket from his performance in this match.

Match rating - ***3/4

6) Men’s Royal Rumble Match 

ETHAN: The best part about this for me was watching this with my friends and running a small bet between the 6 of us. It made the excitement of who’s number would win and who each entrant was even more thrilling than normal. All in all though, this felt like a run of the mill Rumble. Not in a bad way. I don’t have any extensive complaints, but there also wasn’t a lot about this that would make me go back and watch it again. In the last few years even, there were things that made me wanna re-watch one of the most fun matches of the entire year. Last year, you had stuff like Lesnar’s run, Keith Lee, Edge’s return and McIntyre’s moment. Back in 2017, you had Nakamura’s big win and a seeming shift in power in the WWE. This year it felt like just another Rumble. CARLITO showed up which was awesome. We also got a Damian Priest appearance and he looked awesome during his time in the match. Daniel Bryan & Matt Riddle threw down for a little while and it ruled. There were plenty of good things here. My favorite of all was the return of Christian. The finish has caused a lot of discourse. Some happy for Edge because his return has been so heartwarming, some wishing it would have went to someone like Daniel Bryan or Big E. For me, the Edge victory is happy medium. Heading into this, my heart wanted Daniel Bryan, but my brain said Brock Lesnar which almost a best case scenario versus a worst case scenario. Edge winning falls in the middle because Edge is an all time great and I’ve always enjoyed him. Plus, he hasn’t had many matches since returning so whichever title he chooses to go after will be a fresh match up. However, I really would’ve loved Daniel Bryan to get the victory and challenge Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. And hell, who knows, I guess he could still do just that. Regardless, this was a fun Rumble albeit nothing out of this world. 

Match rating - ***1/4 

MIKE: Edge and Orton are the first two entrants, and Edge doesn’t even wait for Randy to finish his entrance. This thing jumped off the rails quickly, and held that momentum for quite some time. Some cool surprises in this rumble as well, including Carlito (who received a HUGE pop in the room) and Christian. Seeing E&C back in the same ring together was the most overwhelming sense of nostalgia. This match had most of the room on the edge of their seats, and so while this rating may seem high it’s what I’m going with impulsively, immediately after the event. 

Damien Priest, Big E and Riddle all looked phenomenal in their time in the ring. And, speaking of Edge, what a massive win for him, continuing his redemption story. I’m elated for him, and have hopes that the main event of WrestleMania could deliver big. 

Match rating - ***3/4

Thanks for reading even though this is a few days late. As said before, work has really been screwing me on keeping a steady pace on reviewing, but I'm gonna do my best to stay on top of things. Thanks to Mike for joining me, I hope to have him guest spot on more stuff in the future <3 

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