The art of professional wrestling is one of the most socially active mediums of entertainment across the world. Millions watch men and women grapple for championships, financial success, accolades, celebrity status, and supposed immortality within the squared circle. The Hype Train provides a glancing review of WWE’s dual-branded pay-per-view, Royal Rumble, which features two over-the-top battle royal matches for both its men and women. All aboard.
WWE Royal Rumble 2018: Predictions and Thoughts
This year, the Royal Rumble features a match for the women, as well as the men. We've not been a fan of the promotion of the women's match, even though the match itself is very intriguing. Stephanie McMahon forcing the agenda with all the hugging in the ring as they announced the match was massively out of character.
The men's Rumble match hasn't got a lot of star power compared to last year, but that's not a bad thing. The rumble last year was a flat affair and you can read our review of it from last year on the website, and we're certainly not kind to shoe-horning legends in, with a lukewarm Randy Orton winning.
We have no idea who is winning either of the Rumble matches, though Japanese wrestlers Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura are in with a good shout to win and headline Wrestlemania.
The Royal Rumble goes a long way to shaping the next 3-4 months of our care and enjoyment for the wrestling business as it maps out the road to Wrestlemania. Our only wish from tonight is that there is some optimism coming into the next few months as we can't go another 4 months loathing and hating on creative decisions that kill the hype.
WWE Royal Rumble: Notes
Here we go. We'll do a short recap, and our thoughts for each match, though don't expect us to do a play-by-play for both of the Rumble matches, otherwise this review would never, ever, get finished.
Opening Match; WWE Championship: AJ Styles (C) vs. Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens
Kicking off with the WWE Championship match, a new titantron entrance for Sami Zayn kicked off the show, with Kevin Owens also massively cheered upon his arrival to the ring. The Champ, AJ Styles was out last to a massive reaction from the crowd.
Zayn and Owens kept trading tags to each other to halt the actual start of the match, with AJ and Owens eventually squaring off. There was minutes of nothing happening, other than the commentary team arguing with each other about Zayn and Owens conduct over the last few months, and how they take shortcuts.
As you'd expect, Styles was being slowly worn down by the challengers. Styles spent an age gathering himself whilst being attacked by the duo, with the commentary team repeatedly talking about Owens's left-knee potentially being injured after Styles applied the Calf Crusher on the final SmackDown before the Rumble.
AJ put the same move on Kevin Owens here tonight, with Zayn breaking up the action. A few near pin-fall attempts occurred. Sami nearly had the win when Styles kicked out of the Blue Thunder Bomb, but with the champ kicking out.
AJ was close to winning, hitting the Phenomenal Foreman onto Zayn, but Owens broke up the pin. Sami and AJ traded punches before Zayn went for a tag. AJ wouldn't let the tag happen and Zayn was thrown out of the ring.
Owens came into the ring as the illegal man, super-kicked AJ, but got rolled up for the ring, with AJ Styles retaining.
Overall, the match felt kind of rushed and never really got ticking into a high gear. A decent start to the night though, and with AJ retaining that only add fuels to the fire with Nakamura a favourite?
Zayn and Owens were then involved in a backstage segment with Shane McMahon, with Owens screaming in rage that they were screwed out of another title match, with Shane smug in their defeat.
Match 2; SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships; The Usos (C) vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin
The Usos came out and cut a promo, saying that they're getting silly in Philly. They were saying that nobody was ready for the tag champs and that they were in the penitentiary. The match kicked off rather quickly, with the event flashing before our eyes.
For a large part of this match the pair scuffled in a mat-wrestling game, with Gable dominating the match before a tag to Shelton Benjamin. The former member of the Worlds Greatest Tag Team was then beat down by The Usos for an age, dissecting Benjamin.
Gable eventually came back into play and set up The Usos for a series of near falls. Gable then laid out the brothers with a moonsault from the top rope onto the outside. The match had been going on for little over ten minutes at this point when The Usos hit super-kicks onto Chad Gable after there was confusion as to which Uso was the legal man. Gable eventually kicked out of the pair of super-kicks with many in disbelief.
Shelton Benjamin got back involved, turned the tables, with Chad Gable applying an arm-bar onto Jey Uso who was caught in the ropes. The Usos then got the advantage again, hit a pair of super-kicks onto Gable and then pinned him in the middle of the ring.
We figured out that this was a 2 out of 3 falls match, which was not advertised before the match, or to our relocation was not promoted well at all.
The match continued and within a minute Chad Gable was rolled up for the pin, with back-to-back falls favouring the The Usos.
That was all that happened. The Usos left after completing a clean sweep and they retained the SmackDown Live Tag Titles. On the whole, it was the right decision as The Usos are the best tag team in the company right now.
Match 3: The Men's 30 Man Royal Rumble Match
So, the main event match is third on the card. This is one of the strangest booking decisions in WWE over the last few years. This match should be closing the show as it has already been this way. Granted, the women will probably be ending the show so it doesn't make too much of a difference, but wrestling fans will have to be reconditioned.
Is this setting up for an unpopular winner so the boo's don't kill the show to end the event?
Rusev coming out number one was met with a massive reaction, though we fear that they just want him out of the match as soon as possible. Finn Balor then entered at number two, but as he's not in The Demon make up he's not winning.
At this point every wrestling fan is wanting the number one or two entrant to win, right?
The opening pair didn't do much, and then Rhyno, one of the unannounced wrestlers of the match, entered and squared off with Rusev. Nothing happened and then Baron Corbin entered at number 4.
Corbin then caused mayhem as he eliminated Rhyno before being eliminated by Balor. Corbin then destroyed everyone else in the ring, including Heath Slater who hadn't even got in the ring.
Elias then came down in 6th place, playing his guitar and kicking Heath Slater. Elias then cut a promo and said that the countdown clock wasn't going to start until he was going to give a performance to the crowd. Elias then sung.
Six entries and no wrestling at the moment, all showmanship.
Then number 7 came out - THE NXT CHAMPION! Andrade Cien Almas came out to a massive reaction and went to battle with Elias. Bray Wyatt came out at number 8, with the numbers filling out in the ring. Wyatt planted Elias immediately before punching Rusev, not allowing the Bulgarian into the ring.
Big E then came out as number 9 and fed Heath Slater pancakes. Slater still hasn't entered the ring at this point.
Tye Dillinger then came out at number ten, but he didn't come out as Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were attacking the wrestler backstage. Zayn then entered in Dillinger's place. To dead air, Sheamus entered the ring.
Heath Slater then eliminated Sheamus after a second to huge applause. Within seconds Bray Wyatt attacked Slater and eliminated the former Tag Team Champion.
Xavier Woods came in at number 12 to join Big E in the match, immediately teaming up to hit a power-bomb on Sami Zayn. Apollo Crews then entered to booing from the crowd. The ring had filled up at this point and not a lot was happening.
The entrance known as Shinsuke Nakamura then entered at number 14, with the crowd loudly singing his entrance theme. The hot favourite for this match has entered halfway into this match, with raises doubts over his potential victory.
Nakamura then cleaned house and eliminated Sami Zayn from the top rope. Cesaro then came out and we're left wondering why not just advertise Cesaro in the match, instead of living with the disappointment of having them be in the match, only to have a match later in the night?
Kofi Kingston then entered. More than half way through the eliminations and how good is your luck if you're John Cena, Randy Orton, or Roman Reigns?
Coming in at number 17, former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal entered the match and started clearing house in the ring. Jerry "The King" Lawler backed Jinder Mahal to win the whole thing, then eliminated Xavier Woods and Big E.
Seth Rollins comes in at number 18, and we'll refer you to the point above about the tag champs in the match not being advertised. Rollins to his credit did do a great elimination to throw Jinder out of the ring.
Kofi's spot in the rumble was being saved from elimination by Xavier Woods, whose feet didn't touch the canvas. Big E laid a plate of pancakes out for Kofi, before being propelled into the ring. Kofi then eliminated Jinder the a massive reaction from the Philly crowd.
Almas then threw Kofi over the top rope before 'Woken' Matt Hardy entered, squaring off with Bray Wyatt. They tussle with Rusev in the ring, who is eliminated by the crazy pair.
Wyatt and Hardy then eliminated Rusev to a massive jeer before eliminating one another. John Cena then entered and the jeers intensified. The remaining wrestlers then attacked Cena to a massive cheer. John Cena then threw Elias over the ring like he was a jobber and then went to work on Nakamura.
Then the first real surprise entrant, The Hurricane came out to a massive cheer and went right after John Cena, and guess what? Hurricane lasted thirty seconds before being tossed over.
Aiden English came out at number 22 but to no fan fair due to Rusev already being eliminated. Nothing happened here. Adam Cole then came out at number 23 to a huge cheer, all taped up after an awesome match against Black at Takeover!
Out of the blue Finn Balor eliminated Aiden English. Number 24 came out and it was Randy Orton, the current Royal Rumble winner. Orton went straight after Adam Cole before being kicked in the head by Almas. Orton RKO'd Almas and threw him out... Welcome to the future, Almas. This is going to be your future if Vince McMahon has his way.
Titus O'Neil came out at 25 and the crowd died a little. The Miz came out and the crowd came back life a little. Miz hit a DDT on Cena for a huge pop. Miz then went to work on Cena and Rollins with a series of kicks. Miz then hit a Skull-Crushing Finale on Cena before Rollins super-kicked Miz.
27 came out to a MEGA POP. Rey Mysterio came out of all people! Rey's back and he goes to work on Adam Cole, and eliminated the NXT wrestler. Rey then hit the 619 on The Miz.
Reigns came out at 28 and the crowd started hating on The Rumble, and we had to sit through Michael Cole screaming Reigns's name. Reigns wiped out Mysterio straight away and confronted The Miz.
The Miz was saved from elimination by The Miztourage before The Shield members teamed up, killed the Miz, and power-bombed him over the top rope for the elimination. Reigns then eliminated Seth Rollins.
Goldust entered and went straight to work on Orton (we remember their great RAW match years ago).
Number 30 came out and yes, oh yes, Dolph Ziggler came out! Ziggler then went to work on everyone and took out Goldust straight away.
Ziggler'z come back lasted about a minute before being eliminated by Finn Balor. Reigns, Orton, and Cena then stood in the ring and everyone hated. Reigns eliminated Orton after an exchange and then Balor took out Mysterio.
Seriously, what was the point of bringing Ziggler back, just to get punked by Balor within a minute? What a waste.
Reigns. Cena. Balor. Nakamura. The final four.
Michael Cole kept scremaing that it's all about Wrestlemania and the screen showed an image of John Cena and Roman Reigns. Yawn.
Balor and Nakamura went at it for a minute before Reigns got involved. This match has dissolved into something potentially bad with Reigns/Cena in the spotlight.
John Cena then tossed out Finn Balor, just seconds after hitting a double stomp on Nakamura, and it's going from bad to worse right now.
The two most hated wrestlers then ganged up on Nakamura before Cena took it to Reigns. Cena hit the AA on Nakamura before hitting the knee on Cena for the elimination.
Nakamura and Reigns the final two.
Everyone was behind Nakamura. The Japanese wrestler goaded Reigns for a fight before hitting the Superman Punch on Nakamura. Nearly eliminating Nakamura with a choke in the corner before Reigns power-bombed him in the corner.
Still they fought. Reigns hit Nakamura with The Spear after Nakamura nearly finished Reigns. They both laid on the floor for a while, Reigns exhausted after doing 3 moves in this match.
Nakamura finally got the break he needed and eliminated Reigns. Finally, a happy ending in the Royal Rumble match.
Entrants In Order:
1 - Rusev
2 - Finn Balor
3 - Rhyno
4 - Baron Corbin
5 - Heath Slater
6 - Elias
7 - NXT Champion, Andrade Cien Almas
8 - Bray Wyatt
9 - Big E
10 - Tye Dillinger (attacked), Sami Zayn entering in his place
11 - Sheamus
12 - Xavier Woods
13 - Apollo Crews
14 - Shinsuke Nakamura
15 - Cesaro
16 - Kofi Kingston
17 - Jinder Mahal
18 - Seth Rollins
19 - Matt Hardy
20 - John Cena
21 - The Hurricane
22 - Aiden English
23 - Adam Cole
24 - Randy Orton
25 - Titus O'Neil
26 - The Miz
27 - Rey Mysterio
28 - Roman Reigns
29 - Goldust
30 - Dolph Ziggler
Order of Eliminations
1 - Baron Corbin eliminated Rhyno
2 - Finn Balor eliminated Baron Corbin
3 - Heath Slater eliminated Sheamus
4 - Bray Wyatt eliminated Heath Slater
5 - Shinsuke Nakamura eliminated Sami Zayn
6 - Cesaro eliminated Apollo Crews
7 - Jinder Mahal eliminated Xavier Woods
8 - Jinder Mahal eliminated Big E
9 - Seth Rollins eliminated Cesaro
10 - Kofi Kingston eliminated Jinder Mahal
11 - Andrade Cien Almas eliminated Kofi Kingston
12 - Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt eliminated Rusev
13 - Bray Wyatt eliminated Matt Hardy
14 - Matt Hardy eliminated Bray Wyatt
15 - John Cena eliminated Elias
16 - John Cena eliminated The Hurricane
17 - Finn Balor eliminated Aiden English
18 - Randy Orton eliminated Andrade Cien Almas
19 - Rey Mysterio eliminated Adam Cole
20 - Roman Reigns eliminated Titus O'Neil
21 - Roman Reigns eliminated The Miz
22 - Roman Reigns eliminated Seth Rollins
23 - Dolph Ziggler eliminated Goldust
24 - Finn Balor eliminated Dolph Ziggler
25 - Roman Reigns eliminated Randy Orton
26 - Finn Balor eliminated Rey Mysterio
27 - John Cena eliminated Finn Balor
28 - Shinsuke Nakamura eliminated John Cena
29 - Shinsuke Nakamura eliminated Roman Reigns
That match was incredibly exhausting and with Nakamura ending the match should have 100% ended the show.
Match 4; WWE RAW Tag Team Championships: Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins (C) vs. The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro)
We're going to avoid doing a long write up for this match because it was a flat affair with nothing happening. The only noteworthy thing to talk about is the end of the match which saw Jason Jordan collie with the ring-post with some velocity.
Jordan then sat on the ring steps as The Bar picked apart Seth Rollins for the victory. New champs, but in truth the entire thing here couldn't live up to what we had just witnessed with Shinsuke Nakamura winning the Royal Rumble, so it is understanding that the fans just aren't into this match.
Match 5; WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesner (C) vs. Kane vs. Braun Strowman
After a promo package of devastation, Braun Strowman entered the ring first to a big ovation. Kane entered and then Paul Heyman introduced the Universal Champion, Brock Lesner.
The opening of the match saw Strowman charge into both opponents who were helpless in their respective corners. Kane rallied with choke-slams to both before the match quickly boiled down to chairs, tables and other objects getting involved. Braun punched a chair out of Lesner's hand and flattened the champ, before an extended period of play saw Braun and Lesner go at it.
Lesner flings Strowman about the ring with a series of suplex's like Braun was only 100 pounds. This series ended with a running power-slam through a table, with Lesner kicking out at two.
Shortly after, Lesner hit an F5 onto Kane, but Strowman got involved and suplex'd Lesner out of the ring. Strowman cleared the German announce table (not the Spanish one, not yet), but Lesner turned the tables and hit an F5 onto Strowman through the table. Lesner then tipped the English commentary table on top of Braun Strowman, and to finish it off Lesner hit an F5 onto Kane through the Spanish commentary table.
Lesner and Strowman then squared off in the ring and this is where it really broke down. Strowman was left laying on the outside of the ring. Inside, Lesner pushed Kane into Strowman, hit another F5 onto Kane and pinned him in the ring.
This match was pure carnage and had absolutely no wrestling involved. It was just a fight with tables broken and finishers exchanged. Kane was there to ultimately eat the pin before cameras were quick to move on in a bout that came and went in a flash.
Match 6; The Women's 30 Man Royal Rumble Match
Maria Menounos is the specialist guest ring announcer to kick things off. Women's action began with guess who? Stephanie McMahon came out for commentary, followed by RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss and SDLive's Women's Champion Charlotte Flair.
Sasha Banks was the first women out, followed by Becky Lynch. Two workhorses of the women's division to start things off. The pair wrestled and exchanged blows on the ropes several times, providing more wrestling in 90 seconds than in the Universal Championship match.
Sarah Logan entered the fray at number 3, taking it straight to Lynch and Banks with a series of drop-kicks. Logan dominated on the most part until Mandy Rose entered at number 4. Rose went to work on Banks with a hip-toss before trying to eliminate The Boss.
Lita's arrival at number 5 was met with a huge reaction. Lita clears house before going toe to toe with Mandy Rose. Lita eventually eliminated Mandy Rose to be the first ever elimination.
Kairi Sane, who loves boating apparently, came out at number 6 and cleaned house too. She hit top rope splashes against both Sarah Logan and Lita. Sane then hit a massive top-rope elbow onto Sasha Banks before number 7 came out. Tamina.
Wearing all white, Tamina's dominance in the ring lasted all but a second until Lita hit her DDT finisher onto Tamina, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch. She then hit a top-rope moonsault onto both Banks and Lynch.
Lita's performance was tipped when she eliminated Tamina, before Lita was dumped over by Becky Lynch. Dana Brooke then came out at number 8 and hit drop-kicks to everyone that was standing. Brooke and Sane went at it in the corner, with Sane hitting boots to Dana before going to the top rope. Brooke then dumped the May Young Classic winner out to a massive seal of disapproval.
A huge pop followed with Torrie Wilson coming out, looking in fantastic shape. Wilson quickly eliminated Dana Brooke, with Sonya Deville coming out at number 10, yes with her hair up. Deville went straight after Becky and hit her with several forearm strikes before teasing Becky's elimination.
Deville then kicked Torrie Wilson out of the match before the beautiful Liv Morgan entered at number 11. 5 women are in the match at this point. Out at number 12, Molly Holly came out, meaning that there are more surprises in the women's match. Holly eliminated Sarah Logan, and it should be noted that Holly looks in great shape as she takes out Banks shortly after.
It's one in and one out as far as eliminations go so far - the ring isn't filling up that quickly.
Lana came out at number 13 with massive 'Rusev Day' chants coming in. Deville and Morgan teamed up on Lana before Lana went into a cat-fight with Morgan.
The Undertaker's wife, Michelle McCool, entered at number 14 dressed in camo gear. There were massive Undertaker chants took place as McCool did a quadruple elimination on Deville, Morgan, Holly, and Lana.
Ruby Riott came out at 15 which means only 4 women are still in the match. Riott, McCool, Banks, Lynch. Vickie Guerrero then came out to a huge surprise, screaming 'excuse me' over and over. Michelle McCool, Becky Lynch, Ruby Riott, and Sasha Banks eliminated Vickie Guerrero by all throwing her over.
Carmella then came out but Vickie in rage took her MITB contract and hit Carmella across the back with the case. Natalya then came out at 18 to no reaction or care. Carmella attacked Natalya from behind before getting in the ring herself.
Kelly Kelly was the latest legend to return in the number 19 spot. Natalya almost eliminated Kelly immediately, but hung onto the ropes. Natalya then eliminated McCool out of nowhere.
Number 20 was Naomi, who came out and hit everybody with her butt (quite literally). Naomi and Sasha tussled before being taken out by Lynch and Banks, though she was still in the match. Becky then run riot before Ruby Riott threw Becky out, who lasted over an hour.
Number 21 was Jackie, perhaps the toughest women to compete in WWF or WWE. Jackie ran through everybody before Kelly Kelly's elimination was teased as Natalya tried to throw her over.
The ring starts to fill up with Nia Jax in the ring at number 22. Everyone went after Nia before Nia eliminated Kelly Kelly and Jacqueline. Jax then tossed Riott out before
Naomi was tossed over the ring but was not eliminated - she is obviously going to be the Kofi Kingston in the Women's Rumble.
Ember Moon came out at number 23 to a huge reaction, meaning both NXT men and women's champions are in the Rumble.
Meanwhile, Naomi was skirting the ringside area, and put her feet on a chair and into the ring, and guess what? As soon as she made her way into the ring, Nai Jax eliminated Naomi.
Before number 24 came out, this means that only Ember Moon, Natalya, Nia Jax, Carmella, and Sasha Banks were still in the match. Number 24 came out and Beth Phoenix was the latest returning wrestler to come back.
Phoenix, who has been in a men's rumble match before, squared off with Nia Jax in the ring before the two went at it, with 'This Is Awesome' chants ringing out as they traded blows. Beth went close to eliminated Nia before Natalya and Phoenix teamed up to take out Nia.
Nattie and Phoenix hugged in the ring, long time friends, before Natalya turned on her friend and eliminated Phoenix.
Coming in at number 25, Asuka came into the ring, with Carmella screaming for her life. An old NXT rivalry was reignited with Ember Moon squaring off with Asuka in the ring. Ember Moon hit The Eclipse on Asuka before Moon was eliminated by Asuka.
Mickie James entered at number 26 with 6 active women in the match currently. Nothing happened when Mickie arrived before Nikki Bella entered at number 27 tro a big pop. 7 now in the ring.
Bella went right after The Boss with 'John Cena Sucks' chants ringing out as Nikki gets the spotlight. Carmella's time in the ring was over as Nikki eliminated the MITB holder. In at number 28 was Brie Bella, who was given a massive cheer and 'Yes' chants. The Bella's worked together until number 29 came out, which of course was Bailey.
That means there's one women left, Rousey?
8 women were left and lots of brawling happened, but nothing of note. Number 30 finally came out and guess who? No, not Ronda Rousey, the entrant was Trish Stratus.
9 women left in the ring. Mickie and Trish went head to head which was met with a massive cheer. The pair traded blows before Trish kicked James out of the ring. The rest of the field then ganged up on Nia Jax before Jax cleaned house. The Bella's tried to eliminate Nia Jax before the entire field eliminated Jax.
Right after, Bailey was dumped out of the ring by long time friend, Sasha Banks. Trish then hit another big kick on Natalya to eliminate the Hart family member. Trish then ran into Banks who was screaming that she was The Boss. Banks eliminated Trish before Asuka ran into Banks.
The final four: The Bella's, Asuka, and Sasha Banks
Everyone teamed up to take out Asuka before The Bella's eliminated Sasha Banks when Banks was going after Asuka. The Bella's then teased eliminating Asuka before Asuka made a comeback.
Nikki then took it to Asuka before eliminating her sister, Brie, from the Rumble. Nikki and Asuka were the final two. Nikki hit a big kick from the middle rope onto Asuka to take control of the match on her return. Nikki took her time bringing Asuka up. Asuka was dumped over on the apron. Asuka then put Nikki on the apron. Asuka then swiped at Nikki's heals, dumped John Cena's fiance over the ring, and won.
Two Rumble matches, and both heralded the right winners.
Charlotte and Alexa Bliss entered the ring with their belts Asuka was in the middle of the ring until Ronda Rousey made her WWE debut coming down to the ring in Roddy Piper inspired ring gear. She points to the Wrestlemania sign and leaves after shaking Stephanie McMahon's hand.
Entrants in Order:
1 - Sasha Banks
2 - Becky Lynch
3 - Sarah Logan
4 - Mandy Rose
5 - Lita
6 - Kairi Sane
7 - Tamina
8 - Dana Brooke
9 - Torrie Wilson
10 - Sonya Deville
11 - Liv Morgan
12 - Molly Holly
13 - Lana
14 - Michelle McCool
15 - Ruby Riott
16 - Vickie Guerrero
17 - Carmella
18 - Natalya
19 - Kelly Kelly
20 - Naomi
21 - Jacqueline
22 - Nia Jax
23 - Ember Moon
24 - Beth Phoenix
25 - Asuka
26 - Mickie James
27 - Nikki Bella
28 - Brie Bella
29 - Bailey
30 - Trish Stratus
Order of Eliminations:
1 - Lita eliminated Liv Morgan
2 - Lita eliminated Tamina
3 - Becky Lynch eliminated Lita
4 - Dana Brooke eliminated Kairi Sane
5 - Torrie Wilson eliminated Dana Brooke
6 - Sonya Deville eliminated Torrie Wilson
7 - Molly Holly eliminated Sarah Logan
8 - Michelle McCool eliminated Sonya Deville
9 - Michelle McCool eliminated Liv Morgan
10 - Michelle McCool eliminated Molly Holly
11 - Michelle McCool eliminated Lana
12 - Michelle McCool, Becky Lynch, Ruby Riott, and Sasha Banks eliminated Vickie Guerrero
13 - Natalya eliminated Michelle McCool
14 - Ruby Riott eliminated Becky Lynch
15 - Nia Jax eliminated Jacqueline
16 - Nia Jax eliminated Kelly Kelly
17 - Nia Jax eliminated Ruby Riott
18 - Nia Jax eliminated Naomi
19 - Natalya eliminated Beth Phoenix
20 - Asuka eliminated Ember Moon
21 - Nikki Bella eliminated Carmella
22 - Trish Stratus eliminated Mickie James
23 - Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Bailey, Sasha Banks, Trish Stratus, Natalya, and Asuka eliminated Nia Jax
24 - Sasha Banks eliminated Bailey
25 - Trish Stratus eliminated Natalya
26 - Sasha Banks eliminated Trish Stratus
27 - Nikki Bella and Brie Bella eliminated Sasha Banks
28 - Nikki Bella eliminated Brie Bella
29 - Asuka eliminated Nikki Bella
WWE Royal Rumble 2018: Overall Thoughts and Opinions
Another Rumble is in the books, and for the first time in a few years it is the first time that we have come away from a Royal Rumble with a shred of optimism for Wrestlemania. Our only objective from this show was to have something to look forward to, and with Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura both winning their respective Rumble matches, we have that.
As for the rest of the show, it didn't aid the shows quality one bit. The WWE Championship opener just didn't kick into any sort of high gear, and the screwed finish with AJ rolling up the illegal man just isn't how to start a pay-per-view event.
Equally, the Universal Championship match was just kind of there. Brock, Kane, and Braun exchanged clubbing blows in a monster's brawl, tables were destroyed, and then predictably so, Lesner pinned Kane after about 10 minutes of action.
Both the Tag Team matches were wasted on the card, with the finishes bizarre and unnecessary at a show which is already over-booked with returning stars.
The highlights were the Royal Rumble matches, with the Women's in particular edging the men's bout, which was a hard feat to accomplish considering Nakamura's victory killed the crowd for a large part of the show after - how were the women supposed to live up to that?
Since debuting, both Nakamura and Asuka haven't been utilised to their best potential, and tonight was all about correcting their courses and giving them an elevated spotlight at Wrestlemania. Asuka had her moment brutally ripped from her by Ronda Rousey, and Nakamura's win was only hot with the crowd because of the man he dumped out, Roman Reigns, providing a moment of relief, more so than the crowd behind fully behind a wrestler whose promise has been wasted since joining the main roster after Mania last year.
The only negative takeaway we had from the Rumble matches are Vince McMahon's hands being all over the final six, with Orton/Cena/Reigns lauding themselves far too much, and similarly with The Bella's doing the same - five instances of undeserving competitors being in spots that are not reflective.
Also, why bring back Dolph Ziggler in the #30 spot, only for him to be used in a way which is counter-productive to his cause? Ziggler was probably best left off the Rumble, and Mania, and would have had a better impact coming back on the RAW after Mania, and making a statement to one of the Champions on either brand.
That said, for the first time this decade, we are relieved that the winners of the Rumble matches are rightfully deserving. A sign of some elements within the company going in the right direction, but we're still left thinking that the current product could be so much more than it currently is in terms of quality. The institutionalised nature of WWE is hampering its full potential.
WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Results: 28/01/2018
Kick Off: Kalisto, Lince Dorado, and Gran Metalik def. TJP, Jack Gallagher, and Drew Gulak
Kick Off: The Revival def. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Kick Off; WWE United States Championship: Bobby Roode (C) def. Mojo Rawley
WWE Championship: AJ Styles (C) def. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens via pin-fall in a Handicap match
WWE SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships; The Usos (C) def. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin via pin-fall
30 Man Royal Rumble: Shinsuke Nakamura def. Rusev, Finn Balor, Rhyno, Baron Corbin, Heath Slater, Elias, NXT Champion Andrade Cien Almas, Bray Wyatt, Big E, Tye Dillinger (attacked) and Sami Zayn entering in his place, Sheamus, Xavier Woods, Apollo Crews, Cesaro, Kofi Kingston, Jinder Mahal, Seth Rollins, Matt Hardy, John Cena, The Hurricane, Aiden English, Adam Cole, Randy Orton, Titus O'Neil, The Miz, Rey Mysterio, Roman Reigns, Goldust, and Dolph Ziggler
WWE RAW Tag Team Championships; The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro) def. Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan (C) via pin-fall
WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesner (C) def. Kane and Braun Strowman via pin-fall
30 Woman Royal Rumble: Asuka def. Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Sarah Logan, Mandy Rose, Lita, Kairi Sane, Tamina, Dana Brooke, Torrie Wilson, Sonya Deville, Liv Morgan, Molly Holly, Lana, Michelle McCool, Ruby Riott, Vickie Guerrero, Carmella, Natalya, Kelly Kelly, Naomi, Jacqueline, Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Bailey, and Trish Stratus
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in the Fantasy Premier League (#FPL), providing beautiful graphics and weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb ranking tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review movies, live sport, and professional wrestling.
As well as providing FPL articles on our website, we are a founding Contributor to the new Fantasy Football Hub, where you can find more unique articles, including weekly Power Rankings, from The Hype Team. You can support us and read exclusive members only content for just £2 per-month by clicking here.
The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog 2016' by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), with the final presentation held at Old Trafford in Manchester.
You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk