Air Date: 24/1/16
The show starts with Vince and Stephanie arriving at the arena, they talk about the Royal Rumble match later tonight and Roman’s chances. Nothing segment really.
Nice little video package to start the show proper.
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kevin Owens (Last Man Standing)(WWE Intercontinental Championship)
This was a very good hardcore brawl with kendo sticks, chairs, and tables coming into play. It really felt like they were pushing the limits of hardcore matches in modern WWE and it really delivered, which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise since both of these men’s best matches have been gimmick matches of some kind. Owens looked great in defeat as well, putting Ambrose through hell and having to be put through hell himself to stay down. Ambrose retains after putting Owens through two tables ****
Cool little promo for all the stuff coming up on the Network, Edge and Christian have a show coming up that looks like fun and Ride Along looks like it could be great too.
New Day (c) (Big E and Kofi Kingston w/Xavier Woods) vs. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) (WWE Tag Team Championship)
Before the match New Day come out and cut a promo, Xavier has a new trombone that he has creatively named Francesca II. I would’ve preferred El Hijo De Francesca personally. This was a pretty good tag match, although I would argue these two teams have had better matches against each other. Big E pins Jey Uso with a Big Ending *** ¼
We get a recap of the main event angle from last week’s RAW, followed by a very good promo by Bray Wyatt with the Wyatt Family.
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Kalisto (WWE United States Championship)
It’s amazing what good commentary can do to a match. From a pure wrestling point of view this match was maybe the best in these guy’s series, but having recently rewatched the Smackdown match Ranallo’s commentary makes that match seem like it was much better. Good match either way, Kalisto should’ve never lost the title so him winning here is a good sign at least. Kalisto pins Del Rio with a Salina Del Sol ***
Renee Young is at the pre-show panel with Corey Graves, Booker T, and Jerry Lawler. They recap the show so far and show highlights of the pre-show four way tag match which I won’t be reviewing but looks awful.
Paul Heyman is backstage with Stephanie McMahon, they talk about Brock in the Rumble tonight. Fine promo. After that we get a video package for Edge and Christian’s Network show which looks like it’ll be great.
We get a great video package hyping the Divas title match and recapping the storyline. This was Wrestlemania level stuff, just great.
Charlotte (c) (w/Ric Flair) vs. Becky Lynch (WWE Divas Championship)
Pretty good match, Becky is doing a very good job as a babyface and is getting over with the crowd. Charlotte worked on top for most of the match and honestly didn’t look great, she seems to be the time of wrestler who needs to be in there with someone better than her to put on a good match. That’s not to say she is being carried because she is for sure pulling her weight, but she’s not someone that can carry a match. Charlotte pins Becky with a spear after interference from Ric Flair ** 3/4
After the match Charlotte attacks Becky. Sasha Banks makes her way out and teases an alliance with Charlotte, only to go after her and make it clear she wants the Divas title. Honestly as great as Sasha is I feel like completely ignoring Becky Lynch after she has gotten so over as a face is a mistake, hopefully we get a triple threat at Wrestlemania.
Royal Rumble Match (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
This was a pretty well booked Rumble, although I personally prefer a few more surprise entrants in something like this. It felt like there were a lot more scrubs in this match than previous years but that may be wrong. AJ Styles debuting was an awesome surprise, especially so early on in the match, and it was great to see how much love he got. I have no idea where he will slot in at Wrestlemania though since he was eliminated by Kevin Owens, who will most likely end up in a match with Sami Zayn after what happened tonight. The winner wasn’t a huge surprise but I didn’t hurt the match either way. Triple H wins by last eliminating Dean Ambrose *** ½
Order of Entry
Roman Reigns, Rusev, AJ Styles, Tyler Breeze, Curtis Axel, Chris Jericho, Kane, Goldust, Ryback, Kofi Kingston, Titus O’Neil, R-Truth, Luke Harper, Stardust, Big Show, Neville, Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn, Erik Rowan, Mark Henry, Brock Lesnar, Jack Swagger, The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, Triple H
This was a very good show, everything delivered and was at least good with the Last Man Standing match being great.