Royal Rumble Results and Recap: To Be “The Man”

LaToya Ferguson
Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair (source: WWE)
Royal Rumble – January 27, 2019

Bobby Roode & Chad Gable def. Rezar & Scott Dawson, on the Royal Rumble Kickoff Show (RAW)

Shinsuke Nakamura def. Rusev (c), for the United States Championship on the Royal Rumble Kickoff Show (SmackDown)

Buddy Murphy (c) def. Hideo Itami, Akira Tozawa, & Kalisto, for the Cruiserweight Championship on the Royal Rumble Kickoff Show (205 Live)

Asuka (c) def. Becky Lynch, for the SmackDown Women’s Championship (SmackDown)

“The Man” has come around, and she is ready to get her SmackDown Women’s Championship back.

This match starts off with both women just bringing the fight to each other, neither quite getting the biggest advantage but both showing they’ve got each other’s numbers. But Asuka is clearly having fun nhere, and fun is not what Becky has on her mind. “Fight me,” Becky screams at Asuka… and Asuka just smiles at that.

It’s a battle of strikes between both of these women, surprisingly. And even more surprisingly, Becky gives just as good as she gets on that front. The striking and trash-talking front. And then they bring it to the outside, breaking the referee’s count every so often just to keep the fighting going. Asuka rams Becky into the LED board… so Becky Bex-ploders Asuka into the barricade. Commentary is adamant that Becky needs to not let her emotions get the better of her and especially not to get overconfident.

And that overconfidence actually leads to her getting stuck in the Asuka Lock in the ropes, but “luckily” for Becky, that’s not a legal hold. Unluckily for Becky? That would be the knee she eats when she jumps from the top rope toward Asuka. Or the twisting suplex she takes to the outside, from the ring apron.

After Becky’s missed leg drop from the top rope, Asuka puts Becky into the Dis-Arm-Her,  and Becky reverses it into an Asuka Lock. Obviously, neither woman is able to embarrass the other by winning the match this way, but neither is really able to get an advantage once they use their own finishers on each other. But then, once the Asuka Lock (this time, from Asuka) didn’t work, she instead turned things around to put Becky in a Cattle Mutilation. That ends the match, and Asuka retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship.

Shane McMahon & The Miz def. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) (c), for the SmackDown Tag Teams Championship (SmackDown)

Shane levels Sheamus right out the gate, but Miz actually starts the match. And as somewhat expected— because Shane McMahon is actually not a wrestler—this is mostly a handicap match.  And when Shane is involved, he’s basically a high-risk liability.

But when Shane does get in, his attempt to go Coast to Coast on Sheamus and Cesaro ends with Cesaro catching him and swinging him for a very, very, very, very long time. After this, he’s somehow able to get a triangle on Cesaro, but Sheamus saves his partner. Sheamus then tries to Brogue Kick Shane (with Cesaro holding Shane in position), but Miz pushes Cesaro (and Cesaro ends up getting the Brogue Kick). Then Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale on Sheamus, and Shane hits the Shooting Star Press on Cesaro to win the championship.

Ronda Rousey (c) def. Sasha Banks, for the RAW Women’s Championship (RAW)

You can read more about the RAW Women’s Championship match here.

Becky Lynch won the 30-Woman Royal Rumble match

The highlights:

  • NXT (UK) appearances: Xia Li, Kairi Sane, Candice LeRae, Kacy Catanzaro, Io Shirai, Rhea Ripley
  • Lacey Evans and Natalya are #1 and #2, respectively, and Lacey immediately has beef with Charlotte Flair (who ends up eliminating her), while Natalya becomes the ironwoman of the whole match.
  • Liv Morgan is the first woman eliminated. And she does so in eight whole seconds, courtesy of Natalya.
  • Billie Kay is #7, and while she rushes to the ring, she refuses to go it (“I’m not going in!”) until Peyton Royce does. Strategy. Unfortunately for Billie, Nikki Cross is out next and attacks her on her way to the ring. Billie then finally enters the ring to get revenge on Nikki, and once Peyton’s in, The IIconics are eventually able to eliminate Nikki.
  • Kairi Sane and Charlotte get into an intense chop-off that seems to only get Charlotte excited. Reminder: Charlotte has snapped.
  • Naomi gets some revenge and eliminates Mandy Rose, only for Mandy to try to eliminate Naomi right there. Naomi is able to craftily avoid elimination (though Kacy Catanzaro wins on that front tonight—only for Mandy to eliminate her anyway.
  • Ruby Riott brings the whole squad back (despite Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan both being eliminated by that point) to soften opponents up for her to eliminate easily.
  • Zelina Vega ends up hiding under the ring… and revealing that Hornswoggle still lives there.
  • Lana comes out at #28, with an ankle injury (suffered during the Kickoff Show). As she limps slowly to the ring, officials want to make sure she’s okay… and then #29, Nia Jax, attacks her just because she can. But instead of taking out competition, this leaves an opening: And Becky Lynch comes out to take that opening, pleading her case to Fit Finlay. He allows it, and Becky is in the match. She even eliminates Nia Jax.
  • Post-elimination, sore loser Nia pushes Becky off the steel steps, tweaking her knee. Becky says she can compete on an obviously hurt leg—all while Charlotte laughs in the ring—and she does. Becky Lynch eliminates Charlotte Flair to win the women’s Royal Rumble match.

Daniel Bryan (c) def. AJ Styles, for the WWE Championship (SmackDown)

AJ Styles beats the crap out Daniel Bryan immediately. Bryan is relatively calm and tries to keep it a technical wrestling match, but Styles can do that too. Then it becomes a chop-off… or it would, if Bryan didn’t decide to punch back all of a sudden. Really, it’s all just so brutal. And Styles’ nose starts bleeding, a point Bryan is very much aware of—later in the match, Bryan yells “Is your nose bleeding?” at Styles, before just punching him more in the face.

Styles gets in flurries of offense, but this is very much a dominant performance by the champ. The thing is, he can’t put Styles away, no matter what he does.

But then out comes Erick Rowan, strangely standing around ringside. Moments later, Bryan accidentally kicks the referee (AJ ducked), and Rowan goes to work. He chokeslams AJ, and Daniel Bryan takes advantage for the win.

Afterward, Bryan makes Rowan lift AJ back up so he can hit him with the knee.

Brock Lesnar (c) def. Finn Balor, for the Universal Championship (RAW)

Finn Balor, smartly, brings the fight to Brock Lesnar, stunning him immediately. But then Lesnar gets an opening, and he just beats Balor on the outside. Balor basically made Lesnar angry. But then he’s able to keep pushing Lesnar into the corner of the announce table, right in the gut. And he just keeps going for Lesnar’s gut—it’s a solid plan, especially in setting up the Coup de Grace.

Then Balor really gets momentum and just cranks it up. He is hurting Lesnar. In fact, Lesnar eventually tries to hit him with an F-5, but Balor reverses that into a DDT. And then he just goes to town on Lesnar, with three dives to the outside, before hitting him with a a giant Coup de Grace. But unfortunately for Balor, that only gets a two-count. And then Lesnar goes for a desperation Kimura Lock, which is the only thing that finally stops Balor, forcing him to tap. But it’s clear: That was truly a last-gasp effort for Lesnar, and he was lucky Balor tapped.

After the match, Lesnar attacks Balor, first taking him to Suplex City—which he wasn’t able to do to him the match—and then hitting him with an F-5—which he also couldn’t do during the match. What a champ.

Seth Rollins won the 30-Man Royal Rumble match

The highlights:

  • NXT (UK) appearances: Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne, Aleister Black (who eliminates Dean Ambrose)
  • Elias enters first, with Jeff Jarrett—of all people— entering second. There is no duet, but Elias does eliminate Double J as soon as possible. Out with the old, in with the new.
  • Mustafa Ali eliminates Shinsuke Nakamura—last year’s Royal Rumble winner—and Samoa Joe.
  • Curt Hawkins’ original approach is to do hit and run attacks on the participants in this match, and while that doesn’t work, he is able to eliminate someone: Titus O’Neil. He’s then eliminated by Samoa Joe though.
  • Titus O’Neil does not trip on his way to the ring.
  • Baron Corbin is eliminated by Braun Strowman, who lets him know: “I’M NOT FINISHED WITH YOU EITHER, BOY!”
  • Drew McIntyre is eliminated by a returning Dolph Ziggler.
  • Nia Jax beats up R-Truth to take his spot at #30, officially becoming the first person to participate in both the women’s and the men’s Royal Rumble match in one night. (Beth Phoenix is still the first to have wrestled in both matches at all.) She also wrecks everyone and eliminates Mustafa Ali before being taken down by Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton.
  • Bobby Lashley is eliminated very quickly by Seth Rollins. In fact, he pretty much eliminates himself. And then he and Lio Rush take their frustration out on Rollins, putting him through an announce table.
  • And yet, Seth Rollins eliminates Braun Strowman to win the men’s Royal Rumble match.

You can watch Royal Rumble 2019 on the WWE Network.

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