2017 Royal Rumble Review

By Jim Kennedy
Jan. 31, 2017

Where was I when we began going on the road to Wrestlemania? I was watching it with some buddies at my good friend Kenny's house, hoping to win our Royal Rumble pool (I had picks 8, 9, and 18). The Royal Rumble signals to the WWE Universe that Wrestlemania is getting close. It's supposed to be full of surprises, memorable moments, and in the end, the winner punches their ticket to the main event at Wrestlemania! This year, it was Randy Orton, who won the match for the second time in his career (the first being in Detroit in 2009). So did this Rumble deliver like past years? Take a look at my review and find out!

Best Match of the Night: John Cena def. AJ Styles for WWE Championship

Move over, Ric Flair! There's a new 16 time WWE Champ! And his name is (say it with me, you all know the meme) JOHN CENA! The reason that this match was the best match of the night and not the Royal Rumble match was more than Cena tying Ric Flairs record. It was a rematch of the Summerslam classic between these two incredible superstars. Many were wondering if Cena could still do what he does against a talented Styles, who arguably had the best rookie year in WWE history. These two went back and forth, and near the end, it appeared that Cena was down for the count. Yet, the man never gave up, and a few AA's later, we have a new champ. After the match, Cena went into the stands and granted a wish to a fan who was stricken with cancer, allowing him to hold the belt and smile for the camera with his hero. That, and the fight itself, is why I'm giving this match my Best Match of the Night award.

Worst Match of the Night: Nia Jax def. Sasha Banks (Pre Show)

Don't get me wrong, I love a good women's match. This time, there were three matches, two in the pre show, one in the main show. A 6 women tag team match kicked off the pre show, where Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch, and Naomi defeated Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Natalya. Then, in the main show, there was the Charlotte vs. Bayley Raw Women's Championship match, which was dull, and could've been better. The third match, Nia Jax vs Sasha Banks, was by far the worst women's match I have ever seen in my time watching WWE, and is no doubt the worst match of the night. The whole storyline that WWE has going with these two hasn't been impressive. Jax attacking Banks while she was hurt, saying she's not a boss, they're faster turn offs to me. The match was so boring I was checking my Twitter the whole time. Ever since these two came up to the main roster, Banks had a hand in the women's revolution, while Nia Jax had done nothing to impress. If WWE wants to do something with these two, then they better get some

Best Moment of the Night: Goldberg vs Lesnar in Royal Rumble Match

If you thought Brock Lesnar was going to get Goldberg back for being humiliated at Survivor Series, well, you were disappointed. Once again, the Beast was slain by the veteran, ending his chance at not only main eventing Wrestlemania again, but any chance to getting revenge from Survivor Series. They're no doubt in my mind setting these two up for Wrestlemania. Just the fact that you got an epic rivalry going since Survivor Series, and now you can end it in Orlando.

Worst Moment of the Night: Reigns Enters As #30 Entrant

Seriously? Seriously? You had Undertaker, Goldberg, and Brock Lesnar come into the match late. You could've had guys who were ready to come up from NXT. Yeah, you had Dillinger and Jack Gallagher from the cruiserweight division, but no offense, Dillinger and Gallagher haven't done anything memorable yet. You could've had Samoa Joe, the former NXT Champion who I feel is ready for the big time! Or Finn Balor, who's injury timetable would've set up the perfect opportunity for the Demon King to headline Wrestlemania (I would love a Balor/Owens match then)! When Roman Reign's theme music hit, my friends and I groaned. If he would've won, then the show would've gotten a lower overall grade. But thank the Lord for Randy Orton saving the day, possibly reigniting the Orton/Cena rivalry, providing John Cena can successfully retain his title at Elimination Chamber. WWE had a great opportunity to move forward with better talent, and they failed miserably in that department.

Overall Grade: B-

The event was a success in general. The way they had the Rumble match, however, is the reason this isn't an A. They've been pushing Reigns for the past three Royal Rumbles now. The first one set up a great main event between Reigns and Lesnar; the second, a terrible title match against Triple H. There comes a time when the WWE will have to do something else for "the guy". Looking at the other matches, Owens and Reigns was good, until Braun Strowman got involved, keeping me to believe that Kevin Owens is an illegitimate champion, and until he can win one on one, no interference, no help, then I will change my opinion. I would've started out with the WWE Universal Championship match instead of the Raw Women's title match, but that's just me. This was a good way to get us on the Road to Wrestlemania, but it could've been better.