Phoenix, Arizona

Commentators: The usual and several guests.


  • On the Kickoff Show Buddy Murphy retained the Cruiserweight Championship and Shinsuke Nakamura regained the United States title.


All images via wwe.com

Smackdown Women’s title: Becky Lynch vs (C) Asuka

This was probably the match of the night and that’s counting both Rumble matches. These ladies went out there, busted ass and stole the entire PPV. Asuka is once again looking like the unstoppable monster that she should have been the entire time. Becky probably would have been a little better served had she not tapped out but passed out. Didn’t matter though because the crowd LOVES her right now. As it stands Asuka got the submission with the Asuka Lock. 1 for 1 obviously.


Smackdown tag team titles: The Miz/Shane McMahon vs (C) The Bar

This was fine. Shane and Miz as a team is still really weird and even if Miz is a nice guy in real life his WWE persona always screams asshat. Shane McMahon should never be champion of anything but here we are and in the last 6 months he has been named “Best in the World” and won the tag team championships. I feel awful for the Bar. Shane’s Shooting Star Press to win was nice though. 1 for 2


  • The apparently have a ton of people in the building which I’m sure Meltzer will whittle down to like 1500 via his “sources”.


RAW Women’s title: Sasha Banks vs (C) Ronda Rousey

You can make a case that this was the second best match of the night and I wouldn’t argue too hard about it. Sasha is always able to bring it on the big match stage and did so again here. Meanwhile, Ronda continues to improve every match out. I enjoyed the hell out of this one. Give them 30 minutes for a submission match next time. Ronda got the pin with Piper’s Pit and not the armbar so that’s new. 2 for 3


Women’s Royal Rumble:

I didn’t have the hate for this that some people did but I did feel it got slow in spots. They didn’t rely on a lot of stunt casting to fill out the field this year which was both good and bad. The good was that it gets some of the newer ladies a chance to shine and make themselves familiar with the audience. The bad was that the star power wasn’t quite what it should have been. The last 10 minutes or so made the match. Becky winning the big one was a moment that had that huge crowd erupting with pure joy. 3 for 4 because it was a Rumble.


WWE title: AJ Styles vs (C) Daniel Bryan

I’m not going to say this was bad, but I’m not going to say it was better than either of the women’s title matches either. Something just seemed a little bit off the entire match and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. It was probably the fact that I was expecting an all time classic and then just got…a match. It wasn’t BAD it just wasn’t great. Erick Rowan helping Daniel retain the title is an interesting development though, curious where they take it. 4 for 5 but just barely.


  • Halftime Heat is back with a sweet NXT 6-man Tag.


Universal title: Finn Balor vs (C) Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)

I’ll admit it. For about 2 minutes there they had me buying that they might mix things up and put the belt on Finn. I really enjoyed this and it may have been my second or third favorite of the night. It did what it needed to do, it got to the point and didn’t overstay its welcome. Finn didn’t win but he did look like he hurt the monster and honestly that’s more than I thought he would get. Brock retaining is no surprise though. 5 for 6.

  • Brock beating the crap out of Finn following was a nice touch.


Royal Rumble:

This was another situation where making new stars would help them immensely because the star power was just not there for this match. Other than Jarrett/Angle they really just used people that you would expect out there. Not that getting some of these lower card guys or NXT folks some screen time is bad, it just makes for a longer match. The bit with Nia at the end was a nice touch as well. The fact that almost everyone in our predictions column had Seth Rollins winning showed how the lack of stars made this one way too predictable. 6 for 7 because it’s still a Rumble even if it was mediocre. 


Overall Thoughts: I enjoyed the show but it did lag in some spots during the Rumbles. Nothing that was outwardly bad other than Shane winning a belt he didn’t need. I don’t think I’ll be re-watching it anytime soon because it was way too long though.


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