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Posted in: Mr. Tito
Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Review with Match Ratings and Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Jan 29, 2017 - 10:39:57 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on Twitter.com: @titowrestling

The Royal Rumble 2017 event is upon us and this is Mr. Tito's review exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. I wrote this column during the event and posted it immediately after the show concluded. I have been doing this insta-column review format since 2015 and I hope you enjoy it...

Heading into this event, Royal Rumble 2017 was possibly the most hyped event since the Rock was last with the WWE. LOADED with STAR POWER, albeit ones from the past. Undertaker, Bill Goldberg, and Brock Lesnar are HUGE all-time stars who have drawing power of their own... But, what do they provide the WWE long-term? Short-term, we're excited for their their involvement in the Rumble match but where does the WWE go from here?

As I've said REPEATEDLY since I came back during 2010... WWE has been unable to successfully create top drawing stars since the "Class of 2002" Ohio Valley Wrestling developmental system call-ups. Therefore, they have to keep relying on those developmental guys (John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton) to remain top stars while bringing back a past WCW star at age 50 to also help draw fans back in. Undertaker, too... Triple H returning on occasion as well. Because the WWE's current roster lacks a top drawing superstar that debuted since 2006, they have to keep relying on the past names. They won't be here forever...

They've got to figure out how Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins could draw or NOT. I've suggested, repeatedly now, to reunite the Shield and let Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins DRAW TOGETHER as babyfaces. But divided camps backstage believes that Rollins and Reigns are THE GUYS by themselves and 2015-2017 viewership and attendance losses provide lots of evidence on them. Roman Reigns has been pushed for 3 years, dating back to his January 2014 defeat of CM Punk and placing runner-up in the 2014 Royal Rumble.

If Monthly Pay Per Views and Weekly RAW/Smackdown shows can't get you over, what can?

But I watched NXT Takeover - San Antonio and watched how Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura looked... They looked like legitimate drawing stars! I would imagine that the "Glorious" Roode might surprise WWE officials when his touring NXT shows actually pack arenas. But the production and look of both in the WWE... Just wow... People can hate on Executive Producer Kevin Dunn all you want, but his production team has the ability to make anyone's entrance to look amazing. With just his entrance alone, WWE has made Bobby Roode look 1,000 times better than what TNA ever tried with the guy. It's AMAZING.

How can NXT make Roode and Nakamura look like a million bucks and like mega-stars, but Rollins and Reigns look terrible on the main roster? Gee, I wonder what could be the issue (*hint* it's the talent).

This show had so much mystery surround it based on the rumors of the Wrestlemania 33 card being changed repeatedly by Vince McMahon. It could be Vince trolling us through the insiders or something more happening backstage. Regardless, it has created lots of intrigue in the Royal Rumble event.

Onto my review...



When I arrived with Pizza, this was the first match that I saw during the pre-game show... If others happened, I missed it.

Nikki Bella/Naomi/Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James/Becky Lynch/Natalya was the first match that I saw from the show... It was OK... Women's wrestlers often appear small inside that WWE ring and with regular arenas, but the arena setting for tonight's Rumble makes them look really small. Match felt like a Smackdown televised match and was short... Also had a commercial break in between which I found hilarious here on the WWE Network. Naomi got the win for the team... [ *1/2 ]

Anderson/Gallows vs. Cesaro/Sheamus for the Tag Titles (2 referees) was up next. Damn Tag Champs came out first! Argh! Match felt like a RAW televised match that we've seen before, although both teams looked OK... The end was the strongest part with attempts at finishers and then Anderson held Cesaro's tights for the 1, 2, 3. NEW Tag Team Champions! [ **1/2 ]

Up next on the pre-game show, Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax. Me and my buddies were remarking how much Nia Jax sounds like Chyna on the mic. And this match is also interrupted by a commercial break. What, we don't have 2 hours to hype up a Royal Rumble event? This match was pretty much an extended squash match. So what does this say Sasha as a multiple time Women's champion who pushed Charlotte to her limits? JOKE MATCH as Nia Jax disposed of her easily. [ 1/4* ]

Backstage... Stephanie McMahon announces that she'll (a) address Seth Rollins's actions from NXT Takeover and (b) Seth is BANNED from the Alamo Dome tonight...

Shawn Michaels in the ring to hype the local crowd about the Rumble.

End of pre-game show...

Women's match starts the official show with Bayley vs. Charlotte (c). Bayley seems over with her entrance and Charlotte is getting good heat with her entrance. Pretty BOLD decision by the WWE to have this match start the Pay Per View and this will mean before 7:30pm, we've exhausted all Women's matches. Charlotte, after some initial back and forth, takes full control of this match at first... Bayley with a comeback and it awakens the crowd. Beautiful top rope elbow hit by Bayley which may have busted Charlotte's mouth open. Uh oh, punishment coming for Bayley... Figure 8 and Charlotte uses the ropes. Missed Moonsault by Charlotte... Bayley goes for a Bayley to Belly off the top, but Charlotte pushes her off... As Bayley tries to climp up to the ring, Charlotte hits the Natural Selection finisher on Bayley off the side of the apron. Nice finish! [ **1/2 ] Sluggish match until Bayley finally got in some offense and that ending was strong. Took forever to get started with Charlotte dominating for so long.

WWE Universal Champion comes out first... FINGER OF SHAME TO YOU WWE! Kevin Owens, the champion, can't upstage the "great" Roman Reigns. Just another blatant disrespect to Owens as World Champion. HEAVY boos for Roman Reigns... For 3 straight years, the WWE has heavily worked to get Roman Reigns over as a babyface and they have NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT. Owens and Jericho immediately attack Reigns but Reigns overcomes it (of course) and Jericho gets thrown into the Shark Cage. Just from a little bit of brawling through the crowd, Roman is already drenched with sweat while Owens, who gets ripped for his figure, is quite dry... Owens stacks up a bunch of chairs and tries to powerbomb him through them. Blocked... Roman tries to suplex him into that stack, blocked as well... Fans are upset that nobody gets plowed through those chairs! Nice froggly splash on Roman through a table, which had to hurt because they didn't exactly go through the middles. Good match, as the two are working quite well together (they've fought many times by now). Brass Knuckles? In 2017 WWE?!? Owens misses the first Superman punch with them on, but not the second. 2 count only. Samoan Drop through a steel chair! OUCH! Owens kicks out of a Superman punch and tries a Spear through a table... However, Owens countered and hit a Stone Cold Stunner! What? Letting a heel do that move in Texas? Owens tries a suplex on Reigns on the stack of chairs but Reigns fights it off, Superman Punches Kevin off the top to land on the stack of chairs. Then, Powerbomb on Kevin Owens through the ring announcer's table. How is Owens NOT DEAD?!? But before Roman could get the pin, Braun Strowman invades and attacks. Tries to chokeslam Roman through a table (solid oak table!) and then Powerslams Roman through a table in the corner. Owens somehow makes the cover. This was actually a GOOD match between the two... Hopefully, this means that Roman and Strowman will be feuding for Wrestlemania 33 now. I would not want to witness Undertaker vs. Roman. No thanks. [ **** ]

Enzo & Big Cass doing a KFC commercial... Kentucky Fried Chicken that is selling a product from Georgia.

Let's not allow the WWE Universal Champion to come out first, but Rich Swann is allowed to as Cruiserweight Champion. Sigh... He wrestled Neville. By the way, let me suggest how RIDICULOUS the WWE for changing their ring ropes to purple for this division. Match was a typical Cruiserweight match with the paint-by-numbers moves hit. Some nice moves hit, yes, but nothing that I haven't seen before. Neville won via submission. [ ** ] Nice moves hit but nothing spectacular or unique. Completely bored with this match despite many spots hit. Gotta have psychology and personality in these matches...

AJ Styles coming in FIRST as champion! What the hell, WWE?!? Both of your World Champions come out first? FINGER OF SHAME! Hard to believe that AJ Styles just debuted with the WWE during last year's Royal Rumble and here he is now, defending WWE Champion. Remarkable. John Cena comes out to his usual mixed reaction and runs down to the ring. Crowd is RED HOT for this match... Usual strong back and forth between the two wrestlers. Interesting moment where Cena flexes the muscles in the corner and DESTROYS AJ Styles with clothesline. Tries it again but Pele Kick, counters a few other moves, and then Phenominal Forearm. Counters into the Calf Crusher, but then into Cena's STF hold. Then, AJ Styles applies Cena's own submission. Reversals out of the Attitude Adjustment and then Cena slapped AJ Styles into the Figure 4. Message? Cena powers out of an Armbar, wow... Then, Cena tries to come off the top but AJ Styles blocks, Styles Clash, 2 count only. Wow... Missed 450 and then Cena hits a nice Sunset Flip Bomb. Did Cena just hit Big E's finisher? Top Rope Attitude Adjustment and AJ Styles has now TWICE kicked out of this move (also kicked out at SummerSlam). After Cena acted shocked... Tried another Attitude Adjustment but Styles reversed it into a Styles Clash. Cena, however, fights Styles off and hits back-to-back Attitude Adjustments to defeat AJ Styles. Good match, but not their best... [ ****1/4 ] Cena ties Ric Flair for the most recognized World Championship reigns.

I always like the Royal Rumble stat promos they run before the Rumble Match. It's those rare moments where the WWE acknowledges its history.

RUMBLE MATCH is the Main Event and Big Cass is #1. Long promo before the match starts with Enzo and Cass doing their promos. Chris Jericho is #2! Some nice wrestling between the two and then Kalisto arrives at #3. Mojo Rawley is #4, as he won the Smackdown qualifying match on Tuesday. Jack Gallagher arrives at #5... I'm like WHO? Never saw this guy before, as Hulu might be cutting him or he's on a WWE Network show I haven't seen. He has an umbrella, though, and is using it... Mark Henry is at #6 and Gallagher tries to jump at him with the umbrella. Eliminated when Henry tosses him. #7 is Braun Strowman and everybody is about to die! Jericho, the wise heel, rolls out of the ring. Mojo is out and then Big Cass foolishly tries the big boot on the ropes. Big Cass gets eliminated and then Strowman tosses Kalista. WWE Network FAILS on us just after that happens. What the hell?!? Sami Zayn is at #8 and I assume that Mark Henry got eliminated. Big Show is at #9 and we've got HOSSES in the ring. Big Show eventually hits the Chokeslam and then Jericho returns only to EAT a fist by Big Show. After some displays of power, Strowman pushes Big Show out. Tye "Perfect 10" Dillinger is #10 and he teams up with Zayn to attack Strowman. Strowman suplexes both wrestlers. #11 is James Ellsworth and he's terrified to enter the ring with Strowman there. Tye and Sami try to push him out when distracted but they fail. #12 is Dean Ambrose and he fools Ellsworth into running in the ring. Strowman destroys him and tosses him with a hard throw. So long... Now, Ambrose/Dillinger/Zayn try to team up against Strowman. Baron Corbin is #13 and joins the team to attack Strowman. Dillinger gets eliminated... Zayn, Ambrose, and Corbin continue the fight and then Corbin ELIMINATES Braun Strowman. Holy cow... Kofi Kingston is #14 and then the Miz at #15. Weird spot with Kofi eating the top of the ring post when Corbin hit him. #16 was Sheamus and I always worry with this guy in the Rumble... Damn favorable booking! Jericho takes Sheamus's kick and is knocked out again. #17 is Big E and he works over Miz with Kofi. #18 is Rusev and he's wearing a facemask. Cesaro is #19 and we get many, many Giant Swings and before he could do it to Sheamus, he gets kicked out of it. Xavier Woods is at #20. Bray Wyatt is #21. Apollo Crews is at #22 and we haven't had anybody eliminated in a while. Spoke too soon... All 3 members of the New Day get eliminated by Cesaro/Sheamus and then Jericho eliminates Cesaro/Sheamus. Randy Orton up next at #23. Dolph Ziggler at #24. Luke Harper at #25 and he soon eliminates Apollo Crews. Wyatt tries to talk some sense into Luke to work together but Harper attacks Wyatt and then Orton. Harper tries the Sister Abigail on Wyatt but eats an RKO instead. #26 is Brock Lesnar... OH MY! Ambrose gone. Ziggler gone. Suplex City on everyone else in sight. Then F5 to everyone. He's PISSED! Enzo is #27 and I can't take that entrant seriously. He's DEAD MEAT! Murdered by a Lesnar clothesline and then tossed. Wasted spot... Bill Goldberg at #28 and he immediately hits a Spear on Goldberg and then clotheslines him out of the ring!!! Whoa! Goldberg owns Lesnar! Wyatt/Orton go on the attack, but Goldberg overcomes them. Undertaker at #29 and the fans are LOSING THEIR MINDS with anticipation. Undertaker appears in the ring when the lights come back on and I got CHILLS seeing Goldberg and Undertaker staring down. Corbin and Rusev ambush them and get eliminated for their troubles. Goldberg spears Undertaker and then eliminates Harper. Undertaker then tosses Goldberg. Roman Reigns is at #30 and fans are PISSED... No HBK or Samoa Joe, LOL... Eventually, Roman Reigns eliminates the Undertaker and the fans are PISSED. Oh my, and the Undertaker is standing by the "Wrestlemania" sign as he stares at Roman. Nooooooo. Jericho gets Superman Punched off the top rope and it's the FINAL 3 between Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, and Roman Reigns. Bray Wyatt gets tossed by Reigns and then Reigns eats an RKO. Randy Orton then tosses Roman Reigns over to become the Royal Rumble winner of this STACKED Royal Rumble.

I don't get it... How many times must you HAND opportunities to the likes of Randy Orton and Roman Reigns before you realize that they DO NOT DRAW AS MAIN EVENTERS?!?

LAST WORD: Fun show... Both World Title matches were good, which is a plus, but the rest of the midcard was just OK. Rumble match was fun as always, but it's another big opportunity handed to Roman Reigns with his Rumble match performance tonight. You've pushed him for 3 straight years and you have NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT. Another Randy Orton push, too... Yipee... Stacked Royal Rumble and have Orton winning by throwing out runner-up Roman Reigns. Whatever. [ B ] Poorly booked Wrestlemania is going to make me really consider my WWE Network subscription.


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© Mr. Tito and LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com - 1998-2017

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