The Winners and Losers of 2021 Royal Rumble
The Royal Rumble is one of the most exciting events in all of sports entertainment because it is jam-packed with action and always full of surprises. This year despite the pandemic, the 2021 Royal Rumble was prepared to deliver its usual fantastical impact. WWE decided to let out some surprises ahead of The rumble, such as Edge announcing on Raw he was returning in the match and Braun Strowman returning on Smackdown after an extended time. The return of Fox's Backstage also revealed Edge and Randy Orton as number one and two in the Rumble, as well as Natalya as the thirty spot after beating Tamina.
Warning Spoilers Ahead of Outcome of Matches
Kickoff Show Match: Women's Tag Team Championship
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler square off against the champions in their rematch for the titles they lost at TLC. Charlotte and Baszler start for their respective teams. The champs work well until Nia's power eventually proves too much for them. The challengers began frequently tagging in and out, showcasing more continuity between each other than their opponents. An early two count is delivered on the double champ Asuka to where she makes a strong comeback after and dishes out a two count pin herself. The empress gives a slightly sloppy but overall still impressive avalanche powerbomb to Nia. Then hot tags are given to Flair and Baszler. The action is then taken ringside, but then the Nature boy's music hits, distracting his daughter. Lacey Evans interferes with a loaded woman's right to Charlotte, helping Jax & Shayna become The New Tag Team Champions. I rate 7/10 stars to this match because it put the titles back on an established team and off the current Raw Women's champ while also building the Charlotte/Lacey feud.
WWE Championship Match
Bill Goldberg Vs. Drew McIntyre kicks off the main show with the match that most fans are not looking forward to with the odds not looking in the champ's favor based on WWE's recent track record of putting Goldberg over current talent to win titles. This match of goliaths starts before the bell even rings, breaking out in an all-out brawl. The brawling ultimately ends with the legend spearing McIntyre through a barricade where Drew begins selling a hurt rib. The two enter the ring, and the champ tells the ref he's fine to start when the bell rings. The match officially starts quickly with an early claymore and early kick out. Another claymore is attempted to no avail. Goldberg dishes out two spears, but McIntyre kicks out of the pin. A Jackhammer is delivered but Drew yet again kicks out. Bill goes for another spear to which Drew counters into a claymore and THANKFULLY picks up the win, successfully retaining the WWE championship and continuing his reign. After the match, the two respectfully shake hands. I give this match 5/10 stars as I'm happy Goldberg didn't win, but I am still disappointed that a full-time superstar did not get the opportunity given to Bill.
Smackdown Women's Championship Match
Shasa Banks and Carmella, along with good ol thirsty Reggie, come into the Royal Rumble PPV ready to continue their hot feud. The action starts, and Reggie interferes relentlessly throughout. During the match, The Boss seems to hurt her knee as the action heats up at one point, Carmella even ties Shasa's hair in the ropes. Banks regains control only to have a three amigos countered. Later Reggie is banned from ringside after catching Shasa, only to be attacked by the campion. While still, ringside Carmella does a gruesome-looking rope dive onto Shasa, looking as if she almost faceplanted. In the ring, Carmella reverses a frog splash into a code of silence, starting an endless cycle of counters. The princess of Staten Island then does her rendition of a superkick party only to have the champ tap out to the bank statement retaining her title. I rate this match 4/10 regrettably because I thoroughly enjoyed their match at TLC and felt like this one should have delivered way more, considering it's at one of the bigger PPV's.
Women's Royal Rumble Match
Bayley draws the unlucky number one to be then surprised by the returning Naomi at number two. Many's favorites Bianca Belair comes in at number three. Number four is Billie Kay, but she goes to commentary and states she won't enter the ring until she recruits a friend. NXT's Shotzi Blackheart is next, followed by newly crowned Women's Tag Team champion Shayna Baszler. Former NXT UK Women's Champion and current NXT roster member Toni Storm enters in at number seven. Everyones' favorite singing diva Jillian is the first entrant to take up Billie Kays' offer as they enter the ring together. Riot Squad member Ruby Riot shows up as entrant number nine. Another surprise entrant appears as Victoria returns after several years away from the WWE. Number eleven is Peyton Royce, then Santanna Garret, followed by the remaining Riot Squad member Liv Morgan. The first elimination happens around this time as Billie tosses Jillian out, only to shortly be eliminated herself. Rhea Ripley makes her expected Rumble appearance at fourteen, being followed by her Westlmania opponent from last year and the winner of the 2020 Royal Rumble, Charlotte Flair. Sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen are Dana Brook, Torrie Wilson, Lacey Evans, and Mickey James respectfully. Bianca eliminates her rival Bayley around this time as Nicki Cross comes out as number twenty. Alicia Fox(Foxy) comes out next, followed by a confused R-Truth coming out at the wrong Rumble match. His usual chasers appear, and then Foxy pins him to become the new 24/7 champion. Through the chaos, Mandy Rose enters at twenty-two, Foxy gets eliminated, and Truth gets his baby back. Yet another NXT standout arrives as Dakota Kai is announced as the twenty-third entrant. A defeated Carmella comes out as number twenty-four with Reggie only to have a short-lived Rumble experience. While Naomi attempts her Kofi-like spot Tamina, Lana, and Alexa Bliss come in. Ripley quickly disposes of Bliss, surprisingly. The next two entrants come out as Ember Moon and Nia Jax, who is eliminated by Lana with her tag partner following. As announced, Natalya comes out at thirty but is stopped by the angry champions making her just as fresh as the other four women in the ring. Lana and Natalya are eliminated, leaving Flair, Ripley, and Belair. Belair comes out with the win tossing Ripley for the final elimination. 10/10 stars as this is everything wanted from a Rumble match.
Last Man Standing Universal Championship Match
KO dominates this match early on until Roman pokes his eyes to takeover. In this takeover, Roman throws Kevin through a table from three flights up. Fourtently, Owens gets up at eight continuing the match. The challenger makes his way backstage, stumbling towards the workout ring only to be hit by a golf cart driven by Roman Reigns(someone watches AEW). Still, KO gets up at eight and makes a comeback delivering a pop-up powerbomb to the champ on a table. Following the move up, he does a frog splash putting the head of the table through the table. However, the match doesn't end as Reign's gets up at nine. Owens uses a forklift to senton onto his rival, putting him through yet another table, but still, he gets up at nine. Kevin then handcuffs the champ, almost successfully winning until Roman knocks the ref out. Hayman then comes to eventually unlock the tribal chief, currently where Roman then taps Kevin out to retain his title yet again. I give this match a 6/10 star rating as Kevin always delivers, but this feud is getting stall, and sooner rather than later, the title run will too.
Men's Royal Rumble Match
Edge starts the match, rushing Orton as soon as he steps on the stage, eventually stepping in the ring for Sami Zayn to enter at number three. Ali, Hardy, and Ziggler are the next three to enter the match, with Hardy soon becoming the first to get eliminated. The newly face turned red hot Nakamura enters at number seven as an injured Orton is escorted to the back. The first surprise entrant of the Men's Royal Rumble match is Carlito at number eight. Wood's and Big E in Luke Harper inspired gear are the next two entrants. Morrison, Richocet, and Elias, who eliminates Carlito, enter in at eleven, twelve, and thirteen. NXT's Damian Priest makes an immediate impact eliminating Elias. Priest's dominance doesn't slow as he also eliminates Morrison and the number fifteen entrant with rapper Bad Bunny's help. Numbers sixteen and seventeen are the original bro and Daniel Bryan. Kane is a surprise eighteenth entrant who is more surprisingly eliminated by Damian Priest. King Corbin and Otis are the next entrants, followed by Dominick Mysterio, making his first appearance at the thirty-four-year-old event. United States Champion and CEO of The Hurt Bussiness is twenty-two. The Hurricane makes his regular appearance to be tossed out quickly. Christian enters in for some much-needed aid to his long time friend Edge. Number twenty-five is a favorite to win the match AJ Styles along with his imposing bouncer Omos. Rey Mysterio and Sheamus enter next. Omos helps eliminate both Big E and Rey from ringside, proving his worth to his employer. Cesaro draws a good number at twenty-eight. A returning Seth Rollins comes second to last, with the recently returned Braun Strowman coming out at thirty(why did they waste his return on Smackdown). Edge is left as the last man in the ring, only for Randy to reappear, but it doesn't matter because Edge eliminates him and is still the only one left in the ring as he is declared the winner. I rate this match an 8/10 because I like Edge winning, but I'm worried that he was in there for over fifty minutes, and I hope he is okay. That being said, the unexpectedness was fun as that's the pure magic of the Rumble match.
I can not wait to see where the Royal Rumble takes us leading into Wrestlemania, and I know I am not alone after this exciting event that will go down in the Royal Rumble history books. I give this overall card a 7/10 star rating.