WWE Royal Rumble results and commentary from Danny Damage!
Thanks for joining me and welcome to my first review of 2024. After almost three years of covering WWE and AEW for Geeks & Gamers, I’m now going to be writing up WWE premium live events/PPVs here at DannyDamage.co.uk!
Due to the recent change in WWE management, each PPV/premium live event has presented a slightly different version of the promotion, with this month’s big news being the ten-year streaming deal with Netflix.
Now, Netflix has this habit of releasing entire “seasons” of shows all at once in a frenzy of spoon-feeding and instant gratification for the impatient. [Cheap plug for my videos on Netflix’s Live-Action Skin-Suit Cosplay Series: One Piece] To see Netflix show interest in something that will essentially be drip-fed to us and not served on a buffet table or in an XL bucket suggests they may be finally seeing a bigger picture. It may also be an indication that WWE isn’t going to let history repeat itself…maybe.
It’s Not the First Time
WWE already did NXT and its WWE Network a disservice when it sold the former to the vultures of television. The one-hour NXT show held a healthy balance of action, pacing and payoffs, leaving us wanting more each week. Pumping it full of excuses to break it up with commercial breaks just made it a gold and black version of the two shows we already had. On top of that, I never begrudged paying my WWE Network subscription when it was NXT’s exclusive home. After the deal in 2019, I’ve never been able to say the same thing.
I have my fingers crossed that the move causes everyone involved to rethink how they structure the shows, as WWE TV is rough to watch live. Our escapism is derailed every three to five minutes so we can be sold pharmaceuticals, fast food, fizzy drinks, gambling and other addictive substances/activities. At least with the PPVs, all the whoring gets done without splitting a twenty-minute match into five segments.
WWE Royal Rumble Results (2024)
During the kick-off show, an apparent celebrity started a sentence with “If I were a gambling man” while he was visibly drowning in beard hair, blubber, tattoos and the struggle to converse without sweating/running out of breath. The sight and sound didn’t get past the logic check in my brain and I only heard white noise from him after that.
Although Hulk Hogan was allowed back in the building to record that opening sequence, I think it’s safe to say that we won’t be seeing Vince McMahon in this year’s Royal Rumble match. Not that many would have put money on him making an appearance, but I know a couple of people who wanted to hear the crowd pop to his music one last time.
Women’s Royal Rumble
Here’s that steak starter you wanted before your steak main course. Granted, if WWE has bigger plans for the women one year, they should only have a women’s Royal Rumble, but tacking one onto the start of the card screams women’s tribute act with a condescending pat on the head. Mind you, it’s not just the Rumble, WWE can’t help but double-up with every gimmick-themed Premium Live Event.
Natalya and Naomi were the first two in the ring. The fans were happy to see Naomi return, as was I. However, that changed drastically when I noticed Naomi was still doing the same neon go-go dancer routine that nobody could take seriously before. Instead of showing that she could do so much more during her time away, it looks like she just leaned into and toured with the same, lame gimmick. Between this and the Funkadactyls, Naomi and Tamina were swaggering around like they were the meanest women in the world; please bring that energy and attitude back.
There were a few surprises like Jordynne Grace and Jade Cargill, with the former entering early and having a fantastic showing.
Historically, most of the slots are just filled with nostalgia and arse cheeks, but WWE is doing well not relying on too many stars from the past at the moment. Still, plenty of short-shorts were present tonight.
The top stars like Bayley, Becky Lynch and Asuka stood out against the visiting and newly promoted greenhorns from NXT. Some of them are tiny and/or not quite ready yet and it got rather sloppy or unbelievable in parts.
Nia Jax dominated until Cargill came out at #28 and dumped her out like a sack of crap, but then Liv “Torture Porn” Morgan made her return and entered at #30.
The final moments saw Bayley, Morgan and Cargill battle on the apron, with Bayley coming out on top. I’m glad that Bayley won, but the way Liv eliminated Jade beforehand made her look piss-weak. Morgan sneaking and pushing Cargill from behind would have worked, as would multiple women who were eliminated by Jade teaming up and getting revenge.
Anyone who cheers Morgan on because their crotch tells them too is going to love her anyway, making her look really strong at the expense of real wrestling talent is a waste. If it’s contractually bound, let her make her pained/smiling/borderline-orgasmic faces, plug her Instagram/Only Fans pages and then send her home. For fuck’s sake, she was booked to fight competitively with Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler not too long ago.
Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton vs. LA Knight (Undisputed Universal Title)
Winner: Roman Reigns (pinfall)
WWE and I both thought someone would have snatched Reigns up for a big-time film role by now. I mean, that gigantic set of fake teeth didn’t just fall out of the sky and into Roman’s mouth for nothing. Every drawn-out, slow-paced match of his is an audition for any casting agents who accidentally stumbled into the room or onto the channel.
It’s not just me that isn’t taking this match very seriously. WWE decided the chaotic contest for the main belt would be held in a Slim Jim-decorated, Nickelodeon-looking playground. Last year it was LA Knight and Bray Wyatt’s glow-in-the-dark toxic waste/fizzy drink match, this year it’s the fight for the company’s main title…<blank stare>
As per every Roman Reigns match of this run, shenanigans were afoot. At least with the fatal four-way rule, there was no need for a couple of referee bumps to make way for Solo Sikoa to get involved. Solo turned up after Randy Orton gave everyone an RKO and he prevented the match from ending. Solo started dishing out Samoan Spikes to the challengers, but he incapacitated himself when AJ Styles avoided being speared through the ringside barricade.
LA Knight looked to have Reigns defeated again, but the multi-man rule put Knight out of position to capitalise. Finally, Styles stumbled into the line of fire and ate a spear and a pinfall from the retaining champion.
I know WWE has a lot of hush money to make back, but ‘sploody hell!!! As I’ve mentioned before, I get that adverts are needed, but they’ve become too much and are now overwhelming to the point of distraction:
- Every time we saw a replay, there were the logos for three other companies/products.
- During the entire fatal four-way, the Slim Jim logo could be seen covering every square inch of the arena. What’s more, the pre-video for LA Knight’s entrance was his latest SJ commercial.
- C4 Energy Drink got a full-screen shoutout, with a small Amazon logo being visible as well.
- Also, during both Royal Rumble matches, the countdown counter was shamelessly C4-themed. I’m sure that lining the “4” from “C4” in place of “:04” on the timer made some filthy salesperson feel like they’d solved one of the universe’s most complex riddles.
- Cricket Wireless got the full-screen treatment too, then the arena was plastered with their branding for the WHOLE men’s rumble match. I’m genuinely surprised the entrants didn’t get a t-shirt forced upon them as they were waiting in the gorilla position.
- There was a full-screen graphic and a trailer for the Suicide Squad game, with a smaller PlayStation plug beside it.
- This one isn’t WWE’s fault, and too many venues are guilty of this whorish behaviour, but the event was at the Tropicana Field Arena. When the venue has zero interest in establishing/appreciating a historical name for itself and just rips off its panties for the highest bidder, very few others in the vicinity will bother with self-respect.
Anyway, let’s get back to the WWE Royal Rumble results.
Logan Paul vs. Kevin Owens (US Title)
Winner: Logan Paul (disqualification)
Concerning enjoyment levels, this match could have gone either way. Logan Paul understands wrestling and picked it up quicker than most, but he has had moments where he’s fixated on silly-big spots. With that said, Kevin Owens is one of the perfect opponents for him, assuming he’s in a WWE environment and is being produced to have their matches and not his over-the-top Ring of Honor spot-fests.
Fortunately, the urge to be a pair of spot monkeys was resisted and these chaps had a half-decent match with a sprinkling of a story. Paul worked on the injured hand of Owens while trying to make on his promise of KO’ing KO with that haymaker of his.
Logan eventually connected with his right hand, but it only put Owens down for a two-count. One of Paul’s buddies then jumped the crowd barricade to draw everyone’s attention. While security stopped the guy from getting involved, Grayson Waller and Austin Theory wandered down and inserted themselves in the confusion.
One of them handed Logan some brass knuckles, but Owens saw the exchange and took them off of him. The referee didn’t see the illegal weapon when Kevin knocked Paul out, but he did when stopping the count at 2.999 seconds. Owens was disqualified and had to sell that this one time he was too daft/distracted to cover his tracks. After the bell, he was frustrated and beat up Paul some more.
Men’s Royal Rumble
Winner: Cody Rhodes
When Jay Uso walked out as the first participant, I saw the opportunity for a Ken (blue) vs. Ken (red) moment. This came true when
Drunky Jimmy Uso was revealed as #2 and the twins went head-to-head.
Andrade El Idolo made his return to WWE, which is good for him and the company. Karrion Kross and co. used the match to progress their feud with Bobby Lashley’s lads. Cody Rhodes turned up at #15 and began getting comfortable.
If you were gleefully wondering “What did Kofi Kingston do at the Royal Rumble this year?” the answer is “Get smashed and then dumped outside by Gunther”, I’m afraid. Kofi didn’t even get to set up anything daft and he was out pretty hastily.
Bron Breakker and Omos were introduced as #20 and #21 respectively. As they squared up to each other, #22 (Pat McAfee) thought twice about his involvement and he eliminated himself.
To me, this looks like somewhere the rumoured Brock Lesnar could have played “Hulk Smash” and got some new blood over. However, because of the recent allegations/controversy surrounding Vince McMahon and other WWE employees, it appears that Brock is linked to Vince’s situation and the Rumble plans were changed last minute. Whatever the truth, the McAfee spot felt off somehow and it stuck out like a sore thumb to me.
Bron got the better of Omos and flipped him over the top rope, but the opportunistic Dominik Mysterio charged at Breakker from behind and quashed his hopes of winning. This turned pseudo-comedy when R-Truth appeared and waited in the corner for a hot tag. When he was finally “tagged in”, Truth made John Cena’s comeback before Damien Priest one-shotted him in the face and threw him out.
Michael Cole began introducing CM Punk as “item 27” until Corey Graves told him to “look at the screen and not your notes”. Punk got to show off his stuff before getting rid of Dominik. Drew McIntyre and Sami Zayn were the last two to join the match and the final four were Drew, Gunther, Cody and Punk.
After getting beaten down by the bigger, fresher man, Punk found a way to get underneath McIntyre and utilise a fireman’s lift to eliminate him. On the other side of the ring, Cody and Gunther fought on the apron. Cody’s effort mirrored Punk’s as he also beat the odds against a larger opponent.
Punk and Cody reset the momentum and they didn’t rush to get where they were going. Once Punk thought he’d worn Rhodes down adequately, he attempted to put him outside the ring, but Cody came back with a Cross Rhodes.
This bought Cody time to recover, but this was also the case for Punk, who hit a Go to Sleep. Both men went down and Punk made it to his feet first. As he grabbed Cody, Punk said he “Didn’t wait ten years to lose to Dusty’s kid”, before Cody woke up and promptly tossed Punk to the floor and won the match.
The crowd popped, of course, but they would have done either way once they knew which of their favourite faces was getting the win.
And Another Thing…
I’m not the sort to encourage instantly jumping on something just because the wind changed, but I believe the CM Punk situation is a bit different. Since his return to WWE was a shock to everyone, even to Punk himself, altering plans shouldn’t have been out of the realm of possibilities.
He’s not my favourite person in the world, but he’s the most recognisable name that can still draw a crowd. This is why I would have been inclined to give Punk all the things in exchange for making a few adjustments to pre-made plans.
In my opinion, hearing that CM Punk took the belt off of Roman Reigns would get more people back/talking about wrestling and WWE than hearing that Cody Rhodes beat him instead. This isn’t a dig at Cody, but Rhodes’ story could have waited for that of the much bigger star.
They aren’t the only ones with a viable route to the top of the mountain either. LA Knight’s big moment is lurking around the corner and the fans are still hungry for that. It’s certainly interesting to see where WWE is going with these paths.
Finally, I never thought I’d have to say this: The Rock isn’t needed at the moment. Two years ago or even last year, sure, but not now. It’s a case of him needing to be booked by WWE more than WWE needs to book him.
To me, it smells like Dwayne has upset too many of his new fans with over-exposure, excessive politicking and his constant, vapid silver-tonguing. This is why he’s (FI-NALLY) come back to those who first cheered him on the loudest.
I’m not buying it, are you?
– OLDER PPV RESULTS –
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