Royal Rumble 2023

This year’s Royal Rumble was a lot better than last year’s, and I mean that by an impressive amount of degrees. There were still some matches that weren’t great but they still seemed to carry stories forward, which isn’t optimal but better than matches that just flat out suck.

The Premium Live Event started with the Men’s Rumble match. This was so well booked especially compared to last year’s, where there was a bunch of behind-the-scenes messiness. There were a few surprises but nothing that was mind-blowingly awesome or match ruiningly terrible so they didn’t really have much of an effect on the match. GUNTHER ended up breaking record for time spent in a normal Rumble match and was the last person eliminated by Cody Rhodes, which I think it was the first time the final two in the match were numbers 1 and 30.

The next two matches were kind of low lights for the evening. The Pitch Black Match was basically a squash match in blacklights. There was some more worldbuilding for the new Bray Wyatt mythology. With the match between Bianca Belair and Alexa Bliss there seems to be a continued connection between Bliss and Wyatt. The Raw Women’s Championship match was a bit more of a match and wasn’t terrible, mostly because both Belair and Bliss are solid in the ring. With both Wyatt and Belair winning these matches they moved their personal stories forward.

The next match was the Women’s Rumble and I liked it just as much as the Men’s match. The few surprises didn’t really matter much but the last surprise was botched and was someone that I hoped wouldn’t be involved in wrestling anymore. I had such an adverse reaction to her that I actively tweeted about how unhappy I was. The eventual winner was Rhea Ripley, who was entrant number 1 and was the favorite to win.

The last match was the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match and that was the least interesting part of the match. What was on everyone’s mind was what would happen with Sami Zayn and The Bloodline. After Roman Reigns won the rest of The Bloodline came out and started a beatdown on Kevin Owens. The beatdown went on for an uncomfortable amount of time but the biggest thing to happen was Sami hitting Roman with a chair. This led to Sami getting a beatdown and Jey leaving, which harkens back to when he was beaten into submission.

All of the results look to have interesting storyline implications. The fallout with The Bloodline and Sami Zayn will have the biggest changes to weekly shows, with The Bloodline being more heel-like going forward. All of the stuff with Wyatt and Bliss remains to be clear. Cody being back and having won the Rumble will be interesting to see. I have to wonder if Ripley will choose Belair, because if that’s what happens I’m hear for it. I give Royal Rumble 2023 9 stars out of 10.

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