The 2019 WWE Royal Rumble witnessed plenty of twists, turns and drama but in the end, the crowd of 48000 got their money’s worth at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday as they saw some unexpected results. Seth Rollins won the 30-man Royal Rumble challenge while Becky Lynch won the women’s challenge. The common factor was both wrestlers won it in dramatic circumstances. Brock Lesnar dominated over Finn Balor to retain the Universal championship while Asuka held her own to win against Becky Lynch to retain the Smackdown Women’s championship. Daniel Bryan was helped a disruption from Eric Rowan to pin AJ Styles for the Smackdown title while Ronda Rousey defeated Sasha Banks to continue her reign as Raw Women’s champion.
However, if one has to look at the results in a broader spectrum, the women’s division looks settled. Rousey’s win over Banks has set up a potential match of the year in Wrestlemania against Lynch. Both wrestlers had their skirmishes in the Survivor Series in 2018 but Lynch’s nose was broken in a skirmish with Nia Jax and that delayed the contest between the two wrestlers considered to be the benchmark in aggression. Banks capitalised on Rousey injuring her arm and she used the armbar against her but in the end, Rousey’s power proved to be too much. However, the rivalry was not over after the match as Banks used the ‘Four Horsewomen’ gesture which offended her.
Brock Lesnar’s contest against Finn Balor was dubbed the classic Goliath vs David match. Balor employed speed and took it to Lesnar initially but the power of the Beast ensured that he retained the RAW Universal Championship. Asuka survived an onslaught from Lynch but the Japanese superstar held on to retain the title.
Drama in over-the-top rope challenge
The women’s section saw plenty of drama and it boiled down to Charlotte Flair, Lynch and Jax. Lynch was a late entrant after Lana had injured herself. When Lynch eliminated Jax, the powerful wrestler responded by attacking Lynch and injuring her knee. For a brief moment, it looked like Charlotte would be declared the winner as Lynch struggled with her knee. When the referee was about to raise Charlotte’s hand, Lynch jumped in and said she was ready for the fight. Charlotte attacked the knee of Lynch but the Irish superstar held on and with both wrestler on the edge of the ring, anything could have happened. But, Lynch pounced on a mistake from Charlotte to win the Women’s Royal Rumble.
In the men, the drama was similar. Seth Rollins eliminated intercontinental champion Bobby Lashley immediately but Lashley took out his frustration on Rollins, putting him through the announcer’s table and knocking him out cold. Braun Strowman’s entry changed the dynamics and he immediately eliminated Baron Corbin. Dolph Ziggler eliminated Drew McIntyre but there was drama regarding No.30. R-Truth was the original contestant but he was attacked by Jax who was the only female to participate in the men’s section.
Although Jax was eliminated, the contest boiled down to Strowman and Rollins. The Monster among Men dominated but in the end, he was undone by some quick thinking from Rollins to be eliminated. It will be interesting to see whether Rollins challenges Lesnar or Daniel Bryan, who had to count on some outside interference from Erick Rowan to win a brutal clash against AJ Styles.
It will be interesting to see what could be the storylines for Wrestlemania. For the WWE universe, the ideal match would be Becky Lynch challenging Ronda Rousey in the women’s division while Charlotte Flair has a go at Asuka. Despite losing, WWE could do well to pit Strowman against Lesnar while Rollins has a go at Daniel Bryan after six long years.