Charlotte Flair is gong to WrestleMania

With WWE Royal Rumble 2020 in the books, the Road to WrestleMania has begun.

One man and one woman stood atop the rest following the two 30-participant battles royal. The WWE Championship was decided in a strap match between Daniel Bryan and the Fiend.

And all the mile markers are set for the next three months of storytelling.

WWE Royal Rumble 2020 had its ups (there were a few) and downs (there were a lot). Ultimately, what should have been the jump start that carries WWE to its biggest show of the year was instead wrought with stalls and sputters.

Let’s get into the nitty gritty at what went down at WWE Royal Rumble 2020.

Reigns faced Corbin in a Falls Count Anywhere match at 'WWE Royal Rumble 2020'

Falls Count Anywhere – Roman Reigns Vs. King Corbin

Well, at least we get the garbage out of the way early at WWE Royal Rumble 2020.

And I hope against hope that when this match is over, we can put this stupid dog-food-fueled feud to rest forever. Putting Baron Corbin to rest forever period wouldn’t hurt my feelings either.

Roman doesn’t wait for the bell and heads straight for Corbin, throwing him into the ringside steps. And nothing really changes, as they brawl in standard and boring fashion around ringside. What a high-octane kickoff for WWE Royal Rumble 2020!

By the way, AEW: Dynamite airs Wednesday nights at 8 PM/ET on TNT.

Corbin hits the Deep Six early, and Reigns kicks out. He hits Roman in the face with the steel steps and starts clearing off the announce tables. Why do they always start “Falls Count Anywhere” matches in the ring, anyway? Like, why wouldn’t it start in the parking lot? Or on the roof? Or literally anywhere but the ring?

They brawl out in the crowd, and still nothing interesting happens. They just circle back around to the announce tables, and Corbin puts Reigns onto the Spanish table and goes for a pin. It only gets two. Reigns rushes Corbin for a Superman punch, but Corbin catches him and puts him through the table. Another two count.

Corbin takes Reigns over the barricade and drags him toward the camera staging area. It takes long enough that I was able to go get my oil changed, and they were still there when I got back.

The King slams the Big Dog into this thing and that before dragging him to the another international announcers. Reigns puts Corbin through a couple tables with a pair of Samoan drops but only gets two. Corbin tries to climb toward the elevated equipment area to escape Reigns, but Reigns follows.

Only to be attacked from behind by Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. Y’know, I just can’t figure out why Corbin can’t truly get over as a heel. The Usos run out to make the save. Y’know, I just can’t figure out why Reigns can’t truly get over as a babyface. For some reason, we’re now following Roode and Ziggler beating up the Usos instead of focusing on anyone in the match. What is this, Raw?!

WWE finally remembers that the Usos, Roode, and Ziggler aren’t in the match, and Reigns goes back to chasing Corbin. Everybody’s exactly where they were when the run-ins started, so the run-ins no longer mean anything. I hate WWE so much.

For some reason, there are port-a-potties lined up on the floor, and because this is a classy organization, Reigns throws Corbin into one and tips it over. Well, that’s a thing that happened.

Reigns stalks Corbin through the dugouts, but Corbin hits him with a steel chair. Because they keep those in dugouts. Roman hits the Superman punch on top of the dugout, and Reigns spears him for the pin.

This was an exceedingly boring way to kick off WWE Royal Rumble 2020. Can we please be done with this stupid, stupid feud now?

Winner: Roman Reigns

Rating: * 1/2

Alexa Bliss and Bianca Belair started the Women's Royal Rumble match at 'WWE Royal Rumble 2020'

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

Entrants 1-10

So Alexa Bliss is the number-one entrant for the women’s Rumble at WWE Royal Rumble 2020. I seem to have mistyped the other day when I identified it as Charlotte – I pulled an R-Truth. Bianca Belair, who already has an NXT title shot guaranteed, is number two.

Belair gets some good spots in and controls the action until Molly Holly – specifically Mighty Molly – enters third. Molly goes to dump both Bliss and Belair early, but they survive only to eat a double clothesline. Molly hits a crossbody on both women, and Nikki Cross rushes out and goes crazy pants on Belair and Molly.

Bliss and Cross team up, and they take a minute to rip off the Best Friends and hug. More brawling until Lana comes out fifth in her Captain Marvel cosplay, cutting a promo about how she’s married to Bobby Lashley, which has literally nothing to do with this match.

By the way, these intervals aren’t even close to 90 seconds. Mercedes Martinez is sixth, which I think might make her the first person to compete on both a WWE and AEW pay-per-view since the latter’s inception. “Ninety seconds” later, Liv Morgan is out seventh and immediately eliminates Lana. So of course Lana plays bad sport and pulls Liv over the top rope to eliminate her. Eighth is Mandy Rose and Candice LeRae comes out ninth as the ring starts to fill up. Belair eliminates Molly, and Mandy Rose get tossed, but she lands on Otis.

That was fun.

Sonya Deville is out tenth, and we’ll test her prematch promise not to eliminate her friend Mandy at WWE Royal Rumble 2020. Rose and Deville team up on Martinez and dump her over the top.

Naomi goes airborne

Entrants 11-20

Kairi Sane is eleventh and comes out with a hypno umbrella. Um. What? Mia Yim is twelfth, and NXT is filling up the ring. Belair uses Bliss as a weapon to knock Cross over the top, and she goes to eliminate Bliss. But Bliss uses Belair’s hair as leverage before going after Mandy Rose. Otis saves her again, but Deville gets thrown into both of them, and both Fire and Desire are eliminated.

And the only story thread this match really had is gone.

Dana Brooke runs out thirteenth and goes all spider monkey gymnastics on everybody. Belair picks up Candice and chucks her over the top before Bliss eliminates Kairi Sane. Out fourteenth is Tamina. Anybody remember Tamina? Don’t expend too much energy trying, because Belair eliminates her almost immediately. Bianca’s looking pretty good here at WWE Royal Rumble 2020. NXT’s Dakota Kai is out at number fifteen.

Bliss eliminates Mia Yim, and Chelsea Green is out at the sixteenth spot and immediately dumps Dakota Kai before being eliminated herself by Bliss. Dana Brooke gets eliminated by Belair, and we’re back down to the first two – Belair and Bliss.

The Goddess goes for Twisted Bliss, but Belair gets the knees up. They both tumble each other over the top and fight on the apron. Bliss goes to pull the hair, but Belair learned from the last time and pulls Bliss face-first into the ringpost to pick up her eighth elimination at WWE Royal Rumble 2020.

And just when she’s all alone, here comes Charlotte at number seventeen. Corey Graves – for the second year in a row – says that Ric Flair “went the distance” in 1992. Sigh. Charlotte’s entrance alone takes ninety seconds, but she gets Belair to herself for quite a while. Naomi is out at number eighteen, and she goes straight after Belair before she and Charlotte fight to a standoff. They team up on Belair before turning back to each other.

Beth Phoenix is number nineteen, and she goes after Charlotte and Naomi. Phoenix and Belair split off in one corner while Charlotte and Naomi battle in another, as Toni Storm enters twentieth. There’s been a ton of great talent in this match, mostly used pretty well. And as soon as I say that, Charlotte eliminates Belair.

Entrants 21-30

This was a hell of a run for Belair. Kelly Kelly is out at the twenty-first position at WWE Royal Rumble 2020 and the match stays in neutral as Sarah Logan enters in the No. 22 spot only to be immediately eliminated by Charlotte, but Kelly Kelly sneaks up behind the Queen to give the crowd hope, but Charlotte dumps her.

Natalya is twenty-third, and Charlotte goes right after her. Phoenix and Natalya team up to double-powerbomb Charlotte. Xia Li is twenty-fourth, and the match starts settling into “Charlotte is the one to beat” mode. Zelina Vega enters in the twenty-fifth spot and immediately takes Phoenix – who is bleeding like crazy –  down with a hurricanrana.

In the corner, Natalya, Phoenix, and Li all team up to put Charlotte over the top but can’t get the job done.  Naomi breaks up the party as Shotzi Blackheart from NXT is out at No. 26, and the ring is starting to fill up. Naomi gets tossed, but she keeps her feet propped up on the barricade. This is beat-for-beat the same as her Kofi spot from last year. Carmella is out twenty-seventh. Naomi hangs out on the announce tables while Phoenix and Nataya get Charlotte out of the ring, but she goes between the ropes.

Tegan Nox is twenty-eighth, and everything stays at a pretty even keel. Then we get goofy with the return of Santina Marella, the former Miss WrestleMania. If you’re new to wrestling, Google it, because we don’t have time right now. Natalya and Phoenix team up to beat him up, so he eliminates himself. And things were going so well.

And number thirty is the Queen of Spades, Shayna Baszler. Get ready to see some bodies fly outta the ring. Baszler goes right for Charlotte, who’s still smarting on the outside. Inside the ring, Baszler eliminates Li, Nox, Vega, and Blackheart in quick succession. Meanwhile, Naomi builds a bridge out of the top of the announce table as Baszler eliminates Carmella and Toni Storm. Naomi comes flying at Baszler from the top rope only to get tossed by Baszler.

It all comes down to Baszler and Charlotte in the Women's Royal Rumble match

The Final Four

And we’re down to Baszler, Phoenix, Natalya, and Charlotte.

Natti and Phoenix team up and hit Baszler with a Hart attack, only for Phoenix to turn on Natalya and chuck her best friend out of the ring. Charlotte tries to sneak up and eliminate both Baszler and Phoenix, but both women slide under the bottom rope. We get a standoff between Charlotte and Baszler, and the crowd is eating it up.

Phoenix puts Charlotte over the top rope, but Charlotte hangs on. Baszler dispatches with Phoenix and turns her attention to Charlotte, but Flair won’t go easily. Baszler goes in for the kill, but Charlotte head-scissors her over the top rope to win it.

It was fun, if occasionally disjointed. Belair had a really strong run, but Baszler looking like a million bucks wound up meaning nothing so that we can push someone who’s already been on top of the women’s division since day one.

I’m torn as to how much I liked it, but I wasn’t bored by it.

Winner: Charlotte Flair

Rating: *** 1/4

Bayley defended her championship against Lacey Evans at 'WWE Royal Rumble 2020'

SmackDown Women’s Championship – Bayley (C) Vs. Lacey Evans

At least Lacey is doing more than just walking out and walking back. She’s still pretty green, and I’m not a huge fan, but I’ll admit she’s a reasonably credible challenger at WWE Royal Rumble 2020.

Heh. When Bayley wears the belt around her waist, if you look down her top, it spells A-E-W.

They do some back-and-forth brawling, and Bayley goes straight to cheap heel tricks, loosening the turnbuckle pad. But Lacey sweeps the leg and elbows Bayley in the gut. The champion fakes a leg injury and suckers Lacey in, enabling her to dump Lacey face-first on the loose turnbuckle. She drops the Macho Man elbow, but Lacey kicks out at two.

Things are getting too exciting, though, so we resort to a rest hold until Bayley finally hits a snap suplex for two. Back to a headlock, and Lacey tries to escape, but Bayley keeps it cinched in. Lacey fights free only to walk into a clothesline for a near-fall.

Bayley stalls for what seems like six hours only to go back to a chinlock. Lacey fights back with a sommersault into a Bronco Buster before hitting a diving clothesline, but Bayley rolls away from the pinning attempt. The challenger gives chase, only to get thrown into the barricade by Bayley. Back in the ring, Lacey hits a standing moonsault and goes for a top-rope moonsault, but the champ gets the legs up. She rolls Lacey up for the pin to retain.

Well, that was boring. I almost miss Lacey being more green and sloppy. A boring match with perfect precision is still a boring match.

Winner: Bayley

Rating:  **

The Fiend defended the Universal Championship against Daniel Bryan at 'WWE Royal Rumble 2020'

Universal Championship Match (Strap Match) – The Fiend (C) Vs. Daniel Bryan

There’s a whole thing I want to get into about why the Fiend is ultimately a boring character. Whether I get into it depends on this match at WWE Royal Rumble 2020.

Kudos to WWE for referencing the Wyatt Family/Bryan storyline from Royal Rumble 2014.

But I’m taking those kudos right back, because the referee holding up the Fiend’s stupid custom belt as though it’s a prize looks, well, stupid. At least they aren’t keeping the red light on – even Star Trek knows that looks stupid if they leave the “red alert” light on for too long.

Bryan goes for Yes Kicks from the jump, but the Fiend powerbombs him and leaves him in a heap. The Fiend starts whipping Bryan with the strap, but Bryan tosses the champ under the ropes and follows with a kick to the face followed by a tope suicida. The Fiend isn’t an idiot, though, and uses the strap to halt Bryan’s momentum. He tosses Bryan into the barricade and goes back to whipping.

The flogging continues into the ring, and Bryan climbs the ropes to escape, only for the Fiend to put the challenger in the tree of woe. And the Fiend continues whipping. Inigo Montoya might tell Vince McMahon of a strap match, “I do not think it means what you think it means.” The champ teases with the upside down thing, because that’s new.

Bryan escapes a Sister Abigail attempt and hits the running knee for two. The Fiend rushes at Bryan, but Bryan ducks and the champ goes flying under the ropes. Bryan comes off the top with a plancha and starts punching the Fiend down on the floor, but the champ throws Bryan into the steel steps. The challenger recovers and uses the strap to drag the Fiend face-first into the ring post.

The Yes Man gets a Yes Knee on the outside, but the Fiend puts him right back down with a clothesline. In a never-before-conceived-of spot, the Fiend clears off an announce table and puts Bryan prone on top of it. The challenger hits a succession of low blows and plants the Fiend with a DDT.

Corey says Bryan had “better get creative real quick.” Dude, WWE needs to get creative real quick, because now Bryan is whipping the Fiend with the strap. The point of a strap match is not to use it as a weapon – it’s to keep the combatants from getting away from each other. WWE, do you even pro wrestling, bro? This is not making WWE Royal Rumble 2020 a less boring show.

Back in the ring, Bryan hits a missile drop kick and follows with more Yes Kicks. The Fiend pops up and asks for more, so the challenger obliges. Bryan teases the running knee, but the Fiend pops up. He hits Sister Abigail, but Bryan kicks out. They trade slaps (really?), and the Fiend catches Bryan in the corner with the Mandible Claw. But Bryan locks his legs around the Fiend’s head for an inverted Triangle. The Fiend breaks free, though, only for Bryan to escape and apply the Labelle Lock, using the strap for extra leverage.

The champion fights out, though, and lays the fists into Bryan’s face. With Bryan finally out of fight, the Fiend goes for Sister Abigail again, but Bryan escapes and hits the running knee for two. Bryan starts getting fired up, but the Fiend pops up like Michael Myers. There’s a stare-down, where Bryan seems to accept his fate. He keeps fighting, but the Fiend locks in the Mandible Claw and manages to lay Bryan flat for the pin to retain.

This match isn’t quite a dud. The final few exchanges saved it. But it was ultimately pretty boring at WWE Royal Rumble 2020. I don’t find the Fiend quite as lame as I did coming into the match, but I don’t see him as a credible monster heel, either.

Winner – The Fiend

Rating – ** 1/2

Becky Lynch defeated Asuka at 'WWE Royal Rumble 2020'

Raw Women’s Championship – Becky Lynch (C) Vs. Asuka

More credit to WWE for going back to last year’s Royal Rumble, where Lynch was tapped out by Asuka, who retained the SmackDown Women’s Championship. A year later, Asuka is evil and insane, spitting green mist at people and challenging for the Raw women’s title at WWE Royal Rumble 2020.

And Lynch has been on a roll, character-wise, looking to exorcise the only demon left in her awesome year.

They lock up and keep it pretty even to start out. Lynch has Asuka on the outside, but the Empress of Tomorrow rakes the eyes and goes on the attack. But the Man gets the Disarm-Her locked around the ropes, followed by a missile drop kick for two.

Lynch goes for the Disarm-Her again, but Asuka reverses and hits a jaw-breaker over the top rope before hitting an enziguri from the outside. Asuka stays on the attack, hitting a missile drop kick for two. Kairi Sane continues to linger on the outside. The challenger takes the Man down and hits a shining wizard and Lynch kicks out again.

For all the emotion and personal intensity of this feud, these ladies seem to be going through the motions.

Asuka cinches in a headlock, but Lynch breaks free. The Man slumps down in the corner, but she’s able to block a couple attacks by lifting the boot. Lynch takes control and hits a drop kick for two. IT’S DROP-KICK-A-MANIA, BROTHER!

She sends Asuka face-first into the top turnbuckle. On the apron, the Man sets up for the Becksploder, but Asuka reverses and tries to hit a German suplex off the apron. Lynch holds onto the rope and reverses, dropping Asuka face first from the apron straight to the floor.

On the outside, Lynch hits a Becksploder into the barricade before tossing Asuka back into the ring. The Man heads up top and hits a flying leg drop for two. Asuka manages a backslide for a pin but only gets two, but she stays in control with a barrage of kicks and strikes before hitting an inverted fisherman’s suplex for two. That was cool.

Asuka gets back into it and has Lynch prone on the apron. She drags the Man up and runs her face-first into the top turnbuckle. Asuka sets Lynch up for a suplex, but the Man hits a neckbreaker before kipping up to the top and hitting a flying Rock Bottom for two.

The challenger fights back and locks an armbar onto Lynch’s injured arm, but the champ reverses into a cover attempt for two. But Asuka doesn’t let go of the hold, and we start replaying the finish of last year’s match. The Man makes the ropes, and Asuka has to break the hold.

A German suplex from the challenger and some kicks knocks Lynch out, and the referee has to check on the champion. The referee is on the verge of stopping the match, but Lynch fights up and goes all Superman against Asuka’s kicks. She finally goes down, but Asuka can only get a two count.

The challenger goes for the Asuka lock, but Lynch reverses into the Disarm-Her. Asuka reverses into a pinning combination, but Lynch kicks out. Another exchange, another near-fall for the Man. Both women crawl to their feet, and they trade slugs until Asuka throws Lynch into the referee. Asuka goes for the green mist, but Lynch locks in the Disarm-Her, and Asuka has to tap.

That was really good. I don’t know if it’s good enough to save WWE Royal Rumble 2020, but it was pretty good.

Winner – Becky Lynch

Rating – ****

Drew McIntyre eliminates Brock Lesnar en route to victory at 'WWE Royal Rumble 2020'

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Entrants 1-10

Brock Lesnar, the WWE Champion, enters first at WWE Royal Rumble 2020. Entering at number two is Elias, which means we’re getting stupid right off the jump.

Elias comes to the ring, guitar in hand, and does his usual insults and bush league heel stuff. As much as we all get tired of him sometimes, though, Lesnar stays in character. He drags Elias into the ring, and the Beast immediately murders him.

Number three is Erick Rowan, and he’s eliminated immediately after entering the ring. Again, I know a lot of fans hate it, but this is how you use Lesnar’s character – much more effective than his surprise appearance at Money In The Bank 2019.

Robert Roode comes out at number four. He lasts long enough to eat an F-5 before being eliminated at WWE Royal Rumble 2020. John Morrison is out fifth, and – wait for it – is immediately eliminated.

Kofi Kingston is number six, and the announcers talk about this being Kofi’s chance at redemption. The former champ comes out fists of fire, but Lesnar immediately drives him into the corner and feeds Kingston a German suplex. Rey Mysterio follows at number seven, and now we’ve got two guys with axes to grind with Lesnar.

Brock has a little fun, toying with Kingston and Mysterio as he just pummels them relentlessly. Kofi gets some New Day muscle, as Big E enters at number eight. They triple-team the champion, and Kofi hits Trouble In Paradise, followed by a Big Ending from Big E. Rey hits the 6-1-9, and all the guys line up for corner attacks, but Lesnar dumps Mysterio and Big E back-to-back. Lesnar turns his attention back to Kofi, who he F-5’s over the top rope. Wait, no “Kofi hangs on” spot? The crowd’ll kill him for that.

Cesaro comes out at number nine, and Lesnar just licks his chops. The Swiss Superman comes with the uppercuts, but Lesnar laughs it off and dispatches him easily. Brock has now eliminated eight people in 13 minutes. Shelton Benjamin is number ten. Guess how he does?

Brock offers his former collegiate teammate a handshake and a hug, only to make with the suplex  before chucking Benjamin over the top.

Entrants 11-20

Victim – er, entrant – number eleven at WWE Royal Rumble 2020 is Shinsuke Nakamura. Along with Sami Zayn. Remember when Sami Zayn was a wrestler? Nakamura manages to take Lesnar down with a kick, but Lesnar eliminates him. Number twelve is MVP. Well, hell has frozen over apparently. MVP chases Paul Heyman around the ring until Lesnar gets fed up and goes to drag him into the ring himself. But MVP manages to sneak in a couple of shots before eating an F-5 and (say it with me) being eliminated.

Okay, this is boring.

Keith Lee is number thirteen and maybe – maybe – this will become a match. Lesnar goes after Lee, but Lee takes him down with a huge shoulder tackle. Lee keeps up the attack, getting Lesnar stunned in the corner. Both guys go down with a huge double clothesline. And number fourteen is Brawn Strowman who goes after both guys. He sends Lee out under the ropes, and clotheslines Lesnar down to the mat. Strowman goes for a body slam, but Lesnar puts Strowman and Lee down with German suplexes.

With Lesnar down, Lee and Strowman stare each other down and slug away at each other, which allows Lesnar to eliminate them both simultaneously. Sigh. So this is boring and it’s making a rising star look like an idiot. I hate WWE.

Ricochet is number fifteen. He launches himself at Lesnar off the top, and the Beast catches himself with a backbreaker followed by a German suplex. Drew McIntyre comes out at number sixteen. Drew and Brock stare each other down for a few seconds, and Lesnar gets rid of his gloves. Ricochet sneaks up from behind and low blows Lesnar, letting McIntyre eliminate Lesnar, and Minute Maid Park goes freakin’ ballistic! They had a plan to all that nonsense, I can’t believe it!

McIntyre tosses Ricochet out of the ring like a rag doll. And Drew, who isn’t an idiot, keeps his eye on the prone Brock on the outside until Miz makes his way out at number seventeen. McIntyre takes Miz down with the Claymore before tossing him over the top. Lesnar finally staggers to his feet on the outside. Brock retreats behind the barricade and exits the arena as AJ Styles comes out at number eighteen. Styles goes for the Phenomenal Forearm, but McIntyre ducks it, only to eat a couple of shin kicks.

Styles doesn’t stay vertical for long, though, as McIntyre puts him down and lifts him for a suplex. AJ tries to lock on the Calf Crusher, but Drew smashes Styles face-first into the mat. Dolph Zigger is out at number nineteen. Yay. Styles and Ziggler team up on Drew, but Ziggler immediately thumbs Styles in the eye only to eat a throw from McIntyre. And number twenty is Karl Anderson.

McIntyre starts to put Styles over the top rope, but Anderson makes the save, and the OC teams up on Drew.

Entrants 21-30

The final third of the match begins, as EDGE RETURNS AT NUMBER TWENTY-ONE?! A moment please, as I mark the F out.

For some reason the camera cuts away as Edge hits his first spears in nine years. And the Houston crowd goes crazy again. Styles and Edge stare each other down (dream match?), and Styles takes the Rated-R Superstar down with a Pele kick, only to take a spear. I know he hasn’t done much, but Edge looks good.

King Corbin is out at number twenty-two to bring everybody back down. Corbin goes straight for Edge before hitting a backbreaker on Karl Anderson. McIntyre goes to eliminate Ziggler, but Corbin makes the save. Edge dumps Styles, as Matt Riddle comes out at number twenty-three. Riddle starts kicking everything that stands, trapping McIntyre in the corner before getting a STIFF knee to Edge’s face. And of course, Karl Anderson eliminates Riddle, because we can’t have NXT guys making names for themselves.

Number twenty-four is Luke Gallows, and Drew eliminates Corbin (thank you!). The OC hits Edge with the Magic Killer, and Randy Orton comes out in the No. 25 spot. He RKO’s Anderson and Gallows, before he and Edge team up to eliminate the OC. The twenty-sixth entrant is Roman Reigns, to the chagrin of the crowd in Houston as they realize Drew or Edge won’t win it. Reigns spears everybody before eliminating Ziggler.

Roman goes after McIntyre, as they fight in the corner. Out at number twenty-seven is Kevin Owens. He cleans house and hits Reigns with the stunner. Orton sets up for the RKO, but Owens drops him with a stunner, too, before trying to eliminate Edge.

The twenty-eighth entrant is Aleister Black, and he and Owens got at it before Black hits Edge with a knee to the face. Black drops McIntyre with a Fade To Black. Samoa Joe enters at number twenty-nine, and he and Owens team up to clean house. They bump into each other, though, and the fight is on. Joe hits an inverted atomic drop, as number thirty is Seth Rollins. Yawn.

Rollins comes out to WWE Royal Rumble 2020 flanked by the Inner Circ- I mean, AOP and Buddy Murphy. And because Owens and Joe are idiots, they slide under the bottom rope and go after Not The Inner Circle, only to get taken out. Rollins and his goons get to work beating down the competition while Rollins slides into the ring.

Seth stomps everybody, eliminating Aleister Black before eating a stunner from Owens. KO throws Rollins over the top, but AOP catches their boss, allowing Rollins to eliminate Rollins. Joe catches Rollins in the Clutch, but Buddy Murphy distracts the Samoan monster, allowing Rollins to eliminate him.

The eliminated babyfaces fight Rollins’s goons to the back, and Rollins is surrounded by Reigns, Edge, Orton, and McIntyre. Rollins tries to talk Roman into teaming up with him, but Roman gives him a Superman punch instead, followed by a Claymore Kick, and McIntyre dumps him.

The Final Four

And we’re down to Orton, Edge, Reigns, and McIntyre. Edge and Orton strategize – Orton goes after Reigns, Edge attacks McIntyre. Orton throws Reigns into the ring post before attacking Drew from behind. Drew gets hit with the RKO, and Edge follows with a spear. Team Rated-RKO pulls McIntyre up, and they hit a double RKO on the Scottish Psychopath.

Edge turns on the Viper and tosses Orton over the top. The two elderly guys jaw at each other, and Edge realizes Reigns is getting back to his feet. Edge and Roman slug it out, but Reigns emerges on the better end of that fight with a Superman punch followed by a spear attempt. Edge dodges and hits a spear of his own and throws Roman over the top. Reigns holds on, so Edge goes for another one, and both guys end up on the apron. Roman eliminates Edge before hitting a Superman punch on McIntyre.

Reigns throws McIntyre over the top rope, but Drew holds on. Roman bounces off the ropes and goes for a spear, but McIntyre dodges and hits the Claymore before tossing Reigns to claim the win at WWE Royal Rumble 2020!

Well, I can now forgive the boring parts, because I know in hindsight they were designed to build McIntyre as a ready-made main eventer. This match was awesome.

Winner: Drew McIntyre

Rating: **** 1/4

The Breakdown

None of the matches at WWE Royal Rumble 2020 was bad to the point of being offensively so.

The Falls Count Anywhere matches comes close, but it was just bad on a regular scale. The kind of bad we’ve come to expect from WWE.

Honestly, it was the two Royal Rumble matches themselves that kept this show alive. The Raw Women’s Championship match was quite good, and it provided the last loose end for Becky Lynch, and genuinely makes me wonder what they’ve got in store for her next.

Not the best show, but good enough for a mildly-enthusiastic thumbs up.

All images courtesy of WWE.

WWE Royal Rumble 2020


In-Ring Action






Entertainment Value



  • Drew F'n McIntyre
  • The Man closes the only open chapter left
  • Universal Title match picked up in a big way near the end
  • Holy crap, Edge is back!


  • Charlotte's victory doesn't help her - or anybody else
  • The Falls Count Anywhere created new levels of dullness
  • The Fiend just isn't interesting
  • Bayley and Lacey was by-the-numbers boring