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Royal Rumble Kickoff Recap & Review

January 29, 2017

(aired live)

City: San Antonio, TX
Venue: The Alamodome

Panel: Renee Young, Booker T, Jerry Lawler, Shawn Michaels, Peter Rosenberg
Social Media Lounge: Charly Caruso
Outside Interviewer: Peter Rosenberg
SmackDown Commentary: Tom Phillips, JBL, David Otunga, Mauro Ranallo
RAW Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
SmackDown Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton
RAW Ring Announcer: Jojo

Brand: RAW & SmackDown


Renee introduces the panel and the show. She shows a clip of Seth Rollins taking over NXT Takeover and calling out Triple H. She wonders if it was smart to piss off Triple H. Michaels says that Rollins will not win a mental game against Triple H.

Royal Rumble Facts.
#30 – Bret Hart was the first ever Royal Rumble entrant in 1988.
#29 – 870 Superstars have entered a Royal Rumble match.
#28 – 3 Women have entered (Chyna, Beth Phoenix, and Kharma), and each of them has eliminated at least one male superstar.
#27 – Only 23 people have won a Rumble.
#26 – This years Rumble makes four times that the match has taken place in Texas.
#25 – California and Florida are tied for holding the most Rumble matches with five each.
#24 – 507,102 fans have seen a Rumble match in person.
#23 – Rey Mysterio lasted a record 1:02:12 to win in the 2006 Rumble.
#22 – Edge won in only 7:37 in 2010.
#21 – Santino Marella has the record for shortest time in the Rumble with one second.
#20 – Bob Backlund holds the longest time in the Rumble without winning with 1:01:10.
#19 – Triple H has the most cumulative time in the Rumble with 4:06:08 in nine matches.
#18 – 46 WWE Hall of Famers have entered a Rumble.
#17 – 9 WWE Hall of Famers have won a Rumble.
#16 – The only man to enter a single Rumble more than once is Mick Foley who entered as Mankind, Dude Love, and Cactus Jack in the 1998 match.

Renee asks Michaels about entering at number one. He says it’s a disadvantage, but it’s also a disadvantage not knowing who might enter the match. Booker and Lawler talk about their times in the Rumble.

In 1995, Shawn Michaels won the Rumble from number one.

Michaels talks about the 1995 Rumble and the boundless confidence he had.

Buildup for Charlotte versus Bayley.

Booker T appreciates Charlotte’s skill, Lawler thinks Bayley will be overwhelmed tonight, Michaels thinks Charlotte might be underestimating Bayley. Booker, Lawler and Michaels all pick Charlotte to retain the title. Renee picks Bayley.

Ring Area
Peter Rosenberg talks about the rules of the Royal Rumble.

In 2010, Edge returned from injury and won the Rumble.


Match 1
Naomi & Nikki Bella & Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss (SD Women’s Champ) & Mickie James & Natalya
(referee: Ryan Tran)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Naomi pins Alexa Bliss after a split-legged moonsault
Time: 8:18 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. It hit a lot of the expected beats (one team diving to the floor on the other team, a breakdown where everyone hits a big move, etc), but ti was still fun to watch. Naomi probably came out the best in the match by handling Alexa very, well, handily.


Buildup for the Owens versus Reigns match with Jericho in a cage.

Charly Caruso starts to ask Owens a question, but Jericho interrupts and talks about being a very sexy pinata, a sexy nebula, and a beautiful cloud. Owens feels disrespected by Foley, but he will prove everyone wrong.

The panel talks about Owens versus Reigns. Booker and Michaels pick Owens, Lawler picks Reigns.

Ring Area
Peter Rosenberg is difficult to hear as the tries to talk among the fans.

In 2012, Sheamus won the Rumble by eliminating Jericho.


Match 2
WWE RAW Tag Team Title Match
Cesaro & Sheamus (RAW Tag Champs) vs Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
(referee: John Cone; outside referee: Darrick Moore)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Karl Anderson pins Cesaro with a schoolboy (and a handful of tights) and Anderson and Gallows become the new RAW Tag Champs
Time: 9:22 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. Kind of surprisingly (to me anyway), Cesaro and Sheamus dominated almost all of the match. The use of two referees made cheating difficult for Anderson and Gallows (though they still found some small ways), and it made the match interesting. It was hard-hitting and fairly fast-paced. I really liked the finish of this one. The whole last segment was good.


Peter Rosenberg replaces Shawn Michaels on the panel, and Renee introduces the next Rumble memory video.

In 2009, Randy Orton used The Legacy to help him win the Royal Rumble.

Austin Aries replaces Jerry Lawler so he can provide some insight for the Cruiserweight division. Aries says that Neville looks unstoppable right now. Booker T likes that Neville isn’t trying to please the fans anymore. Rosenberg thinks Rich Swann might be too nice to face someone as mean and determined as Neville. Aries says yes, he’s too nice. Booker picks Swann, Aries and Rosenberg pick Neville.

Social Media Lounge
Charly Caruso asks Dean Ambrose some questions from Twitter.

Lawler returns to the panel, replacing Aries, and Renee introduces the next Kickoff match.


Match 3
Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax
(referee: Rod Zapata)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Nia Jax wins via pinfall after a pop-up Samoan drop
Time: 3:46 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
An okay match. It was pretty quick and not everything looked great. It was a good match for Nia, but it didn’t feel like much more than way to build credibility for her. The match itself was kind of secondary to that goal.


Over video, Renee asks Stephanie McMahon about Seth Rollins. Steph says she will address Rollins on RAW tomorrow, but he’s been banned from the Alamodome tonight. Steph then picks “somebody from RAW” to win the Rumble. The panel then talks about Rollins’ situation, then wonders about how well Sami Zayn (who beat Rollins to enter the Rumble match) will perform tonight.

Buildup for Styles versus Cena.

Rosenberg is excited about Cena versus Styles, Renee thinks Styles is nervous, but Booker does not.

Ring Area
Shawn Michaels gets introduced in the arena. In the ring, Michaels wonders who will win the Rumble match then takes a lap around the ring.

The panel wonders who will win and who will enter the match. To win, Lawler and Booker pick Undertaker, Rosenberg picks Brock Lesnar, and Renee picks Braun Strowman


Show Impressions
A good Kickoff, though two hours is a little long. Even so, having three matches is good.

Match of the Night
RAW Tag Title Match
This is a pretty easy pick. It was the most competitive match and definitely felt like it was the most important. The action was good, and the results will matter after tonight. I can’t really say that about the other two matches on the Kickoff show.


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