Date: January 28, 2022
Location: T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
It’s the go home show for the Royal Rumble and that means it is probably time for the fabled face to face showdown. In this case, that likely means Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins, who just don’t have that much history together. Other than that, we are likely going to get the final push towards tomorrow night. Let’s get to it.
Here is Charlotte to get things going. She promises to do what Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will never do: bring a championship to Kansas City! Charlotte promises to win the Royal Rumble on Saturday, where there will be returns and betrayals. There are going to be people fighting and clawing to go to Wrestlemania. Cue Shayna Baszler to interrupt, saying that this is her language. Baszler is going to win, but here is Aliyah to brag about her world record. She is feeling confident, but here is Natalya to interrupt, calling Aliyah delusional and lucky.
Now it’s Shotzi coming in to say she might be able to sneak in and steal the win. Charlotte doesn’t want to hear about this but here is Sasha Banks interrupt. Banks slaps Charlotte in the face and the brawl is on, with Charlotte and Banks being the only two left standing. Banks tosses Charlotte and stands tall, because of course it winds up being two of the Horsewomen.
Ridge Holland is glad to be back and Sheamus knows Holland is just like him. Sheamus even gives Holland his old face guard.
Sheamus/Ridge Holland vs. Cesaro/Ricochet
Sheamus headlocks Cesaro down to start but gets broken up in a hurry. Cesaro sends him outside for a breather but Sheamus walks into a hard clothesline back inside. There’s a double stomp to the ribs and it’s off to Ricochet to work on the arm. Holland comes in and gets knocked all of the place, including a springboard dropkick to the floor. A big flip dive barely connects with Holland (who seemed to be too far off) and we take a break.
Back with Sheamus hitting the Irish Curse on Ricochet and Holland slamming him down. A nasty over the shoulder backbreaker has Ricochet in trouble until he fights out, setting up a springboard moonsault. The double tag brings in Cesaro to beat on Sheamus, including the running uppercut against the barricade on the floor. Back in and Cesaro flips out of an Irish Curse and grabs a small package for two. Ricochet springboards in to dropkick Holland down, allowing Cesaro to hit that modified Angle Slam for two. Holland is back in though and it’s a mask shot to Cesaro. Northern Grit finishes Cesaro at 10:41.
Rating: C+. Well, it was nice to see Ricochet not take a pin for a change and Holland gets a win to move him a bit forward. You can only get him so far with Sheamus getting so many of the falls so this is a nice little boost for Holland. Pretty good match here, with Ricochet getting in his impressive looking high flying, which is almost always the case.
Rumble By The Numbers video.
Naomi vs. Sonya Deville
In the back Sonya tries to influence the referee, who says he’ll be calling this down the line. Feeling out process to start until Sonya knocks her into the ropes for a forearm to the jaw. Sonya hammers away on the mat but Naomi is back with a dropkick hard to the face. That’s broken up as Sonya pulls her to the floor and hits a Nightmare on Helm Street onto the floor as we take a break.
Back with Sonya hitting a spinebuster out of the corner for two, earning the referee a stern lecture. The chinlock doesn’t last long as Naomi is back up with some kicks to the face. A bulldog into the middle buckle sets up a high crossbody (onto Sonya’s face) for two but another one is countered into a shove into the corner. Something like a suplex into a Rock Bottom (basically Matt Morgan’s old Hellevator) gets two on Naomi but she’s back with a Bubba Bomb. The Rear View into the split legged moonsault finishes Deville at 11:39.
Rating: C. It was a good enough match, though I’m not sure if it was quite the huge moment that commentary was selling it as being. Deville is pretty awesome as the evil boss, though I’m not sure where this leaves her going forward. At the same time, is Naomi beating a woman who has barely wrestled in about a year and a half all that impressive? That being said, Naomi getting a win of some kind is a great thing to see after all this time.
Post match Naomi is very happy with her win and promises to win the Rumble. Deville comes back out with the jacket on and enters the match as well.
The Usos don’t like the Viking Raiders, who threaten them with hatchets.
Here is Sami Zayn, who has made some adjustments to In-Zayn. Now it is a talk show (er, live podcast), with Jinder Mahal and Shanky as the first guests. First though, Sami wants to talk about Johnny Knoxville, even though Mahal and Shanky are ready to face Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs. Zayn keeps going about Knoxville and Jackass, which Mahal says are huge in India. Cue Rick Boogs with his guitar to interrupt, with Shinsuke Nakamura coming in to kick Sami in the head.
Shinsuke Nakamura/Rick Boogs vs. Shanky/Jinder Mahal
Joined in progress with Shanky beating on Boogs, who fights up and hits a rather impressive delayed suplex. Back up and Boogs shrugs off some shots in the corner, meaning the comeback is on. Some running shoulders don’t put Shanky down so it’s a running ax handle to finally take him down. The Boogs Cruise finishes Shanky at 2:59.
Kofi Kingston is glad to have Big E. back and they are ready to win the Royal Rumble, because if one of them wins, all of them win.
Madcap Moss/Happy Corbin vs. New Day
Before the match, we get a look at Moss and Corbin injuring Drew McIntyre, which they find rather amusing. Big E. runs Moss over to start and it’s a jumping (over Big E.) backsplash to give Kofi two. Corbin comes in for a running corner clothesline but gets sent outside. That means Kofi can try a dive, only to get pulled out of the air for a rather hard posting as we take a break.
Back with Kofi sliding between Corbin’s legs for the tag off to Big E. Suplexes abound until it’s already back to Kingston, who gets caught in Deep Six. Kofi is able to get back over to the corner though and the hot tag brings in Big E. With Corbin knocked down, the Midnight Hour finishes Moss at 7:02.
Rating: C+. There is always something fun about watching New Day team up and they made it work here again. What matters is that they know how to work well together and they shut up Moss and Corbin for one night. Big E. might be a dark horse for the Royal Rumble and both of them looked good in their warmup here.
Royal Rumble rundown.
Here are Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins for their big showdown. Reigns talks about dishonoring the family, but Rollins points out that Reigns losing to Brock Lesnar must have been a big disappointment. Reigns laughs off talking about the past, but Rollins brings up some of their moments, including Reigns’ thirty day suspension. Finally he gets to splitting up the Shield, which seems to get to Reigns. Rollins says Reigns has done everything, except beat him one on one.
Reigns doesn’t like what Rollins did, and he has moved on, but he will always hate Rollins for what he did to the Shield. This sends Rollins into a rant about how everyone in the family is a joke and tomorrow, it all goes up in smoke. That gets Reigns fired up and he shoves Rollins, only to miss the Superman Punch to end the show. The story was already set and this was just the final showdown before the fight.
Overall Rating: C+. This show was a bit more about the Royal Rumbles themselves and that is a smart way to go. The rest of the card is set so why bother focusing on the rest all that much? I want to see what they have going on in the matches and now we should have a great start to the Road to Wrestlemania. The wrestling was just ok for the most part, but that was not the focal point this week, which is ok with such a big night coming.
Sheamus/Ridge Holland b. Cesaro/Ricochet – Northern Grit to Cesaro
Shinsuke Nakamura/Rock Boogs b. Shanky/Jinder Mahal – Boogs Cruise to Shanky
Naomi b. Sonya Deville – Split legged moonsault
New Day b. Madcap Moss/Happy Corbin – Midnight Hour to Moss
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