Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of the WWE Royal Rumble from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Wai Ting and I will have our Royal Rumble POST Show airing LIVE immediately after the card for our Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.
Our coverage begins at 6 pm ET with the Royal Rumble kickoff show. You can also follow along with other POST listeners in the Discord chat.
*30-man Royal Rumble (Daniel Bryan, Edge, Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, John Morrison, Mustafa Ali, Sheamus, Otis, The Miz, Cesaro, Jey Uso, Jeff Hardy, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Shinsuke Nakamura, Big E., Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, Braun Strowman)
*WWE Universal Championship Last Man Standing Match: Roman Reigns (champion) def. Kevin Owens in 24:54
*30-woman Royal Rumble Bianca Belair wins in 58:49 eliminating Rhea Ripley last
*SmackDown Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (champion) def. Carmella in 10:21
*WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (champion) def. Bill Goldberg in 2:32
*Women’s Tag Team Championship: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler def. Asuka & Charlotte Flair (champions) in 10:33
The kickoff show featured Charly Caruso hosting the panel consisting of Jerry Lawler, Booker T., JBL, and Peter Rosenberg.
Off the top, they confirmed that the Women’s Tag Title match will be part of the kickoff.
There was a segment with Carmella annoyed with Reginald’s interaction with Sasha Banks on Friday. Then, Carmella realized he was playing a trick on Banks and forgave him while reminding Reginald that she works for him.
Sonya Deville joined the panel to discuss the SmackDown Women’s Championship match.
R-Truth showed up dressed as Elmer Fudd as he’s hunting rabbits and thought Bugs Bunny was performing tonight, instead of Bad Bunny.
Sarah Schreiber spoke with Asuka and Charlotte Flair prior to their entrance. Flair was smiling at Asuka until she left and then Flair had a menacing look.
ASUKA & CHARLOTTE FLAIR VS NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER FOR THE WWE WOMEN’S TAG TITLES
Byron Saxton confirmed that Charlotte Flair “is a human with human emotions” over her concern for her father with Lacey Evans.
Baszler stomped Asuka’s left elbow and they cut off the ring. Asuka retaliated with spinning back fists, and a codebreaker to Jax. Asuka landed a sunset bomb on Jax, then hit Baszler with a head kick before Flair received the tag.
Flair hit a double Natural Selection but Baszler kicked out. Baszler yanked Flair off the turnbuckle, Samoan drop by Jax, and a knee strike by Baszler for a two-count.
Asuka was sent over the announcer’s desk and followed with Flair landing a moonsault to the floor on both Baszler and Jax.
Ric Flair came out and distracted Flair, who was rolled up for a two-count by Baszler. Lacey Evans appeared ringside when Flair applied the Figure 8 and Evans broke the hold. Flair decked Evans and Baszler applied the Kirifuda Clutch, it was countered and went back to Figure 8. Evans was given a weapon from Ric and nailed Flair in the face allowing Jax to hit the leg drop and pin Flair.
WINNERS: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax in 10:33 to win the Women’s Tag Titles
It was a basic match with the interference to give Flair and “out” to be pinned and should set up Flair’s revenge on Lacey Evans. I wouldn’t say the match ever went to the next level and average at best.
DREW McINTYRE VS BILL GOLDBERG FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
McIntyre nailed Goldberg with the Glasgow Kiss and a spear before the bell rang. The two went to the floor resulting in Goldberg spearing McIntyre through the barricade and injuring his ribs.
Inside the ring, the bell rang, and McIntyre landed a knee to block Goldberg and hit the Claymore for a near-fall. They noted Brock Lesnar is the only other person to kick out of it.
Goldberg recovered and hit two spears for a two-count. Goldberg called for the jackhammer and hit it, but McIntyre kicked out and stunned Goldberg.
Goldberg missed in the corner, McIntyre recovered and landed another Claymore for the win.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre in 2:32 to retain the WWE Championship
Afterward, Goldberg walked over and said, “you passed the test” and they shook hands.
With the limitations you had to work with, this was probably the best type of layout but it’s really underwhelming for a major title match and I don’t know how many people want this out of one of your main events – but it had to be expected going in.
The entire point seemed to be a big win for McIntyre and earning Goldberg’s endorsement.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Sasha Banks, who laughed off the notion that the odds are stacked against her. She will be drinking the finest champagne of Carmella’s tears after tonight.
SASHA BANKS VS CARMELLA FOR THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Banks immediately tried for the Bank Statement and Carmella bailed to the floor. Reginald distracted allowing Carmella to take control on the floor.
Banks injured her left knee after hitting the Meteora. Carmella took Banks’ hair and tied it to the bottom rope momentarily.
Carmella tossed Banks to the floor, Banks was caught by Reginald and used a tilt-a-whirl on him. Reginald was promptly ejected by the referee.
Carmella hit an insane tope suicida and crashed on the floor, but she appeared to be okay.
Banks went for the frog splash and landed on Carmella’s knees. Carmella used the Code of Silence but Banks broke free. Banks came off the top and was met with a superkick in mid-air.
Banks caught her by the arm and applied the Bank Statement.
WINNER: Sasha Banks at 10:21 to retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship
The two have a certain chemistry together and were clearly coming out to build on their TLC match. Beyond the scary suicide dive, this had a nice flow to it with some ambitious sequences that largely came off well. I thought both did very well in this one.
Big E. gave a big pep talk to Xavier Woods about the Royal Rumble. Sami Zayn interrupted and called them the “poster boys” for WWE management and would probably get better slots in the Rumble than him. Zayn said he had eyes in the back of his head when Kofi Kingston appeared from behind and scared Zayn.
Kingston said he is not medically cleared tonight but they showed off their tribute gear in honor of Brodie Lee.
The Bad Bunny performance featuring Booker T. was next. Michael Cole made a G.I. Bro reference regarding Booker’s outfit.
30-WOMAN ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton are calling the match with Jerry Lawler. Bayley shaved the word “Cole” on the back of her head and was pissed when learning Cole isn’t calling the match.
Bayley started trash talking and reminding Naomi of when she beat her. Naomi landed the Rear View but couldn’t toss Bayley over.
3. BIANCA BELAIR
Naomi and Belair battled with Naomi going for a piledriver and Belair doing a cartwheel, and both began to cartwheel. It looked impressive.
4. BILLIE KAY
Kay sat down on commentary rather than entering the ring.
5. SHOTZI BLACKHEART
Blackheart came out in her tank and shot the cannon at Kay, who was presenting her resume and headshot. Kay returned to commentary.
6. SHAYNA BASZLER
Kay continued to present her headshot to each new entrant, this time Baszler punched the photo and knocked Kay down.
7. TONI STORM
Baszler grabbed Blackheart by the leg and dumped her out for the first elimination.
8. JILLIAN HALL
Jillian Hall loves the idea of working with Billie and they entered the ring together.
9. RUBY RIOTT
Victoria hit a spinning side slam off her shoulders on Riott.
11. PEYTON ROYCE
The IIconics worked together and Royce went to do their pose, but Kay hesitated. Victoria hit the Widow’s Peak on Royce after Royce did her own version.
12. SANTANA GARRETT
13. LIV MORGAN
Riott and Morgan placed Hall onto the apron, but it was Kay that booted Hall to the floor. The Riott Squad then dumped Kay out.
14. RHEA RIPLEY
Ripley ran wild on everyone and eliminated Storm immediately.
Baszler applied the Kirifuda Clutch to Victoria on the apron and dumped her to the floor.
Garrett did the splits on the apron but was kicked out by Ripley.
15. CHARLOTTE FLAIR
Bayley slid under Riott on the apron and powerbombed her out of the match.
16. DANA BROOKE
Royce eliminated Liv Morgan.
17. TORRIE WILSON
Brooke attempted a head scissors on Ripley on the apron, Brooke was powerbombed onto the apron and eliminated. Ripley has three eliminations now.
18. LACEY EVANS
Ric Flair’s music played before he introduced Evans, who came out in Flair’s robe. Charlotte and Evans began fighting on the floor.
Flair yanked Royce from the apron and eliminated her.
Baszler blasted Wilson with a knee and eliminated her.
Belair tossed Bayley out after lasting 29 minutes. Naomi has now been in the longest.
19. MICKIE JAMES
James squared off with Flair.
20. NIKKI CROSS
21. ALICIA FOX
Fox entered and then, R-Truth ran out confused followed by the 24/7 guys. Truth used Fox as a weapon to keep the guys away. Fox rolled up Truth and pinned him for the 24/7 title.
22. MANDY ROSE
Rose nailed Fox with a knee strike and threw her out. Truth rolled up Fox and regained the title.
23. DAKOTA KAI
Evans eliminated Mickie James with the Woman’s Right.
Ripley dumped Kai out for her fourth elimination of the match and then threw Rose out for number five.
Cross threw Carmella over but was saved by Reginald and placed back on the apron. Carmella superkicked Cross out.
There was a big showdown between Tamina and Ripley.
Naomi was sent out but landed on her back without her feet touch. Naomi grabbed Belair by the ponytail, and both fought on the apron and returned to the ring.
Lana paused before entering the ring and then went after Ripley.
27. ALEXA BLISS
Bliss is taking everyone down and then they ganged up and beat on Bliss. The lights began to short circuit as Bliss smiled but Ripley grabbed her from behind and eliminated her.
28. EMBER MOON
Moon hit the Eclipse on Baszler. Moon drilled Naomi in the face with a boot.
29. NIA JAX
Baszler eliminated Evans. Jax drilled Moon with a forearm and sent her out.
Baszler and Jax lifted Naomi and dumped her out after 47 minutes and 39 seconds.
Next, the two eliminated Tamina.
Then, Jax turned on Baszler and eliminated her.
Lana went after Jax and slapped her. Jax ran at Lana, who ducked and Jax flew over the top to the floor.
Jax and Baszler attacked Natalya on the floor. Jax and Baszler returned to the ring and Natalya was left laying on the floor. Jax tossed Natalya into the ring.
It’s down to Belair, Flair, Lana, Ripley, and Natalya.
Natalya hugged Lana but then attacked her and sent her out.
Natalya had Ripley on the apron, leaned over the top to taunt and Belair dumped Natalya out.
It’s down to Flair, Ripley, and Belair.
Ripley and Belair double-teamed Flair.
Flair was on the apron, Belair and Ripley both struck and knocked Flair out.
Ripley and Belair landed on the edge of the apron together and agreed to slide back in together.
The Riptide was countered and same with the KOD, Ripley landed on her feet and Belair clotheslined Ripley out.
WINNER: Bianca Belair in 58:49
Braxton interviewed Belair and she was in tears thanking her parents and would put the EST in WrestleMania.
It was a huge promotional effort for Belair, who was the top standout in the match along with Ripley and Naomi. Belair was the best choice to win the Rumble and I thought the layout of the match worked with a strong mix of surprises, stories, and a great choice for the winner heading into the WrestleMania build-up.
The Miz and John Morrison knocked on Bad Bunny’s door and offer him the chance to collaborate with them and merge. Bad Bunny turned them down, so they ran down Booker T., who appeared and said, “tell me you didn’t just say that”.
They went to the panel and led to Peter Rosenberg tricking R-Truth into thinking John Cena was there and he pinned Truth to win the 24/7 title.
ROMAN REIGNS VS KEVIN OWENS IN A LAST MAN STANDING MATCH FOR THE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP
After eating a Superman Punch, Owens hit the pop-up powerbomb in the opening minute. They went to the floor where Reigns began to use the steel steps and began fighting throughout the arena.
They fought on the stage where the screens were, Owens attacked the knee with a chair. There was a table set up on the floor and they frequently teased one of them falling off the structure. Reigns ended up tossing Owens off just like the attack on SmackDown.
Backstage, Owens stumbled and got hit by a golf cart driven by Reigns. Reigns looked up to the sky referencing Owen’s grandfather and Owens fired up on him. Owens dropped him on a table and put him through with a splash.
Owens placed Reigns onto another table and began operating a forklift, he elevated the wooden slat and climbed onto it, and landed a Swanton through the table.
They returned to the arena, Reigns recovered and speared Owens through the screens at the entrance. Owens wouldn’t stay down after rolling off the stage onto his feet. Owens appeared to burn his arm as he stumbled backward into a light.
Reigns got handcuffs but was met with a stunner as Owens used the handcuffs and locked Reigns to the lighting equipment. Reigns was so low he couldn’t get to his feet, so he rammed the referee into the metal, and he was knocked out. Paul Heyman had the key, but time stood still, and this took FOREVER to unlock Reigns.
Reigns applied the guillotine and put Owens out and the count to ten was made.
WINNER: Roman Reigns at 24:54 to retain the Universal title
This was a very intense match with a lot of creative violence throughout. The ending was a bit awkward as it took so long to get Reigns free from the handcuffs and Owens just had to wait. The guillotine may not have been the most vicious way to end the match after they endured so much, but the idea seemed to be that both were brutally beaten by that point. This was a very strong match and performance from both.
30-MAN ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
Michael Cole is calling the match with Corey Graves and Samoa Joe.
2. RANDY ORTON
Edge goes after Orton during his entrance and they fought around the ring with Edge dominating.
3. SAMI ZAYN
Zayn snuck in and attacked Edge’s knee allowing Orton to recover. Orton attacked Edge’s arm as they referenced the injury he’s returning from.
4. MUSTAFA ALI
Ali goes after Edge aligning with Orton and Zayn.
5. JEFF HARDY
Hardy helped Edge but got hit with the RKO. Orton then nailed Zayn with an RKO and then one to Ali. Edge got up and speared Orton.
Hardy helped Edge but got hit with the RKO. Orton then nailed Zayn with an RKO and then one to Ali. Edge got up and speared Orton.
Edge and Orton fought on the announcer’s desk and Edge landed an implant DDT.
6. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Cole mentioned it’s Ziggler’s 14th Royal Rumble. It’s the second most of all-time behind Kane.
Edge attacked Orton with a chair on the floor. Orton remained on the floor for a while as the officials checked on him after the attack by Edge.
Ziggler snuck in and threw Hardy out for the first elimination.
7. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Carlito looked in tremendous shape. He brought an apple into the ring and Nakamura took it. Carlito gave Nakamura the backstabber.
Orton was being helped backstage as he limped.
9. XAVIER WOODS
Woods attacked Ali but was stopped by Zayn.
10. BIG E.
Woods lifted E on his shoulders and dumped him onto Zayn and followed with Up Up Down Down before tossing Zayn out.
11. JOHN MORRISON
Big E. saved Woods on the apron but then, Ali kicked their grip and Woods fell out. E tossed Ali out next.
Ricochet looked great when he entered including a sequence with Edge.
Elias caught Carlito with a flying knee and tossed him out.
14. DAMIAN PRIEST
Priest threw Elias out.
They showed footage of Orton being tended to backstage, but Graves noted he hasn’t officially been eliminated.
15. THE MIZ
The Miz destroyed the DKJ equipment for Bad Bunny, prompting him to come out looking pissed. Miz & Morrison were watching Bad Bunny as Priest dumped both out.
Bad Bunny climbed to the top and hit a high cross to the floor. Cole yelled, “I’ve heard of flying squirrels, but flying bunnies?”
17. DANIEL BRYAN
Bryan attacked with running dropkicks to Nakamura and Priest and they paired off with Ricochet.
Kane hit Edge with a chokeslam and then a double chokeslam to Nakamura and Riddle. He caught Ziggler and threw him out.
Kane grabbed Ricochet and choke slammed him on the apron and to the floor.
Kane saw Bryan and they hugged before Kane chokes lammed him.
Priest avoided the chokeslam, attacked with kicks, and sent Kane out.
19. KING CORBIN
Corbin hit Nakamura with Deep Six and eliminated him, which was a bit surprising given how the recent emphasis on Nakamura. This wasn’t treated like a big elimination.
Otis only lasted briefly before Corbin sent him out.
21. DOMINIK MYSTERIO
Dominik went after Corbin and was hit with a spine buster. Dominik ended up on Corbin’s shoulders and sent him out with a head scissors.
22. BOBBY LASHLEY
Lashley launched Dominik into the sky and he eventually landed on the floor. Then, Lashley clotheslined Priest out.
Lashley and Big E. squared off
23. HURRICANE HELMS
Helms ran into Lashley, went for a double chokeslam to Lashley and Big E. and the two lifted and dumped him to the floor.
Christian snapped Lashley on the top rope and allowed everyone to hang gang up and send Lashley out.
Christian hit the Unprettier on Big E.
Christian and Edge hugged and then teamed up against Riddle.
25. AJ STYLES
Styles missed the Phenomenal Forearm and Edge hit him with a spear.
26. REY MYSTERIO
There was a major ad read for Victoria beer with Mysterio wearing a special mask for the brand.
Omos grabbed Big E. from the floor and yanked him to the floor and sent him over the desk.
Omos prevented Mysterio from hitting the 619 and then grabbed Mysterio and tossed him into the barricade and out.
Cesaro gave his former partner Sheamus the Cesaro Swing and then a much longer one to Bryan.
29. SETH ROLLINS
Rollins came out to his Messiah theme and was his first appearance since the Survivor Series.
30. BRAUN STROWMAN
Strowman tossed Styles over but he was caught and saved by Omos.
Strowman dumped Cesaro out and then nailed Sheamus out.
Strowman turned away from Omos and sent Styles over the top on the other side.
Rollins caught Bryan with a curb stomp and sent Bryan out.
Rollins and Riddle were on the apron, Strowman knocked Riddle down and he was eliminated with a curb stomp on the edge.
It’s down to Edge, Christian, Rollins, Strowman, and Orton (who has been gone with the injury).
Strowman turned on Rollins and slammed him down.
Edge and Christian double-teamed Strowman but he dropped both with a shoulder block. Strowman lifted Edge but he used a guillotine, Christian came from behind and Rollins sent Strowman and Christian out.
Edge threw Rollins out, but Orton returned with an RKO to Edge. Orton got reversed and was tossed out.
WINNER: Edge in 58:29
The big stories of the match included Edge running the table and lasting the entire time to win, Christian’s return and his first match since 2014, the return of Seth Rollins, and the debut of Damian Priest among the keys.