Rousey Rocks Philly.
The 31st annual WWE Royal Rumble came to you, live on pay-per-view and the WWE Network, from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. For three decades, the annual Royal Rumble has created countless moments and propelled several legendary careers as Superstars like Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Brock Lesnar, Batista, Randy Orton, John Cena, and The Undertaker have all reaped the grand benefits of the Royal Rumble Match, surviving the 30-man melee to earn themselves a shot at a World Title on “The Grandest Stage of Them All” WrestleMania. This year, appropriately enough on the 30th anniversary of the unpredictable pay-per-view, 30 Superstars from RAW and SmackDown LIVE will wage war inside the squared circle in pursuit of their opportunity at immortality. John Cena, Roman Reigns, The Miz, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, Elias, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, “Woken” Matt Hardy, and many others will all be looking to etch their names in the history books. Some of them have been there before while others have yet to taste the success of winning the Royal Rumble Match but all of them are hungry to be on the grand stage of WrestleMania across from either the Universal Champion or the WWE Champion in pursuit of being on top of the mountain as a World Champion.
For thirty years, men have fought for the right to compete for championship gold at WrestleMania but, as they have done for the past several years, it would be time for the women of WWE to make history one more time as, for the first time ever, there will be a 30-Woman Royal Rumble Match with the winner earning a shot at either the RAW Women’s Title or the SmackDown Women’s Title at WrestleMania. With Superstars like the undefeated Asuka, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Mickie James, Ruby Riott, Carmella, Natalya, Naomi, and Nia Jax all ready to battle in the historic matchup, only one of them can punch their ticket to WrestleMania by winning the Women’s Royal Rumble Match.
While the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match would determine who will challenge for either the Universal Championship or the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, the Royal Rumble pay-per-view could also determine who will be defending those respective titles on “The Grandest Stage of Them All”. In the Universal Title match, Brock Lesnar would have his work cut out for him when he defends the Universal Title in a Triple Threat Match against “The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman and “The Big Red Machine” Kane in a match where Brock doesn’t even have to be involved in the finish of the match to lose the title. Which one of these dangerous, destructive monsters will leave the Royal Rumble as the Universal Champion and what will it take for them to survive? While Brock Lesnar faces an uphill battle of his own for the Universal Title, AJ Styles finds himself in a difficult position himself at the Royal Rumble as “The Phenomenal One” would defend the WWE Championship against both Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. AJ has stated on multiple occasions that he will not allow Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn to become the first ever co-WWE Champions but the champion has to be concerned with facing both Owens & Zayn at the same time with the title on the line. Can AJ Styles find a way to leave as the WWE Champion or will the odds prove to be too much for even AJ Styles to handle, providing us with the first ever co-WWE Champions?
The SmackDown Tag Team Titles would also be up for grabs at the Royal Rumble when The Usos defend the SmackDown Tag Team Titles against Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match, where the first team to score two falls by either pinfall, submission, disqualification, or count-out will walk out as the SmackDown Tag Team Champions. After having the titles in their hands a few weeks ago only for the referee to restart the match, Gable & Benjamin have to be more determined than ever to win the SmackDown Tag Team Titles but, to do so, they must dethrone the team that has had the tag team division on lock for months, The Usos. The RAW Tag Team Titles would also be defended at the Royal Rumble as the unlikely champions Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan defend the titles in a rematch against Cesaro & Sheamus. A rift has already begun to show between the tag champions after Seth Rollins inadvertently hit Jason Jordan with a knee to the face on RAW 25 last week, so can Seth & Jason keep it together long enough to successfully defend the RAW Tag Team Titles or will “The Bar” take advantage of the dissension among their opponents and reclaim the tag titles?
- 6-Man Tag: Kickoff Match: Kalisto, Lince Dorado, & Gran Metalik def. TJP, Jack Gallagher, & Drew Gulak by Kalisto pinning TJP with the Salida del Sol.
- Kickoff Match: The Revival def. Gallows & Anderson by Dash Wilder pinning Karl Anderson following a chop block.
- United States Championship Open Challenge: Kickoff Match: Bobby Roode (c) def. Mojo Rawley by pin following the Glorious DDT to retain.
- WWE Championship: 2-on-1 Handicap Match: AJ Styles (c) def. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn by rolling up Kevin Owens to retain.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship: 2-out-of-3 Falls:
- The Usos (c) def. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin by Jimmy Uso (c) pinning Chad Gable following a double super kick to score the first fall.
- The Usos (c) def. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin by Jey Uso (c) rolling up Shelton Benjamin to score the second fall and retain.
- 30-Man Royal Rumble Match: WINNER – Shinsuke Nakamura
- RAW Tag Team Championship: Cesaro & Sheamus def. Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan (c) by Cesaro pinning Seth Rollins (c) following the double team White Noise to win the RAW Tag Team Titles.
- Universal Championship: Triple Threat Match: Brock Lesnar (c) def. Braun Strowman and Kane by pinning Kane following the F-5 on a steel chair to retain.
- 30-Woman Royal Rumble Match: WINNER – Asuka
See page 2 for detailed results.