John Cena vs Triple H
This is the first singles meeting between these two in the last 8 years. While there was nothing particularly wrong with this it was very slow, even with the many finisher kick outs. The crowd was really into it though so it didn't drag as much as it could have. **1/2
Cruiserweight Title - Cedric Alexander vs Kalisto
This was a really good match, albeit one that the fans were nowhere near as excited for as the opener. There were some really good reversals in the closing stretch too. It was around the standard of the cruiserweight match at Mania. ***1/2
Raw Tag Team Titles - The Bar vs The Deleters of Worlds
The outcome of this match was incredibly obvious due to the superstar shakeup, and it didn't help this one bit. It was okay but nothing more than that. **
United States Title - Jeff Hardy vs Jinder Mahal
This wasn't good at all and it featured one of the most starkly obvious botches that I have seen in a WWE ring in quite some time. Hardy missed a Whisper In The Wind by about a foot and Mahal still sold it. Next. *
Smackdown Tag Team Titles - Bludgeon Brothers vs Usos
Much like the last few matches, this was a relatively short affair. This one worked for the story though as it continued to show the Bludgeons in a dominant light. It was decent while it lasted. **1/2
Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match - Seth Rollins vs The Miz vs Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe
This was a really good, somewhat old school, ladder match. It never really reached the level of greatness but Samoa Joe was the star. He was superb throughout and he tied the match together very nicely. The finishing sequence, where Rollins springboarded onto the ladder to steal the title from under Balor's nose, was excellent. ***3/4
WWE Title - AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura
Up until the no contest finish, this was a better match than the one they had at Mania. The dynamic worked better with Nakamura in the heel role, a role that he has relished since taking it on. I am still in hope that they will have a truly great match in WWE. ***1/2
Casket Match - Undertaker vs Rusev
Somebody on Twitter (I apologise for not remembering who) mentioned that Undertaker has become like the WWE's version of Sandman, in that his matches are the price you pay for his awesome entrance. That is depressingly spot on. This was just a match. Rusev played being scared of the casket really well but there wasn't much to it. **
Universal Title, Steel Cage Match - Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns
The crowd was more invested in Reigns than an American crowd would be but less than I would have thought. To add to that, the match was nowhere near as good as the one at Mania, and that wasn't exactly a modern classic. A bunch of finishers were exchanged, and both men were treated like superhumans who don't take damage, but this time there was no intensity to it. The finish was botched too, as Reigns hit the floor first but wasn't meant to. This was junk. *
50 Man Royal Rumble
Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler start off the match. They have a few minutes of back and forth before Sin Cara enters and gets eliminated in short order. Curtis Axel enters at 4. Mark Henry is in at number 5. Henry eliminates Axel. Mike Kanellis is in at 6 and gets immediately eliminated by Henry. Entrant number 7 is some bloke named Hiroki Sumi. Henry eliminates him but then gets eliminated himself. Number 8 is Viktor, and he is gone before making a dent. Number 9 is Kofi Kingston. Rounding out the first ten is Tony Nese. Good to see him in the match.
Number 11 in the match is Dash Wilder. Number 12 is fucking Hornswoggle. He eliminates Dash. Nese eliminates Swoggle. Thankfully. Primo is in at 13. Xavier Woods is in at 14 and Kofi gets a piggyback from him. Nese gets eliminated by the New Day after some dancing. Bo is out at 15. Kurt Angle is out at 16. He moves life Tofu from Resident Evil 2 these days. He eliminates Ziggler though. Scott Dawson is in next. Goldust is in at 18. Daniel Bryan tries to pin him for some reason. Konnor is in at 19. Elias rounds out the opening 20 by pretending to play a song but sneaks in and eliminates both the New Day members and Konnor.
Luke Gallows is in at 21. Elias eliminates Kurt Angle. The man is on fire. Rhyno is 22nd. Drew Gulak is in at 23, and I immediately realise I want to see him wrestle Bryan in the worst way. 24 is Tucker Knight, and he eliminates Gulak. The dick. The 25th entrant is Bobby Roode. Goldust got eliminated but I missed who did it. Dawson eliminates himself. Fandango is 26th. Chad Gable is next in. Rey Mysterio is 28th and Byron Saxton exploded with delight. Rey eliminates Gallows. Mojo is in at 29 and immediately eliminates Fandango. Tyler Breeze is in at 30 and Mojo has him off too.
Big E is in at 31. He throws some pancakes at Tucker and eliminates him. Karl Anderson is 32nd. Apollo Crews is in at 33. I had to take a bathroom break and when I came back Roderick Strong was in and he was murdering everyone. Rhyno got eliminated. Randall Orton is in at 35. Crews dived at nothing so Orton RKO'd him. He then eliminates Crews, Mojo and Anderson. Heath Slater is in next. Babatunde is the next man out and he looks shit. Big Breakfast Corbin is in at 38. Corbin eliminates Roode and somebody else (I missed it). Titus O'Neil is in at 39 and trips up on his way to the ring, and slides under the ring. It was genuinely the best bit of the match. It was fucking brilliant. Dan Matha rounds out the first 40.
Braun is kicking off the final 10. He eliminates Baba and Matha. And Big E. And Heath. Tye is in at 42. He and Titus are eliminated by Braun. Corbin eliminates Rey, Orton eliminates Corbin, Elias eliminates Orton. Curt Hawkins is 43rd. He doesn't want to enter but Braun forces him to. Bobby Lashley is in at 44. I had some stream issues and fear that I may have missed Elias being eliminated. The Great Khali is in at 45. Great. Lashley and Strowman eliminate Khali. Daniel Bryan is still in and his chest is all kinds of fucked up. Kevin Owens is in next. He cannonballs everything in sight. Bryan has broken the record for longest Rumble time. Shane McMahon is in at 47. He and Bryan beat down Owens. Shelton Benjamin is in at 48. Everyone gangs up on Strowman but he survives. Cass is in at 49. Shane hits a coast to coast on Strowman and fucks himself up. The 50th entrant can only be Chris Jericho, and it is.
We are in the final straight now. Jericho eliminates Benjamin. Lashley destroys Cass with a horrible brainbuster. Shane goes for another coast to coast but is thrown through the announce table by Strowman. Braun then eliminates Lashley, Jericho, and Owens in short order. Bryan tries to eliminate Braun but is caught by Cass, who eliminates him. Bryan was in 1 hour and 16 minutes. Braun eliminates Cass to win the whole thing. That was long, and it felt long too. It wasn't bad but it wasn't anywhere near the level of the two Rumble matches from January. **1/2
Overall Grade - C-
This show felt wholeheartedly like a really long house show that happened to have a massive Rumble at the end of it. The ladder match is worth a watch but there were a couple of absolutely bollocks moments that outweighed it.