Rhea Ripley was the winner and MVP of the Women’s Royal Rumble Championship. Ripley entered at #1 and lasted longer than any woman in Royal Rumble history, last eliminating #2 entrant Liv Morgan to win the match. The Royal Rumble match was fine, despite the questionable choice of only having Becky Lynch for a short time.
The Women’s Royal Rumble had a quiet opening section. Ripley was a major player, flanked by Morgan Square, Dana Brooke, and Emma. Bayley and Shayna Pazler were welcome additions, but didn’t do much to begin with.
B-Fab was the first elimination, and lasted just over 30 seconds before Ripley dumped her. NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez received a cute reaction when she entered. She was followed by Bayley’s teammate Dakota Kai and then Iyo Sky, making Damage CTRL the dominant force in the Rumble.
Damage CTRL quickly eliminated Dana Brooke, Emma and Roxanne Perez. Baszler had a fun exchange with Natalia, which ended with both of them being eliminated by Damage CTRL. Natalia had Baszler on the apron, but Baszler locked her in the Slipper Hold. The damage CTRL turned Natella onto the apron, then eliminated both her and Baszler.
While Damage CTRL ruled the circuit, Big Time Becks entered the 15th position. The crowd instantly came alive, with a “Becky!” Chanting and loud applause. The numbers game eventually got the best of Lynch, who had the trio put him next to the announcer’s table. (No one was eliminated here, as they exited the ring through the middle rope).
Not surprisingly, the crowd is into Lynch. A little surprising was the massive pop they gave Asuka. Asuka came out with a painted face and much darker clothes. She had an insulting outburst, sprinting and hitting the entire field, getting big “Asuka” cheers. She only had one elimination, as she eliminated Tegan Knox. (Just moments earlier, there was an awkward moment when Tegan Knox missed one kick completely but Asuka sold it anyway.)
Piper Niven, formerly Doudrop, entered No. 19. She showed everyone here, looking better than ever as Doudrop, before Tamina came in at No. 20. Their clash was the one people had been waiting for, one announcer said, and it’s a sensational claim curious.
The once-in-a-lifetime confrontation was interrupted by Lynch, for which the crowd once again erupted. Chelsea Green was next, with announcers making a big deal about her returning to the company – before she was promptly eliminated by Rhea Ripley.
It was the first in a series of major eliminations. Lynch eliminated Kai and Sky, but was then caught off guard by Bayley, who flipped her out of the ring due to the overwhelming heat from the crowd. Bayley herself was then eliminated by Morgan. Lynch then brawled with CTRL DAMAGE into the crowd.
There was a sweet spot where Michel McCool’s music played at entrance number 25. McCool was at ringside watching the show with her kids, at which point she unzipped her jacket, jumped over the barricade, and entered the ring. She immediately hit Styles Clash, a nod to her husband’s recent opponent.
Lacey Evans disposed of Zelina Vega in brutal fashion, placing her in a Cobra handbag from the second rope. She lifted Vega up and over the rope, dropping her off the rope onto the floor outside.
The ring was filled with nearly a dozen women by the time #30 was scheduled to enter. Sure enough, the final entrant is Nia Jax – an irresistible force who can remove that lump. Incidentally, the production crew mistook her entry, hitting her music before the countdown clock even started ticking.
Except that Nia Jax didn’t completely eliminate anyone — instead all the women flocked to her. They called it big moves, and it ended with Ripley planting her with a (weak) shock.
There was a string of quick eliminations from here, with Asuka, Ripley and Raquel Rodriguez all pulling out the scoring. Rodriguez nearly knocked Ripley out of the ring with a force, but Ripley countered and sent Rodriguez flying over her. The final three came down to Ripley and Morgan, who started the match, and Asuka.
Soon the three women were all over the apron. Asuka tried to mist Ripley, but Ripley backed out so he mist Morgan instead. Ripley made a sweet 619 to knock out Asuka, then eliminated Morgan to win the Rumble.
Rating: 3.5 stars. It’s still flawed, and needs more star power, but it’s probably the best women’s Royal Rumble yet.