NoDQ.com > Columns > J Says: Live Thoughts on 2017 Royal Rumble
Posted by J. Elam on 01/30/2017 at 11:32 AM

2017 Royal Rumble has come and gone! Gotta say, I enjoyed most of it. Although it could've used more story building.

Pre-Show - Nikki Bella, Naomi, and Becky Lynch vs Natalya, Mickie James, and Alexa Bliss: Not surprised the faces won here. They're trying a feud with Alexa and Naomi. Likely holds them until EC where Becky or Nikki wins.

Raw Tag Team Championship - Cesaro and Sheamus vs The Club (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson): This match had 2 refs, which made things confusing. Cesaro continues to impress me with his feats of strength. I don't think I'll ever tire of it. Little shocked to see The Club win. With Cesaro and Sheamus getting into it during the Rumble, that leaves The Club without any opponents. Maybe Enzo and Cass fill the spot for now.

Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax: It was pretty much a squash match. My, how far Sasha's fallen since the Charlotte feud. Not sure what the next step is for Nia.


Raw Women's Chmpionship - Charlotte Flair vs Bayley: I'm not feeling the chemistry between these two. I think they have the worst chemistry between the HorseWomen. I figured Bayley would lose here, thus continuing Charlotte's PPV streak. I still think it ends at WrestleMania to Bayley, though.

Universal Championship - Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns: Chris Jericho was locked in a shark cage and raised high above the ring as a means to not have him interfere. I thought Reigns and Owens did a great job. It was my second favorite match of the night. Roman has good to great matches with anyone. While I'm not shocked Jericho still found a way to interfere by dropping brass knuckles to Owens, I'm at a loss as to why Braun Strowman was here. He attacked Roman, leading to Owens getting the win. I figured Roman would get his revenge on Braun by eliminating him during the Rumble, but it never happened. That's a PPV level matchup, but now it looks like they're wasting it on Raw? Judging by the events of the Rumble itself, it appears Braun will be used to get Roman ready for Undertaker at WM.

Cruiserweight Championship - Neville vs Rich Swann: These guys are Cruiserweights. Their specialty is high-flying maneuvers. Why WWE has them doing headlock/chinlock spots is beyond me. The crowd responded positively to the high-flying stuff. Keep doing that. But I'm glad Neville won. He's the most over Cruiserweight they have. None of their faces are worth cheering except for Jack Gallagher. I'd love to see a feud with those two.

WWE Championship - John Cena vs AJ Styles: Without a doubt, this was THE match of the night. They threw everything including the kitchen sink at each other. Cena actually got a ticked off look on his face thinking of a way to put away Styles. It's not something you see very often from him. It was interesting to see Cena bust out the Figure Four, which was fitting. Styles took Cena to his limit, and vice versa. The fact that Cena had to give him 2 AAs in a row shows just how good Styles is. And minutes before that spot, he kicked out of a Super AA. Sure he lost, but he still comes out of it looking like a million bucks. So now John Cena has tied Ric Flair record with 16 World Title reigns. Gotta say, it's well deserved, like him or not. He's worked his tail off for over 10 years.

Royal Rumble: I could go full length here, but that'd take forever. SO I'll highlight what stood out to me...

- I was impressed with Baron Corbin. He lasted just over 30 minutes.

- I enjoyed Braun eliminating James Ellsworth. I thought they'd have Braun challenge Roman Reigns record of 12 eliminations, but then Corbin eliminated him. Like I said above, I expected Roman to cost Braun.

- Also enjoyed Dean Ambrose tricking him into getting in the ring with Braun. Little bit of payback for him costing Dean the WWE Championship.

- Chris Jericho was the Ironman in the match, with just over an hour total. It looks like he was calling the match, judging by mostly everyone else going towards his in the corner.

- I see Kofi found another RR spot to use. I wish they'd stop with those spots. They've clearly run out of creative ideas. This one was weak. Just standing on the post, then Corbin shoves him, and he dangles on it. Just retire the Kofi spots.

- Tye Dillinger came out at #10. Not an NXT fan, but good job, WWE. It was a well used entry.

- It was good to see Mark Henry again.

- Jack Gallagher was pretty funny with the umbrella.

- Looks like the beginning of a breakup for Cesaro and Sheamus, seeing as Cesaro almost swung Sheamus, and Sheamus tried to eliminate him, before they were tossed simultaneously.

- Luke Harper attacked Bray Wyatt. So, I'm guessing this ends things between them. I don't like it. The Wyatts have been so misused. It's too much stop and go with them.

- Brock Lesnar looked like a chump. Got tossed by Goldberg like 30 seconds after the latter entered. It doesn't make Brock look good at all. He's no longer a threat if he's losing like that.

- I half expected Jerry Lawler to pull Ziggler off the apron. Just a bit of payback for him Superkicking him in the chest a few weeks ago.

- Undertaker must have teleported to the ring, heh. After getting tossed by Roman, it looks like a feud at WM is in the plans.

- I'm baffled as to how and why Roman was in the Rumble match. He just had a match earlier for the title against Owens. Now he gets yet another chance? What if Roman had won earlier? And also, whose spot did he take if he wasn't originally penciled in for the Rumble match itself? I hate what they're doing with him. It's making the fan backlash even worse.

Honorable mention: Kane didn't make an appearance in the Royal Rumble. The first Rumble he's missed in 21 years.

I'm glad they decided not to go with Roman as the winner. For a moment, I thought Bray might win it, but it's Orton. I'm guessing it's Orton vs Cena at WM? They've fought a hundred times already, and if you've seen one Orton/Cena match, you've seen them all.

J. Elam's Plug
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