Welcome to my first show review in a while, as I review WWE Royal Rumble 2024, which by the way is the first of the McMahon-less era. That’s crazy to me, though technically speaking, Stephanie and Vince McMahon still own shares of the company. However, neither of them are working for the WWE right now, aside from their husband/son-in-law Triple H. But in terms of a true born McMahon, they no longer exist in the management of the company. And that’s bonkers.
Overall, this show had much of the same stuff you’d expect from a WWE show, but I’ll tell you this much, the new Executive Producer seemed to make his mark. This event resembled more of an ESPN televised sporting event than what we were accustomed from seeing with Kevin Dunn. You had backstage moments where wrestlers were entering the building, time lapses for wrestlers in the Rumble match, and the promos before matches looked different. I really liked how they had the current champions either sitting in skyboxes or watching from a monitor backstage during the Rumble matches. Nice little sports-like touches like that will go a long way.
The star of the show was R-Truth… Seriously, this guy is so entertaining and I love how the current Creative team are just leaning into it now. He thought that the freakin’ baseballs were the Royal Rumble match selection balls… Then, he entered the Women’s Rumble match by accident. To top it all off, he enters the Men’s Rumble and thinks that he needs to be tagged in. I loved it… Dominick was getting worked on and Truth was cheering him on to get the hot tag. Then, Dominick got free and tagged him in. Absolutely hilarious. That’s when Pro Wrestling is FUN when a talent barely has to do anything but show personality and it gets over. LOVED R-Truth tonight.
That stadium tonight was packed… I don’t know how anyone in the upper decks or the back parts of the floor could see anything inside the ring. And in my opinion, this large stadium hurt the show because probably half of them couldn’t see what was happening inside the ring with the distance and the heavy lights probably blinding them all night. Felt a little too quiet in that stadium for my liking, but maybe the live experience was louder.
Now, for my review, I’m no longer going to provide match ratings. Those things suck… I’ll just simply state how I felt about a match with basic adjectives. Was it a bad match? OK match? Good match? Great match? All-time great? Something like that. The internet and the highly biased news reporters are ruined the star ratings system for everyone.
Let’s review each match…
Women’s Royal Rumble
I said this last year, and everyone attacked me… The top rope of a WWE ring is around 4.5 feet in height, if not close to 5 feet tall, somewhere in there. Your average height of your head and neck is about 1 foot. Thus, for many of the female participants, the ring ropes aren’t even touching their shoulders. It’s quite a task for them to get tossed over the top rope or to pick someone up and throw them over the ropes. I suggested lowering the ropes just a tad for female matches, and everyone attacked me back in the day. Yet, when Rey Mysterio’s 5’6″ (I think he’s really 5’4″) body uses the middle rope for Irish Whips, it always makes me wonder why most women, of his same height or shoulder, don’t do the same. They are just too short for the ropes when the expectation is to toss them over the top rope.
Now will this paragraph merit a response column posted on NoDQ because Mr. Tito dared to dabble in physics when it comes to a gender’s height versus a wrestling ring’s dimensions? Keep tuning in to find out!
Furthermore with the Women’s match, there were a handful of botches inside the ring that the new Executive Producer didn’t know how to cover up. He wasn’t frequently switching camera angles like Kevin Dunn once did, but Kevin Dunn was always good at covering up a botch. The new guy doesn’t and there were plenty in this Rumble match were women struggled picking each other up throughout the match.
No surprises, other than Jade Cargill. No AJ Lee and no Sasha Banks. Now with Sasha, it could be that she debuts after Wrestlemania 40? Don’t panic yet if your hopes are that she returns to WWE. If she doesn’t appear there, then she’s not coming back to WWE. AJ Lee is staying committed to the retirement and that’s cool. Jade Cargill looked great and had many good moments and eliminations. She lasted until the Final 3 where she just took a move off the ring apron by Liv Morgan and it was over. However, Jade looked good in her WWE debut and that’s what matters. She’s going to be a big star.
I was soooooooooo happy that Jordynne Grace and she looked great in the WWE ring with all of those WWE superstars. She fit right in and looked effective. I liked how she got eliminated, too, as Bianca delivered a devastating move off the side of the ring apron. That keeps Jordynne strong as TNA Knockouts Champion. Most of all, I enjoyed that WWE and TNA did business together and both should come away happy from this match. WWE got an additional talent and a surprise, while Jordynne goes back to TNA knowing she can hang with the top WWE talent. Win for both promotions tonight and I’d love to see more cross-over business between the two. Why not?
I was grateful that Chelsea Green got more ringtime this year, versus last. She played up her character well inside the ring and took a ton of punishment, even from friendly fire from her tag partner Piper Niven. In my view, Chelsea has been the most successful WWE waived wrestler who re-signed. She’s very talented, full of personality, and looks amazing doing it as well.
Overall, the Women’s Rumble was good… Just again, the physical limitations of hopping over or getting thrown over a 4.5 to 5 foot rope when your shoulders can’t even reach that top rope. That is why I believe the Women’s Rumble normally isn’t as good as the Men’s Rumble match. I’m stating physics here and I also believe that the WWE Women’s division has a ton of talent. Hence why they didn’t have to rely on the surprise card and could just use the deep roster they already had.
I was mostly happy that Bayley won the Rumble and you could tell, as a long time wrestling fan, how proud she was to obtain that honor. Good for her.
Fatal Four Way: Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. LA Knight vs. AJ Styles
Remember when I said that booking a Fatal 4 Way was LAZY BOOKING and it would have been better as a one-on-one match. Yeah, I am keeping my claim on that opinion. Yes, this match, overall, as fun to watch. Too much talent in one ring to make it impossible to suck. However, it’s the usual system of people taking breaks throughout the match, waiting forever on big spots, and the usual GARBAGE no-disqualification antics. And again, Solo Sikoa got involved and almost helped Roman stack up bodies for the win, but eventually, Roman got the win. Nothing else happened after this match, though Roman would be in the skybox later to watch the Royal Rumble Match.
The simple idea of a Fatal 4 Way is to get the title off of the Champion, but Orton/Knight/Styles kept foolishly fighting each other instead. And none of the other 3 had help, as Roman can always call on Solo or Jimmy to help him cheat during matches.
But they didn’t, and now Knight/Orton/Styles don’t have much claim to challenging Roman for his title.
Match was fun, but not exceptional.
Logan Paul vs. Kevin Owens
Overall, I liked this match… I’m baffled at how good Logan Paul is as a heel character and how decent he is in the ring. Granted, Kevin Owens is a total pro and is selling everything to make it look perfect. I enjoyed the ending with Kevin Owens getting disqualified when trying to use the brass knuckles that Logan Paul tried to use from outside interference. Just as I suggested above with Roman having outside help, why didn’t Kevin Owens employ friends, too, to watch his back from any interference? 3 guys helped Logan Paul sneak in those brass knuckles.
Men’s Royal Rumble Match
Heading into this match, we KNEW it would likely be either CM Punk or Cody Rhodes winning this… But with Cody pointing to Roman Reigns afterward, that tells me that Rock isn’t wrestling at Wrestlemania 40 and will save his efforts for a 1 year hype effort for Wrestlemania 41. Thus, we should expect Solo and/or Jimmy to try to interfere during Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns only for the Rock to suddenly appear and clean house. That would throw Roman off his game and create vulnerability for Cody Rhodes to win the title.
Aside from Andrade’s return, there were no surprises other than a few NXT wrestlers appearing. Bron Breakker looked great and he should be a major star for the WWE for years to come.
The Men’s Royal Rumble match, overall, was good but the outcomes seemed too predictable and there was lots of filler talent in that Rumble that you knew had no shot of winning. I would have loved to see more surprises, but I believe the right victor was selected to have Cody built up stronger to finally “end his story”. He needs to win that match more than CM Punk needed to, as Punk is already over and a top star while Cody needs the favorable booking a bit more.
LAST WORD: Good show overall… I cannot say that I was blown away rom it, and maybe the larger atmosphere took away from any intimate connection to the fans. No real surprises other than Jade Cargill making her debut and looking impressive. I guess I’d give it a basic grade of a [ B to B- ]. It just seemed like the arena’s size and acoustics kept things quieter than usual, while the match results seemed predictable. No surprises, though I don’t think they are needed as Wrestlemania will shape-up nicely without adding more to the roster.
Now, we see what happens in Australia with the Elimination Chamber and if that decides the other pair of contenders for the World Titles.
If you want MORE NoDQ coverage of WWE Royal Rumble 2024, check out Aaron Rift’s YouTube Review of the show.
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