‘Royal Rumble’: Ronda Rousey & Brock Lesnar Punch WWE Tickets to ‘WrestleMania’
The road to WWE WrestleMania has officially begun. When the dust settled in St. Louis, it was Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar who walked away as the winners of the women’s and men’s Royal Rumble matches respectively. Both were surprise entrants in the 30-superstar battle royals and former UFC champs.
Straight from the Dome at America’s Center, let’s revisit the biggest moments from the Royal Rumble.
Welcome Back Ronda
After a history-making run with WWE, Ronda Rousey took time away to start a family. There was always the question if we would see the trailblazing MMA fighter back in the ring again. That was answered at the Rumble. You could almost feel the building shake as the sounds of Joan Jett and The Blackhearts’ “Bad Reputation” echoed through the building. Rousey and Charlotte Flair were the last two, which created quite the big fight showdown. In the end, Rousey sent the SmackDown women’s champ over the top rope. Regardless of who Rousey chooses as her opponent at WrestleMania, it will be box office.
Tale of Two Brocks
Brock Lesnar went in the WWE champion defending his title against Bobby Lashley and walked out winning the Royal Rumble match. It all started when powerhouse Lashley dethroned Lesnar thanks to interference from Roman Reigns. Advocate Paul Heyman relinquished the title to Reigns, who then used it against Lesnar. Lashley took advantage winning back the gold he lost from Lesnar in the first place. Later in the night, the “Beast Incarnate” would enter the men’s Royal Rumble at number 30. Lesnar’s win got a polarizing reaction as the thousands in the Dome were hoping to see their somewhat of a hometown boy Randy Orton take home the victory. Lesnar now can choose to face either Lashley or Reigns or whoever is champion at WrestleMania 38 in Dallas. Heyman certainly has some splaining to do.
The stars were out in the Royal Rumble matches. The women’s event saw the return of the Bella Twins. Nikki and Brie had a strong showing in the event, as did Johnny Knoxville. Yes, the Jackass star has been using WWE as a platform to promote his upcoming new movie Jackass Forever. The fan clearly immersed himself into the WWE universe. He got to mix it up with his rival Sami Zayn and took some spots from superstars including AJ Styles and Montez Ford. Knoxville’s involvement was advertised in advance, but Bad Bunny’s was not. One of the biggest music artists in the world returned to WWE in the Rumble and proved to still have moves. He eliminated the likes of Sheamus and Rey Mysterio before falling to Lesnar. Will WrestleMania become “BunnyMania” again?
Mickie Makes Impact
There were so many fun entries in this year’s Rumble fields. Among them were Mighty Molly, Lita Ivory, Melina Kelly Kelly, Alicia Fox, Summer Rae, Michelle McCool, and even Shane McMahon. One pretty shocking name that came up was Mickie James, who was released from WWE last year. She went on to become the Impact Wrestling knockouts champion. A title she wore proudly around her waist heading to the ring for the match. James didn’t win the match but certainly left a lasting impression. A star from another company appearing on a WWE show. Will it ever happen again?
WrestleMania Sign Catches Fire
Activity fans may not have seen on Peacock is the big WrestleMania sign above the arena catching fire after the fireworks went off to celebrate Rousey’s win. The crew members had to move the fans on the floor so they could lower the sign and spray it with a fire extinguisher. I felt for Doudrop and Raw women’s champ Becky Lynch who had to wrestle during this distraction. The same thing would happen again after pyro went off from the sign when Lesnar was the last man standing. Perhaps the sign was a sign?
Battle of the Couples
Real-life couples Edge and Beth Phoenix teamed up for the first time against Miz & Mrs stars The Miz and Maryse. The wives had their standout moments on the husbands with Phoenix hitting a powerbomb on Miz and Maryse breaking out a head scissors on Edge. The finish came when “Gr-IT Couple” Edge and Phoenix hit Glam Slams on the “IT Couple” in stereo. You know what they say: The couple who Glam Slams together stays together.
Shield Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins decided on a throwback look from his days in The Shield and dusted off the tactical vest. More mind games played in the story leading up to his match with Universal champ and fellow Shield member Reigns. The two kicked off the Rumble show with a back-and-forth that brought the crowd to its feet on a number of occasions. Reigns would get disqualified when he refused to release his submission hold on Rollins. He then lost it further by attacking him with a steel chair. Looks like we’re getting a rematch between the two. But with Lesnar also on Reigns’ crosshairs, talk about a full menu for the “Head of the Table.” It looks like we have some interesting months ahead leading up to WrestleMania in April.