Eight Things We Learned From the Royal Rumble
We've officially begun our march to WrestleMania, and thanks to the Royal Rumble we know who to follow on the way to the New York supershow.
The most pertinent fact is that Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins earned the right to challenge for WWE's throne at WM35. However, there's still plenty to discuss and deduced after WWE's behemoth 2019 Royal Rumble.
So let's get into here: here are Eight Things We Learned from the Royal Rumble.
Ronda Rousey is WWE's Most Valuable Superstar
It only took a year, but we can safely proclaim that Ronda Rousey is the best part of WWE.
Sure, Becky Lynch fans detest this idea, but she needed Rousey for her movement to go into hyper speed. While Lynch is certainly red hot, Rousey's matches have been can't miss and her bout with Sasha Banks was yet another strong showing.
Regardless of how the build-up goes, Rousey's matches simply feel more important than the rest of the card. There's a palpable sense of urgency in her bouts which makes us feel like we can't look away. While she still has room to grow, Rousey has been the rocket fuel that powered the Women's Revolution to the moon.
And at this moment it looks like she'll be main eventing WrestleMania 35.
#RAW #WomensChampion @RondaRousey & @SashaBanksWWE are throwing ALL THEY'VE GOT at each other tonight! ? #RoyalRumble pic.twitter.com/R5GEIHLx4h— WWE (@WWE) January 28, 2019
WWE May Like Finn Balor, But Not That Much
Finn Balor spent the second half of 2018 cultivating the support of the WWE Universe. So when WWE awarded him a Universal Championship match against Brock Lesnar, it felt like Balor was on the verge of becoming someone WWE relied upon in 2019.
While he still could be an important player, Lesnar's unceremonious defeat of him suggests that Balor may never sniff the big red belt again. There is a chance that WWE will revisit the post-match beatdown, but that may have been more about Lesnar harming the innocent rather than setting up Balor' revenge.
We'll guess Balor slips down a notch or two in the coming months, but he could be an ideal candidate for an Intercontinental Championship win at 'Mania.
When @BrockLesnar gets into THIS mode, there's no chance.#RoyalRumble #UniversalTitle pic.twitter.com/obA3DNYVi1— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) January 28, 2019
WWE Women > WWE Men
It may have become trendy to say this, but we're being genuine when we say that WWE's best bullets come from the women's locker room.
Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Naomi, and Mandy Rose all made us care last night. There were other standouts of course, but the point is, better memories are being made with WWE's women than with WWE's men.
The storytelling, psychology, characters, and motives are all clear with the females of WWE while the male part of WWE's card seems to lack focus. And one more very important element...prevnext
The Men's Division Lacks Starpower
Seth Rollins! Braun Strowman! And then what?
While 30 Superstars entered the Royal Rumble there was never more than two conceivable results. Rollins and Strowman are special talents, but the WWE Universe still seems hesitant to fully invest. Rollins will have an opportunity to reach a new high in the coming months, but the rest of the men's locker room needs some attention.
As the Rumble entrants came out one-by-one, how many of those names felt like future World Champions? McIntyre? Andrade?
The point is, without John Cena and Roman Reigns the men's division is looking pretty thin. While Rollins and Strowman can carry the weight, they'll need compelling opponents and storytelling in 2019 to keep us all hooked.prevnext
Daniel Bryan Is Getting a Faction
While we may have been hard on the boys, WWE and Daniel Bryan are doing a great job to make the Yes Movement a distant memory.
With the help of Eric Rowan, Bryan defeated AJ Styles. We're no experts, but where there is Rowan there is Luke Harper. And now it looks like Bryan is on the verge of employing a pair of very large bodyguards. This will make the WWE Champion all-the-more hatable, and by WrestleMania, we'll all by sick of antics.
But who will WWE pick as his WrestleMania dancing partner?
#TheNew @WWEDanielBryan is STILL your @WWE Champion...and @ERICKROWAN seems pleased. #RoyalRumble pic.twitter.com/Y4CJZj8DFE— WWE (@WWE) January 28, 2019
This Four Horsewomen Thing Is Happening.
The potentially legendary battle between WWE's Four Horsewomen (Flair, Lynch, Banks, Bayley) vs. MMA's Four Horsewomen (Rousey, Baszler, Shafir, Duke) just took one step forward at the Rumble after Banks waved her four fingers in Rousey's face at the Rumble.
WWE has been teasing this match for over a year and 2019 may actually see it manifest. However, Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke are still at the WWE Performance Center and there's no telling when they'll be ready for such a big stage.
It may not be until Survivor Series, but WWE is clearly keeping this match relevant.
A little reminder from #TheBoss...#RoyalRumble @SashaBanksWWE pic.twitter.com/vUWxVlUI8h— WWE (@WWE) January 28, 2019
Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch Were the Right Decisons
While some WWE fans may think 2019's Rumble winners were too predictable, Vince McMahon & Co. didn't have better options.
Rollins is coming off a career year that saw fans finally embrace him as a babyface. With Reigns out, Rollins is the obvious heir apparent and deserves the opportunity to wow us at WrestleMania. While Strowman may be capable of similar things, it looks like WWE has reservations about putting him at the top of the company for now. But after Strowman, there were no other real candidates to win the Rumble.
You could easily make the case for Charlotte Flair being the rightful Rumble winner, but Lynch has simply accomplished too much in recent months to be denied the honor. Right now it looks like we'll be getting Lynch vs. Rousey at WM35. However, if that build needs extra juice, don't be surprised if WWE uses Flair to turn things into a triple threat.prevnext
Two Rumbles = Too Much
The idea of a men and women's Royal Rumble is great, and likely here forever. So since they aren't going anywhere, WWE needs to change the event itself.
Sunday's pay-per-view was simply too long. While WWE did what they could to make things more digestible, a pair of hour-long Rumbles is a lot for fans to eat. They did give us a smaller card, but there was still too much content. Maybe instead of five non-Rumble matches WWE only puts three on the menu — we don't know, but less would certainly be more in this case.prev