The annual tradition of the WWE Royal Rumble and kickoff on the road to WrestleMania has arrived.
Saturday’s pay-per-view from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas will feature men’s and women’s Rumble matches with the first featuring the return of Cody Rhodes and storyline over who will win his title in Los Angeles. Angeles.
The Women’s Rumble match has questions about who will fill all 30 spots, as less than half were announced Friday night.
Roman Reigns will be looking to continue his multi-year undefeated streak as he defends the WWE Universal Undisputed Title against Kevin Owens. The way Sami Zayn and The Bloodline both play in the debates of the night was a major talking point.
In the first ever Pitch Black match, Bray Wyatt will return to televised action against LA Knight while Bianca Belair will defend the Raw Women’s title against Alexa Bliss. It remains to be seen how Uncle Howdy intertwines with the two games.
Show summary —
The panelists were Kayla Braxton, Jerry Lawler, Booker T, Kevin Patrick and Peter Rosenberg. The panel was seated outside the arena with fans in the background. Fans sang for everyone, even Rosenberg. (Kayla had the loudest vocals.) Booker acted upset that he wasn’t invited to the Royal Rumble match but had his phone nearby just in case.
They scoured the card and I believe fans sang for Cody Rhodes when they plugged in the men’s Rumble.
They released the video of the Rumble numbers narrated by Jackie Redmond.
They talked about the Women’s Rumble and didn’t try to pretend that Rhea Ripley wasn’t the big favorite. (Patrick cast Raquel Rodriguez.)
There were clips of Roman Reigns on the Jimmy Fallon show. They only showed the parts where he talked about confronting Kevin Owens. (So nothing about The Rock.)
The Bloodline was backstage. Sami Zayn and The Usos looked concerned as Reigns considered something. Paul Heyman looked amused. Reigns was annoyed that Zayn couldn’t follow instructions and asked him why he had to treat him like a child explaining things over and over again.
Jey took the blame. He said Adam Pearce threw him and Jimmy out of the building and he couldn’t reach Reigns so he called Sami back. Jey said Sami was there for the family.
Reigns said that was all in the past and they should focus on tonight. Sami and the Usos were relieved. Reigns told The Usos to stay back because tonight was Sami’s night. Zayn looked delighted.
JBL harassed someone named Greg Miller and put a pie in his face.
They hooked up Bray Wyatt/LA Knight and Bianca Belair/Alexa Bliss.
There was a Cody Rhodes video package. (They had two kids pick the winners for each Rumble match. One picked Rhodes, the other picked Ripley.)
Comedian Gabriel Iglesias joined the panel with a WWE Gold Title Belt.
They showed clips of various wrestlers choosing their Rumble entry numbers. I laughed when Patrick said he wanted to see Kofi Kingston win and Booker bluntly said, “I don’t want to see Kofi win. Everyone picked Rhodes to win the Rumble besides Lawler (who picked Brock Lesnar).
Kevin Owens was shown arriving at the arena earlier today. He wore his “Sami Zayn Forever” shirt and showed it to the cameraman. There was a lengthy Bloodline/Sami/Owens video package.
The men’s Rumble match gets the ball rolling.
(It was the same pointless pre-show as always. Except there was that short segment of Bloodline that made it the most standout pre-show in many months.)
RUMBLE ROYAL 2023
The intro video was narrated by Hardy (the musician). Michael Cole said they expect over 50,000 fans tonight.
Pat McAfee came in and joined the commentary. Corey Graves was not happy. Cole was thrilled.
(They use small screens as their stage setup due to the nature of the building and the number of fans. There is also a very long aisle like a WrestleMania show, so it will take some time to get to the ring. )
30-player Royal Rumble match
Intercontinental champion Gunther is first, Sheamus is second.
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