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WWE Royal Rumble 2020 recap, review, and grades: The Road to WrestleMania begins

WWE Royal Rumble 2020 recap, review, and grades: The Road to WrestleMania begins
The 2020 WWE Royal Rumble had some big-time surprises. Pic credit: WWE

The WWE Royal Rumble is the start of the Road to Wrestlemania. On tonight’s show, there were the two Rumble matches as well as three title matches on the show.

With so much at stake, here is a look at the WWE Royal Rumble recap, results, and grades.

WWE Royal Rumble 2020 results and grades

  • Pre-show: Sheamus beat Shorty G (**)
  • Pre-show: US Championship: Andrade beat Humberto Carillo (*** 1/2)
  • Falls Count Anywhere: Roman Reigns beat King Corbin (***)
  • Women’s Rumble Match: Charlotte Flair wins by eliminating Shayna Baszler last (***)
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley beat Lacey Evans (**)
  • Universal Championship: The Fiend beat Daniel Bryan (***)
  • Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch beat Asuka (** 1/2)
  • Men’s Rumble Match: Drew McIntyre wins by eliminating Roman Reigns (*** 1/2)

WWE Royal Rumble 2020 review

Sheamus is back in WWE, and his first PPV match since making his return was on the pre-show. However, it was clear why WWE did this.

Sheamus was blown up by the end of the match, clearly exhausted by his first extensive return to the ring. Sheamus winning was smart, and giving him a chance on a pre-show was smart as well.

Now, with that said, the United States Championship match between Andrade and Humberto Carillo should have been one of the main PPV matches.

It was easy to watch this match and remember the old Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat matches with the heel/babyface dynamic.

Andrade had to cheat to win the match, but this was a fantastic match and one of the best pre-show PPV matches I have seen in a long time.  These guys are so good together.

The official first match of the Royal Rumble was Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin in a falls-count-anywhere match. This makes sense if Reigns is expected to have a long run in the Rumble later on the show.

The match was surprisingly good, with both men fighting all over the baseball field. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler got involved, and then the Usos did as well.

There was even a porta-potty involved.  Roman Reigns got the win with a spear on the dugout.

The women’s Royal Rumble match was next. There were a ton of NXT women in the match, and both Bianca Belair and Shayna Baszler (30th entrant) looked amazing.

However, it was Charlotte Flair who eliminated Shayna Baszler at the end to win the match.

Up next is the SmackDown women’s championship between Bayley and Lacey Evans. Lacey’s daughter is at ringside, and Bayley is dark and mean and talking smack to Evans’ daughter.

The match was okay, with Lacey’s daughter not providing too much in the storytelling and Bayley winning by holding the tights.

The last match before the Royal Rumble was The FIend Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan for the Universal Championship. It is a Strap Match with both men attached.

The match was under regular lights and not the red lights, so that was an obvious improvement. On top of that, Daniel Bryan – as usual – turned this into the best Fiend match since he made his change.

Seriously, if anyone can make a match better than anyone expected, it is Daniel Bryan. This was a great match that The Fiend won with a Mandible Claw chokeslam. Bryan manned up after the match and wouldn’t allow officials to help him walk to the back.

Becky Lynch vs. Asuka was next for the Raw Women’s title, and the story here was that Lynch had never beaten Asuka.

The match was pretty good, one of Lynch’s better matches, but a lot of that was due to Asuka. The end was great, though, as Lynch was ready for the green mist, kicked Asuka, and that caused Asuka to spit the mist into the air and back into her own face.

Becky Lynch then won with the Disarmer.

The men’s Royal Rumble match was a tale of two matches. The first half sucked. It was Brock Lesnar eliminating each entrant one by one. It was fun at first, but then when he eliminated surprise entrant Keith Lee and Braun Strowman at the same time, it made me want to turn off the TV.

I am glad I stuck with it. Ricochet got revenge for Brock Lesnar kicking him in the nuts on Monday Night Raw by doing the same to Lesnar, and then Drew McIntyre hit the Claymore Kick to send Lesnar over the top and out.

The fans loved it, and it was the perfect elimination.

After that, things went back to normal, and then the biggest shock of all — Edge made his return to WWE nine years after he retired due to injuries.

Seth Rollins was the 30th entrant, and he came out with AOP and Buddy Murphy.

They started interfering and helping him, and his minions helped ensure Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, and Aleister Black were eliminated.

Things got ridiculous at that point and threatened to ruin the entire Royal Rumble, but then Joe, KO, and Black fought with AOP and Murphy to the back, leaving Rollins alone.

It was Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre, and Edge as the Final Five.

They all ganged up on Rollins and eliminated him. Then, Edge turned on Orton before Orton could turn on him (they were Rated-RKO at one point).

Reigns eliminated Edge, and then Drew McIntrye eliminated Reigns, winning the Royal Rumble.

It was a great ending, and the fans loved it as Drew McIntyre can now challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania.

At least 70% of the Royal Rumble was really bad. However, the moments like Edge returning, McIntyre eliminating Lesnar, and the final five contestants made it a very entertaining event by the end.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos

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