Royal Rumble 2022
January 29, 2022
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
The Dome at America’s Center

Watch: Peacock

Meet the Reviewers:

Steve Case: After a short hiatus from reviews due to a new 4 month old, Steve is back to see how WWE can mess up maybe their most looked forward to tradition, the Royal Rumble. Joking aside, even most bad rumbles are at least fun due to the anticipation factor. Here’s to a fun night of more pleasant surprises than dumbfounded blank stares! Follow Steve @coachcase44 on Twitter. 

Jeri Evagood: Wait? What? This is not my beautiful house? This is not my beautiful wife? My God, WHAT HAVE I DONE! What I have done is for reasons unknown to me have signed up for the Royal Rumble Review. The Magic Writing Girl has made an unexpected return to viewing WWE shenanigans and she’s not quite sure how she feels about it just yet. What she does know her feelings on is you following her @TheJerriest_Jer on twitter for the coldest of takes!

Joey O’Doherty: An Irish wrestling fan who habitually tunes in for the Rumble each year regardless of how poor WWE is creatively. Yes, the company is in the toilet from a booking point of view, but Joey is still pumped for the 30 person marque matches as he lives for the surprises and the excitement of arguably WWE’s most anticipated event of the year. Follow him on Twitter @AwesomeoJoe

WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins def. Roman Reigns (C) via disqualification

Steve: Okay, Seth coming though the crowd with The Shield entrance and gear was really cool. That music popped me. I’ll admit it. Seth making faces and prancing like a douchebag even works…..but isn’t he the face? Who cares? That popped the crowd and they are hot for this one.

The first third of this match absolutely ruled. Seth was in control and pushed Roman to a better pace than I’ve seen him have in a match in what feels like years. All the way until the curb stomp near fall, a great near fall I bought, was tremendous. Then there was Roman’s heat segment which slowed things down a bit, but was still fairly compelling. Unfortunately, we would enter the final third of the match and we got all the WWE melodrama that makes this so hard to watch. What was that finish? I mean the fans were into it and when the bell was called for, it completely sucked the air out of the fans. Then we had to have the conflicted beatdown that went with the Shield LORE. A great start that finished with a whimper. At least they got it out of the way. ***1/2

Jeri: The moment Seth Rollins came out to the Shield theme and in the Shield Gear I felt myself having high hopes for his match. This ended up being their best match they have had, up until the DQ finish when Roman Reigns refused to let go of the Guillotine choke. While I didn’t feel the ending, I can’t discount the rest of the work. This match has been one of Rollins’s best performances in awhile. He was motivated and worked his ass off this match and it worked well. Roman just has a presence about him these days and it exuded in this match and he played into his strengths well. This lead to an excellent opening match with an unsatisfactory ending, but in the end it wasn’t about winning for Roman, it was shutting Rollins the hell up, and his post match chair beat down after the match was a massive part of that. They were in sync with each other, had some excellent sequences and both were motivated and put on a great affair.  I loved this. ****

Joey: I will shit on WWE, and I most likely will as the show progresses, but I really enjoyed this opening match despite the abysmal build. The crowd was really into this, and Rollins to his credit really excelled here as he and Reigns really delivered probably their best match to date. 

The match had its negatives, such as the pedigree spot and the contrived DQ finish, but overall it worked for me. It flew by at a fast pace and both men exceeded my expectations. Some cool spots were present such as Roman being powerbombed through the table, which was almost ruined by Michael Cole’s repeated calls of ‘SHIELD BOMB’. Fuck off Michael and whoever the goon is in your ear. 

But I digress, the match was entertaining and a hot way to kick off the show.  Probably would have gone higher had it been given more time and the disappointing finish.  Also does Charles Robinson age? ***¾

Ronda Rousey wins the Women’s Royal Rumble Match

Steve: Having Sasha come in number one is either smart booking to keep this from falling apart or statement about standing up for your beliefs against all logic and evidence to the contrary. Either is equally likely.

This was one of the worst rumbles I remember in quite awhile. At a base level, this style of match should always be exciting. This was a boring slog. No one felt like they mattered at all, other than a returning Rousey. There wasn’t anything really all that memorable about the actual match at all. A lot of the “work” was bland and just there to focus on entrances and “moments.” Ronda obviously looked rusty, but was undeniably the most exciting person in this match. Everyone knew it would come down to Ronda, but Charlotte Flair is about the least exciting option to be in the final two, and I’m not even a Charlotte hater. I’ve already forgotten this match. *

Jeri: A big thing this match accomplished is reminding us how pretty depleted WWE”s women division is, with a lot of guest appearances making up the rumble roster. As with Rumbles there’s a lot of competitors and a lot going on. Ronda Rousey got the biggest reaction of all the ‘surprises’, not from me since she’s a proven TERF, from the audience when she came in at 28. Sasha Banks was number 1 and did not nearly get the showcase she deserved, being eliminated way sooner than I expected by Zelina. Not a popular decision. Tamina also came off as a goof constantly saving eliminations from happening, but it’s Tamina. Belair the person I wanted to win was eliminated in the final four which left us with Rousey and Charlotte which honestly was probably easily predictable the moment we all knew Rousey was going to be in the match. . . and not shocking Rousey would come out on top, although I was surprised it wasn’t a longer finishing sequence. I would say Rousey’s return was a success, even if it personally leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Not a very memorable Rumble. Some of the competitors tried as hard as they could, but they couldn’t overcome large swatches of indifference and competitors that just did not matter. **

Joey: The match wasn’t good, but wasn’t bad, but overall it was ok as Rumbles go but nothing overly memorable beyond Ronda’s return. I could spend time criticising it from a psychological point of view, but where is the fun in that.

WWE once again relied on nostalgia and callbacks, such as the Sarah Logan/Liv Morgan reunion, the Mickie James/McCool feud and Team Bella riding again. But ultimately, none of these stories were that good to be worth remembering. I felt most of these returns have already been used too much over the years, so they had little impact.  

Early match highlights included a nice, if not stupid Kelly Kelly cameo and an unexpected Sasha Banks elimination which sucked the energy out of the crowd. Little less of note occurred but I was distracted by trying to get my head around how WWE did Sasha, a clear star, huge disservice in this match. Surely it can’t be that hard to have her in a meaningful role in this match. Loved her ring gear though.

The bottom of the barrel was truly scraped as WWE wheeled out the likes of Cameron of Brodus Clay fame, but at least her appearance had some relevance to an ongoing feud. The double elimination of Zelina and Carmella was probably the highpoint of the mid way point, but that’s not saying much. Other than that it hasn’t been great. 

Business picked up as Charlotte entered and I did get a kick out of Naomi’s elimination. I popped for Ivory and loved this bit. Quick comedy spots are the best and Ivory played it straight all the way. 

Mickie James and her Impact title coming out to Hardcore Country was a hoot. Would have rathered her Gail Kim the Rumble after how bad WWE treated her in the past, but if she’s over it, I am too. The climax of Natty and Summer Rae’s twitter feud drew silence. The Bella’s had a nice reaction and I also loved the Mighty Molly spot with Nikki A.S.H.

Ronda’s arrival was hot and she is the star. Once she entered, you knew she was winning. Bianca, as awesome as she is, was not showcased. Charlotte was never winning as Champion and no one else was a candidate. Overall it was a ine way to spend an hour, but nothing amazing. **1/4

WWE RAW Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) def. Doudrop

Steve: Outside of me having to believe Doudrop had a snowball’s chance in hell at winning this, I thought these two had a surprisingly good match, or at least way better than I expected. Doudrop and Lynch worked their asses off, especially Doudrop, who landed some stiff shots throughout. It went way too long, but I think they both worked hard enough for it to be passable. Remember when Becky was actually cool? **1/2

Jeri: Doudrop was never going to have a chance in this match. I almost have nothing to say about this almost nothing match with almost nothing that interested me. It wasn’t memorably awful, it wasn’t a good match we’ll discuss, it was just there, and we watched it until it no longer was. It was the okayest of okay matches. They worked hard but in the end none of it felt worthwhile or significant. Felt like a placeholder until they got to a Becky Lynch challenge they wanted to actually invest in. **

Joey: This wasn’t bad at all as holding pattern matches go. Doudrop is a breath of fresh air in the WWE’s women’s division. She is different and stands out from everyone else by looking like she would kick your ass. I sadly can’t say the same about Beckys character. She is not a natural heel, her ‘fights like me Da aswell’ character is hammy as fuck and the crowd don’t wanna hate her. Why WWE persists with something when it’s clearly noy working will always be beyond me.

The match was ok, it had its moments such as Doudrop’s sick looking sentons and tidy strikes but ultimately it was at such a slow pace it never excited much. **

WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) def. Brock Lesnar (C) (w/Paul Heyman)

Steve Case: This match had a big fight feel at the beginning. Two cool looking, badass dudes about to tear each other apart. Outside the rumble, this is the only match I had any expectations for. This started hot, but immediately got very tropey, and ultimately overbooked at the end. Just have two bulls run into each other for twelve minutes! Actually get the winner over in the match! We get Roman vs. Brock at Mania, but THIS time the roles are reversed. The excitement is pouring from my soul. **3/4

Jeri: Big match feel, with Brock just seeming like he was/is having the time of his life. The crowd was pumped for this match, hell I was pumped for this match. I was probably more hyped for this match than anything WWE had put on, and it started off good, and I was enjoying myself until the referee bump shenanigans happen allowing Roman Reigns to come in and assure Bobby Lasley the victory. Tellin’ stories and shit. I know this definitely means we are getting more Brock/Roman which I am completely done with and does nothing for me at all. I am over it. But it’s what we will be getting so either watch it or go watch something else. I know which option I’ll be picking. A good body of work I was enjoying with an ending that does nothing for me. That is the best way for me to explain this match. ***1/4

Joey: I love Farm-hand Brock. I love how much fun he is having. This match had a big fight feel and Heyman whipped the fans into a frenzy as the bell rang. It was nothing fancy, two big guys beating the snot out of each other in a power move pissing contest and I was really enjoying it until the garbage ending which came way too soon. Hated the ref bumps and I despised the Roman involvement and WWE proved once again they can ruin a good thing. Can’t wait for Lesnar to pop up in the Rumble, I hope I’m wrong. **¼

Mixed Tag Team Match: Beth Phoenix & Edge def. Maryse & The Miz

Steve: Who asks for this? Who likes this? Who gets excited about it? WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE? This wasn’t good. The crowd did not care at all. It went too long. No one looked good and outside a sequence that ended with a Maryse top rope rana on Edge, nothing they did was interesting. The Grit Couple look dumb and old but get the win. WWE honors their B/C list legends. *3/4

Jeri: Another match that did a good job of simply existing. Truth be told it was fun in some instances, and there were sequences I thought were well done, but ultimately I felt the match wasn’t anything worth talking about, but here I am writing about it all the same. Unfortunately for the match I feel myself becoming more and more disinterested in this show as it goes on, and I’m not sure the four people in this match had the capabilities to draw me back in. Miz isn’t that good, Maryse isn’t far behind, Beth does her best, and Edge is just absolutely to hit or miss these days. Still, I can’t hate on this match completely, it had some good moments, and I really liked the ending which I thought was nicely done. **1/2

Joey: This match is what you’d expect from a mixed tag with these performers. Miz was his usual clumsy self and to be fair he and his wife tried their best to make me interested. 

Edge continues to bore me and I have long been done with his returning hero act, but at least his wife kept things somewhat compelling. Some decent spots like the Maryse rana but in the end it was a match that nobody wants which went on far too long without much of note happening. *¾ 

Brock Lesnar wins the Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Steve: My god. How bad was this show? I learned tonight that this company has a roster of a lot of people who do not matter at all. Two dudes matter, Brock and Roman. Nothing else is made to mean anything. No one else feels special. You got dudes like Johnny Knoxville and Bad Bunny coming in and looking more impressive than 75% of the roster. Shane McMahon came back and made the TOP THREE. The absolute BEST part of this match was Kofi flying out of the ring less than a minute into his stint and his feet accidentally hitting the floor obviously, so they had to eliminate him. Chefs kiss for that. I don’t think this was the worst rumble ever. I’m sure the 90’s had some stinkers, and at least this got kind of fun bad by the end. This might be the least fun I’ve had watching a rumble. This company is stuck in a loop for the last 5 years because two dudes have mattered, Brock and Roman. This will easily be one of the worst major shows you’ll see all year. Congrats WWE, you have now killed all that was once good about your company. *1/2

Jeri: I can feel my interest and care leak from my body as this match progresses. I think part of it was the realization that everything that happened was waiting for Brock Lesnar to arrive and get his win so he could face Roman Reign once again. Oh wow, yay, riveting. I don’t mind predictable winners, I’m just tired of the Roman/Lesnar well being drawn from, but here we are. There were fun moments, Bad Bunny in particular was fun, but it wasn’t enough in the end of it all. This was a directionless Rumble. That’s not true it had a direction, but the direction was boring, uninteresting, did nothing to draw me in and wanted me to stay around any longer. I have made a brief stay into WWE land but I think it’s time for me to pack my bags and leave once more. You have no reason to watch this Rumble, none. This show had one great match and then everything else just wasn’t worth a damn. **

Joey: I did get a kick out of the Elimination Chamber being sold as having no boundaries since it emanates from KSA. But that’s for another day. 

AJ is out first and a good bet to get the HBK push. A bit of foreshadowing with the pose by Styles, but it’s kinda sad watching him and Nakamura start this match considering how unappealing this is compared to their NJPW work. First big spot of note was the Johnny Knoxville spot and I loved it. They kept it short and sweet, hitting all the right notes. Ricochet and his Tekken 3 tights were also a hit.

Omos tossing folk out for fun seemed like the direction until Chad Gable hit the ring and used logic to organise everyone to defeat the big man. But half way through, it was a pretty underwhelming Rumble so far, but at least Dominik Mysterio didn’t last long. 

I dunno what’s worse, Rick Boogz attire, which clearly doesn’t fit his gimmick or the fact WWE production missed his elimination of Chad Gable.  Idiots. But the blindsiding elimination of Styles, the only man presented as a potential winner of the match, is even more moronic. This company.

Drew’s return did nothing for me, nor did Corbin and Moss getting their dues. I’m sure someone finds his story compelling, but not me. We are 26 numbers in by the time Big E enters and it’s been a directionless rumble with fuck all excitement bar the anticipation for the entrances. At this point only he and Drew resemble anything close to worthy stars deserving of victory. 

Bad Bunny and 52 year old Shane McMahon enter and are immediately presented as more important than any of the other competitors. What a sad state of affairs. This sucks. No one wants this. No one. Gimme AJ Styles, Big E or even Montez Ford going 50 mins and winning over this bullshit. Who wants to see this self entitled fart in the final 4 of the 2022 rumble? No one.

Big E gets dumped out like a geek that they see him as by 2008’s Randy Orton. And what a shock it isn’t to see Brock Lesnar roll out at 30 and its academic from there. It’s not for me. Sorry. 

Before the show started my Mrs asked me who will headline Mania this year. I responded by saying probably Lesnar. She rolled her eyes and said ‘not this shit again’. I hate being right. No one wants this. A frustrating yet unsurprising end to what should be WWE’s most enjoyable match of the year.