WWE Royal Rumble 2023 Review

The 2023 Royal Rumble took place on Saturday, January 28th inside the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas. Over 53,000 people were in attendance for the event.

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Gunther and Sheamus started out as the first 2 entrants, reigniting their critically acclaimed feud of 2022. Gunther put in a stellar performance as the match’s ironman, setting a new record for the longest time in a regular rumble match. Multiple spots in the match seemed to set up future matches as opposed to being a part of the rumble itself, with both Brock Lesnar and Edge’s short times in the match being an example of this. A surprise appearance from Booker T got a good nostalgia pop from the Texas crowd, and Logan Paul was a surprise return at number 29. The mid-air collision between Paul and Ricochet will be in video packages for years to come and was an impressive and memorable moment. Cody Rhodes entered the match last and predictably won the match, but the predictability did not take away from the quality of the match. ****

LA Knight vs. Bray Wyatt – Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match

With no one knowing what this match was, the mystery was solved when the lights went down. The ring had glow in the dark ropes and multiple fluorescent elements were seen. Despite the match being no-disqualification, very few weapons were used. The match was short and was an underwhelming return to the ring for Wyatt. Uncle Howdy would attack Knight after the bell, but unfortunately this will be remembered as another in-ring misfire to please sponsors. *1/2

Bianca Belair (c) vs. Alexa Bliss – Singles match for the Raw Women’s Championship

A fist fight started the match, with the champion quickly taking control. Alexa Bliss did change the momentum briefly with kicks to the legs. While Bliss did counter a few attacks, Belair eventually hit the KOD onto Bliss to retain the championship. **

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

Rhea Ripley entered the match first, still selling the rib injury from being speared by Beth Phoenix earlier in the night. Liv Morgan was second, with both women also being the final 2 in the match. The crowd reacted strongly to the returns of Asuka and Nia Jax, along with nostalgia entrant Michelle McCool, who entered the match from the audience. The NXT Superstars had a strong showing in the match. The final moments saw Rhea Ripley make an all time great rumble save, very nearly touching the floor before flipping Morgan to the match and win from the number one entry. ****

Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owens – Singles match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship

While the post match angle will go down as one of the biggest moments in modern day WWE history, the match itself followed the formula of Reigns and Owens’ previous encounters. Owens would hit big moves for multiple near falls, at one point unfortunately slipping as he attempted a move off of the top rope. A ref bump brought a chair into play, but Owens countered this into a Pop-Up Powerbomb that got a visible pin on reigns, but there was no referee. A low blow and spear would allow Reigns to retain. ***

After the match, Owens was continually beat down by The Bloodline, with Sami Zayn attempting to stop the carnage. Zayn was handed the chair and was forced to hit Owens, but instead hit Reigns. The crowd cheered the loudest a crowd has in recent memory following the chair shot, with Zayn meeting the same fate as Owens shortly afterwards.

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