2020 Royal Rumble PPV Review: Edge Returns To The WWE During Men's Rumble Match
WWE Royal Rumble 2020
The first WWE PPV of the year has come to a fantastic close. This year's Royal Rumble had a lot of surprising moments, like Edge returning to the WWE after a nine-year absence. You can check out the results for the 2020 edition of the PPV, along with GameSpot's review of the show, which you can check out below.
The January 26 event happened at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, and that stadium was in for one fun evening. There were only eight matches on the card, but two of them were Rumble matches, which normally last around the 1-hour mark each. Check out the full match card below.
Royal Rumble match card:
- Andrade (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo (United States Championship)
- Shorty G vs. Sheamus
- Bayley (c) vs. Lacy Evans (Smackdown Women's Championship)
- Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin (Falls Count Anywhere Match)
- Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka (Raw Women's Championship)
- "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (Universal Championship)
- Women's Royal Rumble Match
- Men's Royal Rumble Match
Below, you'll find GameSpot's review of every match during the evening, as well as our thoughts on some of the major events during the evening. Per usual, Wrestle Buddies Mat Elfring and Chris E. Hayner are on-hand to discuss WWE's Royal Rumble. Let's get it going.
Notes will be added here as the two-hour Kickoff Show commences.
Using a random number generator, Mat and Chris have pulled numbers for the men's and women's Rumble matches. The number is the entrant they will have to root for.
Men's Rumble Picks:
- Mat: 9
- Chris: 4
Women's Rumble Picks:
- Mat: 21
- Chris: 9
United States Championship has been added to the Kickoff.
Shorty G vs. Sheamus
Mat: Remember American Alpha? They were great, and Chad Gable was great. Now, we have the repackaged Shorty G, whose gimmick is 1997 enhancement talent. It feels a lot like 123-Kid, but Gable doesn't need that gimmick. The dude has real chops. Then again, so did the future X-Pac. But hey, this year's Rumble is taking place in a baseball park. That's cool, right? It's hard to give this match a fair shake when I don't like everything revolving around it. I'm really tired of Michael Cole saying "Shorty G." He says it so much. The match itself was fine; it was perfect for the Kickoff Show, as long as you separate it from everything happening on TV, since this match didn't help either wrestling move up in the rankings. Man, I feel bad for these dudes. They're both better than how they're being booked.
Chris: Honestly, this match belongs on Kickoff. So I'm not surprised. This "feud" is a waste of time for everyone, including, somehow, Chad Gable. His character is essentially a tiny jobber but even he's above this. Oh well. Honestly, this was a pretty by-the-numbers big man vs. tiny man match. Sheamus dominated Gable a bunch, Gable briefly mounted a comeback, and ultimately, Sheamus kicked his head off--with a Brogue Kick that didn't look very powerful. Also, it's worth noting that the bring is being lit by a gigantic spotlight that makes Sheamus look even more pale than normal--which is already incredibly pale. Anyway, this win does nothing for a returning Sheamus and certainly doesn't help Gable, who is already at the bottom of the ladder.
Andrade (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo
(United States Championship)
Mat: Remember when Carrillo's entrance music was "Dale Gas?" That song was my jam. Remember when Andrade's name was Cien Almas--100 Souls? Man, that was awesome. Well, enough thinking about the past. Let's turn our attention to the present. I wish this match was on the middle of the main card because these are two of the most talented guys on the roster. Andrade knows how to pace a match and surprise the audience without it becoming a spotfest. At the 13 minute mark, I feel like this has been a battle, not a race to the finish. It's great to see WWE lean in heavier to a longer lucha-style match because the back-and-forth battle between these two wrestlers worked exceptionally well. The one thing that didn't work too well was that roll-up finish out of nowhere. It did feel a bit anticlimactic to what was a fantastic match between these two wrestlers. Regardless, I loved this match.
Chris: How this match wound up on the Kickoff show is anybody's guess. Unlike Sheamus vs. Gable, this deserves a spot on the main show, if only for how ridiculously on fire Andrade has been recently. And between him and Carrillo, the future of WWE seems to be in very talented hands. It's a very compelling match these two put on. And thank goodness Andrade knows how to expertly slow the pace of a match down to really milk the drama from a given moment. Too often, matches like this can be nonstop mayhem. While that's fun, it's also tiring and the story can often get lost. Honestly, maybe it's best that this match went on during Kickoff because it gave the two room to breathe and put together a match they didn't have to rush through in between Rumbles. All too often, we've seen mid-card title matches go by in a few minutes simply because there's not enough time. Instead this one told a story about Carrillo pushing Andrade to his limit, even though in the end of champion wax able to squeak out the victory with a roll-up out of nowhere. While I can understand why that was disappointing for Mat, I love that it shows Andrade always has his mind set on ending the match, regardless of the situation. He saw an opening and took it because, above all else, keeping his hands on the United States Championship is what matters most. Now I want to see Andrade take his title and his heel act to another lovable babyface, further cementing him as an excellent wrestling villain. Also, Sam Roberts is obnoxious.
Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
(Falls Count Anywhere Match)
Winner: Roman Reigns
Mat: That Roman Reigns dog hologram was very silly. I kinda liked the full-scale Reigns hologram though. I want to admit something to you. I really like Roman Reigns and I really really like King Corbin. Sure, it's a gimmick countless other wrestlers has had, but he's such a good cowardly heel, that it is incredibly fitting for him. The real loser of this match was the tables, all the international announcer tables. Luckily, Funaki's remains unaffected. This match is a breath of fresh air--and yes, I'm aware this is the first match of the night. It's total chaos in the outfield of Minute Maid Park, and I love it. Why not use all that extra space to your advantage? I haven't had this much fun watching an opening PPV match in the longest time. However, I was very upset when Roman put Corbin in the port-a-potty. He's a King, treat him as such. I can't believe that match was over 20 minutes long. It didn't feel like it. It was a blast and kind of everything I'd want in a falls count anywhere match.
Chris: Falls Count Anywhere matches are always fun. It's an exciting way to kick off the main card, though I would have loved to bookend the show with Rumble matches. That said, watching Reigns and Corbin beat the snot out of each other throughout the stadium is simply entertaining. But seriously, how many tables can one match obliterate? I still hate the king gimmick, but love Baron Corbin. I'm glad he gets to be in a spotlight feud like this, and he really shows how far he's come. Still, while I expected all kinds of interference from the Usos, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode--seriously, take a look at our predictions--this match didn't need it. It actually takes away from how intense this bout could have been.
The port-a-potty bit was funny but it was clearly staged, but it was still entertaining--as was the final moments with saw Roman spear Corbin on top of the dugout for the win. Honestly, this was just a total blast.
Women's Royal Rumble
Mat: Rumble matches can be long, tedious, and at times, tasking, so it all really comes down to whether I had fun or not. The women's got off to a really good start, even when Lana and Liv Morgan got involved with their storyline I could not care less about. Otis made a hilarious save for Mandy Rose, which got a lot of chuckles out of me.
As for our numbers, I pulled 21, and that was Kelly Kelly. Words cannot convey how disappointed I was with this pick. She rubbed her butt in Toni Storm's face. -10 stars. At least Charlotte Flair eliminated her pretty quickly.
The Santina schtick was bad and a waste of a spot. However, we got a lot of Shayna Baszler beating people up, which I was all about. Charlotte winning was the easy call here. So easy, in fact, that both Chris and I predicted her to win the Rumble match. This was a great Rumble with one really bad spot.
Chris: Where to start? Having Lana in the match is weird, as is her calling herself a WW Superstar. Where's the E, Lana? Anyway, it was fun not knowing most of who was set for this match, because almost everything was a surprise, including Mighty Molly! Seeing Candice LeRae in the match makes me wish we'd see her vs. Bayley at Wrestlemania, no matter how improbable that was.
The real story of this match is Bianca Belair, who not only broke the women's Rumble record for eliminations but was a machine throughout the match. This was a star-making performance for her and I fully expect her on Raw or Smackdown soon.
Overall, this was a great Rumble. There was a good mix of the three brands, with just the right amount of nostalgia in the mix. And in the end, the right person won. Charlotte going on to Wrestlemania to fight for a title makes sense. Here's hoping she sets her sights on Bayley. You've got your work cut out for you, men's match.
Bayley (c) vs. Lacy Evans
(Smackdown Women's Championship)
Bayley vs. Lacey Evans
Mat: After almost an hour of being glued to my computer for the Women's Rumble, I had to use the bathroom and grab some food, so I missed the opening minutes of this match. When I finally got settled in, what I saw was a lackluster match with a quick finish. Obviously, we don't need a slobberknocker after an hour-long Rumble, but from what I saw, it was a pretty bland match.
Chris: I love Bayley as a heel. Evans being a hero doesn't work for me yet, but watching Nayley taunt children and be a scumbag is wildly entertaining. It's probably best that this match didn't go too long after an hour-long Rumble. However, it also played to the strengths of both competitors. Plus, with Bayley taking the coward's way out and winning by pulling the tights, it gives Evans a reason to demand another match.
"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Winner: The Fiend
Mat: I should have been writing this review during the match, but I found myself just sitting back, enjoying the show. It's been quite some time since we've seen these two in a big match against each other, and I love how they play off of each other. The Fiend's an unstoppable force and Bryan is a wrestler with a heart of gold that never gives up. It's the perfect mixture for in-ring storytelling, and this match was triumphant when it came to that. The "strap match" angle really enhanced the bout between the two, as Bryan could never fully get out of the way from Wyatt. As far as storytelling goes, this was top-notch, and I loved how everything played out. Although, those strap slaps looked like they hurt tremendously. I feel bad for both those guy's bodies in the morning.
Chris: I actually miss The Fiend's red light during matches. I'm not sure what that says about me. From the start, it was clear this match was going to be vicious and watching these two whip each other with the leather strap, watching Bryan sink to The Fiend's level, was incredibly satisfying to watch. It was the necessary next step from their first match. Seeing Bryan repeatedly come so close to toppling the Fiend told a really great story, with the champion ultimately planting Bryan with a mandible claw to continue his reign of terror. The strap gimmick worked for the match, both competitors put all they had into it, and the end result is a brutal affair that makes them both look more powerful in the end. When the Fiend ultimately falls, it's going to be incredible to see.
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka
(Raw Women's Championship)
Winner: Becky Lynch
Mat: Wrestling fatigue has hit, after a phenomenal Universal Championship match. The crowd was dead to kick it off, so Asuka and Becky Lynch had an uphill battle to climb. The duo did what they can to reel the crowd back in with some impressive spots. That face-first suplex bump Asuka took to the outside of the ring looked exceptionally rough. Some of Asuka's kicks to Lynch's head looked a bit stiff too. This is where it really started to pick up. The match was always solid, but this was the turning point that got everyone back into the match. This ended up being a lot of fun and a solid match, and in no way did it make Asuka look weak. Everyone wins from this.
Chris: I'm with Mat on this. After--I think--17 straight hours of wrestling, I'm tired. And it sounded like the crowd was too. Who can blame them, though? That said, this match was much better than Bayley vs. Lacey Evans. And that's not a knock on that bout. However, both Asuka and Becky are at the top of their respective games. What's more, some of the bumps in this match were simply unreal, like Asuka's face-first fall to the floor.
The final stretch of this match finally brought the audience to life as Asuke got so close to winning but misfired her green most, only to end up tapping out to Becky. T was, honestly, just an incredibly satisfying finish to that match, and now leaves Asuka free to defend the Women's Tag Team Championships with Kairi Sane.
Men's Royal Rumble Match
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Mat: I hate that Bork Lazer is in this. He's the champion. He shouldn't be involved. Rumble matches are supposed to be fun and four people in, I am bored to tears. This. Is. Not. Fun. But 27 minutes later, after Bork was kicked in the family jewels and eliminated by Drew McIntyre, this became kinda fun again.
The big moment of the evening was the return of Edge, and did I sing along to "Metalingus?" You're damn right I did. It's wonderful to see him back in a WWE match, and more importantly, he lasted more than the typical legend spot. He played a real factor in the match for some time. And now, I know I need to see Edge vs. Rollins at Wrestlemania.
It was really cool to see Drew McIntyre come out on top, as it didn't seem like WWE was going to give him a big push. While the outcome of the match and the second half were phenomenal, the first almost half an hour were complete hogwash and a waste of time.
Chris: Honestly, this sucks. It's the same joke over and over and over. And it's an unfunny, unentertaining joke. And it took up half the match. Half of the Rumble was the Brock Lesnar showcase, and it was just bad. And yes, Drew McIntyre eliminated him, but does it actually make him look special given that it took a low blow from Ricochet to set it up? I'd argue it does not.
But let's talk about the biggest moment of the Rumble; the return of Edge. Edge was near tears as he walked to the ring to compete for the first time in nearly a decade and I was right there with him. A lot more happened in this match, including Drew McIntyre winning and punching his ticket to Wrestlemania. This match is the story of Edge's rising from the ashes, though. And, honestly, that's as good of a story as you'll ever get in professional wrestling. Let the long list of dream matches begin!
It's unfortunate that half of this match was marred by the Brock Lesnar show, which really keeps me from giving this match the score I want to.
Disclosure: ViacomCBS is GameSpot's parent company