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Braun Strowman got what he asked for after knee-striking Brock Lesnar in the face!
The WWE classic pay-per-view Royal Rumbles was one of its kind: everyone says it was a great one in contrast to the probably awful Royal Rumbles we have been having in recent years.
No doubt, the men’s edition was one of the best 30-man bouts ever, while that of the newly initiated women’s contest seemingly lived up to the hype. It also helped that they highly anticipated debut of UFC legend Ronda Rousey closed out the show. The media hype is sure to be ample in the fallout. This was a solid pay-per-view to cap off an exhausting weekend of wrestling.
That said, while we shower praises on the WWE officials for a wonderful work done, we do mean to say that there weren’t a few botches along the way. Moments like Kelly Kelly’s sketchy head scissors, Jerry Lawler’s inability to properly say the name of the event, and the unfortunate moment that Braun Strowman stiffed Brock Lesnar. Braun definitely got a receipt for that mistake.
All of those moments and more lie ahead, so let’s kick it off with a sloppy finisher from the pre-show. Click here to get started
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The first botch of the night happened during the kickoff show. No, Mojo Rawley answering Bobby Roode’s United States Championship Open Challenge wasn’t the mishap, although it wasn’t a very big surprise. The botch here is when Bobby Roode went for his finisher at the end of the match.
Roode came off of the turnbuckles with his arm wrapped around Rawley’s head. He then lifted him for his finisher, which is an Implant DDT. Roode didn’t really get any elevation on the move and planted more like a normal DDT. Tom Phillips questioned on commentary if he got all of it as the ref counted to three. This was a title retention for The Glorious One
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#5 The Rumble Royal
The Number 20 entrant into the Men’s Royal Rumble was none other than John Cena. Jerry “The King” Lawler was so excited about him showing up that he botched the name of the very match that he was currently announcing. As the camera panned to catch the reaction of the audience, he could be heard inverting the words Royal and Rumble.
Lawler then proclaimed that John was his pick to win the whole thing. Being a King himself, you’d think he’d have titles like this down pretty well. That wasn’t a bad pick for Lawler, because Cena made it to top three in the contest and would get thrown out by the man who won the whole thing, Shinsuke Nakamura.
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#4 The last Ric Flair match?
WWE and KFC have been running spots in which many popular wrestlers dress up as Colonel Sanders. It was only fitting to film a special “Colonel Rumble” for this event. This ad seemingly came down to The Miz and Rusev, before a surprise entrant came out. It was none other than “The Natureboy” Ric Flair, and who can hate on that?
The part of this that we’ll all have to cringe about living with, pointed out by @Wrestling_Memes on Twitter, is that this was technically a match. While not officially recognized in the books, we’re all now aware of that fact that this will almost certainly go down as Ric Flair’s last match in WWE.
His previous last match in WWE was a WrestleMania singles contest against Shawn Michaels. Let all of that sink in. Surely somebody in charge will one day regret this decision.
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#3 How do you stop Brock?
When the action first spilled to the outside during the Universal Championship Match, Braun Strowman had a brief period where he was dominating with steel steps. Both Kane and Brock Lesnar were laid out as The Monster Among Men surmised the damage. Michael Cole was flabbergasted by the devastation and asked Corey Graves how anyone could stop him.
Cole must’ve been caught up with emotion because he asked how anyone could stop Brock Lesnar. As Brock was laying lifeless while Braun stood dominant, the question made no sense. Graves answered the question as if he said Strowman because that was obviously what he meant to say. It took Michael a few moments to realise his mistake and correct himself.
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#2 Do not stiff The Beast Incarnate
It’s surprising that this even needs to be said but it is most certainly not a good idea to legitimately strike Brock Lesnar. Braun Strowman learned this lesson the hard way after accidentally striking the former UFC Heavyweight Champion with a knee to the side of his face. Brock looked like he was rocked for a moment, then got up and tagged Braun on the side of his skull.
It wasn’t until the replays were shown in the following moments in slow motion just how stiff these guys got with each other. No further instances of real strikes happened after this quick sequence, so the monsters must have gotten this out of their system and moved on.
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#1 Stealing the spotlight
When it became known that the Women’s Royal Rumble would close out the show, it was all but certain that Ronda Rousey was going to be appearing on-screen to make her WrestleMania plans known. However, instead of actually entering the historic first-ever all-ladies’ Rumble and earning her spot, she instead waited until all of the real work was done to show up. She even did the vintage sign point while conveniently blocking out the person who had just won the Rumble. Asuka is technically in the above gif, between Charlotte and Alexa Bliss.
Perhaps I’m being too hard on this moment. I am genuinely excited about whatever title Ronda battles for at WrestleMania, but this is a booking botch to have not waited to bring her out until Asuka declared which champion she wanted to face first. Asuka survived a field of 29 other competitors to earn her spot, she had earned that much.
This all felt a little like the post-match interaction between Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior from WrestleMania VI. Hulk should’ve been way less visible for Warrior’s moment, as Ronda should’ve been for Asuka. If only Asuka had challenged somebody and then Ronda got into the face of the other champion, this would’ve been a little more palatable.
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