Men’s Royal Rumble 2023 Review
Today I will be reviewing the 2023 Men’s Royal Rumble which aired on January 28th. The Royal Rumble is always the most exciting WWE match of the year. To quickly go over the rules, it involves 30 wrestlers with 2 superstars starting the match, every 90 seconds another wrestler enters, this continues until all 30 people have entered the match. You can only be eliminated if you are thrown over the top rope with both of your feet touching the floor. The winner gets to go to Wrestlemania and fight for the top championship.
This year’s match was very interesting as it was the first Rumble to happen under Triple H who took over WWE creative after Vince McMahons, issues. And whilst Vince has returned he seems to be nowhere near the writing which is good because last year’s Rumble was one of the worst they’ve ever done. This year’s match also had a couple of potential winners. There’s Cody Rhodes who’s the favourite for the match as he is making his return tonight after suffering a Muscle Tear last year. There’s Sami Zayn who is the fans pick as they really want to see him dethrone the current champion Roman Reigns. And then there’s the surprising choice of The Rock as rumours of him returning to fight Roman Reigns have been going for years and this feels like the perfect time to do it with Mania being in Hollywood this year. So let’s go through the match, entry by entry, elimination by elimination and see who wins.
The Rumble match opened the show. Well that’s spoiled who’s going to win now. Rock isn’t going to return in the first match, and Sami is going to be involved in the Championship match with Roman Reigns which hasn’t happened yet. So now it’s obvious that Cody is winning. Is that a bad thing? Well, let’s see.
The first two were current Intercontinental Champion Gunther and Sheamus. These two had the best match of last year so they were the perfect two to start the match off with. Then we had the Miz at number 3 who did good heel work by staying on the outside and trying to take advantage until Sheamus chases him into the ring. Kofi Kingston is Number 4 who is famous for saving himself from being eliminated, he messed up his famous spot last year so let’s hope he can redeem himself this year. At number 5 we have Johnny Gargano, one of my personal favourites who returned last year but has sadly not made an impact yet. They’ve annoyingly placed him in a weird comedy angle teaming with stalker Dexter Lumis (no you’re not getting context). He immediately starts off well by helping Sheamus eliminated Miz. At Number 6 we have Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston’s tag team partner. They work well together by knocking everyone else down. Then they stare at each other. Oh no, please don’t start fighting each other, just work together. Thankfully they don’t fight and instead do a silly taunt, good comedy spot. At number 7 we have Karrion Kross, another wrestler who returned last year and was seemingly positioned to be a new main event talent, so it’s weird that he lost to Rey Mysterio on the previous Smackdown. Yeah it was only a roll up, but surely Rey can eat a loss to put over a new talent. In all fairness he hasn’t been connecting with the fans, maybe they can give him a good showing tonight. At number 8 we have one of the most underrated talents on the roster right now, Chad Gable. He’s so talented and funny but WWE see him as just enhancement talent. Also he’s now a heel again? I was sure they were turning him and his tag partner Otis babyface. Gable shows how great he is as he does some amateur wrestling with Woods, which the camera then cuts away from because god forbid we see any actual wrestling. At number 9 we have Drew McIntyre. It’s great seeing Drew as a main eventer in WWE as I’ve been a fan of his for years. He teams up with his friend Sheamus and then almost immediately eliminates Karrion Kross. Wow, what a fall from grace. From being a potential main eventer to being eliminated after 4 minutes, you know I’m starting to think these Triple H returns have been a bit underwhelming. Number 10 is Santos Escobar. Now here is someone who has potential, which he shows by just casually hitting a top rope Phantom Driver to Gargano which looked great. Next up is Number 11 Angelo Dawkins, One half of the Tag Team Street Profits. He’s good, but his tag partner Montez Ford is much better. New Day start battling with Gunther, who eliminates Woods and- hey it looks like it’s time for Kofi’s Rumble spot. Woods has a chair positioned outside and Kofi try’s to jump on it after Gunther knocks him off the apron, where he proceeds to tip over the chair and fall on the floor, botching the save once again. That’s now two years in a row, I think it’s time to retire it. At number 12 we have, oh yeah, Brock Lesnar, forgot he was in this match. I don’t even hate Brock, just have no interest in seeing him in these matches, especially when he throws out Santos, Dawkins and Gable straight away. He does then stare down Gunther and the fans go crazy. Now this is the kind of match I want to see Brock have. The stare down doesn’t last long as in comes number 13 Bobby Lashley who is currently feuding with Brock. He spears everyone, and then clothesline Brock out of the match. Wow! Brock only lasted about 2 minutes before being taken out. Amazing, put’s Bobby over huge, can’t wait for the rematch, hopefully they finally have a good match together. Brock starts having a tantrum and hits the steps into the announcers table and also takes out number 14 Baron Corbin. A bunch of Referees show up to calm Brock down, but he pushes one of the referees over the barrier. This apparently wasn’t planed and the ref injured his foot over the spot. Yeah not a fan of unplanned spots involving referees because they’re not trained. I’d hope Brock got punished for that but I know he didn’t because he’s Brock Lesnar.
We’re now halfway through the match as in comes number 15 Seth Rollins. He throws Corbin out straight away as he was still recovering from the attack from Brock. At number 16 we have Otis who is tag partners with Chad Gable who’s already been eliminated. Number 17 is supposed to be Rey Mysterio but he never shows up. Apparently he was injured in the match with Kross so he couldn’t compete. Might also explain why Kross was eliminated so quickly. Rollins then eliminates Lashley surprisingly quickly as well. Feel like Lashley should have been in for longer, especially if they’re building him up to beat Lesnar. At 18 we got Dominik Mysterio who enters wearing Rey’s mask to imply that he and Judgement Day were the reason Rey couldn’t compete. Also during his entrance Sheamus and Drew eliminate Otis so the cameras miss it. Seriously WWE stop doing this, if you’re doing a spot on the entrance ramp, don’t eliminate someone so that the cameras miss it. Anyway’s, Dom does a fantastic job of playing a coward by waiting on the outside and talking smack to Sheamus, then running in and attacking him when his back is turned. Number 19 is Elias who comes out to no reaction is then immediately eliminated by Sheamus and Drew. Why don’t they bring back Ezekiel. At number 20 we have Finn Balor which brings in some help for Dominik who he helps eliminate Johnny Gargano. Despite being in the match for a long time, Gargano didn’t really do much, he didn’t even get the Miz elimination. At 21 we have one of the only surprise entrants in the match, Booker T. It was nice to see him but he was one I wasn’t desperate to see in the match. I would have preferred one of the other commentators like Corey Graves or Pat Mcafee to be in. Booker doesn’t last too long as he hits his moves and is then thrown out by Gunther. At 22 we have the final Judgement Day member, Damian Priest so they all start working together. At 23 we have the better half of Street Profits, Montez Ford. Big fan of him, he has huge potential to be a big star and I want to see him have a good run in this match. Also they showed YouTuber BrandonDoesEverything in the crowd and that made me happy. What doesn’t make me happy is Montez gets thrown out after 40 seconds. Why! He has so much potential that he really shouldn’t be someone who gets a short run. At number 24 we have the return of Edge who gets big pop from the crowd. He goes after Judgement Day and throws out both Balor and Priest but before he can eliminate Dominik they run back in and throw out Edge. Whilst it’s a shame that Balor and Priest didn’t last long, the fact that Dominik is still in the match is great heel work, they’ve done a good job of making everyone hate him. Number 25 is US Champion Austin Theory but as he’s making his entrance, Edge attacks Judgement Day and they fight up the entrance ramp, Theory wisely doesn’t get involved. Rhea Ripley then shows up to attack Edge when his wife Beth Phoenix returns to attack Rhea. Great spot but a bit confused on why they didn’t save Beth’s return for the Women’s Rumble, in fact, she wasn’t even in it which seems weird, surely this should have set up for another interaction in that match. At number 26 we have Omos who is big, and that’s all he has going for him. Not sure why he and Lashley didn’t interact in the match as they’ve been interacting on the TV Shows leading up to the Rumble. He has a stare down with Gunther as well where the crowd is a lot quieter than they were for the Brock stare down. At 27 we have another big guy, Braun Strowman. He’s at least a better worker than Omos but these big man matches just don’t interest me. Anyway’s Strowman eliminates Omos by himself which was pretty impressive. At 28 we have Ricochet who is apparently Strowman’s tag team partner. I didn’t know that, I don’t watch the weekly shows and I clearly haven’t been paying attention to Smackdown recaps, but I digress. I’m a big fan of Ricochet, even my friend who knows nothing about wrestling thinks Ricochet is awesome. Gunther eliminates both Drew and Sheamus in a pretty cool spot where Drew tries to save Sheamus from being eliminated. It’s so refreshing to see friends actually work together in a match, instead of eliminating each other in the middle of it for no reason. At 29 we have *sigh* Logan Paul. Look, I could go on about how much I don’t like him and how I wish he wasn’t in WWE. But I just don’t have the energy anymore, just watch Coffeezilla’s videos on Paul to see how much of a scumbag he really is. And finally we have Number 30, the returning Cody Rhodes. A bit surprising that they made him number 30, I would have thought for sure that Cody would want to have an iron man performance in the match. I think it was done to not make people think that Rock or Sami was going to be number 30. Cody throws out Dominik who had been in the match for way too long, but in a good way because it made me annoyed that he was still in. There’s a fantastic spot where Ricochet and Logan Paul springboard into each other. A great moment, just a shame that Logan Paul being involved ruins it. I don’t care how good he is, it doesn’t immediately absolve him of his actions. Cody then eliminates Strowman single handily which was a great way of putting Cody over. Then Theory knocks out Ricochet who was trying to avenge Strowman’s elimination. Rollins then hit’s Theory with a Stomp so Cody can throw him out. Rhodes and Rollins then have a stare down which is interrupted by Gunther who is still in the match after entering at number 1. They both pedigree him. Cody and Rollins continue to fight but Logan Paul ruins it by eliminating Rollins. Apparently there going to be doing Rollins vs Logan at Mania, all I know is I won’t be watching it. Cody then eliminates Logan. We now have our final 2, Cody and Gunther. They go about another 10 minutes and it was amazing. In the end Cody clothesline’s Gunther over the top rope to win the match and go to Wrestlemania. Despite knowing that Cody was going to win, they did a good job of making me believe that Gunther could win. Despite that he looked good in defeat as he broke the record for longest time spent in a 30 man Rumble.
Overall I thought the Men’s rumble was good but not fantastic. For what I didn’t like, I think the lack of surprise entrant was a bit disappointing but I also don’t know who I would take out. I feel like there were a lot of wrestlers who didn’t do a lot despite being in the ring for a long time like Gargano and Rollins. Also Logan Paul. As for what I liked, the final 2 between Cody and Gunther was great, McIntyre and Sheamus working together was refreshing and I liked what Judgement Day did in the match, I kind of wish they were in for longer.