The 2019 Royal Rumble had everything a big wrestling show should include, a total of seven hours filled with both silliness and controversy. Biff Bam Pop! wrestling nerds, Richard Kirwin and Jeffery X Martin, attentively watched the event and discussed it via chat the morning after. Be warned: this conversation is filled with spoilers and obscure references. Don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the Royal Rumble in the comments section!
JXM: We are officially on the road to Wrestlemania now with the 2019 Royal Rumble cemented firmly in the history books. I just can’t figure out why there were so many freakin’ commentators for the show! Rich, who is your least favorite person on any WWE announce team?
RK: Woof… I honestly find the whole main roster team to be pretty rough. However, I have to give Renee Young the nod as weakest link between the shows. Byron Saxton is a close second, though. Renee always sounds out of place and her contributions rarely add anything to the match. You?
JXM: I like Renee! I think she’s a lot of fun. Was Saxton even there last night?
RK: You know, he might not have been… who can tell?
JXM: Both JBL and Jerry Lawler showed up last night to talk like dirty drunk uncles and make everything generally awful. Bad puns and Lou Thesz references. Can’t bear it.
RK: Lawler and JBL and Beth Phoenix, for that matter, all failed at bringing anything to the table. Lawler is so dated.
JXM: A Legends contract is a powerful thing.
RK: Can’t they just get action figures and do pre-shows?
JXM: Speaking of pre-shows, did you watch the two-hour extravaganza before the actual Royal Rumble event?
RK: I did not. I find the big show running times to be more than I can handle.
JXM: I get that. That is a lot of wrestling to consume in one evening. I watched the whole thing, because I’m obsessive like that. There were matches on the pre-show, though, including a Fatal 4-Way for the Cruiserweight championship. Do you care about the cruiserweights at all?
RK: I care in that I’m glad those guys are under the WWE umbrella and getting paid. That said, I think the cruiserweight designation is pretty much a kiss of death. Do you watch 205 Live every week?
JXM: Oh, hell, no. I always forget the thing is going on. I don’t know why. Those guys are really good. Buddy Murphy is still your champion, though.
RK: Oh cool. I like his pants. Regarding the pre-show and the undercard, I’m just not invested. Too many belts with no stakes. Why does Nakamura want to be US Champion? And, if I can say, shout out to Sheamus and Cesaro for once again doing a big event job like pros.
JXM: Do you think anyone cares about the Smackdown tag team situation at this point, except to wonder where the hell Sanity went?
RK: It’s so weird, between the two main roster shows there is a tonne of talent, but no, I’m not interested at all.
JXM: Let’s talk Ronda Rousey real quick. Did anyone really expect her to lose to Sasha Banks?
RK: No. They have invested too much time and money in her.
JXM: Agreed. I do want that fabled Horsewomen v Horsewomen match, but there’s no telling when that will happen.
RK: Shafir and Duke are not ready.
JXM: Agreed. They are awful right now. So, Balor v Lesnar. It felt short to me, but that injury Lesnar sustained looked real. Do you think he’s hurt, or does he just sell better than anyone?
RK: How many guys have to be sacrificed to Lesnar before it’s enough, is my question.
JXM: ALL OF THEM. He is a raging god who must be appeased.
RK: I think he was selling, by the way. I really thought building him was about building Roman, and now.. what is he even there for? What does Balor do? I assume he goes in the Chamber and loses, but you know what I mean?
JXM: Balor is there to make us think he’s coming out as the Demon, but that rarely happens.
RK: Because he has to win if he’s the Demon. And that wasn’t the plan. Brock at least shows up for the small guy matches, to his credit.
JXM: We can’t talk about the Rumble without talking about Becky Lynch, who showed up twice last night. I have to say Asuka terrifies me. I have had nightmares about her. So she beats The Man, and that’s fine. Then Becky shows up in the Rumble because Finlay says it’s okay? I find that interesting.
RK: I think there was a way to do this without having Becky lose in the opening match. You know, not having her in it! I really dislike that booking. How is Becky a contender if she already lost?
JXM: It feels really Stone Cold to me. And it’s a different thing, isn’t it? Asuka is still the champ and Bex gets her Wrestlemania Moment (TM).
RK: She should have entered at number one and kicked ass.
JXM: I popped hard when Nikki Cross came into the fray. Who was your favorite entrant in the Women’s Royal Rumble?
RK: I was glad to see Rhea Ripley.
JXM: Kacy Catanzaro handled herself well, I thought, but I honestly believe Nikki Cross is the next big thing. Push that woman to the moon.
RK: I like Nikki as well. My top women’s prospect is Lacey Evans, though.
JXM: I know Lacey is doing her job right because I hate her ever so much. She just runs all over me, like a heel should.
RK: Love the gimmick. I even like her punch finisher, and I usually can’t stand those. cough Superman punch! I found both Rumbles a little weak, to be honest. I miss guys/gals running to the ring with purpose. So many of them did their full character entrance, where is the urgency?
JXM: Urgency? For what?
RK: To fight, to win.. I dunno… isn’t a Wrestlemania match on the line?
JXM: We’re past that now. Dude, Hornswoggle was under the ring.
RK: Yes. He was.
JXM: HA! So you weren’t surprised when Seth won the Men’s Rumble?
RK: No. Were you?
JXM: I was really rooting for McIntyre.
RK: I mean, I kind of agree with Steve Austin, what is a Seth freakin’ Rollins? But he is the guy.
JXM: And Rollins was out for so long, he may as well have been under the ring with Hornswoggle.
RK: That drives me crazy! I can’t stand the fast and loose with the over the top rope, two feet (hit the floor) rule.
JXM: I get the two feet. I even like the over the top rule, because it makes for some fantastic visuals.
RK: Oh sure, but no slinking out and powdering. I did like to see all that NXT talent in there, though.
JXM: Gargano, Dunne, and Black got huge reactions! Aleister Black is just incredible. I can’t watch that guy enough.
RK: I’ve said this to some friends, he’s my pick to be the next big thing. He’s a little CM Punk, mixed with a little Taker, and a lot of his own thing. His Mania entrance will be insane. Or he will work pee-pee angles with Drake Maverick.
JXM: As long as they don’t give him Druids and an urn.
RK: No, he walks alone, that guy
JXM: No, that’s Batista.
RK: Well played. One thing I really, really didn’t like was Nia in the men’s Rumble. Cheering man on woman violence is not a good look for us, fans, in 2019.
JXM: WHY? I love intergender wrestling, and she took all those finishes! The RKO, the 619, a superkick from Dolph… I mean, I get what you’re saying, but if she thinks she can compete, she should compete.
RK: I disagree. I don’t like it at all. I hate it in Lucha Underground and I hate it here. I don’t want to see a woman, any woman, get superkicked.
JXM: I think if size and skill are comparable between competitors, then anyone should be allowed to wrestle anyone. What about women superkicking each other?
RK: Sure. Although, there are way too many superkicks out there right now. I enjoy women’s wrestling. I do worry when they take those bumps to the outside, they have a lot less padding than the guys for the most part. But seeing a babyface kick a woman in the head? Nope
JXM: I don’t think intergender wrestling is the future for WWE, but it made sense with Nia’s character that she would think she could go up against those guys and win. It’s that arrogance, I think.
RK: But… and I’m kind of a jerk here… look at her. Shes no Chyna. Chyna was built like a tank. I bought it. Nia stands out with the women because of her size, but she doesn’t look like a powerful athlete.
JXM: Don’t make me bring up the Hall of Fame yet, and Chyna not being in it. Wait until April.
RK: She did a little too much porn, I think, unfortunately. But, I agree. Her and Sable, oddly enough, get next to no credit for their contributions to where the women are today. I did enjoy the AJ vs Bryan match. Non-sheep mask Rowan is a great addition to that act.
JXM: Rowan in a Tom Savini shirt! I’m for it. I hope Luke Harper comes back, though. The Bludgeon Brothers was a dumb gimmick, but those two guys were great together. On a scale of one to Ric Flair, rate the whole show.
RK: I’d put it at a solid D-Lo brown. Entertaining overall, but missing some elements and I’m not really sure where it goes from here.
JXM: Well, I give the whole show a solid Ole Anderson. Rugged enough to make me happy and it didn’t drag too much. It wasn’t afraid to get silly, though, and I weirdly respect that. But still not as good as Arn.
RK: My last thought, is that it’s hard to rewire and watch main roster after a takeover. It’s such a different take on wrestling, sorry, sports entertainment.
JXM: That’s especially true after a Royal Rumble, where the titles take second place to the spectacle of the big matches.
RK: The storytelling is different, too. There’s also something to not everyone getting to be on the show. Makes actually being on it mean something.
JXM: I agree. But now, we’ve only got three weeks until Elimination Chamber and not much time to build up heat for the Women’s tag team titles. We’ll see how Creative manages to work that all out.
RK: The tag titles.. in a chamber match…not a fan.
JXM: We’ll deal with that in February.
RK: What if, hear me out here, they settled that with a series of… tag team matches.
JXM: Wait, WHAT?
RK: The tournament model works so well.
JXM: Tag team wrestling? To decide a tag team title? I just don’t see what you’re getting at here.
RK: You’re right.
JXM: Shouldn’t there be a Good Housekeeping match or a wading pool full of oatmeal?
RK: Put them in the stupid metal thing with the pods
JXM: That is a structure, Rich!
RK: A demonic structure, the devil’s playground… or is that Hell in a Cell?
JXM: Yeah, I can’t remember. All I know is my dad used to have the logo for Elimination Chamber on the bathroom door, and I thought it was hilarious.
RK: Your dad wins at life.
You can watch the 2019 Royal Rumble on the WWE Network whenever you darn well please.