*This article contains spoilers so if you have not basked in the perfection that was last night's Royal Rumble, please move on. Thank you!*
Last night was full of highs, lows, and incredible surprises. As someone who has been a fan of WWE since the early 2000s, I have never been more excited about a Royal Rumble. In fact, I can barely talk today because of how incredible the show was, LOL!
Let's go in order of match and discuss the pre-show matches:
Main Royal Rumble Matches
30-Man Royal Rumble
This was an impressive match. It started off a bit awkward because Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn beat up some of the competitors before they had a chance to enter the ring. Sami Zayn ended up stealing Tye Dillinger's number 10 spot by savagely beating him up. We saw some of NXT's most promising entertainers make their debut in the match, and some of them held their own. We saw The New Day work together to eliminate competitors. One of the best parts of this match was when Jinder Mahal was eliminated by Kingston and was subsequently pelted with pancakes.
Heath Slater didn't stand a chance in this match. He was beaten up before he even got to the ring. Once there, he clotheslined Sheamus, and then was taken out.
The biggest (and most pleasant) surprise of this match was when my boy Rey Mysterio returned to the WWE at number 27 (I literally screamed when he came out. He's one of my all-time favorites). He dazzled the audience with many 6-1-9's to some of today's hottest superstars, including a double 6-1-9 to Randy Orton and John Cena.
Another surprise entrant was none other than our favorite superhero: The Hurricane!
The biggest shocker of the night entered in at number 30: Dolph Ziggler. As you all know, Dolph vacated the US Championship after a long diatribe about how he was sick of getting disrespected (it was a speech that would make the late, great, Rodney Dangerfield proud).
The winner of this 30-Man Royal Rumble match was none other than my favorite: Shinsuke Nakamara! He eliminated the remaining John Cena and Randy Orton to gain the history win. After the match, Nakamara chose which champ he would challenge at WrestleMania: AJ Styles! I'm already stoked for WrestleMania, just for this match! I'm calling it here: Shinsuke will win!
30-Women Royal Rumble
This was my favorite match of the night, not just because of my feminist qualities. I loved this match because of the many favorites who entered.
Before I talk about the surprise entrants, I have to say something about Sasha Banks' strategy in this match. She would stop many of the entrants from hurling people over the top rope. I'm not sure what her thought process was in this, or if she forgot the rules, but I have to hand it to her, she was the first entrant, and lasted for most of the match.
Onto the surprise entrants! The first huge surprise (and my personal favorite) was none other than LITA! Yes, Lita entered the rumble and held her own for a little while. Eventually, she was eliminated (by Becky Lynch). We also saw Torrie Wilson, Kelly Kelly, and Molly Holly enter the Royal Rumble. Torrie Wilson and Kelly Kelly failed to impress, but Molly Holly fought like she hadn't missed a beat! I've never seen her look so strong! Another surprise entrant was Mrs. Undertaker Michelle McCool. She also impressed! Beth Phoenix also made an appearance, and we saw former besties Natalya and Phoenix embrace. In typical Natalya fashion, the warm-and-fuzzies didn't last long and she eliminated her friend.
One of the highlights of this match entered at number 30, when Trish Stratus reignited her rivalry with Mickie James. The rivalry went in full force and the crowd couldn't handle it, heck, I couldn't handle it either. I was transported back to the mid-2000s. What a time warp!
As expected, when Nia Jax entered the Rumble, she was a force to be reckoned with. She nearly took out everyone in her path.
The most annoying persona in WWE history also showed up: Vickie Guerrero. Her shrill "Excuse Me!" brought the match to a screeching halt. Of course she was eliminated and in typical Vickie fashion, she didn't go quietly into that good night.
Towards the very end of the match, we saw Asuka squaring off with the Bella Twins (yes, Nikki and Brie made their triumphant return to WWE). Nikki Bella eliminated her sister, and then Asuka eliminated Nikki and was the last woman standing. Asuka will now go down in HERstory as the first woman to win the women's Royal Rumble.
The end....or is it?
Just as Asuka was about to make up her mind as to who she would face at WrestleMania, she was interrupted by a surprise visitor: Ronda Rousey! We all heard the rumors that Rousey might join the WWE, and sure enough, "Bad Reputation" came blaring and the crowd couldn't handle it. Rousey strutted her bad self down to the ring and stared down Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss, and Asuka. Without saying a word, she pointed to the WrestleMania sign hanging above the WWE Universe. It was later confirmed that Ronda Rousey will be making her debut at WrestleMania.