WWE’s most recent step in the Women’s Evolution was to introduce the fans to the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble. The announcement was an early Christmas present to all, as Stephanie McMahon made the announcement on the December 18th edition of RAW to the entire RAW women’s roster. Current Superstars expressed their gratitude and excitement for the opportunity, while past stars expressed their desire to lace up their boots once again for the occasion.
Guest ring announcer Maria Menounos welcomed the current RAW and SmackDown Live Women’s Champions, Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair, guest commentator, Stephanie McMahon, and the #1
entrants into the Rumble – Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch. The two members of the Four Horsewomen locked up and exchanged blows, followed by the entrances of Sarah Logan (#3
) of the Riott Squad and Mandy Rose (#4
) of Absolution. Entrant #5
came with one half of Team Bestie, Lita! The Queen of Extreme returned to deliver some Twists of Fate, along with a double moonsault, to the current crop of talent.
NXT standout Kairi Sane enters the Rumble next (#6), followed by Tamina (#7
), who was quickly eliminated by Lita. Becky Lynch took the advantage of the situation and almost immediately eliminated Lita afterwards. Coming in at #8
was Dana Brooke of Titus Worldwide, eliminating Sane, followed by Torrie Wilson at #9
. The former WCW & WWE star makes light work by eliminating Brooke, and out comes Sonya Deville (#10
) and Liv Morgan (#11
). Deville takes out Wilson and before we know it, it’s time for entrant #12
to arrive – Molly Holly! Trish’s once-rival enters the ring to eliminate Sarah Logan before hitting her signature move, the Molly-Go-Round, on Sasha Banks!
The Ravishing Russian, Lana, arrives at #13
to be beat by Morgan & Deville. Former Women’s & Divas Champion Michelle McCool arrives at #14
to break up the beatdown and eliminates 4 women in about 30 seconds - Deville, Morgan, Holly, & Lana. The leader of the Riott Squad, Ruby Riott, enters the match next at #15
as Lynch & Banks both make their way back into the ring (keep in mind, you can only be eliminated if you go over the top rope!) and the foursome work to eliminate one another. The buzzer goes off for entrant #16
, whom screams the two words we’re all too familiar with – “EXCUSE ME!!!!!!” Former SmackDown General Manager, Vickie Guerrero, makes her way down to the ring demanding the competitors in the ring to pay attention to her. As one can imagine, this doesn’t bode well for the one-time Miss Wrestlemania as she was quickly eliminated by all four of the women. While taking a fit ringside, Ms Money in the Bank Carmella makes her way into the Rumble at #17
, moon-walkin’ and trash-talkin’ to Vickie. Vickie grabs Carmella’s MITB briefcase, and clocks her with it before leaving in a rage.
As Carmella recovers ringside, the four competitors continue to battle until Natalya makes her way to the ring at #18
. Nattie proceeds to throw her jacket on Carmella, but is deceived as Carmella jumps up and knocks Nattie off the apron. Carmella proceeds to enter the ring and work on the others. Former Divas Champion Kelly Kelly makes her entrance into the match at #19
and crosses paths with her old foes Natalya and Michelle McCool. Nattie eliminates McCool (and shortly thereafter, Becky Lynch) while Naomi shows up at #20
, followed by Hall of Famer Jacqueline at #21
and Nia Jax at #22
. Nia immediately eliminates Jacqueline, Kelly Kelly, and Ruby Riott upon her arrival. Naomi almost becomes a casualty but makes it to the ring barrier, preventing elimination. NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon arrives at #23
to challenge Jax, while Naomi strategically uses a chair and her Kofi Kingston-like instincts to maneuver back to the ring. This proves unsuccessful for the Glow Queen, as Jax eliminates her upon her return to the ring.
The buzzer rings again for #24
, which is another Hall of Famer – Beth Phoenix! She comes face-to-face with Jax, much to the crowd’s delight and the two brawl. The Glamazon manages to get Jax up on her shoulders for elimination, but fails. Former tag partner Natalya enters to help Phoenix get Jax out of the ring (but not eliminated) and reunite with her best friend. As it turns out, it was all for show as Natalya quickly slaps and eliminates her bestie! Carmella re-enters the ring to fight Natalya as Asuka makes her way down at #25
. Asuka comes face-to-face with her former NXT rival Ember Moon, as the fans revisit their classic bouts in excitement. Asuka goes on to eliminate Moon when Mickie James makes her way to the ring at #26
, followed by Nikki Bella at #27
Nikki eliminates Carmella and begins to get a beatdown by the remaining compeiteitors, until it’s time for #28
which happens to be Brie Bella! Brie runs down to help her sister and proves she hasn’t missed a beat since being out of action. We’re down to the wire as Bayley enters the Rumble at #29
and gets into it with her former NXT nemesis, Asuka. We’re seconds away from finding out who is #30
It’s time to rock and roll everyone! Our girl Trish enters the Rumble at #30 in the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble! Without hesitation, Trish delivers some Stratusfaction to all the competitors until she meets the Bella Twins in the middle of the ring, where they are on the receiving end of her signature chops and a double-Stratusfaction. Trish takes Bayley into the Stratusphere before coming face-to-face with her biggest fan, stalker, admirer – Mickie James. The crowd pops in excitement (me too!) encouraging one more exchange between the foes. The two exchange blows and Trish eventually Chick Kicks Mickie off the top turnbuckle. The monstrous Nia Jax makes her presence felt, pummeling Trish.
The remaining competitors attack Jax, banning together to get her eliminated from the match, which proves to be successful. Sasha Banks eliminates her best friend Bayley, before going after Trish. Natalya intervenes and locks in a Sharpshooter on Trish, which she counters and sends Nattie to the outside. A Chick Kick to Natalya secures her elimination while Sasha focuses on Trish once again. Taunting Trish, Sasha receives a kick to the gut followed by Trish taunting The Boss back, doing her signature pose. The seven-time Women’s Champion goes for a Stratusfaction before being tossed over the top ropes by Banks!
The final four comes down to Sasha, Brie & Nikki Bella, and Asuka. The ladies team up on the latter to take her out, but the Bella Twins eliminate Banks unexpectedly. Just as quickly as she turned on Sasha, Nikki also turned on her sister and eliminated her, leaving herself and Asuka as the final two in the match. Asuka went on to eliminate Nikki Bella to become the winner of the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble.
The match went above and beyond expectations, with the women proving themselves worthy of the main event on a major pay-per-view. The combination of old school “Divas” vs the current talent created new memories for fans of both eras, re-igniting past feuds (even if just for a quick staredown!), and allowing new moments we may have never seen otherwise. The praise for this match among the general wrestling community has left fans wanting more and looking forward to the next step in the Women’s Evolution.
Stills from match »