WWE’s second biggest annual event has arrived.
WWE Royal Rumble goes down tonight from The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas featuring a jam-packed line-up of WWE action. Things start off with the Kickoff Show at 7/6c and leads into the main show at 8/7c.
On tap for tonight’s show is the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches, as well as Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens for the Undisputed WWE Universal title, Bray Wyatt vs. LA Knight in the first-ever Pitch Black match, as well as Bianca Belair vs. Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women’s title.
Featured below are complete WWE Royal Rumble results from Saturday, January 28, 2023. The following report was written by PWMania.com reporter Matt Boone (@MattBoone0709) as the show aired live from 8-10pm EST. on FOX.
WWE ROYAL RUMBLE RESULTS (1/28/2023)
The official pre-show for tonight’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view is underway, as the WWE Royal Rumble 2023 Kickoff Show is now off-and-running from San Antonio, TX.
We see the usual “WWE Then. Now. Forever. Together” signature narrated by John Cena and then we shoot outside of The Alamodome in San Antonio where Kayla Braxton welcomes us to the Kickoff Show.
The panel for tonight’s Royal Rumble pre-show features Kayla Braxton, Jerry Lawler, Booker T, Kevin Patrick and Peter Rosenberg. The fans chant “Kayla! Kayla!” as she begins the introductions of the co-panelists.
After the introductions, the gang begins running down the advertised lineup for tonight’s special event. When they get to the Royal Rumble matches, they send us to the Royal Rumble “By The Numbers” video package.
When we return, the panelists talk about tonight being only the sixth women’s Royal Rumble match in WWE history. They debate among themselves who should win and as they do, the fans chant “Rhea! Rhea!” in the background.
Things are sent into some more video footage, this time from earlier today that shows Lacey Evans and Zelina Vega drawing their entry numbers for tonight’s women’s Royal Rumble match. We return to the panelists, who give their predictions for the match.
Cricket Fan Zone With Matt Camp
Kayla Braxton sends things over to Matt Camp, who is in the Cricket Fan Zone. He takes us around and shows us some of the special memorabilia set up in the area. From there, we head to a quick commercial time out.
When we return from the break, we see a quick WWE Draft Kings promotional ad and then we are sent into video highlights of Roman Reigns on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on NBC. He mentions his match at Royal Rumble against Kevin Owens and Fallon shows off him having multiple title belts.
Roman Reigns Lays Out The Bloodline Game Plan For Tonight
Now we return to the pre-show panel where Kayla Braxton plugs “The Tribal Chief” on TikTok, telling fans to go follow him. We then check out footage from last night’s Friday Night SmackDown of the finish to the Kevin Owens vs. Solo Sikoa main event match.
After that, we return live backstage and see a shot inside a locker room where the camera slowly pans around, first showing Paul Heyman, then Solo Sikoa, then The Usos, followed by Sami Zayn and finally, Roman Reigns.
“The Tribal Chief” talks about how he can’t wrap his mind around this. He says he gives an order and they follow it and that’s why The Bloodline are where they are today. He mentions having given one instruction for the weekend and asks Sami Zayn to explain why things didn’t go the way he ordered.
Before Zayn can speak up, Jey Uso speaks up and takes the blame. He says it was his fault because Adam Pearce kicked them out. He says they were on the field and he called an audible on the play. He says he called Zayn and he was there for the family. Reigns repeats it and Jey says yes, he was there and on-time.
Reigns then asks, “Why are we even talking about last night?” He says, “Let’s worry about tonight. It’s fight night!” He then lays out the game plan, telling The Usos to keep themselves in the back.
He looks at Sami Zayn and tells him, “You’re with me all night, understand? On my hip, all night.” He tells The Usos to again stay in the back. “Because tonight is Sami’s night.” Zayn looks excited and the segment ends.
After this, we head to another quick commercial break. From there, we send things to a video package looking at the first-ever Pitch Black match tonight pitting Bray Wyatt one-on-one against LA Knight. After the video package, we return to the panelists, who give their thoughts on the showdown later tonight.
WWE This Is Awesome Host Greg Miller & JBL
Kayla Braxton sends us over to the WWE This is Awesome host Greg Miller. He mentions that anything can happen at the Royal Rumble. As he does, up walks JBL. He mentions that JBL has told him he sucks, his alma mater sucks, and speculates that JBL is here to apologize. JBL banters and mocks Miller a bit.
JBL teases giving Miller a surprise and says he can tell they’re gonna be good friends. He then gets a pie and shoves it in Miller’s face, before walking off and telling him to have a good day. Miller concludes, “This wasn’t awesome.” We mercifully head to another break.
As we settle back in from the break, we head into a video package looking at the events leading up to tonight’s Raw Women’s Championship showdown between “The EST of WWE” Bianca Belair and Alexa Bliss.
From there, we are sent back to Matt Camp outside of The Alamodome. There are a ton of rabid fans behind him, and Camp takes some time to ask some of them for their predictions on the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches.
Now we are sent into another commercial break. This time when we return, the panelists begin talking about Cody Rhodes returning in the men’s Royal Rumble match tonight. We are then sent into the “Cody Rhodes road to recovery” video packages.
Comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias Joins The Panel
When we return from the Cody Rhodes package, we see Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias with his replica WWE title belt joining the panelists at the pre-show desk. They talk to him about his fandom of WWE and talk to him about tonight’s Royal Rumble and WrestleMania in Hollywood.
The gang has some fun with “Fluffy” and then we are shown Kofi Kingston, Santos Escobar and Drew McIntyre reacting to their entry numbers for tonight’s Royal Rumble match. They give their predictions for the men’s Royal Rumble match and then thank “Fluffy” for stopping by and then we head to another commercial break.
Kevin Owens Is A Sami Zayn-Lover
We return from the commercial break to the panelists talking about the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship showdown tonight between “The Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns and “The Prize Fighter” Kevin Owens.
On that note, we shoot to an “earlier today” video that shows Kevin Owens arriving to the building at The Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. The panelists point out that Owens is wearing a “Sami Zayn-lover” t-shirt.
From there, the panelists send us into the elaborate video package explaining the back-story with Kevin Owens and The Bloodline, which culminates tonight at the WWE Royal Rumble with Roman Reigns defending his title in a one-on-one match against Owens.
After that, we return to the pre-show panel where the panelists give their final thoughts on the title showdown and they all unanimously predict Roman Reigns will retain his championship in the match. The Kickoff Show then wraps up on that note.
WWE Royal Rumble 2023 Pay-Per-View
The “WWE Then. Now. Forever. Together.” signature narrated by John Cena plays again and then we shoot into the official cold open video package for tonight’s WWE Royal Rumble 2023 pay-per-view main show.
Now we shoot live inside The Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. where the Royal Rumble theme song plays and Michael Cole welcomes us to the show as the camera pans the over 50,000+ fans in attendance.
Men’s Royal Rumble Match
We shoot down to ringside where we see Michael Cole and Corey Graves seated together at the commentary table. The two mention some of the action scheduled for tonight and then we head to the ring for our opening contest.
The theme for Pat McAfee plays and out he comes in his suit coat. The crowd goes nuts. Michael Cole plays the surprised reaction while Corey Graves scolds him for not telling him about this.
From there, the ring announcer formally introduces him and the crowd goes nuts. McAfee heads inside the ring and poses on the middle rope in the corner. Graves says he’d rather get a root canal than work with McAfee. McAfee heads down and joins the duo on commentary.
McAfee nearly injures himself as he goes to stand on his chair at the commentary table and play to the crowd. The bell sounds again and the ring announcer formally introduces the opening contest as the 30-man Royal Rumble match.
The Imperium theme hits and out comes WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther as the number one entrant in his first-ever Royal Rumble match appearance. After he settles in the ring, his music dies down and then the theme for the second entrant hits and out comes “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus as the number two entrant.
Michael Cole wishes number two entrant and the 2016 Royal Rumble match winner Sheamus a happy birthday as he heads to the ring to kick off the 2023 men’s Royal Rumble match with the I-C champ Gunther. The bell sounds again and we’re officially off-and-running with this one.
As Sheamus works over Gunther in the corner of the ring, the countdown clock appears and when it winds down, The Miz emerges as the number three entrant. He heads to the ring for his 14th appearance in a Royal Rumble match.
Miz avoids getting in the ring to the point that Sheamus eventually slides under the bottom rope and chases him around the ring until he slides in himself and runs into a big chop from Gunther. As Miz and Gunther work over Sheamus in an attempt to eliminate him, The New Day theme hits and Kofi Kingston comes out as the fourth Royal Rumble entrant.
Sheamus nearly eliminates Kingston at one point, but The New Day member rolls under the bottom rope to remain in the match. All four men are duking it out in the ring with no eliminations thus far. The fans break out in a loud “Let’s go Kofi!” chant and then the countdown clock appears again. After the clock expires, out comes Johnny Gargano as the number five entrant.
We see The Miz try to eliminate Gargano as soon as Johnny Wrestling enters the ring, however Gargano hangs onto the ropes and as Miz is celebrating thinking he did eliminate him, Gargano runs up behind him and starts working him over. He then hands him over to Sheamus, who hits his ten beats to the bowery spot as the fans count along with each shot that lands.
After this, we see a Brogue Kick from Sheamus eliminate The Miz. They should have Sheamus do the ten beats to the bowery spot as soon as the next ten-second countdown clock appears and see which direction the fans count, up to ten or down to one.
Anyways, The New Day theme hits again and Xavier Woods comes out as the number six entrant in the bout. As Kofi and Xavier are the last two standing, with the rest down in the corners of the ring, we see Kofi spin Xavier upside down and play the drums on his booty. “You’re right, I have missed this,” Pat McAfee fires out on commentary. Nice.
The countdown clock appears again and out as the seventh entrant is Karrion Kross. He dominates for a bit and then the countdown clock appears and out as entrant number eight is Chad Gable.
As Gable and Xavier break out in an amateur style wrestling match after a “shoosh-off” we see Sheamus trying to eliminate Gunther on the opposite side of the ring. The countdown clock appears again and coming in for the entry number nine spot is Drew McIntyre.
While the commentators try and tell Pat McAfee the team name for Sheamus and Drew McIntyre without getting in any copyright issues, we see McIntyre eliminate Kross from the match by knocking him over the top-rope. McIntyre and Gunther stare each other down and begin trading chops, punches and kicks.
McIntyre hits a big Future Shock DDT and then the countdown clock appears. Coming in for the number ten spot is Santos Escobar. The countdown clock appears again and when it wraps up, out at number eleven is Angelo Dawkins of The Street Profits. Woods is nearly eliminated but both of his feet don’t touch the floor so he’s still in it.
Moments later, Woods is thrown over and nearly eliminated again, but again his feet don’t touch the floor. Seconds later, Gunther does eliminate Woods. Kofi Kingston jumps on Gunther right afterwards and tries eliminating him, but is stopped by Santos Escobar. Seconds later, Gunther eliminates Kofi Kingston, but one of his feet are still on the chair, which Michael Cole informs us.
The countdown clock appears again and when it expires, Brock Lesnar’s theme hits and out comes “The Beast Incarnate” to make us forget about the Kofi spot so he can do something cool to re-enter the match later. The crowd and Pat McAfee equally go totally nuts as Lesnar heads to the ring. Sheamus and Drew McIntyre are standing together and smiling waiting for him to get into the ring.
Lesnar immediately eliminates Santos Escobar, Angelo Dawkins and Chad Gable after taking many others to “Suplex City” in the ring. Lesnar and Gunther square off and the crowd goes absolutely ballistic just at the two of them staring each other down. The countdown clock appears and when it counts down, out comes “The All Mighty” Bobby Lashley.
As soon as Lashley hits the ring, he blasts Lesnar with a huge Spear. As Lashley works over some others in the match, Lesnar recovers and scoops Lashley up. Lashley slides out the back door and immediately knocks Lesnar over the top and out to the floor, eliminating him. Lashley throws his hands up in the air in victory as Lesnar looks in complete disbelief from the floor as the crowd goes nuts. Lesnar tears the top of the commentary table off and launches it into the ring.
The countdown clock appears again and this time when it expires, coming in at number fourteen is “The Modern Day Wrestling God” Baron Corbin. Meanwhile,. we see Lesnar still tearing apart the ringside set, throwing the steel steps and clotheslining the hell out of Corbin as soon as he makes his way to the ring. He then hits him with an F5 on the floor.
Lesnar’s rampage continues as he grabs a referee by the throat and throws him over the barricade. Michael Cole runs away from the commentary desk. We see the action in the ring again just as the ten second countdown clock appears again. When it expires, we hear “BURN IT DOWN!” and out comes Seth Rollins as fire and pyro explodes, the crowd goes bonkers and then starts singing along with his theme.
Rollins comes down to the ringside area and rolls a lifeless Corbin into the ring. He follows in behind him and throws him right over the top-rope to eliminate him. The fans pop and then start singing along with his theme acapella. The countdown clock hits again and when it expires, Otis makes his way out.
The countdown clock appears again and when it expires this time, out at number 17 is Rey Mysterio. He never comes out, though. Meanwhile, Lashley is eliminated by Rollins to the surprise of the commentators. Otis does the catapillar elbow drop on Gunther for some cool crowd interaction. The countdown again wraps up and out at number 18 is Dominik Mysterio.
Dominik Mysterio comes out wearing Rey Mysterio’s mask. Dominik takes the mask off and rips it up as he heads to the ring. Otis is eliminated by Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. The commentators have their usual “hardened criminal” fun as Dominik dances around at ringside, hesitant to enter the ring and get involved in the match.
We see McIntyre nearly eliminating Johnny Gargano, but Gargano hangs on and slides back through the ropes to remain in the match. Dominik finally does enter the ring and is immediately shown begging off as Sheamus confronts him. The countdown clock appears again and out at number 19 is Elias. Pat McAfee pops huge for him, but is the only one, which Michael Cole points out. McAfee mentions growing up with his family.
As soon as Elias enters the ring he breaks his guitar over the back of Gunther. Sheamus hits him with a Brogue Kick and eliminates him in 37 seconds. Ouch. The countdown clock appears again and when it expires, out at number 20 is Finn Balor.
Dominik tries eliminating Gargano, but Gargano hangs on. Finn Balor ends up coming over and providing the assist and collectively, the two are able to eliminate Gargano. The countdown clock appears again and when it expires, out at 21 is none other than WWE Hall of Fame legend Booker T.
“CAN YOU DIG IT, SUCKA?!” plays and out to an enormous pop from his home state fans in Texas is none other than Booker T. Michael Cole recalls being eliminated in his only Royal Rumble appearance in the past by Booker T. He comes in and hits a Book End and then plays to the crowd and does a huge Spinaroonie spot that gets the crowd going bonkers. He stands up and is immediately eliminated by Gunther.
The countdown clock appears again and out at number 22 comes Damian Priest. All three male members of The Judgment Day are now in this match. They gang up on people in the match for a minute and then out at number 23 comes Montez Ford of The Street Profits.
Dominik is nearly eliminated, but he hangs on. Ford is nearly eliminated but he skins the cat and comes back in. Damian Priest ends up hoisting Ford up and chokeslamming him over the top-rope with ease to eliminate him. The clock hits and expires again and out at number 24 is another shocker, as WWE Hall of Famer Edge appears.
“YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME!” and fireworks hit and the crowd in San Antonio goes completely nuts as “The Rated-R Superstar,” short hair and all, makes his way down to the ring looking very pumped up. He immediately hits Priest and Balor and Dominik with Spears.
He then throws out Priest to eliminate him. He throws out Balor to eliminate him. He then slowly turns and sees Seth Rollins as the only other active competitor on their feet at the moment and the crowd starts buzzing. Dominik ruins the moment and gets involved but then Edge goes to eliminate him. Instead, The Judgment Day come to Dominik’s aid from the floor and they pull Edge over the top and eliminate him. Dominik is still in this one.
Out at number 25 is Austin Theory. Edge, meanwhile, chases The Judgment Day to the back. He ends up brawling with Balor and Priest in the aisle. Rhea Ripley comes out and starts beating on Edge but then from behind, Beth Phoenix appears and the crowd goes wild. She blasts Ripley with a Spear to pop the crowd again.
The countdown clock appears again and out at number 26 is the 7’3”, 412-pound Nigerian Giant — Omos. He takes his time and heads to the ring to enter the Royal Rumble next as the commentators sing his praises. He comes into the ring and beats down everyone one-by-one and yells out “This is my house!” He turns around and sees Gunther staring him down, but he chokeslams him as well.
We see the countdown clock once again and out at number 27 is Braun Strowman. “Monster fight!” yells out McAfee as “The Monster of all Monsters” comes out as the next participant in the 30-man Royal Rumble match. Strowman and Omos go nose-to-nose and play to the crowd and then begin trading shots back-and-forth as the fans react to each one that lands with “boos” and “yays” depending on who was landing.
Strowman finally hits the ropes to build up some momentum and he blasts him with a clothesline that knocks the Nigerian Giant over the top-rope and out to the floor, eliminating him. “Get your big ass outta here!” Strowman yells afterwards, before going to work on Rollins next.
Three spots remain in the men’s Royal Rumble match as the countdown clock appears again. When it expires this time, out at number 28 is Ricochet. The SmackDown World Cup Tournament winner comes out and joins his tag-team partner Strowman in the ongoing SmackDown Tag-Team Title Contender Tournament in the Rumble.
Ricochet and Dominik immediately start duking it out. We also see Strowman and Theory trading shots in a different part of the ring. Strowman looks to eliminate Sheamus and Drew McIntyre, but things get switched up on him and they nearly eliminate him. They hold him over the ropes and do double ten pounds to the bowery spot. Gunther comes up from behind looking to eliminate McIntyre, but Sheamus stops him.
As the action continues, we see Gunther eliminating both Drew McIntyre and Sheamus by himself. Sheamus lasted over 50 minutes, while Drew lasted over 30. The countdown clock appears again and when it expires, Logan Paul comes out as the surprise entrant number 29. The crowd loudly boos as Logan Paul makes his way to the ring for his first-ever Royal Rumble match appearance.
Logan plays to all the boos and then turns around to literally everyone else still in the match beating him down and they begin trying to eliminate him, but Paul hangs on. Strowman ends up hitting him with a Monster Slam. Ricochet follows up with a Shooting Star Press. They go to toss him out, but Paul hangs on again.
The countdown clock hits again and when it expires, out in the 30th and final spot is none other than “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes. The crowd popped almost like they forgot he was in it. Smoke billows out of the entrance and then his familiar theme plays as fireworks explode and he makes his way to the ring with a ton of energy.
Cody hits a Cody-Cutter off the second rope on Theory as the fans erupt again. He ends up quickly eliminating Dominik Mysterio. We see Logan on one side of the ring and Ricochet on the other. They each lock eyes and then slingshot from opposite ends of the ring and collide — very, very, very hard — in the middle of the ring.
The crowd went absolutely berzerker-mode for that. Deserving so. We see instant replays of that as the fans break out in a loud “This is Awesome!” chant. Strowman is eliminated moments later. Theory eliminates Ricochet. We’re down to Cody, Theory, Gunther and Seth Rollins as the only men left in the match. Cody and Rollins both eliminate Theory.
Now we’re down to Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins and the man who entered this match at number one — Gunther. The two knock down Gunther and focus on each other. Rollins tells Cody he’s not gonna come in and steal his spotlight again. The two circle each other and start going at it. Michael Cole inform us that Gunther has broken Rey Mysterio’s record with over 62 minutes in the match. Doesn’t Bryan Danielson hold a record with over 70 minutes? Anyways!
Logan Paul comes back in and the commentators forgot about him when counting down the remaining participants. He comes back into the ring after recovering from the Ricochet spot and eliminates Seth Rollins. The fans loudly boo at that. Cody hits Logan with Cross-Rhodes and eliminates him. Now we’re down to Cody and Gunther. The two lock eyes and circle each other before engaging.
Gunther starts chopping the p*ss out of Cody. Cole informs us Gunther has been in this one for over an hour and five minutes since entering at number one. He blasts Cody and drops him with another bunch of vicious chops. He scoops Gunther up but Cody escapes out the back door. Gunther blasts Cody in the surgically repaired pectoral muscle again with more thunderous chops.
Gunther gets hung up in the ropes and Cody looks for a Disaster Kick to eliminate him, but Gunther avoids it and clotheslines Cody as he was on the way down. We see Gunther pound away at Cody with forearm shots. Cody fires back with punches. Gunther hoists Cody up and lays him on the turnbuckle in the corner. He climbs up after him and the two slide down the side. Gunther shucks Cody off, but Cody hangs onto the bottom rope and lands on the apron.
Gunther stomps away at Cody and then picks him up from inside the ring while reaching over the ropes. Cody hits him from the ring apron outside of the ropes and then climbs to the top-rope. Gunther hits a European uppercut and climbs up with him. He looks for a super-plex and he hits it.
The two get a second wind and start trading shots again. Cody leaps off the middle rope backwards and hits a Cody-Cutter. He scoops Gunther up and throws him over the top-rope, but Gunther hangs on. Cody brings Gunther into the corner of the ring and hooks his legs over the middle ropes. He backs up and looks to pay homage to Goldust with his Shattered Dreams spot. He lands the kick and everyone pops. Cody picks Gunther up and eats a chop.
He lands a big right and then walks into a massive drop kick by the I-C champ. He follows that up with a power-bomb. He picks Cody up as Cole informs us that Gunther has been in this one for an hour and ten minutes. He throws Cody over the top-rope but Cody lands on the apron and hangs onto the ropes. Gunther picks him up from inside the ring reaching over the ropes.
The two trade chops and then Gunther slaps a sleeper-hold on Cody. Cody starts fading and is pulling Gunther as he does. Gunther lets go of the hold so he doesn’t go all the way over. Cody goes to the top-rope and leaps into the ring to a chop on the landing by Gunther. Gunther hoists Cody up but Cody escapes out the back-door and hits his Cross-Rhodes finisher. Cody plays to the crowd and then eliminates Gunther. The crowd goes nuts as Cody celebrates his victory as the winner of the men’s 2023 Royal Rumble match.
Winner of the Men’s 2023 Royal Rumble match: Cody Rhodes
Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match
LA Knight vs. Bray Wyatt
After the Rumble match we head to a commercial break. When we return, we head back down to the ring for our second scheduled match of the evening. The ring announcer begins the introduction for the first participant in the bout, as LA Knight makes his way out.
Knight settles in the ring as the commentators hype Mountain Dew’s Pitch Black drink returning for a limited-time only. On that note, we prepare for our first-ever Pitch Black Match.
With Knight settled into the ring, we get a special video package looking at the Pitch Black Match. When it wraps up, Bray Wyatt’s theme hits and out he comes with his lantern to a huge pop from the San Antonio crowd.
Wyatt goes over to the corner and puts his face in the turnbuckle as the crowd goes nuts. The bell sounds and the lights go down in the Alamodome and then a black light and other colored black lights come on. Wyatt leans back backwards from the corner and his face-paint is neon glow in the dark.
The action begins and looks cool, with neon yellow/green looking ring ropes. Even LA Knight’s gear is neon bright. There’s a giant Mountain Dew Pitch Black logo in the center of the ring. Wyatt goes to work on Knight.
Wyatt takes the match out to the floor and beats on Knight at ringside. He knocks him down and then makes his way over to the commentary table. He removes the top of the tables and scatters a ton of confetti-looking paper or paint that spreads all over the table. Wyatt and Knight hit a big spot that sends Wyatt through the table and a ton more of the confetti paper / neon paint splashes / spreads everywhere.
“I’ve been in some night clubs before, but I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this,” says McAfee as the flat crowd non-reacts to the action, which continues inside the ring. Best way to describe this. Total crappy landing for this Pitch Black Match. Wyatt hits Sister Abigail and this one is over after about all of five minutes.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
After The Match: The Neon Action Continues
Once the match wraps up, we see Bray Wyatt’s face change as he’s wearing some kind of horror mask now. He and Knight start brawling some more and a neon kendo stick is used. Wyatt beats Knight and drops him down the entrance area.
From there, Uncle Howdy appears and after the crowd reacts for a moment, we see Uncle Howdy dive off the stage and crash onto Knight, sending them through whatever he was laying on. Fire erupts out of that area and Bray Wyatt poses as his theme plays again. This was …well. NEXT PLEASE!
WWE Royal Rumble 2023 Attendance Is …
We head to another commercial break and when we return, the ring announcer informs us that tonight’s attendance includes 51,338 fans inside The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Raw Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss vs. Bianca Belair (C)
Now we hear the familiar sounds of Alexa Bliss’ theme and out comes “Little Miss Bliss” for our first of two championship matches scheduled for tonight’s premium live event. “The Face of Evil” settles inside the ring and highlights of her recent interaction with Bianca Belair is shown.
From there, the theme for Bianca Belair hits and out comes “The EST of WWE” to defend her Raw Women’s Championship in this one-on-one showdown against Alexa Bliss.
The bell sounds and we’re off-and-running with this one. Immediately we see Bliss taking it to the champ, starting a prolonged dominant run in the offensive driver’s seat as Belair fights from underneath for the first several minutes of the match.
We see the champ finally start fighting back and she eventually hits her K.O.D. finisher to score the pin fall victory and retain her Raw Women’s Championship.
After the match, a Bray Wyatt-style produced cut-in and cut-out happens as we hear some weird Wyatt-sounding voices asking if we realize who is in charge. Alexa Bliss then looks sad and stares in the distance as the post-match segment ends and we head to another commercial.
Winner and STILL Raw Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair
Women’s Royal Rumble Match
We shoot to ring announcer Samantha Irvin, who informs us that it is now time for the 30-woman Royal Rumble match. With that said, she begins the brief explanation of the rules and when she wraps up, Rhea Ripley’s theme hits and out comes The Judgment Day member as entrant number one.
“It looks like mami is in for a long night,” says Corey Graves on commentary as she emerges from the back and heads down to the ring. She settles inside the squared circle and her music dies down.
Now in as the second entrant is former SmackDown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan. Michael Cole reminds us that Morgan claimed she wanted to enter this match in the number one spot. He says this is just as good.
Morgan and Ripley start the women’s Royal Rumble match off as the bell sounds to get this one underway. Ripley pounds the crap out of Morgan for the first minute or so and just as Morgan starts to take over on offense, Dana Brooke comes out as the third entrant.
Dana Brooke comes in with a Barbie inspired Margot Robbie look, as Corey Graves points out on commentary. She hits a big super-plex on Morgan off the top-rope and when the countdown clock expires, Emma comes out as the number four entrant.
As the four women in the match thus far duke it out in the ring, the countdown clock appears again and out comes Shayna Baszler as the fifth participant to enter the match. She dominates for a while as the commentators sing her praises for her past work in Rumble matches.
The countdown clock appears again and when it expires this time, out comes Damage CTRL’s Bayley as the latest entrant. She mixes it up with the other competitors in the bout and then the seventh entrant comes out, none other than B-Fab from Hit Row. Within 36 seconds, Rhea Ripley eliminates her.
Out at number eight is NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez. The Texas native who is from Laredo makes her way to the ring as the commentators sing her praises and remind everyone she is a Booker T standout student from Reality of Wrestling.
Perez hits some nice spots and lets out a nice war scream to get the fans to pop. The countdown clock appears and when it expires, out at number nine is another Damage CTRL member, Dakota Kai.
Dana Brooke and Liv Morgan start to beat down Damage CTRL members Dakota Kai and Bayley. When the countdown clock hits and runs out again, the third Damage CTRL member Iyo Sky hits the ring and makes the save for Bayley and Dakota Kai, stopping them from being eliminated by Brooke and Morgan.
Emma avoids elimination but moments later, Dana Brooke isn’t as lucky, as she gets eliminated. Emma is eliminated by Dakota Kai a few seconds later. Roxanne Perez nearly eliminates Dakota Kai but she avoids being dumped out.
Perez ends up getting eliminated and then the countdown clock expires and out comes Natalya. Michael Cole reminds everyone that Shayna Baszler broke her nose the last time we saw her and immediately the camera shows Baszler doing the Vince McMahon “gulp” facial that he’d make when the glass would shatter for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s entrance.
Nattie goes straight after “The Queen of Spades,” taking it to “The Submission Magician” with a vengeance as the commentators sing the praises of the women’s wrestling legend. Out at number 12 in the women’s Royal Rumble for her third Rumble appearance is Candice LeRae. She goes right after Dakota Kai upon entering the ring.
We see Natalya avoid being eliminated by Baszler. She nearly throws Baszler out but the refs claim only one of her feet hit the floor. Baszler slaps her choke finisher on Nattie and then Damage CTRL comes over and eliminates them both.
Zoey Stark from NXT comes out as the 13th entrant in the match. She battles with the women in the ring and then Xia Li comes out as the fourteenth entrant in the match. LeRae is eliminated by Damage CTRL and then the countdown clock appears again. When it expires, the familiar sounds of Becky Lynch’s theme hits and out comes “The Man” as entrant number 15.
A bunch of the members in the match go under the bottom rope and they all gang up and beat down “Big Time Becks” outside of the ring. The Damage CTRL trio continue to work her over, throwing her into the barricade and leaving her laying before taunting the commentators.
Now the theme hits to bring out entrant number 16 — Tegan Nox. She comes off the top and splashes onto a bunch of the women in the match. At number 17, out comes Asuka to an enormous pop from the San Antonio fans.
She plays the crowd like a fiddle, getting one of the more impressive reactions from the crowd of the night. She eliminates Tegan Nox and then Piper Niven comes out at number 18. You heard that right. Piper Niven. Not Doudrop, although the commentators immediately start with the puns.
The 19th entrant hits and out comes Tamina. She and Niven go at it and then Lynch finally recovers and gets in the ring. The countdown clock strikes down and out at number 20 is Chelsea Green. As soon as Green gets in the ring, Ripley throws her right back out. Michael Cole speculates that she has broken the record at 5 seconds for the fastest elimination ever.
Becky Lynch eliminates Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky but is then eliminated herself by Bayley. Bayley is then eliminated by Liv Morgan. Lynch and Damage CTRL start brawling at ringside as the action continues inside the ring with the participants still in the match.
Zelina Vega comes out dressed as one of the characters in Street Fighter 6, the video game. Michael Cole informs us that she is one of the voices in the new video game. She settles inside the ring as the latest entrant. Vega takes out Rhea Ripley with a big shot, but doesn’t eliminate her, and then she eliminates Xia Li.
The countdown clock appears again and when it expires this time, Raquel Rodriguez’s theme hits and the hometown favorite of the San Antonio crowd comes out to a big pop and makes her way to the ring. She dukes it out with Vega in the ring and then the clock appears again. It expires and out at number 23 is Mia Yim “Michin.”
We see the countdown clock appear again and when it expires out at number 24 is Lacey Evans. Evans dominates some of the participants and then tells the fans to stand and salute her.
The countdown clock appears again and after being shown as a cameo in the front row earlier, Michelle McCool’s theme hits and we see her stand up from her seat in the front row, take her jacket off, tell her kids she loves them and then hops up on the barricade to pose before heading into the ring and immediately duking it out with Piper Niven. The fans break out in loud “You still got it!” chants. McCool then eliminates Tamina.
After another clock appears and expires, out comes another NXT talent as Indi Hartwell runs down to the ring as the next participant in the match. The countdown clock appears again and when it expires this time, the number 27 entrant, Sonya Deville, comes out. Zoey Stark is quickly eliminated by Deville.
Lacey Evans locks Zelina Vega up in a standing camel clutch while on the middle ropes. She ends up dropping her out on the floor from all the way up there for the latest elimination. Out at number 28 next is Shotzi in the T.C.B. Tank.
Deville makes another elimination, tossing Indi Hartwell out and ending her night early. Out at number 29 comes Nikki Cross. She sprints to the ring as Corey Graves calls her Usain Bolt. She hits the ring and doesn’t bother taking her ring jacket off, instead immediately mixing it up with everyone in reaching distance.
Out of nowhere without a countdown clock, the theme for Nia Jax hits. We see the countdown clock at number seven appear on the screen as she makes her way out. Odd. Anyways after the production glitch, we hear the crowd react and the commentators over-react to Nia Jax making her way to the ring for her return WWE appearance as the surprise entrant in the 30th and final spot.
Every single woman in the match all gang up together and go at Nia Jax. She ends up fighting them all off. Then Raquel Rodriguez and Nia Jax go face-to-face and we’re supposed to look at this as competitive moments after Rodriguez and the rest of the women in the match couldn’t collectively.
Nia Jax fights everyone off and continues to beat down anyone in sight, stopping to shriek out about how she is the best. Rhea Ripley nearly scooped Jax up from behind, but Jax avoids it. Ripley hits on her some more and then does, in fact, hoist her up (sort of) for a Rip-Cord. The women all gang up again and then throw Nia Jax over the top-rope to eliminate her.
We’re down to the final ten in the match, as all 30 have entered, and Raquel Rodriguez eliminates Lacey Evans. We see Rodriguez fighting it out with Asuka now, while Liv Morgan looks to make an elimination in the background. Rodriguez throws Asuka and Deville over the top, but they each land on the ring apron and start kicking Rodriguez.
Moments later, Deville is eliminated by Asuka. Ripley eliminates McCool moments later. Shotzi is eliminated, as is “another human,” as Pat McAfee points out on commentary after Piper Niven launches someone over the top for another elimination.
Piper Niven hits a big cannonball spot on Rodriguez in the corner of the ring and then she heads to the middle rope looking for a Vader bomb. Instead, Rodriguez gets under her and lifts her over the top. She then kicks her off the ring apron for the elimination. Ripley and Rodriguez lock up and both go flying over the top, but Ripley hangs on and Rodriguez ends up eliminated.
Ripley runs over and dumps Nikki Cross over the top rope, and Asuka. They both start fighting back at Ripley from outside the ring ropes on the apron while Ripley is in the ring. Liv Morgan runs over and eliminates Cross. We’re down to Ripley, Morgan and Asuka as the final three and the fans give them a standing ovation as they look around at each other.
We see Ripley and Morgan nearly eliminate each other. All three end up on the ring apron outside the ropes, Asuka sprays Morgan with the green mist and then Ripley kicks her to eliminate her. Morgan is blinded by the mist but still in it, and Ripley is still active as well. Ripley picks up a blinded Morgan, who hits a Code-breaker that nearly eliminates her. Ripley holds onto the ropes as her feet dangle, but Ripley gets a headscissors on her and uses her legs to eliminate her. Ripley wins. One hour, one minute and three seconds. Entered number one and won.
Winner of the 2023 Women’s Royal Rumble match: Rhea Ripley
Hardy Performs Royal Rumble Theme
After a quick commercial break following the Women’s Royal Rumble match, we return inside the jam-packed Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas where Corey Graves, Pat McAfee and Michael Cole recap some of the events that transpired earlier tonight, including Brock Lesnar’s appearance in the Royal Rumble, quickly being eliminated by Bobby Lashley and going on a rampage afterwards.
We then are treated to a live musical performance by Hardy, who performs the official Royal Rumble theme song live. After the performance wraps up, we head to another commercial break.
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship
Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns (C)
Once we return from the ad time out that followed Hardy’s performance, we see Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Pat McAfee sitting at ringside promoting NXT Vengeance Day. They switch gears and then we see the pre-match video package for our final match of the evening.
It is main event time here at the 2023 WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view from The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
After the video package wraps up, we return inside the stadium and we hear the familiar sounds of the entrance theme of Kevin Owens. “The Prize Fighter” makes his way out looking pumped up and ready for some fighting. He heads to the ring for our headline bout of the evening.
With Owens settled inside the squared circle, his theme dies down. The familiar sounds of the theme for “The Tribal Chief” plays and out comes the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns accompanied by members of The Bloodline, Sami Zayn and Paul Heyman. The Usos and Solo Sikoa, however, are nowhere to be found at the moment.
As both competitors in our main event are in the ring, the ring announcer begins the final, formal pre-match ring introductions for our championship main event contest. We see Heyman standing by Reigns’ side, with Sami Zayn seated on the top rope behind them. Kevin Owens, meanwhile, is seated on the top rope across the ring.
The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this Undisputed WWE Universal Championship main event. “We gonna teach ’em a lesson, tonight!” Reigns says as he circles Owens. The fans break out in a loud “Sami Uso!” chant.
Reigns out-muscles and show-boats with Owens early on, checking in with Zayn at ringside a few times. Owens finally gets in some offense and he turns to Zayn and Heyman at ringside and gives them the D-X “crotch-chop / suck it” gesture. Now the fight hits the floor and Owens and Reigns are duking it out at ringside.
Back in the ring, we see Reigns start to take back over control of the offense. He hits what Michael Cole hesitantly calls a Rock Bottom on Owens and goes for the cover, but “The Prize Fighter” manages to kick out. Reigns is selling his ribs hurting after taking a standing senton from Owens earlier on the floor.
Reigns does his slow, methodical beat down in trademark fashion in the ring for a couple of minutes until Owens starts to shift the offensive momentum in his favor. He knocks Reigns out on the floor and then comes soaring off the ring apron with a frog splash onto “The Tribal Chief” on the floor.
As the action resumes inside the ring, Owens heads to the top-rope and comes off with another frog splash that connects. This time he goes for the follow-up cover, but Reigns kicks out after the count of two. Owens backs in a corner and yells at Reigns to “get up you manipulative piece of …” before going for a super kick. Reigns ends up avoiding it and connecting with a power bomb of his own for a close near fall, which Owens barely kicks out of.
With Reigns comfortably in the lead, he soaks in the massive audience in attendance and then throws his Ones up in the air, as do Zayn and Heyman at ringside. He drops down to the mat with his mighty fist and sets Owens up for a Superman punch. Owens avoids it initially, but seconds later Reigns does connect with one for a close pin attempt.
Reigns stalks Owens as he gets up slowly and does his “UCE!” yell before charging at Owens looking for a Spear. Owens ends up side-stepping Reigns and guiding him shoulder-first into the steel ring post. Owens comes off the ropes with a picture-perfect swanton bomb for a close pin attempt of his own.
The two end up on the top-rope together. Owens knocks Reigns down and looks to do a moonsault, but Reigns moves away from it at the last moment. Reigns follows up with a Spear and goes for the cover, but Owens kicks out at two.
Moments later we see the ref bumped and then Owens connects with a pop-up power bomb on Reigns. He goes for the immediate follow-up cover and as Michael Cole and the fans count well past three, there is no ref to do so. Owens gets up to see where the ref is and is blasted with a blatant low-blow from behind by “The Tribal Chief.”
Reigns looks over and yells at Zayn, who defends himself saying he was told to do nothing. Reigns says he’s telling him now to go get him a steel chair. Zayn runs over and grabs one but hesitates before eventually sliding it into the ring. He does and Reigns picks it up but turns around right into a Stunner from Owens.
Owens immediately goes for the cover but somehow Reigns kicks out after two and a half. Zayn nearly has a heart attack and gasps for breath after Reigns barely survives. Owens looks for another pop up power bomb but instead Reigns blasts him on the way down with a Superman punch.
He hits the ropes and blasts Owens with a Spear and immediately covers him, yet somehow Owens again kicks out at two and a half. Zayn again nearly loses his sh*t when that didn’t end it. The fans chant “This is Awesome!” and then we see Owens on the ground at ringside recovering.
Zayn yells at him to stay down. Owens tries crawling up Zayn’s body. As Owens gets to his feet Reigns charges by him and Spears Owens through the barricade. Reigns heads over and slams the back of Owens’ head into the steel ring steps violently. He does the same thing a second time and now Michael Cole starts shouting at the ref to call the match off.
In the ring we see Reigns playing with Owens, who tries to throw a punch, but Reigns simply backs into the ropes and comes at him full steam with another Spear. He goes for the immediate follow-up cover and gets the 1-2-3. Roman Reigns retains the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in a great main event at what was an absolutely excellent show overall.
Winner and STILL Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns
All Hell Breaks Loose Within The Bloodline
After the match, Roman Reigns’ bad-ass theme song plays as the rest of The Bloodline — Jimmy and Jey Uso and Solo Sikoa, join Sami Zayn, Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman in the ring. Uso goes to give Zayn his lay and have him officially join The Bloodline, taking the “honorary” away from his name. Reigns tells The Usos to go beat on Owens more first. They oblige.
Now Reigns tells Sikoa to go at it, too. The Usos put Owens’ head into a steel chair and then Sikoa runs over and bounces ass-first into it with a huge splash. Now Reigns looks over at Heyman. Heyman hands him two pairs of handcuffs. The Usos take the cuffs and put one side of each pair on his wrists.
They put the others to the ring ropes. Owens is handcuffed and lifeless on the ropes. Reigns gives more orders and The Usos each hit him with super kicks back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Owens is completely lifeless and Michael Cole is screaming for them to stop it.
Clearly we’re seeing Sami Zayn being tested as to how he’ll react to seeing his longtime friend from Canada getting beaten badly. Reigns then grabs a chair and yells at Owens for disrespecting his family in Sami Zayn. He says it’s time to show him for good. He backs up and goes to baseball swing the chair at Owens’ dome.
Zayn jumps in and stops him. He then pleads with him, acknowledging him and telling him that this is beneath him. Reigns stops and thinks for a moment and then hands the chair to Zayn to do it himself. Reigns yells at Zayn that Owens has been an anchor to him since day one.
He says if he wants to be down with The Bloodline, do it, otherwise go back to “doing Jackass sh*t.” He then demands that the hesitant Zayn pull the trigger. Zayn starts to get emotional so Reigns pie-faces him over and over again, shoving his face back with his hand. Reigns then turns and Zayn looks like he’s gonna hit Reigns.
He walks forward and does exactly that for probably the loudest pop in human history? Insanely loud. He looks at The Usos and apologizes. Jey Uso in particular gets emotional asking why he did that. Jimmy Uso super kicks him. Jimmy looks at Jey and yells that ain’t your brother, I’m your brother.
He kneels down and grounds and pounds Zayn until Solo Sikoa stops him. Sikoa then picks him up and hits Zayn with the Samoan Spike. Reigns is back up and now he directs all of The Bloodline to beat on Zayn. Jey Uso is the only one not doing so, but he looks disgusted as he looks down at Zayn.
The Bloodline all turn at Jey and ask him what he’s doing. Reigns focuses on Jey now, who drops down and rolls out of the ring as the fans explode with a loud, collective gasp. He walks alone to the back as the fans pop huge as sh*t and Jey gets emotional walking off. Reigns shakes with anger looking at him from the ring.
Roman Reigns picks the steel chair back up and just absolutely and completely wears it out on Sami Zayn, beating him to a pulp with it and then picking him up by his t-shirt as it stretches and breaks and yells at him as he shakes his lifeless body around. He takes the lay they almost gave Zayn from Sikoa and stands over Zayn.
The fans loudly chant “F*ck you, Roman!” and he acknowledges the chants. He then shreds the blooms off the lay they were going to give Zayn and leaves them sprinkled over Zayn’s lifeless body as the fans boo. This is great, great stuff. Unbelievablely good, actually.
The Bloodline members still in the ring leave Zayn laying after tearing his honorary uce shirt off of him. The fans boo as they head up the aisle with Owens still lifeless and handcuffed to the ropes and Zayn completely lifeless and laid out on the mat. One final shot of Roman Reigns talking with The Bloodline is shown as the WWE Royal Rumble 2023 pay-per-view wraps up on that note.
Amazing, amazing show. Top to bottom. Go out of your way to watch it. Thanks for joining us folks! We’ll see you again Monday night for Raw!