[Fair warning: this article is absolutely loaded with spoilers. If you haven’t yet watched the Royal Rumble (or NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia), be aware that results and surprises are mentioned extensively here.]
Okay, so. Has everybody caught their breath yet?
I think the vast majority of us would agree that the 2018 Royal Rumble was an excellent WWE pay per view – but the most characteristic aspect of the night maybe wasn’t its quality, but rather its eventfulness. Lots of stuff happened – crowd-popping stuff – from shock returns to stunning match results. Even the order of the card caused a lot of debate and excitement online.
In stark contrast to the 2017 event, this one put the focus back where it should be – on the Rumble matches themselves. Randy Orton’s victory last year was certainly a surprise, but it didn’t capture the headlines in the way a Royal Rumble victory should. The biggest news was actually the Match of the Year contender between AJ Styles and John Cena, but the PPV’s signature stipulation seemed to take a backseat.
This year’s show reminded us how the Royal Rumble should be – a seismic event that revs everybody up for the road to WrestleMania. It was also a fantastic pay per view in its own right, and one which deserves to be looked back upon fondly.
Enough preamble. Let’s dive into the incidents that made this PPV such an unforgettable one, from the good to the bad, to the downright shocking. Here are the 10 most surprising moments of the 2018 Royal Rumble.
10. The Women’s Rumble Closes The Show
During the event, news broke on social media that the women’s Royal Rumble would be closing the show. This had been theorised by many leading up to the PPV – but a lot of us were still caught off guard by the decision.
In hindsight, maybe it shouldn’t have been that much of a shock – especially since Charlotte and Sasha Banks main-evented a main roster pay per view at Hell in a Cell 2016.
Still, it was tremendously exciting to see the women’s Rumble not only treated with the same importance as the men’s, but also handed the main event spot. Ultimately, it proved to be a win-win situation for WWE, as both Rumble matches were easily good enough to close the show.