Minute Maid Park was the location for the 2020 Royal Rumble. A tradition unlike any other, the pay-per-view was highlighted by two Royal Rumble matches. Eight matches took place on the card, with two taking place on the kickoff show. Four titles were on the line and of course, we were treated to two solid Rumble matches.

Here are my grades and thoughts for all the matches in the 2020 Royal Rumble.

Sheamus def. Shorty G (pre-show)

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: C-

The pre-show started with the returning Sheamus going up against Chad Gable (I mean seriously Shorty G might be the worst name ever). A solid competitive match that was able to showcase the return of The Celtic Warrior but this felt more of a weekly television match.

The pre-show is long enough as it is (two hours before the 7PM start time), perhaps a match for either brand tag titles or number #1 contender match for a mid-card title match could have fitted better here?

United States Championship – Andrade (c) def. Humberto Carrillo (pre-show)

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: B-

From an in-ring perspective, this was a solid match and both guys have excellent chemistry together. That being said, you had to figure that Carrillo had no real chance of winning. It leaves fans to wonder. Why was he called up the main roster so soon?

This is the case where I think it would have benefited Carrillo a lot if he worked on his craft down in Orlando. He has the in-ring skills, but he seemingly has no character or personality. WWE Creative needs to work on him if they want him to succeed on Raw.

As for Andrade, he should have a great run as United States Champion and it’ll be interesting to see who he goes up against next.

Roman Reigns def. King Corbin in a Falls Count Anywhere match

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: B+

This was a good way to open the card and to get this match fans didn’t care for out of the way. That being said, this match was a lot better than I expected. Rather than having them fight in the ring from the start, we have them go against each other throughout the ballpark. The interferences from Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, and The Usos worked well here without it overtaking the match.

A chaotic match that worked well here. The right guy won and hopefully, we can move past this feud. This was a perfect way to end it.

Women’s Royal Rumble match – Charlotte Flair last eliminated Shayna Baszler

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: B

Not as great as the first two women’s rumble matches but this was still a solid Royal Rumble. We had some cool surprises here with the likes of Molly Holly (in her Mighty Molly persona), Beth Phoenix, a lot of NXT superstars, and a returning Naomi to name a few.

You kind of had a feeling throughout that Flair was going to win here so there was not a lot of drama. That was until the former two-time NXT Women’s Champion Baszler coming in at 30. Some notable moments here were Bianca Belair being a star in the making, Naomi having a Kofi Kingston style save, Phoenix and Natalya teaming up, and Otis saving Mandy Rose from elimination.

While it was a predictable outcome that fans may not have wanted since Flair has always been in the title picture. Still, a solid rumble.

SmackDown Women’s Championship – Bayley (c) def. Lacey Evans

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: C

After an hour-long rumble match, you knew the fans would have trouble getting behind this. The crowd looked exhausted from the previous action-packed match.

The action itself was okay but lacked any sort of intensity, given that the buildup on Friday Night SmackDown has been good.

Universal Championship – “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) def. Daniel Bryan in a Strap match

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: A+

Daniel Bryan is excellent. Bray Wyatt is excellent. What more can you expect? Solid storytelling throughout, the fans were really behind Bryan while also cheering for Wyatt when he gained momentum. The Strap match stipulation added a lot to the story, with the welts on Bryan’s back showing that story of the punishment being real.

In my opinion, this was Wyatt’s first real wrestling match that did not end quickly and showed that he can go in the ring in his new character. A brilliant match that is an underrated Match of the Year candidate in 2020.

Raw Women’s Championship – Becky Lynch (c) def. Asuka

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: A-

The in-ring chemistry between Lynch and Asuka is amazing and this was another example here. Lynch looked like she might loose the title multiple times was great storytelling and building Asuka as a legit opponent. Asuka looked as equal as the champion here which is what you always want in a high title match.

The little nod from Lynch after was a nice underlying touch that might be a sign that this feud is long from over. I’m okay with it. Their matches are always great and I would not mind seeing them in the ring once again.

Men’s Royal Rumble match – Drew McIntyre last eliminated Roman Reigns

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: A+

A story of two Royal Rumbles. This was simply excellent.

Contrary to popular belief, I enjoyed Lesnar’s early dominance. Him going through the first 15 superstars and eliminating most them in squash fashion was a great way to buildup the WWE Champion. Once McIntyre entered the fold, it was completely different. Him throwing out Lesnar got a HUGE reaction from the crowd and reminded us how as one point in 2009, he was set to be the next big star that never happened.

Of course, you cannot forget the big surprise in Edge, who comes back after announcing his retirement a decade ago. A big part of my childhood when it comes to wrestling, he looked great here and when his entrance hit at 21, I almost fell out of my chair. Simply amazing and glad to see him back in the ring. It was also nice to see MVP back in WWE as he was one of my favorites growing up.

But in the end, McIntyre won and will challenge Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36. Overall, this Rumble had great booking from start to finish and maybe in the running for the best rumble in recent years.

Overall

WWE got off on the right foot with the Royal Rumble. All the matches on the main card were great for the most part. The men’s Royal Rumble and the Universal title match were the matches of the night but the Raw Women’s title match was also a solid match to watch.

Overall, the 2020 edition of the Royal Rumble was a great pay-per-view that is well worth rewatching.

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