WWE Royal Rumble 2021: Reactions & Review

Here are my final thoughts on Raw and SmackDown’s 2021 Royal Rumble!

Asuka and Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)

Reactions: I find it so hard to care about anything these women are involved with nowadays. I was bored to tears when this match happened a month prior and that sentiment remained the same after this rematch (that nobody asked for, I might add) came to a close. Everything about this bout felt lifeless and mundane – the action moved at a snail’s pace and it didn’t get any better the more it wore on. The lame finish didn’t do this already lackluster bout any favors, either – it set up a feud between Charlotte Flair and Lacey Evans that I have 0 interest in. What a snoozefest this was.

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Goldberg (WWE Championship)

Reactions: This was fine for what it was. Goldberg didn’t botch any of his moves this time around and actually looked halfway decent in there with his new choice in wrestling attire. It started out hot and stayed that way the whole way through. It hit all the right notes that recent Goldberg matches contain – this was an intense finisher fest that was hard-hitting and action-packed. I actually got spooked once Goldberg landed that Jackhammer, though (I got bad vibes just like the ones that took over my body when “The Fiend” fell to Goldberg last year). But WWE decided against pissing everyone off and gave Drew the win. Thank God!

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Sasha Banks (c) vs. Carmella (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)

Reactions: Not gonna lie – this one was a step below both ladies’ TLC 2020 encounter. It felt like it moved at a slower pace this time around. Carmella’s dive through the middle rope scared me half to death cause it was quite obvious that she landed awkwardly and looked as if she injured her neck. Thankfully, she recovered and got back into the swing of things without the match having to come to a full stop. The shorter run time also played a part in adding to my disappointment for this whole affair. I expected even more from this second meeting between the two based on how good it was the first time around. This was still alright, though.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Women’s Royal Rumble Match (30-Woman Royal Rumble Match for a Women’s Championship Match at WrestleMania 37)

Reactions: THE EST IS GOING TO WRESTLEMANIA! Now we’re finally going to get that dream match between her and Sasha Banks that everyone has been clamoring for. And what’s even better is the fact that she did so after entering this match from an early position. The match itself was an enjoyable romp that featured reignited feuds, shocking comebacks, feel-good returns, and plenty of close calls. I got a kick out of watching Victoria finally get the chance to impress on the current WWE stage (what took so long for that to happen, Vince?). And as someone who followed WWE during its weaker years, I actually enjoyed watching Jillian Hall hop back in the fray (yes, I realize I’m the only one who probably feels that way).

As far as match highlights go, there was a good number of them to speak of – Rhea Ripley got to wreck house, Billie Kay provided random bouts of hilarity, Lana finally gave Nia Jax her comeuppance, Naomi and Belair pulled off an awesome save, etc. The final three setup of Charlotte Flair, Belair, and Ripley was pretty cool to see since it featured superstars from Raw, Smackdown, and NXT. The 2021 installment of the Women’s Royal Rumble was a fun time overall. It wasn’t mind-blowingly awesome by any means, but it was solid and gave us the right winner. Job well done.

Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) (c) vs. Kevin Owens (Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Universal Championship)

Reactions: Both of these gentleman are incapable of putting on a stinker. This match was further proof of that fact. As soon as the bell rang, the fists started flying and the big signature moves got delivered much earlier than expected. This Last Man Standing match was a bit different since it featured some Falls Count Anywhere mayhem, which added more life to it and gave it a different feel when compared to previous LMS affairs.

We got big table spots, Roman Reigns’ always enjoyable trash talk (with a few memorable quotes from his challenger to boot!), and a risk-taking Kevin Owens that went above and beyond to incapacitate the champion. We even got a golf cart crash spot! I’m sure the fellas at AEW will be tweeting about that one. I have to give Owens all the credit in the world for pulling off that extra high Senton Bomb, too.

This was the type of car crash match that I tend to get a kick out of. Props to both men for taking their fight all around the arena and implementing some cool spots throughout it. I gotta knock off a point for one instance, however – watching Paul Heyman struggle to unlock Reigns for an uncomfortably long time was odd, to say the least.

Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

Men’s Royal Rumble Match (30-Man Royal Rumble Match for a World Championship Match at WrestleMania 37)

Reactions: EDGE? Well, damn! Can’t say I expected that one. The man that shocked the world with his 2020 Royal Rumble return came back this year to win the whole thing! And it came after an action-packed skirmish that ended this PPV on a high note. When it comes to unexpected returns, this Men’s Royal Rumble put a smile on my face thanks to the appearances of Carlito, Christian, and Hurricane Helms.

And when it comes to star-making performances, NXT’s Damian Priest and Riddle came out of this looking great. Edge and Randy Orton continued their blood feud to kick things off, which gave this Royal Rumble a different flavor. Their brawl played well into the finish, so I have to applaud both men for pulling that impressive act off.

The short but sweet reunion of Team Hell No, Daniel Bryan & Riddle’s mid-match MMA skirmish, Edge & Christian’s teamwork, and Ricochet’s high-flying antics were definite highlights worth mentioning here. I placed all my bets on Bryan, but I’m not mad at Edge getting the eventual win whatsoever. While this year’s installment of the Men’s Royal Rumble is a step below last year’s, it was still a worthwhile show closer.

Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

Match of the Night

The Men’s Royal Rumble Match!

Final Verdict

I feared that the first-ever ThunderDome Royal Rumble wouldn’t reach the same highs as last year’s due to no crowd being present. While the match quality here wasn’t quite as strong as some of the efforts produced by the 2020 Royal Rumble, the 2021 Royal Rumble still provided an entertaining evening of wrestling. Everything besides the two women’s championship matches proved to be worth sitting through. And when it comes to the last man and woman standing from their respective Royal Rumble matches, I came away pleased with who we got in that regard. Even without fans in the arena, the excitement that’s always attached to the Royal Rumble event stayed intact. I had a good time watching this one.

Final Score: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

Click here to see if our WWE Royal Rumble 2021 predictions came true!

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