Women’s Royal Rumble match
To kick off the night, The women’s rumble match was the first to go on. Natalya would enter number one, followed by Naomi, an entrant that shocked many, as She had been away from the company for some time. Not many women qualified for this match beforehand. There were over 20 spots that were never taken by anyone, making this match a lot more unpredictable than the men’s version later on tonight.
Bayley entered early, a favorite to win the match tonight. She was later joined by Asuka, which left her with a shocked expression on her face. Kiari Sane later joined in, causing Damage Control to gain momentum in the match for a brief period before Sane and Asuka were eliminated before the halfway point. A shining star tonight was TNA star, Jordynne Grace. WWE officially called this the first time ever that a TNA star under contract competed in a Royal Rumble match. Grace dominated for a solid portion of this match and arguably had the number of Bianca Belair until Belair eliminated her with a KOD on the ring apron.
Bayley, Bianca, and Naomi looked the most impressive throughout the match. Since Naomi was in the match from the #2 spot, she ended up being the workhorse of the match, taking the opportunity to showcase her talent. At #19, entered Nia Jax, a game changer in this match, eliminating Ivy Nile, and Xia Li instantly upon entering the Rumble match, changing the landscape for the final third of the match. The tide especially started to change after the elimination of Piper Niven, also courtesy of Jax.
At number 25 entered Val Halla, whose entrance was spoiled by a delusional R-Truth running down the ring, entering the match, and being thrown over the top rope in seconds by Nia Jax. Val Halla then entered but was also eliminated immediately by Nia, a constant force in this match. Just when it seemed that Nia Jax was unbeatable in this match, #28 ended up being none other than Jade Cargill a women’s wrestler that AEW fans remember extremely well. Cardgil took little time picking up Jax and throwing her over the top rope, making an emphatic in-ring debut in WWE and sending a message to everyone else in the match.
The final three ended with Bayley, Cargill, and Morgan. With all three women on the ring apron, Bayley slips back in the ring through the ropes, as Cargil and Morgan eliminate each other. Bayley had finally punched her ticket to Wrestlemania. Many people had their money on Bayley, as there is an extremely interesting story to tell between either Rhea Ripley or even Damage Control’s own, Iyo Sky. Between multiple surprise entrants, amazing action, and Bayley’s impressive victory, The 2024 Women’s Royal Rumble match was one of the best there has been since the first Women’s Rumble in 2018.
Roman Reigns Vs. AJ Styles Vs. L.A Knight Vs. Randy Orton (WWE Undisputed Universal Championship)
The buildup for this match has been bigger than almost any match Reigns has had in quite some time. Styles, Orton, and Knight started the match by working together and gaming up on Reigns, keeping him trapped in the corner and taking turns striking. Not long after, the match was divided up with Knight and Styles fighting in the ring while Reigns and Orton battled it out at ringside. Reigns would try to get involved between Knight and Styles but Orton made that very complicated throughout the night.
Once Orton was off his back, Reigns did everyone he could to dominate this match. This was an extremely unusual match type for Reigns, as he has never defended his world title in a Fatal-4-Way match in all of his three-year reign. Just when Orton had Reigns pinned, Solo Sikoa pulled the referee out of the ring, saving Reigns and his championship. Sikoa then set his sights on Styles, attempting to spear him through the Barricade. Styles dodged, sending Sikoa through the barricade and taking him out for the remainder of the match. The match concluded with Styles botching a Phenomenal forearm, letting Reigns capitalize and pin him for the three count. While Reigns was clearly the projected winner, The three other men gave it their all in this match, making it a fun and suspenseful performance that lived up to the hype.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Logan Paul Vs. Kevin Owens (United States Championship)
After a grueling U.S. championship tournament over the course of multiple weeks, KO would finally challenge Logan Paul for the United States Championship. Logan has been antagonizing Owens for weeks, including calling him names and starting a brawl at the performance center just days ago. While tempers are high, both men must control their emotions in order to prevail. This is Paul’s first title defense since winning the championship 84 days ago at Crown Jewel.
Predictably, one of Logan’s buddies was able to once again deliver brass knuckles to the ring. The ref immediately caught on, but Gracen Waller and Austin Theory made their way to the ring, causing even more confusion and giving Logan the opportunity to use the knuckles. However, Owens turned the tables, used the knuckles for himself, and went for the cover. If it wasn’t for the ref’s last-minute realization, Owens would have won the match. Instead, the knuckles were noticed on the hand of Owens, causing Owens to be disqualified.
Winner: Logan Paul (Via DQ)
Men’s Royal Rumble match
Entrants One and Two started this match off without a dull moment. Jey and Jimmy Uso were the first competitors in this match, instantly resuming a story that has been brewing since August. Jey held his own against Jimmy but was soon outnumbered as Gracen Waller entered the match and came to the aid of Jimmy Uso. Following was a returning Andrade, back in WWE just a number of weeks after his AEW contract expired. Andrade showcased his return spectacularly, making fans remember who he was.
Getting even with Santos Escobar, Carlito eliminated the leader of Legado Del Fantasma. Carlito finally had one up on Escobar while destroying his chances at main-eventing Wrestlemania. Soon after, Karrion Kross entered the match and set his eyes immediately on Lashley. AOP followed Kross to the ring in an attempt to shift the odds in Kross’ favor. The prophets laid an attack on AOP, neither team being in the match of course.
This was soon moved on from, as all the attention shifted to Cody Rhodes as he entered at #15. Unlike last year, Cody would have to exist in this match for a significant amount of time. Rhodes soon becomes face-to-face with the 18th entrant, Gunther. The two attack each other on and off throughout the match. Neither man has forgotten about how far the other is willing to go when it comes to a rumble match. #20 surprised many, as former NXT champion Braun Breaker entered the scene and shockingly eliminated Jimmy Uso. This is not what many pictured, as there was a better story to be told between Jimmy and Jey.
CM Punk enters at #27, showing an enormous amount of energy, and immediately eliminates Dominik Mysterio. The heavy favorite showed no ring rust in his turn to WWE programming for the first time in 10 years. As the final entrant concluded, Sami Zayn would enter the match at #30. Zayn eliminates Priest. The final four consisted of Cody Rhodes, Gunther, CM Punk, and Drew McIntyre. It was a highly competitive final 4. Gunther targeted Rhodes intentionally, remembering that Rhodes eliminated him last year.
Punk through McIntyre over the top rope, followed by Rhodes eliminating Gunther for a second year in a row. The final two were as many predicted, CM Punk and Cody Rhodes, after minutes of constant back and forth, Rhodes blocked a second GTS and won the Royal Rumble for a second consecutive year. He immediately points to Reigns in the rafters, symbolizing that at WM40, he’s looking to finish the story once again.
Winner: Cody Rhodes