Wednesday, October 5, 2022

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Revisiting the First Ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match

In 2018, fans finally got what they had been waiting for when the first ever women’s Royal Rumble took place. Stephanie McMahon announced the match on Raw in December 2017 and got the world excited about who would enter, who would win, and who would surprise everyone.

The women’s Royal Rumble was elevated by being the night’s main event. Stephanie McMahon was on commentary, and Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair were near the ring. Maria Menounos was the special ring announcer, announcing the first and second entrants of the match. 

Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch made history by being the first ever entrants in the Rumble. Sasha lasted 54 minutes in the Rumble, but Becky lasted 30, illustrating that early numbers do not guarantee triumph. Mandy Rose, who came in #4, was eliminated four minutes later by #5 Lita. The sixth entrant brought us Kairi Sane, who was a replacement for an injured Alicia Fox. Kairi was the first entrant from the NXT brand and got an impressive crowd reaction. 

Many women from the 2018 roster were in the Royal Rumble, including Sarah Logan, Tamina, Dana Brooke, and Sonya Deville. Torrie Wilson made a surprising return when she entered at #9 and sent Dana Brooke over the top rope. Another surprise entrant was two-time WWE Women’s Champion Molly Holly at #12. She eliminated Sarah Logan and showed she hadn’t lost a step after ten years.

Michelle McCool made her surprise return by entering at #14 in the Rumble. Michelle was very successful in the Rumble as she made a total of five eliminations. She eliminated Molly Holly, Sonya Deville, Lana, Liv Morgan, and Vickie Guerrero. This is even more impressive considering McCool only spent about eight minutes in the match. 

Vickie Guerrero came at number 16 to boos and her iconic “Excuse Me” chants. She was attacked 4 on 1 and barely lasted 57 seconds, the shortest of any woman in the competition. Carmella was knocked out until Natalya entered at #18.

Carmella attacked Natalya as she tried to enter the ring after Natalya disrespected her after throwing her ring gear on her as she was lying on the floor. Kelly Kelly was another surprise entrant at #19, and while she didn’t get any eliminations, she held her own for nearly 5 minutes before being eliminated by Nia Jax. Becky Lynch, on the other hand, was eliminated after 30 minutes by Ruby Riott of the Riott Squad.

WWE Hall of Famer, Jacqueline, made her entrance at #21, with Corey Graves, Michael Cole, and Stephanie McMahon all mentioning how tough she is and how important she is to women’s history. Nia Jax eliminated Jacqueline in less than two minutes, therefore she didn’t last long in the Rumble. Naomi started a tradition of great Royal Rumble saves by being grabbed by women outside the ring when Nia Jax hurled her over the top rope. She proceeded to sit on the barricade and then walk along it to jump onto a chair. She used her hands to walk herself to the stairs and her feet never hit the floor.

Unfortunately, once she made it back into the ring, Nia Jax eliminated her immediately. NXT was represented once again when NXT Women’s Champion, Ember Moon, made her entrance at #23. Although she had a wounded arm from her match the night before against Shayna Baszler, she lasted almost 6 minutes before being eliminated by Asuka.

Beth Phoenix, entrant #24, lifted Nia Jax to prove her power. After Natalya turned on her and flung her over the top rope, she was eliminated. Asuka entered the Rumble at #25 and immediately began kicking and making her presence felt. Nikki and Brie Bella were late surprise entrants at numbers 27 and 28, respectively. Nikki had four eliminations during the match and was one of the final two women in the match. Brie also saw success with two eliminations and being one of the final three women in the match.

The final entrant, and possibly the biggest surprise, was Trish Stratus closing out the Royal Rumble at #30. Trish had three eliminations- throwing Natalya and former rival, Mickie James, over the top rope. She also helped eliminate Nia Jax from the match. There was a fun moment when Trish and Sasha Banks had a stand-off with Trish mocking Sasha, although it resulted in Sasha eliminating Trish from the match. 

The final four women in the match were Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Asuka, and the number one entrant, Sasha Banks. Sasha was eliminated by the Bellas, and Brie was eliminated by Nikki. Our final two women were Nikki Bella and Asuka with Asuka kicking Nikki when both were on the apron to get the victory and earn herself a title shot at either the Raw or the Smackdown Women’s Championship. During Asuka’s win celebration, Ronda Rousey stopped her to announce that she was the newest member to WWE’s great women’s roster.

In many ways, the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble raised the bar for women’s wrestling. It also made sure to pay respect to the women of the past that paved the way for the women of the present and future. If you haven’t seen this Rumble for a while, I strongly recommend going back and watching. The match is excellent and very entertaining from start to finish.

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