Shinsuke Nakamura outlasted 29 other men to win Sunday night’s Royal Rumble thus earning himself a championship match at WrestleMania 34.
On Sunday night, the Royal Rumble celebrated its 30th anniversary, and it was celebrated by having more Rumble than ever. Not only were we treated to the regularly scheduled men’s Royal Rumble match, but for the first time ever there was also an all-female Rumble included on the card.
Going into the show, most would have likely expected the men’s match to go on last. That didn’t happen though and just an hour into the show the Royal Rumble began. That’s when the theories started. Being back in Philadelphia meant that a Roman Reigns win could very much spark a riot, and perhaps WWE’s plan was to have the match early in the night so fans had calmed down by the end of the evening.
Thankfully, that theory was unfounded. The Big Dog did make it down to the final two and there were moments where things looked worrying, but Reigns did not make it back to back Royal Rumble wins. No the winner of the match was Shinsuke Nakamura and The King of Strong Style dumped Reigns over the top rope to a massive ovation. Nakamura then revealed that he wants to face WWE Champion AJ Styles at WrestleMania.
— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2018
The Royal Rumble match was the best we’ve seen in recent memory, and not just because Nakamura won the whole thing. Finn Balor lasted almost an hour, Rey Mysterio returned, and NXT stars Adam Cole and Andrade Almas made their main roster debuts in the match. Ultimately though the match will be remembered for its winner and that this will likely be a turning point in Nakamura’s WWE fortunes.
Since arriving on SmackDown Live the booking of Nakamura has been somewhat shaky. Despite being one of the most charismatic in-ring performers on the planet, that hasn’t successfully come across on the main roster. The former NXT Champion’s Royal Rumble win is a sign that WWE still have a lot of faith in him though, and now we all have Styles versus Nakamura to look forward to. Can it be WrestleMania already, please?
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