2018 Royal Rumble Kickoff Show – Match Recap and Reaction

Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia is filling up quickly as the sold out crowd prepares for the 2018 Royal Rumble event, but first, we’ve got an incredibly loaded Kickoff Show.  I’m going to go ahead and fill you in on all the important details of the opening two hours because you’re most likely just watching TakeOver again……and again……and again.

Kickoff Panel Notes:

  • Renee Young is great at what she does, and she just gets better and better.
  • Unfortunately, Peter Rosenberg seems to be a mainstay in the main roster PPV kickoff panels.  I really just don’t like that guy.  Give me Sam Roberts or Give me Death!
  • Jerry Lawler and Otunga are on for a while, then a revolving door of guests joins throughout the remainder of the two hours, including a great shoot segment with Charlotte who expects any woman who wins the Rumble to challenge her because she’s the money match.

Kickoff Show Matches:

Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado and Kalisto vs Drew Gulak, Jack Gallagher and TJP

This match got a surprising amount of screen time, and not all of it lengthy entrances as both teams came out as a group rather than individually.  It was a great showcase of talent, particularly from Gran Metalik who got to put on a show of his flashy rope maneuvers.  Gulak cost his team another one here, you have to believe, as Jack Gallagher went up for a second rope move and was distracted by Gulak coaching him to get down long enough for Dorado to recover in the ring and turn the tide.  TJP would later attempt a Detonation Kick on Kalisto, but much to Jeremy’s dismay, Kalisto would reverse the maneuver into a Salida Del Sol as Metalik, Dorado and Kalisto pick up the pinfall over TJP, Gulak and Gallagher.

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs The Revival

This was a pretty good showing for both of these teams, with The Club on top for the majority of the early going.  Both of these teams work so flawlessly together as teams, and it was a showcase of how quality tag team matches are supposed to go here.  While I expected The Club to continue rolling from Monday night, The Revival would follow the game plan Jeremy set out in our prediction post, utilizing a chop block on an injured Karl Anderson and picking up the win.  The Revival now have some momentum.

Who’s it Gonna Be Bobby?

Bobby Roode kicks off the United States Open Challenge in Philadelphia, and we’re all excited to know who his opponent is….

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t even remotely consider that it would be Mojo Rawley, but that’s what we’ve got here.

United States Championship: Bobby Roode vs Mojo Rawley

Much like their match in the tournament, Mojo Rawley came out firing on all cylinders, taking it to Bobby Roode early.  Rawley got to have a good showing, but his trash talking wasted too much time and Roode was able to turn it around, hitting the Glorious DDT as Bobby Roode retains the United States Championship in a successful first Open Challenge match.

That’s your kickoff show.  The matches were pretty good, and got a decent amount of screen time which is odd for kickoff broadcast matches.

Now’s your chance.  Get the WWE Network free for a month, watch Royal Rumble tonight, watch TakeOver over and over and over again for a month, then you’ll still have some time on your free trial to watch Elimination Chamber, which is rumored to be the women’s first opportunity inside that chaotic structure.  So get it.