Selective Hearing Roundtable: NXT Takeover Philadelphia/Royal Rumble 2018 Fallout

Royal Rumble 2018

AJ Styles def. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

This was a highly competitive match with Styles managing to fend off the threat of Owens and Zayn. What did you think of his strategy? Was it believable enough for a clean win?

Greg: AJ’s strategy made sense in fending off two men. I thought it was going to be both Zayn and Owens in the ring at first but nope, just a tag team vs. a solo guy. So in the context of the way the match was laid it I’d say AJ did pretty well keeping it a “fair” contest.

TOZ: Believable enough.

Allen: I loved that Sami and KO were messing with AJ at first tagging in and out. Really had to establish them as the heels in a Philly crowd. Can’t really say it was “clean” because Sami and KO “missed” the tag in the end… LOL

Were you surprised by the lack of interference from Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan?

Greg: Yup. No shenanigans from the battling authority figures over this one. It made this feel kind of weird having a clean win from Styles.

TOZ: Nope.

Allen: Good. The less meddling from Shane and DBry, the better.

The Usos def. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin

What should have been a show stealer started out strong but had a underwhelming ending. Were you disappointed with how this played out?

Greg: Yup. This was essentially a short TV match rather than PPV quality. Very disappointed.

TOZ: Nope. I thought it was better than others.

Allen: I was disappointed at first but I actually preferred this tag match over the Raw tag match.

Did you at least expect the match to be tied before the Usos claimed victory?

Greg: Yup.

TOZ: Yes. But I like that the Usos had a clean sweep. Makes them look even stronger than before.

Allen: It felt weird that they were going all out before the first fall. Even if they went to three, it would have been quick pins.

2018 Men’s Royal Rumble Match

This rumble did not feature too many stars of the past. Of the ones who returned who were you most excited at seeing?

Greg: A jacked up Rey Mysterio. Dude is pretty big now and looks like he can still go. The Hurricane was less exciting.

TOZ: Rey was fun.

Allen: Rey probably got stem cells injected into his knees because he was flying around like he was in his 20’s again.

What about NXT members? Who got you hyped?

Greg: Andrade “Cien” Almas was a pleasant surprise. He also happened to be one of my picks in our pool thanks to a random number generator so I was biased towards him. Also Michael Adam Cole Baybay! Although I was skeptical he would be entered I was pleasantly surprised, especially after the match he had the night before.

TOZ: Cien was fun.

Allen: Liked that both NXT champs showed up in their rumble matches. I was surprised Almas stayed a long time after his 5 star match with Gargano the night before. Adam Cole all bandaged up was great to see. Sell that damage from the night before.

Shinsuke Nakamura eliminates Roman Reigns to win the 2018 Royal Rumble and chooses to go after the Smackdown Live championship. If AJ Styles is still champion by Wrestlemania do you expect their match to be one of the highlights of the card?

Greg: One can only hope when AJ and Nakamura meet it will match their Wrestle Kingdom 10 greatness. I will be happy getting half of that quality in the WWE environment. But yes, it should be one of the better matches on the card if it remains a 1 on 1 contest for Wrestlemania.

TOZ: Has to be. Just give them 35 minutes to wrestle and enjoy.

Allen: They have such a high bar to live up to because of their WrestleKingdom 10 match. I’m sure both AJ and Nakamura are excited to top their previous encounter. WWE can’t screw this up… can they??

Will Roman still get a shot at the Universal title?

Greg: Probably.

TOZ: Over who?

Allen: Over the five other guys in the Elimination Chamber…

Cesaro and Sheamus def. Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan

Seth Rollins valiantly fought both members of The Bar after his partner Jason Jordan suffered an injury outside the ring. Yet he could not defeat them by himself. Do you expect Rollins and Jordan to break up their team and fight each other? Will Jordan finally turn heel?

Greg: With Jordan “injured” by ringside leaving Seth to take on the bar by himself, it would be logical to think that this will lead to a 1 on 1 match now that they have lost the belts. Of course logic and WWE don’t always co-exist so I’m going to wait it out to see if they pull the trigger on a Jordan heel turn.

TOZ: Heel turn incoming.

Allen: Jordan looks to be legit hurt, otherwise they would have kept the titles on them. The Shield Reunion Curse is getting stronger…

Who will The Bar face next?

Greg: I really don’t know. There are not a lot of teams who have been built up to compete for the belts outside of The Bar and The Shield.

TOZ: Themselves. They can make it happen.

Allen: I would like to see them take on Woken Matt and Brother Nero at WrestleMania.

Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane

A standard big man match with some brutal spots. Was this exactly what you expected?

Greg: This was better than advertised. I did like how Braun kneed Brock in the face and got a good stiff right hand for his fuck up. Thankfully it did not escalate any further than that or the match would have derailed quickly. Kane eating the pin was the right decision. Gotta keep Braun looking like the terminator.

TOZ: What I expected.

Allen: The most brutal part was Brock’s receipt punch after getting kneed in the face! The way Braun’s head moved, it’s like you could see his brain get scrambled in slow motion.

Brock retains, who does he face next?

Greg: Roman.

TOZ: Roman.

Allen: Roman and maybe Cena?

2018 Women’s Royal Rumble Match

This rumble had more legends return. Who were you most excited to see?

Greg: All the women I watched during the attitude era, even Kelly Kelly. If I had to pick one I’m going with Trish. She looks like she could still compete today.

TOZ: Molly Holly. Complete surprise and I loved it.

Allen: Torrie Wilson looks amazing, even better than her time in the Attitude Era. I loved laughing when Vickie came out and subsequently getting dumped out. Beth Phoenix and Trish Stratus could even wrestle today.

How about active wrestlers from either brand or NXT?

Greg: I was also skeptical about Kairi Sane being in this rumble but it was nice to see her get her shit in before Lita dumped her out of the ring. And Mandy Rose, can never get enough Mandy Rose.

TOZ: Was into Kairi in the Rumble. Also liked that Sasha and Becky were the first two.

Allen: Nia Jax looked very good being the girl to beat near the end. Loved when she dumped Naomi after all her ring theatrics. It was great seeing Ember Moon and Kairi Sane represent NXT, but where the HELL WAS THE ICONIC DUO?!?

Asuka takes out Nikki Bella to win the first women’s Royal Rumble. Did you expect any other result?

Greg: Even though this was the predictable outcome, it was still satisfying.

TOZ: Seeing as I won with Asuka in our pool, I am happy.

Allen: I liked that Asuka won and it wasn’t her completely demolishing the women’s roster.

Royal Rumble 2018 Pool Winners

Men’s Rumble – Hollywood Jurina

Women’s Rumble – TOZ