Professional wrestling fans were treated to a pretty entertaining WWE Royal Rumble 2018 pay-per-view last Sunday, but which match was considered the best of the card? The latest WWE event featured not one, but two Royal Rumble matches, as this PPV held the first-ever women’s edition of the Rumble. That match was highly praised by fans due to the surprises it held in terms of returning women’s superstars. However, that match was not rated the highest of the pay-per-view.
As reported by WWE Leaks on Thursday, Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter has released his latest star ratings for the WWE’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view. The historic women’s battle royal match was rated third-highest by Meltzer, as he gave that match a rating of 3.25 stars. Besting the women’s match was the WWE Championship bout. In that match, current champion AJ Styles had to defend his title in a 2-on-1 handicap match against the duo of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Styles was able to overcome the odds and retain his title, with the match receiving 3.5 stars.
Still, one match was above that when it came to Meltzer’s top-rated match of the card. There’s no surprise here, but it wasn’t the WWE Universal Championship Triple Threat. The bout saw “The Beast” Brock Lesnar able to handle both Kane and Braun Strowman. There was plenty of carnage with Lesnar ultimately prevailing by pinning “The Big Red Machine.” Despite a few fun spots, it was a major letdown. Meltzer gave that just two stars for a highly disappointing match.
The men’s Royal Rumble match wasn’t the main event, but Meltzer considers it the top-rated match of last Sunday’s pay-per-view. A total of 30 superstars competed in the over-the-top-rope battle royal with Shinsuke Nakamura outlasting Roman Reigns for the win. The closing moments had fans torn between whether or not “The King of Strong Style” would be able to find a way to eliminate the previous Rumble winner from the match. To the delight of many fans, Nakamura was able to prevail.
Also among the final four competitors were former winner John Cena and Finn Balor, all of whom made for an exciting finish. The match was given 4.25 stars from Meltzer, falling short of five stars by just a bit. Still, it goes to show that the match involving 30 total competitors was able to tell a great story and provide some exciting action throughout. There were also a few surprise entries such as NXT stars Adam Cole and NXT Champion Andrade Cien Almas, as well as longtime wrestling stars Gregory “Hurricane” Helms and Rey Mysterio.
There’s also the fact that a brand new Royal Rumble winner emerged in Shinsuke Nakamura. It wasn’t one of the longtime superstars or another win to try to push WWE’s current favorite. Fans may have been ready to start a riot inside the Philadelphia arena if Roman Reigns had won the men’s match. However, with the win, Nakamura also quickly announced he would be using his opportunity to face AJ Styles on “the grandest stage of them all.”