For the second year in a row, Cody Rhodes won the Royal Rumble match, becoming only the fourth person to achieve the feat. Hulk Hogan in 1990-1991, Shawn Michaels in 1995-1996 and Steve Austin in 1997-1998 were the others.
He can therefore try to end his story next April at WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia. After winning the Royal Rumble last year, Cody explained that he wanted to end the story of his father Dusty, who, despite two championship matches against “Superstar” Billy Graham at Madison Square Garden in 1977, was able to win the WWWF (now WWE) title .
However, last year the decision makers changed their mind a few weeks before WrestleMania, even though he was originally scheduled to win his match against Reigns. So we wanted Roman to keep his title. Almost a year later, we find ourselves in the same place. Cody wins the Rumble and Roman is still champion three title defenses later.
It now remains to be seen who Cody will end his story against. Because even though everyone thinks it's going to be against Reigns in singles, and if I had to bet right now that's where I would put my money, I would still like to present you with some alternative scenarios.
Who could Cody face?
On Cody's list of candidates or potential candidates, he could face WWE World Champion Seth Rollins. Then again, it wasn't the belt that had eluded his father, Dusty. Rather, it is the WWE title that Roman Reigns holds alongside the Universal title. Taking Rollins to task would tell the wrong story. It won't arrive.
Since Reigns is rumored to face Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at WrestleMania, could we have a triple threat match with Cody? I would be very surprised. “The Rock” in a three-way match sounds very bad to my ears. But at least it would be the right title.
When we made the decision last year not to let Cody win, he was told the whole thing would be pushed back to 2024. He was told that he would win the title in a rematch against Novel at WrestleMania 40. If we want to keep our promise, could another option be for Roman to face The Rock in Saturday night's finale and the winner face Cody for the title on Sunday? It seems possible to me, although the chances of seeing Dwayne wrestle twice in two nights are slim. Plus, it would sell the punch a bit since Roman won on Saturday. At the same time, are there any fans who really believe that The Rock will become champion if he takes on Roman? To ask the question is to answer it.
Let's go somewhere else for a moment. What if Cody didn't face Seth or Roman? Before WrestleMania, Damian Priest takes the suitcase against Roman, who loses because of the rock. Cody faces Priest for the title and Rock faces Roman at WrestleMania.
Seth, Rock, Priest, Roman. As you can see, there are several options on the table, and honestly, it's rock that messes everything up. Without his possible (very possible) presence at WrestleMania, Cody vs. Roman would be the only possible option. And he's still the only one who comes closest to what we want to achieve by getting him to finish his story. I'm just wondering what momentum this game might have, but they still have two months and dust to get us there.
A very underwhelming men's rumble
Aside from the winner, I don't think the men's Rumble got much attention. Just one surprise: the return of Andrade. We had Bron Breakker from NXT, Rick Steiner's son, who did particularly well. From what we hear, he would have replaced Brock Lesnar, who we decided to leave aside since his name was mentioned in the lawsuit against Vince McMahon. Breakker eliminated Jimmy Uso, Finn Balor, Ivar and Omos and also looked good against Gunther. I hope we keep him on Raw regularly and use him in a multi-man match for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.
A nice surprise, because Quebecer Sami Zayn entered the arena 30th and last. The latter returned to television after being absent since December 4th. The fans' reaction at the time was cautious. We probably expected a little too much from Rock. But later, the crowd hummed Sami's theme song at the same time. However, Zayn didn't stay in the Rumble long. He had time to eliminate Damian Priest, but was eliminated by Drew McIntyre, the man who beat him in his last televised match in December.
It's nice that I started the ball with Jey and Jimmy Uso. However, I was disappointed that Kofi Kingston didn't even try to keep his feet off the ground. In an interview on Friday, he explained to me that he came up with the idea after John Morrison made it a year before he left WWE. He also told me that it was a way to get people talking about him in an hour-long match where there was only one winner. And yet, last night, nothing. Not even one attempt that didn't work.
All in all, a men's Royal Rumble that will not go down in history.
Several surprises on the female side
Conversely, his feminine inclination was the one with the most twists and turns.
From number two onwards, Naomi's return set the tone. Her last WWE match took place in May 2022. We will remember that Sasha Banks (Mercedes Moné) and she left the company together, dissatisfied with their efforts when they were tag team champions. Naomi received a great reaction from the audience.
Then at number five, we were treated to TNA Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace making her WWE debut. This is not a defection, but rather a borrowing, similar to what we did with Mickie James two years ago. And we gave a lot for the champion, who looked very good. There was obviously a nod to the rivalry she had with Naomi in TNA, as Grace replaced the one who wrestled under the name Trinity as champion. The two hugged before beating each other up. The fans liked it.
But the surprises weren't over yet.
At the very end of the game, at number 28, it was the long-awaited debut of Jade Cargill and I believe she has what it takes to become a megastar! She first competed against Nia Jax, who had eliminated eight other competitors in this match. Then she lifted Jax onto her shoulders with unsettling ease, even taking the time to flex her right bicep. It was Cargill that wanted to eliminate it.
Cargill then had another personal conversation, this time with Bianca Belair. The camera even showed the WrestleMania logo, a sign that we could have this “Black Excellence” duel, as my colleague Kevin Raphaël would say, at WrestleMania.
Former NXT Women's Champion Tiffany Stratton made her debut at number 29. Another one that looked really good. And at number 30 it was the return of Liv Morgan, who hadn't wrestled since last July and injured her arm.
Much to my surprise, Cargill eliminated Naomi, but especially Becky Lynch, with flexes over the third cable. We made it look really good. As Stratton then pulled Belair's mane onto the arena apron (the apron that was surely worn out from so much use by the end of the night), Bayley took the opportunity to eliminate both of her opponents.
Then, with only three left and Morgan and Cargill fighting again on the arena apron, Morgan managed to take out Cargill. Bayley immediately struck out to knock down Morgan and win her first-ever Royal Rumble. Between the eliminations of Stratton, Belair and Morgan, it was truly a Bayley win!
It took a long time for the cake to rise, but since Cargill arrived the fight continued. I preferred it to men's fighting.
Roman and Logan are still champions
In the other two matches of the evening, Roman Reigns retained his title against Randy Orton, LA Knight and AJ Styles by pinning the latter. A good game. This was only his third title defense since WrestleMania 39. It's incredible. Roman defeated Jey Uso at SummerSlam and LA Knight at Crown Jewel. That's all. Three small title defenses in nine months.
For his part, Logan Paul retained his US title against Quebec's Kevin Owens. The game was decent overall, with an ending that you'll either love or hate.
Paul's famous manager came out of the crowd to help his foal, as he is wont to do. Security quickly intervened, but what I didn't like was that he wasn't taken out. We asked him to come out, there were three or four of us around him, but his presence lasted several minutes. It just wasn't believable. No matter who jumped into the ring from the crowd like him, that person would be completely incapacitated in a split second. I understand that in this situation we were in a scenario and had to act it out, but it was too unbelievable for me.
During all this commotion, Owens' opponents Grayson Waller and Austin Theory arrived and gave the champion brass knuckles. However, he didn't have time to use it as Kevin took it from his hand to use it himself, much to the audience's delight. With Paul down, Owens attempted a pinfall, but the referee saw the weapon just before he hit the mat for the third time. He then disqualified Owens. It didn't bother me so much because I understand that the rivalry will continue, but I can also understand that someone else doesn't like the fact that in four games the quarter ends in a disqualification.
R-Truth: the king of comedy
Since I couldn't pull off a spectacular maneuver like Ricochet and Logan Paul, I consoled myself with the two performances by R-Truth.
In the first, he arrived at the very end of the Valhalla entry in the Women's Rumble. When I ran to the ring and Adam Pearce ran after him, it was like a slapstick comedy from the 1980s. I loved it! Of course we didn't let Truth fight women, but that moment made me laugh.
As much as I enjoyed that moment, nothing could match what came next. Since he was a valid entrant in the Men's Rumble, Truth, always confused by reality, believed he was in a tag team match and asked Dominik Mysterio to take over for him. When he did that, the crowd just exploded! Truth then imitated John Cena to the delight of the 48,000 fans before being eliminated by Priest.
He is without a doubt the Louis de Funès, the Michel Courtemanche of the WWE, whatever comparison you want to make to him.
Too long for four games
The event lasted nearly four hours, far too long for a show with only four games. The end of the Men's Rumble with Cody and Punk was very drawn out and didn't help matters. I understand that this was Punk's first fight on television since returning to the company, but the two fought like it was a normal fight and never tried to outwit each other – past the third wire. The ending actually came out of nowhere.
Royal Rumble 2024 results
Here are the quick results:
- Bayley won the Women's Royal Rumble
- Roman Reigns defended his Undisputed Universal Championship in a quadruple threat match against Randy Orton, AJ Styles and LA Knight
- Logan Paul defended his US title against Kevin Owens
- Cody Rhodes won the men's Royal Rumble