Royal Rumble 2019 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE for the Raw and SmackDown brands. It took place on January 27, 2019, at the Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. This was the 32nd event under the Royal Rumble chronology.

Ten matches were contested at the event, including three on the pre-show. In the main event, Seth Rollins won the men's Royal Rumble match, while Becky Lynch won the women's Royal Rumble match after losing her SmackDown Women's Championship match against Asuka in the opening match. Other prominent matches Brock Lesnar retaining the Universal Championship against Finn Bálor, Daniel Bryan defeating AJ Styles to retain the WWE Championship, and Ronda Rousey defeating Sasha Banks to retain the Raw Women's Championship.

Background

Royal Rumble featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines that played out on WWE's primary television programs. Wrestlers portrayed villains or heroes as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.

Storylines

The card included matches that result from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portray heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results are predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw, SmackDown, and 205 Live brands, with storylines produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, and the cruiserweight-exclusive 205 Live.

At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Fabulous Truth (Carmella and R-Truth) defeated Mahalicia (Alicia Fox and Jinder Mahal) (with The Singh Brothers) by submission to win the second season of the Mixed Match Challenge. Their prize for winning was each getting the #30 spot in their respective Royal Rumble matches at the pay per view.

At TLC, Braun Strowman defeated Baron Corbin in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to earn a Universal Championship match against Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble.

At Crown Jewel, Shane McMahon won the WWE World Cup, replacing The Miz in the finals, who was deemed unable to compete due to a pre-match brawl. Following this, The Miz began a pursuit to form a tag team with Shane, claiming that they could be the best tag team in the world. Shane finally agreed to the pairing, and on the January 8, 2019 episode of SmackDown, Miz challenged The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus) for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at the Royal Rumble, and The Bar accepted.

On the December 25, 2018 episode of SmackDown, Rusev defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to win the United States Championship. On the January 1, 2019 episode, while Rusev and his wife/manager Lana were celebrating the title win, Nakamura attacked Rusev with Lana also getting hurt in the scuffle. On the January 15, 2019 episode, it was announced that Rusev would defend the title against Nakamura at the Royal Rumble.

Event

Pre-show

Three matches were contested on pre-show. In the first match, AOP manager Drake Maverick announced a tag team match between Raw Tag Team Champions Bobby Roode and Chad Gable and the team of Scott Dawson (of The Revival) and Rezar (of AOP), with both The Revival and AOP receiving a Raw Tag Team Championship match if they won. In the end, Roode and Gable performed a moonsault/neckbreaker combo on Dawson to win the match.

Next, Rusev defended the United States Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura. In the climax, Rusev's wife Lana stood on the ring apron to notify the referee of Nakamura removing the turnbuckle, which led to Nakamura staring her down. As Rusev attacked Nakamura, he accidentally knocked down his wife. Distracted, Nakamura took advantage and attacked Rusev with the "Kinshasa" to win the title for a second time.

The final match on the pre-show was the fatal four-way match in which Buddy Murphy defended the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Akira Tozawa, Hideo Itami, and Kalisto. In the climax, Murphy performed "Murphy's Law" on Itami to retain the title.

Preliminary matches

The actual pay-per-view opened with Asuka defending the SmackDown Women's Championship against Becky Lynch. The climax saw Asuka counter a "Dis-Arm-Her" from Lynch into an inverted "Asuka Lock", which caused Lynch to submit and allowed Asuka to retain her championship.

In the second match, The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus) defended the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The Miz and Shane McMahon. In the end, Sheamus inadvertently performed a "Brogue Kick" on Cesaro, before Miz performed a "Skull-Crushing Finale" on Sheamus. Shane then performed a shooting star press on Cesaro to win the title.

Next, Ronda Rousey defended the Raw Women's Championship against Sasha Banks. In the climax, Rousey performed the "Piper's Pit" on Banks after escaping the "Bank Statement", to retain the title.

The fourth match was the 30-woman Royal Rumble match for a women's championship match at WrestleMania 35. Lacey Evans, making her main roster debut, and Natalya began the match. NXT’s Xia Li, Kairi Sane, Candice LeRae, Kacy Catanzaro and Io Shirai and NXT UK’s Rhea Ripley were all surprise entrants at #11, #14, #17, #19, #23 and #24 respectively. Lana was scheduled to enter the match at number 28 but still suffered from her injury from the pre-show. Becky Lynch appeared and was allowed to take Lana's spot. In the end, Lynch then won the women's Royal Rumble match by last eliminating Charlotte Flair.

After that, Daniel Bryan defended the WWE Championship against AJ Styles. In the climax, a returning Rowan appeared. Bryan then accidentally performed an enzuigiri on the referee. Styles performed a "Styles Clash" on Bryan but Rowan performed a Clawhold Slam on Styles. Bryan then pinned Styles to retain the title.

In the penultimate match, Brock Lesnar defended the Universal Championship against Finn Bálor. Bálor quickly took to the offense. In the climax, Bálor performed the Coup de Grâce on Lesnar for a near-fall. Lesnar then quickly transitioned the pin into a closed guard and applied a kimura lock, forcing Bálor to submit, thus retaining the title. After the match, Lesnar attacked Bálor with three German suplexes and an F-5.

Main event

The main event was the 30-man Royal Rumble match for a world championship match at WrestleMania 35. Elias began the match at number one and was interrupted by WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett, entering the match at number 2. NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano, WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne and Aleister Black were surprise entrants at #6, #18 and #21 respectively. As #30 entrant R-Truth made his entrance, he was attacked by Nia Jax, who took his spot and eliminated Mustafa Ali. Jax then received a superkick from Dolph Ziggler, a "619" from Rey Mysterio, and an "RKO" from Randy Orton before being eliminated by Mysterio. Jax became the fourth woman to enter a men's Royal Rumble match, the first person to compete in both the men's and women's Royal Rumble matches in the same night, and the first to score eliminations in both matches. In the end, Seth Rollins won the match by last eliminating Braun Strowman.

Aftermath

Raw

The following night on Raw, Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey issued an open challenge that was answered by Bayley. After retaining, women's Royal Rumble match winner Becky Lynch made her entrance and confronted Rousey. After recapping their rivalry that began at Survivor Series, Lynch chose to face Rousey for the Raw Women's Championship at WrestleMania 35.

Seth Rollins celebrated his Royal Rumble match victory. Triple H then came out and congratulated him, but said that Rollins needed to choose which champion he wanted to face at WrestleMania 35 by the end of the night. Later, Rollins confronted Brock Lesnar. After an ensuing brawl, Rollins chose to face Lesnar and goes on to beat him for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania.

Finn Bálor addressed his loss to Brock Lesnar, but stated that he made Lesnar believe that Bálor could win. Bálor was then confronted by Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley and his manager Lio Rush, and Lashley attacked Bálor.

SmackDown

On the following SmackDown, Becky Lynch addressed how everything had changed for her since with the women's Royal Rumble match. Charlotte Flair then came out and congratulated Lynch and stated that Lynch won, but was never in the match in the first place, and that Lynch would not be where she was at if it were not for Flair. An ensuing brawl broke out between Flair and Lynch until referees separated them.

As compensation for not being able to compete in the men's Royal Rumble match, R-Truth was granted a United States Championship match against new champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Truth defeated Nakamura to win the title, which led to Rusev coming out and declaring that Truth was not worthy of the title. Rusev then challenged Truth for the title, but was also defeated. After the match, Rusev turned heel and, along with Nakamura, attacked Truth.

Daniel Bryan, along with his new ally Rowan, revealed a new WWE Championship belt, made from hemp and wood. He was then interrupted by AJ Styles, which prompted Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, Randy Orton, and Mustafa Ali to come out and challenge Bryan for the title. After an ensuing brawl, Triple H announced that Bryan would defend the title against the five at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view inside the Elimination Chamber.

New SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Miz and Shane McMahon celebrated their title win along with Miz's father. Later that night, The Usos defeated Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozovic and Tucker Knight), The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro), and The New Day (represented by Big E and Kofi Kingston) to become the number one contenders for the titles at Elimination Chamber.

Match Preview

Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura Preview
Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto vs. Hideo Itami Preview
Asuka vs. Becky Lynch Preview
The Bar vs. The Miz & Shane McMahon Preview
Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks Preview
30-woman Royal Rumble match Preview
Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles Preview
Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Bálor Preview
30-man Royal Rumble match Preview

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
  • Becky Lynch won the 2019 Women's Royal Rumble match for a women's championship match at WrestleMania 35 (1:11:13)

Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations (Women)

    Raw
    SmackDown
    NXT
     – Unassigned
     – Legend

A new entrant came out approximately every 90 seconds.

Draw Entrant Brand/Status Order Eliminated by Time Elimination(s)
1 Lacey Evans Free agent 11 Charlotte Flair 29:20 2
2 Natalya Raw 23 Nia Jax 56:01 2
3 Mandy Rose SmackDown 9 Naomi 25:50 1
4 Liv Morgan Raw 1 Natalya 00:08 0
5 Mickie James Raw 2 Tamina 11:38 0
6 Ember Moon Raw 24 Alexa Bliss 52:23 0
7 Billie Kay SmackDown 4 Lacey Evans 08:38 1
8 Nikki Cross Free agent 3 Billie Kay and Peyton Royce 09:00 0
9 Peyton Royce SmackDown 5 Lacey Evans 08:38 1
10 Tamina Raw 7 Charlotte Flair 08:22 1
11 Xia Li NXT 6 Charlotte Flair 04:48 0
12 Sarah Logan Raw 8 Natalya and Kairi Sane 05:38 0
13 Charlotte Flair SmackDown 29 Becky Lynch 50:01 4
14 Kairi Sane NXT 15 Ruby Riott 17:00 1
15 Maria Kanellis 205 Live 12 Alicia Fox 08:12 0
16 Naomi SmackDown 10 Mandy Rose 01:28 1
17 Candice LeRae NXT 14 Ruby Riott 09:35 0
18 Alicia Fox Raw 13 Ruby Riott 06:55 1
19 Kacy Catanzaro NXT 16 Rhea Ripley 10:45 0
20 Zelina Vega SmackDown 18 Rhea Ripley 11:42 0
21 Ruby Riott Raw 20 Bayley 13:08 3
22 Dana Brooke Raw 17 Rhea Ripley 07:17 0
23 Io Shirai NXT 22 Nia Jax 13:21 0
24 Rhea Ripley NXT UK 21 Bayley 07:55 3
25 Sonya Deville SmackDown 19 Alexa Bliss 04:26 0
26 Alexa Bliss Raw 25 Bayley and Carmella 12:59 2
27 Bayley Raw 27 Nia Jax 14:27 3
28 Becky Lynch SmackDown Winner 13:20 2
29 Nia Jax Raw 28 Becky Lynch 11:59 3
30 Carmella SmackDown 26 Charlotte Flair 07:12 1

Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations (Men)

    Raw
    SmackDown
    205 Live
    NXT
     – Unassigned
     – Legend

A new entrant came out approximately every 90 seconds.

Draw Entrant Brand/Status Order Eliminated by Time Elimination(s)
1 Elias Raw 5 Seth Rollins 15:07 1
2 Jeff Jarrett Free agent 1 Elias 01:19 0
3 Shinsuke Nakamura SmackDown 8 Mustafa Ali 17:46 1
4 Kurt Angle Raw 2 Shinsuke Nakamura 03:15 0
5 Big E SmackDown 4 Samoa Joe 06:01 0
6 Johnny Gargano NXT 9 Dean Ambrose 13:50 1
7 Jinder Mahal Raw 3 Johnny Gargano 00:29 0
8 Samoa Joe SmackDown 14 Mustafa Ali 23:43 3
9 Curt Hawkins Raw 7 Samoa Joe 04:09 1
10 Seth Rollins Raw Winner 43:00 3
11 Titus O'Neil Raw 6 Curt Hawkins 00:05 0
12 Kofi Kingston SmackDown 12 Drew McIntyre 08:53 0
13 Mustafa Ali SmackDown 23 Nia Jax 30:00 2
14 Dean Ambrose Raw 13 Aleister Black 12:42 1
15 No Way Jose Raw 10 Samoa Joe 00:02 0
16 Drew McIntyre Raw 22 Dolph Ziggler 20:06 4
17 Xavier Woods SmackDown 11 Drew McIntyre 00:03 0
18 Pete Dunne NXT UK 17 Drew McIntyre 11:13 0
19 Andrade SmackDown 27 Braun Strowman 22:31 1
20 Apollo Crews Raw 15 Baron Corbin 05:47 0
21 Aleister Black NXT 16 Baron Corbin 06:09 1
22 Shelton Benjamin SmackDown 20 Braun Strowman 09:21 0
23 Baron Corbin Raw 19 Braun Strowman 07:19 2
24 Jeff Hardy SmackDown 21 Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre 07:55 0
25 Rey Mysterio SmackDown 25 Randy Orton 04:26 1
26 Bobby Lashley Raw 18 Seth Rollins 00:13 0
27 Braun Strowman Raw 29 Seth Rollins 14:39 5
28 Dolph Ziggler Raw 28 Braun Strowman 11:34 1
29 Randy Orton SmackDown 26 Andrade 05:56 1
30 Nia Jax Raw 24 Rey Mysterio 03:11 1

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Interviewers
Ring announcer
Pre-show Panel
Referees

See also

DVD release

External links

Royal Rumble 2019 previews

Royal Rumble matchWoman's Royal Rumble matchBrock Lesnar v Finn BálorDaniel Bryan v AJ StylesRonda Rousey v Sasha BanksAsuka v Becky LynchThe Bar v The Miz & Shane McMahonBuddy Murphy v Akira Tozawa v Kalisto v Hideo ItamiRusev v Shinsuke Nakamura

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Royal Rumble
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