It may be hard to believe, but we are now approaching the seventh Women’s Royal Rumble. It’s a match that I have honestly really enjoyed a solid percentage of the time. I have made this article because I think it’s a travesty that they aren’t recognised for how fun they are. Even the worst women’s rumble matches have some great returns sprinkled throughout, which will at least get a kick out of you.
I’ll start this off by listing the former winners of the match so far and giving my take on whether it was the right decision. While the men’s competition has missed a lot in terms of winners in recent years, the woman’s rumble has a pretty good track record. Here are the previous winners:
- 2018: Asuka – The right decision at the time and a perfect first woman’s rumble winner. While the booking that came afterwards was stupid, at the time, this was a good decision.
- 2019: Becky Lynch – They couldn’t have chosen a better winner here. She was insanely over at the time, and this just propelled her to super-stardom and a first woman’s WrestleMania main event.
- 2020: Charlotte Flair – It’s not a good choice, if I’m being honest. It was there first miss, sadly. Although she still had her title match at Mania, Shayna should have won here.
- 2021: Bianca Belair – An amazing choice, which made her the star that she is today. Another situation where it is hard to find a better winner.
- 2022: Ronda Rousey – Yikes. The 2022 Royal Rumble in general was a travesty, so Ronda being the winner isn’t shocking in the slightest. It’s even worse having her do a similar thing to Lesnar and having her come in at a late number and just lay waste to most people with little intrigue. I get that Rousey would bring in more press; it’s understandable, but come on, it wasn’t great.
- 2023: Rhea Ripley – The perfect choice for a winner again. She has a superstar-making performance, which is evident from the crowd reactions she manages to get weekly.
As you see, four out of six is a pretty good ratio. Even then, some could argue against it, as some may be big fans of Charlotte’s 2020 NXT run (not me personally, though).
A major positive of a woman’s royal rumble is the heavy amount of returns that come from it. In years like 2022, when the men’s match is severely lacking in returns, the women make up for it with a heavy amount. Here are some of the returns that really stood out to me personally:
- Jacqueline (2018) – The recognition she had gotten was well-deserved, and I really felt like this return was a good way to honour her.
- Ivory (2022) – She brought the RTC gimmick back, and it ended up being very fun.
- Mickie James (2022) – It was great seeing her represent TNA in the rumble; it felt like a great moment. While I ranted about the 2022 Rumble earlier, even so, it has some great returns.
- Michelle McCool (2023) – I thought the way she entered was brilliant; it really caught me off guard, and it was quite an entertaining way to execute a return.
Other Memorable Moments
In terms of other memorable moments, the first two that spring to mind are Kacy Catanzaro, and Naomi saving themselves from getting eliminated (with Naomi saving herself on multiple different occasions). While these two have created very memorable moments, I really don’t think that Mandy Rose’s save in 2022 gets enough credit. Her storyline with Otis was already one of the most enjoyable on SmackDown, and having Otis save Mandy in the rumble match only added fuel to that fire.
The Best Woman’s Rumble?
There is just magic in this one that others cannot replicate. I’m not necessarily saying this is bad; 2021 and 2023 were great, but this is just exceptional. It feels like a celebration of women’s wrestling, and I can honestly really appreciate it. While the best individual performance comes from 2023 with Rhea Ripley, this is all around the best match. It’s a perfect blend of returns, drama, and in-ring action, and there’s honestly very few complaints from me. This match set a high bar, and I couldn’t be happier that it did.
Who Do I Think Should Win It This Year?
It was a toss-up at first between Liv and Becky, but to me, Liv makes the most sense. Rhea was the one to injure Liv, so it only makes sense that she would be a prime contender to take the title off her at Mania. Rhea’s title reign is a massive deal, so the person who beats her will be thriving off this newfound stardom. I really think that they would be wasting an opportunity to make another big star by not giving Liv the win. Becky could easily wrestle Rhea at the chamber if they want to do that match. That being said, I would not mind Becky winning at all; I just think Liv would be a much better choice.
Coincidentally, Peter Ryan wrote an article where he goes more in-depth on this topic midway through 2023. If you want to read that, click HERE.
Thank you very much for reading this article; it truly means a lot to me.