The Real Winners and Losers of 2020 WWE Royal Rumble
The 2020 WWE Royal Rumble established two things: champions and challengers. It was all about building the key conflicts going all the way to WrestleMania 36.
Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt and Bayley came out on top with dominant displays that solidified their role at the top of their respective divisions. Brock Lesnar showed his poise even if he could not win the men's Rumble match.
And two challengers emerged to face the titleholders.
Drew McIntyre toppled The Beast Incarnate and ultimately eliminated Roman Reigns to win the men's Royal Rumble. After winning the match, he is set for a date with destiny against Lesnar.
Charlotte Flair defeated the field to win her first Rumble and now has a choice to make: She can challenge Lynch or Bayley at WrestleMania on April 5. She has faced both before but never one-on-one on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
It was a night to remember with many big wins and losses, with some emerging from the chaos as bigger stars even without taking victory.
Loser: Every One of the 13 Men Eliminated by Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar opened the match and eliminated 13 men along the way. He ended up taking down Elias, Erick Rowan, Robert Roode, John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio, Big E, Cesaro, Shelton Benjamin, Shinsuke Nakamura, MVP, Keith Lee and Braun Strowman.
While The New Day and Mysterio got a brief moment to shine, all these men were embarrassed so that The Beast Incarnate could tie the Royal Rumble record. Technically, he did so far more efficiently than The Monster Among Men did in The Greatest Royal Rumble.
The Beast has repeatedly taken advantage of this roster's work, and this was the ultimate insult. Kingston was thrown out again for the sake of Lesnar, and Morrison was protected for weeks only to be ignored in this match.
No one enjoyed this moment. It was just a way to put over a man who stopped needing to be put over a decade ago.
It was all to build to one man eliminating him, and it was a great moment. It just wasn't worth all the embarrassment to get there.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre, with a timely assist from Ricochet, eliminated Brock Lesnar from the Royal Rumble, stopping him at 13 eliminations.
But The Scottish Psychopath did not quit there. He lasted all the way to the end, and he took out Roman Reigns to win the Rumble.
This was a phenomenal moment for McIntyre. It finally felt like he got the time to shine he deserved. Even if it was at the expense of too many, he is now an absolute star after Sunday night.
Lesnar vs. McIntyre will be a special match that can hopefully be the last time someone needs to slay The Beast. He's a huge heavyweight talent with the speed and ferocity to look great against the WWE champion.
It is rare that WWE sees money and delivers on it like this. The Scot has earned his moment after spending too long doing nothing. He had some good points in 2019, but he never quite got there. 2020 must be his year.
Winner: Bianca Belair
Bianca Belair opened the women's Rumble match at No. 2, and she put on an impressive show. After 16 wrestlers had entered, The EST was the only one left standing. Charlotte Flair, who ultimately won the match, came in at 17 and stopped her run.
The best part of this whole match was the NXT Superstar working off Alexa Bliss. Belair proved she is a huge star in the making and will have to be used as a big star going forward.
It was obvious WWE relied on her endurance in this contest. She is an incredible athlete, who was ready to go the whole way. Even though she didn't, she certainly made a lasting impression, basically eliminating her half of the field.
The Queen won at the end, but matches like this are not singular and stories can be told throughout. In fact, The EST probably had the best run of anyone in the Rumble. It was not the same once she was taken out.
Whether Belair defeats Rhea Ripley at NXT TakeOver: Portland or takes a step straight to Raw or SmackDown Live, she's ready for a huge opportunity.
Loser: Shayna Baszler
Shayna Baszler made a late run in the Royal Rumble that felt like all the stars were aligning. She eliminated eight women and made it to the final two. However, she wasn't able to overcome Charlotte Flair and was thrown out at the end.
Other than the actual winner, no one felt like they had better odds of winning than The Queen of Spades. She was ready for a huge opportunity and made the most of her time in the match.
At the end, though, WWE went right back to the conventional choice. Flair was chosen to win because she hadn't won a Rumble. It wasn't because she was built up for the moment or was the right challenger to any champion.
With the champions as they stand, Becky Lynch and Bayley have fought The Queen too often. It's time to take a fresh approach. Baszler was ready for that spot.
While The Queen of Spades may still get her moment, her perfect opportunity was stolen. She now has to rebuild and find an alternate route to gold.
Winner: The Fiend
Daniel Bryan came out swinging against The Fiend, but Bray Wyatt would not go down to anything. He punished his challenger again and again.
No matter how close The Planet's Champion got, he could not win, and The Fiend put him down with a uranage mandible claw for the win.
The red lighting was gone, which felt good. Wyatt got to take his in-ring work to another level by working with the best rival of his career. This was even a step further forward from their great Royal Rumble match years back.
The story was perfectly built by both men. They used the strap to its peak, brutalizing one another to the point that both were bruised and battered. Bryan was bleeding from his arms, and The Fiend looked to have a swollen eye.
It was an incredible performance that finally allowed Wyatt to take the next step. This was the match that showed he is more than a gimmick. He is a monster who can compete at the peak level.
Of course, much credit goes to Bryan, who told an inspired story in the ring. He was all-in on making this special, but Wyatt held his own in this incredible contest.