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WWE Royal Rumble 2021: Live updates, results and match ratings – CNET

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Of all the events WWE has put on in the coronavirus era, Sunday’s Royal Rumble may be the most challenging. The live crowd’s electricity, its counting down the clock for the next competitor to enter the arena, is one of the most fun parts. WWE has pulled some rabbits out of the hat — “rabbits” in this case meaning strong pay-per-view events — and hopes to do so again on Sunday.

It’s off to a strong start. Randy Orton and the returning Edge were announced to be entrants one and two in the men’s Royal Rumble match, reigniting their 2020 rivalry. Kevin Owens is sure to lose his Universal Championship Last Man Standing match against Roman Reigns, but it’s also sure to be excellent. Finally, there’s the intruige of the Goldberg versus Drew McIntyre WWE Championship bout.

And hey, the Royal Rumble is all about surprises. You never know you’ll see, or who you can’t see. Keep refreshing this page from when the main show begins, 4 p.m PT/7 p.m. ET, as we’ll be updating with results and analysis. 

Sasha Banks taps out Carmella

Carmella had the best match of her career at December’s TLC pay-per-view with Sasha Banks, but this follow up wasn’t quite as good. After an average match, Sasha Banks submitted Carmella with the Banks Statement.

These women were put in a tough spot, following the WWE Championship match which, while light in action, was heavy in star power. The first half saw Carmella beating down on Banks, but her offense wasn’t particularly convincing. It picked up as the bout transitioned into more back-and-forth, but even then little was remarkable. 

Maybe the most fun was how Reginald, Carmella’s manager, got involved, with Carmella using him as a launching pad at one point. He also accidentally caught Sasha as she fell out of the ring, inadvertently saving her from a fall, only for Sasha to work in a hurricanrana on him. Carmella then did a gnarly suicide dive, landing face first and thankfully not killing herself. 

Banks also won the match with a nice omoplata transition into her Banks Statement, if you’re into MMA being integrated into your WWE.

Rating: 2.5 stars. 

Drew McIntyre beats Goldberg

This went exactly as you’d expect. The match was short, and consisted of three moves: Several Spears, several Claymore Kicks, and one Jackhammer. 

It began with McIntyre hitting Goldberg with a headbutt and then a spear, copying Goldberg’s move. Goldberg then rolled to the outside and speared McIntyre through a baricade. Once they were inside the ring, the referee rang the bell. From there it was simply an exchange of spears and Claymore Kicks, and Goldberg at one point hit a Jackhammer for a two.

After a series of nearfalls, Goldberg missed a spear, McIntyre’s Claymore connected and victory came with it. They embraced after the match.

Rating: 1 star. Might have been fun if there was a live crowd that was into the exchanges, but as it was this was sterile and boring. Goldberg’s limitations — the fact that he can basically only do one thing, a spear — are so naked, it’s hard to really get into the action.

Preshow Results

The Royal Rumble’s Preshow saw titles change, as Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defeated Asuka and Charlotte. Charlotte was pinned after Lacey Evans interfered in the match and struck her with brass knucks. Jax then hit a leg drop and got the pin.

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