royal rumble 2016 dvd match card
Match 1 – Last Man Standing for WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dean Ambrose (C) vs. Kevin Owens
Match 2 – Tag Team for WWE Tag Team Championship
The New Day: Big E & Kofi Kingston with Xavier Woods vs. The Usos: Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso
Match 3 – Singles for WWE United States Championship
Alberto Del Rio © vs. Kalisto
Match 4 – Singles for WWE Diva's Championship
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte © with Ric Flair
Match 5 – Royal Rumble for WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Roman Reigns © vs. Rusev vs. AJ Styles vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Curtis Axel vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. Goldust vs. Ryback vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Titus O'Neil vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust vs. The Big Show vs. Neville vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Erick Rowan vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Jack Swagger vs. The Miz vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus vs. Triple H
Match 6 – Tag Team Fatal Four-Way to qualify for the Royal Rumble
The Dudley Boyz: Bubba Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley vs. “The World's Strongest Man” Mark Henry & “A Real American” Jack Swagger vs. Damien Sandow & Darren Young vs. The Ascension: Konnor & Viktor (taken from WWE Royal Rumble 2016 Kick-Off)
Royal Rumble 2016 begins with a brilliant Last Man Standing match between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens over the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Both men put in strong performances in a spot-based encounter that builds and builds towards it's finish. Following this there's a good tag team match with The New Day's Kofi Kingston and Big E opposite The Usos, that is highlighted by a pacy spot sequence in the final third of the match. The main problem the bout has is that the crowd is ready for a New Day babyface turn and possibly a reverse for their opponents.
The WWE United States Championship match between Alberto Del Rio and Kalisto is let down by a couple of missed spots and a particularly sloppy finish. However, for the most part the pair work quite well together in the ring and the match has a handful of believable near falls. Becky Lynch's challenge for Charlotte's WWE Diva's Championship features some top class wrestling between the pair who work hard for each other throughout the match. Ric Flair's actions on the outside of the ring, including his involvement in a fairly flat finish stop the match from becoming as good as it should have been, but the surprise following the match makes up for this.
Of course, The Royal Rumble match takes up a large section of the show, going for over an hour, but it's structured well-enough that the match rarely feels like a drag. The opening ten minutes or so in particular are a great watch, with the debut of AJ Styles' getting a massive reaction from the Amway Center. Roman Reigns' trying to hold onto his WWE World Heavyweight Championship is obviously the major storyline throughout the bout, and the story takes a number of obvious turns throughout the match, disappointingly showing a real lack of creativity and imagination.
However, there are various points in the match that feature clever pieces of booking, showing a knowledge of the audience and managing to keep the crowd involved in the action and push heat into the correct places. A personal highlight, that I suppose wouldn't be for everybody, is R-Truth's mid-match comedy spot, that still managed to get a little chuckle out of me on the second viewing. The matches other main thread is the action involving The Wyatt Family and Brock Lesnar, which again felt like a little bit of miscue in terms of the booking, with the action never quite seeming as good as it could have been. Luckily, however, the matches closing straight is a thrilling couple of minutes, that have the crowd hooked, allowing the match and the show to end on a high point.
The only added extra on the disc is a Fatal-Four Way tag bout involving The Dudley Boyz, The Ascension, Damien Sandow & Darren Young and Mark Henry & Jack Swagger attempting to earn spots in the Royal Rumble match in a surprisingly fun outing, that is unfortunately let down by a lack of clarity in it's sloppy finishing sequence.
atpw dvd rating - 6.80/10
Not without it's problems, the first big show of 2016 is a stellar watch from start to finish. Each match has a reason to check it out, with the opening Last Man Standing match and the Royal Rumble bout standing out as the two strongest matches on the show. If you're looking to add to your PPV collection, then the Royal Rumble 2016 get's my recommendation, for sure.