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10 Best Wrestling Pay-Per-Views Of 2019 (So Far)

10. WWE Royal Rumble

WWE.com

Long and uneven and counterproductive to performers who deserve more than the silence of exhausted crowds, this is the fate of every WWE Big 4 show now.

It is impossible to effectively sequence a consistently engaging seven-hour event of any medium, much less WWE, but in the refreshed light of day, the 2019 Royal Rumble produced several bangers - and, in defiance of its rotten modern history, two popular results in the titular attractions.

Asuka's win over Becky Lynch hasn't been revisited in storylines, strangely, but as a standalone spectacle, it was an excellent character-driven showcase for Becky's undying swagger in the face of a genuine threat. Their RAW counterparts Ronda Rousey and Sasha Banks assembled a frantic and uniquely-told, beautifully ugly fight. Broadly comedic and farcically-worked in its first half, the Women's Royal Rumble match just about recovered in the second to anoint Becky as The Man. The crowd, exhausted by the rare, emotional high, were too spent to react to AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan's gruelling, intimate scrap. It was worked excellently for what it was, but what it was wasn't remotely stadium-sized fare.

Finn Bálor showed glimpses of the old super-worker in his focused, intelligent and believable early onslaught of Brock Lesnar in a cracking sprint, and the Men's Rumble, if patchy, did effectively showcase Pete Dunne, Aleister Black and Rey Mysterio.

Uneven as hell, but it ruled when it ruled.

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Contributor
Contributor

Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!