The 5 best moments from the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match
It was a historic night in The City of Brotherly Love, as Philadelphia played host to the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match. In a 30-Superstar battle, women from WWE’s past, present and future collided with a title opportunity at WrestleMania hanging in the balance. Here are our five favorite moments.
The return of women from WWE’s illustrious past
When the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match was announced, the current Superstars weren’t the only ones excited, as many names from the past expressed their joy at this groundbreaking moment.
Quite a few of those women descended on Philly for the historic occasion and provided unforgettable moments. The field included four WWE Hall of Famers – Lita, Jacqueline, Beth Phoenix and Trish Stratus -- as well as decorated performers like Nikki & Brie Bella, Michelle McCool (who notched a record five eliminations), Molly Holly, Kelly Kelly, Torrie Wilson and Vickie Guerrero. With the addition of NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon to the field, the historic battle included performers from nearly every era of competition in WWE.
Naomi’s huge save
Naomi found herself in quite the predicament when she was tossed out of the Rumble onto a pile of Superstars at ringside and ended up on the ringside barricade, still not having touched the arena floor.
Desperate to stay in the bout, Naomi tightrope-walked along the barricade, commandeered special guest ring announcer Maria Menounos’ chair at ringside and propelled herself forward with her feet on the chair and her hands on the floor. Once she got back in the ring, she was tossed out for good by Nia Jax, but Naomi gave a perfect example of the ingenuity it takes to last in the Royal Rumble Match.
Sasha Banks’ incredible performance
Although she did not walk out of Philadelphia victorious, The Boss set the first benchmark for future Women’s Royal Rumble Match performances. Banks drew No. 1 in the Rumble and survived for 54 minutes and 46 seconds, making her the iron woman of the historic melee.
Asuka’s history-making victory
In the end, nobody was ready for Asuka.
The Empress of Tomorrow entered the Rumble at No. 25 and showed why she is, quite possibly, the top competitor in all of WWE. Although it seemed as if most of the other competitors were determined to toss her out, Asuka remained relentless. She eliminated longtime NXT rival Ember Moon, contributed to Nia Jax’s exit and kicked Nikki Bella off the ring apron to etch her name into the history books.
Ronda Rousey’s shocking appearance
Before Asuka could declare whether she would be challenging for the Raw or SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania, the WWE Universe witnessed one of the most shocking moments in WWE history.
The strains of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” echoed through the Wells Fargo Center as Ronda Rousey made her jaw-dropping arrival in WWE. The decorated MMA fighter emerged to a roar from the WWE Universe. The former Olympian stared down SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss and Asuka, then pointed at the WrestleMania sign that loomed large over the squared circle.
“Rowdy” Ronda said nothing, but the message she sent was loud and clear – she’s headed to The Show of Shows.