Haven't been around for a while, so thought I'd pop in and see what was said about the Rumble. Give over, man. Meltzer's opinions are just that, but to say he doesn't have any credible inside knowledge is as asinine a statement as has been said on this forum... and I was here for the Jayfunk era. If the male Rumble had went on last, it wouldn't have mattered if the crowd were burnt out by the end of it as there would have been nothing following it. Wrestling is littered with teams that disliked each other and then either grew to like each other and teamed or were forced to team up, got their shit together and became credible duos.
As for the show itself, here's my opinions on the matches.
Obviously booked at relatively short notice, but it was a nice (if nothing special) match to kick things off proper and entertain the few fans who came into the building early.
The Revival v The Good Brothers
Much better than their waste of time at RAW 25 (I prefer to go with anything that happened in the Manhattan Center was non-canon), this was a good tag-match. Both are capable of much better, but as this in the middle of a pre-show, no need to blow your load totally.
I did love the leg work from the old-shoolers and that it played perfectly into the finish.
Roode v Mojo
I like Mojo, his promos leading up to the match with Ryder were next level, but this was a waste of Roode and of Rawley. The open-challenge aspect needs to be dropped as every US Champ since Cena has done it, but it has only worked with Big Match John because of who he is and that he faced a litany of guys overall. This match meant nothing in the grand scheme of things and will be one of those "Oh yeah, I forgot they fought then" bouts you have jarred back into your memory when the two guys meet in a better setting.
AJ v Canadian Friends
The start of this with the quick tags was fun, while these three are always good to watch. The wrestling isn't the problem here, it's the authority-figure storyline backdropping it that sucks. And with the pin being made on the illegal man, it's only going to continue. They cannot have the title on anyone but Styles come 'Mania. If they tease us now with him v Nakamura, only to switch the title to someone else, I think I'll cry.
Usos v American Beta
The first fall was fantastic and while I liked the nature of the second fall coming due to Shelton's hubris, I did felt cheated because I'd have loved them to have gone another 10-15mins (akin to the best-of-three between Revival and DIY).
Men's Royal Rumble
This was fantastic. Perfectly placed surprise entrants, pretty much everyone got something to do in the match. Corbin got to destroy people on the way out, people got to hit Slater on the way in, Sheamus got dumped by Slater (yeah), Almas and Cole got a big pop in this house, though nothing topped the surprise pop for Mysterio.
The final six being three old versus three new was relayed well, as was the Cena / Reigns against Balor / Nakamura for the final four. Big spots leading to Reigns charging into a Kinshasa was the perfect end to one of the best Rumble matches.
Jordan / Rollins v The Bar
An angle more than a match, it was OK, but struggled after the emotional high of the previous match. This should, hopefully, be the end of the former champs as a tag-team, but I look forward to seeing JJ as the entitled (and oblivious) daddy's-boy heel.
Monster v Machine v Beast
This was a lot of fun. Strowman clattering Brock with a stiff knee, followed by Lesnar rattling Braun with a legit full-force punch to the head, set the tone. Not much wrestling, but we got what we needed; big men hurling each other around, tables being broken and Kane eating the pin.
Women's Royal Rumble
First off, Stephanie was great on commentary. Sure, she wasn't calling the action as such, but she did a great job of putting over the match and everyone in it. Plus it was refreshing to have her and both champions out there and it not be a factor in the match at any point.
The right person won (I too was disappointed that Kharma wasn't in there, though if they are building Nia, it wouldn't make sense to have a more evolved version of that same character appear in the same match), the surprises were nice, though I felt there were too many Legends and spots could have been given to more NXT roster members.
That being said, Vikki's appearance put a smile on my face and Ronda Rousey appearing at the end could be a legit game-changer if booked and promoted properly.
Overall, the Rumble and Takeover were two great nights of wrestling. MANIA SEASON!!!!