The 2023 Royal Rumble is one of the biggest nights in the WWE calendar and gives WWE wrestlers a chance to earn a high star rating from for their matches. The event kicks off the Road to Wrestlemania, with the Royal Rumble match itself guaranteeing the winner a championship match against the World Champion at Wrestlemania.
The biggest show of the year comes to you from Hollywood, on April 1st and 2nd 2023. However, the Royal Rumble will decide the fate of many superstars on their road to Wrestlemania. One male and one female wrestler will win their respective rumbles and go on to challenge the WWE Champion of their choice. However, as Roman Reigns currently holds both male championship titles, he will face the winner of the Royal Rumble match, likely in the main event of the second night of Wrestlemania 39.
There were five matches on the Royal Rumble 2023 card that have been given a star rating by the Wrestling Observer’s premier journalist Dave Meltzer. The higher that star rating, the better the match can be considered. The scale used is usually between 0 and 5 stars, although he has broken the mould by awarded 6 or even 7 star ratings for matches that exceed even them.
The five matches at the 2023 Royal Rumble included the male and female Royal Rumble match, Kevin Owens fighting Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, Bianca Belair defender her Raw Women’s title against Alexa Bliss and a spooky “Pitch Black” match between LA Knight and Bray Wyatt, in Wyatt’s first match back in the WWE since re-signing with the company last year.
The 2023 Royal Rumble took place on the 28th January 2023 and was one of the most highly anticipated events of the entire year. This page will feature as a hub for Dave Meltzer’s star ratings for the Royal Rumble, as well as presenting the fans ranking of the match via aggregator site Cagematch, plus our own star ratings for the matches here at Atletifo.
WWE Royal Rumble 2023 Star Ratings
Bray Wyatt vs LA Knight (Pitch Black Match)
A travesty. LA Knight vs Bray White got our lowest star rating we’ve ever given, which is the minus five stars rating. The Royal Rumble 2023 was meant to be Bray Wyatt’s big return to the WWE for his first match in two years, but it just made him look stupid with this match.
The Mountain Dew Pitch Black match at the 2023 Royal Rumble got the lowest star rating possible because it took an average match and made it ridiculous in the worst way possible. What could have been a full brawl between Bray Wyatt and LA Knight turned into a glow-in-the-dark nightmare, as the arena could be described as anything but “pitch black”.
Bray Wyatt won the match but it didn’t matter. He chased LA Knight to a stage-area, where Knight was laid on a set of tables. Uncle Howdy, Bray’s demonic uncle character, then leapt from above and came crashing down absolutely nowhere near LA Knight. The match got such a low rating at the Royal Rumble because it promised so much and delivered so little. I would recommend watching this match just to see how bad it was but heed our dreadful match rating.
- Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 0.75 Stars
- Cagematch Rating – 1.95
- Atletifo Rating – MINUS FIVE STARS
Bianca Belair vs Alexa Bliss (Raw Women’s Championship)
A decent match between the Raw Women’s Champion and challenger took place at the event. We give this match between Alexa Bliss and Biance Belair a 2 star rating. It was fun to watch at the time, seeing all of Bianca’s big power moves on the tiny Bliss. Alexa Bliss worked her character well, as she tried to ignore the constant please from Bray Wyatt to compete simply as herself.
The match ended with some spooky stuff which implied Bliss would soon team with Bray Wyatt. However, that didn’t really go anywhere and just played a video on screen so we wont deduct any stars from this match at the 2023 Royal Rumble.
- Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 1.5 Stars
- Cagematch Rating – 3.54
- Atletifo Rating – 2 Stars
Women’s Royal Rumble
A slightly tepid Women’s Royal Rumble took place in 2023, although the fun ending more than made up for the lacklustre middle part of the match. The bout had a number of surprises in the match, although they were mainly call-ups from NXT. Chelsea Green re-debuted after being fired in 2021 but only lasted 5 seconds, breaking a female record in WWE. Michelle McCool entered through the crowd, shocked at being included in the match and Nia Jax returned (hopefully) for one night only, botching her entrance by entering the match while the countdown clock was still going.
The final three were an exciting mix, with Asuka, Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley lasting all the way to end. Ripley won the bout by eliminating Asuka with a 619 and Morgan with a head scissors, punching her ticket to the main event of Wrestlemania, according to Michael Cole. I give this Royal Rumble match a 3 star rating because it had it’s faults but was overall a fun match.
- Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 3.5 Stars
- Cagematch Rating – 6.62
- Atletifo Rating – 3 Stars
Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens (Undisputed WWE Universal Championship)
Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns was good main event that played more into the relationship between Reigns and Sami Zayn than anything else. Reigns used his own brutality and forced Zayn to watch as he decimated his former friend. He speared him through the barricade before smashing the back of Owens head multiple times into the steel steps. It was one of the most despicable acts seen in a WWE ring, given the current dangers regarding concussions in WWE.
After the match, the Bloodline drama continued as Reigns forced Zayn to watch as the rest of the Bloodline destroyed Kevin Owens. Solo Sikoa and The Usos attacked him until he was battered and bloody. Sami Zayn struggled to watch as Solo hit a hip attack onto Owens with a chair jammed around his neck. It was a brutal watch and made you really feel for both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. At points, it was bordering on sadism, especially when they handcuffed Owens to the ropes to inflict more damage on him.
The match earned a four star rating due to the drama-filled action that Roman Reigns has perfected. A brutal botch in the middle brought the score down a bit but the post-match shenanigans made it a must watch. The Bloodline beat down Owens and Reigns wanted Sami to finish the job. He handed him the steel chair to put an end to Kevin Owens misery. After much deliberation and tears, Sami Zayn hit Roman Reigns in the back of the chair before apologising to Jay Use. This was followed by an uncomfortable beatdown as Jey Uso watched with mixed emotions in the corner of the ring.
After much deliberation, Jey Uso slid under the bottom rope and exited, signalling his exit from the Bloodline and a possible allegiance with his new “family” in Sami Zayn.
- Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 3.5 Stars
- Cagematch Rating – 7.75
- Atletifo Rating – 4 Stars
Men’s Royal Rumble Match 2023
The 2023 Royal Rumble played host to one of the best Royal Rumble matches in modern times. Coming in at a 4 star match rating from Atletifo, the bout had some exciting returns, legendary one-time appearances and the triumph of Cody Rhodes. The American Nightmare entered at number 30 and last eliminated Gunther to win the match. Gunther had entered the match at number 1 and spent over one hour and ten minutes in the match, breaking Rey Mysterio’s record as the longest time spent in the match.
The 2023 Royal Rumble’s high match rating is due to the great pacing of the match and the fun action. At over 70 minutes, the bout flew by and the entrances made sense and had fun spots planned for everyone. It also saw big returns for Edge, Booker T and Logan Paul, with Paul making it to the final three in an impressive Royal Rumble appearance.
Cody Rhodes received a hero’s welcome as he entered last in the match. He was given the full shebang for his entrance, with pyro and fireworks welcoming him to the ring. The fans were firmly on his side as he battled the menacing Gunther at the end of the match. Their mini-match to finish the Royal Rumble match would earn a four star rating itself and added to a fantastic Royal Rumble match that will live long in the memory for WWE fans
- Dave Meltzer’s Star Rating – 4.25 Stars
- Cagematch Rating – 7.31
- Atletifo Rating – 4 Stars
What did you think about the Royal Rumble 2023 star ratings? Let us know down below in the comments or tweet us at @Atletifo to tell us which match you thought should have been ranked five stars (or more!).