The 2023 Royal Rumble will take place on Saturday, February 18, and will come live from the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC, at 8 p.m. ET.
Montreal has been a strong market for the WWE to visit for decades but Saturday will mark just the fourth pay-per-view to be hosted in the city. The last ppv to emanate from Montreal was Breaking Point in September of 2009, a show that saw John Cena defeat Randy Orton for the WWE Championship in an I Quit match and CM Punk defeat The Undertaker in a submission match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. The most recent Montreal ppv prior to that was No Way Out 2003, a show that featured the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin and Rock-Hogan II.
Of course, you can not talk about the WWE in Montreal without talking about Survivor Series 1997, a show infamously known for the “Montreal Screwjob”. WWF Champion Bret Hart was set to leave the company for WCW and refused to drop the title to Shawn Michaels, who he had real-life beef with at the time. After weeks of trying to come up with a finish for the match, all sides agreed to do a smoz, DQ finish. However, when Michaels placed Hart in the sharpshooter, Vince McMahon called for the timekeeper to ring the bell and end the match, a move that forcibly removed the title from Hart and around the waste of Michaels. To this day, it is regarded as the biggest in-ring controversies in wrestling history.
This year’s show will feature two Elimination Chamber matches but will have an interesting main event as undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns will defend his titles against Montreal native Sami Zayn. The former “Honorary Uce” Zayn was beaten down and thrown out of the Bloodline after he hit Reigns with a steel chair at the Royal Rumble. For his betrayal, Reigns has vowed to destroy the challenger in front of all of his friends and family. This has been one of the hottest stories the company has done in years and the environment in Montreal is sure to be chaotic when one of their own faces the “Tribal Chief” for the belts.