By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Royal Rumble
Aired January 29, 2022 live on Peacock, WWE Network, and pay-per-view
St. Louis, Missouri at The Dome at America’s Center
There was not a Kickoff Show match for this event… A video package opened the show… Michael Cole and Pat McAfee checked in on commentary. Cole claimed there were 44,390 fans were in attendance. Cole also noted that it was McAfee’s first Rumble…
Powell’s POV: WrestleTix reported earlier today that the building was set up for 39,316 and was within 622 tickets of selling out.
Entrances for the WWE Universal Championship match took place. Reigns came out alone to his usual theme and wore a red lei around his neck. Seth Rollins came out to The Shield entrance theme. Rollins was dressed in his Shield attire and entered through the crowd (awesome)…
1. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso were barred from ringside. Samantha Irvin delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Charles Robinson was the referee. Rollins taunted Reigns by pointing to his attire. Rollins, who had the crowd behind him, sent Reigns to ringside and hit him with a pair of suicide dives.
With Reigns back in the ring, Rollins went for a springboard move, only to have Reigns catch him with an uppercut. Reigns followed up with a Drive By kick. Both men ended up at ringside. Reigns went for a move up the steps, but Rollins caught him with a kick and then powerbombed him through the broadcast table. Cole referred to the powerbomb as a Shield Bomb.
Rollins sent Reigns back inside the ring and then splashed him from the top rope for a near fall. Rollins followed up with a Buckle Bomb and a Stomp and went for the cover, but Reigns kicked out at the last moment in a really good near fall.
Rollins set up for another Stomp, but Reigns turned him inside out with a clothesline. Reigns put Rollins down with a powerbomb and covered him for a near fall of his own. Reigns started jawing at Rollins about the way he ended The Shield and how he was laughing at him. Reigns through punches at Rollins, who caught him in a submission hold, which Reigns broke with a powerbomb.
Reigns went to the corner. “He’s in a God Mode now,” McAfee said. Reigns grabbed Rollins and ran him through the ropes and into the ring post. Both men went to the floor where Reigns tossed Reigns over the barricade and into the timekeepers area. Reigns pulled him back out and then ran Rollins into the ring steps.
Reigns, who had some swelling near his left eye, brought Rollins back inside the ring. Reigns dropped Rollins with a Superman Punch and covered him for a near fall. Both men went back to ringside where Reigns speared Rollins. Reigns tossed Rollins back inside the ring and followed.
Reigns let out a war cry and went for a spear, but Rollins gave him a Pedigree instead. Rollins covered Reigns for another last possible moment near fall. The broadcast team noted that the Pedigree is Triple H’s move, and Cole said he was the man who manipulated Rollins into turning on his Shield brothers.
Rollins set up for a Stomp, but Reigns sidestepped it. Reigns set up for a uranage. Rollins blasted Reigns with elbows and kicks, but then Reigns caught him with an upper cut. Reigns ran the ropes and speared Rollins, who laid on his back and held out his first. “I’ll always love you,” Rollins said while laughing.
Rollins got to his knees and continued to hope for a fist bump. An agitated Reigns put him in a guillotine lock. Rollins pushed toward the ropes and faded before he got there. The referee checked on the arm of Rollins by picking it up and dropping it, but Rollins grabbed the bottom rope on the way down. Reigns refused to break the hold and was disqualified.
Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns by DQ in 14:25 in a WWE Universal Championship match.
After the match, Reigns told the referee that Rollins deserved it and claimed that Rollins wouldn’t allow him to let go. Reigns eventually released the hold and told booing fans that it was Seth’s fault. A “Roman sucks” chant broke out, which Reigns sold with a look of bewilderment.
Reigns went to ringside and grabbed a chair. Reigns brought the chair inside the ring and beat Rollins with it repeatedly. Reigns smirked as he stood over Rollins and then left the ring. Reigns opted to return and jawed at Rollins before hitting him over the back with more chair shots. Once the production team was done with their seizure inducing camera cuts, they showed the mangled chair. Reigns left the ring and headed to the back while Rollins was still down…
Powell’s POV: A hell of a match with a bad finish that they’ve been using on television lately. I don’t know if they were setting up this finish with the DQ’s on television or if they’re just overusing the finish at this point. I assume we’ll get a rematch at WWE Elimination Chamber. They clearly defined Rollins as the babyface in this match so it will be interesting to see if he makes any tweaks to his character.
A WrestleMania video aired. We are 63 days away… St. Louis imagery was shown while Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in while standing behind a broken table…
2. The 30-Woman Royal Rumble match. The No. 1 entrant was Sasha Banks, who wore Sailor Moon gear. The No. 2 entrant was Melina, who got the red carpet treatment as part of her entrance. Melina performed the splits on the apron for a pop. Banks eliminated Melina roughly one minute into the match and then taunted her with her own version of the splits.
The No. 3 entrant was Tamina. Banks hit her with multiple meteoras.
The No. 4 entrant was Kelly Kelly. She still can’t run the ropes, but she did perform a handspring elbow on Tamina. Kelly went for a tarantula style move on Banks, who escaped and kicked Kelly off the apron to the floor to eliminate her.
The No. 5 entrant was Aliyah, who went right after Banks.
The No. 6 entrant was Liv Morgan. She went right at Aliyah and dropkicked her. She also delivered a Sole Food style boot to the back of Banks, but failed to eliminate her.
The No. 7 entrant was Queen Zelina. She immediately saved Tamina, who was being ganged up on. Banks nearly eliminated Zelina, but Tamina returned the favor by saving her. Banks ended up going over the top rope and was on the apron when she was dropkicked through the ropes by Zelina and eliminated.
The No. 8 entrant was Bianca Belair. She went after Tamina. Zelina jumped on her back, but Belair powered her into a vertical suplex. Morgan tried to toss Belair out, but Belair reversed it and Morgan ended up on the apron. Belair tried and failed to eliminate her.
The No. 9 entrant was WWE 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke. Reggie came out with Brooke, who didn’t bring her title belt with her.
The No. 10 entrant was Michelle McCool. She kicked Brooke off the apron, but Reggie caught her and saved her from being eliminated. McCool performed. Styles Clash on Zelina. She caught Brooke leaping from the top rope with a kick, then eliminated her.
The No. 11 entrant was Sonya Deville. Rather than enter the ring, she joined the broadcast team. She pointed out that her jacket was on and she would decide when to remove it.
The No. 12 entrant was Natalya. Belair hoisted up Natalya near the ropes, but Tamina stopped her. Tamina tried to eliminate Belair and Tamina, but only her former tag team partner Tamina fell to the floor.
The No. 13 entrant was Cameron. Graves pointed out to Deville that Cameron is Naomi’s former tag team partner. Deville asked if that meant Naomi would be upset if something happened to her. Deville stood up and removed her jacket, then entered the ring and shoved Cameron to the mat. Deville roughed up Cameron and set her on the apron, then ran her into the ring post, causing Cameron to tumble to the floor for her elimination.
The No. 14 entrant was Naomi. She went right after Deville. Naomi hit Deville with a springboard kick and ended up eliminating her moments later.
The No. 15 entrant was Carmella. She took a slow stroll around ringside rather than enter the ring. She stopped and visited with Graves and the other broadcast team members.
The No. 16 entrant was Rhea Ripley. Smith recalled that Ripley was the last woman eliminated from the previous year’s match. Ripley grabbed Carmella, who wore a black Gimp mask, and tossed her into the ring and then joined her. Zelina and Carmella teamed up on Ripley, who dumped them both onto the apron and then dropkicked them both off for a double elimination. Ripley got the better of some of the other entrants.
The No. 17 entrant was Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. Flair eliminated Aliyah and then performed a fallaway slam on Morgan. Flair threw several chops at Naomi. Flair ended up kicking Naomi off the apron, but she used her hands to stay alive. Deville pulled the rest of Naomi’s body off the apron to eliminate her from the match. Nice touch.
The No. 18 entrant was Ivory, who came out in Right To Censor mode. She had a mic in hand and said it’s been a long time, yet nothing has changed. She said it was hard for her to look at the other women. She entered the ring and said she saw a lot of wayward, lost, little girls. She kept jawing while Ripley picked her up and placed her on the apron, then shoved her off to eliminate her. “How dare you?” Ivory said from the floor. Funny.
The No. 19 entrant was Brie Bella, who came out to her singles theme. Smith recalled Brie being eliminated from a Rumble match by her own sister. Brie led the crowd in a huge Yes! chant. Fun.
The No. 20 entrant was Mickie James, who came out to her “Hardcore Country” song and wore the Impact Wrestling Knockouts Championship belt. Smith acknowledged the belt. James climbed onto the apron and was kicked off by McCool, who went to ringside and tossed James inside the ring. James caught Ripley with a kick and went back to fighting with McCool. James pulled McCool over the top rope using her legs and eliminated her.
The No. 21 entrant was Alicia Fox. The broadcast team played up the unpredictability of her character.
The No. 22 entrant was Nikki ASH. Ripley faced the entrance and waited for her former partner to come out. ASH entered from the other side of the ring and shoved Ripley over the top rope and onto the apron. Ripley blocked her punch and entered the ring. ASH begged off, then rolled under the ropes to the floor to avoid Ripley. Flair hit Ripley from behind.
The No. 23 entrant was Summer Rae. Saxton noted that Rae, who had red hair, had been out of action for over five years. Rae went right after Natalya, who ended up slapping her across the face. Summer returned the favor and they had a slap fest. Summer threw a nice kick that knocked Natalya down, but then Flair blasted Rae. Natalya picked up Rae and tossed her over the top rope to eliminate her. Flair blew Rae a kiss, then followed up by trying to eliminate Natalya, who was able to hold on.
The No. 24 entrant was Nikki Bella. Smith said one would normally assume that sisters would be allies, but he was throwing that out in this case. Belair tried to suplex Nikki, but Brie broke it up. the Bellas teamed up on Bianca. Fox stood on the apron and held out her first, which the Bellas bumped before knocking her off the apron to eliminate her.
The No. 25 entrant was Sarah Logan. She came out in her Viking attire and knocked Brie down with double knees. She followed up by headbutting Nikki. Morgan got weepy when she spotted Logan, but the Bellas intervened and ended up eliminating Logan. They eliminated Morgan shortly thereafter and gave her the L sign. The broadcast team said Morgan lasted over 37 minutes in the match.
The No. 26 entrant was Lita, who came out to a big pop. Lita caught James on the apron and DDT’d her through the ropes, causing James to fall to the floor for her elimination. Lita waved goodbye to her best friend’s former storyline stalker. Lita and Flair faced off and traded blows.
The No. 27 entrant was Mighty Molly. Once she arrived at ringside, ASH blindsided her. ASH punched Molly repeatedly and ran her into the ring steps. ASH rolled Molly inside the ring and followed her. ASH removed Molly’s cape after yelling that there could be only one superhero. ASH threw Molly over the top rope to eliminate her and then struck her superhero pose. Nice.
The No. 28 entrant was Ronda Rousey, who came out to a big star reaction. Rousey wore a black shirt with “Baddest” written on it. Rousey eliminated ASH. Brie returned the favor from a past Rumble by eliminating her sister Nikki. Rousey threw punches at Nikki.
The No. 29 entrant was Shotzi, who dove onto a pair of opponents. Rousey eliminated Brie.
The No. 30 entrant was Shayna Baszler. Rousey smiled while the broadcast team acknowledged her friendship with Baszler. Rousey threw a kick to the head of Shotzi and tossed her over the top rope. Shotzi skinned the cat, but Rousey was still able to eliminate her. Natalya was eliminated, but she returned to the ring and was tossed over the top rope again by Rousey.
Lita set up for a moonsault, but Ripley cut her off. Flair booted Lita off the apron. Rousey put Ripley in a triangle over the top rope. Flair ran over and tried to eliminate Ripley, who held on. Ripley shoved Rousey into the ring post. Flair hit Ripley with a big boot to knock her off the apron to eliminate her.
The final four were Charlotte Flair, Bianca Belair, Ronda Rousey, and Shayna Baszler (unless someone is hiding). Belair and Baszler fought near the ropes. Flair ran over and pushed them both over to eliminate both women.
Rousey and Flair squared off. Flair charged with a big boot attempt, but Rousey grabbed her and dumped her over the top rope to eliminate her.
Ronda Rousey won the 30-woman Royal Rumble match in 59:40 to earn a title shot of her choosing at WrestleMania 38.
The live crowd cheered Rousey while Flair showed frustration at ringside. Flair turned to walk away while Rousey waved goodbye. Rousey stood on the ropes and pointed at the WrestleMania sign, and then pyro shot off around the sign.
Powell’s POV: A fun Rumble match with a satisfying winner and a lot of obscure callbacks throughout the match. It’s a shame that the Rousey surprise was so well known. Even so, it was fun to see her back in a WWE ring again. The final two sequence was nothing special, but it seems like we might be seeing more of Rousey vs. Flair at WrestleMania. I’m totally speculating, but between the choice of ring gear and that brief final two sequence, I wonder if the Rousey deal was something that came together late.
After some ads, ring entrances for the Raw Women’s Championship match took place…
3. Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop for the Raw Women’s Championship. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The match was called by Smith, Graves, and Saxton. The fans cheered Lynch and booed Doudrop during the introductions. At one point, Lynch jawed at Doudrop that she’s waited her whole life. Doudrop slapped her and ended up body slamming her. Doudrop performed a running senton for a two count.
Lynch came back and applied an armbar, but Doudrop powered her up and then powerbombed her. Lynch struggled to get to her feet and was splashed in the corner by Doupdrop in the corner. Doudrop followed up with a cannonball splash and covered Lynch for a near fall. Doudrop went to the ropes for her sit-down splash, but Lynch stuffed it. Lynch went up top and hit a Molly Go Round for a two count.
Lynch caught Doudrop hanging over the middle ropes and hit her multiple times. She went for a move from the ropes, but Doudrop avoided it and then hit her with repeated headbutts. Doudrop went for a suplex, but Lynch reversed it and clotheslined her over the top rope. Lynch ended up hitting Doudrop with a leg drop from the ropes to knock her off the ropes and then covered her for a two count. A short time later, Lynch cut off Doudrop on the ropes. Lynch performed a Manhandle Slam from the middle rope and then scored the clean pin…
Becky Lynch defeated Doudrop in 13:00 to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: Both wrestlers worked hard and had a good match, but the crowd was really flat. It may have been due to Rumble match fatigue. It may have been due to this match featuring two heels. It may have been due the crowd not believing that a character named Doudrop was a threat to beat Lynch for the title. I don’t want to read too much into one crowd’s reaction, but if I wonder if there are people having second thoughts about bringing back Lynch as a heel. Update: The WrestleMania sign caught on fire following the women’s Rumble match, which helps explain the crowd’s lack of engagement in this match.
After some advertising, Mike Rome announced the attendance as 44,390… Graves thanked Logic for the “Ballin” theme song… A video package set up the WWE Championship match…
4. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) for the WWE Championship. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match (Heyman took the mic and introduced Lesnar). Smith, Graves, and Saxton called the match. Smith labeled the match the Ali-Frazier of today.
Lesnar and Lashley locked up with neither man gaining an advantage before they let go. They locked up again. This time Lesnar went behind Lashley and gave him a German suplex. Lashley popped up and glared at Lesnar, who smiled at him. They locked up again and this time Lashley returned the favor with a German suplex of his own. Lesnar popped up and glared at Lashley.
Lesnar won the next round with a pair of German suplexes. Lashley got up and showed a little frustration and had a little blood on his lip. Lashley kicked Lesnar and threw several punches at him. Lesnar regrouped and went for an F5, but Lashley slipped away, ran the ropes, and speared Lesnar. Graves said Lashley didn’t go for the cover because he had too much respect for Lesnar. Lashley speared Lesnar again. Lesnar rolled to ringside and sold the spar.
Lashley followed Lesnar to the floor and went for another spear, but Lesnar stepped aside, causing Lashley to crash through the barricade and into the timekeepers area. Lesnar hoisted up Lashley on his shoulders, but Lashley slipped off and shoved Lesnar into the ring post and then back inside the ring. Lashley followed Lesnar and went for a spear in the corner that Lesnar avoided.
Lesnar put Lashley down with a German suplex. Graves noted that Lashley stayed down longer than he did after the previous suplexes. Lesnar performed two more German suplexes and then played to the crowd. Lesnar stood over Lashley, who was face down on the mat. Lashley got to his knees. Lesnar grabbed him from behind and gave him another German suplex. Lesnar waited for Lashley to get on all fours and then clubbed his back and gave him another German suplex.
Lesnar set up for an F5, but Lashley slipped off of him and applied the Hurt Lock. Graves said The Beast was trapped and there was desperation on the face of Lesnar. Lesnar backed Lashley into the referee in the corner to break the hold. REF BUMP!!! Wait, the referee stayed on his feet. Lesnar picked up Lashley and gave him an F5, but Lashley’s legs hit the referee. REF BUMP!!! Lesnar covered Lashley for the visual pinfall, but the referee was down and ended up on the floor at ringside.
Lesnar stood up and looked down the referee. Suddenly, Roman Reigns entered the ring and spared Lesnar. Reigns walked to the corner and looked down at Heyman, who was clutching the WWE Championship belt. Reigns put his hand out. Heyman handed him the WWE Championship belt, which Reigns then blasted Lesnar with. Reigns tossed the belt aside and left the ring. Heyman joined Reigns and they started walking to the back while Lashley covered Lesnar and a second referee made the three count…
Bobby Lashley defeated Brock Lesnar in 10:15 to win the WWE Championship.
Powell’s POV: A fun match with a somewhat expected finish. We didn’t know exactly how it would happen, but many of us predicted that Lashley would leave with the championship due to something involving Reigns and/or Heyman. The only thing I didn’t care for was the visual pinfall that Lesnar got, as they could have booked the match in a way that left things more open ended in terms of who would have won had it not been for outside interference. That said, they didn’t do anything to truly ruin a future rematch between the two, so it’s fine. This definitely puts Lesnar entering and winning the Rumble match in play. I’d say Drew McIntyre and Big E are also candidates to win the men’s Rumble match to earn a shot at Lashley at WrestleMania if they want to save Lesnar earning his title shot for Elimination Chamber.
After some ads, Smith, Graves, and Saxton recapped Ronda Rousey returning and winning the women’s Royal Rumble match. They announced that Rousey will appear on Monday’s WWE Raw. They set up a video package on the mixed tag match…
5. Edge and Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz and Maryse in a mixed tag match. Maryse and Phoenix started the match. Maryse ducked to ringside as soon as the bell rang. Phoenix chased her back inside the ring. Maryse ended up by Miz, who pulled her arms while Phoenix pulled her legs. Phoenix let go, causing Maryse to fall onto Miz on the floor.
Edge and Miz checked in. Edge ran the ropes and was hit from behind by Maryse, which distracted him long enough for Miz to hit him with a cheap shot. Miz took offensive control for a bit. The women eventually returned to the ring. Phoenix roughed up Maryse while Graves said it was no way to treat someone’s mother. Funny. Miz saved Maryse, but Phoenix went after Miz and put the boots to him in the corner.
Maryse grabbed her purse and hit Phoenix from behind while the referee was looking at Miz. Maryse covered Phoenix for a pair of near falls. Later, Miz and Edge ended up on the ropes. Phoenix snuck under Miz and powerbombed him, then Edge performed an elbow drop from the top rope for a near fall.
Maryse pulled Phoenix off the apron and ran her into the ring steps. Edge set up for his finisher, but Maryse distracted him. Edge was able to avoid a charging Miz. Maryse came off the ropes with a huracanrana on Edge. Phoenix returned to the ring and took a DDT. Miz hit Edge with the Skull Crushing Finale for a near fall.
Edge and Phoenix rallied and double speared Miz. Edge and Phoenix followed up with Glam Slams on Miz and Maryse and then Edge pinned Miz. Edge went to ringside afterward and greeted his children in the crowd…
Edge and Beth Phoenix beat The Miz and Maryse in 12:30.
Powell’s POV: The match outcome was predictable and the match wasn’t always pretty, but it was crowd pleasing and fun for what it was. How many kids can say they watched their mom and dad win a mixed tag match at the Royal Rumble? The feud is over and Miz is still in the same place he always is. Hopefully Edge can move on to bigger and better things. I’d enjoy that Edge vs. AJ Styles match at WrestleMania that Styles has been lobbying for.
A video package spotlighted Sasha Banks, and then an Elimination Chamber ad aired for the Saturday, February 19 event… Michael Cole and Pat McAfee checked in from ringside and set up a video package on war hero Florent Goldberg, who was then shown in the crowd with his wife. The fans chanted “USA” and applauded him…
6. The 30-Man Royal Rumble match. Cole and McAfee called the match. Samantha Irvin introduced the first two entrants. The No. 1 entrant was AJ Styles. The No. 2 entrant was Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura (there was a time when Styles and Nakamura starting the Rumble would have felt huge).
The No. 3 entrant was Austin Theory, who came out to a flat reaction while taking selfies of himself.
The No. 4 entrant was Robert Roode. McAfee said it might be the year that “the Glorious Bob Roode” advances to WrestleMania. Roode performed spinebusters on Theory and Nakamura, then had a brief staredown with Styles while a TNA chant broke out. Styles ended up tossing Roode onto the apron, then threw a knee at him and knocked him off to eliminate him.
The No. 5 entrant was Ridge Holland, who wore his face shield. Cole noted that it was Holland’s first Rumble match. Styles knocked Nakamura off the apron to eliminate him.
The No. 6 entrant was Montez Ford. He tossed a couple of red solo cups into the crowd and then ran to the ring to enter the match. He tossed Theory over the top rope, but Theory stayed on the apron.
The No. 7 entrant was U.S. Champion Damian Priest. Styles and Theory worked together briefly in hopes of pushing Priest over the top rope, but Styles then went after Theory.
The No. 8 entrant was Sami Zayn. He entered the ring and teased going after opponents, but stayed in place. Ford went after him. The fans sang the Ole song briefly in tribute to El Generico, who has never been seen in the same place as Zayn.
The No. 9 entrant was Johnny Knoxville. The fans popped for the “Jackass” theme. A few Jackass cast members joined Knoxville, who came out dressed as a discount superhero or something. Knoxville tackled Zayn and got the better of him for a moment, then pointed at the WrestleMania sign. Styles took issue with it. Knoxville blasted him with a forearm to the chest. Styles responded with a quick series of strikes that sent Knoxville to the mat. Ford went up top and splashed Knoxville. Zayn taunted Knoxville while Holland picked him up and put him on the apron. Zayn eliminated Knoxville with a Helluva Kick. While Zayn celebrated, Styles pushed Zayn over the top rope to eliminate him.
Powell’s POV: This was harmless fun. I know the celebrity stuff isn’t for everyone, but this beat the hell out of lumberjack zombies. And let’s face it, Knoxville has taken more bumps than many of the wrestlers who are on NXT 2.0 these days.
The No. 10 entrant was Angelo Dawkins. He and Styles ended up in the corner.
The No. 11 entrant was Omos, who didn’t get much of a reaction. Omos eliminated Dawkins. Ford went up top and dove at Omos, who caught him by the neck and shoved him over the top rope to eliminate him. Styles stepped up and punched Omos, who responded by tossing him under the bottom rope and into the ring post. Styles rolled to the floor.
The No. 12 entrant was Ricochet, who immediately dropkicked Omos. The big man bounced right back. Several wrestlers went after Omos, but he swatted them all away, and blasted Ricochet with a big chop.
The No. 13 entrant was Chad Gable, who wore his Raw Tag Title belt to ringside. Once in the ring, Gable tried to organize everyone. He told Priest to go after Omos first. Priest gave it a go and ate a clothesline. Omos dumped Priest over the top rope to eliminate him. the other wrestlers ganged up on Omos and tried to push him over the top rope.
The No. 14 entrant was Dominik Mysterio. He joined the others in pushing Omos. Styles ran the ropes and leapt onto the pile, which was enough to send Omos to the floor to eliminate him. The wrestlers all paired off and stopped working together.
The No. 15 entrant was Happy Corbin. He came out to a flat reaction while McAfee told viewers that he was the same homeless looking guy from a few months ago. Corbin eliminated Ricochet.
The No. 16 entrant was Dolph Ziggler (no shitty entrance theme!!!). Cole said it was a historic night for Ziggler because it was his fifteenth Rumble match. He said that’s second only to Kane, and added that Ziggler had eliminated twelve men from the match over the years. Corbin hit End of Days on Dom and then picked him up and tossed him over the top rope to eliminate him. Styles eliminated Theory. Cole said Theory lasted over 22 minutes in his first Rumble match.
The No. 17 entrant was Sheamus. Cole said Sheamus would fit right in with the St. Louis Blues. He also recalled Sheamus winning the Rumble in 2012 in the same host city. Styles eliminated Holland before Sheamus could enter the ring. Sheamus went right after Styles and blasted him with a knee to the head.
The No. 18 entrant was Rick Boogs. He came out playing air guitar and wore a red singlet. Boogs pressed Gable over his head with one hand. The camera cut away for God knows what reason as Boogs eliminated Gable. They quickly showed the replay.
The No. 19 entrant was Madcap Moss. Corbin motioned for him to enter and then they doubled up on various opponents. Boogs pressed Ziggler over his head. Ziggler grabbed the ropes and avoided elimination. Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm on Moss, who ducked it. Corbin slammed Styles onto his knee, and then Moss eliminated Styles. The trolling elimination got more groans than boos.
The No. 20 entrant was Riddle, who rode his scooter to the ring. Corbin and Moss eliminated Boogs.
The No. 21 entrant was Drew McIntyre. He didn’t bring his stupid sword with him. McIntyre went after Corbin and Moss, who acted stunned to see him. McIntyre eliminated Moss and then immediately eliminated Corbin. McIntyre rolled under the ropes and ran Corbin into the ring post. McIntyre suplexed Moss on the floor. McIntyre grabbed the top piece of the ring steps and hit Corbin and Moss with them. McIntyre slammed Moss onto the bottom half of the steps.
The No. 22 entrant was Kevin Owens. McIntyre was still at ringside and glared down Owens, who charged at him. Owens and McIntyre fought at ringside briefly. McIntyre got the better of it and rolled Owens inside the ring. Owens came right back with a Pop-Up Powerbomb. “This is my show,” Owens yelled.
The No. 23 entrant was Rey Mysterio. Rey had an offensive flurry that included head-scissoring Riddle over the top rope, but both men remained on the apron. Owens dropped Rey with a Stunner. Sheamus and Owens slugged it out. McIntyre joined in and then he and Sheamus took turns punching and kicking Owens. Sheamus punched McIntyre.
The No. 24 entrant was Kofi Kingston. He went for some type of springboard move. Owens shoved him off. Kingston tried to catch himself on the barricade, but both of his feet hit the floor. The broadcast team watched the replay and agreed that both feet touched the ground.
The No. 25 entrant was Otis, who carried his Smackdown Tag Title to the ring with him. Otis entered the ring and knocked down Ziggler and then suplexed Riddle. “Who’s the man?” Otis asked. He followed up by slamming McIntyre and then yelled, “For the Academy.”
The No. 26 entrant was Big E. Sheamus worked over Rey with backbreakers.
The No. 27 entrant was Bad Bunny. He climbed onto the apron and clotheslined Sheamus over the top rope. Bad Bunny climbed up top and performed a cross body block on Sheamus. Owens kicked hm, but Bunny avoided the Stunner and got the better of Owens. Riddle was happy to see Bunny, who kicked him and then gave him a Destroyer. Yes, really. Sheamus grabbed Bad Bunny and threw him over the top rope, but he skinned the cat. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick that Bunny ducked, causing Sheamus to eliminate himself. Bunny tripped up Ziggler and had him in position, then looked to Rey, who gave Ziggler a 619. Bunny eliminated Ziggler. Mysterio tried to celebrate with Bunny, who turned on him. Otis knocked Rey off the apron to eliminate him, which was missed by the production team.
The No. 28 entrant was Shane McMahon, who got a big pop. Owens and Shane fought one another. Owens tried to toss Shane, but Shane reversed it and eliminated Owens. Yes, really. McIntyre and Shane went face to face and ended up fighting despite their past alliance.
The No. 29 entrant was Randy Orton, who received a huge hometown pop. Cole noted that it was Orton’s fourteenth Rumble match and said he could tie Steve Austin with the most wins at three if he won the match. Orton and Riddle eliminated Big E. Riddle jumped off of Otis’s back and gave McIntyre and RKO. Orton and Riddle eliminated Otis.
The No. 30 entrant was Brock Lesnar. The crowd reaction was underwhelming. Lesnar entered the ring and started destroying people. Lesnar clotheslined Orton over the top rope and eliminated him. Lesnar glared at Bad Bunny and then laughed at him. Lesnar grabbed Bunny and gave him an F5. Lesnar picked up Bunny and tossed him over the top rope to eliminate him. Lesnar eliminated Riddle. Lesnar clotheslined Shane over the top rope to eliminate him.
The match came down to Lesnar and McIntyre (unless someone is hiding). They jawed at one another and then traded punches. Lesnar picked up McIntyre and drove him into the corner, then hoisted him up and went for an F5 that McIntyre avoided. McIntyre gave Lensar a Glasgow Kiss. McIntyre went for a Claymore Kick, but Lesnar avoided it. Lesnar ended up dumping McIntyre over the top rope to win the match.
Brock Lesnar won the 30-Man Royal Rumble match in 51:10 to earn a title shot of his choosing at WrestleMania 38.
Lesnar looked to the WrestleMania sign and pyro shot off around it. The broadcast team played up Lesnar going after Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania. Lesnar celebrated his win with an underwhelmed crowd to close the show…
Powell’s POV: Well, that was self destructive booking in terms of making everyone look inferior to Lesnar in short order. It was also highly predictable and the live crowd did not seem impressed. They didn’t turn on Lesnar by any means, but they weren’t hot for the finish. The men’s Rumble match was really flat and uninspired from a creative standpoint.
Overall, this was a fun show until the main event closed the night in disappointing fashion. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below. I will be teaming up with Jake Barnett and Will Pruett for a Royal Rumble audio review that will be available exclusively to Dot Net Members later tonight.