Sunday, January 30, 2022

Royal Rumble 2022 Recap

The Road to Wrestlemania kicked off this evening as the WWE Royal Rumble emanated from The Dome at America Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The stakes don’t get much bigger than the spoils that go to the victor of the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches as the winners of the respective battle royals earn the opportunity to challenge the champion of their desire at The Showcase of the Immortals, Wrestlemania. Aside from the Royal Rumble matches, this evening’s card also featured four additional matches with three titles contested - including Brock Lesnar versus Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship.

WWE Universal Championship
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Winner: Seth Rollins via disqualification

The Royal Rumble hit the ground running as it kicked off with “The Head of the Table” attempting to defend his coveted Universal Championship against his former Shield stablemate, Seth Rollins. Arguably, one could make the case that the biggest factor in the match would be Roman’s cousins, The Usos, being banned from ringside. Rollins commenced with the mind games before the opening bell as he decided to make his way to the ring to the Shield’s old entrance music in his throwback wrestling gear. Seth Rollins ran roughshod over Roman Reigns in the early stages of the bout as he landed signature move after signature move including the frog splash and curb stomp, however, The Tribal Chief rallied back to assert his dominance. The match arrived at it’s anticlimactic conclusion as Reigns cinched in a guillotine choke. As referee Charles Robinson raised Rollins’ hand to determine whether he was still conscious, Rollins’ hand landed on the ring rope. Reigns refused to break the hold which lead to his disqualification, however, a title cannot change hands in this manner so Roman retained his title. Reigns proceeded to lay waste to Rollins after the match with a barrage of chair shots before he exited the arena to a chorus of boos from the capacity crowd.

Women’s Royal Rumble Match
Winner: Ronda Rousey

1. Sasha Banks
2. Melina
3. Tamina
4. Kelly Kelly
5. Aliyah
6. Liv Morgan
7. Queen Zelina
8. Bianca Belair
9. Dana Brooke
10. Michelle McCool
11. Sonya Deville
12. Natalya
13. Cameron
14. Naomi
15. Carmella
16. Rhea Ripley
17. Charlotte Flair
18. Ivory
19. Brie Bella
20. Impact Women’s Champion Mickie James
21. Alicia Fox
22. Nikki A.S.H.
23. Summer Rae
24. Nikki Bella
25. Sarah Logan
26. Lita
27. Molly Holly
28. Ronda Rousey
29. Shotzi
30. Shayna Baszler

Final Four: Charlotte Flair, Bianca Belair, Shayna Baszler, and Ronda Rousey

In the closing moments, Charlotte Flair quickly eliminated Bianca and Shayna as the two jockeyed for position on the ring apron leaving her alone in the ring with the returning Ronda Rousey. Charlotte wasted no time charging Rousey with a running big boot attempt only to be caught and promptly dumped over the top rope. The biggest surprise of the match has now punched her ticket to Wrestlemania where she will have the opportunity to challenge the champion of her choosing.

RAW Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Doudrop
Winner: Becky Lynch via pinfall

While Becky Lynch has been in some instant classics throughout her career, this wasn’t one of them. In my opinion, this match would’ve been exponentially better if it had been about five minutes shorter. After struggling to put away the significantly larger Doudrop for much of the bout, Big Time Becks finally caught the challenger up on the middle rope where she launched her to the canvas with a Manhandle Slam to secure the victory.

WWE Championship
Brock Lesnar (c) w/ Paul Heyman vs. Bobby Lashley w/ MVP
Winner: Bobby Lashley via pinfall

The long awaited showdown, 20 years in the making, finally arrived this evening as two men with impressive backgrounds in amateur wrestling and MMA stood toe to toe with championship gold and a probable spot in the main event at Wrestlemania on the line. What began as a clash of titans would end in a shroud of controversy and betrayal. Late in the match Brock delivered an F5 to Lashley striking the referee in the process. As Brock had his back turned to the entrance ramp, Roman Reigns made his way to the ring and greeted Lesnar with a devastating spear. Next in a shocking turn of events, Paul Heyman handed the WWE Championship to Reigns who delivered a crushing blow to Lesnar’s skull allowing Lashley to cover him for the pinfall as a new referee made his way into the ring.

Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz & Maryse
Winners: Edge & Beth Phoenix via pinfall

While I would rather have seen Edge and The Miz in the Royal Rumble match instead of some of the low to mid carders scheduled, this match served it’s purpose to keep the crowd involved in the lead up to the men’s battle royal. The closing came as Edge and Beth executed a double team spear on The Miz. Next, Beth delivered a Glamazon Slam to Maryse as Edge did the same to the Miz before they delivered pins for the victory.

Men’s Royal Rumble Match
Winner: Brock Lesnar

1. A.J. Styles
2. Shinsuke Nakamura
3. Austin Theory
4. Robert Roode
5. Ridge Holland
6. Montez Ford
7. Damian Priest
8. Sami Zayn
9. Johnny Knoxville
10. Angelo Dawkins
11. Omos
12. Ricochet
13. Chad Gable
14. Dominik Mysterio
15. Happy Corbin
16. Dolph Ziggler
17. Sheamus
18. Rick Boogs
19. Madcap Moss
20. Matt Riddle
21. Drew McIntyre
22. Kevin Owens
23. Rey Mysterio
24. Kofi Kingston
25. Otis
26. Big E
27. Bad Bunny
28. Shane McMahon
29. Randy Orton
30. Brock Lesnar

Final Four: Brock Lesnar, Matt Riddle, Shane McMahon, Drew McIntyre

What was gearing up to become the worst Royal Rumble match in WWE history quickly redeemed itself as Brock Lesnar made a shocking entrance into the fray at number 30 with vengeance on his mind following the outcome of his WWE Championship earlier in the evening. Brock first tossed Riddle out like a rag doll and then clotheslined Shane over the top rope leaving him face to face with Drew McIntyre. Brock finally hoisted Drew up on his shoulders and F5’d him from the ring to punch his ticket for Wrestlemania with authority.

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