The 28th annual Royal Rumble kicks off with the return of a legendary tag team as six-time former tag team champions The New Age Outlaws return to the Rumble to try and teach a lesson in respect to the disrespectful young team known as The Ascension. Despite an impressive showing from Road Dogg & Billy Gunn, it was The Ascension who made an impact as Konnor & Viktor hit the Fall of Man as Konnor pins Billy Gunn for the win.
Backstage, Triple H & Stephanie McMahon are discussing Sting’s surprise appearance last Monday night on RAW with Triple H vowing to “destroy” Sting if he shows up again. Paul Heyman then confronts The Authority, saying that, when The Authority had a “problem” with John Cena, he offered the “solution” in the form of Brock Lesnar. Heyman then gives The Authority something to think about, saying that, if The Authority has a “problem” with Sting, then he has a “solution” in Brock Lesnar.
The WWE Tag Team Titles were up for grabs at the Royal Rumble as The Usos would defend the WWE Tag Team Titles against The Miz & Damien Mizdow. At the end of a hard-fought tag team match, The Usos refused to give up and, in the end, it was Jimmy Uso hitting the Superfly Splash on The Miz, pinning Miz to pick up the win and retain the WWE Tag Team Titles for The Usos.
The Divas were also in action at the Royal Rumble as Paige & Natalya would face The Bella Twins, Brie Bella & Divas Champion Nikki Bella. In the end, it was Brie Bella pulling Paige off of the ring apron before Nikki Bella blasts Natalya with a vicious forearm, pinning Natalya for the win.
Then it was time for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to be decided as “The Beast” Brock Lesnar, with Paul Heyman in his corner, would defend the WWE World Heavyweight Title against fifteen-time former World Champion John Cena and “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Seth Rollins, with J&J Security in his corner, in a Triple Threat Match where the first man to score a pinfall or submission will walk out as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The match gets wild in a hurry as Seth Rollins quickly slides out of the ring as Brock Lesnar hones in on John Cena. However, when J&J Security try to get involved on Rollins’ behalf, Lesnar delivers a German suplex to both members of J&J Security! Firmly in control of both John Cena and Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar methodically delivers suplex after suplex to his two challengers, eventually isolating John Cena and locking in the Kimura Lock. However, just as Cena is trying to power his way out of the move, Seth Rollins comes off of the top rope with a knee to both Cena and Lesnar. Cena and Rollins then work together for a suplex on Brock Lesnar before Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment on Lesnar, but Rollins tosses Cena to the outside, trying to pin Lesnar, who kicks out almost immediately.
On the outside, John Cena and Seth Rollins again work together to try and slow down Brock Lesnar, sending the champion into the steel steps before returning to the ring. It would not be long before “The Beast” returns to the ring as Lesnar hooks Cena for a pair of suplexes before Rollins intervenes with a kick to the head of Lesnar. Moments later, Rollins tries to come off of the top rope, but Brock Lesnar catches Rollins in mid-air, hitting the F-5 on Rollins with Cena breaking up the pinfall that follows. Lesnar then exits the ring to expose the announce table, but when “The Beast” comes back into the ring, Cena catches Lesnar with the Attitude Adjustment. Cena then picks up the champion and delivers two more Attitude Adjustments, but Rollins breaks up the pinfall before hitting the Curb Stomp on Lesnar and, luckily for the champion, Cena breaks up the pinfall. Somehow, Brock Lesnar manages to slide out of the ring and is back to his feet in no time, but Cena is quick to pounce on “The Beast”, sacrificing himself to send Lesnar crashing through the ringside barricade!
Struggling to find a way to keep Brock Lesnar down, John Cena first sends Lesnar into the steel steps before blasting “The Beast” in the face with the steps, knocking Lesnar onto the Spanish announce table. Seth Rollins then rejoins the fray, taking Cena out before noticing the precarious position of Brock Lesnar, diving off of the top rope with an elbow drop that sends Lesnar crashing through the Spanish announce table! Cena then brings Rollins into the ring as both men trade moves with neither man able to score the pinfall. As Paul Heyman demands medical attention for Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Seth Rollins continue to wage war in the ring as Rollins comes within a second of winning the title following his signature turnbuckle powerbomb. Rollins then goes for the Curb Stomp on Cena, but Cena dodges the move, locking in the STF on Rollins. However, J&J Security are quick to jump in the ring, attacking Cena and helping Rollins to his feet. As a stretcher is wheeled out to ringside for Brock Lesnar, J&J Security assists Seth Rollins in hitting a three-man powerbomb on Cena. After failing to pin Cena, Rollins grabs his Money-in-the-Bank briefcase, but Cena avoids the attempted shot by Rollins, sending Rollins to the outside. Cena then gets his hands on J&J Security, lifting both men up and dropping them both with the Attitude Adjustment!
John Cena then hits the Attitude Adjustment on Seth Rollins, but Rollins is somehow able to kick out. With the announcers revealing that Brock Lesnar may have suffered a broken rib, doctors and referees place Lesnar on a backboard, preparing to wheel the champion to the back. Meanwhile, in the ring, Cena and Rollins climb to their feet and, after both men exchange shots, Rollins is able to plant Cena with the Curb Stomp, but Cena kicks out again! Rollins then climbs to the top rope, hitting a corkscrew moonsault on Cena, but that is when Brock Lesnar hits the ring hard, delivering ring-rattling suplexes to both Seth Rollins and John Cena. When Lesnar attempts a German suplex on Rollins, however, Rollins lands on his feet, quickly grabbing his Money-in-the-Bank briefcase and blasting “The Beast” in the face with it! Rollins then delivers one more shot with the briefcase before placing Lesnar’s head on the briefcase, but when Rollins goes for the Curb Stomp, Lesnar pops up and drills Seth Rollins with the F-5, finally scoring the three-count to successfully retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in an unreal Triple Threat Match!
Then it was time for a match that creates legends and makes dreams come true as, for the 28th year in a row, thirty men would enter the ring for WWE’s biggest battle royal as WWE presents the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match, where two randomly drawn Superstars will start the match and elimination occurs by a Superstar being thrown over the top rope with both feet landing on the floor with the winner guaranteeing himself a WWE World Heavyweight Title shot in the main event of WrestleMania! The unenviable #1 spot would go to a man who does not lack in confidence in The Miz, who would be joined in the ring by the #2 entrant, R-Truth, as the two former tag team partners kick off the 2015 Royal Rumble Match. The #3 entrant would leave the world in shock and the Philly fans on their feet as, after a ten-year absence, Bubba Ray Dudley himself returns to WWE and returns to Philadelphia! Not missing a beat, Bubba Ray would take it to The Miz and, with the help of R-Truth, Bubba would hit The Dudley Boyz signature low head butt before ordering R-Truth to “get the tables”! Before R-Truth could do so, however, The Miz would attack R-Truth and that would result in The Miz getting a taste of the 3-D, courtesy of Bubba & R-Truth before Bubba eliminates Miz from the match, followed shortly by R-Truth!
In a truly strange face-off, Bubba Ray Dudley would then come face-to-face with the #4 entrant, Luke Harper, as the two big men collide in the ring. Luke Harper would then reunite with his former leader as the #5 entrant, Bray Wyatt, enters the Rumble. Together, the two former cohorts beat Bubba Ray down before Bray tosses Bubba out, much to the chagrin of the Philly crowd. The #6 entrant was then scheduled to be Curtis Axel, but Axel is ambushed by Erick Rowan in the entranceway as Rowan tosses Axel into the barricade. Despite not being a legal entrant in the match, Rowan would still enter the ring to square off with his former Wyatt Family brethren. Rowan would hold his own against both Bray and Harper, but when Rowan tries to dump Harper over the top rope, Bray Wyatt would spot an opportunity to tip Rowan over the top rope, who takes Harper with him as Harper is eliminated.
With Bray Wyatt alone in the ring, “The Eater of Worlds” is met by an individual who may be even more bizarre than Bray Wyatt as The Boogeyman enters the Royal Rumble Match at #7! However, the weird-off would not last long as Bray Wyatt would quickly dispose of Boogeyman, again standing alone before Sin Cara comes in as #8. Wyatt then continues to dominate the Rumble by tossing Sin Cara over the top rope. Bray Wyatt then grabs a microphone, saying that he hopes that everyone in the back has got the “message” that this is his year before the #9 entrant, Zack Ryder, joins the match. Despite an impressive flurry, Bray Wyatt would make quick work of Zack Ryder, tossing Ryder over the top.
Bray Wyatt is then met with a more formidable foe in the form of the #10 entrant, Daniel Bryan. As Bryan takes control of the match, Fandango enters the Rumble at #11, followed by Tyson Kidd at #12. With all four entrants down in the ring, Stardust would enter the Rumble at #13 and, moments later, Daniel Bryan would score his first elimination of the night, sending Tyson Kidd to the outside. After Bray Wyatt is tossed through the ropes, avoiding elimination, Daniel Bryan takes advantage of the unique rules of the Royal Rumble Match by running and diving through the ropes to take Bray Wyatt down. However, Wyatt is quick to retaliate as Bray sends Bryan into the steel steps as a three-time WCW Champion makes his surprise entrance into the Royal Rumble Match as Diamond Dallas Page makes his way to the ring as the #14 entrant! DDP manages to hit the Diamond Cutter on Stardust and a Diamond Cutter off of the top rope on Fandango before taking Bray Wyatt down with a third Diamond Cutter! Then, with DDP the only man on his feet, the United States Champion makes his entry into the Rumble as Rusev comes in at #15. The dominant Bulgarian immediately makes an impact by tossing out DDP, followed shortly by Fandango.
Bray Wyatt and Rusev then go face-to-face for the first time, but Daniel Bryan comes off of the top rope, taking both big men down. However, Bray and Rusev work together long enough to get Daniel Bryan on the ring apron before Bray Wyatt knocks Bryan off of the apron, eliminating Daniel Bryan from the match and breaking the heart of not only Daniel Bryan, but his loyal fans as well. As Philly continues to voice their disapproval over seeing Daniel Bryan eliminated so early, Goldust enters the Rumble at #16. Stardust is quick to turn on his brother, failing in his attempt to eliminate Goldust from the match. With the fans still booing Daniel Bryan’s elimination and chanting “Daniel Bryan”, Kofi Kingston comes into the Rumble at #17. Adam Rose then brings the Rosebuds to the ring with him as the #18 entrant into the Royal Rumble Match. Kofi Kingston then nearly gets tossed out, but Kofi somehow lands on top of The Exotic Express as the sea of colorful partiers actually body-surf Kofi around the ring, allowing Kingston to re-enter the ring. Meanwhile, Rusev tosses Adam Rose over the top to the outside, eliminating Rose, which Rusev follows up by eliminating Kofi Kingston, as well. One of the odds-on favorites to win the Rumble Match then enters at #19 as last year’s Rumble runner-up, Roman Reigns, enters the fray.
Gold & Stardust try to neutralize Roman Reigns right away, but the powerhouse fights back against the brothers, eliminating Goldust from the match, followed immediately by Stardust. As Roman Reigns struggles to combat both Bray Wyatt and Rusev, Big E enters the Royal Rumble Match at #20. The #21 entrant was set to be Damien Mizdow, but The Miz stops his stunt double in the entranceway, ordering Mizdow to go to the back, and saying that it is his “spot”. However, Roman Reigns knocks The Miz off of the ring apron and this is when the stunt double decides to try and carve out his own path, entering the Rumble against The Miz’s wishes. Mizdow would have an impressive, albeit brief, stint in the Rumble before the stunt double was tossed out by Rusev. “The Real American” then enters the Rumble as Jack Swagger comes in at #22, followed by the newly rehired Ryback at #23. One of the most dominant competitors in Royal Rumble history, Kane, then enters the Rumble at #24, followed by “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose, who comes in at #25. Titus O’Neil then enters the match at #26, but comes close to beating Santino Marella’s record as he is immediately eliminated by Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns.
The Intercontinental Champion then enters the Rumble at the luckiest number to have in the Rumble Match as Bad News Barrett comes in at #27, followed by Cesaro at #28. Rusev then eliminates Big E from the match before “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show enters the Rumble at #29. Big Show quickly aligns himself with the other designated hitter for The Authority, Kane, as Kane & Big Show send Ryback out of the ring before Big Show tosses Jack Swagger out, as well. With Kane & Big Show dominating the competition in the ring, the final entrant in the Royal Rumble Match would be “The Show-Off” as Dolph Ziggler comes in at #30. Dolph Ziggler immediately makes an impact in the Rumble, taking both Kane & Big Show down before eliminating Bad News Barrett from the match, followed shortly by Cesaro. Dolph then turns his attention back to Kane & Big Show, but when Ziggler comes off of the top rope, he is caught with the Knockout Punch by Big Show before Kane & Big Show easily dump the lifeless body of Dolph Ziggler over the top rope. Bray Wyatt then tries his hand at taking on the two giants, but when Bray goes for the Sister Abigail on Kane, he is leveled by the Knockout Punch of Big Show before Kane & Big Show dump Bray Wyatt over the top rope, as well.
Then it comes down to four men in the Royal Rumble Match as Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose climb to their feet to discover that they have Kane & Big Show standing across the ring from them. After the two sides trade blows for a short time, Kane & Big Show gain the advantage as they focus their attention on Dean Ambrose as Big Show plants Ambrose with a chokeslam, followed by Kane & Big Show eliminating Dean Ambrose from the match. With Kane & Big Show absolutely dominating the Royal Rumble Match, only one obstacle was left in their way as the two giants begin the beatdown of Roman Reigns. Kane would try to eliminate Roman Reigns but Roman would use his leg strength to nearly hoist Kane over the top rope with Big Show attempting to eliminate Kane himself! However, Kane stays in the match and immediately takes issue with Big Show, which leads to the two giants squaring off, going blow-for-blow, but when both men grab each other by the throat, Roman Reigns spots his opening, dumping both men over the top rope, eliminating Kane & Big Show to win the 2015 Royal Rumble Match and punch his ticket to the main event of WrestleMania!
However, Roman Reigns would not get the chance to celebrate as Kane & Big Show immediately get back in the ring to beat down the Royal Rumble winner. Kane & Big Show then plant Roman Reigns with a huge double chokeslam, but just when it looked like Kane & Big Show had successfully ruined the night for Roman Reigns, The Authority’s giants get rocked with the arrival of none other than “The Great One” The Rock! The Rock would take down Big Show with a flurry of right hands before planting Kane with a spinebuster, following it up with the People’s Elbow! The Rock would then find himself in the grasp of Big Show, but a low blow by The Rock and a Superman Punch from Roman Reigns would allow “The People’s Champion” to plant Big Show with a huge Rock Bottom!
The Rock would then exit the ring, leaving the spotlight all to Roman Reigns, but one man that everyone forgot about what Rusev, who was never actually eliminated from the Rumble! Rusev would come back into the ring, but would be immediately taken down by Roman Reigns before Roman officially eliminates the United States Champion, winning the 2015 Royal Rumble Match and cementing his spot as the #1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania! In a symbolic passing of the torch, The Rock comes back into the ring, congratulating Roman on his victory and raising Roman’s hand in victory. This brings out The Authority as Triple H & Stephanie McMahon glare at The Rock & Roman Reigns with clear discontent and loathing, perplexed and annoyed at The Rock’s interference in their grand plan. The Authority then heads to the back before The Rock exits the ring, letting Roman Reigns soak in the biggest victory of his career.
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