The Road to WrestleMania starts with the Royal Rumble and the 30th annual WWE Royal Rumble came to you, live on pay-per-view and the WWE Network, from the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX for the first time in twenty years. Throughout its near three decade existence, the annual Royal Rumble Match has been won by a who’s who of Superstars including Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Bret “Hitman” Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, Batista, and John Cena and, of the 25 different Superstars to win the Royal Rumble Match, the majority of Rumble winners have went on to win a World Title at that year’s WrestleMania and the 30 Superstars in this year’s Royal Rumble Match will be looking to do just that. In what is arguably the biggest and most unpredictable Royal Rumble Match in history, the likes of two-time former World Champion Goldberg, 2003 Royal Rumble Match winner “The Beast” Brock Lesnar, “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show, “The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman, “The Lone Wolf” Baron Corbin, Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose, United States Champion Chris Jericho, The Wyatt Family, The New Day, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, Sami Zayn, and the legendary “Phenom” The Undertaker! With such a stacked Royal Rumble Match, not to mention the jaw-dropping surprise entrants that have become a staple of the Royal Rumble Match, who will survive the over-the-top rope melee to earn themselves a guaranteed shot at either the WWE Championship or the WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania?
In their intense rivalry that started last year, there’s no arguing that AJ Styles and John Cena had some absolutely incredible matches in 2016, but this personal rivalry will be taken to a whole new level at the Royal Rumble when these two go one-on-one with the WWE Championship on the line. Since returning to SmackDown LIVE last month, John Cena has a new attitude when it comes to AJ Styles and the WWE Championship. After making his return, John Cena would make the bold move to announce himself as the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, citing that being John Cena entitles him to a shot at the gold. In the weeks leading up to the Royal Rumble, AJ Styles and John Cena have made it no secret how they feel about each other. With AJ accusing Cena of only getting the title match because Cena is basically the brother-in-law of SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan and Cena publicly mocking AJ Styles on the Today show and telling Styles that he’s “just a guy” who is holding the WWE Championship because Cena has allowed it, it’s clear that Styles and Cena will stop at nothing to walk out of the Alamodome as the WWE Champion. While AJ Styles has had John Cena’s number in their past matches, John Cena seems more determined than ever to win his sixteenth World Title, so the question remains, who will emerge as the WWE Champion?
Since Kevin Owens won the WWE Universal Championship back in August, Owens has had a very helpful best friend in the form of Chris Jericho, who has repeatedly helped Owens retain the WWE Universal Title no matter the stipulation put in place. This would lead to an interesting idea from the mind of RAW General Manager Mick Foley, who announced that, at the Royal Rumble, Kevin Owens would defend the WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns, but to ensure that Chris Jericho would not get involved, Jericho will be locked in a shark cage that will be suspended high above the ring! Not only that, but Kevin Owens found out this past Monday night on RAW that the title match will also have no disqualifications! With Chris Jericho’s presence in the shark cage keeping the match truly one-on-one, can Kevin Owens prove the naysayers wrong and keep the WWE Universal Title without the help of Chris Jericho or will Roman Reigns beat Owens for the WWE Universal Title and prove that Owens needs Jericho to remain champion?
Since arriving on the main roster, few can argue that Charlotte Flair is the most dominant women’s competitor of the modern age when it comes to pay-per-view title defenses as the second-generation Superstar has never lost a championship match on pay-per-view. However, there is one Superstar who has proven to have the champion’s number and that is Bayley. Having defeated the RAW Women’s Champion twice before, Bayley will look to do it for a third time with the title on the line at the Royal Rumble when Bayley makes her Rumble debut to challenge Charlotte Flair for the RAW Women’s Championship. Also at the Royal Rumble, the Cruiserweight Championship would be defended when Rich Swann puts the title on the line against the self-proclaimed “King of the Cruiserweights” Neville.
- RAW Tag Team Championship: Two Referees: Kickoff Match: Gallows & Anderson def. Cesaro & Sheamus (c) by Karl Anderson rolling up Cesaro (c) with the tights to win the RAW Tag Team Titles.
- Kickoff Match: Nia Jax def. Sasha Banks by pin following a Samoan Drop.
- 6-Woman Tag: Kickoff Match: Naomi, Becky Lynch, & Nikki Bella def. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, & Natalya by Naomi pinning Alexa Bliss following the split-legged moonsault.
- RAW Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) def. Bayley by pin following Natural Selection on the ring apron to retain.
- WWE Universal Championship: No DQ: Chris Jericho Locked in a Shark Cage: Kevin Owens (c) def. Roman Reigns by pin following the running powerslam through a table by Braun Strowman to retain.
- Cruiserweight Championship: Neville def. Rich Swann (c) by submission to the Rings of Saturn to win the Cruiserweight Title.
- WWE Championship: John Cena def. AJ Styles (c) by pin following back-to-back Attitude Adjustments to win the WWE Title.
- 30-Man Royal Rumble Match: WINNER – Randy Orton
Royal Rumble Match Entrants
- Big Cass (with Enzo Amore)
- United States Champion Chris Jericho
- Mojo Rawley
- Jack Gallagher
- Mark Henry
- Braun Strowman
- Sami Zayn
- Big Show
- Tye Dillinger
- James Ellsworth (with Carmella)
- Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose
- Baron Corbin
- Kofi Kingston
- The Miz (with Maryse)
- Big E
- Rusev (with Lana)
- Xavier Woods
- Bray Wyatt
- Apollo Crews
- Randy Orton (Winner)
- Dolph Ziggler
- Luke Harper
- Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman)
- Enzo Amore
- The Undertaker
- Roman Reigns
Royal Rumble Match Eliminations
- Mark Henry elim. Jack Gallagher
- Braun Strowman elim. Mojo Rawley
- Braun Strowman elim. Big Cass
- Braun Strowman elim. Kalisto
- Braun Strowman elim. Mark Henry
- Braun Strowman elim. Big Show
- Braun Strowman elim. James Ellsworth
- Braun Strowman elim. Tye Dillinger
- Baron Corbin elim. Braun Strowman
- Cesaro & Sheamus elim. The New Day
- Chris Jericho elim. Cesaro & Sheamus
- Luke Harper elim. Apollo Crews
- Brock Lesnar elim. Dean Ambrose
- Brock Lesnar elim. Dolph Ziggler
- Brock Lesnar elim. Enzo Amore
- Goldberg elim. Brock Lesnar
- Goldberg elim. Rusev
- The Undertaker elim. Baron Corbin
- Goldberg elim. Luke Harper
- The Undertaker elim. Goldberg
- The Undertaker elim. The Miz
- The Undertaker elim. Sami Zayn
- Roman Reigns elim. The Undertaker
- Roman Reigns elim. Chris Jericho
- Roman Reigns elim. Bray Wyatt
- Randy Orton elim. Roman Reigns
See page 2 for detailed results.