Former UFC stars Rousey, Lesnar dominate shock-filled 2022 WWE Royal Rumble

 By Rob Dongiapon

PHOTO: New York Post

In a night where the unpredictability of both Men’s and Women’s Royal Rumble reigned throughout, Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar — two stars whose odds of winning before the event were relatively scarce — prevailed at the end of both Rumble matches to earn their respective championship match of choice at WrestleMania. 

Rousey, a former UFC champion, came out as a surprise entrant at number 28, showcasing her marquee strikes and submission holds before eliminating Charlotte Flair to only become the fifth female winner ever of the match. 

Flair and Rousey — two-thirds of 2019’s WrestleMania main event — never got their ground running in the finish as Rousey — looking as sluggish as somebody that hasn’t wrestled for more than two years — tossed over Flair following a lengthy staredown to secure the win.

Alongside Rousey and Flair, number 30 entrant Shayna, who had been a teammate of the Rumble victor in UFC, and last year’s winner Bianca Belair rounded out the final four of the match. The match had not run out of legends appearances with entrant number two Melina, Kelly Kelly, Michelle McCool, Molly Holly, Alicia Fox, Cameron, 60-year-old Ivory, Nikki, and Brie Bella, Summer Rae, Sarah Logan, current Impact Knockouts Champion Mickey James, and Lita, who had the loudest pop from the 44,390 in attendance inside The Dome at America's Center in St Louis, Missouri. 

Lesnar, on the other hand, blitzed through the competition in the main event, entering at the 30th spot before muscling his way to eliminate hometown favorite Randy Orton, Riddle, rapper Bad Bunny — who had two eliminations himself in the Rumble —, returning Shane McMahon, and former Royal Rumble winner and Lesnar’s conqueror Drew Mcintyre via an F5 from the top rope all the way to the ground. 

AJ Styles and erstwhile Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakamura started the match at one and two, renewing their rivalry that unfolded through Japan and WrestleMania a few years back. Jackass star Johnny Knoxville also had himself a moment in the match, taking down Sami Zayn before striking Styles in the mouth. Knoxville was eliminated by Zayn courtesy of a helluva kick after Styles and Montex Ford each took their turns in pummeling the actor 

With the triumph, Lesnar became a two-time Royal Rumble winner, putting himself in the likes of Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Randy Orton, Triple H, Shawn Michals, Edge, and Stone Cold Steve Austin as multiple-time winners of the annual event. Lesnar first won the Rumble in 2003, a 19-year gap from his initial victory to this year. 


Bobby Lashley winning the WWE Championship from Lesnar

Before the Men’s Royal Rumble match, Lesnar had himself a monstrous championship collision with Bobby Lashley, ending in a loss from the eventual Rumble victor after WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns interfered, while Paul Heyman reverted his allegiance to the Tribal Chief to cost Lesnar the WWE World title. 

A dream match in and of itself, Lashley and Lesnar battled out in a glorified test of strength, where each man one-upped each other before both men inadvertently bumped and hit the referee to unconsciousness which allowed the Reigns interference to surface. 

Reigns clobbered Lesnar with the WWE title belt bestowed upon him by Heyman following a spear to the shock of the crowd. 

Lashley kicks started his second WWE Championship reign and had made himself one victory better than Lesnar. 


Set Rollins upends reigns via disqualification

In the first match of the night, Reigns had himself disqualified after refusing to relinquish his guillotine hold on Seth Rollins, giving the win to the latter but effectively retaining the Universal title. 

The match started with Rollins coming out with a full Shield-themed entrance that included their old attire with Reigns and Dean Ambrose (now known as Jon Moxley), brilliantly playing mind games with his opponent — an underlying concept of the matchup. 

Working in front of a hot crowd to start the show, Reigns and Rollins flaunted their in-ring chemistry throughout with an exciting back-and-forth that flowed to an intriguing finish, which also somehow set up what to come in the following hours of the show. 


FULL RESULTS

Brocks Lesnar wins Men’s Royal Rumble match

Edge and Beth Phoenix def, The Miz and Maryse in a Mixed Tag Match

Bobby Lashey def. Brock Lesnar to win the WWE championship

Becky Lynch def. Doudrop to retain the Raw Women’s Championship

Ronda Rousey wins Women’s Royal Rumble match

Seth Rollins def. Roman Reigns via DQ 


Edited by Jostle Doen Pilayre


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