Royal Rumble 2022: Everything You Need to Know About WWE's Biggest Event of the Year
Royal Rumble 2022: Results, Highlights, and Surprises
Royal Rumble is one of the most anticipated events in WWE's calendar, where 30 men and 30 women compete in separate over-the-top-rope elimination matches for a chance to challenge for a world championship at WrestleMania. This year's edition was held on Saturday, January 29, at The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri, and featured some shocking outcomes, thrilling moments, and unexpected returns. Here are the results, highlights, and surprises of Royal Rumble 2022.
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What is Royal Rumble?
Royal Rumble is a unique match type that was created in 1988 by WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson. It involves 30 participants who enter the ring at regular intervals, usually every 90 seconds. The only way to eliminate an opponent is to throw them over the top rope with both feet touching the floor. The last person remaining in the ring is declared the winner and earns a world title opportunity at WrestleMania, WWE's biggest event of the year.
What happened at Royal Rumble 2022?
Royal Rumble 2022 featured six matches on the main card, including two Royal Rumble matches, two world title matches, and a mixed tag team match. The event also had a pre-show match that was streamed on WWE's YouTube channel and social media platforms. Here are the results of each match:
Pre-show: Sheamus defeated Ricochet
Seth Rollins def. Roman Reigns via disqualification (Universal Championship)
Ronda Rousey won the Women's Royal Rumble
Becky Lynch def. Doudrop (Raw Women's Championship)
Bobby Lashley def. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship)
Edge & Beth Phoenix def. The Miz & Maryse
Brock Lesnar won the Men's Royal Rumble
In the following sections, we will take a closer look at each match and analyze what happened, why it happened, and what it means for the future.
Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns (Universal Championship)
Seth Rollins earned the right to face Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship by winning a fatal five-way match on SmackDown in December 2021. Rollins had previously been drafted to Raw in October 2021, but he invoked his rematch clause from when he lost to Big E for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series 2021. Rollins and Reigns have a long history together as former allies and enemies in The Shield, one of the most dominant factions in WWE history. Rollins also cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Reigns at WrestleMania 31 in 2015 to win his first world title.
The match between Rollins and Reigns was a hard-fought battle that lasted for 25 minutes. Both men exchanged their signature moves and near-falls, such as the Curb Stomp, the Spear, the Superman Punch, and the Pedigree. The match ended in controversy when Reigns hit Rollins with a low blow behind the referee's back and then locked in the Guillotine choke. However, before Rollins could tap out or pass out, the Usos, Reigns' cousins and allies, interfered and attacked Rollins with superkicks. The referee saw this and called for the bell, disqualifying Reigns and awarding the match to Rollins. However, since titles cannot change hands by disqualification, Reigns retained the Universal Championship.
After the match, Reigns and the Usos continued to assault Rollins until Edge, Reigns' former rival and Rollins' current friend, came to the rescue. Edge speared Reigns and chased away the Usos, while Rollins recovered and thanked Edge for his help. The two men hugged and raised each other's hands in a show of respect. However, as they were celebrating, Brock Lesnar's music hit and the WWE Champion made his way to the ring. Lesnar had just defeated Bobby Lashley in a brutal match earlier in the night and was looking for more action. Lesnar attacked both Rollins and Edge with F5s and then stared down Reigns, who was still lying on the mat. Lesnar then grabbed a microphone and announced that he was entering the Men's Royal Rumble match as a surprise entrant.
Ronda Rousey wins the Women's Royal Rumble
Ronda Rousey had not been seen in WWE since WrestleMania 35 in 2019, when she lost her Raw Women's Championship to Becky Lynch in a triple threat match that also involved Charlotte Flair. Rousey had taken a hiatus from wrestling to focus on her personal life and start a family with her husband Travis Browne. However, rumors had been circulating that Rousey was ready to make her comeback and challenge Lynch for her title once again. Lynch had been dominating the women's division since defeating Rousey and Flair, holding the Raw Women's Championship for over two years.
The Women's Royal Rumble match featured 30 participants from Raw, SmackDown, NXT, and NXT UK. Some of the notable entrants were Bianca Belair, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Bayley, Liv Morgan, Carmella, Natalya, Nikki A.S.H., Tamina, Shayna Baszler, Naomi, Toni Storm, Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, Raquel Gonzalez, Dakota Kai, Shotzi Blackheart, Ember Moon, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox, Xia Li, Piper Niven, Kay Lee Ray, Mia Yim, Lacey Evans, and Kelly Kelly. The match was full of action, drama, and surprises, as some of the women eliminated each other in unexpected ways, such as Baszler eliminating Belair, Bliss eliminating Banks, and Morgan eliminating Bayley. The final four women in the match were Lynch, Ripley, Shirai, and Rousey, who entered as the number 30 entrant to a huge ovation from the crowd. Rousey quickly eliminated Shirai and Ripley, while Lynch fought back and tried to throw Rousey over the top rope. However, Rousey countered and locked in the armbar on Lynch, forcing her to let go of the ropes and fall to the floor. Rousey was declared the winner and celebrated her victory by pointing at the WrestleMania sign.
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After the match, Rousey grabbed a microphone and challenged Lynch to a rematch for the Raw Women's Championship at WrestleMania 38. She said that she never forgot how Lynch stole her title and her moment two years ago, and that she was back to reclaim what was rightfully hers. She also said that she was not afraid of Lynch or anyone else in WWE, and that she was the baddest woman on the planet. Lynch responded by saying that she was not impressed by Rousey's return, and that she was ready to face her anytime, anywhere. She said that she beat Rousey once before, and she would do it again at WrestleMania. She also said that she was not just the man, but the woman who runs WWE. The two women stared each other down as the crowd cheered and booed.
Bobby Lashley vs Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship)
Bobby Lashley had been chasing Brock Lesnar for years, ever since he returned to WWE in 2018. Lashley had always wanted to face Lesnar in a dream match between two former MMA fighters and dominant champions. However, Lesnar had been absent from WWE for most of 2020 and 2021, only returning at SummerSlam 2021 to confront Roman Reigns after he defeated John Cena for the Universal Championship. Lesnar then challenged Reigns for his title at Crown Jewel 2021, but he lost after being screwed by Paul Heyman, his former advocate who had aligned himself with Reigns. Lesnar then appeared on Raw in November 2021 and attacked Big E, who was the WWE Champion at the time. Lesnar then entered himself into the Day 1 pay-per-view on January 1, 2022, where he faced Big E, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, and Bobby Lashley in a fatal five-way match for the WWE Championship. Lesnar won the match after pinning Big E, becoming the new WWE Champion.
The match between Lashley and Lesnar was a physical clash that lasted for 15 minutes. Both men used their power and agility to try to overpower and outsmart each other. They also used their MMA skills to apply submission holds and strikes, such as the Kimura Lock, the Hurt Lock, the German Suplexes, and the Spear. The match ended when Lashley hit Lesnar with a Spear through the barricade outside the ring, but Lesnar managed to roll back into the ring before the referee counted to 10. Lashley then followed him and attempted another Spear, but Lesnar dodged it and hit him with an F5 for the pinfall victory.
After the match, Lesnar celebrated his win by holding up his WWE Championship and roaring at the crowd. Las