The WWE Royal Rumble 2016 results are now in the books and the big match featured plenty of hard-hitting action on Sunday night. As diehard fans know, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns was slated to enter the match at No. 1 and would have to successfully last through the entire match to remain champ. The match featured just a few surprise entrants and some interesting eliminations which will probably set up future encounters. Fans who missed the pay-per-view are probably wondering just who won the Royal Rumble match last night and whether or not there was a new champion crowned at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Did Reigns survive the entire match to hold onto his title belt?
According to Wrestling Inc. in their Jan. 24 report, Roman Reigns was introduced as the first entrant followed by Rusev. The two fought at it early on with Reigns getting tossed out through the middle rope. He managed to connect on a spear on Rusev back in the ring and then tossed him out for the first elimination. That also set up the first big surprise entry of the night as former TNA World Champion AJ Styles made his debut and came to the ring to go at it with Roman Reigns. Styles got probably the biggest cheers of the night along with “The Beast” Brock Lesnar. Styles also lasted about 10 eliminations and was ultimately eliminated by Kevin Owens, which many feel could be a feud heading towards WrestleMania 32. If so, it makes for an intriguing rivalry and could really entertain the fans.
Sami Zayn was another surprise entry into the match at the No. 20 spot. The fans quickly got behind the NXT superstar who had been involved in some intense feuds with Kevin Owens. Of note, Owens was No. 18 in the match and limped to the ring after being defeated in the earlier Last Man Standing match against Ambrose. Owens was able to eliminated AJ Styles with a “Welcome to WWE” yell as he did so and later was eliminated by his rival Zayn. The rising NXT star found himself thrown out of the ring by Braun Strowman of the Wyatt Family. At one point, three of the Wyatts were in the ring as everyone but Bray was entered. However, Brock Lesnar came to the ring and soon was able to eliminate each member of the Wyatts, leaving Bray. The “Eater of Worlds” summoned his eliminated family back to the ring though and they helped beat down Lesnar for the elimination.
Reigns managed to last the duration of the match, but not without more obstacles thrown at him. At one point, Mr. McMahon brought out Rusev, Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio and had them yank Reigns from the ring for a beat down. That featured each guy hitting a big kick move on him and then Rusev jumping onto Reigns on top of a commentators table to smash through it. Reigns was helped backstage on a stretcher by medical staff, although never officially eliminated. He would later return as the No. 29 entrant, Sheamus, was making his way down the ramp. Reigns attacked Sheamus and was soon back in the ring. The last surprise of the night (for some fans) came as the No. 30 was announced and Triple H’s music played.
Triple H got into the ring and set his focus on Roman Reigns. He even got involved with several other stars including Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt. Wyatt found himself eliminated by a combo of HHH and Reigns. It eventually came down to a final four of Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Triple H and Shemaus. The Celtic Warrior saw himself eliminated by a Superman Punch on the apron from Reigns, and then “The Game” quickly dumped Reigns out. That left Dean Ambrose to go at it with the 13-time champion. He put up a valiant effort, and looked about ready to ram HHH off the apron, but Triple H held tight onto the top rope and then ducked through the ropes to backdrop Ambrose out over the top to the floor. With that, Triple H had captured the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for his 14th reign.
All of this will likely lead to a big rematch being set up for WrestleMania 32. There had been rumors for some time that with superstars like Randy Orton, John Cena and Seth Rollins on the shelf, WWE needed more star power. It seems that Triple H is part of that plan, but with superstars like Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles also around, WWE may be in a good position still. Don’t be surprised if the Triple H scenario with Reigns eventually leads to the return of Seth Rollins as a face superstar either.