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WWE Royal Rumble 2022 results, match grades: Ronda Rousey returns, joins Brock Lesnar in heading to WrestleMania

by Nozomi
WWE Royal Rumble 2022 results, match grades: Ronda Rousey returns, joins Brock Lesnar in heading to WrestleMania

A few rematches may be taking place at WrestleMania after two former UFC champions won the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches Saturday night.

Ronda Rousey, wrestling in WWE for the first time since 2019, entered at No. 28 and then eliminated Charlotte Flair to win the women’s Rumble. On the men’s side, Brock Lesnar — who lost the WWE title earlier in the night — entered the men’s Rumble at No. 30 and won the match for his second Royal Rumble victory. 

Lesnar is expected to fight Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. Reigns interfered in Lesnar’s match against Bobby Lashley, attacking him thanks to a swerve by Paul Heyman. In a surprise appearance, Lesnar easily took down the remaining men in the Rumble to secure his spot.

Rousey teamed up with friend Shayna Baszler before the latter was eliminated. She didn’t waste any time beating Flair, the “SmackDown” women’s champion. Rousey now has a choice between Flair and Becky Lynch, who successfully defended her “Raw” women’s title against Doudrop in a hard-fought affair.

Also on the card, The Miz and Maryse were beaten by Edge and Beth Phoenix.  

Here’s how it all went down:

Seth Rollins def. Roman Reigns via DQ, Reigns retains the Universal title

The Universal title match opened the show, with the Usos banned from ringside. Reigns came out first, which is never a good thing as a champion. That would not matter in the long run. Rollins came out to The Shield’s theme song, entrance through the crowd and all. Mind games were definitely being played. These two have great chemistry against one another, and this match was no exception. 

Reigns tried attacking early, flustered by Rollins’ mind games. Rollins had momentum early following a dive to the outside. Both landed a few throwback moves dating to their days in The Shield: Rollins hit Reigns with a Shield Bomb through a table, a buckle bomb and The Stomp. In peril throughout the match, Reigns finally took over, landing multiple blows to Rollins and then a powerbomb. Rollins laughed at Reigns, which upset Reigns, a major theme of the night. Once Reigns took over, the pace slowed. That included taunting and rest holds. A Superman Punch didn’t stop Rollins. In a nice throwback sequence, Reigns hit a spear on the outside and Rollins hit a pegigree as he countered a spear from inside the ring. Reigns went for a Rock Bottom but landed a spear instead.

Rollins continued to laugh and tried to do a Shield fist bump. A flustered Reigns locked in a guillotine. Charles Robinson managed to help Rollins put his hands on the rope, but Reigns wouldn’t let go. The referee called for the DQ. Reigns then hit Rollins in the back several times with a chair, the same way Rollins betrayed The Shield all those years ago. The two had a great story going until the finish, which might have added to it if it can be done right. 

Grade: A-

Ronda Rousey wins Women’s Royal Rumble for championship opportunity at WrestleMania

This match showed showed how thin the women’s roster has been since WWE released a lot of talent in the past year-plus. There were a lot of reunions, whether it was Total Divas or legends from the past. Storylines were able to be advanced, such Nikki A.S.H. vs. Rhea Ripley and Naomi vs. Sonya Deville.

Ultimately, the moment leading up to Rousey winning the match had its hot and cold moments. It started as a past-vs.-present moment, with Melina returning against Sasha Banks. While Melina didn’t get a lot of time in the ring, other past stars like Michelle McCool, The Bella Twins and Lita did. Having these women eliminate the current roster might not have helped the cause of those stars, but the end result negated all of it.

Key highlights included Ivory returning to her Right to Censor gimmick and Mickie James coming out with the Impact Knockouts World Championship. Naomi and Sonya were able to continue their story, which had an addition in the returning Cameron getting eliminated by Deville. Naomi eliminated Deville but Deville helped eliminate Naomi, meaning this feud is not over. They had a great match on “SmackDown,” and this feud seems to be WrestleMania-worthy. 

Things kicked into high gear when Ripley and Charlotte Flair came out, and everything changed when Rousey made her return.

She teased an alliance with teammate Shayna Baszler, but nothing came from it. The final four were Bianca Belair, Flair, Baszler and Rousey. Belair was eliminated, which upset many fans. With the final two being Rousey and “SmackDown” women’s champion Flair, the outcome seemed expected. Rousey quickly eliminated Flair to win the match, to a standing ovation. Her path to WrestleMania is set, and the way she got it helped increase interest in the Royal Rumble.  

Grade: B+

Women’s Royal Rumble match entrances and eliminations 

1. Sasha Banks (eliminated by Zelina) 

2. Melina (eliminated by Banks) 

3. Tamina (eliminated by Natalya)

4. Kelly Kelly (eliminated by Banks)

5. Aliyah (eliminated by Charlotte) 

6. Liv Morgan (eliminated by Brie Bella)

7. Queen Zelina (eliminated by Ripley)

8. Bianca Belair (eliminated by Charlotte) 

9. Dana Brooke (eliminated by McCool)

10. Michelle McCool (eliminated by Mickie James)

11. Sonya Deville (eliminated by Naomi) 

12. Natalya (eliminated by Belair and Rousey)

13. Cameron (eliminated by Sonya)

14. Naomi (elimianted by Sonya) 

15. Carmella (eliminated by Ripley)

16. Rhea Ripley (eliminated by Charlotte)

17. Charlotte Flair (eliminated by Rousey)

18. Ivory (eliminated by Ripley) 

19. Brie Bella (eliminated by Rousey)

20. Mickie James (eliminated by Lita) 

21. Alicia Fox (eliminated by Bella Twins)

22. Nikki A.S.H. (eliminated by Rousey) 

23. Summer Rae (eliminated by Natalya)

24. Nikki Bella (eliminated by Brie Bella)

25. Sarah Logan (eliminated by Bella Twins)

26. Lita (eliminated by Charlotte) 

27. Molly Holly (eliminated by Nikki A.S.H.) 

28. Ronda Rousey (ROYAL RUMBLE WINNER)

29. Shotzi (eliminated by Rousey) 

30. Shayna Baszler (eliminated by Charlotte) 

Becky Lynch def. Doudrop to retain ‘Raw’ women’s title 

This match had the tough task of getting the crowd’s attention following the Royal Rumble. A match a long time in the making, Lynch tried to stall as Doudrop tried to use her power to her advantage. The match had some rough spots that might have hurt both wrestlers; Doudrop landed hard on the steps and Lynch appeared to have landed on her head following a suplex. That ended up coming into play when it came to one working over the other. 

Once Lynch was able to gain some momentum, things picked up. She was desperate to keep her title, but Doudrop was resilient. Lynch tried several high-impact moves to take Doudrop off her feet, but the latter’s strength would continue to stop Lynch from securing the win. Doudrop tried going up top, but Lynch hit a second-rope Manhandle Slam, overcoming the odds to retain her title. Once the momentum of the Rumble wore off, the match grew on a lot of people. 

Grade: A-

Bobby Lashley def. Brock Lesnar to win the WWE championship

This match had two parts: a brawl between two big athletes and a setup to a potential WrestleMania match. 

Lesnar vs. Lashley had a big-fight feel even before the two entered the ring. They tried a “test of strength” lock-up to start. An awkward few suplexes by Lesnar may have hurt Lashley, but he continued on and landed a few suplexes of his own, to the delight of the crowd. Lashley landed a few spears but missed one near the barricade. This was similar to Lesnar vs. Goldberg in that both big men hit their key moves, which ended up working.

A Hurt Lock attempt resulted in a ref bump followed by an F5 that had the ref out for the count after another bump. Roman Reigns appeared and attacked Lesnar. He then turned to Paul Heyman, who handed Reigns the WWE title belt. He hit Lesnar with it, and then Lashley pinned him to secure the win. Heyman left the ring with Reigns, setting up another potential match at WrestleMania between Reigns and Lesnar. The match served its purpose while setting up future stories. Lashley is once again WWE champion following a dominant reign. 

Grade: A-

Edge and Beth Phoenix def. Miz and Maryse

While the main feud was between The Miz and Edge, it was Beth Phoenix and Maryse who put in the bulk of the work. Edge and Miz did a few moves within the ring but did most of the fighting outside it. Phoenix used her power to dominate Maryse throughout the contest. She then attacked The Miz when given the opportunity, a true highlight of the match. 

Eventually, Edge and Miz got to get in on the action, and when Beth took out Maryse again, she made things interesting by landing a powerbomb on Miz, and then Edge hit a flying elbow.

Maryse tried distracting Edge and landed a hurricanrana on him and Phoenix. Miz landed a Skull Crushing Finale but Edge kicked out, getting the fans further invested in this match. Miz and Maryse tried a double Skull Crushing Finale but Edge and Beth countered into a double spear, followed by a double Grand Slam for the win. A very good match that was put in a difficult position. 

Grade: A

Brock Lesnar wins Men’s Royal Rumble for championship opportunity at WrestleMania

AJ Styles and Shinsuka Nakamura started things off, resuming their feud from WrestleMania 34. Austin Theory, who lasted 25-plus minutes, made his way in at No. 3. He put in a valiant effort the entire time in the Rumble. Styles was on fire when he was in the ring, eliminating six stars. 

There were few highlights in the match until Johnny Knoxville of “Jackass” fame came to the ring. He got one of the biggest pops of the night and suffered enough damage to give him credibility. Knoxville got the best beatdown by a “Jackass” star since Steve-O against Umaga in 2006. Omos came out at No. 11 and dominated in his short time in the match. Chad Gable at No. 13 was the lone smart man who told everyone to gang up on Omos. The big man ended up being eliminated by Styles, Ricochet, Gable, Dominik Mysterio, Ridge Holland and Theory. 

Styles ended up getting eliminated by Madcap Moss, who entered at No. 19, even though they weren’t feuding. Fans were not happy about this, nor was the internet. Big players ended up making their way to the ring, as Drew McIntyre returned at No. 21. He got rid of Moss and Hapy Corbin, destroying them in the process. Things started to decrease in quality when Kofi Kingston, who entered at 24, botched a last-minute save spot, eliminating himself early. He was expected to last longer than he did.

Randy Orton and Riddle put on quite a show thanks to them teaming up, and Bad Bunny returning at 27 resulted in a few fun moments.

Shane McMahon came back and eliminated Owens, making the fans restless. The last man to enter the Rumble was Lesnar, who lost the WWE championship to Bobby Lashley earlier in the night. The crowd and the world knew the outcome after that, as Lesnar dominated and won the match. 

This match had an opportunity to impress, but from beginning to end nothing clicked. The eliminations of Styles and Owens deflated the crowd, and then when Lesnar came out, it was obvious we were going to get another Lesnar-Reigns WrestleMania match. 

Grade: C- 

Men’s Royal Rumble match entrances and eliminations 

1. AJ Styles (eliminated by Madcap Moss) 

2. Shinsuke Nakamura (eliminated by Styles) 

3. Austin Theory (eliminated by Styles) 

4. Robert Roode (eliminated by Styles)

5. Ridge Holland (eliminated by Styles) 

6. Montez Ford (eliminated by Omos)

7. Damian Priest (eliminated by Omos)

8. Sami Zayn (eliminated by Styles) 

9. Johnny Knoxville (eliminated by Zayn)

10. Angelo Dawkins (eliminated by Omos)

11. Omos (eliminated by Styles, Ricochet, Gable, Dominik, Holland, Theory) 

12. Ricochet (eliminated by Corbin)

13. Chad Gable (eliminated by Boogs) 

14. Dominik Mysterio (eliminated by Corbin) 

15. Happy Corbin (eliminated by McIntyre) 

16. Dolph Ziggler (eliminated by Bad Bunny) 

17. Sheamus (eliminated by Bad Bunny) 

18. Rick Boogs (eliminated by Corbin)

19. Madcap Moss (eliminated by McIntyre) 

20. Riddle (eliminated by Lesnar) 

21. Drew McIntyre (eliminated by Lesnar) 

22. Kevin Owens (eliminated by Shane McMahon) 

23. Rey Mysterio (eliminated by Otis) 

24. Kofi Kingston (eliminated by Owens) 

25. Otis (eliminated by Orton and Riddle)

26. Big E (eliminated by Orton and Riddle)

27. Bad Bunny (eliminated by Lesnar) 

28. Shane McMahon (eliminated by Lesnar) 

29. Randy Orton (eliminated by Lesnar) 

30. Brock Lesnar (ROYAL RUMBLE WINNER) 

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