The Royal Rumble is an annual professional wrestling event held by WWE. One of the main events of the show is the Men’s Royal Rumble match, which typically features 30 wrestlers competing to earn a championship opportunity at WrestleMania, WWE’s flagship event.
The match begins with two wrestlers in the ring and, every 90 seconds, another wrestler enters the match. The wrestlers eliminate each other by throwing them over the top rope and out of the ring. The last wrestler remaining in the ring is declared the winner.
The winner of the Men’s Royal Rumble match earns a championship opportunity at WrestleMania. In recent years, the winner has typically gone on to challenge for the WWE World Championship or the Universal Championship.
On January 28, Fight Night kicked off the Men’s Rumble as Intercontinental Champion Gunther and his fierce rival Sheamus entered at No. 1 and 2, respectively.
As the match slowly progressed and fighters beat each other, The ring soon filled with giants when Omos (No. 26) and Braun Strowman (No. 27) battered each other until Strowman eliminated The Nigerian Giant.
Although they each tried to save each other throughout the night, McIntyre and Sheamus were eventually eliminated by Gunther. Rounding out the field were a pair of Superstars returning from injury: Logan Paul (No. 29) appearing in his first Royal Rumble Match and Cody Rhodes (No. 30), who most recently defeated Seth “Freakin” Rollins in a Hell in a Cell Match while competing through a gruesome pectoral injury.
Rhodes made good on his return, tossing out Dominik and Strowman. In an electrifying moment Paul and Ricochet (No. 28) stood on the apron and trash-talked one another before each launching themselves off the opposite top ropes and crashing into each other full force in mid-air.
With the match down to final four Rhodes, Paul, Gunther and Rollins, The Ring General broke Rey Mysterio’s record for longest time spent in a traditional Royal Rumble Match, lasting more than 70 minutes.
As Rhodes and Rollins were trading blows, Paul snuck back in to eliminate Rollins. Rhodes, however, ended Paul’s night by getting rid of the brash Superstar.
With the last two fighters having entered the match at numbers 1 and 30 respectively. Gunther and Rhodes battled for the ultimate glory for almost another 10 minutes. Rhodes paid tribute by trapping Gunther in the ropes and hitting him with a kick below the belt, but Gunther fought back with a massive dropkick and a Power bomb.
After an astonishing battle, Rhodes realised his dream by line shooting Gunther over the top rope to win his first Royal Rumble Match, much to the delight of the WWE Universe.
Full list of Royal Rumble Match participants and eliminations
|1. Gunther||Booker T, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, Sheamus, Xavier Woods||Cody Rhodes||01:11:40|
|2. Sheamus||Elias, Otis, The Miz||Drew, McIntyre, Gunther||00:52:33|
|3. The Miz||Sheamus||00:04:23|
|4. Kofi Kingston||Gunther||00:14:51|
|5. Johnny Gargano||Dominik Mysterio, Finn Bálor||00:29:57|
|6. Xavier Woods||Gunther||00:10:29|
|7. Karrion Kross||Drew McIntyre||00:04:11|
|8. Chad Gable||Brock Lesnar||00:08:42|
|9. Drew McIntyre||Elias, Karrion Kross, Otis, Sheamus||Gunther||00:39:10|
|10. Santos Escobar||Brock Lesnar||00:04:56|
|11. Angelo Dawkins||Brock Lesnar||00:02:28|
|12. Brock Lesnar||Angelo Dawkins, Chad Gable, Santos Escobar||Bobby Lashley||00:02:28|
|13. Bobby Lashley||Brock Lesnar||Seth “Freakin” Rollins||00:07:14|
|14. Baron Corbin||Seth “Freakin” Rollins||00:00:07|
|15. Seth “Freakin” Rollins||Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley||Logan Paul||00:37:18|
|16. Otis||Drew McIntyre, Sheamus||00:03:08|
|17. Rey Mysterio||Did not appear||N/A|
|18. Dominik Mysterio||Johnny Gargano||Cody Rhodes||00:25:44|
|19. Elias||Drew McIntyre, Sheamus||00:00:39|
|20. Finn Bálor||Edge (after elimination), Johnny Gargano||Edge||00:07:45|
|21. Booker T||Gunther||00:00:42|
|22. Damian Priest||Montez Ford||Edge||00:04:03|
|23. Montez Ford||Damian Priest||00:00:44|
|24. Edge||Damian Priest, Finn Bálor||Finn Bálor (after elimination)||00:01:04|
|25. Austin Theory||Ricochet||Cody Rhodes||00:15:39|
|26. Omos||Braun Strowman||00:02:26|
|27. Braun Strowman||Omos||Cody Rhodes||00:11:12|
|28. Ricochet||Austin Theory||00:09:14|
|29. Logan Paul||Seth “Freakin” Rollins||Cody Rhodes||00:10:57|
|30.Cody Rhodes||Austin Theory, Braun Strowman, Dominik Mysterio, Gunther, Logan Paul||WINNER||0:15:08|