WWE Royal Rumble 2016 Results: New Champion Crowned, AJ Styles Debuts
The WWE Royal Rumble 2016 aired live tonight from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. For the first time in history, a champion defended his title in the Royal Rumble match, as Roman Reigns put the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line against 29 other men. But did Roman reign supreme, or did the champ lose his title in the historic match?
Well, the Vegas odds turned out to be right on the money, as HHH returned from the beating Reigns gave him at the TLC event back in December, entering the match at #30 and winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. But it wasn’t without some major twists and turns in that road. For one, although Reigns entered at #1 and was there at the end, he wasn’t in the match the entire time. Vince McMahon ordered the League of Nations to beat Reigns down. And that’s what they did, pulling him underneath the bottom rope, and then laying a beating into him before putting him through the Spanish announce table. The medics took him out of the match, but Reigns wasn’t officially eliminated. A half hour later, when Sheamus entered at #29, Reigns made his return to the match, running wild on the competition. But it wasn’t enough for him to keep his title, as HHH surprised Reigns by eliminating him from behind, moments after the champion had eliminated Sheamus from the match. This left it between HHH and Intercontinental champion Dean Ambrose. Although Ambrose came close to knocking HHH off the apron and winning the title, the COO managed to backdrop Ambrose out of the ring to win his fourteenth world championship. The babyface reaction that super-heel HHH got for winning pretty much tells you everything you need to know about how disastrously WWE’s booking of Roman Reigns has gone.
That said, it was a pretty exciting Rumble, all in all. This match saw the debut of former TNA and IWGP champion AJ Styles, who came in at No. 3 and lasted until the midway point of the match, where he got eliminated by Kevin Owens. In turn, Owens was eliminated by a familiar face: Sami Zayn, who was put on the shelf by Owens last year. Unfortunately, Zayn was eliminated by the Wyatt family, a fate which Brock Lesnar also suffered. Although Brock managed to eliminate Erick Rowan, Luke Harper and Braun Strowman, the Wyatt family came back into the ring and ganged up on the Beast Incarnate. Bray delivered the Sister Abigail, and then had his goons dump Lesnar from the match.
These were just some of the highlights from the stacked event. For the full results from the WWE Royal Rumble 2016, check out the results below:
WWE ROYAL RUMBLE 2016 RESULTS
Pre-show match: Mark Henry and Jack Swagger defeated Darren Young and Damien Sandow, The Dudley Boyz and The Ascension to qualify for the Royal Rumble match.
Dean Ambrose defeated Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing match to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
The New Day defeated The Usos to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Kalisto defeated Alberto Del Rio to win the WWE United States Championship for a second time after hitting the Salida Del Sol.
Charlotte (with Ric Flair) defeated Becky Lynch to retain the WWE Divas Championship. Sasha Banks attacked Becky and then laid out Charlotte after the match, posing with the Divas title belt.
Triple H won the 2016 Royal Rumble match by eliminating Dean Ambrose.
1. Roman Reigns
3. AJ Styles
4. Tyler Breeze
5. Curtis Axel
6. Chris Jericho
10. Kofi Kingston
11. Titus O’Neil
13. Luke Harper
15. Big Show
17. Braun Strowman
18. Kevin Owens
19. Dean Ambrose
20. Sami Zayn
21. Erick Rowan
22. Mark Henry
23. Brock Lesnar
24. Jack Swagger
25. The Miz
26. Alberto Del Rio
27. Bray Wyatt
28. Dolph Ziggler
With this, HHH becomes a fourteen-time world champion, a two-time Royal Rumble winner, and the third person in history to win from the #30 spot following John Cena and The Undertaker. It’s not exactly a surprising result, but I thought this was a solid Rumble. That said, I do think it’s telling that HHH was greeted as a conquering hero rather than as a dastardly heel who stole the win from a champion who got screwed. But maybe that’s not really the story they’re trying to tell. Either way, I guess we’re headed for Ambrose/HHH at Fastlane, and Reigns/HHH for the title at Wrestlemania. Might be a bit of a predictable Road to Wrestlemania, but at least the matches should be good. (Hell, Ambrose already proved himself with that AMAZING Last Man Standing Match with Kevin Owens tonight)
What did you think of The Royal Rumble? Sound off in the comments!
And for more WWE news, find out who’s rumored to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016!