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Royal Rumble 2022 was the 35th annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling event produced by WWE. It is held for wrestlers from the promotion's Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. The event aired on pay-per-view (PPV) worldwide and will be available to stream through Peacock in the United States and the WWE Network elsewhere, which makes it the first Royal Rumble to air on Peacock. It took place on January 29, 2022, at The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

Traditionally, the Royal Rumble match winner receives a world championship match at that year's WrestleMania. For the 2022 event, the winners of both the men's and women's matches received a choice of which championship to challenge for at WrestleMania 38. The men could choose to challenge for either Raw's WWE Championship or SmackDown's Universal Championship, while the women had the choice between the Raw Women's Championship and the SmackDown Women's Championship.

Six matches were contested at the event. In the main event, Brock Lesnar won the men's Royal Rumble match after losing his WWE Championship to Bobby Lashley earlier in the night, therefore becoming the first former world champion to win the Rumble on the same night he lost the title. This also made him the ninth two-time Rumble winner, the first being in 2003, also setting a record for the longest time between Rumble wins (19 years) as well as setting the record for least time spent in the match before winning it (2:30). The women's Royal Rumble match was won by Ronda Rousey, which was her first appearance in WWE since WrestleMania 35 in 2019. In the opening bout, Seth "Freakin" Rollins defeated Roman Reigns by disqualification, but Reigns retained the Universal Championship as titles do not change hands by disqualification unless stipulated. Notably, Jackass actor/stuntman Johnny Knoxville and reggaeton singer Bad Bunny appeared in the men's Royal Rumble match and Impact Knockouts World Champion Mickie James appeared in the women's.

Background

The Royal Rumble is an annual gimmick pay-per-view (PPV) and WWE Network event, produced every January by WWE since 1988. It is one of the promotion's original four pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series, originally dubbed the "Big Four", and as of October 2021, it is considered one of the "Big Five" PPVs, along with Money in the Bank. It is named after the Royal Rumble match, a modified battle royal in which the participants enter at timed intervals instead of all beginning in the ring at the same time. The 2022 event will be the 35th event in the Royal Rumble chronology and is scheduled to be held on Saturday, January 29 at The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri. It will feature wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands with a select few NXT wrestlers and WWE veterans expected to appear in both the men's and women's Royal Rumble matches. It will also be the first Royal Rumble to air on Peacock after the American version of the WWE Network merged under Peacock in March 2021.

The Royal Rumble match generally features 30 wrestlers and the winner traditionally earns a world championship match at that year's WrestleMania. For 2022, the men and women can choose which world championship to challenge for at WrestleMania 38; the men can choose Raw's WWE Championship or SmackDown's Universal Championship, while the women can choose the Raw Women's Championship or SmackDown Women's Championship. In September 2021, NXT was rebranded as "NXT 2.0" and reverted to being WWE's developmental territory. While NXT's championships—the NXT Championship and NXT Women's Championship—were also eligible choices for the Rumble winners in 2020 and 2021, it has not yet been confirmed if NXT's championships will remain as eligible choices for the 2022 Royal Rumble.

Storylines

The event included matches that result from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portray heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results are predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands, while storylines are produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.

At Day 1, Brock Lesnar defeated Bobby Lashley, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, and defending champion Big E in a fatal five-way match to win the WWE Championship. On the following episode of Raw, Big E, Lashley, Owens, and Rollins competed in a fatal four-way match to determine the number one contender against Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Lashley won the bout to face Lesnar for the WWE Championship at the event.

At Day 1, WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix appeared to aid her husband and fellow Hall of Famer, Edge, while he was being attacked by Maryse while Edge was engaged in a match with Miz; Edge ultimately won the match. On the following Raw, Miz and Maryse berated Edge and Phoenix, with the latter challenging Miz and Maryse to a mixed tag team match at the Royal Rumble. Miz accepted, despite Maryse's displeasure.

At Day 1, Becky Lynch defeated Liv Morgan to retain the Raw Women's Championship. On the following Raw, Morgan confronted Lynch, wanting another rematch. Bianca Belair interrupted, also wanting a championship match due to her unsettled business with Lynch. A brawl then ensued. Later backstage, Doudrop confronted WWE officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville and demanded a title match herself as she was tired of Belair and Morgan always receiving opportunities. Pearce and Deville scheduled a triple threat match between Belair, Doudrop, and Morgan for the following week with the winner facing Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship at the Royal Rumble.

On the January 7 episode of SmackDown, as Universal Champion Roman Reigns did not have a challenger for his title at the Royal Rumble, WWE official Adam Pearce informed Reigns that he had selected his opponent. Reigns dismissed Pearce, stating he had already defeated everyone on the SmackDown roster. Later that night, Raw's Seth "Freakin" Rollins confronted Reigns in his locker room, laughing hysterically at Reigns, seemingly confirming he was Pearce's selection. On the January 10 episode of Raw, Rollins confirmed that he would be challenging Reigns for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble in an interbrand matchup.

On the January 7 episode of SmackDown, SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair revealed 18 of the women who would be competing in the women's Royal Rumble match, including WWE Hall of Famers and veterans, and notably, reigning Impact Knockouts World Champion Mickie James—the first time WWE openly acknowledged one of Impact Wrestling's championships. Additionally, Flair declared that she would also be participating in the match, stating that she would be the first reigning women's champion to win the Royal Rumble. While the winner traditionally earns a championship match at WrestleMania, Flair said that her prize would instead be to select her WrestleMania 38 opponent if she won.

Event

Preliminary matches

The pay-per-view opened with Roman Reigns defending the Universal Championship against Seth "Freakin" Rollins with The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) barred from ringside. Reigns entered first, followed by Rollins, who came out to The Shield's former entrance theme and gear and walking in through the crowd to taunt Reigns. Rollins drove Reigns through the announce table with a Powerbomb. Reigns and Rollins both got nearfalls with a Spear and Curb Stomp, respectively. In the closing moments, Reigns applied the guillotine choke on Rollins, who grabbed the rope to void the submission; however, Reigns refused to release Rollins and was disqualified, thus Rollins won the match but Reigns remained champion as titles do not change hands by disqualification unless stipulated. Following the match, Reigns viciously assaulted Rollins with a steel chair.

Next was the women's Royal Rumble match where the winner earned a women's championship opportunity at WrestleMania 38. Sasha Banks started the match along with Melina, in her first WWE match since 2010. Banks eliminated Melina early as well as Kelly Kelly (#4) before being eliminated herself by Queen Zelina (#7). Sonya Deville entered at number 11 but did not enter the ring and instead sat at commentary. Cameron, in her first WWE appearance since 2014, entered at number 13. Deville then officially entered the match and eliminated Cameron, due to her ties with Naomi, who Deville had been feuding with on SmackDown. Naomi entered at number 14 and eliminated Deville, who later returned the favor to help eliminate Naomi. Ivory entered at number 18 in her Right to Censor gimmick and was quickly eliminated by Rhea Ripley (#16). Impact Knockouts World Champion Mickie James entered at number 20. Mighty Molly entered at number 27 and was attacked by Nikki A.S.H. and was quickly eliminated. Ronda Rousey made a surprise return at number 28, her first appearance since WrestleMania 35 in 2019. SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair (#17) eliminated Lita (#26) bringing herself, Rousey, Bianca Belair (#8), and Shayna Baszler (#30) as the final four. Flair eliminated Belair and Baszler. As Flair ran, Rousey caught her and eliminated her with Rousey winning the match and earning a women's championship opportunity at WrestleMania 38.

Then, Becky Lynch defended the Raw Women's Championship against Doudrop. Lynch won the match after hitting the Manhandle Slam to Doudrop off the second rope to retain the title.

In the fourth match, Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) defended the WWE Championship against Bobby Lashley (with MVP). The two traded German Suplexs in the early stages of the match to out do each other. Lashley delivered two Spears on Lesnar, who rolled outside the ring. Lashley attempted to spear Lesnar through the barricade as he did at Day 1, but Lesnar moved and Lashley crashed through the barricade himself. Back in the ring, Lesnar hit multiple German Suplexs on Lashley. Lashley locked in the Hurt Lock, but Lesnar knocked Lashley into the referee. Lesnar hit an F5 on Lashley, but again knocked the referee out in the process. Roman Reigns then entered the ring and hit a Spear on Lesnar. Reigns signaled for Heyman to hand him the WWE Championship belt which Heyman did, double crossing Lesnar. Reigns then hit Lesnar over the head with the belt and Lashley pinned Lesnar to win the WWE Championship for the second time.

In the penultimate match, Edge and Beth Phoenix took on The Miz and Maryse in a mixed tag team match. Late in the match, Maryse hit Phoenix in the back of the head with her purse behind the referee's back for a nearfall. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Edge for a nearfall. In the end, Edge and Phoenix hit a Double Spear on Miz and they performed a pair of Glam Slams on Miz and Maryse to win the match.

Main event

The main event was the men's Royal Rumble match for a world championship match at WrestleMania 38. AJ Styles and Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura started the match. Johnny Knoxville entered at number 9 and went after Sami Zayn (#8). After Knoxville took a couple of finishers from other wrestlers, he was eliminated by Zayn, who himself was then eliminated. Omos entered at number 11 and eliminated a few entrants. The others ganged up on Omos to eliminate him, including Styles. Happy Corbin (#15) and Madcap Moss (#19) helped each other in eliminating some competitors. Drew McIntyre made a surprise return from injury at number 21 and eliminated Corbin and Moss as revenge for them injuring him a few weeks earlier. Kofi Kingston entered at number 24, but was eliminated in 20 seconds due to a botched spot; he attempted to land on the outside barricade but both feet accidentally hit the floor. In his first appearance since WrestleMania 37 the previous year, Bad Bunny entered at number 27 as a surprise entrant and eliminated Sheamus (#18) and Dolph Ziggler (#16). Shane McMahon, also I'm his first appearance since WrestleMania 37, entered at number 28 as a surprise entrant and eliminated Kevin Owens (#22). Brock Lesnar then entered as the surprise #30 entrant and eliminated Randy Orton (#29) and Bad Bunny, bringing the final four to himself, McIntyre, Riddle (#20), and Shane. Lesnar eliminated Riddle and Shane before having a staredown with McIntyre, the same man who eliminated Lesnar in the 2020 Royal Rumble. McIntyre missed a Claymore Kick and Lesnar threw McIntyre over the top rope with an F5 to win the match and earn a world championship match at WrestleMania 38, becoming the fourth person to win from the #30 spot (after The Undertaker in 2007, John Cena in 2008, and Triple H in 2016). This made Lesnar the ninth two-time Rumble winner, his first win being in 2003. This also made him the first person to lose their world championship and then win the Rumble in the same night. Among the other multi-time Rumble winners, Lesnar also set a record for the longest time between Rumble wins at 19 years. He also set the record for the least amount of time spent in the Rumble before winning it. He was in the match for 2 minutes and 30 seconds, beating Edge's 2010 record by 5 minutes and 7 seconds.

Match Preview

Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins Preview
30-woman Royal Rumble match Preview
Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop Preview
Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley Preview
Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz & Maryse Preview
30-man Royal Rumble match Preview

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations (Women)

Brand

    Raw
    SmackDown
    Hall of Famer (HOF)
    Unaffiliated
     – Winner
Draw Entrant Brand/
Status
Order Eliminated by Time Elimination(s)
1 Sasha Banks SmackDown 3 Queen Zelina 9:18 2
2 Melina Unaffiliated 1 Sasha Banks 0:49 0
3 Tamina Raw 5 Natalya 16:41 0
4 Kelly Kelly Unaffiliated 2 Sasha Banks 1:05 0
5 Aliyah SmackDown 10 Charlotte Flair 22:51 0
6 Liv Morgan Raw 17 Brie Bella 37:20 0
7 Queen Zelina Raw 9 Rhea Ripley 17:24 1
8 Bianca Belair Raw 27 Charlotte Flair 47:30 0
9 Dana Brooke Raw 4 Michelle McCool 2:11 0
10 Michelle McCool Unaffiliated 13 Mickie James 20:49 1
11 Sonya Deville Unaffiliated 7 Naomi 2:00 2
12 Natalya SmackDown 24 Ronda Rousey 36:16 2
13 Cameron Unaffiliated 6 Sonya Deville 0:52 0
14 Naomi SmackDown 11 Sonya Deville 7:17 1
15 Carmella Raw 8 Rhea Ripley 0:50 0
16 Rhea Ripley Raw 26 Charlotte Flair 30:58 3
17 Charlotte Flair SmackDown 29 Ronda Rousey 31:23 6
18 Ivory HOF 12 Rhea Ripley 0:24 0
19 Brie Bella HOF 22 Ronda Rousey 19:20 3
20 Mickie James Unaffiliated 18 Lita 11:40 1
21 Alicia Fox Unaffiliated 15 Nikki Bella 6:30 0
22 Nikki A.S.H. Raw 20 Ronda Rousey 12:14 1
23 Summer Rae Unaffiliated 14 Charlotte Flair and Natalya 0:53 0
24 Nikki Bella HOF 21 Brie Bella 8:41 2
25 Sarah Logan Unaffiliated 16 Brie Bella and Nikki Bella 0:42 0
26 Lita HOF 25 Charlotte Flair 10:21 1
27 Molly Holly HOF 19 Nikki A.S.H. 0:20 0
28 Ronda Rousey Unaffiliated Winner 10:15 5
29 Shotzi SmackDown 23 Ronda Rousey 3:00 0
30 Shayna Baszler SmackDown 28 Charlotte Flair 5:31 0

Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations (Men)

    Raw
    SmackDown
    Unaffiliated
     – Winner
Draw Entrant Brand/
Status
Order Eliminated by Time Elimination(s)
1 AJ Styles Raw 14 Madcap Moss 6
2 Shinsuke Nakamura SmackDown 2 AJ Styles 0
3 Austin Theory Raw 11 AJ Styles 1
4 Robert Roode Raw 1 AJ Styles 0
5 Ridge Holland SmackDown 12 AJ Styles 1
6 Montez Ford Raw 6 Omos 0
7 Damian Priest Raw 7 Omos 0
8 Sami Zayn SmackDown 4 AJ Styles 1
9 Johnny Knoxville Unaffiliated 3 Sami Zayn 0
10 Angelo Dawkins Raw 5 Omos 0
11 Omos Raw 8 AJ Styles, Austin Theory, Ridge Holland, Ricochet, Chad Gable, & Dominik Mysterio 3
12 Ricochet SmackDown 9 Happy Corbin 1
13 Chad Gable Raw 13 Rick Boogs 1
14 Dominik Mysterio Raw 10 Happy Corbin 1
15 Happy Corbin SmackDown 17 Drew McIntyre 3
16 Dolph Ziggler Raw 20 Rey Mysterio & Bad Bunny 0
17 Sheamus SmackDown 19 Bad Bunny 0
18 Rick Boogs SmackDown 15 Happy Corbin 1
19 Madcap Moss SmackDown 16 Drew McIntyre 1
20 Riddle Raw 27 Brock Lesnar 2
21 Drew McIntyre SmackDown 29 Brock Lesnar 2
22 Kevin Owens Raw 22 Shane McMahon 1
23 Rey Mysterio Raw 21 Otis 1
24 Kofi Kingston SmackDown 18 Kevin Owens 0
25 Otis Raw 24 Riddle & Randy Orton 1
26 Big E Raw 23 Riddle & Randy Orton 0
27 Bad Bunny Unaffiliated 26 Brock Lesnar 2
28 Shane McMahon Unaffiliated 28 Brock Lesnar 1
29 Randy Orton Raw 25 Brock Lesnar 2
30 Brock Lesnar Unaffiliated Winner 5

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Pre-show Panel
Interviewers
Ring announcer
Referees

See also

DVD release

  • Amazon.jpg [ Royal Rumble 2022 on DVD]

External links

Royal Rumble 2022 previews

Men's Royal Rumble matchWoman's Royal Rumble matchBrock Lesnar v Bobby LashleyEdge & Beth Phoenix v The Miz & MaryseRoman Reigns v Seth RollinsBecky Lynch v Doudrop

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Royal Rumble
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