WWE ROYAL RUMBLE RESULTS (1/27): Keller’s report on Roman Reigns vs. LA Knight vs. AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton, Logan Paul vs. Kevin Owens, Men’s and Women’s Rumbles

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


JANUARY 27, 2024

Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

Ring Announcer: Samantha Irvin

Tonight after the PPV, join PWTorch Newsletter columnist Greg Parks and PWTorch.com’s Brandon LeClair live reviewing the event with live callers and emails.

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-A video aired narrated by Hulk Hogan speaking about the Tampa/St. Petersburg area and closed with, “Whatcha’ gonna do when the Royal Rumble runs wild on you.”

-Michael Cole introduced the show as the camera panned the impressive crowd. Cole said over 40,000 were in attendance. They showed Cody Rhodes earlier looking at the arena before fans arrived. Then they showed C.M. Punk arriving. Cole said ten years ago to the day, he walked out of WWE in controversial fashion and now he’s back. They went to Cole and Corey Graves at ringside. Pat McAfee ran to the ring, slapping hands. Graves was irked at the interruption.


Natalya came out first. Then Naomi came out. Cole exclaimed that Naomi was back. Graves said they already saw hell freeze over, so what could be next. Naomi looked choked up with emotion. Fans chanted, “Welcome back!” The bell rang 12 minutes into the hour. Bayley came out third. Then Candice LeRae. Out next was TNA Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace. The announcers acknowledged her as TNA Knockouts Champion and said she became champion by beating Naomi. She wore her belt to the ring. Indi Hartwell. Asuka came out next. Bayley looked dismayed. Cole said Bayley isn’t happy. Graves said she should be ecstatic she has an ally in the match.

ELIMINATION: Indi via Bayley in 11:00.

Ivy Nile entered next. Then Katana Chance. Cole said this type of match is made for her. Graves agreed and touted her agility. Belair then entered. Belair got in a series of offense moves and then Belair landed a moonsault on Bayley, Chance, and LeRae who were kind enough to shift a bit into perfect alignment for her). Kairi Sane came out next. Kairi went right after Belair. Asuka and Bayley tossed LeRae over the top rope to eliminate her.

ELIMINATION: LeRae via Asuka and Bayley

Tegan Nox came out next. Grace nearly powerbombed Nox over the top rope; Natalya made the save, but then tried to turn on Nox so nox eliminated Natalya. Bayley then eliminated Nox.

ELIMINATION: Natalya via Nox

ELIMINATION: Nox via Bayley

Kayden Carter entered next. Carter and Chance tried eo elimiante Asuka. Kairi charged and was backdropped over the top rope. Her feet hit the floor, but they pretended they didn’t. She hung on in a weird position, but then dropped.


ELIMINATION: Asuka via Carter and Chance at 22:00.

Cole noted that all members of Damage CTRL were eliminated except Bayley.Belair nearly eliminated her immediately, but she landed on the apron. Cole said she already lasted longer than last year. Grace and Belair battled in the ring and then on the ring apron. Belair gave Grace a KOD on the ring apron to eliminate her. Graves said Grave represented her title well, but was no match for the KOD.

ELIMINATION: Grace via Belair.

Piper Niven came out next and she caught Green at ringside so save her. She pretended to drop her but caught her and brought her back to the ring. Niven stacked Carter and Chance and landed a senton on both. Xia Li came out next. Zelina Vega came out next. Maxxinne came out next. When Niven wound up to hit Maxxinne, Maxxinne just dropped down in a comedy spot. McAfree agreed that’d be his strategy. Belair and Zelina tried to dump Niven. Chance helped. They couldn’t do it. Niven then eliminated Carter.

ELIMINATION: Carter via Niven.

Nia Jax came out next, looking supremely confident. She eliminated Xia Li and Nile quickly.



Jax crushed Green in the corner. Niven tried to suplex Jax, but couldn’t She shoved Jax into Green in the corner, then Nien tried to awaken Green by shaking her. Belair and others teamed up on her. Jax shoved them off. Niven and Jax charged and crushed Green mid-ring. Cole said Niven should do her a favor and eliminate Green. Jax dropped Niven onto Green. Naomi landed a springboard roundkick to Jax who then fell onto Green. Cole said Green is a corpse.

Shotzi entered next in her tank. Niven landede a running crossbody on Jax. Naomi landed a legdrop. Shotzi then splashed her. Maxinne did a reverse Caterpillar. Everyone teamed up on Jax, but she shoved them all off. Jax let out a huge yell and pounded her chest. Cole said he and Graves said last night that Jax has never looked better. Bayley eliminated Maxxinee.

ELIMINATION: Maxxinne via Bayley.

Jax eliminated Niven quickly.

ELIMINATION: Niven via Jax.

Jax pressed Chance over her head and threw her onto Niven and Green to eliminate her. Green was just hanging out on the floor, apparently.

ELIMINATION: Chance via Jax.

Becky Lynch came out next to the biggest pop of the match. Lynch went right after Jax. Becky took Jax down, then turned to Bayley. Jax charged, but Becky moved and she splashed Bayley in the corner. Lynch eliminated Green.

ELIMINATION: Green via Becky.

Alba Fyre came out next. The clock showed that the longest stretches were Naomi over 42 minutes, Bayley over 40 minutes, and Belair over 27 minutes. Baszler came out next. Cole said she’s tied for most eliminations in one Rumble at 8. Baszler hip tossed Jax. Valhala entered next. Cole was so excited because she wore antlers. R-Truth then ran out past her. He entered the ring, looking confused. Jax threw him over the top rope. Adam Pearce came to ringside and explained to Truth that it’s the women’s Rumble. Jax then eliminated Valhala. Poor Cole.

ELIMINATION: Valhala via Jax.

Cole said Valhala was now tied with Green at lasting only five seconds. Michin entered next. Michin rallied early with a series of moves. Jax checked her hard to the mat. Noami eliminated Fyre

ELIMINATION: Fyre via Naomi.

Bayley yelled at Cole. Zoey Stark entered next. Cole said she could be the dark horse. Stark’s sidekick to Becky showed light. She went on a flurry. Baszler put Zelina in a Kirafuda Clutch. They battled on the ring apron seconds later. Zelina tried to head scissors Baszler, but Stark kicked her to the floor. She landed on Fyre.

ELIMINATION:Zelina via Stark.

Perez went on a flurry and eventually dropkicked Jax’s legs. Jax eliminated Baszler and then Michin. Then Shotzi.

ELIMINATION: Baszler via Jax

ELIMINATION: Michin via Jax.

ELIMINATION: Shotzi via Jax.

Jade Cargill came out. Cole touted her with a loud deep voice as one of the most sought after free agents in pro wrestling history. Jax waited center-ring for her. Fans chanted “Holy shit!” Jax lifted Cargill onto her shoulders. Jade escaped and then slammed Jax. Cargill kicked Jax and powered her over the top rope. It wasn’t pretty, but it happened.

ELIMINATION: Jax via Cargill.

As Cargill celebrated, Bayley tried to eliminate her. Cargill fended her off, then charged at Becky in the corner. Becky moved and Cargill went hard shoulder-first into the ringpost. Stratton came out next. Straton landed a top rope swanton onto a crowd standing mid-ring. Stratton then went on the attack against Becky. Liv Morgan came out at no. 30. They cut backstage to Iyo Sky and Rhea Ripley watching on monitors backstage.

Morgan, Bayley, Stratton, Cargill, Lynch, Naomi, and Belair were the final seven. Belair and Cargill squared off. There was a buzz in the crowd. Bayley and Stratton attacked both of them. Cargill kicked Becky off the top rope, but Becky landed on the apron. Cargill swung Naomi into Becky to eliminate Becky. She then tossed out Naomi.

ELIMINATION: Becky via Cargill

ELIMINATION: Naomi via Cargill

Stratton yanked on Belair’s braid on the ring apron. Bayley eliminated both.

ELIMINATION: Startton via Bayley

ELIMINATION: Belair via Bayley

Bayley smiled and turned to the other two remaining wrestlers, Morgan and Cargill. They milked the moment, then fought. Morgan kneed Cargill and went for a Oblivion. bayley intervened, but almost fell over the top rope. Cargill tossed Morgan over the top rope onto the ring apron. Bayley and Liv double-teamed Cargill, who held onto the top rope. They fought on the ring apron. Morgan gave Cargill an Oblivion off the ring apron to eliminate her. Bayley then eliminated Morgan.

ELIMINATION: Cargill via Morgan

ELIMINATION: Morgan via Bayley

Cole said that’s the first Rumble win over Bayley’s career. Recently eliminated women sat at ringside and observed Bayley’s celebration.

WINNER: Bayley in 63:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: The first two-thirds was fine, but not particularly memorable. Jax was the first big shift in energy of the match and they told her story well to set up Cargill’s big moment eliminating her, a long-planned spot. The match then really picked up from there. Bayley winning makes sense given the story they’ve been telling with her on TV.)

(1) Natalya

(2) Naomi

(3) Bayley

(4) Candice LeRae

(5) Jordynne Grace

(6) Indi Hartwell

(7) Asuka

(8) Ivy Nile

(9) Katana Chance

(10) Bianca Belair

(11) Kairi Sane

(12) Tegan Nox

(13) Kayden Carter

(14) Chelsea Green

(15) Piper Niven

(16) Xia Li

(17) Zelina Vega

(18) Maxxinne Dupri

(19) Nia Jax

(20) Shotzi

(21) Becky Lynch

(22) Alba Fyre

(23) Shayna Baszler

(24) Valhala

(25) Michin

(26) Zoey Stark

(27) Roxanne Perez

(28) Jade Cargill

(29) Tiffany Stratton

(30) Liv Morgan

(2) ROMAN REIGNS vs. RANDY ORTON vs. L.A. KNIGHT vs. A.J. STYLES – WWE Universal Title match

Orton came out first. Then Styles, Knight, and Reigns. The announcers talked about Reigns being a candidate for Mt. Rushmore of WWE. Cole said when people complain about how often Reigns defends his title, his comeback is, “Beat ‘im!” Graves noted that Reigns made his challengers wait for him, a mind game.

After formal ring introductions, the bell rang 40 minutes into the second hour. Reigns stood in the corner and looked at Knight, Styles, and Orton who seemed to have tension between them. Then they turned toward him. Reigns looked nervous. They swarmed him in the corner. Slim Jim’s logo was plastered all over the LED boards at ringside and the ring apron, which takes on unexpected symbolism in light of yesterday’s events.

Knight battled Styles at ringside as Orton battled reigns elsewhere at ringside. Knight dropped Styles across the announce table. Orton then went after Knight. Knight rammed Orton’s head into the desk about ten times. Cole talked about the rapid ascent and groundswell of support for Knight in the last six months or so. Orton threw Reigns into the ringside steps.

Orton took it to Reigns in the ring with Styles and Knight recovering at ringside. Orton clotheslined Reigns over the top rope. Styles then went after Orton in the ring. Orton landed a snap powerslam. Knight entered and avoided an Orton sna powerslam. He then gave a side Russian leg sweep to Reigns. Knight kicked away at Orton in the corner. Reigns took over against Knight and took him down with a flying clothesline. Cole talked about this being Reigns’s first four-way match as champion and how it requires a different mentality.

Reigns set up a Superman Punch, but Knight ducked and then punched away at Reigns. Knight then went after Orton and Styles, including a superplex of Styles. Reigns returned to the ring, but Knight gave him a his BFT finisher. Styles broke up the cover, although technically Knight was still on top of Reigns and Reigns’s shoulders were still down, so the ref didn’t need to stop counting. Styles clotheslined Orton and then delivered a backbreaker to Knight. He came up favoring his knee.

Styles went after Reigns next and landed an enzuigiri and then a Styles Clash for a near fall, broken up by Knight just in time. Orton gave Knight a draping DDT at 13:00. Orton pounded the mat, and then favored his left arm afterward. He pounded the mat a few more times. Styles went after him, but Orton gave Styles an RKO off the top rope. He then gave Knight an RKO. He clutched his arm and then gave Reigns an RKO. Orton rolled Reigns over and made the cover, but Solo Sikoa yanked the ref out of the ring as he was counting to save Reigns. Solo stared down Orton. Orton went after him and set up a DDT, but Solo gave Orton a Samoan Spike. He entered the ring net. Cole said it’s no DQ so no one can do anything about this. Solo gave Knight a Samoan Spike. He then dragged Knight onto Orton. He looked around for Styles, who was at ringside. Solo rolled to ringside and charged toward him, but Styles moved, so Solo crashed through the barricade near the time keeper’s area.

Reigns then recovered and stood, smiling at the sight of Knight stacked onto Orton. Reigns looked around and then Styles surprised him with a Phenomenal Forearm. Styles stacked then and covered them, but Orton kicked out and thus knocked everyone off of him. Fans chanted, “This is awesome!”

Styles picked up a chair at ringside. Cole said, “Fight fire with fire.” Heyman begged Styles to show mercy. “Have you no humanity?” he asked. Styles bashed Reigns with a chair across his back over and over. Next, he jabbed Knight with the chair and then bashed him with it across the back. He turned and pointed at Orton.

Reigns speared Orton, who winced in pain and as he rolled to the floor. Knight then gave Reigns a side slam followed by a running elbow drop. He signaled for the BFT, but Reigns escaped and shoved Knight into the ropes, knocking Styles onto the top rope as he was going for a Phenomenal Forearm. Reigns then speared Styles for the three count. As Heyman celebrated with Reigns, Orton clutched his left shoulder at ringside and looked frustrated.

WINNER: Reigns in 20:00 to retain the WWE Universal Title.

(Keller’s Analysis: The interference from Solo added drama and created a serious grudge between Orton and Solo, but it also shines a spotlight on the absurdity of the “no DQ” rule in three-way and four-way matches. The overall match was pretty good.)

-A commercial aired for “Love & WWE,” a reality series on Bianca Belair and Montez Ford debuting on Hulu on Feb. 2.

-A commercial aired for the WWE Experience opening next month in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

-A commercial aired for NXT Vegeance.

-They showed sunset on a beach in the area. McAfee said it’s out of a movie.

(3) LOGAN PAUL vs. KEVIN OWENS – U.S. Title match

The bell rang 13 minutes into the third hour. When Logan smiled and offered a handshake, Owens kicked him and stomped away at him in the corner. Logan rolled to the floor and Owens went right after him, whipping him hard into the ringside barricade. Back in the ring he scored a two count on Logan. He landed a senton at ringside.

Owens landed a senton and then chopped away at Logan at ringside. Logan cried out in pain. Logan stomped on Owens’ hand and then leaped over the top rope and crashed onto KO at ringside. Logan rammed Owens’ hand into the ringpost twice. Logan landed a leaping crossbody off the top rope and then a standing moonsault for a two count.

Logan went for an octopus. Owens elbowed himself free seconds later. Logan armdragged Owens to the mat and then punched away at his injured hand. Owens ducked a 619 attempt at 7:00. Owens clutched his hand in pain, then went for a senton. Logan lifted his knees. Owens landed a cannonball and a top rope frog splash for a two count. Owens went for a Swanton, but Logan lifted his knees. Logan then went for a top rope Swanton, but Owens moved. Logan landed a springboard somersault clothesline. He followed with a top rope splash for a two count at 10:00.

Logan set up Owens on the top rope and yelled at Graves about saying no man can supersuplex Owens. Owens reversed Logan with a brainbuster suplex off the top rope for a two count. Graves stood by his statement. Logan kicked Owens’ hand and then wound up his fist. Owens superkicked him and then set up a Pop-up Powerbomb. Logan escaped. Logan blocked a stunner and then landed a KO punch for a believable near fall. McAfee said no one has kicked out of the big right. Logan asked for help from his “idiot goofy moron from his entourage,” as Cole described Jeff. The ref ordered him to be removed from ringside.

Logan turned back to the ring. Greyson Waller and Austin Theory ran to ringside and got into it with the security guys who were giving the Jeff guy a hard time. Theory gave Logan brass knux, but KO rolled up Logan for a two count. Logan then swung, but Owens ducked and took the knux from him and then hit Logan with them. The ref counted to two, but stopped before three when he saw the knux on KO’s hand. “Oh, dammit!” said Cole. The ref called for the DQ. Graves said he feels bad for Owens because he fought a hell of a fight, but he got caught in the heat of the moment and paid for it.

WINNER: Logan in 15:00 via DQ to retain the U.S. Title.

-As Logan celebrated, Owens jumped him and threw him into the ringside stepsj. He then cleared the announce desk and powerbombed Logan through the desk. KO’s music played as the ref checked on Logan.

(Keller’s Analysis: Another good match from Logan where, for the most part, he looked like an experienced pro wrestler performing beyond his experience level. Owens was a pro as always. The finish was a mess, though.)

-Another video aired of Hulk Hogan touting the area that’s his home base.

-A commercial aired for Elimination Chamber in Perth, Australia.

-A commercial aired for WrestleMania.

-Samatha Irvin announced the attendance as being 48,044.

-A video aired on the Royal Rumble history.


Jey Uso came out first. Jimmy second. They stared at each other as the bell rang to start the match 43 minutes into the third hour. Jey knocked Jimmy over the top rope, but Jimmy landed on the ring apron and then kicked a charging Jimmy. Waller walked out with a mic in hand and yapped. Jey kicked him off the ring apron. Jey then tossed Jimmy over the top, but Jimmy held on. Waller entered and gave Jey a flatliner. Waller and Jimmy double-teamed Jey. Andrade made his entrance. Cole said it’s been three-and-a-half years. Graves called him one of the hottest free agents in the game.

Andrade caught Waller with a spinning back elbow. Andrade hit double-knees against Jimmy and Waller in opposite corners. He gave Waller unreleased suplexes. Waller blocked the third one. Carmelo Hayes entered and beat up Waller. Then Shinsuke Nakamura came out. McAfee was excited.

Santos Escobar came out and pretended to be Andrade’s ally, but then tried to eliminate him. Andrade fought back. Karrion Kross entered next. Dominik Mysterio came out ninth. Carlito came out next and spit an apple in Escobar’s face. Carlito eliminated him.

ELIMINATED: Escobar via Carlito

Bobby Lashley came out next. Cole noted it’s Lashley’s sixth Rumble. Dom cowered when Lashley charged toward him. Lashley speared him seconds later. Lashley knocked Carlito off the apron to eliminate him. Then he dumped Kross.

ELIMINATED: Carlito via Lashley

ELIMINATED: Kross via Lashley

The Authors of Pain and Paul Ellering walked out. A referee confronted them. Kross yanked Lashley off the ring apron. Cole said it’s official because there’s no DQ in the Rumble.

ELIMINATED: Lashley via Kross.

The Street Profits ran out and attacked AOP and Lashley. Austin Theory and Finn Balor were the next out followed by Cody. Cody entered and went right after Theory and tossed him over the top.

ELIMINATED: Theory via Cody

Balor and Dom double-teamed Cody. Reed backdropped a charging Andrade over the top rope.

ELIMINATED: Andrade via Bronson

As Kofi Kingston came out, Cole said this is his 16th Rumble, the second-most behind Kane at 18. Cody gave Nakamura a Crossroads to eliminate him.

ELIMINATED: Nakamura via Cody.

Cody went after Jimmy next as Kaiser tried to eliminate Kofi. Kofi headscissored Kaiser over the top rope, but he hung on. Kofi then kicked him and knocked him to the floor.

ELIMINATED: Kaiser via Kofi.

Gunther marched out next. Gunther went after Kofi right away and eliminated him. Graves said there is no Kofi Kingston Rumble magic this year.

ELIMINATED: Kingston via Gunther.

Ivar came out next and hit some power moves early. Bronson and Ivar battled next. They collided mid-air next. Bron Breakker came out next and went on the attack. Cole touted his speed hitting the ropes. He eliminated Jimmy with a clothesline. Then Balor.

ELIMINATED: Jimmy Uso via Breakker

ELIMINATED: Balor via Breakker

Gunther and Breakker squared off. Cole said, “I’d pay for this.” Breakker powered up Gunther and then speared him. He dropped his straps and let out a roar. Omos came out next, accompanied by MVP. As Omos made a slow march to the ring, Cody and Gunther were battling in the corner. Omos threw around wrestlers and chokeslammed Dominik. Bronson went after him. Omos kicked him and then dumped him over the top rope.

ELIMINATED: Reed via Omos.

Ivar leaped at Breakker, but Breakker speared him out of mid-air and then tossed him over the top.

ELIMINATED: Ivar via Breakker.

Pat McAfee’s music played. He stood and took off his headsets. McAfee looked concerned when he saw Omos and Breakker staring at him. McAfee stepped over the top rope like he was going to eliminate himself, but then he re-entered. McAfee did it again, and this time dropped down.

ELIMINATED: McAfee voluntarily.

McAfee returned to commentary. Omos went after Breakker, but Breakker avoidedd an omos boot and then clotheslined him over the top rope.

ELIMINATED: Omos via Breakker

Dominik then came up behind Breakker and eliminated him.

ELIMINATED: Breakker via Dominik

J.D. McDonagh came out. Breakker speared him at ringside. R-Truth came out next. He checked on McDonagh and threw him into the ring. Immediately, Jey eliminated him.

ELIMINATED: McDonagh by Jey

Truth tried to tag into the match, encouraging Dom to slap his hand. Gunther put a sleeper on Dom. Truth slapped to encourage Dom to break the hold. Dom escaped and hot-tagged in Truth. Truth went on a flurry against Gunther. he side-slammed Gunther, who sold it. Truth went into his John Cena routine. Gunther stood and kicked him. The Miz came out next. Miz and Truth worked together. Miz tried to toss Dom out, but Truth saved him. Miz yelled, “What’re you doing?” Gunther hit Truth from behind as Truth was explaining himself. Dom hit Miz with a 619. When Priest walked out, Cole talked about the power Priest would have if he held the Money in the Bank briefcase and won the Rumble. Graves said you might as well just hand him whatever title he wants. Priest tossed out Truth.

ELIMINATED: Truth via Priest.

Jey attacked Priest. Priest countered and then went after Gunther. Priest gave Gunther a South of Heaven. Cody then went after Priest. They battled on the ring apron. C.M. Punk made his entrance next. Graves touted that Punk had some added muscle and “may be in the best shape of his career.” Punk eliminated Dom.

ELIMINATED: Dom via Punk.

Priest tried to eliminate Punk. Gunther chopped Miz off the top rope to the floor.

ELIMINATED: Miz via Gunther

Drew McIntyre marched out next. He entered the ring with Gunther, Punk, Jey, Cody, Ricochet, and Priest. Cole noted Jey was in the match 50 minutes at this point. Drew and Priest battled mid-ring. Jey went after Gunther, but Gunther held on and then yanked Jey to the floor.

ELIMINATED: Jey via Gunther

Sami Zayn came out no. 30. Sami went after Drew right away and then fought off Gunther. Fans sang Sami’s song. Sami tossed Priest over the top rope, but Priest held on. Sami knocked Drew over the top rope seconds later, but Drew held on and rolled back in. Cole listed the remaining wrestlers: Punk, Cody, Drew, Priest, Ricochet, Sami, Gunther. Drew knocked Ricochet over the top rope to the floor.

ELIMINATED: Ricochet via Drew

The remaining six broke into a brawl. A “C.M. Punk” chant briefly broke out. They each took turns hitting signature moves. Sami slipped out of a Razor’s Edge and then clotheslined Priest out. McIntyre then eliminated Sami

ELIMINATED: Priest via Sami

ELIMINATED: Sami via Drew

They showed Heyman and a smiling Reigns watching from a luxury suite. Cody, Gunther, Drew, and Punk squared off. Gunther and Cody went into one corner to fight as Drew and Punk fought in another corner. Cody hit Gunther with a Cody Cutter. Gunther clotheslined Cody in return seconds later. Punk lifted Drew, but then Drew slipped out of the GTS attempt. Drew headbutted Punk, then turned to Cody. Cody kicked Drew. Gunther put Cody in a sleeper. Drew hit Gunther with a Claymore and then delivered one to Cody. Drew stood as the other three were struggling to stand. Drew signaled for the Claymore and hit Punk with it. Drew looked at the WrestleMania sign. Drew bent down and told Punk he was gone for ten years and he’s not the same guy now. Punk lifted Drew and tossed him out.

ELIMINATED: Drew via Punk.

Drew looked up in shock. Gunther kicked Cody and then kicked Punk as soon as he turned around. Gunther powerbombed Punk. He went for a powerbomb on Cody, but Cody blocked it. Cody dragged Gunther over the top rope and eliminated him.

ELIMINATED: Gunther via Cody.

It came down to Cody and Punk. They cut to Seth standing in a luxury suite. Graves said no one would have believed this would be the scene just a few months ago. Cody and Punk squared off. Cody and Punk collided mid-ring. Both were down and slow to get up. Punk landed some strikes. Cody countered with a snap powerslam. Cody went for a Cody Cutter, but Punk turned it into a German suplex. He hit three of them unreleased. Punk looked up at the WrestleMania sign, then landed a running knee in the corner and a running bulldog. He stood and got a mixed reaction. A “Cody!” chant broke out briefly.

Punk signaled for a GTS. Cody escaped and set up a Crossroads. Punk slipped free. Cody landed a Bionic Elbow on Punk and let out a roar. Fans cheered. “Destiny awaits one of these two men,” said Cole. Punk landed a high kick and tried to dump Cody. Cody hung on and landed on the apron and rolled back in. Punk looked frustrated and stomped on Cody. He pointed at the WrestleMania sign. He set up a GTS, but Cody escaped and landed Crossroads. Punk then delivered a GTS to Cody. Both were down and slow to get up. A “This is awesome!” chant picked up a little steam, but then faded. punk lifted Cody onto his shoulders. Cody tried to drag Punk over the top rope, but he lost his grip and dropped to the apron. He rolled back into the ring.

Punk gave Cody a Pedigree. Then he smiled. He signaled for another GTS. “I didn’t wait ten years to lose to Dusty’s kid!” he said. He hoisted Cody onto his shoulders and went for aother GTS. Cody blocked it and tossed Punk out to win. Cole said Cody has won back to back Rumbles for the first time in a quarter century. He said, “His chance to finish the story is alive and well.”

ELIMINATED: Punk via Cody.

WINNER: Cody in 67:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: It had a handful of fun moments until it got down to the final eight where the drama picked up. On TV, the Punk-Cody exchanges didn’t feel electric, but it also certainly didn’t feel flat. Cody winning can quiet the talk of Cody not getting the match against Reigns at WrestleMania despite the comment from The Rock that led to a lot of talk of him being in that match. That said, who knows what twists are around the next corner. This was a very good Rumble in part because of the really strong cast of potential winners and credible main event threats to what people expected late in the match.)

(1) Jey Uso

(2) Jimmy Uso

(3) Grayson Waller

(4) Andrade

(5) Carmelo Hayes

(6) Shinsuke Nakamura

(7) Santos Escobar

(8) Karrion Kross

(9) Dominik Mysterio

(10) Carlito

(11) Bobby Lashley

(12) Ludwig Kaiser

(13) Austin Theory

(14) Finn Balor

(15) Cody Rhodes

(16) Bronson Reed

(17) Kofi Kingston

(18) Gunther

(19) Ivar

(20) Bron Breakker

(21) Omos

(22) Pat McAfee

(23) J.D. McDonagh

(24) R-Truth

(25) The Miz

(26) Damian Priest

(27) C.M. Punk

(28) Ricochet

(29) Drew McIntyre

(30) Sami Zayn

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