CM Punk and Seth Rollins had little time to trade kicks before Damien Sandow entered. Sandow soon had to face his former tag team partner and rival, Cody Rhodes.
Punk sent Sandow out early, but soon had to face The Director of Operations, Kane who didn't last long against "The Best in the World."
Alexander Rusev from NXT entered and flung his foes around. He hit a thunderous Samoan Drop on Punk, before having to pry Rollins off his back. Rusev collided with Jack Swagger, but was unable to eliminate him.
Not long after Kofi Kingston entered, Punk threw him out. Rusev caught him, though and planted him on the security barricade.
Goldust, Jimmy Uso and Dean Ambrose entered, but it was Dolph Ziggler's return from a concussion that had the crowd chanting. R-Truth came and went quickly and Jimmy soon followed him.
Roman Reigns made an impact right after entering, tossing out Kingston, Ziggler and the surprise entrant, Kevin Nash.
The action quickened as Goldust eliminated his own brother and Reigns took out "The Bizarre One," leaving Punk against all three members of The Shield alone. A returning Sheamus saved him from the imbalanced fight.
The Miz and Fandango joined the fray and nearly eliminated each other several times. El Torito was the next entrant and took Fandango out of the match with a springboard dropkick.
Reigns ended the comedy by tossing out the bull.
Once Antonio Cesaro was in the mix, he went on a Cesaro Swing frenzy, making Rollins spin close to 20 times. The ring began to get crowded as Jey Uso and Luke Harper entered and the pace of eliminations slowed.
That changed when John "Bradshaw" Layfield made his way inside. Reigns turned him away in short time. Harper took out The Miz and Jey.
Alberto Del Rio entered at No. 27 with The Shield and The Wyatt Family both still at full strength. Batista followed him and tossed Rowan and Ryback out before colliding with Del Rio. "The Animal" ended Del Rio's night early.
With eight foes awaiting him, Big E Langston made his Rumble debut. Rey Mysterio was the last entrant and the crowd began to boo as, judging by the ensuing chants, they were hoping for No. 30 to be Daniel Bryan.
A Superman punch sent Harper to the locker room. Ambrose tried to use that moment to sneak up on Reigns. The powerhouse survived and soon tossed Cesaro, Rollins and Ambrose out at the same time.
Punk, Reigns, Sheamus and Batista remained, or so we thought. Kane climbed out from under the ring and pulled Punk out and then chokeslammed through the announce table.
Sheamus went to war with Batista, but it was a spear from Reigns that sent "The Celtic Warrior" home. Batista and Reigns each hit a spear on the other, but The Shield's powerhouse landed on the outside after Batista flung him out.
Batista wins the Royal Rumble.
Memorable Moments and Quotes
Punk hits a DDT on Sandow and neckbreaker on Rollins simultaneously.
"There's always 2015," JBL on Sandow's elimination.
Rusev makes his debut.
Kingston leaps from the barricade onto the apron to save himself.
Ziggler and Sheamus both return from injury.
Kingston staves off elimination with his legs clinging to the bottom rope.
"We have an animal in the Royal Rumble match?" JBL on El Torito.
Kane attacks Punk.
Reigns breaks Kane's single-Rumble elimination record by tossing out 12 opponents.
Punk earned "Iron Man" status and Reigns broke Kane's elimination record, two sub-victories that were well-placed and highly entertaining.
Reigns's rise to the next level was magnificent to watch. Giving him that record is a sign of extreme confidence and one that we'll see him in a marquee spot soon. His clash Rollins and Ambrose is clear proof that The Shield's dissolution is impending.
Punk continued his rivalry with The Authority and the expected bout against Triple H is very much in play now. His Rumble performance furthers the idea that he is a warrior and a survivor.
There weren't a ton of surprise entrants and Kevin Nash coming back again is light years away from having Jake "The Snake" Roberts get his Rumble wish. Kingston provided another memorable moment even if it came off as contrived.
The ending was expected by many, one that displeased the pro-Bryan crowd. For the second year in a row, the Rumble winner was too easy to predict as WWE had been giving out strong hints right up until the event.
Like it or not, Orton vs. Batista appears to be your WrestleMania XXX main event. That is of course, unless Brock Lesnar takes the title from Orton before then.