WWE Royal Rumble 2022 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2022

WWE Royal Rumble 2022 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    We're already almost through the first month of 2022, and with the end of January comes the annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view.

    This is a favorite event for many WWE fans as the Rumble matches always provide some big surprises, fun moments and interactions between Superstars who might not normally cross paths in regular competition.

    The men's and women's Rumbles both featured some special entrants. Johnny Knoxville was in the men's match while Summer Rae, Michelle McCool and Impact Knockouts champion Mickie James were announced ahead of time for the women's Rumble. 

    We also saw the WWE, universal and Raw women's titles defended at the show in addition to a mixed tag team match featuring two of the company's most prominent married couples.

    Let's take a look at everything that happened during this year's Royal Rumble. 

Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship)

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    Roman Reigns made his way to the ring alone for his Universal Championship match against Seth "Freakin" Rollins. The Usos were banned from ringside and Paul Heyman is no longer part of The Bloodline. 

    Rollins came out to The Shield's music in his old Shield gear to play mind game with his former brother in arms, and he taunted The Tribal Chief as they stared at each other from across the ring.

    The Visionary used his quickness to take control early. He looked confident as he hit a sling blade and clotheslined Reigns over the top rope. He lined up and nailed him with a pair of suicide dives.

    The Tribal Chief caught him with an uppercut as he tried to springboard into the ring, and he followed up with a drive-by dropkick. Rollins regained control and hit a powerbomb through the announce table. 

    Reigns avoided a phoenix splash but when he tried to hit a Spear, Rollins kicked him in the face. He hit a buckle bomb followed by a Stomp for a close two-count. The champ hit a clothesline to give himself a little breathing room. 

    As Reigns began to take over, he slowed the pace and dished out punishment slowly and methodically. He threw Rollins into the timekeeper's area and the steel steps before drilling him with a Superman Punch for a two-count. 

    Rollins countered a Spear into a Pedigree but only got a near-fall. The Tribal Chief eventually hit the Spear but as he went for the cover, his rival just laughed at him. Reigns grabbed him in the guillotine but Rollins barely made it to the ropes. The titleholder refused to release the hold and got himself disqualified. 

    As Rollins got to his feet, Reigns assaulted him with a steel chair. He beat The Visionary down with over a dozen shots as the crowd booed him as loud as it could. 

    Grade: A



    Rollins using his Shield gear and the group's entrance music was a brilliant way to bring him into this match and get the crowd in the right mindset for the night. As soon as you could hear the words "sierra, hotel" over the stadium speakers, the fans went wild. 

    These guys have known each other for years and worked together multiple times, so they are going to have about as much chemistry as you can in this business. As expected, they used that to put on one hell of a match. 

    Some people might criticize the DQ ending, but it actually worked for the story being told, especially if this feud is going to continue past the Rumble. The story they told was intriguing, and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here. 

    Would a pinfall have been more satisfying? Sure, but this was still a good match with a lot to like. 

Women's Royal Rumble

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    There was too much going on in this match for detailed play-by-play, so we will just cover the order of the entrants. 

    1. Sasha Banks
    2. Melina
    3. Tamina
    4. Kelly Kelly
    5. Aliyah
    6. Liv Morgan
    7. Queen Zelina
    8. Bianca Belair
    9. Dana Brooke
    10. Michelle McCool
    11. Sonya Deville
    12. Natalya
    13. Cameron
    14. Naomi
    15. Carmella
    16. Rhea Ripley
    17. Charlotte Flair
    18. Ivory
    19. Brie Bella
    20. Mickie James
    21. Alicia Fox
    22. Nikki A.S.H.
    23. Summer Rae
    24. Nikki Bella
    25. Sarah Logan
    26. Lita
    27. Molly Holly
    28. Ronda Rousey
    29. Shotzi
    30. Shayna Baszler

    The final four women in the match were Rousey, Flair, Baszler and Belair. The Queen took out The EST of WWE and The Queen of Spades, so it all came down to her and Rousey.

    After a bit of a struggle, Rowdy Ronda scored the win. 

    Grade: B-



    It was nice to see so many of the women from the Divas era get warm welcomes from the crowd. That era gets a lot of stick from fans, but the criticism should be directed at who was booking them, not the talents themselves. 

    Naomi and Deville eliminating each other means their feud is going to keep going. WWE has been playing the long game with this but as long as they wrap it up soon, it can still be salvaged. 

    The creative team incorporated several feuds into this match. Ripley vs. A.S.H., James vs. McCool from several years ago and Summer vs. Natalya were all used to keep the contest moving along.

    As soon as Rousey appeared, it was clear she was going to be one of the favorites, especially entering the match at No. 28. But it was disappointing we didn't get to see Bayley or anyone from NXT like Io Shirai or Dakota Kai.

    While the excitement slowed at times between groups of eliminations, this contest had some fun spots and featured standout moments for several competitors. All in all, this was a success even if it won't go down as the most memorable women's Rumble match. 

Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop (Raw Women's Championship)

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    The women were back in the spotlight right away when Becky Lynch defended the Raw Women's Championship against Doudrop. 

    The two women locked up and Doudrop easily pushed Lynch to the mat to show off her power. Big Time Becks grew frustrated as the challenger appeared to have an answer for everything she tried. 

    The champion avoided a corner splash but the Scot was able to keep the upper hand and hit a senton that sent her out to the floor to recover. Doudrop tried to hit a cannonball against the steps, but Lynch moved and she hit steel. 

    The powerhouse caught The Man coming off the middle rope, but she was able to transition into a sleeper hold. Doudrop kicked out after a missile dropkick and started to get angry as Lynch began to berate her.

    They went back and forth for the next few minutes trading big moves in an attempt to finish the other off. After Doudrop came close a few times, Lynch produced a Manhandle Slam from the middle rope. 

    Grade: C+



    According to some posts on social media, the WrestleMania sign caught fire during this match, but the competitors and referee never acted like anything was wrong. Unfortunately, this distracted the crowd for several minutes. 

    This contest did not reach the same level of excitement as Doudrop vs. Bianca Belair, but both women did a great job making themselves and each other look good. They didn't make any big mistakes and sold everything they did to each other. 

    For two people who have almost no previous experience together, they worked well. It's just too bad the crowd did not seem to be into it. With louder reactions, this would have come across as a far bigger deal. 

Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley (WWE Championship)

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    WWE took its time getting to this match. There was a long promo and two lengthy entrances in addition to the official introductions from the ring announcer. 

    The two men started with a basic lockup but when neither could get the advantage, they broke away from each other. They went for it again and Lesnar hit a German suplex.

    Lashley, wanting to show no signs of weakness, got right back to his feet and no-sold the move. He returned the favor with his own German suplex that caught The Beast Incarnate by surprise. 

    Lesnar grabbed him and hit two German suplexes in a row before releasing his grasp. The All Mighty went in with a kick to the gut before unloading with hard right hands. He avoided the F5 and hit a Spear out of nowhere. He lined up and hit a second Spear that sent The Beast out of the ring. 

    Lashley went for another Spear at ringside and ended up crashing through the barricade when Lesnar avoided him. The Beast hit some more German suplexes when they got back in the ring, but The All Mighty kept getting back up. 

    Lashley countered a suplex and applied the Hurt Lock. Lesnar backed him to the corner and crushed the ref in the process. The Beast hit an F5 and took the ref out again with Lashley's leg, so there was nobody there to make the count. 

    Reigns then came out of nowhere to spear Lesnar. Heyman handed him the WWE belt so he could hit The Beast with it and cost him the match. Heyman left with Reigns as Lashley made the cover for the win. 

    Grade: B+



    It seemed like a weird move to put this match before Edge and Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz and Maryse, and it was even weirder for WWE to run a promo package featuring clips of metal forging right after the WrestleMania sign went on fire. 

    This was exactly what it needed to be, though. It was two big dudes throwing each other around and beating each other up. Nobody expected a technical showcase. This was always going to be a series of power moves. 

    The finish being so convoluted is one issue some will call out, but this gave Lashley back the WWE title and set up Lesnar vs. Reigns down the line. It worked and was a fun way to accomplish two things at once.

    It would be nice if Big E reentered the title hunt after this, but he appears to be back on SmackDown. 

The Miz and Maryse vs. Edge and Beth Phoenix

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    Maryse and Beth Phoenix started for their teams. Maryse tried to run away from Phoenix and The Miz helped her escape the ring. 

    Edge and The Miz tagged in, and The A-Lister was able to attack Edge from behind with some help from Maryse to get the upper hand. 

    The Rated-R Superstar popped up and hit a DDT out of nowhere to give himself a chance to tag his wife. The Glamazon came in hot and hit Maryse with several strikes. Miz broke up a pin, so Phoenix got in his face. She planted him in the corner and beat him down.

    Maryse hit Phoenix with her purse brick but couldn't keep her down for the pin. She locked The Glamazon in a camel clutch before Edge and The Miz came back in the ring.

    Maryse took out Phoenix at ringside and while The Miz had the ref distracted, Maryse hit Edge with a hurricanrana.

    The A-Lister hit Edge with his finisher, but he only got a two-count. Phoenix and Edge struck The Miz with a Spear at the same time before they hit Glamazon Slams to both opponents for the win. 

    Grade: C+



    WWE only booked four matches in addition to the two Rumble matches. As great as all four of these Superstars are, this should not have been one of those four bouts.

    They paced it like a PPV match and gave all four competitors enough time to shine, but something about it never quite clicked. It was as if everyone was stuck in second gear and couldn't hit that next level.

    This was more of a skit than a match. There wasn't much in the way of ring psychology, but it was entertaining if you enjoy this kind of thing. Everybody did good work, it just didn't live up to the reputations of these four stars. 

    The last couple of minutes were better than everything that came before it, but it wasn't enough to make this better than something we could have seen on Raw or SmackDown. 

Men's Royal Rumble

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    AJ Styles was out first for the men's Rumble match, followed by Shinsuke Nakamura at No. 2. But the real story of the contest came with its later entrants.

    1. AJ Styles
    2. Shinsuke Nakamura
    3. Austin Theory
    4. Robert Roode
    5. Ridge Holland
    6. Montez Ford
    7. Damian Priest
    8. Sami Zayn
    9. Johnny Knoxville
    10. Angelo Dawkins
    11. Omos
    12. Ricochet
    13. Chad Gable
    14. Dominik Mysterio
    15. Happy Corbin
    16. Dolph Ziggler
    17. Sheamus
    18. Rick Boogs
    19. Madcap Moss
    20. Riddle
    21. Drew McIntyre
    22. Kevin Owens
    23. Rey Mysterio
    24. Kofi Kingston
    25. Otis 
    26. Big E
    27. Bad Bunny
    28. Shane McMahon
    29. Randy Orton
    30. Brock Lesnar

    It came down to Lesnar and McIntyre as the final two men in the ring. After a brief struggle, The Beast threw the Scot out to win the match. 

    Grade: C-



    This match had all the usual Rumble spots. We saw a big guy get eliminated by several people at once, we saw friends and partners turn on each other, and we even saw Knoxville hit a double-leg takedown.

    For some reason, though, the men's Rumble never quite hit its stride. The crowd was clearly tired and WWE has changed a lot of entrance themes lately, so there weren't too many big pops to be heard. 

    Kingston missed saving himself when he was clearly supposed to land on the barricade, which deflated things even further. The cameras were missing eliminations and somehow Bad Bunny was one of the most successful entrants in terms of eliminations. 

    As soon as Lesnar lost earlier in the night, speculation about him winning the men's Rumble began to run rampant on social media. WWE could have used this to put somebody else over and still booked Reigns vs. Lesnar at WrestleMania, but management clearly thought this was the right call.

    This event had a couple of enjoyable matches and moments, but it fell a bit short for such an important show.