Biggest Takeaways from WWE Royal Rumble 2022 Results

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2022

Biggest Takeaways from WWE Royal Rumble 2022 Results

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    The Road to WrestleMania 38 officially kicked off Saturday night in St. Louis with a WWE Royal Rumble that featured shocking returns, new champions, betrayals and a finale that set up the main event of the year's marquee vent.

    With the pay-per-view done and The Showcase of the Immortals on the horizon, which stories, Superstars and moments are at the center of the biggest takeaways from this year's Rumble?

    Find out with this recap of the 2022 event.

Match Results

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    • Brock Lesnar won the men's Royal Rumble
    • Edge and Beth Phoenix defeated The Miz and Maryse
    • Bobby Lashley defeated Brock Lesnar to win the WWE Championship
    • Raw women's champion Becky Lynch defeated Doudrop
    • Ronda Rousey won the women's Royal Rumble
    • Seth Rollins defeated universal champion Roman Reigns via disqualification; Reigns retains

Rollins Lives Rent-Free in Reigns' Head After Cinematic Banger

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    Make no mistake about it: Seth Rollins is living rent-free in the head of Roman Reigns following this classic encounter for the Universal Championship.

    Dressed in gear from his days with The Shield, the legendary faction's music accompanying him as he made his way through the masses inside The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, The Visionary threw The Head of the Table off his game from the get-go.

    He absorbed everything Reigns threw at him and laughed, then extended his hand for the fist bump that was a trademark of The Hounds of Justice a decade earlier. 

    So shaken was Reigns that he refused to relinquish the guillotine choke when Rollins made it to the ropes, resulting in a disqualification finish that may have drawn the ire of fans online but was logical and paid off the story told throughout.

    The extraordinary storytelling elevated the match beyond being merely great. Now, Rollins knows he is in Reigns' head, and the cool demeanor the champion portrays when he makes his way to the ring every week is just a facade.

    The Visionary has The Tribal Chief's number. He shook Reigns in a way no one has been able to, including Brock Lesnar. What that means for him moving forward, especially with The Big Dog seemingly on a collision course for a WrestleMania showdown, remains to be seen.

    Perhaps a date at Elimination Chamber in Saudi Arabia come Feb. 19, with the title on the line, awaits the former Shield teammates.

Badass Moms Make Their Mark in Women's Royal Rumble

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    The women's Royal Rumble may have determined the competitor who will challenge for either the Raw or SmackDown women's title at WrestleMania, but it was also the site of several badass moms who helped define this year's contest.

    Michelle McCool, Brie and Nikki Bella, Sarah Logan, Impact Knockouts champion Mickie James and Ronda Rousey made up a field of women who are as tough and inspirational away from the ring as they are in it.

    McCool lasted the longest of the bunch but it was the stunning return of the former MMA star, just five months after giving birth to her daughter, that would go on to define the contest.

    In the match immediately following the Rumble, fellow mom Becky Lynch defeated Doudrop to retain the Raw Women's Championship, putting an exclamation point on a night when  mothers made an impact, stole headlines and retained titles in one of the highest-profile nights professional wrestling has to offer.

Ronda Rousey Brings Much-Needed Star Power to WrestleMania 38

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    In 2016, WWE set a new attendance record at WrestleMania 32. On April 2-3, the company will be hoping to rewrite the history books, but it needs all the star power it can get to make that goal a reality, starting with Rousey.

    The former Raw women's champion's return Saturday night in St. Louis was notable not only because it came so soon after giving birth but because it instantly brought much-needed name recognition into a 'Mania build that badly needed it, as we found out in the men's Rumble match that closed out the show.

    Sure, Brock Lesnar has long been a major part of WWE programming and Roman Reigns is the biggest homegrown talent to come through the company since John Cena, but Rousey provides the women's division with a genuine household name that doubles as a title contender and isn't one of the Four Horsewomen of NXT.

    Like Lesnar and Reigns, the ex-UFC star will be counted on significantly to attract viewers and create buzz for the marquee show.

    Did that come at the expense of the likes of Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan and Sasha Banks this year? Sure, but there are ways to get them on the card in key roles.

    This was Rousey's night, though, and it sets up a marquee bout that will headline one of the two nights of WrestleMania programming this year in Dallas.

History Repeats as Heyman Betrayal Costs Lesnar the WWE Title

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    Credit: WWE

    Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    Lesnar learned that the hard way Saturday night when Paul Heyman betrayed him, joining Roman Reigns in screwing him out of the WWE Championship against Bobby Lashley.

    It was the second time Lesnar has allowed himself to fall prey to his relationship with Heyman. In 2002, the advocate turned his back on his charge, directly leading to his first loss at the hands of Big Show.

    At the Rumble, The Beast was betrayed again by Heyman. Despite the fact that the heel jumped ship the moment Lesnar disappeared from television and hitched his wagon to Roman Reigns as his "special counsel," the former MMA star accepted him back as his advocate.

    It proved costly, though. 

    Now, the story leading into WrestleMania 38 becomes Lesnar's vengeful path and a painful lesson for The Godfather of Extreme, beginning with the men's Royal Rumble match. 

Lesnar Reigns in Men's Rumble to Set Up WrestleMania Role

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    Credit: WWE

    Fueled by anger, Lesnar stomped to the ring as the 30th entrant in the men's Royal Rumble match and proceeded to toss anyone in his path to the arena floor.

    Avenging his elimination from 2020 at the hands of Drew McIntyre, he sent the Scot over the top rope last this year and cashed his own ticket to WrestleMania 38.

    "Which champion will Lesnar choose?" Michael Cole said as the show went off the air, with pyro exploding from a WrestleMania sign that had been on fire once already.

    Sure, the voice of WWE was merely trying to drum up intrigue for Raw but it rang silly when everyone knows Lesnar has only one man in mind for a WrestleMania showdown: Reigns.

    The months-long rivalry between The Beast and The Head of the Table intensified earlier in the night when Heyman betrayed Lesnar and cost him the WWE Championship.

    With Reigns holding the universal title despite a controversial finish to his match with Rollins earlier in the show, Lesnar will choose to smash, pummel and reintroduce The Tribal Chief to Suplex City come April 2-3.

    Anything else involving Lashley or the slightest tease of him choosing to fight for the WWE title will be an empty attempt at building mystery.