Welcome to PWInsider.com's live, ongoing coverage of the 2016 Royal Rumble!
WWE Royal Rumble Kickoff Show
Renee Young (who, by the way, we are told by our friends at www.ringsidecollectibles.com, will soon have her first very first action figure) welcomed everyone to the Kickoff Show. The remainder of the panel is Corey Graves, Booker T and Jerry Lawler. When was the last time that WWE held a major PPV and Lawler wasn't part of the announcing team?
Lawler said that this match gives everyone their chance to win the WWE World Heavyweight championship and headline Wrestlemania. Graves said there is no way Roman Reigns could win the match tonight, so history will be made with a new champion crowned.
They will have a conversation with the Social Outcasts later. Rich Brennan is filling the role of host for the Social Media Lounge, replacing Tom Phillips, who had been doing it.
They noted there are a few "coveted" spots left in the Rumble match, setting up the four way tag team match to get into the Rumble match. Whoever wins, however, won't be the first man out. That will be Roman Reigns.
They went to the stats video.
They showed footage from a number of winners from recent Rumbles.
Backstage, The League of Nations were in the "Hall of the League of Nations." It was a table with all of their flags in the background. They said Alberto was going to crush Kalisto tonight, then there was the Rumble match. Sheamus said that the Rumble was every man for themselves, but Roman Reigns stole his championship. Either way, Sheamus said, a member of the League of Nations would be headlining Wrestlemania.
They plugged the Wrestlemania 31 episode of WWE 24, which will debut after the Rumble goes off the air.
They showed clips of the two men who entered at number one and went on to win the Rumble match - Mr. McMahon and Shawn Michaels.
They went into a video feature on Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE Intercontinental championship.
The Dudley Boyz vs. The Ascension vs. Jack Swagger & Mark Henry vs. Darren Young & Damien Sandow: Winning team to enter Rumble Match.
Nice reaction for Sandow. The Ascension, of all people, enter last. Henry and Swagger worked over Young. Sandow tagged in and man, people were happy to see him. All the teams got int the ring and faced off as they went to a commercial.
When they returned, Swagger worked over Konnor. D-Von tagged in and cleaned house with a pair of shoulderblocks. Viktor tripped up D-Von, allowing The Ascension to tag in and out and work him over. Devon made the comeback and worked over everyone. They nailed Young with the Wazzup Headbutt. They nailed Viktor with 3D but Swagger pulled Bubba off the pinfall attempt. Mark Henry splashed Bubba Ray and then covered Viktor for the pin.
Your winners, Mark Henry & Jack Swagger!
Match was OK. Just an opener. Nothing wrong with it, although there was an awkward moment where Konor easily could have interfered and instead did nothing.
The Social Outcasts did their Twitter questions. They have no weak links. Heath said he was the leader, which led to some funny back and forth between Heath and Curtis Axel until Bo Dallas said they were all leaders and best friends. Axel said he was tired from still being in the Rumble. They were pretty entertaining.
They showed the last two years' worth of winners: Batista and Roman Reigns.
They ran down the Divas chamopionship match.
They closed out the Kickoff show discussing the Royal Rumble match and whether Roman Reigns can survive the bout.
2016 WWE Royal Rumble PPV
The PPV opened with a limo pulling up. Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon exited the limo. Jojo grabbed them for an interview. Vince said they gave Roman an opportunity like no one else before him, because he's going to have the chance to go through everyone and head on to Wrestlemania. Vince said he loves the idea almost as much as "I love me." That was a funny line.
WWE Intercontinental champion Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens: Last Man Standing
They began brawling with Ambrose beating down Owens in the corner. Owens came back with a stiff right hand and a number of chops and punches in the corner. Ambrose nailed a tope suicida that sent Owens over the announcing table. Ambrose began beating Owens with a Singapore Cane but was sent into the barricade. Owens killed him with a GREAT cannonball against the barrier. Ambrose was able to get to his feet at eight.
Owens began beating Ambrose with the Cane this time around. Owens nailed Ambrose, who was bleeding from the mouth, with the cane to the back and then broke it over his knee. He used the pieces and dug them into Ambrose's mid-section. Owens sent him into the barricade and then went under the ring for a number of chairs. He set the chairs up and sat in the ring to mock Dean as the referee counted him down. Ambrose got up at the count of five. Really good stuff so far.
Owens sent Ambrose into the ropes but as nailed with the rebound clothesline. The referee counted both competitors down but Owens made it to his feet and nailed the champion with a chair several times. Owens was backdropped into the chairs. This is a great brawl.
Ambrose went for a tope suicida but was caught by Owens and rammed into the barricade, then the ring steps backwards. Owens is really taking it to the champ. He set up two tables on top of each other on the outside and tried to superplex Dean off the top to the outside through the tables. Ambrose fought him off and flung a chair at him, which got caught around Owens' head. Dean mounted a comeback but was nailed with a superkick. Owens went for the Popup Powerbomb but it was turned into a rana by the champ.
Dean nailed Dirty Deeds but Owens made it to his feet by the count of eight. Ambrose nailed the move again but this time on top of a steel chair. Ambrose placed Owens on a table outside the ring and came off the top with a flying elbow.
Back in the ring, Ambrose worked over Owens with a chair and set up another table near the corner. Ambrose went for a superplex but Owens reversed it into something of a twisting Fisherman's Buster through the table. Ambrose makes it to his feet at the last second, shocking Owens.
Owens drilled him hard with a chair across the back. He began setting up a grouping of chairs. He went to the top but was shoved off and went through the two tables that were stacked outside. Owens was counted out. A great finish!
Your winner and still WWE Intercontinental champion, Dean Ambrose!
Really great opener with Owens really taking it to Ambrose in a vicious fashion and Ambrose really showcasing himself well. Some nice plunder and near falls with the countdowns and some really brutal looking big spots. Well worth checking this one out.
They showed a clip of Chris Jericho breaking Xavier Woods' trombone.
WWE Tag Team champions The New Day vs. The Usos.
New Day did a promo saying they were in mourning due to the death of Francesca, the trombone. They wanted a moment of silence for her. Woods, who was nowhere to be seen at this point, then began playing a new trombone. They were GREAT on the mic talking about having the belts and then going on to win the WWE World Heavyweight championship. They actually made a "Stay gold, Ponyboy" reference. S.E. Hinton is smiling somewhere. Usos got booed coming out.
The Usos controlled Kingston early with a series of double-team maneuvers. Big E. tagged in and sent Jey Usos hard into the buckles shoulder-first. They went to the floor. Big E was going to run him into the barricade but Uso escaped and slammed him into it. Woods charged and hit a tornado DDT off the barricade.
This allowed Kofi Kingston to regain the control of the match. The crowd chanted for "Francesca" so Woods tossed it down, saying he plays when he wants. The crowd booed him for that. E slammed Jey with a big splash for a two count. E continued to work over Jey for near falls. Jey finally caught Kingston with a kick that sent him off the apron to the floor.
Jimmy Uso made the hot tag and began working over Big E, peppering him with kicks. He nailed a Samoan Drop, then nailed a hip smash in the corner on Kofi. Jimmy nailed a twisting senton off the top on E. He went to the top for a splash. Kofi tried to interfere but Jey Uso grabbed him. Jey was nailed and tossed into the crowd. Jimmy was distracted by all this and nailed with a big overhead belly to belly suplex by E.
Jimmy kicked Kofi away while on the apron. Jey dove off the barricade onto Kofi. Big E speared Jimmy off the apron to the floor. Kingston missed Trouble in Paradise but was nailed with a kick. Jey Uso tagged in and nailed Kofi. He went for the pin but Woods placed Kofi's foot over the bottom rope. Uso went after Woods but was nailed by E into the barricade.
Kingston and Jey went back and forth but Jey didn't realize E had tagged in. Usos went to come off the top on Kingston but E appeared out of nowhere to snatch him and nail The Big Ending for the pin.
Your winners and still WWE Tag Team champions, The New Day!
Yet another good match from these two teams. The New Day's antics were off the charts great here. Lots of really good near falls and hard work.
Coverage continues on Page 2!
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