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- Video Highlights: Royal Rumble 2015: Roman Reigns Wins The Rumble
SUNDAY, JAN 25. 2015
PHILADELPHIA — Of all the memorable moments that played out in the final minutes of the 2015 Royal Rumble Match, none will stay with the WWE Universe longer than the sight of Roman Reigns’ battered and bloodied face. The wounds of war were a symbol of the hell Reigns went through to be the last man standing in Philadelphia, and a reminder that his victory was one he had to fight for.
If Reigns looked worn, it was because Kane, Big Show and Rusev all stood in his path to victory. The giants of The Authority nearly put the kibosh on his WrestleMania plans, too, had it not been for a final second save from The Rock. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
The 19th spot introduced the heavily favored Roman Reigns to the Rumble, who stomped through the Philly faithful, and dispatched of Gold and Stardust only seconds after entering the ring. The crowd showed serious support for No. 21 entrant Damien Mizdow, who got involved even after The Miz attempted to take his spot. Mizdow showed some fire before being sent to the floor by Rusev.
The Lunatic Fringe teamed up with his old Shield cohort Reigns to dump Titus O’Neil in a lightning fast four seconds.
The final four Superstars then took their places on opposite sides of the ring as The Authority’s giants stared down Ambrose and Reigns. The onetime Shield members were clearly exhausted, and it didn’t take long for Kane and Show to pick apart Ambrose and send him on his way. Reigns nearly suffered the same fate before a miscue turned the big men against one another. The Authority’s titans began to trade heavy fists and then grabbed each other by the throats, which allowed Reigns to run up from behind and lift both behemoths off the ground and over the top rope with pure power.
A year after he set the record for most eliminations in a single Rumble, Reigns had won the whole thing and earned his spot in the main event of WrestleMania. There was no celebration, however, as Big Show and Kane got back in the ring and hit Reigns with a double chokeslam. Before they could do anymore damage, though, three familiar words rang out across the arena: “If you smell!!!”
A second later, The Rock burst from the back in a full sprint and launched himself into the ring. With the crowd coming unglued, The Great One delivered a series of right hands to the villains, and even rocked Kane with a People’s Elbow. It was thrilling ending to the bout, until it turned out that the match wasn’t actually finished.
Rusev — who had left the ring but had not gone over the top rope earlier in the bout — climbed back in and threw himself at a vulnerable Reigns. The agile Superstar avoided the sneak attack, and bounced off the ropes, coming back at The Super Athlete with a gut busting spear. Moments later, Rusev was on the floor and Reigns was the official winner of the 2015 Royal Rumble Match.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon walked out to the top of the entrance ramp to glower at Reigns, but the victor barely noticed them. Instead, his focus was on the WrestleMania 31 sign hanging in the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center, The Rock, who held his arm in victory, and a Beast Incarnate, who lay in wait.