The 2016 WWE Royal Rumble Kickoff Pre-show opens with Renee Young and Corey Graves along with WWE Hall of Famers Booker T and Jerry Lawler. We see fans making their way into the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. They joke about Booker wearing his break-away pants for tonight’s 30-man main event for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. We check in with Rich Brennan in the Social Media Lounge. He will be joined by the Social Outcasts later. The panel talks more about the match and we get the “By The Numbers” video for tonight.
– We go backstage to The League of Nations. Sheamus says he’s going to get his WWE World Heavyweight Title back tonight and says either way, one of them is going to leave with the title tonight. They get hype for the match and we go back to the panel. They show the trailer for the new WWE 24 special on WrestleMania 31, which premieres tonight after the Rumble. We get hype for tonight’s Last Man Standing match and go backstage to JoJo with Kevin Owens. Owens is confident about putting Ambrose down, winning the Intercontinental Title back and then winning the Rumble for the WWE World Heavyweight Title.
Fatal 4 Way: The Dudley Boyz vs. Mark Henry and Jack Swagger vs. The Ascension vs. Damien Sandow and Darren Young
We go to the ring and Michael Cole is joined by JBL and Byron Saxton. Eden does the introductions as The Dudley Boyz come out first to a big pop. The winners of this match will earn Royal Rumble spots. Mark Henry is out next followed by his partner Jack Swagger. They head to the ring together. Cole tells everyone the two have had success on WWE Main Event recently. Damien Sandow is out next in his blue robe and he gets a big pop. Darren Young is also out, running circles around Sandow. Young tries to get Sandow to do the “million of dollars” dance but Sandow doesn’t break character. The Ascension comes out last.
Darren starts off with Swagger as fans chant for tables. Swagger with an early pin attempt. Henry tags in and flattens Young. Fans chant for Sandow now I believe. Henry works Young over in the corner. Swagger tags back in and runs the ropes but Young decks him. Sandow tags in to a huge pop. He nails the Russian leg sweep on Swagger and then the Elbow of Disdain for a pop. Fans chant for Sandow but Young tags in for some double teaming. Young with a bridged suplex for a 2 count. Konnor tags himself in as fans boo. He drops Swagger and shoves Henry on the apron. Henry comes in and this leads to all four teams coming in to argue as the referee tries to keep order. We go to a break.
Back from the break and Swagger is still in with Konnor. Swagger slams him and D-Von tags himself in. D-Von unloads on Konnor but has a neckbreaker blocked. Viktor trips D-Von while the referee is distracted. Viktor tags in and they double team D-Von in the corner with stomps. Konnor comes back in for more double teaming and a 2 count. Fans still want Sandow. Bubba finally gets a tag and unloads. It comes down to D-Von hitting the big headbutt on Young. They call for the tables. Viktor runs in and takes a 3D but Swagger pulls Bubba out of the ring as he goes for the pin. Henry splashes Bubba as Swagger holds him from the floor and then covers Viktor for the win. Henry and Swagger are going to the Rumble.
Winners: Mark Henry and Jack Swagger
– After the match, Henry and Swagger celebrate as Henry’s music hits. The WrestleMania 32 banner drops down as they shake hands and Henry exits the ring.
– Renee sends us to Rich Brennan and the Social Outcasts in the Social Media Lounge. They kick him out and turn the Q&A session into shenanigans. We go back to the panel for more Rumble hype and videos. We get a promo for tonight’s WWE Divas Title match and Becky Lynch promises to bring home the gold. Booker predicts Becky will win but Graves disagrees. Lawler says Becky is jealous of Charlotte’s relationship with her dad. Lawler says he heard Becky has daddy issues. The panel hypes tonight’s 30-man main event one last time. Graves doesn’t think Reigns can overcome the odds tonight. More discussion from the panel and that’s it for the pre-show.
– The 2016 WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view opens up with Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon getting out of a limousine in the back. They’re in a very good mood tonight. JoJo approaches them for comments and brings up WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns. Vince bends down to get on JoJo’s level and we hear the crowd laughing inside. They talk about Reigns defending in tonight’s 30-man main event. Vince says he loves this night, almost as much as he loves himself… and his daughter. They walk off and we get an opening video package.
– Presented by Chex Mix, the Royal Rumble is live from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida as pyro goes off and Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined by JBL and Byron Saxton. We go right to Lilian Garcia in the ring.
Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Intercontinental Title: Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
Lilian goes over the rules and out comes WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose to a big pop. Kevin Owens is out next, also to a pop. We see the Spanish and French announcers at ringside.
The bell rings and they unload on each other. Ambrose takes it to the corner but Owens fights out and into the opposite corner. Owens with a big right hand and some trash talking. Owens with more strikes and chops from corner to corner. Ambrose turns it around and hits the running bulldog. Owens rolls to the floor but Ambrose dives out onto him, sending Owens over the announce table. Cole gets taken down but JBL makes it out of the way. Ambrose keeps up the attack and beats Owens into the barrier, then tosses him back over the table. Ambrose stands on the table and gets a pop. He jumps off but Owens nails him. Apparently Cole’s iPad was damaged. Ambrose whips Owens into the steel steps.
Ambrose pulls a kendo stick from under the ring and goes to work on Owens with it, beating him into the ring. Ambrose unloads with the stick inside the ring, sending Owens back to the floor. Ambrose follows but Owens drops him with a superkick. Cole is back on commentary now. Owens runs the length of the ring and hits a cannonball through the barrier. Fans chant “holy s–t” and Ambrose is laid out as the referee starts counting. Ambrose gets up at the 8 count. Owens nails him with a kendo stick and follows him into the ring with it. Owens with kendo shots to the back. Owens breaks the stick over his knee and jabs both pieces into Ambrose’s gut before tossing them to the floor. Owens tells Ambrose to stay down and nails another clothesline. Owens with a senton. He tells the referee to count but Ambrose gets back up at 5. Owens throws him to the floor and launches him into the barrier.
Owens throws several steel chairs in the ring. Owens smacks Ambrose over the back with the chair on the floor. The referee counts as Owens sets 2 chairs up in the ring. He takes a seat in one and kicks his feet up on the other. Ambrose gets back up at 5. He comes in the ring but Owens rocks him with right hands. Owens with a chop in the corner. Owens looks to slam Ambrose on top of the chairs he was sitting in but Ambrose counters and hits the big bounce back clothesline. They both go down and the referee counts. Owens with a chair to the gut and a chair shot over the back. The referee counts again but Ambrose gets up and they go at it. Owens blocks the clothesline. He tries to powerbomb Ambrose on the chairs but Ambrose backdrops him onto them. Fans pop as the referee counts both of them. Owens gets up at 4 and Ambrose is up at 6. Owens goes to the floor. Ambrose gets hype and nails a dive but Owens catches him and rams him back into the apron. Owens sends Ambrose into the steps twice. Another head first shot into the steps. The referee counts again.
Fans chant “this is awesome” as Ambrose gets up at 8. Owens brings a table from under the ring and goes back to nail Ambrose again. Ambrose gets up at 4 as Owens is talking trash to fans and standing the table up at ringside. Owens brings another table and stacks it on top of the other table. Owens sends Ambrose into the corner and climbs up for a superplex through the stacked tables on the floor. Ambrose tries to fight him off. Ambrose with a headbutt and elbows. Ambrose falls to the mat and throws a steel chair to Owens’ face. It gets stuck around his neck. Owens stumbles to the mat with the chair still on his head. He stumbles around and Ambrose starts punching and chopping the chair. It falls off and Ambrose unloads on Owens. Owens with a big superkick out of nowhere. Ambrose blocks a pop-up powerbomb and nails Dirty Deeds. The referee counts and fans count with him now. Ambrose is up at 4. Owens is back up at 8.
Ambrose slams a chair down and hits Dirty Deeds on top of it. The referee counts again. Owens gets to his feet at the 9 count by rolling out of the ring. He is still stumbling around and having trouble. Fans chant “fight Owens fight” as Ambrose stalks him on the floor now. Ambrose pulls a table from under the ring. Ambrose slams Owens’ head into the announce table and then places him on top of the table on his back. Ambrose goes to the top rope and nails a big elbow drop through the table. Fans chant “holy s–t” as the referee starts counting. They both get back up at 8. Another “this is awesome” chant as Owens rolls into the ring. The referee starts counting but he gets up at 4. Ambrose comes back in and picks up a chair. Ambrose with a shot to the gut and one over the back. Owens says he hates Ambrose. Ambrose also hates Owens. Ambrose sets up a table in front of the corner Owens is down in. Ambrose takes Owens up for a superplex through the table. Owens counters in mid-move and drives Ambrose through the table. A “holy s–t” chant starts as the referee counts.
Ambrose gets back up at 9. Owens yells at him to stay down and nails a pop-up powerbomb. The referee counts again but Ambrose makes it back up at 9. He collapses and Owens hits him with a chair. Owens stands four chairs up and puts another chair in the middle of them. He lays Ambrose on top of those chairs and goes to the top. Ambrose jumps up and pushes Owens off the top, through the two tables Owens stacked on the floor earlier. The crowd goes nuts and the referee starts counting on the floor. Owens can’t make it up and Ambrose gets the win.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
– After the match, Ambrose clutches his title in the middle of the ring as his music hits. We see Owens being checked on outside of the ring as we go to replays. Ambrose continues his celebration with the title as we go to a commercial.
WWE Tag Team Title Match: The Usos vs. The New Day
We come back and WWE Tag Team Champions Big E and Kofi Kingston make their way out to the entrance area. They ask for a moment to remember Francesca The Trombone. This leads to Xavier Woods coming out with a new trombone. They introduce the newest member of The New Day – Francesca 2. They are confident that the power of positivity will help them retain tonight. They dance and make their way to the ring. The Usos are out next to a pop.
Jimmy Uso starts off with Kofi and they go at it. Uso drops Kofi with a big right hand after some back and forth. Jey Uso tags in for some double teaming out of the corner. Jey tosses Kofi to the floor and Jimmy clotheslines him while Jey distracts the referee. The Usos are getting a lot of boos it appears. Uso brings Kofi back in for a 2 count. Kofi hits Jey and tags in Big E. Jey rocks Big E and takes him to the corner but Big E sends him into the ring post shoulder first. Jey goes to the floor and Big E follows. Big E scoops Uso and goes to run him into the barrier but Uso slides out and dropkicks Big E into the barrier. Woods charges and drops Uso with a tornado DDT on the floor while the referee is distracted. Kofi tags in and brings Uso back in. Kofi beats Uso down in the corner as Woods yells at Cole for pointing out he’s not in the match. Kofi with a 2 count on Jey.
Fans chant for Francesca 2 and JBL says she’s over. Kofi and Uso collide with superkicks at the same time. Kofi takes control out of it and in comes Big E with a splash for a 2 count. Big E keeps control and brings in Kofi for a big stomp off the tag. Woods plays the trombone a little bit and gets a pop. Kofi ends up getting kicked in the head while on the apron. He falls to the floor but Big E and Woods are quick to help him back in. Jimmy and Big E tag in. Jimmy unloads and fans are booing again. Jimmy knocks Kofi off the apron. Big E misses a clothesline and Uso hits a Samoan Drop for more boos. Kofi comes in but has no luck with Uso. Uso hits the Umaga splash on Kofi and a corkscrew on Big E for a 2 count.
Jimmy goes to the top but Kofi distracts him from the apron. Jey takes Kofi down but they tumble over the barrier. Big E takes advantage of a distracted Jimmy and drops him for a 2 count. Big E runs into a knee. Kofi grabs Jimmy’s leg from the floor. Jey comes flying from the crowd and takes Kofi out on the floor. Big E knocks a distracted Jimmy off the apron and to the floor with a big shoulder. All four are down on the floor now. Big E brings it back in the ring for a 2 count on Jimmy. Kofi goes to the top for double team but it’s blocked, sending Big E into the ring post. Kofi misses Trouble In Paradise and eats a superkick. Uso goes to the top for the big splash as fans boo. Uso goes for the pin but Woods makes the save from the floor. Uso argues with Woods. Jey comes flying over and takes Woods out on the floor. Big E sends him into the barrier. Kofi rolls a distracted Uso up for a 2 count. Uso with a 2 count of his own. More back and forth. Uso goes for a splash on Kofi, not realizing Big E tagged in. Big E catches Uso in mid-air on his shoulder, dropping him with a Big Ending for the win.
Winners: The New Day
– After the match, fans pop as The New Day starts dancing and celebrating. We go to replays. Woods fires Francesca 2 up as we get another look at Big E’s impressive finish. The Usos look on as The New Day leave with the gold. We go to another commercial.
– The announcers plug tonight’s WWE 24 special on the WWE Network. We get a look back at Monday’s episode of The Highlight Reel on RAW, and the ending with Brock Lesnar, The League of Nations, Roman Reigns and The Wyatt Family.
– We go backstage somewhere to The Wyatt Family. Braun Strowman says they are war. Erick Rowan says they are pestilence. Luke Harper says they are famine. Bray Wyatt says they are death and cuts a promo on tonight’s main event. Wyatt says The Apocalypse is here… run.
WWE United States Title Match: Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio
We go to the ring and out comes WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio. We get a look back at the recent title changes. Kalisto is out next to somewhat of a pop.
The bell rings and Del Rio takes Kalisto to the corner. Kalisto quickly turns it around but Del Rio gets the upperhand and goes for an early pin attempt. Del Rio sends Kalisto face first into the corner and talks some trash to boos. Del Rio mounts Kalisto in the corner to right hands as fans count along. Kalisto kicks Del Rio and sends him to the floor. This leads to Kalisto diving out through the second rope. Kalisto works Del Rio over right in front of Brock Lesnar Guy. They come back in and Del Rio turns it around with the running enziguri and a 2 count. Del Rio keeps control and keeps Kalisto grounded after another 2 count.
Kalisto tries to fight back but Del Rio nails the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Del Rio keeps launches Kalisto across the mat, landing on his face on the floor. Del Rio follows to the floor but Kalisto nails a hurricanrana. Kalisto brings it back in the ring but Del Rio counters a move and drops Kalisto over his knees. Del Rio with a 2 count as Kalisto gets the rope. They go back to the floor and Del Rio sends Kalisto into the barrier. Del Rio brings it back in and takes Kalisto tot he top. Del Rio tries to unmask Kalisto but gets knocked to the mat. Kalisto climbs up and nails the senton. Kalisto makes a comeback but Del Rio catches him in mid-air. Del Rio with a big kick to the head for a 2 count.
Kalisto blocks the cross armbreaker. Kalisto goes up top and Del Rio misses the running enziguri as Kalisto ducks. Kalisto comes off the top with a big DDT for a 2 count. Kalisto comes off the second rope and connects. Kalisto slams Del Rio on his face with a hurricanrana. Kalisto with another close 2 count. Kalisto goes back to the top but Del Rio hits him from behind and climbs up. Del Rio slams Kalisto on his face from up high. Kalisto ends up trying to make a comeback but falls on his head and the momentum of the match is off now. Del Rio goes to the top but Kalisto crotches him. Del Rio headbutts Kalisto and he falls upside down in the corner. Del Rio misses the stomp as Kalisto moves. Kalisto nails Salida del Sol but Del Rio gets the bottom rope just before the 3 count. Kalisto springboards in but Del Rio catches him with the knees for a close 2 count. Kalisto takes another big kick. Del Rio exposes the turnbuckle now.
Kalisto counters with a kick to the head that barely connects. Del Rio launches Kalisto into the exposed turnbuckle but he blocks it. Kalisto sends Del Rio into the metal and hits Salida del Sol for the win.
Winner and New WWE United States Champion: Kalisto
– After the match, Kalisto begins his celebration with the title as we go to replays.
– We go back to Renee, Booker, Lawler and Graves on the panel to talk about tonight’s show and the Kickoff match.
– Stephanie McMahon is backstage when Paul Heyman walks in. Heyman talks about Brock Lesnar being in tonight’s 30-man main event and Stephanie says as long as Lesnar takes his aggression out on Roman Reigns, she’s happy to negotiate. Heyman says if that’s how she feels, then tonight the Roman Empire will get taken to Suplex City. Heyman walks off and we go to a break.
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