Mark Henry & Jack Swagger def. The Dudley Boyz, Darren Young & Damien Sandow and The Ascension (Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match to Qualify for the Royal Rumble Match)
Dean Ambrose (c) def. Kevin Owens (Intercontinental Championship Last Man Standing Match)
The contest started with a fury as both Superstars fired off fists. It didn’t take long for the action to make its way outside the ring as Ambrose went flying head-first into his challenger, knocking him over the English announce table and onto Michael Cole. From there, this showdown’s levels of insanity continued to grow.
Ambrose wasted little time enlisting the help of a Kendo stick, using it to unleash a fury of strikes against his heated rival. KO remained undeterred in the face of Ambrose’s Kendo stick, fighting his way back from the attack. Owens delivered a vicious superkick to the face of Ambrose before prompting the referee’s first 10-count of the night by smashing his foe through the ringside barricade with a brutal cannonball.
This wild fight only heightened with a fiery Owens pulling steel chairs from under the ring. This decision would backfire, however, after Ambrose countered a powerbomb, backdropping Owens through two steel chairs.
The challenger would remain undeterred, eventually using Ambrose as a crash test dummy against the steel steps at ringside. This opened up an opportunity for Owens to go for the KO blow. The bruising Superstar scaled the tope rope with the apparent intention to superplex his opponent through two tables set up on top of one another outside the ring. The intercontinental Champion avoided this potentially match-ending maneuver by throwing a chair into Owens’ face.
With the steel device entangled on the challenger’s head, Ambrose threw his patented right jab, right chop assault. Both battle-torn Superstars proceeded to trade counters, leading the unstable Superstar to hit not one, but two Dirty Deeds – with the second being delivered on top of a steel chair. Owens showed he could take damage as well as he can inflict it though, by beating the referee’s 10-count for both finishing maneuvers.
This hazardous showdown would not end with Kendo sticks, steel chairs and steel steps. No, it was then time for tables. The chaos reached extreme levels as The Lunatic Fringe hit a flying elbow drop from the top turnbuckle onto a fallen Owens, who was sprawled out on top of a table. But, again, the challenger – and the titleholder – stood up before the 10-count.
The titleholder again looked to seal a victory, but his superplex through a table would be countered, with Owens sending the champion through the wooden structure below. Again, this classic battle was not over as Ambrose showed off his never-ending fight by stumbling to his feet just before the count to 10.
What possibly could keep these determined competitors down for the count? Owens had an extreme idea in mind for sure as he stepped up to the top rope, ready to hit a moonsault on top of The Lunatic Fringe, who was laying on top of steel chairs below.
This would be Ambrose’s night, however, as the titleholder suddenly sprung up, pushing Owens over the ring post and crashing down through the stacked tables set up at ringside. Even after being sent spiraling through two tables, splintering the wood en route to the floor, Owens showed faint signs of life but the referee’s 10-count rang out, signaling the end to a historic Last Man Standing Match.
The New Day (c) def. The Usos (WWE Tag Team Championship Match)
Kalisto def. Alberto Del Rio (c) (United States Championship Match)
Charlotte (c) def. Becky Lynch (Divas Championship Match)
Lynch had streaks of gold strewn through her bright orange locks to signify the outcome she hoped for once the final bell pealed in the Amway Center. The fiery Irish Diva wasted no time going after the champion, taking Charlotte down to the mat almost immediately and trying to apply the Dis-arm-her submission hold. The challenger matched the self-proclaimed genetically superior champion step for step, forcing Charlotte to retreat into the ropes and get separation.
Charlotte tried to give her challenger a taste of her own medicine, going to work on Becky’s arm, but only got herself tossed to the outside. It was on the arena floor where the Flair family advantage came into play. Ric Flair forced his way in between Charlotte and Becky, starting a scrum that ended with The Nature Boy planting a kiss on Lynch’s lips, only to catch a right hand to the jaw from the challenger for his lecherous actions.
The distraction from the WWE Hall of Famer gave Charlotte the opening she needed to take control of the bout. The Divas Champion slowed the match down to a more methodical pace, grapevining her legs around the challenger’s neck in the center of the ring and wearing Becky down. With the WWE Universe willing her on, The Irish Lass Kicker battled back to her feet and brought the fight to the Divas Champion. After escaping the Figure Eight Leg Lock, Becky caught Charlotte with two exploder suplexes and seemed to have the title in her grasp.
Charlotte wriggled out of the Dis-arm-her and cut Becky down with a spear, but it was not enough to extinguish the challenger’s spirit. Becky thought she had Charlotte finished after the Divas Champion dropkicked her father by accident. However, Flair recovered and jumped onto the ring apron as Lynch locked on the Dis-arm-her once more. The WWE Hall of Famer tossed his jacket into Lynch’s face, leading to her releasing the hold and confronting Flair. That distraction gave Charlotte an opening to strike Becky in the eyes and pin her to retain the title.
However, Charlotte’s post-match attack on Lynch and celebration was cut short by the arrival of The Boss. Sasha Banks kicked a fallen Becky out of the ring, letting the Irish Diva know that she was in her spotlight. The two former BFFs shared a handshake in the ring, but the truce was short-lived, as Banks blindsided the champion with a Back Stabber and locked on the Bank Statement. The Boss capped off her bold statement by taking the Divas Championship and holding it high as the WWE Universe roared in approval.
Triple H won the 2016 Royal Rumble Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
In a chaotic, wholly unpredictable Royal Rumble Match that saw the WWE debut of AJ Styles, an ugly attack on Roman Reigns by The League of Nations and The Wyatt Family screw Brock Lesnar, Triple H stood supreme. The Game unexpectedly entered the fray at No. 30, last eliminating Dean Ambrose to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion for the 14th time.
Credit: Scott Taylor, Bobby Melok & Ryan Murphy @ wwe.com