Cody Rhodes Wins Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Cody Rhodes has won Back to Back Royal Rumbles and is on his way to finish his story at WrestleMania.

Cody Rhodes won the Men’s Royal Rumble match, having triumphed over 29 other WWE stars. This victory earns him a championship bout at WrestleMania 40 in April. This win marked Rhodes as the fourth wrestler to achieve back-to-back Royal Rumble victories, and the first in 26 years, placing him in the company of Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

The match started with Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso entered the Royal Rumble as the first and second participants, marking their first direct confrontation since Jimmy’s actions led to Jey losing the undisputed WWE universal title at SummerSlam in August.

Grayson Waller made his entrance as the third participant, microphone in hand, dismissing the Usos’ sibling rivalry. His remarks about Jey Uso’s family earned him a swift superkick. Waller then briefly teamed up with Jimmy Uso against Jey, but their alliance was short-lived. The scene shifted with Andrade El Idolo’s surprise return to WWE at number 4, three years after his departure for AEW. Carmelo Hayes followed, entering as the fifth competitor.

Carmelo Hayes, entering as number 5, quickly made an impact by eliminating Grayson Waller with a clothesline. Shinsuke Nakamura and Santos Escobar followed as entrants 6 and 7, with Escobar’s attempt to team up with Andrade being swiftly rebuffed. Jimmy Uso, showcasing his strategic side, aligned temporarily with Karrion Kross, the 8th entrant, echoing his recent alliance attempts on SmackDown. Kross proved to be a formidable force early in the match.

Dominik Mysterio’s entry at number 9 was met with resounding boos. Carlito, entering at 10, eliminated his adversary Escobar in dramatic fashion by spitting an apple in his face. Number 11 saw Lashley enter, delivering spears to all, including eliminating Kross. Kross’s retaliation saw him dragging Lashley out of the ring, sparking a brawl between their factions, The Final Testament and The Pride.

Finn Balor, entering at number 14, rescued his stablemate Dominik Mysterio, who had been jeered heavily upon his number 9 entry, by taking out Carmelo Hayes. Cody Rhodes, coming in at number 15, was warmly welcomed by the audience. He quickly executed a Cody Cutter on Austin Theory, the 13th entrant, and eliminated him. “Big” Bronson Reed lived up to his moniker, delivering a double Samoan drop to Balor and Mysterio, and then eliminating Andrade. Rhodes and Shinsuke Nakamura, who entered at number 6, engaged in a fierce brawl, culminating in Rhodes dispatching Nakamura with a Disaster Kick and Cody Cutter on the apron.

Kofi Kingston, making his 16th Rumble appearance—a record second-highest—at number 17, ousted his adversary Ludwig Kaiser with Trouble in Paradise. Gunther, the Imperium leader, entered next, reprimanding Kaiser before unleashing powerful chops on every competitor, including Jimmy Uso, who unsuccessfully tried to form an alliance. Gunther and Rhodes briefly clashed, recalling Rhodes’ victory in the previous year’s Rumble, before Gunther eliminated Kingston.

Bronn Breaker, entering as number 20 and a former NXT champion, stormed into the ring with immense energy. He quickly eliminated Jimmy Uso, delivered a series of spears, and overpowered Gunther in a show of strength. The giant Omos, towering at over seven feet and weighing more than 400 pounds, made his presence known at number 21, dwarfing everyone else in the ring. Both Omos and Breakker eliminated competitors, including Reed and Ivar, before confronting each other. Pat McAfee, entering at number 22, swiftly eliminated himself after facing Breakker and Omos. Breakker managed to eliminate Omos but was then quickly thrown out by Mysterio.

JD McDonagh came in at number 23 only to be speared outside the ring by Breakker. R-Truth, mistakenly entering the women’s Rumble earlier, came in at number 24, promptly throwing McDonagh into the ring where he was eliminated by Jey Uso. Truth humorously asked Mysterio for a tag, then surged into action against Gunther. The Miz, entering at number 24, targeted his recent adversaries Gunther and The Judgement Day, but hesitated with old friend R-Truth. A brief reunion of the Awesome Truth was marred by R-Truth’s loyalty to The Judgement Day, preventing Miz from eliminating Truth. However, when Damian Priest entered at number 26, he immediately ousted R-Truth from the match.

CM Punk made his entrance as number 27, marking his first WWE match on television in a decade. He quickly made an impact by eliminating Mysterio upon his entry.

Drew McIntyre entered at number 29 and quickly ousted Jey Uso and Ricochet, who was number 28. The ring then hosted the final six competitors: Gunther, Punk, Rhodes, McIntyre, Priest, and Zayn, who entered last at number 30. Tensions escalated into a brawl, leading to Zayn eliminating Priest, only to be promptly ejected by McIntyre, narrowing it down to the final four. McIntyre, showcasing his dominance, took down his opponents with Claymore Kicks. However, his moment of overconfidence in taunting Punk cost him, as he was subsequently eliminated. Rhodes then ousted Punk, leaving Punk and Rhodes as the last two standing in the ring.

The end of the match was intense, with both Punk and Rhodes being strong contenders for victory. Their battle saw a series of counters and powerful strikes, with Rhodes delivering Cross Rhodes to the seasoned Punk. Despite this, Punk rallied and hit Rhodes with a GTS, igniting chants of “This is awesome” from the audience.

In a big moment, Punk declared he didn’t wait 10 years to lose to Dusty Rhodes’ kid. As Punk set up for another GTS, Rhodes cleverly dodged the knee, seized the opportunity, and threw Punk over the ropes.

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