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17 Huge Takeaways From The WWE Royal Rumble

While WrestleMania is the WWE's biggest event of the year, the Royal Rumble is the most anticipated match. This year's Rumble was packed with heavyweights (literally), as the star power was higher than it's been in years. Over 50,000 fans packed the Alamodome in San Antonio, really giving the 30th Royal Rumble a big event feel.

The Rumble is where the Road to WrestleMania really begins, as we now have a clear idea of where feuds are going and who is going to settle the score at WrestleMania. We got yet another anti-climatic Royal Rumble overall, as the Rumble match itself featured no surprises, predictable booking and yet another second-time winner rather than crowning someone new.

Cena has now tied Ric Flair with 16 title wins, and Kevin Owens is still the Universal Champion.

What should we take away from this event? Well, read and find out.

Or are you Team @beckylynchwwe, @thenikkibella and @trinity_fatu? #RoyalRumble #Kickoff

A photo posted by WWE (@wwe) on

Naomi picked up the pin on Alexa Bliss in the SmackDown women's tag match and it's pretty clear at this point that Naomi will be the next no.1 contender to Bliss' title. Perhaps this will happen on SmackDown soon or we could see this match at SmackDown's Elimination Chamber event in a few weeks. That leaves the door open for Mickie James and Becky Lynch to feud in a possible no.1 contender feud, while the feud between Nikki Bella and Natalya should also be settled.

Wow, three separate feuds in the SmackDown women's division? That's pretty impressive considering SmackDown has the smaller roster. Which leads us to this question...

The #RoyalRumble #Kickoff show is underway! Are you on Team @alexa_bliss_wwe_, @themickiejames, @natbynature?

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Is it just me, or is the SmackDown women's division far more intriguing than RAW's? When looking at the roster on paper back in July, you'd have given the edge to RAW, but RAW has become the Charlotte show, while SmackDown has shown far more diversity in the division and has done a better job building secondary feuds.

The roster has a far better mix of established names and the new guard in the women's division which should provide us with a very intriguing build to WrestleMania. The SmackDown Women's Championship picture is wide open for the big event. Unless of course, the WWE decides to leave the title off the main show, which would be a mistake.

The #RoyalRumble has been #TooSweet for @luke_gallowswwe and @karlandersonwwe! #AndNew #RawTagTeamChampions

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So, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson finally won the RAW Tag Titles after months of chasing them and seemingly losing a title match every other week. Honestly, does it even feel like a big deal anymore? Granted, they came in with a lot of hype this past spring, but their direction has felt questionable all year. This also makes us wonder why Sheamus and Cesaro had to be the ones to defeat The New Day to end their record reign last month, only for them to turn it over to Gallows and Anderson.

So now, do Gallows and Anderson defend against New Day? Where do Sheamus and Cesaro go from here?

@niajaxwwe looks to put @sashabankswwe away on the #RoyalRumble #Kickoff

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Nia Jax scored a dominant win over Sasha Banks on the pre-show. Jax needed the win, as RAW is clearly building to a Fatal Four Way at WrestleMania for the Women's Championship. Sasha has the credibility of being a former Women's Champion while Jax needed a win over a top female.

The only question now is, when does Jax turn her attention to the champ?

@charlottewwe keeps her #Raw #WomensChampionship right where she wants it, around her waist! #RoyalRumble

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It was no surprise that Charlotte retained against Bayley and in a clean finish, nonetheless. The WWE clearly wants Charlotte's PPV streak intact going into WrestleMania, which is shaping up to be a fatal four way between Charlotte, Bayley, Nia Jax and Sasha Banks. With both the heels winning their matches, you have to wonder if we'll see a Charlotte vs Nia Jax match at Fastlane, or if the WWE will cop out and give us a tag match featuring all four.

And your newwwwww #Cruserweight Champion... #Neville! #RoyalRumble #205Live

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The WWE Cruiserweight Championship was brought back just four months ago, with TJ Perkins winning the inaugural Cruiserweight Classic. We're just over four months removed from that, yet we're now already on our fourth champion. With Neville having done next to nothing for most of 2016, could this finally be his calling?

The prestige of the title is going to be taken away awfully quickly if it keeps changing hands and now it's time for Neville to be the torchbearer for the division. Neville has worked really well as a heel and he should hold the title until the division truly has its standalone face to take it off him.

Enough with the hot potato title booking.

It wasn't easy, but #KevinOwens walks out of the #RoyalRumble still your #UniversalChampion!

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So Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho were able to walk out with both their titles and you could just feel 'Friends Forever' should have been playing on the speakers. We're all expecting this friendship to end at WrestleMania, but how will this happen? RAW still has a PPV before WrestleMania so perhaps we'll see an angle where Jericho accidentally costs Owens the title or KO costs Jericho his U.S. title. Either way, let's enjoy these two being together while it lasts.

via wwe.com

So with Chris Jericho helpless in the shark cage above the ring, it seemed it was inevitable that Reigns was going to win the Universal Championship, but Braun Strowman wound up costing Reigns the title. The crowd sure didn't seem to mind, as Kevin Owens managed to walk out with the Universal Championship and his best friend by his side.

With Strowman now costing Reigns the title, could we now see a feud between the two culminating at WrestleMania? Well it appears not, because Reigns and Strowman had no interaction in the Rumble and it seems Roman is being set up for another feud... So what was the point of Strowman being there?

@ajstylesp1 looks to retain his #WWE #WorldChampionship against @johncena one year after he made his #WWE debut at the #RoyalRumble.

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It was a helluva run for AJ Styles, as he's been the WWE's most prominent performer for the last 12 months, but it looks like he's now going to take a backseat to the headliners at WrestleMania. Styles has not won his last WWE World Championship, and we should expect to see him back in the title picture after WrestleMania, assuming he soon loses to Cena after using his rematch clause.

While it may be demoralizing to see Styles lost his title this close to WrestleMania, he's here to stay and it won't be long until he's back on top.

@ricflairnatureboy congratulates @johncena after he reaches a historic milestone. He is a 16x #WWE Champion! #RoyalRumble

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We knew this would inevitably happen and it has. John Cena is a 16-time World Champion, tying The Nature Boy Ric Flair (at least in the reigns WWE acknowledges). Well, if there was ever going to be a time where Cena would win the title, there's no better time than after another classic with AJ Styles. These two create magic whenever they're in the ring.

So where does Cena go from here? It looks like he'll headline WrestleMania as the WWE Champion, and it's hard to see him not closing the show. Pushing 40 years old, could this be the last Cena reign we see?

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As expected Braun Strowman was a dominant force in the Royal Rumble, dominating the early portion of the match. Strowman entered at no.7 and eliminated seven men, including the likes of Mark Henry and The Big Show. This is clearly meant to illustrate that Strowman is being groomed as the next giant of WWE (if that wasn't clear enough already). This will very likely be Big Show and Mark Henry's last WrestleMania a few months from now, so consider this a passing of the torch of sorts.

It was a little surprising that Strowman didn't go longer and was eliminated by Baron Corbin, rather than by a group of Superstars, but the WWE made sure he left his mark.

Side note; thankfully he didn't win.

@jamesellsworthwrestling got to the #RoyalRumble! #EllsworthRumble @carmellawwe

A photo posted by WWE (@wwe) on

Okay, so we were anticipating the inevitable spot where Ellsworth would quickly be eliminated. To use it on Braun Strowman seemed a bit like a waste. Couldn't we have seen a Goldberg spear on Ellsworth? Instead we got yet another spot where Ellsworth and Strowman 'clashed'.

As we saw, Dean Ambrose played along like he was going to help Ellsworth, but instead he fed him to Strowman who quickly eliminated him.

So what's left for Ellsworth now that he's gotten his Rumble spot?

via wwe.com

Kurt Angle had made it pretty clear to fans that he wasn't going to be in the Royal Rumble and he's said there are no plans for him to wrestle at WrestleMania. Still, we were holding out hope for a swerve and for the Olympic Hero to make a surprise.

We were also hoping Finn Balor would have been cleared from injury as he recently met with doctors. We'll see if he returns in the next few weeks but either way seems like a wasted opportunity if he is healthy enough.

Samoa Joe would have made sense for a big debut at the Rumble, as there's nothing left for him to do at NXT and officials have discussed bringing him in for a major run to WrestleMania.

While Tye Dillinger entering at no.10 was fun to see, I think we all saw that one coming.

Surprises are what people love most about the Rumble and the WWE didn't deliver.

via wwe.com

Every year, the Royal Rumble has its 'ironman' of sorts, one guy that lasts a really long time, but usually comes up short. That honor went to Chris Jericho this year who started at no.2 and wound up lasting nearly 60 minutes before being eliminating by the crowd deflator Roman Reigns. Jericho did pull off the classic heel tactic of hiding on the outside for most of the match, which is always fun to see when it's the right heel for the job.

It also begs the question though of why Jericho was pitted as the 'ironman' of the Rumble if he wasn't going to win. Could the spot not have gone to a younger star needing the rub?

Sami Zayn lasted about 50 minutes from the no.8 spot, but it seems clear at this point that Zayn won't be near the top of the card at 'Mania.

@goldberg95 is here! #RoyalRumble #WWE

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Oh my god!! Goldberg entered at no.28 and again, he got the better of Brock Lesnar, eliminating him in quick fashion. This is all setting up to WrestleMania where Lesnar will finally get the monkey off his back and beat Goldberg. Goldberg is scheduled for Fastlane so you wonder what else will go into this feud before they inevitably clash at WrestleMania.

After disposing of Lesnar, Goldberg was able to move on to another big foe...

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The Undertaker entered at no.29 and made quite the impact, eliminating Baron Corbin, who was in there quite a bit, then caught Goldberg by surprise, eliminating him after taking a spear. It was a cool moment to see two legends like Goldberg and 'Taker finally clash after all these years. That cool moment was followed by a really bad one with Roman Reigns entering at no.30 to a chorus of boos. Not only that, but Reigns also eliminated The Undertaker?

WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY DOING? The WWE seems to be doing everything in their power to get Reigns booed out of the building.

We've read reports of a 'Taker/Reigns match at WrestleMania and Reigns saying to 'Taker "this is my yard" after the elimination is a clear indicator they're set to clash.

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Well, after Roman Reigns' reign of terror over the match, it was more of a relief to see Orton win over Reigns than anything. Orton won his second Rumble match of his career. So in a year we're supposed to be in a "new era" Cena wins another title and Orton wins the Royal Rumble. Makes sense, right?

Reports have surfaced of Orton facing Bray Wyatt for the title at WrestleMania, so that could mean we see Cena lose his title at Elimination Chamber. Either way, the title picture doesn't look all too interesting at this point.

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