7 Biggest Winners From WWE Royal Rumble & Why – Trending News

7 Biggest Winners From WWE Royal Rumble & Why


Few events on WWE‘s calendar can boost a superstar’s stock more than a strong appearance at the Royal Rumble. Showing out at WrestleMania can do wonders for a career, but the over-the-top-rope battle royal is where main event pushes are born. It’s a rare chance for fans to see what the company thinks in real, impactful terms. For instance, Cody Rhodes might have been the favorite to win the men’s Royal Rumble, but if WWE didn’t see him as a WrestleMania main-event caliber star, fans would know that now because he wouldn’t have won. Of course, he ended up securing his spot in Hollywood, but there were some massive questions looming over this show.

For all the buzz surrounding appearances from legends like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and John Cena, the Royal Rumble was a pretty tame pay-per-view. Michelle McCool and Booker T were the only icons of years gone by to appear, and the men’s Rumble match didn’t feature a single NXT star. The show accomplished what it needed to accomplish, though, starting and ending on high notes. Not everyone came out of the event with their flowers. Here, in no particular order, we’re going to look at seven wrestlers who did, starting with the two most obvious but unignorable choices.

Related: Best WWE Wrestlers Of 2022


7 Rhea Ripley

Any doubt about WWE viewing Rhea Ripley as a rising megastar was snuffed out during the women’s Royal Rumble match. It wasn’t strictly a vehicle to make her look like an unstoppable threat, but the company committed to her as a future champion by putting her over huge in this bout. Ripley went coast to coast after entering No. 1, and that’ll be a fact that gets repeated about her for the next decade of her career. She’s looked good in the Royal Rumble before but never like this. The odds are good that Rhea Ripley will go on to feud with Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship, and those two should put on a high-end match at WrestleMania 39. The last 12 months have seen a fresh wave of talent reach the top of the marquee in the women’s division. It’ll be interesting to see if WWE actually goes through with a WrestleMania main event not involving one of the four horsewomen or Ronda Rousey.

6 Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes prepares to hit Gunther with his Cross Rhodes finisher during the finish of the men's Royal Rumble match in 2023.

From dashing to Stardust to the main event of WrestleMania.” That call by Michael Cole perfectly sums up Cody Rhodes’ Royal Rumble win. It was an outcome that surprised no one but still felt like a payoff in the moment. WWE could have done more to show audiences just how difficult rehabbing was for The American Nightmare, but that’s beside the point. Fans are totally on Cody Rhodes’ side as he attempts to win the WWE Championship that alluded his father, Dusty Rhodes. Especially after Roman Reigns went full-blown heel at the end of the pay-per-view, laying out Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Reigns Vs. Rhodes will be a stellar match at WrestleMania 39 and ought to be refreshing after watching Roman work with Brock Lesnar 1,567 times in the last half-decade. This win was a victory fans have long earmarked for Rhodes, and he didn’t shrink from it.

5 Sami Zayn

Besides Cody Rhodes’ Royal Rumble win, Sami Zayn striking Roman Reigns in the back with a chair is the moment fans will be talking about 10 years from now. The pop this received was out of this world—easily the biggest reaction of the night—and ended months of speculation surrounding The Bloodline. It went about as perfectly as WWE could have hoped, with everyone involved playing their parts perfectly. For Sami Zayn, though, this segment turned him into the top babyface in all of pro wrestling. Rhodes Vs. Reigns will pick up steam, but while Cody has been away, Sami has gained a ton of momentum. So much so that voices such as Dave Meltzer believed that he should have been the one to win the Royal Rumble. Now it seems like WWE will blow off the lengthy Bloodline feud at Elimination Chamber. Zayn, Jey Uso and Kevin Owens against Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa would make a ton of sense in the titular match of that premium live event.

4 Piper Niven

Piper Niven attempts to slam Zelina Vega during the women's Royal Rumble match in 2023.

This one is a bit more low-key, but shifting from Doudrop back to Piper Niven is a big step in the right direction for the former 24/7 Champion. The Doudrop character never really struck a chord with WWE fans, and there was a ceiling on how high the 31-year-old could climb due to the lack of seriousness in that presentation. Niven can now be a more heavy-handed bruiser for a women’s division short on those kinds of wrestlers. There’s Raquel Rodriguez and Rhea Ripley, both of whom have been pushed significantly under Triple H’s watch. Nia Jax also re-debuted at the Royal Rumble, but there’s a need for powerhouse-type wrestlers capable of getting through a match without breaking their opponent’s nose. Niven has been wrestling since she was 16 and gives WWE another capable mid-carder who can also help flesh out the women’s tag-team division if need be. There’s a ton of talent coming up from NXT in the coming years, and the company can trust Piper to have strong matches with greener talent too.

3 Logan Paul

Another premium live event and another highlight reel moment from Logan Paul. The Royal Rumble isn’t usually a match with many high spots, yet the 27-year-old and Ricochet found time and space for one anyway. It’s not like Paul is just trying to recreate things he saw in wrestling matches while growing up, either. His spots have been clever, well executed, and are made to go viral on social media. They’ve been unique. These kinds of instances are exactly what WWE had to be hoping for when it signed Paul this past summer. His mid-ring, midair clash with Ricochet didn’t leave the same footprint as his first-person POV frog splash onto Roman Reigns at Crown Jewel, but it was still a fun spot. Logan Paul might never win over professional wrestling purists, but stunts like this go a long way toward endearing him to less hardcore audience members. Let’s see if this sets up a match with Ricochet in the future or if this was just a one-off from two outstanding athletes.

2 Roxanne Perez

Roxanne Perez makes her entrance with the NXT Women's Championship during an episode of NXT in 2023.

While the men’s Royal Rumble match didn’t feature any big NXT surprises, the women’s certainly did. Roxanne Perez, currently the Women’s Champion for that brand, entered the match at No. 8 and spent a decent amount of time in the ring. She didn’t register any eliminations but still looked strong, going toe-to-toe with more established WWE main roster wrestlers. It’s easy to watch Perez wrestle and forget that she just turned 21 in November. It’ll probably be a while until she’s a full-time member on Raw or SmackDown, but Roxanne proved that she’s capable of sharing a ring with the likes of Bayley and Rhea Ripley without getting lost in the shuffle. WWE’s women’s division is tremendously deep and talented, with Perez representing the next wave of gifted wrestlers biding their time in NXT. Zoey Stark could have been in this spot too, but we’re giving the slight edge to Perez. Stark has been working on Main Event, so this was Roxanne’s first opportunity to show how she looked in the ring with main roster talent.

1 Gunther

Gunther enters the 2023 Royal Rumble at the No. 1 spot. Here, he poses with the Intercontinental Championship before the match begins.

Cody Rhodes might have won the Royal Rumble, but WWE also showed considerable commitment to Gunther as a top-level heel. He entered the match at No. 1 and made it all the way to the finish alongside The American Nightmare. Triple H might have been teasing fans with what could be a central feud for the company in the post-Roman Reigns as unified champion era. Those two are on different brands, so audiences won’t see them touch again for quite some time. Still, their exchanges made the final moments of the men’s Royal Rumble tense, and Gunther once again showed that he has a knack for building up big moments like this. He’s been a phenomenal Intercontinental Champion, and at 35, he is just entering his prime as a professional wrestler. Gunther didn’t win but looked like a million bucks in a losing effort. This is one of Triple H’s top guys, and he looked the part for WWE at the Royal Rumble.

Next: Ranking Every WWE Pay-Per-View Of 2022


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