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WWE Royal Rumble Randy Orton is victorious, John Cena battles AJ Styles

By Wade Sheridan
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WWE Royal Rumble Randy Orton is victorious, John Cena battles AJ Styles
WWE hosted the 30th annual Royal Rumble event Sunday as 30 Superstars from Raw and Smackdown Live battled it out for the chance to main event WrestleMania. Photo courtesy of WWE/Twitter

Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The road to WrestleMania began Sunday as WWE hosted live the 30th annual Royal Rumble event with 52,020 fans inside the Alamodome in San Antonio.

The event kicked off with reigning Raw Women's Champion Charlotte Flair defending her title against Bayley in a hard-hitting bout that saw The Queen win her 16th straight pay-per-view title match after nailing the Huggable One with a Natural Selection on the ring apron.

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Next, WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens was able to retain his title against Roman Reigns despite having his best friend Chris Jericho suspended above the ring in a shark cage.

The no disqualification match, which featured multiple chair shots, the use of brass knuckles and plenty of broken tables, ended when Braun Strowman entered the ring and laid out Reigns to give a depleted Owens the victory.

After Neville defeated Rich Swann for the Cruiserweight Championship, the second world title bout featured bitter rivals AJ Styles and John Cena meeting once again for the WWE Championship. The highly competitive match featured Cena uncharacteristically becoming frustrated as he wondered what he had to do to put The Phenomenal One down.

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Cena was able to secure the victory and tie Hall of Famer Ric Flair for most World Title reigns at 16 after hitting Styles with two Attitude Adjustments in a row. "Sweet 16!" WWE shared on Twitter alongside a clip of Cena holding up his newly won championship as he headed to the locker room.

In the main event, 30 Superstars from Raw and Smackdown Live collided in the Royal Rumble match for the right to main event WrestleMania.

Notable moments from the over-the-top rope challenge included NXT's resident Perfect 10 competitor Tye Dillinger entering the match fittingly at number 10, Baron Corbin eliminating fellow big-man Strowman with help from Dean Ambrose and Sami Zayn, Goldberg obliterating and eliminating Brock Lesnar almost immediately after entering the match, The Undertaker then doing the same to Goldberg and Reigns coming in at number 30 after losing earlier in the night.

The final three Superstars included Reigns and Wyatt Family members Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. The former Smackdown Tag-Team Champions teamed up on Reigns, who was able to overcome the odds and eliminate Wyatt after a failed Sister-Abigail-RKO combo maneuver.

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Orton recovered, however, and nailed Reigns with an RKO before tossing him over the top rope to earn his second career Royal Rumble victory. The Apex Predator has now secured his place at WrestleMania where he will meet the WWE Champion following February's Elimination Chamber.

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