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WWE Royal Rumble: Becky Lynch, Seth Rollins headed to WrestleMania

By Wade Sheridan

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The road to WrestleMania has begun as WWE hosted the 32nd annual Royal Rumble event to determine who will main event the company's biggest show.

The Royal Rumble featured the Men's and Women's Royal Rumble matches which involved 30-superstars each from Raw, Smackdown and NXT attempting to throw each other over the top rope. The last one remaining would earn a championship match at WrestleMania.

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The Women' Royal Rumble match took place after Asuka successfully defended her Smackdown Women's Championship against Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey successfully defended her Raw Women's Championship against Sasha Banks.

Natalya and Lacey Evans started the bout with a new competitor entering every 90 seconds. Xia Li, Kairi Sane, Candice LeRae, Kacy Catanzaro, Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley were among the surprise entrants in the match.

Lynch, despite losing earlier to Asuka, inserted herself into the Women's Royal Rumble after entrant No. 28 Lana was unable to walk to the ring after injuring her foot. Lynch was among the final four superstars left including Charlotte Flair, Nia Jax and Bayley.

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Lynch won after it came down to just herself and longtime rival Flair. The Man, despite suffering from an injured knee, was able to punch Flair out the ring after dodging a kick.

The Men's Royal Rumble match started with Elias and WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett who was quickly eliminated after Elias struck him with a guitar. Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, Johnny Gargano, United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunn, Aleister Black and Jax were among the surprise entrants.

Jax joined the match after she knocked out No. 30 entrant R-Truth out as he started to make his way to the ring. Jax, the fourth woman ever to compete in a Men's Royal Rumble, dominated at first and eliminated Mustafa Ali. Jax was sent out of the ring herself after she received a Superkick from Dolph Ziggler, a 619 from Rey Mysterio and an RKO from Randy Orton.

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Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Andrade and Ziggler were among the final four remaining. Rollins, despite being put through a table by Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley, came back to win the Men's Royal Rumble after he eliminated Strowman last by delivering a Curb Stomp to the Monster Among Men on the ring apron.

Lynch and Rollins will get to choose which champion they want to face at WrestleMania 35 which takes place on April 7.

Also at the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar defended his Universal Championship against Finn Balor. Lesnar was hurt early in the match after he was pushed twice into a sharp corner of the announcer's desk.

Balor took full advantage of Lesnar's injury and was able to counter The Beast's signature F-5 maneuver into a DDT. Balor would wear Lesnar down with a number of high-flying moves before he delivered the Coup de Grace from the top rope.

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Balor attempted to pin Lesnar for the three count with the champion kicking out at two. Lesnar then quickly grabbed Balor and locked in the Kimura Lock, forcing Balor to tap out.

Other moments from the Royal Rumble included Raw Tag Team Champions Bobby Roode and Chad Gable successfully defending their titles against Rezar and Scott Dawson; Shinsuke Nakamura defeating Rusev to become the new United States Champion; Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy successfully defending his title against Kalisto, Akira Tozawa and Hideo Itami; Shane McMahon and The Miz defeating The Bar to become the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions; and WWE Champion Daniel Bryan successfully defending his title against AJ Styles with help from Rowan.

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