Batista wins WWE Royal Rumble, will headline WrestleMania XXX

Nissi Icasiano
Dave Batista remained the last man standing in his first match after a nearly four-year hiatus from the professional wrestling scene, winning the 2014 World Wrestling Entertainment Royal Rumble on Monday morning

Dave Batista remained the last man standing in his first match after a nearly four-year hiatus from the professional wrestling scene, winning the 2014 World Wrestling Entertainment Royal Rumble on Monday morning (PHI time) to punch his ticket to the main event of WrestleMania XXX. 

The Filipino-Greek behemoth’s advantage was in full throttle as he entered the over-the-top-rope melee at no. 28, eliminating four men to secure a spot at “The Showcase of the Immortals” on April 6 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Batista stomped to the ring and ousted Wyatt Family’s Erick Rowan, Ryback and former world champion Alberto Del Rio with immediacy.

By the time the 30th and final competitor Rey Mysterio came in, eliminations inside the squared-circle became trouble-free as the Royal Rumble Match was every man for himself. Before any one realized what was happening, Batista and Roman Reigns were the last men standing.

NEXT STOP: WRESTLEMANIA. Dave Batista, shown here during a 2008 WWE promotional event in New Delhi, India, is heading to Wrestlemania XXX. Photo by EPA/STR

Both gladiators squared off like untamed oxen as Batista and Reigns exchanged rib-crushing spears to gain the upper-hand down the stretch.

Reigns saw an opportunity to drag his groggy, albeit still-standing opponent, but Batista countered to scoop The Shield member out of the ring.

The victory marks Batista’s second Royal Rumble triumph. He now joins the ranks of Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and John Cena to win it twice or more.

Not only did “The Animal” win one of the most important contests of the year, he also earned a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Despite Batista’s shining moment in his homecoming to the World Wrestling Entertainment, the crowd inside the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was disgruntled.

The packed arena anticipated an appearance by Daniel Bryan, who competed against Bray Wyatt earlier during the pay-per-view spectacle, but he was unceremoniously pulled out of the 30-man confrontation.

Instead, fans diverted their attention to the domineering Reigns. He put a stellar performance in his Royal Rumble debut, breaking Kane’s record in terms of eliminations by expelling 12 wrestlers.

Reigns took out his Shield colleagues Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, plus Goldust, Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Nash, Sheamus, Antonio Cesaro, The Great Khali, El Torito, Luke Harper, John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Kofi Kingston.

Surprise entrants and amazing acts

The 27-year legacy of the Royal Rumble is known for its mind-boggling twist and turn of events. Audiences across the globe excitedly anticipate an event where they expect the unexpected.

Kevin Nash became the first Royal Rumble shocker as he entered the match at no. 14 immediately driving out Jack Swagger. However, “Big Sexy” did not last long as Roman Reigns tossed him out.

Along with Nash, Sheamus made his return as the 17th entrant. The 36-year-old Irish was out of action since August with a torn labrum. “The Celtic Warrior” managed to be in the final three, but he was dispatched by Reigns before being eliminated by Batista.

The smallest Rumbler entered at no. 20 as “El Torito” charged into the ring and picked a fight with CM Punk. The 4-foot-5 luchador even scored an elimination when he hurled Fandango with a flying headscissors. 

John “Bradshaw” Layfield likewise dropped the bombshell as he left the commentary table to join the Royal Rumble at no. 24. Yet by the time he handed off his coat to play-by-play announcer Michael Cole, he was sacked by Reigns.

Known for his acrobatics to avoid elimination, Kofi Kingston pulled off another unforgettable stunt this year. After being planted by newcomer Alexander Rusev on the barricade, Kingston found a way to survive as he balanced himself atop the thin railing, took a running start, and miraculously jumped back onto the ring apron. –

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