Randy Orton WWE
Randy Orton, pictured at WWE SummerSlam at Barclays Center on Aug. 23, 2015 in New York City, is set to face Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 33. Getty Images

The road to WrestleMania 33 began Sunday in San Antonio with the 2017 Royal Rumble, and the match card for WWE’s biggest show is beginning to fall into place. One wrestler secured his spot in the main event, while other feuds were established in the 30-man battle royal.

The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and Goldberg all had short stints in the Royal Rumble match, though their time in the ring likely established their WrestleMania opponents. Goldberg quickly eliminated Lesnar after he made his entrance, and The Undertaker subsequently sent Goldberg over the top rope. Roman Reigns eliminated The Undertaker, entering the match as the 30th entrant after losing the WWE Universal Championship match earlier in the night.

Braun Strowman led all wrestlers with seven eliminations, though he was knocked out of the ring by Baron Corbin after a 13-minute stint in the match. Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle were among the speculated surprise entrants heading into Sunday, but none of them appeared at the pay-per-view. NXT’s Tye Dillinger was the night’s biggest surprise entrant.

Eight matches were on the Royal Rumble card, including the pre-show. Two titles changed hands, and the battle royal lasted a little more than 62 minutes.

Royal Rumble Match

It was considered to be the most unpredictable Royal Rumble in years, but Randy Orton entered the match as a heavy betting favorite and ended the PPV with a spot in the main event of WrestleMania 33. He tossed Roman Reigns over the top rope just seconds after the former Shield member eliminated Brady Wyatt, winning the Royal Rumble for the second time in his career. Chris Jericho rounded out the final four, nearly setting a record by lasting one hour and 13 seconds.

Winner: Randy Orton

WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. John Cena

Ric Flair now has company in the wrestling history books as Cena tied the legend with his 16th world title win. Cena got revenge for his SummerSlam loss, ending Styles’ 140-day championship reign. Cena withstood two Styles Clashes and a Phenomenal Forearm, hitting consecutive Attitude Adjustments in order to score the pinfall. Though not on the same level as their match of the year candidate from August, Cena and Styles continue to put on great matches, and their rivalry will likely continue into Elimination Chamber in two weeks.

Winner: John Cena

WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns (No Disqualification Match)

Keeping Jericho in a cage didn’t prevent Reigns from losing because of outside interference. After being the victim of multiple Reigns’ Spears in recent weeks, Braun Strowman attacked the challenger, allowing Owens to get the pin. Before Strowman got involved, Owens and Reigns easily had the best match of the night. Both wrestlers were put through tables, and Owens even countered a Spear attempt by Reigns into a Stunner.

Winner: Kevin Owens

Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley

Charlotte continues to be perfect on PPV. She defeated Bayley clean, getting the pin after delivering Natural Selection on the ring apron. Bayley looked to be in control at times, especially after dropping an elbow off the top rope. However, she was never able to hit a Bayley to Belly and threaten Charlotte’s title reign.

Winner: Charlotte Flair

WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann vs. Neville

Neville began what could be a lengthy title reign Sunday. It looked like Swann might win when he landed a kick to Neville’s head, but the “King of the Cruiserweights” put his foot under the bottom rope to break the three-count. While he usually ends matches with his Red Arrow finisher, the new champ used the Rings of Saturn submission, forcing Swann to tap out.

Winner: Neville

Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella & Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James and Natalya (Kickoff Match)

The babyfaces were victorious as Naomi pinned Alexa Bliss after hitting a split-legged moonsault. The win will probably give Naomi a title opportunity at Elimination Chamber.

Winner: Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella & Naomi

Raw Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (Kickoff Match)

After entering WWE with so much hype last year, Gallows and Anderson are finally champions. Anderson rolled up Cesaro, grabbing his opponent’s tights to steal the victory.

Winner: Gallows & Anderson

Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax (Kickoff Match)

Going up against the much smaller Sasha Banks, Nia Jax proved to be too strong for the former Raw Women’s Champion. Still battling a knee injury that she suffered a few weeks earlier, Sasha was pinned after Jax’s assault ended with a Samoan drop.

Winner: Nia Jax

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