PHILADELPHIA — Of all the memorable moments that played out in the final minutes of the 2015 Royal Rumble Match, none will stay with the WWE Universe longer than the sight of Roman Reigns’ battered and bloodied face. The wounds of war were a symbol of the hell Reigns went through to be the last man standing in Philadelphia, and a reminder that his victory was one he had to fight for.

Check out intense photos from the 2015 Royal Rumble Match

If Reigns looked worn, it was because Kane, Big Show and Rusev all stood in his path to victory. The giants of The Authority nearly put the kibosh on his WrestleMania plans, too, had it not been for a final second save from The Rock. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

Catch the 2015 Royal Rumble Match on WWE Network

About an hour before all hell broke loose in the Wells Fargo Center, it was The Miz who started things off with the No. 1 draw, followed by his former tag team partner, R-Truth, who entered second. After a bit of back-and-forth, the Philly faithful were treated to the first surprise of the night when ECW veteran Bubba Ray Dudley became the third Superstar in the Rumble. Competing in the match for the first time in his career, Dudley immediately set about tearing the house down, and even had Truth fill in for his partner, D-Von, to execute 3D on The Miz then toss him out of the ring.

Watch exclusive backstage interviews following the 2015 Royal Rumble Match

Dudley was surprisingly effective in the bout considering his 10-year absence from WWE, but he found himself outnumbered by Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper who double-teamed the ECW icon and dumped him from the ring. The Wyatt Family reunion turned awkward when Erick Rowan, who hadn’t qualified for the Rumble, attacked No. 6 entrant Curtis Axel and stole his spot in the match. Rowan tangled with his former comrades only to be dismissed from the match alongside Harper by The Eater of Worlds.

 

Roman Reigns won the 2015 Royal Rumble Match

The seven spot offered another shock for the WWE Universe as the bizarre Boogeyman returned to WWE and met the equally unusual Wyatt in the center of the ring. The oddballs paraded about the ring in some strange alpha male freak show before Bray clotheslined the colored contacts out of Boogey’s head and sent him over the top.

Watch The Boogeyman scare employees at WWE HQ in this wild video

Wyatt controlled the match from there, tossing Sin Cara and a returning Zack Ryder with minimal effort. At one point, The Eater of Worlds became so overcome with confidence that he grabbed a microphone and warned the locker room, “This is Bray Wyatt’s year!”

Business picked up when Daniel Bryan — whose absence from last year’s Royal Rumble Match sent the WWE Universe into a near riot — entered at No. 10 and proceeded to do what he does best, which is kick the crap out of people. If Wyatt has trouble walking tomorrow morning, he can thank Bryan’s blistering kicks to his legs for it.

Check out photos from last year's Royal Rumble Match

The ring filled up from there with Fandango, Tyson Kidd and Stardust all entering the fray along with surprise entrant Diamond Dallas Page. The 14th competitor hit Stardust with his trademark Diamond Cutter then did the same thing to both Fandango and Wyatt before a very appreciative crowd. Page’s fun was cut short by the 16th entrant, Rusev, who immediately tossed the former WCW Champion and Fandango from the ring. The Super Athlete’s dominance rarely faltered for the remainder of the match.

Learn more about Diamond Dallas Page

The night's major disappointment followed as Daniel Bryan was eliminated after being dumped onto the outside apron by Rusev and then knocked to the floor by Wyatt. A palpable feeling of discontent in the Wells Fargo Center was momentarily cut short when Kofi Kingston kept his streak of miraculous Royal Rumble Match survivals alive by landing in the clutches of Adam Rose’s Rosebuds after being launched from the ring by Rusev. The party posse carried Kingston back to the ring, helping him avoid elimination in what has become his trademark fashion.

 

Roman Reigns won the 2015 Royal Rumble Match

The 19th spot introduced the heavily favored Roman Reigns to the Rumble, who stomped through the Philly faithful, and dispatched of Gold and Stardust only seconds after entering the ring. The crowd showed serious support for No. 21 entrant Damien Mizdow, who got involved even after The Miz attempted to take his spot. Mizdow showed some fire before being sent to the floor by Rusev.

Watch an awesome video of the 100 coolest eliminations in Royal Rumble Match history

If the notoriously tough Philly crowd had a favorite after Daniel Bryan’s elimination, it may have been Dean Ambrose, who came in like a house of fire at 25. Throwing his limbs at anyone who entered his periphery, The Lunatic Fringe teamed up with his old Shield cohort Reigns to dump Titus O’Neil in a lightning fast four seconds.

Eliminations began to slow as heavy hitters like Ryback, Kane and Cesaro battered each other in a sagging, overpopulated ring. The weight limit was seriously tested when Big Show joined the bout at 29. Clearly carrying out a plan designed by the wicked Authority, The World’s Largest Athlete paired up with Kane and the two giants set about clearing the ring of everyone who got in their way.

See our gallery of every Royal Rumble Match competitor who entered last

The 30th and final entrant was Dolph Ziggler, who sent Bad News Barrett falling to the floor with a superkick before getting scooped up in the Cesaro Swing. Ziggler managed to avoid dismissal, though, and won a dramatic battle with Cesaro on the outside apron to score a second elimination. Dolph’s luck ran out quickly, however, as he was KO’d by Big Show and dumped over the top rope with the help of Kane. With that, The Devil’s Favorite Demon broke Shawn Michaels’ record to become the Superstar with the most eliminations in Royal Rumble Match history, going on to score 42 total.

 

Roman Reigns won the 2015 Royal Rumble Match

The final four Superstars then took their places on opposite sides of the ring as The Authority’s giants stared down Ambrose and Reigns. The onetime Shield members were clearly exhausted, and it didn’t take long for Kane and Show to pick apart Ambrose and send him on his way. Reigns nearly suffered the same fate before a miscue turned the big men against one another. The Authority’s titans began to trade heavy fists and then grabbed each other by the throats, which allowed Reigns to run up from behind and lift both behemoths off the ground and over the top rope with pure power.

Learn the history of Superstars who were Royal Rumble Match runners-up

A year after he set the record for most eliminations in a single Rumble, Reigns had won the whole thing and earned his spot in the main event of WrestleMania. There was no celebration, however, as Big Show and Kane got back in the ring and hit Reigns with a double chokeslam. Before they could do anymore damage, though, three familiar words rang out across the arena: “If you smell!!!”

A second later, The Rock burst from the back in a full sprint and launched himself into the ring. With the crowd coming unglued, The Great One delivered a series of right hands to the villains, and even rocked Kane with a People’s Elbow. It was thrilling ending to the bout, until it turned out that the match wasn’t actually finished.

Watch a video playlist of The Rock's coolest returns

Rusev — who had left the ring but had not gone over the top rope earlier in the bout — climbed back in and threw himself at a vulnerable Reigns. The agile Superstar avoided the sneak attack, and bounced off the ropes, coming back at The Super Athlete with a gut busting spear. Moments later, Rusev was on the floor and Reigns was the official winner of the 2015 Royal Rumble Match.

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon walked out to the top of the entrance ramp to glower at Reigns, but the victor barely noticed them. Instead, his focus was on the WrestleMania 31 sign hanging in the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center, The Rock, who held his arm in victory, and a Beast Incarnate, who lay in wait.

 

Roman Reigns won the 2015 Royal Rumble Match

Full list of Royal Rumble Match participants and eliminations

 

Entry Number 

Name                                  

Eliminated                                                                                                                                           

Eliminated By

Time

1

The Miz

 

Bubba Ray Dudley

4:01

2

R-Truth

 

Bubba Ray Dudley

4:13

3

Bubba Ray Dudley

The Miz, R-Truth

Bray Wyatt

5:22

4

Luke Harper

 

Bray Wyatt

3:42

5

Bray Wyatt

Bubba Ray Dudley, Luke Harper, The Boogeyman, Sin Cara, Zack Ryder, Daniel Bryan

Big Show and Kane

47:29

6

Curtis Axel*

 

Attacked by Erick Rowan*

N/A*

7

The Boogeyman

 

Bray Wyatt

1:43

8

Sin Cara

 

Bray Wyatt

0:50

9

Zack Ryder

 

Bray Wyatt

0:47

10

Daniel Bryan

Tyson Kidd

Bray Wyatt

10:36

11

Fandango

 

Rusev

7:50

12

Tyson Kidd

 

Daniel Bryan

2:41

13

Stardust

 

Roman Reigns

12:49

14

Diamond Dallas Page

 

Rusev

2:47

15

Rusev

Diamond Dallas Page, Fandango, Adam Rose, Kofi Kingston, Damien Mizdow, Big E

Roman Reigns

35:40

16

Goldust

 

Roman Reigns

6:35

17

Kofi Kingston

 

Rusev

3:04

18

Adam Rose

 

Rusev

1:01

19

Roman Reigns

Goldust, Stardust, Titus O’Neil, Big Show, Kane, Rusev

Winner***

27:29

20

Big E

 

Rusev

15:04

21

Damien Mizdow

 

Rusev

1:07

22

Jack Swagger

 

Big Show

13:06

23

Ryback

 

Big Show and Kane

11:15

24

Kane

Ryback, Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose

Roman Reigns

17:13

25

Dean Ambrose

Titus O’Neil

Big Show and Kane

10:40

26

Titus O’Neil

 

Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose

0:04

27

Bad News Barrett

 

Dolph Ziggler

6:10

28

Cesaro

 

Dolph Ziggler

5:16

29

Big Show

Ryback, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose

Roman Reigns

8:39

30

Dolph Ziggler

Bad News Barrett, Cesaro              

Big Show and Kane

2:29

Total match time 59:33
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PHILADELPHIA — Of all the memorable moments that played out in the final minutes of the 2015 Royal Rumble Match, none will stay with the WWE Universe longer than the sight of Roman Reigns’ battered and bloodied face. The wounds of war were a symbol of the hell Reigns went through to be the last man standing in Philadelphia, and a reminder that his victory was one he had to fight for.

Check out intense photos from the 2015 Royal Rumble Match

If Reigns looked worn, it was because Kane, Big Show and Rusev all stood in his path to victory. The giants of The Authority nearly put the kibosh on his WrestleMania plans, too, had it not been for a final second save from The Rock. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

Catch the 2015 Royal Rumble Match on WWE Network

About an hour before all hell broke loose in the Wells Fargo Center, it was The Miz who started things off with the No. 1 draw, followed by his former tag team partner, R-Truth, who entered second. After a bit of back-and-forth, the Philly faithful were treated to the first surprise of the night when ECW veteran Bubba Ray Dudley became the third Superstar in the Rumble. Competing in the match for the first time in his career, Dudley immediately set about tearing the house down, and even had Truth fill in for his partner, D-Von, to execute 3D on The Miz then toss him out of the ring.

Watch exclusive backstage interviews following the 2015 Royal Rumble Match

Dudley was surprisingly effective in the bout considering his 10-year absence from WWE, but he found himself outnumbered by Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper who double-teamed the ECW icon and dumped him from the ring. The Wyatt Family reunion turned awkward when Erick Rowan, who hadn’t qualified for the Rumble, attacked No. 6 entrant Curtis Axel and stole his spot in the match. Rowan tangled with his former comrades only to be dismissed from the match alongside Harper by The Eater of Worlds.

 

Roman Reigns won the 2015 Royal Rumble Match

The seven spot offered another shock for the WWE Universe as the bizarre Boogeyman returned to WWE and met the equally unusual Wyatt in the center of the ring. The oddballs paraded about the ring in some strange alpha male freak show before Bray clotheslined the colored contacts out of Boogey’s head and sent him over the top.

Watch The Boogeyman scare employees at WWE HQ in this wild video

Wyatt controlled the match from there, tossing Sin Cara and a returning Zack Ryder with minimal effort. At one point, The Eater of Worlds became so overcome with confidence that he grabbed a microphone and warned the locker room, “This is Bray Wyatt’s year!”

Business picked up when Daniel Bryan — whose absence from last year’s Royal Rumble Match sent the WWE Universe into a near riot — entered at No. 10 and proceeded to do what he does best, which is kick the crap out of people. If Wyatt has trouble walking tomorrow morning, he can thank Bryan’s blistering kicks to his legs for it.

Check out photos from last year's Royal Rumble Match

The ring filled up from there with Fandango, Tyson Kidd and Stardust all entering the fray along with surprise entrant Diamond Dallas Page. The 14th competitor hit Stardust with his trademark Diamond Cutter then did the same thing to both Fandango and Wyatt before a very appreciative crowd. Page’s fun was cut short by the 16th entrant, Rusev, who immediately tossed the former WCW Champion and Fandango from the ring. The Super Athlete’s dominance rarely faltered for the remainder of the match.

Learn more about Diamond Dallas Page

The night's major disappointment followed as Daniel Bryan was eliminated after being dumped onto the outside apron by Rusev and then knocked to the floor by Wyatt. A palpable feeling of discontent in the Wells Fargo Center was momentarily cut short when Kofi Kingston kept his streak of miraculous Royal Rumble Match survivals alive by landing in the clutches of Adam Rose’s Rosebuds after being launched from the ring by Rusev. The party posse carried Kingston back to the ring, helping him avoid elimination in what has become his trademark fashion.

 

Roman Reigns won the 2015 Royal Rumble Match

The 19th spot introduced the heavily favored Roman Reigns to the Rumble, who stomped through the Philly faithful, and dispatched of Gold and Stardust only seconds after entering the ring. The crowd showed serious support for No. 21 entrant Damien Mizdow, who got involved even after The Miz attempted to take his spot. Mizdow showed some fire before being sent to the floor by Rusev.

Watch an awesome video of the 100 coolest eliminations in Royal Rumble Match history

If the notoriously tough Philly crowd had a favorite after Daniel Bryan’s elimination, it may have been Dean Ambrose, who came in like a house of fire at 25. Throwing his limbs at anyone who entered his periphery, The Lunatic Fringe teamed up with his old Shield cohort Reigns to dump Titus O’Neil in a lightning fast four seconds.

Eliminations began to slow as heavy hitters like Ryback, Kane and Cesaro battered each other in a sagging, overpopulated ring. The weight limit was seriously tested when Big Show joined the bout at 29. Clearly carrying out a plan designed by the wicked Authority, The World’s Largest Athlete paired up with Kane and the two giants set about clearing the ring of everyone who got in their way.

See our gallery of every Royal Rumble Match competitor who entered last

The 30th and final entrant was Dolph Ziggler, who sent Bad News Barrett falling to the floor with a superkick before getting scooped up in the Cesaro Swing. Ziggler managed to avoid dismissal, though, and won a dramatic battle with Cesaro on the outside apron to score a second elimination. Dolph’s luck ran out quickly, however, as he was KO’d by Big Show and dumped over the top rope with the help of Kane. With that, The Devil’s Favorite Demon broke Shawn Michaels’ record to become the Superstar with the most eliminations in Royal Rumble Match history, going on to score 42 total.

 

Roman Reigns won the 2015 Royal Rumble Match

The final four Superstars then took their places on opposite sides of the ring as The Authority’s giants stared down Ambrose and Reigns. The onetime Shield members were clearly exhausted, and it didn’t take long for Kane and Show to pick apart Ambrose and send him on his way. Reigns nearly suffered the same fate before a miscue turned the big men against one another. The Authority’s titans began to trade heavy fists and then grabbed each other by the throats, which allowed Reigns to run up from behind and lift both behemoths off the ground and over the top rope with pure power.

Learn the history of Superstars who were Royal Rumble Match runners-up

A year after he set the record for most eliminations in a single Rumble, Reigns had won the whole thing and earned his spot in the main event of WrestleMania. There was no celebration, however, as Big Show and Kane got back in the ring and hit Reigns with a double chokeslam. Before they could do anymore damage, though, three familiar words rang out across the arena: “If you smell!!!”

A second later, The Rock burst from the back in a full sprint and launched himself into the ring. With the crowd coming unglued, The Great One delivered a series of right hands to the villains, and even rocked Kane with a People’s Elbow. It was thrilling ending to the bout, until it turned out that the match wasn’t actually finished.

Watch a video playlist of The Rock's coolest returns

Rusev — who had left the ring but had not gone over the top rope earlier in the bout — climbed back in and threw himself at a vulnerable Reigns. The agile Superstar avoided the sneak attack, and bounced off the ropes, coming back at The Super Athlete with a gut busting spear. Moments later, Rusev was on the floor and Reigns was the official winner of the 2015 Royal Rumble Match.

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon walked out to the top of the entrance ramp to glower at Reigns, but the victor barely noticed them. Instead, his focus was on the WrestleMania 31 sign hanging in the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center, The Rock, who held his arm in victory, and a Beast Incarnate, who lay in wait.

 

Roman Reigns won the 2015 Royal Rumble Match

Full list of Royal Rumble Match participants and eliminations

 

Entry Number 

Name                                  

Eliminated                                                                                                                                           

Eliminated By

Time

1

The Miz

 

Bubba Ray Dudley

4:01

2

R-Truth

 

Bubba Ray Dudley

4:13

3

Bubba Ray Dudley

The Miz, R-Truth

Bray Wyatt

5:22

4

Luke Harper

 

Bray Wyatt

3:42

5

Bray Wyatt

Bubba Ray Dudley, Luke Harper, The Boogeyman, Sin Cara, Zack Ryder, Daniel Bryan

Big Show and Kane

47:29

6

Curtis Axel*

 

Attacked by Erick Rowan*

N/A*

7

The Boogeyman

 

Bray Wyatt

1:43

8

Sin Cara

 

Bray Wyatt

0:50

9

Zack Ryder

 

Bray Wyatt

0:47

10

Daniel Bryan

Tyson Kidd

Bray Wyatt

10:36

11

Fandango

 

Rusev

7:50

12

Tyson Kidd

 

Daniel Bryan

2:41

13

Stardust

 

Roman Reigns

12:49

14

Diamond Dallas Page

 

Rusev

2:47

15

Rusev

Diamond Dallas Page, Fandango, Adam Rose, Kofi Kingston, Damien Mizdow, Big E

Roman Reigns

35:40

16

Goldust

 

Roman Reigns

6:35

17

Kofi Kingston

 

Rusev

3:04

18

Adam Rose

 

Rusev

1:01

19

Roman Reigns

Goldust, Stardust, Titus O’Neil, Big Show, Kane, Rusev

Winner***

27:29

20

Big E

 

Rusev

15:04

21

Damien Mizdow

 

Rusev

1:07

22

Jack Swagger

 

Big Show

13:06

23

Ryback

 

Big Show and Kane

11:15

24

Kane

Ryback, Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose

Roman Reigns

17:13

25

Dean Ambrose

Titus O’Neil

Big Show and Kane

10:40

26

Titus O’Neil

 

Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose

0:04

27

Bad News Barrett

 

Dolph Ziggler

6:10

28

Cesaro

 

Dolph Ziggler

5:16

29

Big Show

Ryback, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose

Roman Reigns

8:39

30

Dolph Ziggler

Bad News Barrett, Cesaro              

Big Show and Kane

2:29

Total match time 59:33