Batista won the 2014 WWE Royal Rumble Sunday night, earning a title shot in April at WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans.
Batista earned the win by throwing Roman Reigns over the top rope. Until the end Reigns controlled the evening, breaking a Royal Rumble record by eliminating 12 opponents.
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The 2014 Rumble continued a pattern for WWE, with a youngster given a chance to shine, Kofi Kingston given a chance to defy elimination in the most unique of ways and a pro wrestling legend making an unexpected return.
NXT developmental talent Alexander Rusev came in at No. 6 and laid out everyone in the ring. He eventually was eliminated by a host of Superstars, but the man who came in with his bare feet taped like an MMA fighter made his presence known as he works for a permanent stay on the main roster.
Kingston performed his usual magic to avoid being eliminated. He was thrown out of the ring only to be caught by the recently eliminated Rusev, who beat him up but left him on the crowd barrier. That allowed Kingston to perform a flying leap from the barrier onto the ring to stay in the match. He also used his tippy-toes to avoid elimination by Jack Swagger, but was eventually dumped by Reigns to end his rally.
The Pittsburgh crowd popped for an unexpected appearance by former NWO mainstay Kevin Nash. He didn't last long, as like Kingston he fell victim to Reigns.
As usual, Rumble participants can come from anywhere -- even the announce table. John Bradshaw Layfield was announced as participant No. 24, and went from the announce table to the ring in his street clothes. But after he entered the ring and asked play-by-play announcer Michael Cole to take his coat, Reigns came from behind and made Layfield's stay a short one.
Batista came out at No. 28 and made his presence felt, dispatching Alberto Del Rio, Ryback and Erick Rowan in short order.
After being eliminated earlier in the proceedings, Kane came back and eliminated CM Punk, then planted him through an announce table.
1. CM Punk (eliminated by Kane)
2. Seth Rollins (eliminated by Reigns)
3. Damien Sandow (eliminated by Punk)
4. Cody Rhodes (eliminated by Goldust)
5. Kane (eliminated by Punk)
6. Alexander Rusev (eliminated by group of opponents)
7. Jack Swagger (eliminated)
8. Kofi Kingston (eliminated by Reigns)
9. Jimmy Uso (eliminated by Ambrose)
10. Goldust (eliminated by Reigns)
11. Dean Ambrose (eliminated by Reigns
12. Dolph Ziggler (eliminated by Reigns)
13. R Truth (eliminated by Ambrose)
14. Kevin Nash (eliminated by Reigns)
15. Roman Reigns (eliminated by Batista)
16. Great Khali (eliminated by members of the Shield)
17. Sheamus (eliminated by Reigns)
18. Miz (eliminated by Luke Harper)
19. Fandango (eliminated by El Torito)
20. El Torito (eliminated by Reigns)
21. Antonio Cesaro (eliminated by Reigns
22. Luke Harper (eliminated by Reigns)
23. Jey Uso (eliminated by Harper)
24. John Bradshaw Layfield (eliminated by Reigns)
25. Erick Rowan (eliminated by Batista)
26. Ryback (eliminated by Batista)
27. Alberto Del Rio (eliminated by Batista)
29. Big E Langston (eliminated by Sheamus)
30. Rey Mysterio (eliminated by Rollins)