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Complete WWE Royal Rumble Kickoff Coverage

WWE Royal Rumble 2015 Kickoff Results
Sunday, January 25, 2015
From Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA
Report by Brooks Oglesby of

Renee Young welcomes us to the WWE TLC Kickoff. Tonight's panelists are Booker T, Corey Graves & Byron Saxton.

Booker T says tonight is a great opportunity for one person to earn their spot into the main event of WrestleMania. The WrestleMania 31 sign is hanging high in the Wells Fargo Center. Renee implores the viewers to watch the pay-per-view on the WWE Network for the low, low price of $9.99 Graves tells us to use #RoyalRumble to discuss tonight's show on social media. They display a tweet from "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, reflecing on his status as the winner of the inaugural Royal Rumble Match.

Renee points out that The Rock sent out a tweet announcing that he is in South Philly. Lana responded, saying that The Rock doesn't scare her, as he'll be too busy stuffing his face with cheesesteak. Booker says he's gonna text The Rock to get his predictions. Renee then asks for the panelists' Royal Rumble Match predictions.

Byron chooses Bray Wyatt. A "Booker T" chant breaks out and Booker takes a moment to stand to a chorus of cheers. Graves' prediction is next: Roman Reigns. He says Roman was "this close" last year, and he's ready this year. Booker's pick is Rusev, who dominated throughout 2014. Renee's pick is Daniel Bryan. Booker is skeptical, as he just returning from injury.

The conversation moves to the Kickoff match. Renee asks Booker for his prediction, and Booker says that Kofi Kingston is going to make the difference for his team, because he has several championships under his belt. Byron agrees.

At the Social Media Lounge, Tom Phillips reminds us to use #RoyaRumble to join in the conversation. Later today, he announces, Dolph Ziggler, Ryback & Erick Rowan will be on hand to answer questions, using the hashtag #AskWWE.

Back at the Kickoff panel, Renee notes that WrestleMania is only 63 days away before moving to the Divas tag match. A recap from Raw is shown, showing the issues between the teams of The Bella Twins and Paige & Natalya. Booker says that Natalya might be what Paige needs, as a veteran. Paige could look up to her, although she is a loose cannon.

Renee then moves to The Ascension vs. The New Age Outlaws. She notes that The Ascension asked for this after their actions on Raw.

Backstage, Tom Phillips welcomes The New Age Outlaws. Road Dogg mispronounces Tom's name, and he says that Tom probably should've interviewed them, because they're always running their mouths. Tom asks if age or experience will be a deciding factor tonight. Billy always says that "age is a question of mind over matter." Road Dogg says that they don't mind, and The Ascension doesn't matter. Billy Gunn says that if they're not down with that- but Road Dogg cuts him off and tells him to not give them that for free. He says to give it to them on the WWE Network for the low, low price of $9.99.

Back at the Kickoff panel, Booker says that he's been vocal about The Ascension, and he hopes that they won't self-destruct tonight. Up next is an exclusive interview with Shawn Michaels, conducted by Booker T.

Booker tells Shawn that it's an honor to have an opportunity to conduct this interview. He asks Shawn what makes the Rumble so special, and Shawn says that every guy in this line of work wants to be the champion, and the Rumble opens a lot of doors in a man's career. Booker notes that it must be more than that, as Michaels went from #1 all the way to winning the match in 1995. Shawn says that you have to want it more than anyone else in that match. Booker notes that Michaels went on to do the same and win the Rumble again in 1996. Shawn says he can compare his win in 1996 to the win in 1995 because he was probably in a better place at that point, and he was able to win the world championship at WrestleMania. Booker wants to ask Shawn about Daniel Bryan and his chances. Shawn says that Bryan had a great year, but had the rug pulled out from under him. So in a sense, he has to do the same thing like Shawn did. Booker asks about Roman Reigns. Shawn says that he's on a heck of a hot streak. Shawn also doesn't want to count out Bray Wyatt. Shawn says that you could look at a number of Superstars as favorites, and that's what he loves about the match. Booker asks what Superstars are feeling right now, on the Road to WrestleMania. Shawn says that right now, the focus should be on the Rumble match, but after that, their focus should be on making WrestleMania. Booker shakes Shawn's hand and thanks him.

Back at the panel, Renee notes that Shawn said that, even if you don't win the Rumble, you have to fight for your spot on the WrestleMania card. She then moves to another man who is familiar with Shawn Michaels: Bret Hart. Bret sent out a tweet that called the 1994 Royal Rumble one of the highlights of his career.

At ringside, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL welcome us. They're all ready for the Rumble tonight as The New Day makes their entrance. All three come out with mics, shouting "New Day!" along with the music. Xavier says they're in the City of Brotherly Love, and he knows that The New Day is an acquired taste. They're like cough medicine: you might not like it going down, but it's going to make you feel good. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro are out next, backed by Natalya, Adam Rose, and The Rosebuds.

Big E & Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro w/ Natalya, Adam Rose & The Rosebuds

Big E and Tyson start in the ring. Big Cesaro chants are already going throughout the arena. Tyson takes down Big E by his leg, but Big E gets to his feet and picks up Tyson for three consecutive backbreakers. He tags Kofi in and Big E lifts Tyson up, launching him into Kofi's dropkick. Tyson tags out and Cesaro gets a pop and "Cesaro" chants. Kofi backs Cesaro into the corner and Big E tags in. Cesaro gets sent into another corner and Big E follows behind with a shoulder thrust. Big E does the same in another corner. Kofi tags back in and lands a second-rope cross-body for a two-count. Cesaro gets to his feet and lands a European uppercut before tagging in Tyson. He stomps Kofi in the corner before the referee separates them. Tyson distracts the referee while Cesaro lands a cheap shot to Kofi. Cesaro tags back in and they continue working Kofi in their corner. A scoop slam earns another two-count. Kofi starts to fight out, elbowing Tyson and kicking Cesaro. Cesaro drags Kofi back and signals for for the Giant Swing. He tags Tyson in and swings Kofi right into a low dropkick from Tyson.


Back from break, Cesaro has Kofi grounded with a chinlock. Tyson tags back in and whips Kofi into the corner. Kofi jumps to the second rope and lands a dropkick. A "New Day sucks" chant breaks out as Big E gets a hot tag and lands a belly-to-belly suplex on Cesaro. Big E runs the ropes and Cesaro levels him. Big e gets back to his feet and hits an STO for a two count. Cesaro gets sent to the apron and Tyson goes tumbling over him to the outside. Big E launches Kofi over Cesaro onto Tyson. Big E then sends Cesaro off the apron with a spear. Back in the ring, Big E signals for the Big Ending to a chorus of boos. Tyson pulls Kofi off the ropes for a distraction, allowing Cesaro to take control. Kofi then enters the ring with a cross-body, but the referee didn't see the tag. The New Day tags in front of the referee. Cesaro sends Big E to the outside and Kofi climbs to the top rope. Cesaro staggers him with a European uppercut. Cesaro tags in Tyson and deadlift suplexes Kofi into the ring. Kidd lands a springboard elbow for a two-count. Kofi gets to his feet and sends Kidd out of the ring. Tyson gets onto the apron and lands a sunset flip. Cesaro slides into the ring and puts his feet on Tyson's back, giving him leverage. The ref catches him, and Xavier lays Cesaro out. Back in the ring, Tyson applies a Sharpshooter but Big E breaks it up with a suplex. Cesaro takes out Big E with a Big Boot but Kofi sends him out of the ring. Tyson pushes Kofi to the ropes and Cesaro catches him with a European uppercut. Tyson gets the stunned Kofi in position and hits a swinging neckbreaker for the three-count, to a big pop.

Winners: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro

Back at the Kickoff panel, Booker says that Tyson Kidd & Cesaro did what they needed to do tonight: establish themselves as contenders.


Booker says that, tonight, heart and desire is what it's going to take tonight in the Rumble match. Renee asks if there are superstitions based on the numbers. Byron notes that 17 of the Royal Rumble winners had a number of 20 or above. Renee notes that experience of Superstars like Kane may also be a major factor tonight. Renee asks, once again, for the panel's Rumble predictions. Byron says Bray Wyatt. Graves says Roman Reigns. Booker says Rusev. Renee says Daniel Bryan. Renee notes that Ric Flair picked Dean Ambrose on Twitter.

A recap airs of Sting's Monday Night Raw debut earlier this week. Renee then sends it to Tom Phillips at the Social Media Lounge. Tom welcomes Ryback, Dolph Ziggler & Erick Rowan. A fan asks Ryback how it felt to share his story to the WWE Universe, only to be fired a few weeks later. Ryback says that it's a horrible feeling, but that just makes The Big Guy hungrier. Next, a fan asks Ziggler what was going through his mind when Sting showed up on Raw. He found himself rooting for John Cena, which doesn't happen often. Love us or hate us, he says, we deserve to be in WWE. Next, Tom asks Rowan how it felt to come up short. Rowan takes off his mask and says that they keep throwing stuff at him and frustration is starting to kick in. But what matters is what you do about it. Tom says that the final question involves the biggest challenge in the Royal Rumble match. Ryback says it's outlasting guys like Dolph Ziggler in terms of stamina. Ziggler says that he can go all night long. He's been doing it for 10 years and he can do it for 10 more. Rowan says that, this year, we just won't know, before walking off sullenly.

Back at the panel, Renee previews the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Brock Lesnar, John Cena & Seth Rollins. Renee asks the panel for their predictions. Byron says that his money's on Seth Rollins, because he has an extra opportunity due to his Money in the Bank briefcase. Corey says that a week ago, he picked Rollins, but after seeing the emotional intensity of Lesnar this week, he's gotta go with Lesnar. Booker says that everyone gets out of Lesnar's way backstage, but Rollins curbstomped him multiple times. Tonight, Booker predicts, the same will happen. The show ends with a tweet from Vince McMahon which shows a picture of The Rock and his mother taking a picture at ringside, presumably from earlier today. The panel speculates on if that means The Rock is here tonight as the Kickoff goes off the air.

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