Television

Dave Batista to headline Wrestlemania XXX, conquers Royal Rumble 2014

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MUMBAI: He came. He saw. He conquered.

Dave Batista a.k.a The Animal made his come back after nearly a four-year absence from WWE. And he proved he hadn’t lost any of his killer instinct as he eliminated Roman Reigns to win the 2014 Royal Rumble Match.

Batista  With his epic victory - his second in the 27-year history of the over-the-top-rope brawl - Batista began his calculated march toward WrestleMania XXX, where he will attempt to achieve the one goal that led to his return: win the WWE World Heavyweight Title.

It was a commanding performance from The Animal, who entered the fray at No. 28 and eliminated four Superstars to stand tall. Long before that, however, it was CM Punk who kicked things off, entering at No. 1 for the second time in his career.

The first Royal Rumble shocker came at No. 14 when the massive Kevin Nash returned to WWE and immediately eliminated Jack Swagger before going after both Rollins and Dean Ambrose of The Shield at the same time. Big Sexy didn’t last long, though, as the No. 15 entrant - Roman Reigns - tossed Nash, Kofi and Dolph Ziggler in short order. It was just the beginning of what would become a legendary Rumble Match performance for the muscle of The Shield.

The next unforeseen entrant was JBL, as he left the commentary table at No. 24, and entered the ring in a shirt and tie. Yet by the time he handed off his coat to Michael Cole, he was sacked by the domineering Reigns. Despite his limited appearance, JBL still inspired chants of “You still got it!” from the WWE Universe. With that, Punk, Batista, Sheamus and Reigns stood as the final four, but The Straight Edge Superstar didn’t last long as Kane reemerged and pulled Punk out of the ring (thus tying Shawn Michaels for all-time Royal Rumble Match eliminations with 39). The Director of Operations continued his vicious assault on the former WWE Champion by chokeslamming him through the Spanish announce table.

Sheamus was the next to go as he was dispatched by Reigns, who eliminated 12 Superstars - 40 per cent of the contest’s participants - to break Kane’s 13-year-old record for the most competitors eliminated in a single Royal Rumble Match. With anticipation reaching a fever pitch, Batista and Reigns squared off. Bone-jarring spears followed as the upstart tested the veteran’s resolve; ultimately, though, it was The Animal who survived as he launched Reigns out of the ring with one arm.

With the ring now clear of every Superstar but one, Batista stood supreme as the winner of his second Royal Rumble Match. As many greats have done before him, The Animal pointed into the rafters where the WrestleMania XXX sign hung. What awaits him there remains to be seen, but the Road to WrestleMania has begun, and a determined Animal is leading the stampede to New Orleans.

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