RONDA ROUSEY returned to WWE to win the Women’s Royal Rumble.
The UFC legend, 34, eliminated champion Charlotte Flair to book her ticket to the main event of WrestleMania almost three years after she last competed in the ring.
Ronda Rousey returned to WWE to win the Women’s Royal RumbleCredit: BT SPORT
The UFC legend will now be in the main event of WrestleManiaCredit: BT SPORT
Sasha Banks got the crowd on their feet as she was drawn at No1 and she kicked off the match against the returning legend Melina who drew No2 – but the comeback did not last long.
After Banks eliminated Melina, Tamina then entered the ring before former Divas Champion Kelly Kelly got a big pop with another comeback.
The smile was soon wiped off her face by powerhouse Tamina and she was sent packing by Banks seconds later.
Queen Zelina swaggered her way into the Rumble as the others continued to beat each other and she claimed a big scalp within seconds.
Tamina lifted Banks over the top rope, but just as The Boss thought she had recovered, the opportunistic Zelina kicked Banks off the apron and out of the match.
The big names kept on coming as last year’s Rumble winner Bianca Belair entered the fray with 24/7 champion Dana Brooke in ninth – and she was soon saved by her pal Reggie who caught her and threw her back into the ring.
But he could do nothing to stop Michelle McCool, wife of The Undertaker, from eliminating Brooke on her return.
Sonya DeVille was in at 11 but opted to join the commentary team rather than climb into the squared-circle.
Then it was the veteran Natalya making her entrance and she quickly got rid of Tamina.
Former Funkadactyl Cameron was a surprise entrant at 13, but DeVille sneakily attacked her and threw her out.
Cameron’s close friend Naomi, who has had huge issues with Deville over recent months, came out next and went straight for her rival and tossed her out after a brawl.
Carmella was 15 as we reached the halfway point of the match and Rhea Ripley followed.
The powerhouse wasted no time in eliminating tag team champs Carmella and Zelina but things began to heat up when the SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair emerged.
Aliyah was soon thrown out by The Queen as was Naomi – albeit with the help of Deville from the outside.
IMpact Women’s Champion Mickie James returned to WWE in the RumbleCredit: BT Sport
Another face from the past was back next as Ivory – in her Right To Censor attire – came out and began slating the women’s division.
Ripley did not take kindly to that as she scooped up the veteran and instantly eliminated her.
The comebacks kept on coming, and it was Brie Bella who got a huge ovation as she came out of retirement for the Rumble.
History was made at number 20 when Mickie James, along with her Impact championship, entered.
And she soon renewed her feud with old rival McCool and eliminated her.
Alicia Fox was out next and then Nikki A.S.H followed suit – but she surprised her former partner Ripley from behind and tried to eliminate her.
Unfortunately she failed and soon scarpered to the outside to avoid payback while Summer Rae got into the mix.
She went straight for Natalya – but she would regret it as the veteran threw her out.
The crowd then erupted as Brie’s twin sister Nikki came out of retirement in her quest to win the Rumble.
They got rid of Fox before Sarah Logan made her own comeback – but it was a sharp exit for her courtesy of the Bellas with Morgan soon following.
The legendary Lita then had the place rocking as she arrived at 26 to toss out James before coming face-to-face with Flair.
Mighty Molly Holly was given a harsh welcome back by fellow superhero wannabe Nikki A.S.H. and was attacked and eliminated by the Scot.
Then the Baddest Woman on the Planet made her return as the crowd erupted.
The former Raw and UFC champ got rid of A.S.H. as Brie threw her sister Nikki out before the Rowdy one dished out a beating and got rid of her.
Shotzi Blackheart entered next before Shayna Baszler came out at No30 with the former quickly eliminated by Rousey.
Natalya was then thrown out by Belair as a big boot by Flair ended Lita’s night with Ripley suffering the same fate moments later.
The Queen then got rid of Belair and Baszler – leaving a final two of Flair and Rousey – but it would be Rowdy who would shot the champ over the rope to seal her ticket to WrestleMania.
The UFC legend made headlines around the world when she swapped the octagon for the squared-circle back in January 2018.
Nikki Bella was back in action at the Rumble
She last appeared in the historic main event of WrestleMania 35 against Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in 2019, a match that she was pinned by ‘The Man’ for the belt.
‘Rowdy’ then said she was taking time away from wrestling to start a family with her husband Travis Browne.
Prior to that, Rousey has hinted that a return to the ring could be on the cards as she opened the door to working alongside current Monday Night Raw star Rhea Ripley.
Now she is in line for another huge title match at Mania after her epic comeback victory and could face old foe Lynch.
The Man retained her Raw Women’s Title by defeating Doudrop after a slog with the Scot.