Cody Rhodes defends title, Bayley and Logan Paul also impress in WWE Royal Rumble

Cody Rhodes just may get to finish his story as Bayley is adding a whole new chapter to her Hall-of-Fame-worthy WWE career.

Rhodes won back-to-back men’s Royal Rumbles, the first person to do so since “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in 1997-98.

Bayley won her first crown in historic fashion, lasting a record one hour and three minutes in the women’s side at Tropicana Field on Saturday night, as the New York Post reports.

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After eliminating CM Punk to win the match, Rhodes immediately pointed at Undisputed WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns in his sky box to set up a likely rematch at WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia as Dusty Rhodes’ son tries to win the title (WWE championship) his dad never won after losing at Mania last year.

It leaves The Rock’s potential involvement in WrestleMania a little less clear now.

The final four of the men’s match — Punk, Rhodes, Drew McIntyre and Gunther — was perfect as those four men had clear stories coming in.

Rhodes ended up tossing out Gunther the same way he did at least year’s Rumble and Punk eliminated McIntyre.

The match got off to a tremendous start with Jimmy and Jey Uso beginning it with their first on-screen appearance together since the latter cost his brother the Undisputed WWE Universal championship at SummerSlam.

One of the surprises was Andrade returning after three-plus years in AEW and sharing a brief moment with fellow second-generation luchador Santos Escobar.

Former NXT champion Bron Breakker made his Royal Rumble debut.

Pat McAfee was back as a guest commentator and entered the men’s Royal Rumble for 38 seconds at No. 22, eventually eliminating himself instead of facing the imposing Bron Breakker and Omos.

Earlier in the night, Reigns extended his 1,200-plus day reign by winning his fatal four-way match against Randy Orton, L.A. Knight and AJ Styles to retain the Undisputed WWE Universal championship by pinning Styles.

On the women’s side, Bayley’s win gives her potentially her first-ever single match at WWE’s biggest show against either her Damage CTRL teammate Iyo Sky for the WWE women’s championship or WWE women’s world champion Rhea Ripley.

Bayley along with a debuting Jade Cargill — formerly of AEW — and a returning Liv Morgan were the final three participants.

The three fought on the apron.

Morgan, who has been out since July with an injury, eliminated Cargill before being pushed to the ground by Bayley to earn the win.

Naomi, who just finished up a run as the TNA Knockouts world champion, returned as the No. 2 entrant.

She hasn’t wrestled in WWE since May 2022 when she and Sasha Banks — now Mercedes Mone — walked out of an episode of “Monday Night Raw” over creative differences with the women’s championships.

Current Knockouts champion Jordynne Grace was entrant No. 5 the second crossover in between the two brands in the women’s Rumble in three years — with Mickie James being the first.

Cargill, who was a huge free agent signing for WWE, had one of the best moments of the match slamming powerhouse Nia Jax and then eliminating her by lifting her over the top rope on her own.

Also on the card, Logan Paul retained his United States championship via disqualification against Kevin Owens.

Owens was caught using the brass knuckles thrown into the ring for Paul by Austin Theory just as the referee’s hand was about to hit the mat for a three-count to give Owens the win.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission