WWE Royal Rumble Opener:
The Royal Rumble opened with a video package putting over the history and importance of the Royal Rumble and how it leads to the main event at Wrestlemania. It then hyped this year’s event, and the three title matches on the card, with emphasis on Umaga’s attack on John Cena from Raw last week. All three announce teams were positioned at ringside, and welcomed us to the show.
Referee: Jack Doan
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler handled commentary for this match. They replayed the injury from Armageddon after MNM entered, and a month later, it is still nasty to watch. Mercury is still sporting his protective mask. As the Hardys entered, they showed MNM’s attack on Matt Hardy from Smackdown two weeks ago. They said Hardy suffered a dislocated jaw from that attack.
Matt dared Mercury to start the match, but Nitro jumped him from behind. Nitro beat Matt down, then tagged in Mercury to continue the assault. Mercury hit a kneelift and went after his jaw with punches. Nitro tagged in and worked over Hardy in MNM’s corner. Hardy fought back with forearms, but Nitro tagged Mercury, who rammed Matt into a turnbuckle. Matt fought back with bodyshots, as Mercury covered up his face. Jeff got the tag and hit a slingshot kick to Mercury. However, Mercury got Jeff into his corner and tagged out to Nitro.
Jeff tripped Nitro and hit a legdrop to the groin for a two count. The Hardys hit a double back elbow and elbow/backsplash combo on Nitro. Mercury ran in and Matt suplexed him. Matt gave Nitro a neckbreaker for a two count. Matt went for a slam, but Nitro floated over and decked Matt with a punch to the jaw. Mercury tagged in and punched Hardy in the jaw twice, hurting his hand on the second punch. Nitro tagged in, and worked over Matt with forearms, then choked him against the middle rope, where Mercury kicked him in the head. Nitro scored a two count, then applied a cravate. Matt tried to fight out, but Nitro hit him with a knee to the gut. MNM gave Hardy a double facebuster to their knees. Mercury mounted Matt and punched at his face, then gave him a short arm clothesline for a two count. Mercury applied a rear chinlock, but Matt fought out of it, only to be yanked down by the hair. Mercury went for a second rope elbow, but Matt moved out of the way. Matt punched Mercury in the mask, hurting his hand, and tagged Jeff.
Jeff ran in and cleaned house, giving Nitro a gourdbuster for a two count, then Whisper In The Wind, but Mercury broke up the cover. Matt ran in and gave Mercury a back suplex. The Hardys gave Nitro a double suplex. The Hardys went to the top rope for a splash/legdrop combo. Nitro got his knees up, so he blocked Jeff’s splash, even though Matt’s legdrop hit. Jeff and Nitro were the legal men, and Matt had to leave the ring. Nitro rolled to his corner and tagged Mercury.Mercury worked over Jeff’s now hurting midsection with knees, then dropped an elbow. Mercury worked over Jeff in his corner, then Nitro tagged in for a running knee to the gut for a two count. MNM hit a double legdrop on Jeff and Mercury got a two count. Mercury applied a waistlock, but Jeff elbowed out and grabbed a cradle for a two count. Mercury responded with forearms to Jeff’s midsection and tagged in Nitro for a double gutbuster. Nitro covered, but Matt broke it up.
Nitro kicked Hardy in the gut twice, then applied a bodyscissors. Jeff elbowed out of it, but Nitro used a front facelock to keep Jeff away from his corner. Jeff backdropped Nitro and tagged Matt, but Mercury distracted the ref, and the ref didn’t see the tag. As Matt argued with the ref, MNM used this opportunity to drag Jeff back to their corner. As MNM went to double team Jeff, he managed to throw Mercury into a charging Nitro, then gave Nitro a mule kick and made the hot tag to Matt. Matt cleaned house on both men, hitting a clothesline/bulldog combo on both men and getting a two count on Nitro. Matt hit an elbow to the back of Nitro’s head from the second rope for a two count. Matt went for a backdrop, but Nitro kicked it away. Mercury lifted Mercury for a Snapshot, but Jeff broke it up.
Air Hardy on Mercury, but as they went to do it on Nitro, he ducked, Jeff hit the corner, and Nitro grabbed Matt in a cradle for a two count. Matt hit a Side Effect on Nitro, then a Twist of Fate. Mercury charged Hardy knocking them both from the ring. However, as they fell through the ropes, Jeff tagged himself in. Jeff hit the Swanton Bomb on Nitro for the three count at the sixteen minute mark.
Winners – The Hardy Boyz
Backstage, Theodore R. Long was bragging to Jonathan Coachman about Smackdown’s dominance in the Royal Rumble in recent years. Kelly Kelly was there as the “official tumbler”. Edge entered and made fun of Kelly Kelly’s name, saying her parents named her twice so she could remember it. Kelly responded “At least it is my real name”. Randy Orton entered and he and Edge drew their numbers. Edge said to Orton “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours”. King Booker entered and said “Tell me you didn’t just say that”.
ECW Championship Match
They locked up at the bell, and jockeyed for position. Test broke on the ropes, then slapped Lashley in the head. Lashley tackled Test down and choked him, but Test grabbed the bottom rope and the referee forced a break. Test hit Lashley low and choked him against the middle rope. Test hit some elbows in the corner and choked him with his boot. Lashley reversed a whip, but ran into a Test back elbow. Test then ran into a Lashley T-Bone suplex.
Lashley hit a delayed vertical suplex, going one handed at one point. Test rolled to the floor, grabbing his back. Lashley went after him, rolling Test back in. As Lashley got on the apron, Test hit him with a shoulderblock between the ropes. Test then rammed Lashley into the ringpost, and Lashley fell to the floor. Test rolled Lashley back into the ring and covered him for a two count. Test applied an armbar with a chinlock. Lashley got to his feet and broke out of it, but ran into a Test boot. Test hit an over-the-shoulder armbreaker for a two count, then went back to the armbar.
Test hit some knees to the arm, and continued to work him over with the armbar. Lashley punched and shoved out of it, then ran into a Test back elbow. Test charged Lashley, and Lashley backdropped him. Lashley hit a clothesline and a pair of shoulderblocks with his good arm. Lashley went for a press slam, but his bad arm gave out on him. Lashley was doubled over in pain, and Test charged him with a big boot for a two count.
Test complained to the referee that it should have been a three count. Test went for a TKO, but Lashley floated over it, hit a belly to belly suplex, then hit a clothesline and Test rolled to the floor. Test got to his feet, started to get into the ring, then changed his mind and walked away, getting counted out at the seven minute mark. Seriously, he just walked away.
Winner by count out and still ECW Champion, Bobby Lashley
Lashley chased Test down the aisle, dragged him back to the ring, and gave him a running powerslam.
Backstage, John Cena was being checked by the doctor, and was in pain when the doctor touched his ribs. Vince McMahon entered, noting he was interrupting John Cena the way Cena interrupted him at Raw. McMahon questioned if Cena could wrestle, then mocked Cena’s “You can’t see me” gesture, saying he “didn’t see” Cena being the last man standing tonight. McMahon then left the room as Cena looked annoyed.
World Heavyweight Championship Match
They locked up and Batista threw Kennedy to the mat. They locked up again, and Batista tossed him down again. A third lockup saw them go to the corner, and Batista broke clean, but Kennedy kicked Batista’s knee, hit a right hand and rolled him up for a one count. Batista backed Kennedy into a corner and Kennedy poked him in the eye. Kennedy hit some shots, but ran into a boot by Batista.
Batista delivered a vertical suplex for a two count. Kennedy rolled to the floor and Batista rammed him into the security wall. Kennedy grabbed Batista low and rammed him knee first into the ringsteps. A limping Batista threw Kennedy back into the ring. Batista hit some forearms and elbows, then worked over Kennedy with shoulderblocks in the corner. Batista was heavily favoring the leg, and Kennedy dropkicked it out from under Batista. Kennedy stomped Batista down and dropped an elbow and a knee on Batista’s leg. Kennedy dropped his weight on Batista’s leg, then got a one count. Kennedy applied a standing figure four, which he then turned into a reverse figure four. I haven’t seen one of those in a long time.
Kennedy used the middle rope for leverage, and the referee caught him, so Kennedy released it. Kennedy kicked Batista down in a corner and continued to target the leg. Kennedy was bleeding from the nose. Kennedy hit a running facewash kick to Batista as he was slumped in the corner. Kennedy then hit a running knee to the head for a two count. Kennedy applied a single leg Boston Crab, and Batista went for the ropes, but Kennedy dragged him back into the center of the ring. Batista managed to roll through the move, then grabbed a small package for a two count. Batista went for a slam, but Kennedy floated over it and chopblocked his leg. Kennedy charged Batista, and Batista grabbed a spinebuster, but hurt his knee in doing so.
Both men were slow to get up. Batista hit some punches, but Kennedy kicked out his knee. Kennedy kicked Batista in the face, and Batista hulked up. Batista hit two short clothesline and a backdrop, then hit a clothesline in the corner. Batista slammed Kennedy. Batista lifted Kennedy into a fireman’s carry and hit a rolling Samoan Drop. Batista called for the Batista Bomb, but Kennedy hit his knee to block the move. The referee caught an errant elbow from Batista and fell to the mat. Kennedy gave Batista a neckbreaker, but there was no referee. There actually seems to be fan support for Kennedy, despite Batista getting a huge pop for his entrance.
Kennedy revived the referee and hit a DDT, but Batista kicked out at two. There was actually a “Kennedy” chant from a large group of ringside fans. Batista reversed a whip, but ran into a Kennedy boot in the corner. Kennedy got on the second rope, and jumped right into a Batista clothesline. Batista hit a Batista Bomb for the three count at the ten minute mark.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion, Batista
Backstage, Ariel picked out the number from Kevin Thorn. As Coachman was commenting about the “freaks” in ECW, The Little Bastard came in. Using a chair to reach the tumbler, he picked Finlay’s number, then jumped on Coach and bit his ear. He kicked Coach’s leg and started to leave … bumping into the shin of the Great Khali. Khali drew three number balls. Coach said he could only take one, so he dropped the other two and left. Kelly bent over and picked up the balls. She said “Theses are the biggest balls I’ve ever held”. Ron Simmons entered and said “Damn!”
WWE Championship Match
Cena had his ribs taped up. They went nose to nose at the bell. Umaga shoved Cena, and Cena hit some punches. Cena floated over an attempted slam by Umaga and hit a jawbreaker, but Umaga hit one shot to the body and Cena fell to the floor, clutching his ribs. Umaga punched Cena as he got on the apron, and Cena fell back to the floor. Umaga threw Cena into the ringside steps, then hit some punches as the two men worked their way up the aisle.
Cena returned fire with punches, and they went back towards the ring. Cena rammed Umaga headfirst into the ring apron, but Umaga hit him in the gut and Cena doubled over in pain. Back in the ring, Umaga hit a headbutt and kicked Cena in the ribs. Umaga hit a punch to the gut, then a forearm to the back. Umaga hit some headbutts to the midsection in a corner. Umaga went for a charge, but Cena got his feet up. Cena then ran into a clothesline by Umaga. Cena was down, and the referee began to count, but Cena was up at seven. Umaga slammed Cena, then grabbed a section of ringsteps and prepared to toss them into the ring, but Armando had him wait to see if Cena was going to get up. Cena was getting up at six, so Armando told Umaga to throw the steps in. As Umaga got on the apron, Cena grabbed him and yanked him throat first across the top rope. Umaga fell to the floor. In the ring, Cena lifted the steps overhead and threw them to ringside, hitting Umaga in the head. The referee began to count, but Umaga was up at eight.
Cena went outside to toss Umaga back into the ring. Cena went to rebound off the ropes, but Umaga hit him with a spinkick. Cena was up at six, and Umaga hit a shot to the ribs and applied a bearhug. Umaga planted Cena with a belly to belly suplex, and the ref started counting. Umaga got the other half of the steps and placed them in the ring. Cena got up at eight. There was a “We want tables” chant. Umaga propped the steps in a corner, then placed Cena in front of them with some punches. Umaga went for his running butt blast, but Cena moved out of the way and Umaga ran into the steps. Cena lifted the steps and ran into Umaga with them. Umaga got up at seven. Cena went to the top rope and went for a bodypress, but Umaga caught him and delivered a spinning sidewalk slam. Umaga placed the steps in the middle of the ring. Umaga kicked Cena in the ribs, then used the second rope to hit a modified Banzai Drop. Umaga hit a second, but on the third Cena got his knees up in Umaga’s groin. Cena gave Umaga a Throwback, sending Umaga face first into the steps. Cena slammed Umaga back first on the steps, then collapsed to the mat.
Cena was up at five, then did the Five Knuckle Shuffle fistdrop to Umaga. Cena lifted Umaga for the FU, but Umaga’s weight caused Cena to fall face first into the steps. Cena was busted open, but got up by nine. Umaga hit a series of right hands to the bloody Cena. Cena got up at eight, and Umaga delivered more punches. Cena hulked up, daring Umaga to hit him more. Cena hit some punches, but Umaga grabbed Cena and planted him with a Samoan Drop. Umaga called for the Spike. Cena got to his feet, and Umaga went for the Spike, but Cena blocked it, so Umaga headbutted him down instead. Umaga tied Cena to the Tree Of Woe, then went for a diving headbutt, but Cena sat up in the ropes and Umaga crashed to the mat. Cena delivered a top rope legdrop, Rocker Dropper-style, sending Umaga headfirst to the mat. Cena threw Umaga shoulder first into ringpost. Cena rolled to ringside, knocking out Armando.
Cena grabbed a TV monitor and blasted Umaga in the head with it. Umaga got up at eight, so Cena hit a shoulderblock, sending Umaga to the floor. Cena got on the apron and jumped at Umaga, but Umaga caught him and rammed him back first into the ringpost. Umaga rammed the bloody Cena head first into the ringsteps, then headfirst into the ECW announce table. Umaga then ran across the Raw and Smackdown announce tables, looking to splash Cena through the ECW table, but Cena moved and Umaga crashed through the ECW table alone. Cena rolled into the ring, and Umaga, amazingly, stood up on the floor at nine. Armando was unhooking the top rope in one corner, as Umaga approached the ring and hit Cena in the gut. Armando got the one turnbuckle unhooked and barked orders at Umaga, telling him to hit Cena with the steel connector. Umaga charged, but Cena ducked it and hit Umaga with an FU.
Cena knocked Armando off the apron, then hit Umaga with the steel connector. Cena then applied at STFU, wrapping the broken top rope around Umaga’s throat and choking him with it. Cena screamed as he choked him. Cena rolled off, and the referee started to count. Umaga started to rise, so Cena jumped on Umaga and choked him with the rope again. Cena rolled off, and got to his feet. This time, Umaga stayed down for ten, ending the match at the 23-minute mark.
Winner and still WWE Champion, John Cena
There were two balls left in the tumbler. Sandman entered, took one of them and got beer all over the Coach. Ric Flair entered and took the last ball. Kelly said “You’re last, but not least”. Kelly, Layla and Brooke then gave Flair a quick standing lap dance.
Royal Rumble Match
90 seconds intervals this year. (1) Ric Flair vs. (2) Finlay. It is Finlay’s first rumble. (3) Kenny Dykstra. (4) Matt Hardy. (5) Edge. Edge comes in and spears everyone, except for Hardy who hit a twist of fate on Edge. FLAIR ELIMINATED BY EDGE, KENNY THEN ELIMINATED BY EDGE. (6) Tommy Dreamer. (7) Sabu. Sabu set up a table on the arena floor. (8) Gregory Helms. Helms came in and went right after Hardy. (9) Shelton Benjamin. (10) Kane. DREAMER ELIMINATED BY KANE. SABU ELIMINATED THRU THE TABLE BY KANE. (11) CM Punk. (12) King Booker. HELMS ELIMINATED BY KING BOOKER. (13) Super Crazy. (14) Jeff Hardy, who started double teaming Finlay with his brother Matt. Poetry in motion on Kane! (15) The Sandman. Who came through the crowd with his kane. SANDMAN ELIMINATED BY KING BOOKER. (16) Randy Orton. THE HARDY BOYS HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED. (17) Chris Benoit. (18) Rob Van Dam. KING BOOKER ELIMINATED BY KANE. KING BOOKER THEN ELIMINATED KANE by re-entering the ring. (19) Viscera. Kane and Booker continued to brawl on the floor. (20) Johnny Nitro. (21) Kevin Thorn. (22) Hardcore Holly. (23) HBK. FINLAY ELIMINATED BY HBK. EVERYONE ELIMINATED VISCERA. HBK ELIMINATED BENJAMIN. (24) Chris Masters. NITRO ELIMINATED BY BENOIT. (25) Chavo Guerrero. BENOIT ELIMINATED THORN. (26) MVP. MASTERS ELIMINATED BY RVD. (27) Carlito. (28) The Great Khali. Khali came in and headbutted just about everybody in the ring, followed by chops. HARDCORE HOLLY ELIMINATED BY KHALI. (29) The Miz. MIZ ELIMINATED. RVD and PUNK ELIMINATED BY KHALI. CARLITO AND CHAVO ELIMINATED BY KHALI. (30) The Undertaker, who brawled with Khali. UNDERTAKER ELIMINATED KHALI. UNDERTAKER ELIMINATED MVP. Final four – Taker, Orton, Edge, HBK. RKO by Orton to HBK. Undertaker busted open by an Orton chair shot. Edge speared Taker as he went for a chokeslam on Orton. HBK ELIMINATED ORTON, THEN HBK ELIMINATED EDGE. Its down to HBK and Undertaker. Swinging neckbraker by HBK. Fans started the “HBK” chant. HBK drops the elbow from the top rope. Michaels calls for the sweet chin music, but Undertaker blocks it with a chokeslam. THE UNDERTAKER ELIMINATED HBK BY BLOCKING SWEET CHIN MUSIC AT 56:20.