|Date: January 25, 2009
|Venue: Joe Louis Arena |City: Detroit, Michigan
|Attendance: 16,685 |Buys: 450,000
|Brands: Raw, Smackdown & ECW
|tweet me: @BastionBlogger
The Royal Rumble event is always one I look forward to and this one is no different. Interestingly it has the lowest amount of buys for a Royal Rumble event since 1998. Jeff Hardy, the WWE Champion will be defending his title for the first time and it’ll be against the former champion, Edge. Jeff Hardy has had a tumultuous few months. He was attacked by somebody the night before Survivor Series putting him out of the WWE Championship match and only a few weeks ago Jeff was the victim of a hit and run attack. Hardy blames Edge for the attacks but Edge denies it had anything to do with him. Tonight these two long time rivals go one on one on pay per view for the first ever time.
The World Heavyweight Championship is also set to be defended as John “Bradshaw” Layfield, who beat Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho in a fatal four way match gets a shot at John Cena’s title. JBL has recently taken on Shawn Michaels as an employee due to Michaels poor financial state. Michaels has helped JBL to get his title shot, even laying down for him in the aforementioned fatal four way match. John Cena isn’t happy with how Shawn Michaels has been applying himself as of late and was defeated by Michaels a few weeks ago on Raw. A newcomer to ECW, Jack Swagger, defeated Matt Hardy for the ECW Championship a couple of weeks ago and tonight Matt gets his rematch for the title. Also tonight, Melina gets a shot at the Women’s Championship currently held by Beth Phoenix.
The other match tonight will of course be the Royal Rumble match itself. There are a total of 23 men announced for the match including the likes of Raw’s Chris Jericho who was briefly fired, Randy Orton who punted Vince McMahon in the head last week so may not even be able to compete tonight, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase who will be looking after Randy Orton, Kane, Kofi Kingston, CM Punk, William Regal and Rey Mysterio. From ECW there will be the likes of Mark Henry, Finlay, John Morrison and The Miz and representing Smackdown will be Triple H, Vladimir Kozlov, The Undertaker, Shelton Benjamin, The Brian Kendrick, The Great Khali and MVP.
In a dark match prior to the event Jimmy wang Yang defeated Paul Burchill. Random.
There’s a really good video package that opens the show, first showing a history of the Royal Rumble match and all of the various winners before focusing on this years entries, especially Randy Orton who punted Vince McMahon on Raw last week.
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler open the show on a somber note, giving an update on Vince McMahon who is injured with neck injuries.
Jack Swagger (c) vs. Matt Hardy – ECW Championship match
This is a pay per view debut for Jack Swagger! He won the ECW Championship a few weeks ago from Matt Hardy. The ECW Championship has been defended at a Royal Rumble event once before, that was in 2007 where Bobby Lashley successfully retained his title by beating Test by count out. It’s a cagey start to the match but Hardy knocks Swagger down with a right hand. Hardy hits some lefts and rights which causes Swagger to roll out of the ring. Hardy joins Jack on the outside and smashes him into the apron before rolling the ECW Champion back into the ring and taking him back down with a clothesline. Swagger once again rolls to the outside. The crowd are behind Hardy in this one but Swagger gets back into the ring and takes him down before locking on a hammerlock. Hardy gets out of the hammerlock and locks for the twist of fate but Swagger avoids it and Hardy hits him with a dropkick and a bulldog for the first two count of the night.
Hardy goes up to the middle rope but Swagger pushes him off and to the outside! Back in the ring and Swagger works the left arm of Hardy before knocking him down for a two count. Jack applies a top wristlock which Hardy gets out of but Swagger goes right back to the left arm. Swagger then hits a big boot for a two count before going back to the top wristlock and then an armbar. Swagger is getting a big push at the moment as ECW Champion and now opening the Royal Rumble. Hardy gets out of the armbar with a clothesline but it looks like it hurt him more than Swagger. Hardy hits another couple of clotheslines and a neckbreaker for a two count. Hardy hits a clothesline in the corner and then a bulldog for another near fall. Nobody has wrestled as many PPV matches without main eventing a PPV as Matt Hardy. He hits an elbow off the middle rope for a near fall.
Hardy motions for a twist of fate but Swagger hits him with a belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Swagger then looks to hit a suplex, Hardy tries a counters but Swagger hits an armbar takedown for a near fall. Swagger smashes Hardy into the top turnbuckle and then pops him on the top where he looks to hit a top rope back suplex. Hardy elbows Swagger to the mat and then hits a moonsault for a near fall. Hardy looks for the side effect but Swagger pushes Hardy into the ringpost. Swagger then hits a gut-wrench powerbomb and that’s enough for the three! Jack Swagger wins the match and retains the ECW Championship. He leaves tonight with a win on his first ever PPV match.
Randy Orton is shown arriving earlier today and superstars like Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, The Miz, Katie-Lea Burchill and Maria just stare at him in shock following his actions last week.
Beth Phoenix (c) vs. Melina – WWE Women’s Championship match
Beth Phoenix is joined by Santino for this match. This is the second PPV match between these two girls, previously Beth beat Melina at Extreme Rules last year. Both girls are making their Royal Rumble debut tonight. Beth smashes Melina into the mat in the early going and then ragdolls her in the middle of the ring. Melina breaks the hold and hits a right hand and a dropkick but Beth knocks Melina down with a shoulder charge. Melina hits an armbar takeover but Beth picks Melina up and drops her on the top turnbuckle. Beth then hits a version of an electric chair and Melina looks like she hurt her arm there. Beth hits a running arm splash similar to the move that Umaga sometimes does for a one count. Beth applies a leglock and then actually beats Melina with her own foot! I have never seen anything like that!
Melina hits a boot to get into the match but Phoenix then catches her with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Beth pops Melina on the top and then looks to hit a gorilla press slam but Melina hits a jawbreaker and some right hands. Melina hits a sunset flip for a near fall and then drop toe holds her onto the middle rope before hitting some running knees. Beth pushes Melina into the corner but then runs into some boots. Melina hits a Lou Thesz press off the middle rope and then a mule kick before looking for her finisher but Phoenix ducks it. Melina rolls Beth up out of nowhere and gets the three! Melina wins the match and the Women’s Championship! Melina is a three time Women’s Champion! This is the first time in the history of the Royal Rumble event that the Women’s Championship has changed hands.
There’s a video package next showing what has led up to the match between John Cena and John “Bradshaw” Layfield.
JBL and Shawn Michaels are backstage and Layfield tells Michaels that if he wins the World Heavyweight Championship tonight then he will pay Shawn Michaels all of the money that he owes him and that he won’t have to work for Layfield again. He also says that Michaels can be the man to face JBL at Wrestlemania for the title. He doesn’t want Michaels to be conflicted tonight. Michaels then spins around and The Undertaker is stood there. Undertaker tells Michaels that sometimes it is hell getting to heaven.
John Cena (c) vs. John “Bradshaw” Layfield – World Heavyweight Championship match
This is the sixth singles match between these two men on pay per view. John Cena is up 4-1 in their previous five matches. Layfield is of course joined by Shawn Michaels for this match. Cena hits a headlock takedown in the early going but Layfield reverses it into a headlock of his own. Cena gets out of the headlock and hits a back elbow for a one count. JBL then rolls to the outside and re-groups with Shawn Michaels, whispering in his ear. Back in the ring and JBL hits some clubbing blows and right hands knocking Cena down. Cena reverses an Irish whip and hits a bulldog for a near fall. Cena hits a flying snapmare for a two count and JBL once again rolls to the outside. Cena chases JBL around the ring and pulls up when he sees Shawn Michaels which distracts Cena long enough for JBL to attack him from behind and then smash him into the ring steps.
Back in the ring and JBL gets a near fall. We’re so close to Wrestlemania now that you’ve got to think that every match is putting the pieces in place for the biggest show of the year. Layfield hits a short-arm clothesline for a two count and then drops some elbows for another two count. Both men won their matches at last years Royal Rumble event, Cena won the Royal Rumble match and JBL beat Chris Jericho. Layfield hits a sidewalk slam for a two count and then knocks the World Heavyweight Champion out of the ring. JBL then Irish whips Cena into the ring steps before rolling him back into the ring for a two count. JBL hits some big right hands and then sets Cena up for a superplex but Cena fights him off and then hits a top rope fame-asser which it looks like he missed. Cena gets a near fall and then smashes JBL into two top turnbuckles.
Cena hits a couple of shoulder blocks and a side suplex before dropping the five knuckle shuffle. Cena sets up for the FU but Layfield elbows his way out of it and looks to hit the clotheslines from hell but Cena counters it with a drop toe hold before locking on the STFU! Cena and Layfield have both fought in singles matches at 3 of the last 4 Royal Rumble events. JBL gets to the ropes and Cena is distracted by Shawn Michaels which allows Bradshaw to shove Cena out of the ring. Michaels and Cena stare at one another and Cena continues to stare at Michaels as he gets into the ring which allows JBL to hit Cena with a clothesline from hell! Cena kicks out at 2 and JBL can’t believe it. Cena looks to hit the FU out of nowhere but JBL gets down and aims a big boot at Cena who ducks and Layfield knocks down the referee!
JBL and Cena clothesline each other down and Shawn Michaels gets into the ring. Michaels sets up for sweet chin music and nails JBL with it! The crowd go nuts and even Cena can’t believe it. Michaels then lays out Cena with sweet chin music! Michaels lays JBL on top of Cena and leaves but there is still no referee. Another referee runs down and makes the count but Cena gets his shoulder up at 2. Both men get to their feet and JBL looks to hit a clothesline but Cena ducks it and hits the FU for the three! Cena wins the match and retains the World Heavyweight Championship tonight!
There’s a video package next for Edge and Jeff Hardy.
Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Edge – No disqualification match for the WWE Championship
This is a first ever singles match between these two long time rivals. Vickie Guerrero comes out before the bell and announces that the match is now no disqualification. Chavo Guerrero is also ringside supporting Edge in this match. The bell rings and Hardy gets right into it, smashing Edge into the top turnbuckle. Hardy hits a clothesline and tries for another but Edge leaves the ring. Hardy chases Edge around the ring and then grabs a chair but Edge kicks it out of Hardy’s hands and gets the advantage as Jeff tries to get back into the ring. Hardy hits another clothesline to knock Edge down and then a snapmare and a dropkick to the back for a one count. Jeff hits a powerslam as a “we want tables” chant breaks out. Edge hits Hardy with some right hands and then smashes Jeff into a top turnbuckle. Hardy slides out of the ring, Edge follows and Hardy rolls back into the ring and hits a pendulum dropkick on Edge before diving out at the challenger.
Jeff rolls Edge back into the ring and is then briefly distracted by Chavo Guerrero which allows Edge to dropkick Hardy off the apron. Edge then hits a baseball slide and then throws Hardy into the security wall. Edge smashes Hardy into each announce desk and then rolls Hardy back into the ring for a one count. Edge hits an Irish whip and a spear in the corner which is always a lot more ineffective than a spear in the middle of the ring. Hardy hits a sunset flip for a two count but Edge is up first and knocks Hardy down with a clothesline for a two count. Edge applies a reverse bear hug which Hardy gets out of but Edge floor Hardy again by his hair. Hardy hits a mule kick and then heads to the top but edge goes up with him just to be knocked back off. Hardy then jumps off the top but Edge hits him with a dropkick for a near fall. Edge then leaves the ring and grabs two steel chairs but Hardy catches him with a spear as thew challenger tries to get into the ring.
This is a first WWE title defence for Jeff Hardy on PPV. He dives out of the ring at Edge knocking him down. Hardy then rolls Edge back into the ring but Edge knees Hardy as he gets back into the ring and then goes out to the apron with him but Hardy hits Edge with a twist of fate on the apron! Jeff smashes Edge into a couple of the announce desks and then pulls a ladder out from under the ring. Hardy lays Edge down on the Raw announce desk and then climbs the ladder but Chavo climbs up with him. Jeff knocks Chavo off the ladder and then dives down at him. Edge rolls off the announce desk so Hardy throws him into the ringpost. Jeff then lays Chavo on the Raw announce desk and climbs the ladder before diving off the ladder and hitting an elbow drop on Chavo through the table. The ladder gave way there but Hardy still hits the move. Jeff throws Edge back into the ring and then hits him with a high cross body for a near fall. Edge hits a big boot and then takes off a top turnbuckle but Jeff fights him off and hits a whisper in the wind for a near fall.
Jeff tries for a twist of fate but Edge counters it with an implant DDT for a near fall. Edge goes up to the middle rope but Hardy gets his feet up and then rolls Edge up for a near fall. Jeff hits a facebuster suplex and then heads to the top but Edge gets out of the way and Hardy drops down. Jeff then looks for a pendulum dropkick but Edge catches him and drops the WWE Champion on the exposed turnbuckle for a near fall. Edge motions for a spear but Jeff counters it with a twist of fate! Jeff then slowly heads to the top but out comes Vickie Guerrero who tries to grab his leg! Jeff kicks Vickie away and then hits Edge with the swanton bomb! Jeff covers Edge but Vickie pulls the referee to stop the count! Out comes Matt Hardy with a chair! He rolls Vickie into the ring and then hands Jeff the chair. Matt grabs another chair presumably for a con-chair-to but Matt lays out Jeff! The crowd are shocked. Nobody can believe it! Edge covers Jeff and gets the three! Edge wins the match and the WWE Championship after Matt laid out his brother with the chair! Good match between these men.
Todd Grisham is backstage with Randy Orton who says that he hasn’t heard from The McMahons so is still in the Royal Rumble unless he hears otherwise. Chris Jericho then shows up and says that Randy didn’t take out the real Vince McMahon, the real Vince McMahon is dead. Jericho then says that he believes this is Ortons last night as an employee of the WWE.
There’s a video package next for the Royal Rumble match.
The 2009 Royal Rumble match
It’s time for my favourite match of the year! #1 is Rey Mysterio who has previously won the match from the #2 spot. He’s proven that eh can go the distance. #2 is one half of the World Tag Team Champions, John Morrison. Morrison lasted nearly half an hour in last years Royal Rumble until Kane chucked him out. Jim Ross tells us that there will be a new entry every 90 seconds. Two Raw superstars kicking things off. Mysterio looks for a bulldog early and Morrison nearly eliminates Mysterio after dumping him over the top. Rey springboard back into the ring with a cross body and then hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors before nearly eliminating Morrison. Morrison holds on to the top rope and dangles but manages to get back into the ring. #3 is Carlito who is one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions. Carlito lays into both men and hits a big neckbreaker on Mysterio. Morrison nearly eliminates Carlito who hits a springboard moonsault. Carlito has been in the last three Royal Rumble matches, lasting 38 minutes three years ago. #4 is MVP who gets a good reaction. He hits a powerslam on Morrison and then a belly to belly throw on Mysterio. Morrison hits a springboard kick on Mysterio and MVP hits the drive-by on Morrison.
Mysterio hits a flying head-scissors on MVP and so far we have a good representation of the mid-card. #5 is The Great Khali who has wrestled in the last two Royal Rumble matches and has been eliminated by The Undertaker both times. Khali takes down everyone with clotheslines and chops and throws. Mysterio tries a springboard dropkick but Khali just bats everyone away. #6 is Vladimir Kozlov and this shoulder be a big showdown. Kozlov hits headbutts and kicks and then eliminates The Great Khali from the match! MVP hits Kozlov with lefts and rights but misses with a running boot and Kozlov eliminates MVP from the match! Kozlov hits a big spinebuster on Carlito and then eliminates Carlito from the match. Kozlov and Mysterio go at it and #7 is Triple H. Triple H was runner up last year and won the match in 2002. Triple H and Kozlov go at it and Kozlov hits a big headbutt to knock down The Game. Triple H hits a facebuster on Kozlov and then eliminates Kozlov from the match. Morrison goes right to work on Triple H with right hands and kicks but Triple H knocks him down with a knee to the face. #8 is Randy Orton.
Triple H and Randy Orton go right at it and Orton hits right hands and then a backbreaker. John Morrison chokes Rey Mysterio on the other side of the ring. Orton tries for an RKO but Triple H pushes him away and sets up for a pedigree but Morrison hits Triple H with a springboard kick. Mysterio, Triple H and Orton were the last three men in the 2006 Royal Rumble. Mysterio hits a 619 on Morrison. #9 is Cryme Tyme….JTG flips a coin and it’s JTG the winner. Shad picks up the coin and it’s double sided but it’s too late, JTG has gone. JTG takes down his rival John Morrison and then goes after Triple H. Orton has Mysterio teetering on the top rope. It’s a Royal Rumble match debut for JTG. #10 is Ted DiBiase who makes his Royal Rumble match debut. I like DiBiase a lot. Triple H has Orton over the top rope and DiBiase then clotheslines both JTG and John Morrison over the top rope but they both make it back in. Mysterio hurricanranas Ted DiBiase over the top rope and both men are on the apron and gets back into the ring. Mysterio hits a baseball slide to DiBiase’s crotch.
#11 is Chris Jericho, I thought it was Kane for a second. Jericho takes a shot at Mysterio and then Randy Orton who he spoke with earlier. Jericho has never won a Royal Rumble match. He hits a bulldog on Triple H and then tries for the lionsault but Triple H gets out of the way. Triple H looks to eliminate Jericho who hangs on and gets back in under the bottom rope. This is Jericho’s first Royal Rumble match in 5 years. #12 is Mike Knox who hasn’t been on PPV in a long time. Knox goes right for Rey Mysterio, choking him with his boot as Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase start scheming and go after JTG. Triple H saves Mysterio from being eliminated but then gets knocked down by Mike Knox. #13 is The Miz. The Miz goes after JTG and knocks him down before taking out Triple H. This is The Miz’s third consecutive Royal Rumble match. Miz and Morrison, the World Tag Team Champions double team Randy Orton. Orton hits Morrison and Miz with RKO’s and then one for JTG. Triple H hits Randy Orton with a pedigree and then eliminates both John Morrison and The Miz!
Rey Mysterio is nearly eliminated but steps on Morrison and Miz to get back into the ring. #14 is Finlay. Finlay takes down Triple H and then looks to eliminate Chris Jericho. Finlay and Mike Knox then go at it as Jericho stomps away at Rey Mysterio. #15 is Cody Rhodes who is the final member of Legacy. One man who won’t be in this match is Hardcore Holly who was released recently. All three members of Legacy triple team Triple H and then Finlay. Mysterio looks to springboard at Orton but Orton sees him coming and hits him with an RKO! Jericho and JTG go at it. #16 is The Undertaker! Undertaker is in his third consecutive Royal Rumble. Every superstar in the ring stops what they’re doing and they all go after Undertaker. Undertaker won the royal Rumble match two years ago and he quickly eliminates JTG. Some big name sin the ring now with Undertaker, Triple H, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho. Undertaker takes shots at Orton and Triple H and then Cody Rhodes. #17 is Goldust who has been in plenty of royal Rumble matches before. Goldust takes Ted DiBiase down and we then get a face to face with Cody Rhodes! Goldust hits his brother with right hands.
Goldust nearly eliminates Cody Rhodes before turning around into an RKO. Orton then tells Cody to eliminate his brother. Cody Rhodes eliminates Goldust! #18 is CM Punk, the Intercontinental Champion. Punk takes down Rhodes and DiBiase and then takes a shot on Jericho. Punk bulldogs Jericho and then hits the go to sleep on Triple H! Orton goes after Jericho as Undertaker knocks Punk down with a big boot. Finlay then lays into Undertaker as Mike Knox tries to eliminate Rey Mysterio. #19 is Mark Henry who runs down to the ring. Henry takes down anybody thats moving including Randy Orton and The Undertaker. Henry then lays into CM Punk and most of the participants just watch on. Henry hits the world’s strongest slam on Triple H. Ted DiBiase lays into Mike Knox. #20 is Shelton Benjamin, the United States Champion. Benjamin lays into DiBiase and then Rey Mysterio before stomping away at Finlay. Jericho and CM Punk slug it out on the top rope and Benjamin climbs up there and brings them both down to the mat.
Triple H throws CM Punk over the top rope but Punk holds on and gets back into the ring. #21 is William Regal who goes right for the man that beat him for the Intercontinental Championship, CM Punk. Undertaker lays into Shelton Benjamin who he has had issues with as of late. Mysterio and Orton go at it as Finlay tries to eliminate Mike Knox. Rey Mysterio eliminates Mark Henry. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase double team Triple H. #22 is Kofi Kingston who is making his Royal Rumble debut. Kofi hits dropkicks on DiBiase, Benjamin and Punk. He hits the SOS on Mike Knox and then the boom drop. Jericho drops Kofi and Undertaker is bleeding from the head. Finlay and Cody go at it. Undertaker chokeslams Shelton Benjamin. Undertaker then eliminates Shelton Benjamin. Rey Mysterio is hanging upside down from the ringpost! #23 is Kane. Kane drops Ted Dibiase, Cody Rhodes and Mike Knox. Kane hits a big boot on Rhodes and a sidewalk slam on DiBiase. Kane and Undertaker then face off before both men hit a double chokeslam on Ted DiBiase!
Kane chokeslams Kofi Kingston and Undertaker throws Jericho into the ringpost. CM Punk eliminates William Regal. Mike Knox saves Rey Mysterio from an Undertaker chokeslam bizarrely. #24 is R-Truth. R-Truth lays into CM Punk and then drops Triple H. Rey Mysterio has been in there the longest, he Kofi Kingston and Orton triple team Kane. CM Punk and Finlay go at it as Legacy re-group. #25 is Rob Van Dam! What a shocker! RVD is back! The fans go nuts. RVD takes down Kane and then Cody, Kofi, Jericho, Orton, DiBiase and R-Truth. Jericho takes down Jericho but Mike Knox stops RVD’s momentum. RVD hits a springboard kick on CM Punk and then a clothesline on R-Truth. RVD goes to the top but Triple H stops him from doing anything. #26 is The Brian Kendrick. Kendrick immediately eliminates Kofi Kingston and triple H then eliminates The Brian Kendrick! CM Punk chokes RVD with his boot as Undertaker lays into Randy Orton. Mike Knox goes for R-Truth. Kane lays into Triple H.
#27 is Dolph Ziggler who is making his PPV debut. Dolph introduces himself to Kane but Kane eliminates Dolph Ziggler from the match! Mysterio and Punk go at it, they had a match at Armageddon last month. Orton tries to eliminate Rob Van Dam and Undertaker goes for Triple H. RVD made his royal Rumble debut in 2002. #28 is Santino. Santino runs down to the ring and Kane clotheslines him right back out! The Warlords record is broken! Santino says that he wasn’t ready! Brilliant. Cody has Mysterio teetering on the top rope. Triple H and Undertaker slug it out. Rhodes and DiBiase double team Rob Van Dam. Finlay, R-Truth and Triple H triple team Kane. Orton and Mysterio go at it. #29 is “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan the winner of the very first Royal Rumble back in 1988. Duggan takes shots at everybody, knocking everyone down. Dibiase drops CM Punk. I think there are 14 guys currently in the ring. Finlay has Cody Rhodes balanced on the top rope. #30 is The Big Show! The biggest man of them all.
It seems as though everybody is going to go after Big Show. Undertaker is the man to step up and then Kane takes a cheap shot on Big Show. Big Show has been runner up in 2000 and 2004. Big Show eliminates Jim Duggan. Jericho then goes after Big Show. Big Show hits a couple of big chops on R-Truth. Undertaker has Randy Orton teetering on the top rope but Cody Rhodes saves Orton. Big Show eliminates R-Truth. CM Punk lays into Big Show and after four failed attempts, Big Show finally eliminates CM Punk. Big Show then takes Kane down. Big Show then eliminates Rey Mysterio and Mike Knox. Hornswoggle then shows up and saves Finlay from a Kane chokeslam. Kane chases Hornswoggle off and then eliminates Finlay form the match. Big Show lays into Rob Van Dam as Kane tries to eliminate Chris Jericho. Jericho hits the codebreaker on Kane as Triple H goes after Orton. Undertaker lays into both Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes. Orton hits the hangmans DDT on Triple H. The Big Show and Undertaker go toe to toe and then slug it out until Jericho hits Big Show from behind.
Rob Van Dam hits the 5 star frog splash on Randy Orton and Jericho then eliminates Rob Van Dam from the match. Jericho hits the codebreaker on Undertaker but Undertaker then eliminates Chris Jericho! There are seven men left ion the match including all three members of Legacy who triple team Kane, eliminating him from the match. It’s now Legacy, Undertaker, Triple H and Big Show. Big Show goes after Triple H so Legacy triple team Undertaker. Big Show chokeslams Triple H. Undertaker hits clotheslines on DiBiase and Rhodes and then and then chokeslams Orton, DiBiase and finally Rhodes! Undertaker and Big Show are the only two men standing and Undertaker pulls down the straps. The two men slug it out again until Undertaker hits a boot and a clothesline to take Big Show down. Undertaker boots Big Show over the top but Big Show manages to hang on. Orton tries for an RKO on Undertaker but Undertaker pushes him away. Big Show pulls Undertaker on to the apron but Orton hits Big Show with an RKO which eliminates him from the match! Big Show then pulls Undertaker off the apron to eliminate him from the match!
We are down to Triple H, Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes. The final four. Triple H gets triple teamed and Orton hits some big right hands to The Game. Orton looks to hit an RKO but Triple H pushes him away. Dibiase checks on Orton and Triple H hits a facebuster on Rhodes and then a spinebuster on DiBiase. Triple H back body drops Orton onto the apron and then pedigree’s Rhodes. Triple H then eliminates Dibiase and Rhodes and Orton then eliminates Triple H! Randy Orton wins the 2009 Royal Rumble match! Orton and Cena at Wrestlemania? It looks that way! Orton celebrates with Rhodes and DiBiase.
And that was the 2009 Royal Rumble event. I always enjoy this yearly event and although the first three matches were fairly average, the WWE Championship match and Royal Rumble match itself made up for it. Jack Swagger retained the ECW Championship in the opener which was fairly expected. I’m not actually sure why they didn’t wait until this show for the title change but maybe it is all build towards Matt Hardy’s anger. The match was ok and it marked a PPV debut for Swagger. It’s a different direction for ECW but there aren’t many contenders for the title unless you look at a Finlay or a Boogeyman or Tommy Dreamer. Melina beat Beth Phoenix to win the Women’s Championship which surprised me. I’m not sure why the switch, Melina doesn’t have a lot of momentum but she has just come back from injury. Melina makes a much better heel so I hope she turns soon.
John Cena retained the World Heavyweight Championship against John “Bradshaw” Layfield. I liked the finish to this match with Shawn Michaels hitting sweet chin music on both men. It made a lot of sense and showed his disdain for JBL but knowing that he still had to help him. It’s a result that makes sense as you know Cena will be in a big match come Wrestlemania so it makes sense for him to be champion. Edge then beat Jeff Hardy for the WWE Championship and in the biggest shocker of the night, Matt Hardy attacked him brother, costing him the title and revealing that it was he that has been Jeff’s mystery attacker. I liked this finish a lot and it puts the title on Edge whilst Jeff will start a new feud with his brother.
The story of the Royal Rumble match was Randy Orton and his Legacy buddies watching each others backs until they were in the final four with Triple H. I like the booking of this a lot even though Orton winning was predictable. Orton wins the match and thus won’t be getting fired for kicking Vince McMahon in the head. He’ll go to Wrestlemania, presumably against John Cena. In regards to the rest of the Royal Rumble match, Rob Van Dam was a surprise entrant at #25, is he back properly or was this a one off? Santino broke the record for the shortest ever Royal Rumble appearance, barely lasting a second. Dolph Ziggler made his PPV debut, introducing himself to Kane and getting thrown straight out. A fun Royal Rumble match that had a lot of guys in the ring at once so not too many stoppages.
Overall Rating: 65/100 (ranked joint 35th out of 234)
Match Of The Night: The 2009 Royal Rumble match
Worst Match Of The Night: Beth Phoenix vs. Melina
Surprise Of The Night: Matt Hardy revealed as Jeff’s attacker
Worst Booking Of The Night: Melina beats Beth Phoenix
Superstar Of The Night: Randy Orton
Royal Rumble 2009 Will be Remembered For: Matt Hardy attacking Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton winning the Royal Rumble match