by Samoa Rowe
-From Atlanta, GA. Our hosts are Michael Cole, Matt Striker, and Jerry Lawler.
-Savannah is our official ECW ring announcer! I’m surprised TNA hasn’t hired her yet and then acted surprised when their fans didn’t recognize her.
-Cryme Tyme tells Teddy Long that it isn’t fair that only one of them can be in the Rumble. They offer The Great Khali to trade his spot for a kiss from Tiffany. Khali has no idea what’s going on, but Ranjin Singh saves him from making a big mistake. They make some really painfully dated Family Matters jokes and Long and the whole group makes fun of Cryme Tyme. The Miz wanders into the scene and says people will remember his first Rumble win more than any lame pop culture reference. Long doesn’t like having his buzz killed and books Miz against MVP on the spot. Khali leads a group sing-a-long of “Who let the dogs out” and we finally cut away.
-Cody Rhodes approaches Randy Orton in his locker room. Rhodes feels that they’ve worked too hard to let Legacy fall apart and promises to be there for his leader. Cody isn’t finished and tries to plant some dissension by claiming that Ted Dibiase is planning on beating Orton for the WWE title at Wrestlemania.
-MVP puts Miz down with the Playmaker to mostly boos. Nobody likes a sore loser. Why the WWE writers thought this was a good thing for a baby face to do, is beyond me.
-Big Show bumps into Chris Jericho backstage. Show accuses Jericho of being jealous that he likes tagging with Miz more than him. Jericho scoffs at the notion and accuses Miz of using Show for his own personal agenda. Jericho is basically trying to make an ally for himself in the Rumble match, but Big Show says he’ll toss both Miz and Jericho out if he gets the chance. R-Truth shows up and promises to toss Jericho, who no longer has Big Show to watch his back.
-Randy Orton is approached by Ted Dibiase, who wishes him luck and offers his support. Dibiase claims that Rhodes is acting weird. Orton has had enough of this nonsense and says he doesn’t want help from Dibiase or Rhodes tonight.
-Orton looks really aggravated as Cody tries to explain himself. Orton clocks Cody in his sorry face and starts pummeling him. Ted Dibiase runs in and pulls Orton off and tries to reason with him. Orton clocks Dibiase as well and continues his 1 on 2 beat down. Sheamus is back up and catches Randy off guard with a Brogue Kick! Bad night for Randy.
-Michelle McCool comes to the ring and claims that Mickie James isn’t here, because if she was, you’d see her. You know, because she’s sooooo fat! McCool tries to claim a forfeit victory, which is a shame, because Layla baked a cake for Piggie James. Layla comes out wearing a fat suit and a pig nose. Mickie’s music hits and she’s here to end this nonsense! Mickie delivers a Thesz press to Layla and slams her into the guard rail.
-The other baby face divas come out with a huge cake, which they dump onto Michelle and Layla. That was fun.
-Kane confronts Shawn Michaels in the locker room. Kane tells HBK that his obsession with The Undertaker is unhealthy. Kane reminds him that he’s eliminated more men in Rumble matches than anyone else and also faced Undertaker at two Wrestlemania’s, so he knows that HBK will find nothing but darkness if he continues his quest. Kane takes off and Triple H strolls in. HHH wishes Michaels luck in the Rumble and HBK apologizes for being selfish. They shake hands, but Michaels doesn’t let go right away and says his rematch with Undertaker is meant to be. Triple H agrees, but HBK is going to have to find another way.
HHH dishes out clotheslines but runs into a Dibiase slam. The heels double team Triple H until #11 John Morrison shows up to even things up. #12 is Kane, who cleans house on everyone. #13 is Cody Rhodes, who quickly teams up with his regular partner, Dibiase. #14 is the sore loser, MVP. The Miz ambushes MVP on the stage, thus preventing him from entering the match. Kane saves Triple H from being double teamed by Legacy. #15 is Carlito, who I’m surprised was still employed at this point. To borrow a phrase, Carlito goes after anything that moves. The Miz is #16 and immediately plants Carlito with the Skull Crushing Finale. MVP rushes in and eliminates both Miz and himself and they continue to fight at ringside. #17 is Matt Hardy, who has a turn cleaning house, until Kane pushes him to the floor. Triple H eliminates Kane right after. Triple H delivers a series of spine busters to all who come near. Shawn Michaels is #18 and he is eager to win so he can challenge Undertaker for the World title. Michaels tosses Carlito, Dibiase, and Rhodes to the floor. HBK adds Morrison to the list but gets ambushed by McIntyre. DX team up and bat Drew around before eliminating him. Triple H and Michaels are alone and about to fight when #19 John Cena shows up. Cena cleans house, suplexing Triple H onto Michaels. HHH saves HBK from getting tossed and nails Cena with the Pedigree. HBK thanks HHH by eliminating him with Sweet Chin Music.
#20 is Shelton Benjamin, who delivers a flurry of attacks before getting tossed by Cena. Yoshi Tatsu is #21 and also manages to hit a series of attacks on HBK and Cena. Sadly, Yoshi gets tossed by Cena as well. Big Show is #22 and Michaels saves himself from some close eliminations. Mark Henry is #23 and he goes right after Big Show. Cena softens Show for a Henry power slam. Cena is unable to slam Henry and #24 Chris Masters joins the party. Show counters the Masterlock by tossing Masters to the floor. R-Truth is #25 and he sneaks in to dump both Big Show and Mark Henry to ringside. Truth tangles with the main eventers. Jack Swagger is #26 and he goes right after Truth. Swagger Bomb on both Cena and HBK! Swagger nearly eliminates Shawn. Kofi Kingston is #27 and he enjoys a stretch in the driver’s seat with his controlled frenzy. Kofi eliminates Swagger and Truth! #28 is Chris Jericho, who cleans house. Cena plants Jericho with the Attitude Adjustment but then suffers a DDT from Michaels. Cena eliminates Kofi, who had just planted HBK with Trouble in Paradise. #29 is Edge, who is returning from a lengthy absence. Edge spears everyone and tosses Jericho! Edge counters Cena with his patented DDT. Batista is the coveted #30 entrant.
The final four are Shawn Michaels, John Cena Batista, and Edge. Batista cleans house but eats a spear from Edge. Attitude Adjustment on Edge! Michaels finds his second (or third) wind and dishes out Sweet Chin Musics to Cena and Batista. Edge nearly eliminates himself and HBK but takes a SCM. Batista knocks HBK off the apron for an elimination! You can sense the disbelief from the audience as Michaels looks completely devastated. Michaels doesn’t handle it well and attacks the referees. Meanwhile, Cena blocks a Batista Bomb and pulls the ropes to eliminate the Animal. Cena blocks the spear but Edge rebounds and tosses Cena to win the Rumble at 49:22! Edge points to the Wrestlemania sign and has his moment like a good winner should. This was a fantastic Rumble, from Punk’s preaching to Michaels’ hearbreak, and finally Edge’s grand return. All around a ****¼ outing.
Final Thoughts: The Royal Rumble match delivered, therefore the pay-per-view can be considered a big success. There’s also a surprisingly good Undertaker/Mysterio match and there really wasn’t anything I flat out disliked. It’s too bad that Orton and Sheamus had a slight misfire, otherwise this is worth a recommendation. Thumbs up!