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Royal Rumble: Through The Years (Part 5, 2011-2015)

by Scrooge McSuck

Last time in our re-visiting of the Royal Rumble... who cares. We’re at the end of the road, and we’ve got some rough years to get through. *Sigh*... Alright, last time in quest to present a rundown of every Royal Rumble, Rey Mysterio won it for Eddie and everybody hated it (the match and storyline, not Eddie), The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels were highlights of back-to-back so-so Rumbles in 2007 and 2008, the 2009 Rumble sucked a fat, wet one, and 2010 was probably the last great Rumble we’ve seen, with smart booking, limited crowding of the ring, and a great finish. Now... we move on... to 2011...

2011 (January 30th, TD Garden @ Boston, MA)

Participants Order of Entry and Elimination...
1. CM Punk, 2. Daniel Bryan, 3. Justin Gabriel, 4. Zack Ryder, 5. William Regal, 6. Ted Dibiase, 7. John Morrison, 8. Yoshi Tatsu, 9. Husky Harris, 10. Chavo Guerrero, 11. Mark Henry, 12. JTG, 13. Michael McGillicutty, 14. Chris Masters, 15. David Otunga, 16. Tyler Reks, 17. Vladimir Kozlov, 18. R-Truth, 19. The Great Khali, 20. Mason Ryan, 21. Booker T, 22. John Cena, 23. Hornswoggle, 24. Tyson Kidd, 25. Heath Slater, 26. Kofi Kingston, 27. Jack Swagger, 28. King Sheamus, 29. Rey Mysterio, 30. Wade Barrett, 31. Dolph Ziggler, 32. Diesel, 33. Drew McIntyre, 34. Alex Riley, 35. Big Show, 36. Ezekiel Jackson, 37. Santino Marella, 38. Alberto Del Rio, 39. Randy Orton, 40. Kane

1. Justin Gabriel (by Bryan), 2. Zack Ryder (by Bryan), 3. William Regal (by Dibiase), 4. Chavo Guerrero (by Henry), 5. Yoshi Tatsu (by Henry), 6. JTG (by McGillicutty), 7. Ted Dibiase (by Harris & McGillicutty), 8. Daniel Bryan (by Punk), 9. Chris Masters (by Punk), 10. John Morrison (by Nexus), 11. Mark Henry (by Nexus), 12. Tyler Reks (by Punk), 13. Vladimir Kozlov (by Punk), 14. R-Truth (by Punk), 15. Husky Harris (by Khali), 16. The Great Khali (by Ryan), 17. Booker T (by Ryan), 18. Mason Ryan (by Cena), 19. David Otunga (by Cena), 20. Michael McGillicutty (by Cena), 21. CM Punk (by Cena), 22. Tyson Kidd (by Cena), 23. Heath Slater (by Cena), 24. Hornswoggle (by Sheamus), 25. Jack Swagger (by Mysterio), 26. Diesel (by Barrett), 27. Dolph Ziggler (by Show), 28. Alex Riley (by Cena & Kofi), 29. Drew McIntyre (by Show), 30. Big Show (by Zeke), 31. Kofi Kingston (by Orton), 32. King Sheamus (by Orton), 33. Ezekiel Jackson (by Kane), 34. Kane (by Mysterio), 35. Ret Mysterio (by Barrett), 36. John Cena (illegally by Miz), 37. Wade Barrett (by Orton), 38. Randy Orton (by Del Rio), 39. Santino Marella (by Del Rio), WINNER: ALBERTO DEL RIO

Rumble Match Rating: ...

    The Undercard...
  1. Edge def. Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a match where Edge’s former love-interest, Vicki Guerrero, made it a stipulation that if Edge were to use the Spear, he would lose the match and his Championship. Good opener, but we’re in that era where every match just kind of feels like it’s the same thing every time out. Seriously, how much Dolph Ziggler can one man take before he cracks and admits the guy does the same stuff? [***1/2]
  2. The Miz def. Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship. Is there anyone out there who fondly remembers the Miz’s reign as Champion? All I remember from it is the worst WrestleMania Main Event since WrestleMania 13 and defending the Title against JERRY LAWLER on a PPV. In 2011. Decent match, nothing to write home about. [**1/2]
  3. Eve Torres def. Natalya, Michelle McCool, and Layla to win the WWE Divas Championship in a total nothing match. I guess there was speculation that Awesome Kong would make her debut here, but it just turned out to be Eve added to the match. [3/4*]

2012 (January 29th, Scottrade Center @ St. Louis, MO)

Participants Order of Entry and Elimination...
1. The Miz, 2. Alex Riley, 3. R-Truth, 4. Cody Rhodes, 5. Justin Gabriel, 6. Primo, 7. Mick Foley, 8. Ricardo Rodriguez, 9. Santino Marella, 10. Epico, 11. Kofi Kingston, 12. Jerry "The King" Lawler, 13. Ezekiel Jackson, 14. Jinder Mahal, 15. The Great Khali, 16. Hunico, 17. Booker T, 18. Dolph Ziggler, 19. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, 20. Michael Cole, 21. Kharma, 22. Sheamus, 23. Road Dogg, 24. Jey Uso, 25. Jack Swagger, 26. Wade Barrett, 27. David Otunga, 28. Randy Orton, 29. Chris Jericho, 30. Big Show

1. Alex Riley (by Miz), 2. R-Truth (by Miz), 3. Primo (by Foley), 4. Justin Gabriel (by Foley & Ricardo), 5. Ricardo Rodriguez (by Santino), 6. Epico (by Foley), 7. Santino Marella (by Rhodes), 8. Mick Foley (by Rhodes), 9. Jerry Lawler (by Rhodes), 10. Jinder Mahal (by Khali), 11. Ezekiel Jackson (by Khali), 12. Jim Duggan (by Rhodes), 13. Booker T (by Rhodes & Ziggler), 14. The Great Khali (by Rhodes & Ziggler), 15. Michael Cole (illegally by Lawler & Booker), 16. Hunico (by Kharma), 17. Kharma (by Ziggler), 18. Kofi Kingston (by Sheamus), 19. Road Dogg (by Barrett), 20. Jey Uso (by Orton), 21. Wade Barrett (by Orton), 22. David Otunga (by Jericho), 23. Jack Swagger (by Show), 24. Cody Rhodes (by Show), 25. The Miz (by Show), 26. Dolph Ziggler (by Show), 27. Big Show (by Orton), 28. Randy Orton (by Jericho), 29. Chris Jericho (by Sheamus), WINNER: SHEAMUS

Rumble Match Rating: Seriously, of the first 20 or so entrants, only the Miz had enough credibility to win this thing. One of the weakest field of scrubs and geeks in Rumble History. The short list of believable winners could be counted on one hand, and all of them entered late. There was plenty to comment on here, which makes for some form of amusement, but that doesn’t make this a good rumble. Too much comedy and wasted spots on the JTTS Squad and "Legends" and very little good sequences and drama. Sheamus’ Rumble win lead to one of the most poorly-received Championship matches in WrestleMania history. [**]

    The Undercard...
  1. Daniel Bryan def. The Big Show and Mark Henry in a Triple Threat Cage Match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. Funny to think Bryan’s reign as Champion was just a joke, and was never meant to get over, and that Sheamus knocking his block off at WrestleMania was supposed to be the "big moment" of the night that pushed Sheamus into super-stardom and Bryan back into obscurity. HA! [**]
  2. Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Nikki and Brie Bella def. Kelly Kelly, Tamina, Alicia Fox, and Eve Torres in a worthless 8-DIVAS Tag Team Match. Usually Diva turnover is pretty good, but 5 of these 8 are still around in 2016. [DUD]
  3. John Cena and Kane fought to a double Count-Out. The only memorable part of this angle? The excessive burial of Zack Ryder. [*1/2]
  4. Brodus Clay def. Drew McIntyre in about a minute as he’s reintroduced to the world as the fun-loving Funkadactyl. Yes, that was the sound of two toilets flushing. One for Drew McIntyre meaning anything, and WWE wasting Clay in a goofy comedy role instead of a monster heel. [NR]
  5. CM Punk def. Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Championship, with John Laurinaitis as a special referee because he’s got People Power™. Pretty good match as expected, but hampered a bit with the involvement of Johnny Ace. [***]

2013 (January 27th, US Airways Center @ Phoenix, AZ)

Participants Order of Entry and Elimination...
1. Dolph Ziggler, 2. Chris Jericho, 3. Cody Rhodes, 4. Kofi Kingston, 5. Santino Marella, 6. Drew McIntyre, 7. Titus O’Neil, 8. Goldust, 9. David Otunga, 10. Heath Slater, 11. Sheamus, 12. Tensai, 13. Brodus Clay, 14. Rey Mysterio, 15. Darren Young, 16. Bo Dallas, 17. The Godfather, 18. Wade Barrett, 19. John Cena, 20. Damien Sandow, 21. Daniel Bryan, 22. Antonio Cesaro, 23. The Great Khali, 24. Kane, 25. Zack Ryder, 26. Randy Orton, 27. Jinder Mahal, 28. The Miz, 29. Sin Cara, 30. Ryback

1. Santino Marella (by Rhodes), 2. Drew McIntyre (by Jericho), 3. Titus O’Neil (by Sheamus), 4. David Otunga (by Sheamus), 5. Goldust (by Rhodes), 6. Brodus Clay (by 6 Superstars), 7. Tensai (by Kofi), 8. Darren Young (by Kofi), 9. Kofi Kingston (by Rhodes), 10. The Godfather (by Ziggler), 11. Heath Slater (by Cena), 12. Cody Rhodes (by Cena), 13. Rey Mysterio (by Barrett), 14. The Great Khali (by Kane & Bryan), 15. Kane (by Bryan), 16. Daniel Bryan (by Cesaro & Kane), 17. Zack Ryder (by Orton), 18. Antonio Cesaro (by Cena), 19. Jinder Mahal (by Sheamus), 20. Wade Barrett (by Dallas), 21. Bo Dallas (illegally by Barrett), 22. Damien Sandow (by Ryback), 23. Sin Cara (by Ryback), 24. The Miz (by Ryback), 25. Chris Jericho (by Ziggler), 26. Randy Orton (by Ryback), 27. Dolph Ziggler (by Sheamus), 28. Sheamus (by Ryback), 29. Ryback (by Cena), WINNER: JOHN CENA

Rumble Match Rating: One of those middle of the road Rumbles. It had some decent spots and sequences, but nothing that will crack the all time list, and nothing was actively bad, either. The ring suffered a bit too much from over-crowding, especially in the second half of the match, but a few key eliminations helped keep interesting during those lull moments. [***]
    The Undercard...
  1. Antonio Cesaro def. The Miz to retain the United States Championship on the Kickoff Show. Decent but unspectacular. [*1/2]
  2. Alberto Del Rio def. The Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. They had a much better match on Smackdown for the title switch, but this wasn’t too bad. I had no problem with tying Show’s boots to the bottom rope, since I wasn’t watching when it was last used for a finish. Babyface Del Rio sure went nowhere, though. [***1/4]
  3. Team Hell No def. The Rhodes Scholars to retain the Tag Team Championship. That would be the make-shift team of Kane and Daniel Bryan defending against the under-rated team of Cody Rhodes (repackaged again) and Damien Sandow. OK, but nothing special. [**]
  4. The Rock def. CM Punk to win the WWE Championship and end Punk’s reign as Champion at 434 days. Not a "Great" match, with Rock’s cardio being an issue, but this was more than satisfying for a Main Event. The only real complaint was the predictability of them setting up a rematch to "once in a lifetime". For a moment I had hope Punk would retain, but the second Rock cut his Dusty Rhodes inspired promo... nope. Punk was done. [***1/2]

2014 (January 26th, Consol Energy Center @ Pittsburgh, PA)

Participants Order of Entry and Elimination...
1. CM Punk, 2. Seth Rollins, 3. Damien Sandow, 4. Cody Rhodes, 5. Kane, 6. Alexander Rusev, 7. Jack Swagger, 8. Kofi Kingston, 9. Jimmy Uso, 10. Goldust, 11. Dean Ambrose, 12. Dolph Ziggler, 13. R-Truth, 14. Kevin Nash, 15. Roman Reigns, 16. The Great Khali, 17. Sheamus, 18. The Miz, 19. Fandango, 20. El Torito, 21. Antonio Cesaro, 22. Luke Harper, 23. Jey Uso, 24. JBL, 25. Erick Rowan, 26. Ryback, 27. Alberto Del Rio, 28. Batista, 29. Big E. Langston, 30. Rey Mysterio

1. Damien Sandow (by Punk), 2. Kane (by Punk), 3. Alexander Rusev (by Punk, Cody, Kofi, Seth), 4. R-Truth (by Ambrose), 5. Jimmy Uso (by Ambrose), 6. Jack Swagger (by Nash), 7. Kofi Kingston (by Reigns), 8. Dolph Ziggler (by Reigns), 9. Kevin Nash (by Reigns), 10. The Great Khali (by The Shield), 11. Cody Rhodes (by Goldust), 12. Goldust (by Reigns), 13. Fandango (by Torito), 14. El Torito (by Reigns), 15. JBL (by Reigns), 16. The Miz (by Harper), 17. Jey Uso (by Harper), 18. Erick Rowan (by Batista), 19. Ryback (by Batista), 20. Alberto Del Rio (by Batista), 21. Big E. Langston (by Sheamus), 22. Rey Mysterio (by Rollins), 23. Luke Harper (by Reigns), 24. Antonio Cesaro (by Reigns), 25. Seth Rollins (by Reigns), 26. Dean Ambrose (by Reigns), 27. CM Punk (illegally by Kane), 28. Sheamus (by Reigns), 29. Roman Reigns (by Batista), WINNER: BATISTA

Rumble Match Rating: This wasn’t too bad of a Rumble, but the lack of Daniel Bryan and the crowd unwilling to accept anything else creates another scenario where there’s no helping the product because the work of the match is over-shadowed by the backlash of the audience. Bringing Batista back in this specific role was just a bad idea, especially when it was presented in such an obvious and predictable fashion. [**1/2]
    The Undercard...
  1. The New Age Outlaws def. Cody Rhodes and Goldust for the Tag Team Titles on the Kick-Off Show. Yes. The Outlaws won the Titles in 2014. I guess I shouldn’t say that with too much conviction... one of the defending Champions was Dustin Rhodes in 2014. [**]
  2. Bray Wyatt def. Daniel Bryan in the PPV opener in an outstanding back-and-forth battle that ended with Wyatt giving Bryan two Sister Abigails, one on the floor into the security wall, and one in the ring. [****]
  3. Brock Lesnar def. Big Show in destructive fashion in less than two-minutes, then destroyed him with chair shots afterwards. Show sold it with mild discomfort. [NR]
  4. Randy Orton def. John Cena to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship with help from the Wyatt Family. The crowd completely turned on the match before it had a chance, and makes it hard to rate. It wasn’t bad, but the factoring in the crowd definitely knocks I down. [**1/2]

2015 (January 25th, Wells Fargo center @ Philadelphia, PA)

Participants Order of Entry and Elimination...
1. The Miz, 2. R-Truth, 3. Bubba Ray Dudley, 4. Luke Harper, 5. Bray Wyatt, 6. Curtis Axel, 7. The Boogeyman, 8. Sin Cara, 9. Zack Ryder, 10. Daniel Bryan, 11. Fandango, 12. Tyson Kidd, 13. Stardust, 14. Diamond Dallas Page, 15. Rusev, 16. Goldust, 17. Kofi Kingston, 18. Adam Rose, 19. Roman Reigns, 20. Big E., 21. Damien Mizdow, 22. Jack Swagger, 23. Ryback, 24. Kane, 25. Dean Ambrose, 26. Titus O’Neil, 27. Bad News Barrett, 28. Cesaro, 29. Big Show, 30. Dolph Ziggler

1. The Miz (by Dudley), 2. R-Truth (by Dudley), 3. Bubba Ray Dudley (by Wyatt), 4. Luke Harper (by Wyatt), 5. Curtis Axel (illegally eliminated by Rowan), 6. The Boogeyman (by Wyatt), 7. Sin Cara (by Wyatt), 8. Zack Ryder (by Wyatt), 9. Tyson Kidd (by Bryan), 10. Diamond Dallas Page (by Rusev), 11. Fandango (by Rusev), 12. Daniel Bryan (by Wyatt), 13. Adam Rose (by Rusev), 14. Kofi Kingston (by Rusev), 15. Goldust (by Reigns), 16. Stardust (by Reigns), 17. Damien Mizdow (by Rusev), 18. Titus O’Neil (by Ambrose & Reigns), 19. Big E (by Rusev), 20. Ryback (by Kane & Show), 21. Jack Swagger (By Show), 22. Bad News Barrett (by Ziggler), 23. Cesaro (by Ziggler), 24. Dolph Ziggler (by Show & Kane), 25. Bray Wyatt (by Show), 26. Dean Ambrose (Kane & Show), 27. Kane (by Reigns), 28. Big Show (by Reigns), 29. Rusev (by Reigns), WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS

Rumble Match Rating: What else needs to be said about this? Once Daniel Bryan is eliminated, the match hits the skids and never recovers. The crowd pops maybe 2 or 3 times the rest of the way, but each time is for such an insignificant amount of time that it gets lost in the sea of boos and indifference. I really like the first half, but its not good enough to save one of the worst halves of all time. [**]
    The Undercard...
  1. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd def. The New Day in the Kick-Off Match. This was originally meant to be a 6-Man Tag with Adam Rose and Xavier Woods added, but was changed at the last minute. Remember when New Day were babyfaces left to die on national television? [**1/2]
  2. The Ascension def. The New Age Outlaws in a total turd. [1/4*]
  3. Jimmy and Jey Uso def. The Miz and Damien Mizdow to retain the Tag Team Titles. Same-old-same-old from these guys. Most memorable moment was Miz classically being out of position to catch an Uso on a dive. [**1/2]
  4. Nikki and Brie Bella def. Paige and Natalya in a weird match where they did the heat segment on Nattie, broke up a hot tag attempt, and Nikki pinned her with a forearm. [*1/2]
  5. Brock Lesnar def. John Cena and Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat Match to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Title in a Match of the Year Contender. The idea of Brock destroying everyone in his path, forcing the unlikely alliance of Cena and Rollins to conquer the monster so they could try and beat each other played out perfectly and almost saved one of the worst PPV’s of the Year. Almost. [****1/4]
  • Enjoy the 2016 Royal Rumble. There’s nothing left to say, unless I wanted to kill myself and watch a bunch of other Royal Rumble matches that didn’t take place at a Royal Rumble PPV. There’s the MSG Rumble from 1994, a Rumble co-promoted with Tenryu’s company in the Spring of 1994, the Smackdown Rumble in 2004, and a handful of other Mini Rumbles presented on TV throughout the years. With all these Rumbles looked at and broken down, I think I don’t need to watch any of them again for at least a decade.

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