1/31 Powell's WWE Royal Rumble PPV report: 30-man Royal Rumble match for a WrestleMania 26 title shot, Sheamus vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, Undertaker vs. Rey Mysterio for the World Hvt. Title
Aired live on pay-per-view
Atlanta, Ga. at Phillips Arena
The show opened with a Royal Rumble video... Announcers Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Matt Striker spoke at ringside...
1. Christian defeated Ezekiel Jackson (w/William Regal) to retain the ECW Title in 12:00. Christian controlled the early action and hit a nice slide kick. Zeke caught Christian on the second rope at 3:45 and swept his legs out from under him. Regal tried to attack Christian on the floor, but the referee caught him and ejected him from ringside.
Ezekiel went on the offensive and scored a near fall. Christian slammed his hand on the mat to pump up the crowd before he made his comeback, which included a nice missile dropkick. Jackson did the monster kickout by throwing Christian into the air. Christian came back a short time later with a diving headbutt off the top, but Zeke moved and got a nice near fall.
Zeke showed frustration over not pinning Christian. Both men jockeyed for position as they went for their finishers, but neither man could execute. Jackson regained control and scored a couple near falls. Christian applied a sleeper hold at 11:34, but Jackson hoisted him onto his shoulder and rammed him into the corner twice. He went for a third try, but Christian slipped out and hit the Killswitch for the clean pin...
Powell's POV: Christian carried the big guy to a quality performance. Quality opener. Christian has done a great job of carrying so many guys to quality pay-per-view matches. He plays his role well, but he deserves better.
Backstage, Cryme Tyme told Teddy Long and Tiffany that only one of them had a spot and they both want in the match. Teddy said they should work out a deal with someone. Great Khali entered the picture. They tried to trade his Rumble spot by telling him he could kiss Tiffany. Runjin Singh entered the picture and cut them off. Teddy sang "Pants on the Ground" at Cryme Tyme.
The Miz entered the picture and said they might as well have been singing "Who Let the Dogs Out." Teddy, who had explained that he and Tiffany were in charge since there isn't a Raw general manager, booked The Miz vs. MVP for the United States Title later in the show...
Backstage, Cody Rhodes told Randy Orton that he has his back. "That's good to hear," Orton said. "Thank you." Cody said he wished he could say the same for Ted. "Ted hasn't been the same since that movie of his came out," Cody said. "I probably shouldn't be here and I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but all Ted has been talking about is winning the Royal Rumble match and going to WrestleMania and beating you for the WWE Championship." Orton fumed after Cody left the picture...
Powell's POV: Great use of Cody, who could easily get lost in a Randy and Ted feud. He stirred the pot nicely and planted the seed for some type of Orton and DiBiase rift tonight.
2. The Miz defeated MVP to retain the United States Championship in 7:20. Good back and forth action to start. Cole waited until the crowd was as quiet as they'd been all night during a rest hold to tell us that the atmosphere was electric. Great timing, Cole. Striker questioned whether Miz would still go on to compete in the Royal Rumble. "Sure, why wouldn't he?" Lawler responded.
MVP did the Ballin'" routine at 5:30. He went for the Playmaker, but Miz avoided it. MVP nailed him with a kick for a near fall. MVP scored a nice series of near falls and then Miz bailed to the floor at ringside. MVP followed. He threw Miz back inside the ring and followed, only to have Miz catch him in a small package for the win. Afterward, MVP hit the Playmaker on Miz and stormed out of the ring...
Powell's POV: A decent match that needed more time to be memorable. It's a shame their great promos on Raw set up an unadvertised seven minute match. Fun while it lasted, though. By the way, kudos to the fan on the right side of the screen wearing the Big Bossman costume.
Backstage, Big Show and Chris Jericho bumped into one another. Show tried to walk off, but Jericho stopped him. Show questioned whether Jericho was jealous because he said that he and Miz have more chemistry than they did as a team. Jericho labeled Miz an egomaniac. Show told him that he could throw Jericho and Miz out of the Rumble match if came down to it. R-Truth entered the picture and said that if Show doesn't, he will. Jericho said he'd win the Rumble and go to WrestleMania...
Powell's POV: Jericho was sporting a nice shiner on his right eye, which is likely from the Hurricane incident.
Backstage, Ted DiBiase wished Randy Orton good luck. "Whatever you need, I'm there," Ted said. Ted added that he can't talk to Cody lately because he's changed. He said Cody has been talking about winning the Rumble and challenging Sheamus at WrestleMania, as if he's already counting out Randy. Orton said he's seconds away from winning the WWE Championship...
Powell's POV: I love it. Ted essentially made the same accusations about Cody that Cody made about him. Are they all going separate ways? Are Cody and Ted actually conspiring? The latter seems unlikely, but I'm intrigued by it.
An ad aired Monday's Raw with Bret Hart and William Shatner...
3. Sheamus defeated Randy Orton by DQ to retain the WWE Championship in 12:25. Not much heat for Sheamus during his entrance. Justin Roberts handled the in-ring introductions for the championship match. Orton got more cheers than boos. Sheamus received 99 percent boos. Lawler actually noted the difference in "skin color" between the two. A loud "Randy" chant broke out moments before they locked up.
Orton hit a big dropkick during the first minute, which is a move he rarely uses as a heel. The crowd settled in and didn't cheer much for a few minutes. Lawler even noted on commentary that he thought the fans would be cheering for Orton more than they were. Orton went to work on Sheamus's knee.
At 9:50, Sheamus went for the crucifix slam, but Orton slipped out and took another shot at Sheamus's knee and knocked him to ringside. As Sheamus was headed back inside the ring, Orton DDT'd him off the ropes. Orton went for a cover, but no one really bought into it since Sheamus was so close to the ropes. Sure enough, he reached up and grabbed the bottom rope to break the pin.
A short time later, Cody Rhodes came to ringside and took a shot at Sheamus. As the ref was scolding Cody, Randy hit the RKO on Sheamus and went for the pin. However, the referee called for the bell and DQ'd Randy because of Cody's interference.
After the match, Cody entered the ring and tried to apologize to Randy. A huge "RKO" chant broke out. Randy glared at Cody as he tried to apologize and finally punched him. Orton ripped Cody's Legacy shirt off and slammed his head into the mat several times.
Ted DiBiase ran in and tried to play peacemaker. Randy eventually punched Ted. "Shut your mouthes," Orton yelled at both me. "You're done. You're finished." Sheamus recovered and snuck back inside the ring. When Orton turned around, Sheamus nailed him with a big kick to the head. Sheamus gave a look to Ted and Cody as he left the ring...
Powell's POV: The live crowd wasn't very loud, but they didn't seem to be bored by the match. It was fun to see something different, and they sure seemed to be testing the waters for an Orton babyface turn. No one likes DQ finishes, but this one made sense and was well executed. The post-match angle with Legacy was also well done, and it was cool to see Sheamus get the last shot in on Orton.
A "Don't try this at home" video aired... The announcers hyped the Fozzy song as the official Rumble theme song... The announcers previewed the WWE Women's Championship match, and a video did the same...
Michelle McCool came out and received zero heat. One fan held up a sign that read, "Even Quagmire wouldn't touch McCool." Nice. McCool got some heat with a prematch promo. She claimed Piggie James was nowhere to be seen. "Is she at the hot dog stand again?" McCool asked.
McCool claimed Mickie forfeited because she wasn't there. Layla came out in a fat suit dressed as "Piggie James." Whatever heat she gained during the early part of her promo disappeared about 20 seconds in. Mickie finally came out to a decent pop and attacked Layla at ringside...
4. Mickie James defeated Michelle McCool to win the WWE Women's Championship in 0:20. Mickie hit her DDT and scored the clean pin. Layla entered the ring. Mickie kicked her onto the fallen McCool. The babyface Divas came out with a big cake, which Maria gave to James. The Divas held down McCool and Layla while Mickie dumped the cake onto them...
Powell's POV: It's cool Mickie won the title, but it's too bad they didn't skip the crap and let them have a quality match. Here's hoping this will put an end to the silliness that the live crowds have been shitting all over. I'd rather watch the real Beautiful People on Impact than watch the impostors on Smackdown.
An ad aired for the Elimination Chamber on Feb. 21... A shot aired of Rey Mysterio kissing his cross backstage... A video hyped the Undertaker vs. Mysterio match and focussed heavily on the series of Rey vs. Batista matches that determined the No. 1 contender...
5. Undertaker defeated Rey Mysterio to retain the World Hvt. Championship in 11:10. Tony Chimel handled the in-ring introductions. There were some boos mixed in with the usual cheers for Rey. Taker got the cheers. Taker tossed Rey over the top rope to start the match.
Taker went for a chokeslam at 3:00, but Rey countered with a huracanrana that left Taker in position for the 619. Rey went for the move, but Taker caught him. Taker went for a Tombstone, but Rey slipped out. The crowd was really into the early reversals. Taker took control and roughed up Rey at ringside until he missed a big boot and crotched himself on the ring post.
Taker suffered a bloody nose. Rey hit him with an Asai Moonsault for a big pop. Fortunately, the medical staff didn't move in on Taker. Lawler said he didn't know Taker's blood was red. Taker took control of the match for the next few minutes. Rey came back with a jaw jacker, which worked well given Taker's bloody nose.
Later, Rey hit a series of flashy moves and the 619. He went for a West Coast Pop, but Taker caught him and hit the Last Ride for the clean pin...
Powell's POV: Fun match. The finish was a little too similar to their Smackdown match prior to Batista's interference, but the live crowd didn't seem to mind. I am surprised that the medical staff didn't work on Taker to stop the bleeding like they have been doing in other cases. I wonder if there's a different rule for Taker or if the blood wasn't significant enough to warrant the attention.
Shawn Michaels was shown watching the finish of the Taker match on a monitor in his locker room. Kane appeared out of nowhere and warned him about Taker. He said Shawn has an unhealthy obsession for Taker. He said he's faced Taker twice at WrestleMania. "There's no light, there's only darkness," Kane said.
Triple H entered the room after Kane exited. Shawn said he understood why Hunter wouldn't give up his dream for him. They shook hands. Shawn pulled him back and said his match with Taker is destiny. Hunter said he knows it is and that's why he knows Shawn will find a way other than winning the Rumble to get the match...
A graphic noted that we're 56 days away from WrestleMania... The announcers set up the Royal Rumble video that ran through all the Rumble statistics...
6. Edge won the 2010 Royal Rumble match at 49:20. The first entrant was Dolph Ziggler. The second entrant was Evan Bourne. Decent action to start with Evan hitting the flying double knee press. A short time later, Dolph hit the Zig Zag. However, Bourne came right back with a Shooting Star Press.
The No. 3 entrant was C.M. Punk, who was accompanied at ringside by Serena. Punk eliminated Bourne and then took out Zigler just a couple second later. Serena handed Punk a mic. He thanked the fans for joining him in "the most historic moment that my Straight Edge Society has ever seen."
JTG was the No. 4 entrant. He had an offensive flurry and whipped Punk into the corner. JTG stood on the second rope in front of Punk, only to be thrown over the top rope for the elimination. Punk took the mic and delivered more mic work. He was interrupted by the No. 5 entrant, Great Khali.
Punk was concerned about Khali and told him he could make him greater. He had Khali raise his right hand and asked if he accepted Straight Edge into his life. Khali hit him with a chop that could be seen coming a mile away. Khali applied the vice grip. He released the hold when the entrance music for the No. 6 entrant, Beth Phoenix, played.
Khali picked up Beth and placed her on the ring apron. He motioned for her to head backstage. Beth put a lip lock on the horny Indian and pulled him over the top rope for the elimination. Punk ran at Beth, but she tagged him with a clothesline. However, Punk came back moments later and hit the GTS on Beth.
The No. 7 entrant was Zack Ryder. As Ryder walk walking to the ring, Punk tossed Beth over the top rope to eliminate her at 8:00. Punk grabbed the mic and told Ryder that he had potential. Punk stopped his recruiting pitch short and nailed him over the head with the mic before eliminating Ryder.
Punk said he's better than the next entrant and every single fan in attendance. The No. 8 entrant was Triple H. Hunter took a slow walk to the ring and then had a staredown with Punk. They traded some offense and Hunter got the better of it with a spinebuster before the No. 9 entrant, Drew McIntyre, made his entrance.
At 12:07, Hunter countered the GTS and threw Punk over the top rope to eliminate him. The No. 10 entrant was Ted DiBiase.
Powell's POV: Great performance for Punk. I'm sure there will be plenty of complaints about Hunter eliminating him, but Punk was the story of the first part of the Rumble match.
The No. 11 entrant was John Morrison, who mixed it up with his rival McIntyre quickly. Morrison went for Starship Pain and missed the move even thought it wasn't intended to be a miss. The No. 12 entrant was Kane, who entered the match with a top rope clothesline on Hunter.
The No. 13 entrant was Cody Rhodes. Cody and Ted teamed up with kicks on Kane. Morrison went after Cody and tried to springboard onto him, but Cody caught him with a dropkick. Cool spot.
The No. 14 entrant was MVP. As he was making his entrance, The Miz ran out and hit the back of MVP's head with the U.S. Title belt. MVP was helped to the back by a referee.
The No. 15 entrant was Carlito, who actually hit a dropkick on Hunter! I see a Pedigree in his future. A short time later, Carlito even hit a Backstabber on Hunter. Carlito also hit the Backstabber on McIntyre, and DiBiase.
The No. 16 entrant was The Miz. After The Miz entered the ring, MVP ran out and attacked him. They brawled and tumbled over the top rope and fell to the floor, so both men are out.
The No. 17 entrant was Matt Hardy. Yes, he ran to the ring. Hardy was eliminated by Kane just seconds later when he was caught on the second rope. Triple H followed up by eliminating Kane.
The No. 18 entrant was Shawn Michaels at 25:00. HBK immediately backdropped Carlito over the top rope to eliminate him. He then eliminated Rhodes followed by DiBiase.
Powell's POV: A cool flurry for HBK, but I'm disappointed the Legacy meltdown didn't continue during the rumble match.
At 26:00, Shawn eliminated Morrison, leaving Hunter, Shawn, and McIntyre in the ring together. The DX duo teamed up to clothesline McIntyre over the top rope. Hunter and Shawn had a staredown. Before they could do anything, John Cena's entrance music played and he was the No. 19 entrant.
Cena roughed up both DX members and hit a double five-knuckle shuffle on them. Hunter hit the Pedigree on Cena at 28:15. Shawn followed up by hitting Sweet Chin Music on Hunter, who fell over the top rope for the elimination. Huge pop from the guys I'm watching the show with for that one.
The No. 20 entrant was Shelton Benjamin, who was eliminated by Cena less than a minute into the match. There were a lot of boos for that. Shawn and Cena were the only to entrants in the ring at this point. Shawn hit a backdrop on Cena.
The No. 21 entrant was Yoshi Tatsu. He got a little offense in on both men, but Cena quickly eliminated Yoshi with a clothesline. Actually, Yoshi didn't go over the top rope like he was supposed to, so Cena had to scoop him and drop him over the top rope. Cena and Shawn slugged it up.
The No. 22 entrant was Big Show, who ran to the ring and slid under the bottom rope. There was a fun spot with Shawn skinning the cat and then trying to use his legs to flip Show over the top, only to have Show slam him onto the mat.
The No. 23 entrant was Mark Henry, who immediately had a staredown with Big Show. Henry tried to slam him and failed. He succeeded a short time later, though. Cena tried to hit the Attitude Adjustment on Henry, but collapsed.
The No. 24 entrant in the match was Chris Masters, who was quickly eliminated by Big Show. Henry tried to push Show over the top rope to no avail.
The No. 25 entrant was R-Truth, who actually eliminated Big Show and Mark Henry at 36:00 by pushing them both over the top as they were fighting near the ropes. That left R-Truth, HBK, and Cena as the three men inside the ring.
The No. 26 entrant was Jack Swagger, who ran to the ring and hit moves on all three opponent. Swagger clotheslined Shawn over the top rope, but Shawn hooked his arm and held on.
The No. 27 entrant was Kofi Kingston, who eliminated Swagger at 39:00. Moments later, Kofi eliminated R-Truth.
The No. 28 entrant was Chris Jericho, who took an Attitude Adjustment from Cena. Shawn DDT'd Cena. HBK went to the top rope and hit an elbow drop on Jericho. HBK tuned up the band and went for Sweet Chin Music on Jericho, but Kofi caught him with Trouble in Paradise. Cena scooped up Kingston and eliminated him with an Attitude Adjustment over the top rope.
The No. 29 entrant was Edge! He out wearing new pants and received a big pop. Edge went right at Jericho, Edge speared everyone and then eliminated Jericho.
The No. 30 entrant was Batista, so the final four are Batista, HBK, Edge, and Cena. Edge speared Batista. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Edge, which earned boos from the live crowd. HBK slammed all three men and then dropped an elbow from the top rope on Cena.
Shawn went up top again at 45:10 and dropped a top rope elbow on Batista. HBK hit Sweet Chin Music on Cena and then Batista. Edge tried to clothesline HBK over the top rope. They both tumbled over the top rope and onto the apron. Shawn superkicked Edge back inside the ring.
Batista eliminated HBK by knocking him off the ring apron. Shawn acted devastated and stunned. A referee told him he had to leave. Shawn threw the ref down and slid back inside the ring. Referee Charles Robinson told Shawn he had to go because he went over the top rope. "What do you want me to do about it?" Robinson asked. Shawn nailed him with Sweet Chin Music. Shawn sat down and then left the ring at 47:50. "You've gotta be kidding me," a frustrated Shawn yelled.
The final three were Cena, Batista, and Edge. At 48:45, Batista ran toward Cena, who pulled the top rope down, causing Batista fall over the top for the elimination.
Edge set up to spear Cena, who dodged the move and kicked him. Cena went for a clothesline, but Edge saw it coming and threw Cena over the top rope to win the match.
Highlights aired of Edge's highlights. As Edge celebrated in the ring, pyro went off around the WrestleMania 26 sign to close the show.
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