Royal Rumble: The Complete History

Royal Rumble 2005

The main feud heading into the Royal Rumble on the Raw brand was between Triple H and Randy Orton over the World Heavyweight Championship. Their feud started on the night after SummerSlam, when Orton was kicked out of Evolution by Triple H.

Date: 30th January, 2005
Venue: Save Mart Center
City: Fresno, CA
Attendance: 12,000
Commentators (RAW): Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Commentators (SmackDown!): Michael Cole & Tazz
Theme Song: Find The Real by Alter Bridge

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Background

Royal Rumble 2005 promotional poster

Royal Rumble 2005 promotional poster

The main feud heading into the Royal Rumble on the Raw brand was between Triple H and Randy Orton over the World Heavyweight Championship. Their feud started on the night after SummerSlam, when Orton was kicked out of Evolution by Triple H. The following month, at Unforgiven, Triple H defeated Orton to win the World Heavyweight Championship. At Survivor Series, Team Orton (Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and Maven) defeated Team Triple H (Triple H, Edge, Batista, and Snitsky) in a four-on-four Elimination match. Orton won the match for his team by last eliminating Triple H. Two months later, at New Year’s Revolution, the pay-per-view three weeks before the Royal Rumble, Triple H won an Elimination Chamber match to win the vacant World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H won the match by last eliminating Orton following outside interference from Evolution members Batista and Ric Flair. The night after on Raw, Orton defeated Batista to become the number one contender to the title at the Royal Rumble. The following week, after a verbal confrontation between the two in the arena, Triple H ambushed Orton backstage. They fought until Orton tried to use a steel chair, and Triple H hightailed. On the January 24 episode of Raw, Orton faced off against Ric Flair. During the match, as the referee was knocked down, Triple H came in and attacked Orton along with Flair. Orton, however, fought off both men and won the match.

The main feud on the SmackDown! brand was between John “Bradshaw” Layfield (JBL), The Big Show, and Kurt Angle, with the three feuding over the WWE Championship. On the December 16, 2004 episode of SmackDown!, Angle challenged JBL to a match for the WWE Championship. The Cabinet (Orlando Jordan,Doug, and Danny Basham) interfered and attacked Angle, causing the match to end via disqualification. They continued to attack Angle after the match until The Big Show came out, beat down everyone, and signaled to JBL that he wanted the title. In the weeks that followed, a Triple Threat match for the title between the three was booked for the Royal Rumble. Following this, JBL set up Angle to anger The Big Show, but Angle angered JBL in response. After realizing this, JBL aligned himself with The Big Show and confronted Angle; however, JBL turned on Big Show and beat him down with Angle. On the January 27 edition of SmackDown!, SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long booked a Last Man Standing match between JBL and Angle for later that night. The two eventually turned on each other, and the match ended in a no-contest. It was later revealed that the match was Big Show’s idea.

Another feud heading into the event from SmackDown! was between The Undertaker and Heidenreich. Their feud first started in 2004 at No Mercy, the pay-per-view in October. Heidenreich helped John “Bradshaw” Layfield (JBL) defeat Undertaker in a Last Ride match by attacking Undertaker and putting him in the hearse. At Survivor Series, Undertaker defeated Heidenreich by pinfall after executing a Tombstone Piledriver. At Armageddon 2004, Heidenreich once again cost Undertaker his title match against JBL in a Fatal Four Way that involved Booker T and Eddie Gurrerro by pushing Undertaker backwards while holding JBL in the tombstone piledriver position, before JBL pinned Booker T after a Clothesline From Hell. Smackdown’s General Manager Theodore Longlet Undertaker name the stipulation for his match against Heidenreich at Royal Rumble. As Heidenreich mentioned his fear of caskets, Undertaker chose to face him in a casket match for Royal Rumble.

A preliminary Raw brand feud was between Shawn Michaels and Edge. Their feud started at Taboo Tuesday 2004 when Michaels was voted over Edge to face Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. At New Year’s Revolution 2005, Edge lost a shot at the title in an Elimination Chamber with Michaels as special referee. In the Elimination Chamber, Michaels superkicked Edge, followed by a lionsault from Chris Jericho, with Jericho making the cover. Believing it was Michael’s fault that he was not crowned champion, Edge speared Michaels and the two men were booked into a match at Royal Rumble.

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Match Results

Singles Match:
Edge defeated Shawn Michaels (18:32)

Casket Match:
The Undertaker defeated Heidenreich (13:20)

WWE Championship:
Triple Threat Match:

John “Bradshaw” Layfield (c) defeated The Big Show and Kurt Angle (12:04)

World Heavyweight Championship:
Triple H (c) defeated Randy Orton (21:28)

Royal Rumble Match:
Batista won by last eliminating John Cena (51:27)

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Aftermath

The following weeks on Raw surrounded Batista’s choice of which champion to face at WrestleMania 21. Triple H devised a scheme to have Batista almost run over by a limousine resembling John “Bradshaw” Layfield (JBL)’s, so Batista would challenge JBL instead of himself. Batista became aware of the scheme and chose to face Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, thus leaving the Evolution stable in the process. He won the title, and their feud continued until he was drafted to SmackDown! on June 30. Batista remained champion until the January 13, 2006 edition of SmackDown! when he surrendered the title due to injury.

John Cena went on to win a tournament to become the number one contender to the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21. The tournament concluded in a match between him and Kurt Angle at No Way Out, which Cena won after performing an FU. Following this, he began an angle with JBL. Cena defeated JBL to win the title at WrestleMania, and their feud ended after Cena retained the title in an “I Quit” match at Judgment Day.

Following the Royal Rumble, Randy Orton and Kurt Angle began feuding with The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, respectively. The Big Show faced JBL in the first ever barbed wire Steel Cage match for the title at No Way Out, which JBL won to retain the title. Orton briefly feuded with Christian before moving on to feud with The Undertaker, which spanned nine months. After losing his title match at No Way Out, The Big Show faced Akebono in a sumo match at WrestleMania, and he briefly feuded with Carlito Caribbean Cool afterwards.

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Royal Rumble Stats

Draw
Entrant
Brand Order
Eliminated by
Time
1 Eddie Guerrero SmackDown! 11 Edge 28:11
2 Chris Benoit Raw 25 Batista 47:26
3 Daniel Puder SmackDown! 1 Holly 04:09
4 Hardcore Holly SmackDown! 2 Benoit and Guerrero 01:59
5 The Hurricane Raw 3 Benoit and Guerrero 01:04
6 Kenzo Suzuki SmackDown! 4 Mysterio 03:31
7 Edge Raw 28 Batista and Cena 40:19
8 Rey Mysterio SmackDown! 27 Edge 38:25
9 Shelton Benjamin Raw 10 Edge 14:35
10 Booker T SmackDown! 9 Mysterio and Guerrero 10:42
11 Chris Jericho Raw 21 Batista 28:22
12 Luther Reigns SmackDown! 7 Booker 07:13
13 Muhammad Hassan Raw 5 Edge, Jericho, Benoit, Booker, Benjamin and Reigns 00:54
14 Orlando Jordan SmackDown! 8 Booker 03:36
15 Scotty 2 Hotty SmackDown! 6 Attacked by Hassan before entering the ring
00:00
16 Charlie Haas SmackDown! 13 Michaels 06:20
17 René Dupreé SmackDown! 16 Jericho 11:32
18 Simon Dean Raw 12 Michaels 00:20
19 Shawn Michaels Raw 15 Angle
04:56
20 Kurt Angle SmackDown! 14 Michaels 00:37
21 Jonathan Coachman Raw 23 Flair 13:48
22 Mark Jindrak SmackDown! 19 Kane 08:15
23 Viscera Raw 17 Cena 03:00
24 Paul London SmackDown! 18 Snitsky 03:15
25 John Cena SmackDown! 29 Batista 15:28
26 Snitsky Raw 20 Batista 03:38
27 Kane Raw 22 Cena 03:54
28 Batista Raw WINNER 10:54
29 Christian Raw 24 Batista 02:09
30 Ric Flair Raw 26 Edge 01:58

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