Date: 28th January, 2007
Venue: AT&T Center
City: San Antonio, TX
Commentators (RAW): Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Commentators (SmackDown!): Michael Cole & JBL
Commentators (ECW): Joey Styles & Tazz
Theme Song: Drones by Rise Against
The main feud heading into the Royal Rumble on the Raw brand was between John Cena and Umaga, with the two feuding over the WWE Championship. At the previous pay-per-view event, New Year’s Revolution, Cena defeated Umaga to end his undefeated streak and retain the WWE Championship. The night after on Raw, Armando Alejandro Estrada, Umaga’s manager, asked for a rematch, which Cena agreed to. Later that night, during a match between Cena and The Great Khali, Umaga interfered and attacked Cena. The following week, on the January 15 edition of Raw, the official contract signing for their rematch at the Royal Rumble took place. After it was announced that Estrada could choose the match type, Estrada chose the match to be a Last Man Standing match. Cena signed the contract and proceeded to attack both Umaga and Estrada. On the January 22 edition of Raw, after Cena was eliminated from a Battle Royal, Umaga attacked Cena, and injured his spleen, which was portrayed as real as part of their storyline.
The predominant feud on the SmackDown! brand was between Batista and Mr. Kennedy, with the two battling over the World Heavyweight Championship. On the January 5 edition of SmackDown!, a Beat the Clock Sprint began. Wrestlers competed in single matches, and the wrestler to win a match in the shortest amount of time would then become the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble. Mr. Kennedy, who defeated Chris Benoit in nearly five minutes, had the shortest time at the end of the show. The following week, the Sprint continued. In the final match, between The Undertaker and The Miz, Kennedy interfered by pulling The Miz out of the ring. After performing the Tombstone piledriver on The Miz, The Undertaker went for the pin attempt. Time, however, ran out and Kennedy became the winner of the Sprint. The week after, on the January 19 edition of SmackDown!, The Undertaker was put in a match with Kennedy, where if he won, he would be added to the title match at the Royal Rumble. During the match, after Kennedy attacked Batista, who was at ringside. Batista retaliated against Kennedy, causing The Undertaker to get disqualified. Thus, the match at the Royal Rumble remained a singles match between Batista and Kennedy.
The main feud on the ECW brand was between Bobby Lashley and Test, with the two feuding over the ECW Championship. Rob Van Dam won an online poll against Test and Sabu to earn a title shot on the January 2 edition of ECW, which ended in no-contest. Van Dam was given another title match the next week. Test interfered in the match, and attacked both men. A Triple Threat match for the title occurred on the January 16 edition of ECW between Lashley, Van Dam, and Test. Lashley won, but was beaten down afterwards by Test. A title match between Lashley and Test was then made for the Royal Rumble. A week after that match was made, on the January 23 edition of ECW, Lashley defeated Test in another title match.
Tag Team Match:
The Hardy Boyz defeated MNM (15:27)
ECW World Championship:
Bobby Lashley (c) defeated Test by countout (7:18)
World Heavyweight Championship:
Batista (c) defeated Mr. Kennedy (10:29)
Last Man Standing Match:
John Cena (c) defeated Umaga (with Armando Alejandro Estrada) (23:09)
Royal Rumble Match:
The Undertaker won by last eliminating Shawn Michaels (56:18)
The shows following the Royal Rumble surrounded The Undertaker’s choice of which champion to face at WrestleMania 23. The Undertaker appeared on all three brands, and stared down the champions. Finally, on the February 5 edition of Raw, The Undertaker chose to face Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship, and performed a chokeslam on him, starting their rivalry. The Undertaker won the title at WrestleMania, and their feud continued until the May 11 edition of SmackDown!, when The Undertaker lost the title to Edge, who cashed in the Money in the Bank, that he won from Mr. Kennedy, earlier that week on Raw.
After The Undertaker made his choice on February 5, Shawn Michaels, Edge, and Randy Orton all wanted to face Cena for his title at WrestleMania. A Triple Threat match was made between the three for the title shot, which Michaels won after pinning Orton. Cena successfully retained his title against Michaels at WrestleMania. They continued to feud over the title with the addition of Orton and Edge, but Cena remained champion. Soon after the Royal Rumble, Umaga and Bobby Lashley joined the feud between Mr. McMahon and Donald Trump in the “Battle of the Billionaires” as their representatives respectively for the Hair vs. Hair match at WrestleMania.
His Royal Rumble match marked the start of Mr. Kennedy’s push to main-event status. He went on to face Bobby Lashley for the ECW Championship at No Way Out, which he won via disqualification, thus failing to win the title. Kennedy won the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania, which gave him a world title shot at any time of his choosing for the year following. Kennedy sustained an injury at a house show, however, that would leave him sidelined for five to seven months, and was booked to lose his title shot to Edge on the May 7 edition of Raw. Later results showed the injury to be much less severe, but Kennedy had already lost his title shot. He returned to mid-card status for the remainder of the year.
Royal Rumble Stats
|13||Super Crazy||Raw||7||Orton & Edge||04:32|
|18||Rob Van Dam||ECW||21||Khali||16:28|
|19||Viscera||Raw||13||Van Dam, Edge, Punk, Benoit, Nitro, Benjamin, Holly & Thorn||06:22|
|24||Chris Masters||Raw||17||Van Dam||03:32|
|26||Montel Vontavious Porter||SD!||26||Undertaker||07:32|
|28||The Great Khali||Raw||25||Undertaker||03:45|