Royal Rumble: The Complete History

Royal Rumble 2010

On the December 15, 2009 episode of ECW, general manager Tiffany made an announcement that the ECW brand would host a competition called the “ECW Homecoming”, in which the winner will face Christian for the ECW Championship at Royal Rumble.

Date: 31st January, 2010
Venue: Philips Arena
City: Atlanta, GA
Attendance: 16,697
Commentators: Michael Cole,
Jerry “The King” Lawler & Matt Striker
Theme Song: Hero by Skillet & Martyr No More by Fozzy

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Background

Royal Rumble 2010 promotional poster

Royal Rumble 2010 promotional poster

On the December 15, 2009 episode of ECW, general manager Tiffany made an announcement that the ECW brand would host a competition called the “ECW Homecoming”, in which the winner will face Christian for the ECW Championship at Royal Rumble. Featuring current and former superstars from the ECW brand, the first round of the competition consisted of eight singles matches. The winners of the matches would then qualify to the “Homecoming Finale” on the January 12, 2010 episode of ECW, where they would fight in an eight-man battle royal that will determine the competition winner. The first two qualifying matches were featured later that night with Ezekiel Jackson defeating Vladimir Kozlov and Kanedefeating Zack Ryder. On the December 22, 2009 episode of ECW, Jack Swagger returned in a losing effort to Yoshi Tatsu, while Vance Archer advanced with a victory overGoldust. On the December 29, 2009 episode of ECW, Matt Hardy and Evan Bourne defeated Finlay and Mike Knox respectively to qualify. The two remaining qualifying matches were held on the January 5, 2010 episode of ECW and saw Shelton Benjamin defeating Chavo Guerrero and CM Punk defeating Mark Henry to qualify. Ezekiel Jackson won the “Homecoming Finale”, last eliminating Kane, to earn the right to face Christian at Royal Rumble.

On the January 4 episode of Raw, a fatal four-way match was held to determine the number one contender for WWE United States Championship featuring Montel Vontavious Porter, Mark Henry, Carlito and Jack Swagger. Porter emerged victorious by pinning Swagger, and earned a match against The Miz for the championship.

It was announced on December 31, 2009, on the company’s official website that The Undertaker would be defending the World Heavyweight Championship at Royal Rumble; the means of determining the challenger was stated to be via the “Beat the Clock Sprint”, a series of matches that sees who ever wins their match in the fastest time would be declared the number-one contender. The sprint, held on the January 1, 2010, episode of SmackDown, consisted of four matches involving CM Punk, Kane, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Matt Hardy, and Batista. The wrestler who won his match in the quickest time would earn the championship match. CM Punk defeated Matt Hardy in his match, setting the time at 7:20. The next match featured Kane and Ziggler; both failed to beat the time limit and the match ended in a draw. Rey Mysterio defeated Chris Jericho one second faster than Punk’s time, with 7:19. The final match was Batista versus R-Truth; the match resulted in another time-limit draw, due in part to interference from Mysterio. Despite Mysterio’s fastest time, on-screen consultant Vickie Guerrero overruled the result, announcing a match the following week between Mysterio and Batista, who had disputably won his match. The match between the two on the January 8 episode of SmackDown was declared a no contest following both men being incapacitated. A rematch between the two was held the following week, this time inside a steel cage. Mysterio won the match, earning the right to face The Undertaker at Royal Rumble.

The main event for Raw was determined on the January 11 episode with guest host Mike Tyson announcing the winner of a Triple Threat match later that night between John Cena, Kofi Kingston, and Randy Orton would advance to face Sheamus at Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship. Orton ultimately won with the help of Legacy, who took out Cena and Kingston for him.

Since November of the previous year, WWE Women’s Champion Michelle McCool had been relentlessly insulting Mickie James over a perceived weight issue. The two had a match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, which saw McCool win, continuing the torment. James confronted McCool on the January 15 episode of SmackDown during a mocking monologue about James, leading to the champion assaulting her. It was also confirmed that day that McCool would defend her title again at Royal Rumble against James.

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Match Results

ECW World Championship:
Christian (c) defeated Ezekiel Jackson (with William Regal) (11:59)

United States Championship:
The Miz (c) defeated Montel Vontavious Porter (7:30)

WWE Championship:
Sheamus (c) defeated Randy Orton via disqualification (12:24)

Women’s Championship:
Mickie James defeated Michelle McCool (c) (with Layla) (00:20)

World Heavyweight Championship:
The Undertaker (c) defeated Rey Mysterio (11:09)

Royal Rumble Match:
Edge won by last eliminating John Cena (49:24)

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Aftermath

After failing to win the Royal Rumble match and losing an Elimination Chamber qualifying match to Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels cost The Undertaker the World Heavyweight Championship against Chris Jericho in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber. As a result, Michaels challenged Undertaker to a rematch of theirWrestleMania XXV match at WrestleMania XXVI. Undertaker agreed on the term that if Michaels lost, he would retire from professional wrestling. A stipulation was added that the match would be contested under no disqualifications and no countouts. At WrestleMania, Undertaker defeated Michaels to extend his WrestleMania winning streak to 18–0 and Michaels was forced to retire.

As a result of winning the 2010 Royal Rumble match, Edge earned the opportunity to wrestle for a world championship of his choosing at WrestleMania XXVI. After Chris Jericho won the World Heavyweight Championship from The Undertaker in an Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber, Edge announced that he would wrestle Jericho for the title. At WrestleMania, Jericho defeated Edge to retain the title. The rivalry ended after Edge defeated Jericho in a Steel Cage match at Extreme Rules.

John Cena eliminated Batista from the Royal Rumble match, which started a conflict between Batista and Cena. On the February 1, 2010 episode of Raw, Cena rescued Bret Hart from an assault by Batista and Vince McMahon. After the show ended, Cena tried to help Hart but was attacked by Batista. At Elimination Chamber, Cena won the WWE Championship from Sheamus in an Elimination Chamber match. After the match, McMahon ordered Cena to defend the title against Batista. Batista defeated Cena to win the WWE Championship. At WrestleMania XXVI, Cena defeated Batista to regain the WWE Championship. Cena would retain the title against Batista in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules and in an “I Quit” match at Over the Limit, which forced Batista to quit WWE.

After Royal Rumble, Christian and Ezekiel Jackson continued to feud over the ECW Championship. On the final episode of ECW on February 16, 2010, Jackson defeated Christian in an Extreme Rules match to become the final ECW Champion.

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Royal Rumble Stats

Draw Entrant Brand Order Eliminated by Time
1 Dolph Ziggler SD 2 Punk 02:29
2 Evan Bourne Raw 1 Punk 02:26
3 CM Punk SD 7 Triple H 10:04
4 JTG SD 3 Punk 00:25
5 The Great Khali SD 4 Phoenix 01:39
6 Beth Phoenix SD 5 Punk 01:37
7 Zack Ryder ECW 6 Punk 00:32
8 Triple H Raw 17 Michaels 17:51
9 Drew McIntyre SD 16 Michaels & Triple H 14:43
10 Ted DiBiase Raw 14 Michaels 12:40
11 John Morrison SD 15 Michaels 11:37
12 Kane SD 11 Triple H 07:59
13 Cody Rhodes Raw 13 Michaels 07:54
14 Montel Vontavious Porter Raw 9 Himself 00:07
15 Carlito Raw 12 Michaels 04:34
16 The Miz Raw 8 MVP 00:17
17 Matt Hardy SD 10 Kane 00:20
18 Shawn Michaels Raw 27 Batista 20:45
19 John Cena Raw 29 Edge 22:11
20 Shelton Benjamin ECW 18 Cena 00:48
21 Yoshi Tatsu ECW 19 Cena 00:29
22 The Big Show Raw 22 R-Truth 04:04
23 Mark Henry Raw 21 R-Truth 02:24
24 Chris Masters Raw 20 Big Show 00:29
25 R-Truth SD 24 Kingston 04:09
26 Jack Swagger Raw 23 Kingston 02:06
27 Kofi Kingston Raw 25 Cena 02:51
28 Chris Jericho SD 26 Edge 02:24
29 Edge SD Winner 07:19
30 Batista SD 28 Cena 05:24

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