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WWE Royal Rumble 2008 
January 28, 2008

by PyroFalkon
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


The Royal Rumble: one of the few “unlimited eating days” I give myself. Usually, I try to watch my diet; I’m not a health nut by any means, but I just try not intake too much fat and/or grease on a given day. There are four exceptions to the rule: Thanksgiving, Christmas, my birthday, and any day I get a WWE pay-per-view (which, thanks to the ass-hatted “Creative Team,” is limited to Wrestlemania and Royal Rumble only anymore).

Also making my day is a good turn of events at my job. I was booked to work 5pm to midnight (I in fact warned Rick that the recap may not come too timely; who knows when the hell you’re even reading this), but I was fortunate enough to have so much help that I got out at about 10:20pm. So here I am, just at 11pm with my Pizza Rolls, Americone Dream, Buffalo Wing-flavored Pretzel Crisps, and cocktail smokies. Short of having to deal with Miz for longer than twenty nanoseconds, this will be the best day so far in 2008. There’s no way the WWE can mess up the fun of Royal Rumble!


Pre-Segment 1: I always think it’s neat when they arrange things so the entrance tunnel is situated right-on to the camera, and the ramp itself is like a quarter of the normal length. I know that they just did it this time for the Rumble itself (who wants to wait 20 seconds for a guy coming into the RR before he can contribute to the action?), but it’s still a cool change of pace.

We’re kicking things off strong with the career-threatening match. Ric Flair comes out for it, but takes a mic to address the crowd. He takes us down memory road, telling us that his first match was right here, in Madison Square Garden. He thanks the fans for their respect over the years, and he wants us all to know-

And here comes MVP who cuts off the speech. Jerk.

Segment 1 [Standard Singles Match; If Flair loses, he retires]: Ric Flair forces MVP to submit. The match was very awkward and rather boring to me… They just didn’t click. I know both guys are capable of more. Maybe they just haven’t wrestled each other enough?

Match ended when MVP went for the Playmaker, but Flair countered it by shoving MVP to the mat and locking on the Figure Four. MVP held on for like ten seconds, then tapped out.

Segment 2: Vince McMahon is with Hornswoggle F. McMahon in the office. HFM is excited for God knows what, and Vince tries giving him a pep talk, again, about the Royal Rumble. Vince reminds him not to trust Finlay during the Rumble, nor anyone else, since it’s every man for himself.

Finlay walks in on them, and Vince cuts off his whispered conversation. Vince repeats anyway that HFM can’t trust anyone. Finlay sharply asks, “What is that supposed to mean?” Vince plays it off by saying that Finlay can’t trust HFM, that the “little guy may turn on you on any moment.” Finlay laughs (sort of) it off, then carries HFM away out of the office.

Pre-Segment 3: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduce a new interviewer, Mike Adamle, who is a former NFL running back, or something. Adamle blathers and introduces a video package of the JBL/Y2J feud.

My question is, why the hell does WWE need another interviewer? We already have 2007 Diva Search Winner Todd Grisham, along with Anastasia Rose, and some guy who kicked off the PPV with that half-hour of story updates before the show even started…

Oh well. If WWE thinks that hiring some running back no one has heard of to be a commentator is a better use for their money than hiring, say, Gail Kim, then that’s their business. And that’s why they’re averaging 3.5 ratings on a good day.

Segment 3 [Standard Singles Match]: JBL beats Chris Jericho by DQ. Okay, I never saw Chris Jericho in ECW, and I don’t remember him having hardcore matches (aside from his Money in the Bank stuff). But good lord, can he hold his own when things get rough.

The opening of the match was pure domination by Y2J, as he applied stiff shot after stiff shot on JBL. Punches, of course, not weapons; but even simple takedowns were rather vicious and stiff compared to normal matches.

JBL gained the advantage halfway through the match when he launched Jericho into the corner. Rather than just hitting the turnbuckles, Jericho went through the ropes and smacked the side of his head on the corner post, then tumbled out of the ring. Jericho came up bloody, and although he was exactly gushing, his entire face and chest were crimson for the rest of the match.

JBL pressed the advantage with a lot of kicks and punches to the head, until the referee started getting a little too adamant about pulling JBL off. Jericho used that moment to mount a comeback, doing a myriad of takedowns (the whole house-of-fire deal). One of the takedowns resulted in Jericho missing by a mile, and JBL flopping anyway, resulting the crowd booing the shit out of both men for a few seconds. Jericho got the crowd back on track with a Springboard Lionsault.

Directly after that, JBL managed to get to his feet against the ropes, where he was promptly clotheslined over the ropes and out of the ring. Jericho then tried slamming JBL’s head on the ECW commentators’ table, but JBL reversed it. As JBL started to pry the table apart, Jericho came up and just blasted JBL in the face with a chair, resulting in a DQ. Clearly, the feud is not dead.

Post-Segment 3: JBL went into the ring. Jericho followed him, threw the chair directly into his face, then punched him a few times. Jericho then left the ring to get a microphone cord, and he choked the shit out of JBL. Jericho even hung JBL, as JBL was laying on the mat, and Jericho used the ropes as leverage to choke him.

Jericho let him go for a second, and his music fired up. Y2J then went for another choke, though two refs pulled him off. As Jericho left, a couple fans tried to pat Jericho’s shoulder or whatever, but Jericho kinda swiped their hands away. Because he’s so totally set on hurting JBL.

Lilian Garcia then announced JBL the winner, to the crowd’s displeasure. JBL raised a hand in victory despite being flat on his ass and gasping for air. Cool visual, and a damn good fight.

Segment 4: Diva Search Ashley is trouncing through the halls and knocks on Maria’s door. Santino Marella answers instead, shortly tells DSA that Maria is not interested in her “boobie magazine,” and goes back into Maria’s room, slamming the door in DSA’s face.

Pre-Segment 5: Edge came out for his match with Rey, shortly followed by Vickie Guerrero (being pushed by Theodore Long) and both Edgeheads. They did the whole “big match” introduction. Oddly, when Rey was announced, a significant portion of the crowd booed; and when Edge was announced, the same significant portion cheered. Either that, or I was hallucinating, although I haven’t a drink tonight.

Segment 5 [Standard Singles Match for the WWE Heavyweight Title]: Edge sort of cleanly pins Rey Mysterio, and retains his title. Match was pretty dramatic, with a lot of back-and-forth action. Neither guy really had any kind of momentum, because the whole match was pretty quickly paced.

Early on, the Edgeheads were ejected for almost messing with Rey when he was sent flying out of the ring. They, thankfully, were non-factors because of it.

Decent action the whole way, with the story being centered on Rey’s SURGICALLY REPAIRED~! knee. At the end, Rey managed to get some momentum, and gave Edge a 619. Rather than following it up with the West Coast Pop, Rey did a splash from the top rope and made the pin.

As the ref’s hand was coming down for three, Vickie interjected herself by rising from her wheelchair and pulling the ref’s foot enough to stop the count. As Rey protested, Edge tried to recover, and went for a spear. Rey countered with a drop toe hold, putting Edge in the 619 position again. As Rey went for it, Vickie hopped up on the apron and put her arms around Edge. Rey wound up delivering the 619 to the back of Vickie’s head, and she tumbled off the apron.

Rey, standing on the apron, looked over his shoulder at her with some concern and confusion. He then went for the West Coast Pop, but Edge speared him out of the air. After a pin, it was over.

Post-Segment 5: Edge slid out of the ring to check on Vickie. He called for the EMTs, although the Edgeheads were first to arrive. Vickie sold the neck, and… hm, I guess Edge only wanted the Edgeheads rather than the EMTs, because they brought over her wheelchair and helped her into it. I have no clue where T-Long went, so one of the Edgeheads wheeled her away.

Segment 6: Ric Flair, in nothing but a towel because of a shower (I assume), walks into his locker room… where he finds Mr. Kennedy, who gives him a golf clap. KK tells Flair that after he wins the Rumble, he’ll have a ton of time on his hands until Wrestlemania. So, he’ll like nothing better than to…

Shawn Michaels appears and tells him not to stop, because the conversation is so fascinating. KK gives both guys the stink eye, then dismisses himself. Shawn: “Can you believe that? Loud-mouth, obnoxious, trash-talking, platinum-blond hair, with a catchphrase? These kids today; that gimmick will never work!” Tee hee.

Flair smiles along with him, then gives him a bit of a pep talk that no one can stop HBK’s quest to get the belt again. Then Batista appears, and Flair does a slight backpedal with “I meant in the Rumble, no one can stop him.” Bats and HBK share knowing smiles or whatever… and then Triple H appears.

HBK sums it up by saying that things are awkward now. Trips lightens the mood after noticing Flair’s towel with, “I know I’ve said this a million times Ric, but for the love of God, put your pants on.” But then things get serious: Trips tells Bats to his face that as far tonight goes, the best man will win. Both guys get a little prickly with each other.

Shawn interjects and says that we can all agree: the very best man will win. And that man will be wearing the new HBK T-shirt available at WWE.com!!! Trips rolls his eyes and says, “That’s one thing I hated, Shawn.” Hmm… But he and Bats leave without incident. Shawn gives his T-shirt to Flair, who displays a shit-eating grin as we fade out.

Segment 7: Maria hits the ring with a dress that is absolutely crushing her breasts together to create insane amounts of cleavage (and probably making it nigh-impossible to breathe). She then does the Kiss Cam, unfortunately.

Then Diva Search Ashley’s music fires up, and she hits the ring. Maria is happy to see her, and they share a hug. DSA, finally with a chance to give her message to Maria, asks the question blatantly: Wanna get naked in a magazine for the enjoyment of basically everyone?

Before she can answer, Santino Marella appears with Someone who is covered in a black cloth. Santino tells DSA that no one wants to see Maria nude. The crowd pops, but Santino tells us that New Yorkers are cheering only because they have no one else to cheer for. “The Mets, the Yankees: chokers! The Knicks, the Rangers: not even good enough to be chokers! In fact, the only thing you have to cheer for is a football team from New Jersey! Eli and Plaxico: they sound like hairdressers, not football players! The only thing Giant about them is that they’ll be giant chokers in the Super Bowl!”

It’s official: I am in love with Santino Marella.

Santino tries to take Maria away, but DSA holds them up. The crowd starts a “Let’s go Giants!” chant. After they calm down, DSA says matter-of-factly that it’s Maria’s decision, not Santino’s. Maria asks the crowd if they want to see her pose, naturally they pop.

Santino tells her that if she asked them if they’d all want hepatitis, they’d cheer. So forget their opinion, and “we’ll talk about this later, because right now, I’ve got a Royal Rumble match to prepare for!”

But then he calls for his mystery guest, because he knows the crowd wants to see boobies. And good god, if it’s Mae Young, I’m going to vomit up my Americone Dream.

Nope: it’s Big Dick Johnson, wearing a Tom Brady jersey and a Patriots thong with “19-0” lettered on the ass. He’s got rubber chickens (for some reason), which DSA steals and beats him with.

Wow, some things you just have to smile for, shrug, then promptly forget about.

Segment 8 [Standard Singles Match for the WWE Championship]: Randy Orton cleanly pins Jeff Hardy, and retains his title. Exciting and entertaining match due to a quick pace, similar to the Rey/Edge match. Whenever Orton was in control, the match slowed down; not only was this probably needed due to Orton’s relative lack of speed, but the story reasons for it (i.e., Jeff is a flippy guy) were strong.

Match went back and forth with plenty of decent spots by Jeff. One was a top rope Moonsault that wasn’t to ring, but to the floor. Orton was in a bad position and he barely took much of the move. Orton fucked up Whisper in the Wind spot as well, ducking before Jeff hit it; although for that one, the blow made the move look more vicious, as rather than just crash into Orton, Jeff basically did a spinning kick to the back of Orton’s head.

The match unfortunately ended with Orton reversing a Twist of Fate into an RKO out of nowhere. I’m really, really tired of seeing Orton with RKOs out of nowhere. It makes him appear lucky, not good; a mirror of reality.

Pre-Segment 9: Okay, it’s time for the Rumble itself. Michael Buffer is introduced, and he does his famous phrase as we ready for the first two wrestlers. I realize now that WWE never did anything to tease changing the order, nor do we even know who the first two guys are going to be.

To do this one, I’m going to deviate from my standard format. I’m going to give you “All You Need To Know” in 90-second chunks, as you’ll soon see. If you’re the impatient type and don’t already know who won (I have a feeling Rick’s got the winner on the front page), then just scroll down to the bottom of the document. Otherwise, you’ll see a entrant-by-entrant recap of the match. Eliminations are italicized, and entries are bolded.

And for you jackass smarks who think you’re better than the rest of us who take wrestling with a grain of salt: I’ll more than likely mark out here and there, which I refuse to apologize for. If you don’t like it, go read The Torch.

Here we go!

Segment 9: The Royal Rumble

Entrant #1: The Undertaker. Oh, shit! Fuck yeah, seeing my favorite hit the ring off the bat makes me very happy! And of course, he gets the full lights-out entrance this way too. Crowd goes ballistic and chants for him, and I get my drink on. Woo hoo!

Entrant #2: Shawn Michaels. Oh, double shit! If memory serves, Shawn’s won two Rumbles, and both were him being entrant #1. Jim Ross tells us that last year, these two finished the Rumble, so it’s significant that they’re starting it off. Bell sounds, and it’s on!

Good feeling out by both guys, with a couple of elimination teases. But, both guys hang on.

Entrant #3: Santino Marella hits the ring. Shawn is in the corner, and Taker is in the middle of the ring. He looks at both, trying to decide whom to go after. Finally, he takes one step toward Shawn, and eats a Superkick. Heh. Taker then picks Santino up and casually tosses him over the top. Poor Santino.

HBK tries to chuck Taker over the rope immediately to capitalize, but Taker manages to defend himself. More brawling, including a countered Old School.

Entrant #4: Khali (w/ Gay Translator) lumbers into the ring as Shawn takes a chokeslam. Once the big guy enters the ring, Taker immediately goes to work on him, but it fails pretty quick as Khali takes over with his shitty offense. Crowd fires up a “You can’t wrestle!” chant, but Khali maintains offense.

Khali then goes for a chokeslam, but Taker counters with his own choke. Khali backs Taker up the ropes, then releases the choke to go for a chop. Taker ducks it, then dumps Khali over the top rope. That looked way too easy… God, Khali sucks.

Entrant #5: Hardcore Holly enters four seconds or so after Khali is tossed. Taker quickly floors him, and HBK and Taker continue to primarily deal with each other.

Entrant #6: John Morrison flies into the ring and nails Holly, the spends his time running away from Taker. Unfortunately, he runs into Shawn; both he and Taker double-team Morrison. Shawn tries to eliminate Morrison but fails, although they continue to fight each other, while Taker brawls with Hardcore Holly.

Entrant #7: Tommy Dreamer comes in and picks a fight with absolutely everyone, and actually manages to score hits against everyone… until Taker kicks him in the head. The crowd cheers for Dreamer even with Taker kicking his ass. Interesting.

Entrant #8: Batista enters to a loud pop. He, like Dreamer, goes all house-of-fire… until he squares off with Taker. The other guys stay stunned, and Bats and Taker get ready to go at it. Then, Dreamer decides to kick Bats in the stomach, resulting in Bats throwing a few punches and chucking Dreamer over the top. Pity.

Entrant #9: Hornswoggle comes in while acknowledging the crowd. Everyone in the ring eyes HFM with confusion, so HFM hides under the ring rather than participating in the match. Hm…

Bats spears the Taker, but can’t follow up on it. Taker, Shawn, and Bats play with each other as Holly makes Morrison his bitch. Shawn intervenes with this, and nearly gets eliminated by Holly, but saves himself.

Entrant #10: Chuck Palumbo hits the ring and goes house-of-fire on the midcarders. Taker, again, ends that offense by taking a gimmick infringement settlement out of Chuckie’s ass.

Entrant #11: Jamie Noble enters the ring and immediately goes after Chuckie, who is all-too-happy to oblige. Although Noble manages to do some damage to Chuckie in the corner, Chuckie tosses Jamie over the top rope. Noble hangs on and stays on the apron, elbowing Chuckie in the temple when he attempted a clothesline. So, Chuckie backs up and charges forward with a big boot, knocking Noble off the apron.

Undertaker immediately materializes and continues to beat the biker out of Chuckie. Meanwhile, Bats works on Holly, and Shawn works on Morrison. HFM is still under the ring, not participating.

Entrant #12: CM Punk sprints into the ring and gets to work on everyone. And again, Taker ends things with a choke and clothesline. Man, Taker thinks this match is all his, doesn’t he?

Taker breaks off and starts to beat on Holly, so Chuckie goes after CM. Chuckie tries a finisher of some sort (started to look like a Crucifix Powerbomb, i.e. Razor’s Edge, actually), but CM countered and shoved Chuckie over the top rope. Chuckie saved himself, then flew off the apron as CM Punk followed up with a jumping knee strike to Chuckie’s forehead.

Entrant #13: Cody Rhodes hits the ring and goes right after CM Punk. CM is nearly eliminated, but John Morrison breaks up the party. Cody, once he breaks free, goes after the Undertaker, as Taker was assaulting Holly. Cody gets in a few punches, and even knocks down the Taker with a dropkick. Cody then heads after Morrison, giving Taker a little time to recover, and the chance to avenge himself.

Entrant #14: Umaga comes out with fire-red pants. He goes house-of-fire, and even does the Samoan Spike to knock Hardcore Holly over the top rope. Umaga even gives an Ass-To-Mouth on Bats, and chokes Taker when the dead man tries to eliminate him.

Entrant #15: Snitsky hits the ring with his bad hygiene and irrelevancy. Snitsky kicks the shit out of everyone who weighs less than 250 pounds. Cody Rhodes nearly eliminates him, but fails even with the help of CM Punk.

Entrant #16: The Miz immediately pisses me off by his mere presence. He does… stuff. That’s as much of a recap of his offense as you’re going to get.

Entrant #17: Shelton Benjamin enters the ring to a few cheers. The first thing he does is jump to the top rope while Morrison and CM Punk were doing some top-rope action. SB’s hop led to him knocking both guys off by smacking their heads together, though neither was eliminated. SB then hopped down and wandered into where the main eventers were playing, where Shawn then promptly Superkicked him over the top rope. Thanks for playing, Shelton!

Entrant #18: Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka enters to an extremely loud pop. He starts beating on everyone, including Undertaker and Snitsky. He works on the Miz for awhile, making me extremely happy.

Entrant #19: Rowdy Roddy Piper decides that Snuka shouldn’t be the only Hall of Famer involved in this Rumble. Piper and Snuka go right after each other as everyone else just stands around and watches. Taker mixes things up by kicking Bats, which gets everyone else going again too.

Entrant #20: Kane marches down to the ring, and he promptly eliminates both Snuka and Piper, making the crowd boo. Then he chokeslams Miz, making them cheer. Ah, WWE fans: so fickle. Kane goes after someone, and Taker motions as if he’s going to go for a chokeslam on Kane. Kane finally breaks away from whoever he was facing, then starts to turn around. Taker makes his move, but goes after Shawn instead, although HBK blocks the move.

Entrant #21: Carlito heads into the ring and spits his apple into Cody Rhodes’s face immediately. His momentum is cut down by CM Punk and John Morrison, although Carlito manages to land his Backstabber against Punk after a whiffed kick.

Entrant #22: Mick Foley hears a ridiculously loud pop enters the ring and starts to single-handedly deal with Kane, Miz, Punk, and Morrison as Bats gives a Batista Bomb to Taker. Umaga soon stops Bats as Mick settles down a bit and starts focusing his punches on Morrison. Snitsky cuts down Mick’s momentum finally, and everyone basically gets involved in a Pier Six brawl as the timer counts down.

Entrant #23: Mr. Kennedy comes to the ring to some cheers. He immediately goes after Cody Rhodes, giving him a huge kick, then goes for the Mic Check on both Miz and Punk. KK then kicks the shit out of Taker, then trash talks him; never a good thing. Taker then nails a chokeslam on KK, then gets back to punching the shit out of everyone.

Entrant #24: Big Dickweed V jiggles his manboobs to the ring. But before he gets there, Undertaker chucks Snitsky out of the ring.

As the dead man looks on, Shawn Michaels Superkicks Undertaker out.

Shawn looks at his handiwork, and Mr. Kennedy takes advantage by throwing him out.

Seriously? Shawn and Taker eliminated that fast? The crowd is stunned, and so am I… I thought one or both guys would at least make it to the final four. Wow.

Outside, I guess Undertaker did a legdrop onto Snitsky on the SmackDown! announce table, but the camera didn’t show it. Damn.

A slick move then happened where KK threw Cody over the top. Cody held on, and when KK went to follow up, Cody grabbed KK’s head with his legs and pulled him over the top. KK managed to land on the apron, so both guys saved themselves, but it was a definite cool spot.

Entrant #25: Mark Henry then came down to stink up the Garden. He picked on Kane as KK tried tossing Miz over the top. Miz tried to save himself, but Hornswoggle appeared, pulled Miz the rest of the way, then hid back under the ring. Heh… Miz got eliminated by a midget. He sucks that much.

We finally get a reply of Taker doing his legdrop to Snitsky, and it looked somewhat tame. Meh.

Entrant #26: Chavo Guerrero hits the ring then. CM Punk immediately goes after him, although we get a view of Kane and Morrison. Kane tosses Morrison over the rope, but Morrison hangs on. Kane follows up with a big boot, eliminating Morrison. I have to give Morrison credit: they did a lot of teases with eliminating him, but he hung on convincingly.

Mark Henry was then in the process of eliminating Cody Rhodes, and Hornswoggle reappeared, trying to help. Henry saw this, and let go of Rhodes to pull HFM into the ring proper. HFM quickly found himself wedged between Henry and BDV. Finlay then came down to the ring, shillelagh in hand, and smacked everyone.

Finlay then came out of the ring slid out of the ring and dragged HFM with him, and they left ringside. Much (a little too much) was made about whether HFM has actually left the Rumble yet, seeing as he never went over the top rope.

Jim Ross then tells us that Finlay was entrant #27, but was disqualified for jumping the clock. Alrighty then.

Entrant #28: Elijah Burke hits the ring, but the story is Batista. Bats had KK up for a powerslam or something, but KK kicked his legs rapidly to try to escape. He did so, and Bats immediately crumpled to the canvas and rolled out of the ring. Wuh oh. Still, the announcers “just happened” to talk about Bats as the camera showed this, so I wonder what’s going on. Either way, Bats is still technically in, although he’s rolling around at ringside in some pain.

Meanwhile, Chavo goes after CM Punk, who back body drops him over the top rope. Chavo holds on, then suplexes Punk over as well. Punk tries to hang on too, but Chavo manages to push Punk away from the top rope and pushes him to the floor. We also see a couple refs rush over to where Bats is laying.

We get a new replay that shows what happened to Bats, actually. As Bats was holding KK, Umaga came up and delivered a Samoan Spike. Bats sold it and rolled under the bottom rope. Okay, we’re still kayfabing here, good; the last thing the WWE roster needs is a real injury to Batista. Again.

Entrant #29: Triple H walks and spits his way to the ring. He cleans house, including throwing Cody Rhodes over the top rope. Big Dickweed V tries to stop him, but after spiking BDV’s face into his knee, Triple H by himself throws BDV over the top rope.

Trips then focuses on Mick Foley, delivering a couple punches, then throws him into Elijah Burke, sending both Foley and Burke over the top rope.

Triple H continues to fight, targeting Umaga. Carlito and Chavo play with each other as Mark Henry occupies himself with Mr. Kennedy. Kane is still in, but is just lying there not doing anything.

Umaga fights the good fight against Trips, but eats a Pedigree for his efforts.


The action in the ring stops dead as Trips stares down Cena, who is getting a huge pop. I don’t believe this… wasn’t the report that Cena wasn’t even going to be back in time for Wrestlemania? Holy shit! I guess with a surprise like that, all the shitty parts of the gimmick are forgiven! (At least for now, but I’m not complaining!)

As Cena goes in, Mark Henry shoulder-checks Trips out of the way, which draws boos. Cena floors Henry, then chucks Carlito over the ring, shortly followed by Chavo. Mark Henry tries to help himself up with the ropes, and Cena tosses him over.

Cena and Trips finally get in each other’s faces. Trips throws the first punch and gets the advantage. He even delivers a spinebuster, and draws about 50/50 cheers and boos. Then Umaga appears and sets up shoulder-checks Trips, then pulls him up to ready the Samoan Spike. Batista reappears, spears Umaga, then clotheslines Mr. Kennedy over the top rope. Bats stands tall among the others who are flat on their asses. Umaga tries to get up, but Bats finishes him off with a clothesline as well.

The Final Four are now Batista, Kane, Triple H, and John Cena. Immediately after the Umaga elimination, Kane tries a chokeslam on Bats. Triple H appears and tries to work on Kane, but Kane grabs Trips’s throat as well. Trips and Bats deliver twin kicks to Kane’s gut, however, then together toss Kane over the top.

Cena, Trips, and Bats stand still to absorb the crazy crowd noise. All three guys size each other up, with Cena getting the majority of the cheers. Bats points to both guys, then does his thumbs up/thumbs down taunt. Cena smiles, then does his You Can’t See Me taunt to both guys, drawing an incredible amount of booing. Huh, so I guess it’s not all forgiven. Triple H then tells both of his opponents to suck it with twin crotch chops, and it’s on!

Cena and Bats force Trips into the corner, then work on each other. Bats gets the advantage by throwing Cena off the ropes and delivering a spinebuster, then runs over and clotheslines Trips.

As Bats heads back to Cena, Cena and Trips double-team him… for two seconds. As they throw him off the ropes, Bats gives a double-clothesline, then spinebusters BOTH of them (not at the same time).

Cena manages to recover first, and Bats sets him up for the Batista Bomb. Cena counters with a backdrop, and as Bats gets up, Triple H clotheslines him over the top rope.

We’re down to Cena and Triple H. They pause, and Trips points at the sign that advertises Wrestlemania. Triple H does Broad Gesturing to indicate that he’s going; Cena does the same, giving Triple H his own golf clap.

Cheers and chants are about 60/40 in favor of Trips. Once they go at it, the cheers for Cena quickly disappear. Cena manages to reverse a punch into a side slam, and the boos get much louder. He mouths to the crowd something about “I’m finishing this son of a bitch” or something, then does the Five Knuckle Shuffle to Trips.

Trips gets up and Cena readies an FU. Trips slips out and readies a Pedigree. Cena escapes and bounces off the ropes. Both guys deliver clotheslines, both guys go down.

No double countouts here, and both guys used the ropes to get up. Trips is up first and goes for a clothesline to send Cena over, but Cena counters with an elbow. Cena then gets Trips up in an FU, but Trips grabs the top rope and fights it. Trips finally gets to his feet, boots Cena in the gut, then delivers a strong DDT.

Triple H then picks up Cena and starts to throw him over the rope. Cena also holds on, then snakes out and lands on his feet. Triple H charges, and Cena gets him into an FU. Trips snakes out, gets Cena in a Pedigree. Cena reverse, puts Trips into an FU and tries to toss him, but Trips grabs the top rope. (Yes, this is basically the identical sequence from ten seconds ago.) But this time, Cena finishes things off and throws Triple H over the top rope.

Your winner of the 2008 Royal Rumble: John Cena. Again, probably 65/35 boos-to-cheers for him.

Final Thoughts: Yes, I’ve bounced between loving Cena and being a Cena apologist to hating him as much as the next guy. I’m on record as saying that I thought this injury would do his character good, and that at least some of his character’s flaws would be forgiven. Right now, I’m willing to give his character a second chance.

And yeah, someone can make the argument that “Superman Cena winning again sucks mightily,” but you know what? I don’t care. If there’s any match that a superman result should be forgiven, it’s the Royal Rumble.

Now we enter the Road to Wrestlemania, and as I think about that, my fears for Cena’s return appear. The most obvious, and therefore least interesting, storyline here is for Cena to challenge for Orton’s title, so we see Cena vs. Orton (again) at Wrestlemania (again) for the WWE Championship Title (again), which will do no one any favors. That would suck, REALLY bad.

Not that I want to jump the gun already, but Trips has a legitimate issue now with Cena, and those two can play with “title shot on the line” matches for a little while. And who knows: maybe Cena will go full-on heel tomorrow night, and Trips winds up getting the title shot and faces Orton at Wrestlemania. Really, the possibilities are endless. I’d prefer to see damn near any scenario to avoid another Orton/Cena match at this point.

I suppose I’ll wait and see. As a wrestling fan, there’s a certain part of me that must maintain some shred of optimistic hope that the morons who inhabit WWE’s “Creative Team” aren’t going to go for the laziest, least imaginative, been-there-done-that storyline for the next few months. So at least for now, I’m going to close out this night thinking about what could be, rather than what will probably be.

We’ll get more answers tomorrow night on RAW, as we know damn well that Cena isn’t going to SmackDown! to play with Edge, especially seeing as how the belt with the retarded spinner is still in Orton’s hands. I’m just hoping that neither the answers nor Cena’s first promo since his return aren’t painfully stupid.


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