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CALDWELL'S WWE ROYAL RUMBLE PPV RESULTS 1/30: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live PPV - Miz vs. Orton, 40-man Rumble

Jan 30, 2011 - 9:50:57 PM
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WWE Royal Rumble PPV Results
January 30, 2011
Live from Boston, Mass.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


The first WWE PPV of 2011 opened with a standard Rumble video package highlighting the winner of the Rumble match advancing to WrestleMania. Past winners highlighted included "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Rey Mysterio, Triple H, John Cena, The Rock, and Edge (last year). The video transitioned into plugging the "biggest Rumble ever" with 40 instead of 30 wrestlers. Who will headline WrestleMania? Who will be...The One?

Arena: Live from Boston, pyro shot off and Michael Cole introduced the show with a claimed attendance over 15,000.

In-ring: Tony Chimel introduced the first match of the PPV tonight for the World Hvt. Title. Cue up Edge's theme music to bring out the World champion first to a strong reaction. They cut to the announcers to begin the bickering between Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. Matt Striker will be the third wheel, as usual. As Edge completed his ring intro, they replayed events from Friday's Smackdown when Vickie Guerrero banned Edge's Spear. Cole said Vickie can "do whatever she wants" because she's the acting GM. In that case, why not just strip Edge of the title and give it to Ziggler? Flawed Logic instance #1.

Vickie Guerrero then interrupted Edge's intro and excused herself. Vickie reminded everyone of what the announcers just focused on before telling "sweetheart" Edge to hit the Spear just one time tonight. Vickie chanted, "spear, spear, spear" over and over before cackling with laughter. Vickie reinforced that if Edge uses the Spear tonight, he will lose the World Title to her boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler. Out came #1 contender Ziggler as Cole promoted Vickie's decision-making. "And there we have Michael Cole's opinion," Lawler quipped. Lawler then hyped Edge having "that look in his eyes" tonight that he has something else in mind for Ziggler. Chimel handled the formal ring intros for the World Title match. Cue the opening bell.

1 -- World Hvt. champion EDGE vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) -- World Hvt. champion

Early signage noticeable on the hard camera side: "Congratulations YAMATO" and about five or six "We Hate Sign Guy" signs. Cole noted early on that Edge won the Royal Rumble match last year. Edge started off the match in control as Cole posed the question of whether Ziggler's nerves are a factor in his first World Title match on a big stage. Edge slammed Ziggler into the barricade ringside before dropping him throat-first across the railing. Vickie screamed at Edge, which distracted Edge momentarily to give Ziggler an opening to take control of the match. Ziggler got over his aggressiveness with multiple strikes and blows while Vickie cheered on from ringside.

Ziggler continued to work over Edge as a loud "Let's Go Edge" chant broke out. Edge fought back with blows to the forehead before catching Ziggler in the corner to slingshot him into the top turnbuckle. Ziggler fell backward into Edge, who sunset flip pinned him for a two count. Ziggler came back with a neckbreaker, though, and was slow to make a cover for a nearfall. Ziggler regrouped and went back to work on Edge with a tight reverse chinlock. Ziggler then dropped a standing elbow for a nearfall. Vickie took a deep breath. Ziggler then rammed Edge off the ring apron into the guardrail on the floor.

Back in the ring, Ziggler covered Edge for a two count. He reapplied a reverse chinlock and the crowd immediately started a rallying clap. They were too early, as Ziggler locked in the hold again. Edge then made it to his feet and elbowed out of the hold. They ran the ropes, then collided mid-ring with dual cross-body blocks. Another sign facing the hard camera was the traditional football signage of a "D" and a picture of a fence for "Defense." Cue up Cole and Lawler talking about offensive vs. defensive strategies in the match.

At 10:00, Edge and Ziggler slowly made their way back to their feet. Edge ducked a clothesline, then nailed a flying forearm smash. And a second. Edge scored a two count, but not close to victory yet. Ziggler suddenly cut off Edge, then wanted the Rocker Dropper, but Edge countered in mid-air with a sit-out powerbomb for a close two count. Edge, not able to use the Spear, went up top looking for a high-risk move, but Ziggler cut him off. Ziggler landed multiple headbutts as the camera focused on the WrestleMania signage hanging atop the arena. Edge then nailed a headbutt to floor Ziggler before coming off the top with a cross-body block. Ziggler rolled through, though, but only scored a two count. The crowd gasped.

A vocal minority started a brief "Let's go Ziggler" chant as Ziggler went for a cover, but it was only good for a two count. Ziggler teased the Zig-Zag, but Edge blocked. Edge then slapped on a Sharpshooter, which popped the crowd. Edge wasn't able to sit down on the hold, though, and the challenger reached the bottom rope for a break. Edge then measured Ziggler for a flying splash on the ropes, but Ziggler moved and Edge ate the ropes. Ziggler followed up with a Rocker Dropper and immediately made a cover, but Edge kicked out, drawing a strong reaction.

Both men were slow to their feet after the close nearfall. Edge landed a big boot off the ropes, then got that look in his eyes, but he couldn't use the Spear. Edge backed away to the corner for his usual finisher, but realized he would lose the title. Edge walked over to Ziggler, who suddenly slapped on the sleeperhold. Edge fought out, though, and nailed the Impaler DDT. He had a cover, but Vickie yanked the ref away from the count. Vickie argued with the ref on the ring apron as Edge slowly approached her. Vickie slapped him, then Ziggler nearly collided with Vickie. Edge scored a nearfall on a roll-up, then Vickie slapped Edge two more times.

Suddenly, Kelly Kelly came to ringside and tackled Vickie ringside. Kelly blasted Vickie as Edge watched. From behind, Ziggler snuck up on Edge and dropped him with the Zig-Zag. Cole sold that it was over, but Edge kicked out, quieting an excited Cole on commentary. The crowd soaked in the wild sequence as both men sold exhaustion on the mat. At 18:00, Ziggler went for the sleeperhold again and Edge dropped down to one knee. The crowd rallied behind Edge as Edge sold fading away in the hold. Edge showed some life before lifting Ziggler up on his back. You could see it coming with a ref bump as Edge wildly tried to escape. Edge then dropped Ziggler with a backpack jawbreaker.

Edge and the crowd realized the situation: ref down, Vickie down. Edge got that crazy look in his eyes and looked for an opening to drop Ziggler with the Spear. Edge went for the Spear and connected. Edge collapsed to the mat as the ref came to life. Cole accused Edge of acting. "C'mon, ref, you fool!" Cole shouted. Edge then sold slowly coming to life before measuring Ziggler, who slowly came to life. Edge then dropped Ziggler with Christian's Killswitch finisher and the crowd popped. Striker called it a "shout-out" to his buddy. Edge with the cover for the pin and the win. Striker tried to cover for Edge not pinning Ziggler immediately after "cheating," while Cole ranted and raved.

WINNER: Edge at 20:45 to retain the World Hvt. Title. Excellent match. Nice, slow build to the high points of the match, a hot crowd invested in the match, and believable nearfalls. After dipping into the bag of tricks for this match, WWE has to be careful not to over-do it the rest of the PPV. (***3/4)

WrestleMania video package: 63 days away.

Announcers: Striker, Lawler, and Cole were shown on-camera again. Cole said it must be the Rumble because they're starting with two big title matches. They transitioned into plugging Miz vs. Orton for the WWE Title up next. Cue up a video package recapping their feud on Raw.

Backstage: The Miz and Alex Riley were shown backstage. Josh Mathews asked Miz for his final thoughts before facing Randy Orton. Miz said there is a reason why he is a champion and people like Orton, Orton, and even Tom Brady are not champions. Big heat live in the crowd for the Brady reference. Riley said Miz is going to out-class and beat Orton tonight, then advance to WrestleMania. Miz whispered that he's The Miz...and he's Awesome.

In-ring: Randy Orton was out first as the challenger for the WWE Title match. Lawler dropped the word "wrestler," saying he likes to watch a wrestler's body language and look in his eyes before a match. Lawler said he likes what he sees from Orton. After a pause, The Miz and Alex Riley came out to the ring as Cole stood up and claimed Miz is a role model for kids that he talks to. Lawler and Striker wanted to know who lets Cole talk to kids. Cole continued to talk up Miz as a top-draw in WWE as Miz held up the WWE Title belt in Orton's face. Justin Roberts handled the formal ring intros before the opening bell.

2 -- WWE champion THE MIZ (w/Alex Riley) vs. RANDY ORTON -- WWE Title match

The match started similarly to Edge vs. Ziggler with Orton dominating Miz. Cole went back to TLC when Miz "beat" Orton to claim Orton has to prove something. Striker was slow to reference Miz using chicanery to beat Orton in the tables match, prompting another rant from Cole. Orton continued to dominate before Miz landed an elbow smash, but Orton fired back with right hand strikes to the forehead. The commentary was pretty horrible early on before Riley helped get some heat on the match by slingshotting Orton throat-first across the top rope behind the ref's back. Cole continued to focus on everything except the match as Miz slowed down the pace. Lawler finally cut off Cole and firmly stated, "One day. One day, you are going to get yours."

Miz continued to work over Orton, who fired back with a right hand to the forehead. Miz then cut off Orton with an elbow smash for a one count. They went to a replay of Orton landing a haymaker, but Miz not backing down and maintaining control of the match. Miz went back to a reverse chinlock center-ring as Cole talked up Miz as a five-tool athlete. Orton and Miz ducked clotheslines, then Orton landed a back drop to get some breathing room. Miz then hit an emphatic boot to the face and Cole declared Miz's journey to WrestleMania before Orton kicked out at two.

Miz went up top looking for a high-risk move, but Orton cut him off. Orton landed a right hand to the jaw before executing a one-step, one-arm superplex from the top rope. Very fluid, but it only resulted in a two count. Riley paced ringside as the crowd waited for something to happen. Orton blocked left-hand jabs before the two men started trading bombs and kicks. Orton then landed a fallaway backbreaker and the crowd came to life. Orton measured Miz for his trademark DDT from the second rope, but Miz back-dropped Orton over the top rope to the floor. Miz then hugged the ref so he couldn't see Riley put the boots to Orton ringside.

Back in the ring, Miz continued to work over Orton and slow the pace. Cole talked about himself as Orton fought back with right hand strikes before Miz dumped Orton to the outside. They were at the base of the announce desk. Orton teased a powerbomb, but Miz blocked and slingshot Orton face-first into the ringpost. Orton sold being KO'ed and Miz quickly re-entered the ring. The ref began his ten count and Miz smiled to the crowd. At six, Orton stirred. At seven, Orton reached his feet. At eight, Orton slid back into the ring and suddenly nailed Miz with a double knee smash out of nowhere. Orton landed two right hand strikes, then Miz came back with left-hand blows.

Orton suddenly exploded out of the corner with a clothesline before nailing the trademark snap powerslam. "That's what I was afraid of," Cole said. Orton began stomping on Miz before landing a flying knee to the face for a two count. At 16:00, Orton measured Miz and delivered a boot to the gut. Riley suddenly hopped on the apron and Orton chased him off. Miz then hit the Reality Check, but Orton kicked out in time. Orton teased the RKO, Miz teased the Skullcrushing Finale, then Orton hit the Angle Slam for a two count.

Miz rolled to the floor and demanded the WWE Title belt. Riley talked to Miz as Miz suddenly walked into a thunderous clothesline from Miz on the floor. Orton threw Miz back into the ring, then chased off Riley with a slow, deliberate walk toward him. Orton returned to the ring, where Miz dropped him for a two count. Miz slowly reached his feet and went for a running boot, but Orton ducked and rolled up Miz for a two count. Orton nailed a European uppercut, then caught Miz with the spike DDT from the second rope. Cole said it doesn't look good for Miz. Orton dropped down to the mat setting up for the RKO and Miz slowly made his way to his feet.

Suddenly, the New Nexus members sans C.M. Punk walked to the ring. Orton was distracted as Riley snuck in the back door. Orton grabbed him, though, and chucked Riley clear over the top rope onto all of the Nexus members. Back in the ring, Miz wanted the Skullcrushing Finale on Orton, but Orton countered with the RKO. It looked like a new champ, but C.M. Punk suddenly snuck in the back door and grabbed Orton to execute the Go 2 Sleep. Punk draped Miz on top of Orton, slid back out of the ring, the ref returned to the ring, and Miz scored a three count on Orton to retain the WWE Title. Cole jumped up and down declaring Miz the winner. Lawler wondered aloud what this is all about with Nexus and Miz. Miz sold being completely KO'ed after taking the RKO. Riley then helped him out as Cole declared him still WWE champion.

WINNER: Miz at 19:50 to retain the WWE Title. Eh. There were some big moments during the match, but mainly a slow match with the crowd sitting on their hands waiting for the finish. WWE dipping back into the bag of tricks for a second big title match was a bit much. It looks like a Punk vs. Orton feud is in the works culminating at Mania. (**1/4)

Elimination Chamber plug: The sound of glass breaking filled a brief preview video for the Chamber PPV in February.

Backstage: Grisham read an "official public statement" from Cody Rhodes talking about his chance to enter the Royal Rumble being taken away from him two weeks ago on Smackdown. Cody said Rey Mysterio has not apologized to him and he appreciates the fans's privacy. Back to the announcers, Cole said it's a tragedy. Lawler just shook his head.

Fan video: They rolled footage from earlier in the day with WWE fans saying who they think will win the Rumble tonight. Cena, Sheamus, Del Rio, Big Show, Wade Barrett, Punk, Mysterio, Santino, Del Rio, Cena, McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, and Cena were selected.

In-ring: Layla and McCool were out first for the pre-Rumble Divas Title match. Lawler said he's not looking forward to this match because of the disadvantage for Natalya. Natalya was out next, but before the bell could sound, the Raw GM buzzed. Cole was stuck at the announce table and struggled to make the five-foot trip to the GM podium. "Shut up, Cole!" a fan cat-called. Cole read that since Mr. Long is incapacitated on Smackdown, the GM is changing the Divas Title match. What about Vickie? Cole read that the GM gets enough complaints about Cole, so he's not going to fill his inbox with more complaints on this match. It will now be a Fatal Four-Way match. Cue up...Eve's theme music to bring out Eve as the fourth participant in the match.

3 -- Divas champion NATALYA vs. EVE vs. MICHELLE MCCOOL vs. LAYLA -- Four-way Divas Title match

Layla and McCool had an early miscommunication and found themselves on the floor. Natalya tried to follow up on the outside, but Lay-Cool took her out. Back in the ring, Layla and McCool found themselves standing alone together. They didn't act, though, which gave Natalya plenty of time to recover and take them out. Layla and McCool had another miscommunication with McCool accidentally popping Layla with a big boot. Eve emerged in the picture and hit a moonsault on Layla, who was still KO'ed by McCool. She scored a pin, but in the background, McCool rolled up Natalya. The ref only saw Eve pinning Layla, though, and Eve is the new Divas champion.

WINNER: Eve at 5:14 to capture the Divas Title. Ugh. Natalya, on a roll as champion, loses the title in a four-way match, Eve wasn't even in the match going into the PPV, and there was more Lay-Cool teased tension that will likely play out on Smackdown the next two months. (neg. * for the booking)

Backstage: Daniel Bryan was hugging Gail Kim. Josh Mathews asked Bryan about playing the ultimate underdog in the Rumble match. Suddenly, the Bellas walked in and said they come in peace. They apologized to Bryan and Kim for flipping out last week. The Bellas then noted it's clear why Gail and Bryan are a couple since they're both at a level below the Bellas. Gail took exception and another catfight broke out. Bryan and Josh took the worst of it. Order was finally restored and Gail said she's tired of them.

Video package: The "Rumble by the Numbers" video aired setting up the Rumble match. In the ring, Justin Roberts formally introduced the Royal Rumble match.

In-ring: Out first as #1...C.M. Punk. Punk slowly made his way to the ring as the announcers wondered aloud what Punk's intentions were in the WWE Title match. Some random music hit. Oh, it's The Corre. Ezekiel and Wade Barrett walked down to ringside, then the other members circled the ring. The New Nexus then stormed the ring and a giant brawl broke out. The crowd was quiet just wanting to see the Rumble start. Suddenly, the Raw GM buzzed. Cole screamed. Apparently the Raw GM wrote the email in all-caps. The GM wants this to stop now. Cole tried the "And I quote" line to mild heat. The GM ordered everyone to the back other than Punk. Failure to comply will result in a DQ from the Rumble match. Striker then asked Cole the obvious question of whether the email was written in all-caps. Eventually, Punk was left alone in the ring. Out as #2 was...Daniel Bryan. Cole noted Bryan being part of the Original Nexus.

4 -- 40-MAN ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH

This was the worst possible way to start the match, as it prompted an ear-splitting Cole Rant on the Punk vs. Bryan match-up. After 90 seconds, Justin Gabriel was out as #3. Gabriel eventually set up Punk for the 450 Splash, but Punk moved. Bryan then eliminated Gabriel at 2:35 for the first elimination.

Out as #4 was Zack Ryder to a decent reaction. Ryder delivered forearm strikes to Punk and Bryan. Lawler referenced Jim Ross calling Ryder "pet coon goofy" and Cole rolled his eyes at a JR reference. Bryan suddenly eliminated Ryder for his second elimination of the evening. William Regal was out as #5. Striker with a curious statement that Regal is the best wrestler to have never held the WWE Title. Regal cleaned house on Punk and Bryan before dropping Punk with the Knee Trembler. Bryan and Regal suddenly had an Uppercut Battle before Punk joined the fight. Bryan was the last man left standing after the exchange.

Out as #6 was Ted DiBiase. Maryse followed behind as DiBiase charged the ring to clean house. Bryan recovered and blasted Regal with more kicks and striking offense. Bryan tried to eliminate DiBiase, but DiBiase hooked the top rope to avoid elimination. Out as #7 was John Morrison to a strong reaction. Morrison seemed to jog to the ring in slow motion as he hit the ring with a flurry of offense. DiBiase teased eliminating Morrison, then Regal suddenly eliminated Morrison, but Morrison landed on the guardrail like Spiderman. His feet didn't hit the ground. Morrison then walked the guardrail, jumped onto the ring steps, and re-entered the ring. That was unique. Regal, shocked, was eliminated by DiBiase at 8:52.

Yoshi Tatsu joined the match as #8. Punk targeted Yoshi, who fired back with a right hand chop. The match slowed down as various wrestlers paired off against each other. No eliminations before #9 was Husky Harris. Yoshi and Bryan teed off on DiBiase with rapid-fire kick strikes before Punk suplexed Bryan from behind. Out as #10 was Chavo Guerrero. Chavo came in hot with multiple suplexes for multiple wrestlers. Striker declared a Royal Rumble Moment for Chavo as he completed three suplexes on Bryan on his fourth attempt.

#11-20: Mark Henry joined the Rumble as #11, drawing an "oh, now it's on" type reaction from the crowd. Henry caught Chavo and eliminated him at 15:05. Yoshi decided to test his recent tag partner, Henry, who brushed him aside before eliminating Yoshi at 15:34. Next out as #12 was JTG. Cue up Striker's usual Superstars talking points for JTG. Nothing happened, then out as #13 was Nexus member Michael McGillicutty. Mike sprinted to the ring to aid Punk, then eliminate JTG at 18:00. Mike and Harris worked on DiBiase, then double back-dropped him over the top rope at 18:51.

Chris Masters was #14. The announcers talked up his recent improvement before Masters tried to eliminate Punk via Masterlock. The other Nexus members didn't see the precarious situation for Punk until Mike finally attacked Masters from behind to save Punk. David Otunga was out next as #15. Otunga was more interested in posing on the stage, but eventually hit the ring to help Punk, Mike, and Harris. Bryan was suddenly eliminated by Harris at 20:56. Punk eliminated Masters at 21:11. The entire Nexus then eliminated Morrison at 21:25. Henry was eliminated next by the entire Nexus at 21:50. Out to save the day next was...Tyler Reks at #16. No reaction. No chance, either, as Reks was eliminated at 22:50. Punk, Otunga, Harris, and Mike waited in the ring for #17 as the announcers wondered who will stop this. Cue up Kozlov's music. Kozlov tried to run the gauntlet as Nexus took him apart. Punk then chucked Kozlov at 24:19.

More anticipation for who would try to run the gauntlet next. Out as #18 was R-Truth. Cole said good luck to Truth. Nexus immediately ganged up on Truth and took their time taking him apart. Punk dumped Truth over the top rope at 26:10. Punk celebrated another elimination, then Great Khali came out as #19, changing Punk's mood. Khali slowly made his way to the ring and piefaced Otunga. Khali then dumped Husky over the top rope at 27:23. To round out this portion, #20 was Nexus member Mason Ryan to replenish Nexus's four-man advantage. Ryan and Khali battled, then Ryan got his big moment eliminating Khali at 28:22.

#21-30: After a pause for Nexus to regroup, #21 was Booker T to a huge pop. Striker went nuts as Cole told him to calm down. Booker hit the ring and dropped Ryan with a "vintage" kick to the face. Scissors kick for Otunga. Book-end for Mike. The crowd, and Striker, begged for the Spinarooni. Booker then teased eliminating Punk, but Ryan made the save. Ryan then made the save by chucking Booker at 31:00. Cole thanked Booker for joining them for a couple of minutes.

Suddenly, John Cena's music hit at #22, which changed Punk's mood again. Cena walked out on stage with a big smile on his face. Cena chucked his cap and t-shirt aside, then counted the four members of Nexus in the ring before charging the ring. Ryan was eliminated at 32:35. Otunga at 32:40, then Mike at 32:41. Punk was the last man left against Cena, who cleared the ring and had the crowd on their feet. Punk and Cena had a double knock-down, then Hornswoggle was out as #23. Punk was upset at this development. Horny mocked Punk's rolling wrists gimmick, then Punk blasted him with a boot to the face. Punk wanted the G2S on Cena, but Cena countered with the Attitude Adjustment over the top rope to eliminate Punk at 35:20 to a big pop.

Cena helped Hornswoggle to his feet, then Tyson Kidd's music hit to bring out Kidd as #24. Poor Kidd had to sell for Hornswoggle. Cena then scooped up Kidd for an AA. Horny wanted to eliminate Kidd. No wait, give him the AA. Horny did Cena's handwave, then Cena chucked Kidd over the top rope at 37:05. Cena and Horny waited things out before Heath Slater came out as #25. Cena did his comeback routine on Slater, then Horny gave Slater a leaping Stunner. Cena and Horny proceeded to deliver a double Five Knuckle Shuffle on Slater. Horny with a Tadpole Splash, then Cena chucked Slater at 38:42.

Out as #26 was Kofi Kingston, who had a dilemma on his hands with Cena and Horny in the ring. Kofi took his time entering the ring as Horny tried to talk things over first. Kofi measured Cena as Horny stood in the middle. Kofi and Cena looked toward the WrestleMania 27 sign hanging above the arena as they stood off. Kofi and Cena locked up, Kofi showed off his high-flying, and Kofi landed a dropkick. Suddenly, Cena exploded on Kofi with a clothesline. Jack Swagger, with a little different look, came out as #26. Swagger cleared the babyfaces while Horny sold concern. Swagger landed a running Vader Bomb on Cena before declaring he's going to WrestleMania. Horny had other ideas, though. Swagger began stalking Horny, then Kofi came off the top with a splash on Swagger. Horny and Kofi proceeded to team up for a double Boom Drop on Swagger. Horny shook the ropes like Ultimate Warrior for some reason.

Out as #28 was Sheamus and Cole noted Sheamus cannot stand Hornswoggle because of the Irish stereotype he portrays. Sheamus proceeded to pieface Horny, who suddenly got up and tuned up the band for the Superkick...to the shin. Sheamus took offense, but Cena saved Horny from elimination. Horny then found himself stuck on the top rope and Sheamus kicked Horny to the floor at 43:53.

Out as #29 was Rey Mysterio. Swagger tried to pick a fight with him, but Rey cleaned house on Swagger, then Sheamus, then Cena. The match evened out, then Rey dropkicked Swagger to the floor at 45:35 for the next elimination. Cue up Corre's music to bring out Wade Barrett as #30 in the match. Barrett targeted Kofi and attempted Wasteland, but Rey dropkicked Barrett at the knees. Barrett and Cena battled, with Barrett temporarily taking advantage with a sidewalk slam.

#31-40: The first-ever #31 entry was Dolph Ziggler after losing the World Title match in the PPV opener. The heels ganged up on Cena, trying to eliminate him, but Rey made the save as the crowd roared with Cena in jeopardy. And out as #32...Kevin Nash with the "Diesel" gimmick. Nash put on his glove and threw a fist in the air. Everyone in the ring stopped as Diesel slowly made his way to the ring. Barrett wanted a piece of Diesel, but he landed a big boot. Diesel targeted Ziggler with elbow strikes. Out as #33 was Drew McIntyre. He wanted a piece of Nash, then Sheamus helped target Nash. The crowd chanted, "Let's go Diesel," for a while. Rey suddenly dropped Diesel with a 619, prompting boos. Diesel came to his feet and went after Barrett, who fired back with right hands.

And out as #34...The Miz. Check it, Alex Riley to Miz's music, as Miz was dressed in street clothes. Barrett suddenly eliminated Diesel, ending his return like Booker's. Miz joined the announcers on-commentary as Diesel got all the attention leaving ringside. Big Show was out next as #35. Big Show and Diesel suddenly met on the entrance ramp and exchanged glances. Show vs. Diesel at WrestleMania? Yikes. Show eventually made his way to the ring and cleaned house. Oh my goodness, four non-stop talkers on commentary. This is horrible. Show eliminated Ziggler at 54:52 for the next elimination. Out as #36 was Ezekiel Jackson. Meanwhile, Show eliminated McIntyre at 55:18. Jackson then eliminated Show at 55:33. Jackson and Barrett stood tall in the ring.

Out as #37 was Santino for a "luck of the draw" spot. Santino hit the ring and went after Sheamus, then, curiously, Jackson, who no-sold some weak chops. Santino then took a boot to the face from Sheamus. He slid underneath the bottom rope, so no elimination for him yet. The action slowed down as the announcers noted Cena has been in the Rumble for over 25 minutes. Jackson teased eliminating Cena, but to no avail. Out as #38 was Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio pulled up in a Bentley as Ricardo Rodriguez introduced him. The camera focused on Del Rio and Ricardo, so apparently nothing was happening in the ring. Rey waited and waited for Del Rio. Striker said Riley was eliminated. Del Rio's music continued to play as he waited on the ring entrance. Suddenly, Randy Orton was out as #39. Orton jumped Del Rio ringside and rammed him into the ring steps. Miz said he's surprised Orton is in the match after the beating he gave him. Orton cleaned house on everyone with RKOs. He then chucked Orton at 60:42. Sheamus was out next at 60:48. Orton and Cena then slowly turned around to face each other. There was zero reaction as they seemed to be waiting for a Big Reaction to the not-so-epic showdown.

And #40 was Kane. No Triple H, Christian, Jericho, Bourne, Divas, or any other surprises. Kane went after Orton, then targeted Jackson to eliminate him at 62:35. Rey went for a top-rope move on Kane, then eliminated him at 63:29. Barrett immediately cut Rey at 63:37. So, it's down to the Final Four men of Del Rio, Cena, Barrett, and Orton. Well, and Santino, who was still on the outside after not being eliminating.

Orton and Cena had another stare down looking for that big pop, but no reaction. They traded right hand bombs, then Barrett interjected himself into the action. Del Rio and Barrett took control, then Cena dropped Del Rio with the AA. Suddenly, Riley tried to distract Cena, Cena took the bait, and Miz snuck in the back door to eliminate Cena at 66:30. Miz and Riley then took off to the back. Cena smirked, then walked over to Cole and pointed a finger at him. Cole sold peeing his pants, then Cena walked off to the back.

In the ring, it was Orton, Del Rio, and Barrett with Santino somewhere in the building. Barrett suddenly eliminated Orton at 68:37. Del Rio then snuck in the back door and eliminated Barrett at 68:39. The bell sounded, but no sign of Santino. Santino then slid into the ring as the other referees noted Santino was still alive. They called for the re-start as Santino warmed up the Cobra and dropped Del Rio. Santino started doing a parade around the ring. He didn't realize he had to eliminate Del Rio, then he slowly picked him up and tried to run Del Rio over the top rope, but Del Rio countered by throwing Santino over the top rope at 69:48.

Post-match: They replayed Miz eliminating Cena, then Miz and Riley taking off to the back. Back to a replay of Santino dropping Del Rio with the Cobra before Del Rio eliminated Santino. Fireworks shot off as Del Rio celebrated, Ricardo went nuts proclaiming Del Rio the winner, and Cole wondered who Del Rio will face at WrestleMania 27.

WINNER: Del Rio at 69:49. Well, that might have been one of the worst Rumbles I've seen in a while made even worse by nearly 70 minutes of awful commentary. They had some big moments, but they were simply to break up the monotony of the match. There just wasn't a flow to the match and the emphasis on Hornswoggle, The Corre, and New Nexus vs. everyone wasn't nearly as strong as Punk on the mic during the first-half of last year's Rumble in-between entries. The Rumble exposed WWE's lack of talent depth and dragged this out far longer than it should have been with the wrong decision to put 40 men in the match.

RUMBLE ENTRIES

1 - C.M. Punk
2 - Daniel Bryan
3 - Justin Gabriel
4 - Zack Ryder
5 - William Regal
6 - Ted DiBiase
7 - John Morrison
8 - Yoshi Tatsu
9 - Husky Harris
10 - Chavo Guerrero
11 - Mark Henry
12 - JTG
13 - Michael McGillicutty
14 - Chris Masters
15 - David Otunga
16 - Tyler Reks
17 - Kozlov
18 - R-Truth
19 - Great Khali
20 - Mason Ryan
21 - Booker T
22 - John Cena
23 - Hornswoggle
24 - Tyson Kidd
25 - Heath Slater
26 - Kofi Kingston
27 - Jack Swagger
28 - Sheamus
29 - Rey Mysterio
30 - Wade Barrett
31 - Dolph Ziggler
32 - Kevin Nash (Diesel)
33 - Drew McIntyre
34 - Alex Riley
35 - Big Show
36 - Ezekiel Jackson
37 - Santino
38 - Alberto Del Rio
39 - Randy Orton
40 - Kane

RUMBLE EXITS

1 - Gabriel (via Bryan at 2:35)
2 - Ryder (via Bryan at 3:45)
3 - Regal (via DiBiase at 8:52)
4 - Chavo (via Henry at 15:05)
5 - Yoshi (via Henry at 15:34)
6 - JTG (via McG at 18:00)
7 - DiBiase (via Harris & McG at 18:51)
8 - Bryan (via Harris at 20:56)
9 - Masters (via Punk at 21:11)
10 - Morrison (via Nexus at 21:25)
11 - Henry (via Nexus at 21:50)
12 - Reks (via Nexus at 22:50)
13 - Kozlov (via Punk at 24:19)
14 - R-Truth (via Punk at 26:10)
15 - Husky (via Khali at 27:23)
16 - Khali (via Mason at 28:22)
17 - Booker (via Mason at 31:00)
18 - Ryan (via Cena at 32:35)
19 - Otunga (via Cena at 32:40)
20 - McGillicutty (via Cena at 32:41)
21 - Punk (via Cena at 35:20)
22 - Kidd (via Cena at 37:05)
23 - Slater (via Cena at 38:42)
24 - Hornswoggle (via Sheamus at 43:53)
25 - Swagger (via Rey at 45:35)
26 - Diesel (via Barrett at 52:22)
27 - Ziggler (via Show at 54:52)
28 - McIntyre (via Show at 55:18)
29 - Show (via Jackson at 55:33)
30 - Riley (via ??? at ???)
31 - Kingston (via Orton at 60:42)
32 - Sheamus (via Orton at 60:48)
33 - Jackson (via Kane at 62:35)
34 - Kane (via Rey at 63:29)
35 - Rey (via Barrett at 63:37)
36 - Cena (via Miz at 66:30)
37 - Orton (via Barrett at 68:37)
38 - Barrett (via Del Rio at 68:39)
39 - Santino (via Del Rio at 69:48)

***

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