WWE Royal Rumble Series #20 (2007)

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Welcome back to the series! This is a detailed WWE Royal Rumble 2007 match review. The concept of the Rumble is unique, and I’ve had alotta fun reliving the classics. We’re finally on to #20! And with a dozen or so left, there’s still some way to go if we want to finish off this series to the present day:

#1 (’88)#2 (’89)#3 (’90)#4 (’91)#5 (’92) #6 (’93)#7 (’94)#8 (’95)#9 (’96) – #10 (’97)#11 (’98)#12 (’99)#13 (’00)#14 (’01)#15 (’02)#16 (’03)#17 (’04)#18 (’05)#19 (’06)

WWE Royal Rumble 2007 – Raw vs. Smackdown vs. ECW

(San Antonio, Texas – January 28th, 2007)

Before I sat down to watch this again, I had a tough time remembering any of it. This was roughly around the time my interest in WWE began to wane, especially when the ECW brand turned out to be a bland copy of Raw & Smackdown;and not anything resembling the original. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to go over it again, because it’s unique in the fact we saw three brands represented. Not only that, but the undercard featured some unique matches, with challengers who either passed too soon, or didn’t get the push fans were expecting before being released.

  • The first match of the night saw The Hardys defeat the tag team MNM, with nothing on the line other than bragging rights.
  • With the title on the line, Test got himself counted out on purpose against the ECW Champion Bobby Lashley. Post match, Lashley went after him and continued the beat down.
  • Mr Kennedy lost his biggest match to date, as he went one-on-one with “The Animal” and World Heavyweight Champion Batista.
  • In arguably the most memorable encounter of the night, John Cena and Umaga fought in a hard-hitting Last Man Standing match. It took the FU, and the STFU (while using the loose ring rope), to put down the Samoan Bulldozer for the 10-count. Imagine what the WWE landscape would have been like, if Umaga, Mr. Kennedy or Test were booked to win on this night?




Rumble Roundup (#1-7)

We begin with possibly the oldest combination of starting entrants in the history of the Rumble; Ric Flair and Finlay. We get some typical brawling, and Finlay trying to eliminate Flair before the next entrant arrives .. which is Kenny Dykstra of Spirit Squad fame. He gets close to being eliminated by Finlay, but manages to survive. “Whoa Yeah!” It’s Matt Hardy’s sixth Rumble. He goes after Kenny while Finlay and Flair default to one another. The former World Champ and current tag team champ Edge runs frantically to the ring .. and spears Flair! Spear to Finlay! He tries spearing Matt Hardy, but he moves out the way and delivers the Twist of Fate.

Flair brings in a couple of chairs and Kenny stops him putting them to use. The first elimination is Ric Flair by Edge, although it’s marked down in history that Kenny helped with this .. he really didn’t. Of course, he took credit for it and celebrated with Edge, only to be dumped out the second he turned his back on the Rated R Superstar. “There’s no friends in the Rumble match kid”. And here comes the first of the ECW extremists, the heart & soul Tommy Dreamer; loud “ECW” chants.

The superstars battle it out, and Edge gets close to eliminating Matt while Finlay and Dreamer work each other. It’s Sabu! Another ECW original. He’s straight for the table under the ring, and sets it up on the outside before getting in to the match. Sabu doesn’t care who he targets, so he focuses on Dreamer first. King says he’s like a maniac. Cole halfheartedly says Sabu is homicidal .. genocidal.


#8-11

JBL isn’t happy with Cole’s lackluster sell and asks him what else Sabu is. Cole says he’s suicidal .. and tries moving on, so King jokes that he didn’t want to do the full thing. For Joey Styles’ benefit, this is how you do it Cole .. he’s the HOMICIDAL! SUICIDAL! GENOCIDAL! DEATH-DEFYING .. SAAA—–BUUUU! Anyways moving on, we have the longest reigning Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms (exactly one year) rushing to the ring. Crowd chants for Sabu as we get some table teases. Arguably at the peak of his career, Shelton Benjamin rocks in at #9. Some more table teases, this time from Shelton.


There’s not many eliminations going on, only two so far. #10 is Kane .. oh my! This is his 11th Rumble and counting (new record). Chokeslam to Edge! He grabs Tommy and launches him over the top to the floor. Next up is Sabu, who stops Kane from putting him through the table on the outside. After missing Kane, Sabu is on the apron and gets grabbed by the throat, and chokeslammed hard through the table! See you later ECW originals .. it’s been a nice five minutes. JBL believes Kane is the odds on favourite.

CM Punk’s Rumble debut with his Killswitch Engage theme. Oh yeah, and he’s an ECW guy. Very first thing JBL says about Punk is he doesn’t drink or do drugs .. which is BORING! Jesus JBL, way to make him sound like the most dull human being in the history of the world. They do say he’s a hell of an athlete .. but likely doesn’t have much of a social life. Why do you need to be a borderline or actual alcoholic/druggie to have a social life? C’mon guys, stop burying the kid.

#12-17

King Booker is out next .. which yeah, I never really bought the gimmick, although I know some look back on it with fond memories. At least he embraced it, unlike many others. First thing he does, is eliminate the longest reigning champion in the company Gregory Helms. Way to treat the cruiserweight division like an afterthought.

Speaking of afterthoughts .. it’s SUPER CRAZY! Loved that guy, but so underutilized in WWE. Here comes the other Hardy Boy, the Intercontinental Champion Jeff. Both Hardys were in a match earlier, so they take King’s strategy of teaming up together. JBL can’t help himself and says Edge “stole all their girlfriends”. And here comes the best Rumble entrance ever .. it’s the one and only SANDMAN! He’s in the crowd!

Sandman makes his way to the ring with a Singapore Cane. He smashes Jeff, Super Crazy, and Matt in their heads. King Booker’s having none of it though, and unceremoniously dumps Sandman after only 13 seconds of action. Boooo! Stop burying the ECW originals. JBL reminds us that Sandman may drink .. but he’s no Stone Cold Steve Austin. Really? I never would have guessed, thanks for the observation. Meanwhile, Edge’s tag team buddy Randy Orton joins the fray.


He & Edge get rid of Super Crazy, and The Hardys soon after. Team Rated RKO are working together, and it spells trouble for everyone else. #17 is the last time we see Chris Benoit in a Royal Rumble. As this may be the last time I write anything about this man in a seriously long time, let me just say he was an amazing wrestler. It never gets any easier to watch him though .. with the knowledge of what happened five months after this event.

#18-24

He runs to the ring and starts a chopfest with anything that moves. We also get a little ‘Suplex City’, many years before Lesnar thought of it. Oh oh, it’s Rob Van Dam! The only man to hold the WWE & ECW titles at the same time. In the flurry of kicks, Kane takes advantage of the confusion and eliminates King Booker. Booker does not take it well though, and gets back in the ring to eliminate The Big Red Machine on his own! Wow. The World’s Largest Love Machine Viscera is here, but no one cares because the camera is on Booker beating down Kane.

We have to wait a long time for the next elimination, as both Johnny Nitro, Kevin Thorn (fka Mordecai) and Hardcore Holly enter to fill up the ring with more cannon fodder. We’re due a big name, and not many are bigger than The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. Just as he enters, everyone except Finlay teams up to eliminate Viscera. The crowd lights up as HBK takes it to Finlay, and manages to eliminate him (he was in over 30 minutes!) while everyone else is occupied.


Viscera escapes the mass bodies trying to eliminate him, but walks straight in to a Sweet Chin Music! He falls back on to the ropes and eight men (Benoit, Punk, Edge, Holly, Nitro, Thorn, RVD & Benjamin) eliminate the big man; which remains a record for the most amount of men to take out one person. Benjamin has no luck in the same ring as Michaels, as he too is sent packing. Chris Masters is #24 and quietly adds himself to the mix. Johnny Nitro’s plan to damage Benoit backfires, and is sent flying to the outside.

#25-30

“Ooo Chavo!” He rolls in to the ring and gets right after Masters while Benoit eliminates Thorn. “1 .. 2 .. You hear the clock ticking”, it can only be Montel Vontavious Porter making his Rumble debut. As predicted, MVP goes straight for his rival and mentor Chris Benoit. HBK holds him back though, giving Benoit an opening to stop his momentum. While that’s going on, RVD eliminates Masters. Next up is a guy who really likes to spit on the face of people who do not want to be cool. Carlito does not enter with as much hype as the previous year, and he’s soon taken advantage of by Team RKO.

Oh my god .. it’s The Great Khali in his ultimate form! Danger! Danger! Everyone in the ring stops and holds their ground, but Khali headbutts once, twice, thrice, four times, five times, six times, seven times, eight .. oh he switched to the big hammering chops! Such variety! But who can stop this very slow-moving colossus!? Not Benoit, and certainly not Hardcore Holly .. as he’s eliminated. Off screen, Khali gets rid of Benoit while the next person enters.


Maybe The Miz can do something in his Rumble debut? Nope, Khali eliminates him in seven seconds. That would’ve been hilarious had Khali not dumped Rob Van Dam immediately after. CM Punk’s gone as well, but at least he was the longest lasting ECW guy (27 minutes). Khali’s on a streak as he gets rid of Carlito and Chavo Guerrero. Shawn Michaels valiantly stands up to the behemoth, but is choke bombed hard for his effort. Here comes the final entrant coming out at #30 .. The Undertaker!

Final Six

Khali shakes his head as The Deadman stares a hole through him. Undertaker enters the ring and takes it to the big man with strikes! Taker eats some blows, but refuses to go down. The fans are screaming for The Undertaker as he takes The Great Khali out of the Rumble! The other superstars recover to stop Undertaker’s momentum, but he stands tall in the middle of the ring. MVP is taken for some Old School, which is his biggest spot before being eliminated.

He’s annoyed by this and tries getting back in the ring with a chair, but a referee stops him. Randy Orton steals the chair and cracks The Undertaker over the head with it! Showing some dissension, Edge attempts to sneak up and spear Randy Orton while he’s unaware. Orton turns around though .. with his steel chair, stopping Edge in his tracks. He tells his tag team partner off, and Edge seems almost apologetic. Randy sees Shawn Michaels recovering and hits the RKO; HBK rolls to the outside. Team RKO get back on the same page and work over The Undertaker.

Taker is bleeding from the earlier chair shot. The Phenom fights back against Team RKO and attempts a double chokeslam, but they double kick him in the stomach. They Irish Whip him off the ropes and he counters with a double clothesline. As Undertaker looks like he’s about to chokeslam Orton, Edge saves him with a spear. He goes one further by cracking the steel chair over Undertaker’s skull again. The next step is to incapacitate him with a Conchairto. Shawn Michaels is back in though, and surprises everybody by quickly eliminating both Randy Orton & Edge! Leaving only himself and The Undertaker.

Final Two

The fans are ecstatic since they love both these legends. Undertaker sits up, and Michaels kips up shortly after; it’s been a long time since Undertaker and Michaels squared off one-on-one. The intensity increases, as Taker almost eliminates Michaels with a right hand. HBK is slippery though, and Cole has the chills while Shawn chops Taker and dodges his counter strikes. Undertaker goes for a big boot in the corner, but misses and finds himself on the apron. HBK bounces off the ropes and crashes in to Taker, but he hangs on to the ropes with everything he has. The Phenom survives with an elbow and gets back in the ring. Michaels hits the swinging neckbreaker, but it doesn’t keep Deadman down for long.

Michaels eats a big boot and Undertaker takes the time to catch his breath. They find themselves on the turnbuckle and Taker’s looking at the floor, trying to find the right positioning to throw Michaels out. But he doesn’t get to, as Shawn punches his way free. Taker falls to the floor and HBK flies through the air, connecting with the elbow drop. HBK tunes up the band, but Undertaker catches his foot and takes him for a ride to hell via chokeslam. The Deadman signals it’s over and goes for the Tombstone Piledriver. Michaels counters and floors him with Sweet Chin Music. He tunes the band up again, and Michaels attempts it one more time, but The Undertaker grabs his foot once more, and throws him over the top rope! Your winner, and the first man to do so from the #30 spot, The Undertaker!

Conclusion

Another crowning achievement in the career of The Undertaker. Unlike many previous Rumbles, this shied away from frequent eliminations. Instead, they were executed in spurts to keep a good amount of meat in the ring at all times. One thing I did notice right away as well, was the absence of Jim Ross. Apparently it was Kevin Dunn who made this call, as they were grooming Michael Cole to be the next main announcer to replace JR. And while previous years featured a fair 15/15 split, Raw had the most participants with 13, while SmackDown had 10 to ECW’s 7.

I enjoyed this Rumble, especially when they got down to the final four. Sucks to see the poor treatment of some of the ECW Originals, but they weren’t staying long anyways. Somehow I the aftermath more, when The Undertaker was given the choice of which champion he wanted to face at WrestleMania. The WWE, World, and ECW Champions John Cena, Batista, and Lashley lined up in the ring to see who he’d choose, and in the end he wanted Batista. Despite losing the Rumble, Shawn Michaels got to be in the main event of WrestleMania anyways, but you can read more about his opportunity at the following link. Thank you for reading! – WrestleMania 23

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