It’s January 28, 2007. The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels are the final two men in the Royal Rumble. HBK attempts a super kick but the Deadman easily reverses. Michaels is sent crashing to the floor and Undertaker has added another accomplishment to his prestigious career.
Unfortunately, it was the last time winning the Royal Rumble mattered. The following year we saw the return of John Cena. After some back and forth action between Cena and Triple H, Cena used the AA to take his ticket to Wrestlemania. Cena used his title opportunity at No Way Out and was unsuccessful in regaining the WWE Title.
The 2009 Rumble was met with a different approach. The buzz backstage wasn’t the rumble itself but about Randy Orton punting Vince McMahon six days before. Orton won the Rumble, last eliminating Triple H. Randy used his opportunity at Wrestlemania but fell to newly crowned WWE Champion, Triple H.
Last year was probably the most star studded Rumble in history. John Cena, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Batista, Chris Jericho and Edge all participated in the bout. Once again the focus wasn’t on the match itself but if Michaels would win it or not. Michaels was unsuccessful as the Rated R Superstar returned to win it all.
Edge used his opportunity at Wrestlemania but fell to Chris Jericho.
And they say third time's a charm?
The shortcomings of Cena, Edge and Orton have left me with one question: Does winning the Royal Rumble matter anymore? The hype for the event is extremely overwhelming, only this time there are multiple possibilities.
Orton and Cena aren’t competing.
The return factor is in full effect this year. Triple H, Christian, Evan Bourne and the unlikely Y2J, have all been named for potential returns. Besides that the Rumble is set for another star studded year. Young guns like Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett are all aiming for the guaranteed World Title match.
Polished veterans like CM Punk, John Morrison, Big Show and Rey Mysterio are intent on regaining or winning the gold.
Despite all of this, does it really matter who wins the event? I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just an honorary title at this point. John Cena is an automatic lock for the WWE Title match. Don’t complain because he deserves his spot and he’s worked for it.
The World title seems like the only one attainable at this point. So I have a better question for my Creatures, who’s going to take on Edge?
My prediction? There’s a guy who knows Edge better than anyone. He’s been wrestling for over a decade and has yet to be World Champion. I think that’s a problem that needs to be solved this year.