|Royal Rumble (2011)|
|Date||January 30, 2011|
|Last Event||TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs|
|Next Event||Elimination Chamber|
Royal Rumble (2011) was the twenty-fourth annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It took place on January 30, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, and featured talent from the Raw and SmackDown brands. As has been customary since 1993, the Royal Rumble match winner received a match at that year's WrestleMania (in this instance: WrestleMania XXVII) for his choice at either the WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship.
Event summary Edit
Edge vs Dolph Ziggler Edit
World Heavyweight Champion Edge reigned supreme against Dolph Ziggler, retaining his coveted World Title at the sold-out Royal Rumble after sneaking in the banned Spear.
With the TD Banknorth Garden filled to the rafters, an absolutely intense battle between the two extremely calculating Superstars set the outrageous mood for the entire pay-per-view. The WWE Universe held its collective breath to see if Edge would use the barred Spear and automatically lose his title.
When Vickie Guerrero interfered with the match and jumped up on the ring apron to continuously slap Edge, Kelly Kelly appeared from nowhere and took her out.
Ziggler soon locked in his infamous sleeper and, while the World Heavyweight Champion struggled to break it, the referee got knocked to the canvas and was rendered out of commission. Seizing the opportunity, The Ultimate Opportunist brought the WWE Universe into hysterics, blasting his adversary with the outlawed Spear. Then, as the referee was coming to, he followed it up with the Killswitch for the victory -- perhaps paying homage to his former partner Christian.
At WWE TLC one month ago, Edge reached new heights, triumphing over Kane in a TLC Match to become a 10-time World Champion. Truly one of the top Superstars to set foot in the squared circle in the past 15 years, The Rated-R Superstar journeyed into Royal Rumble more dominant than ever.
Dolph Ziggler had a great deal on his side as he attempted to dethrone The Rated-R Superstar. The bleach-blond challenger utilized aggressive skill, an unwavering self-confidence and a boundless ambition -- not to mention a great amount of luck. The former Intercontinental Champion triumphed in an intense Fatal 4-Way Match on SmackDown to become The Master Manipulator's No. 1 contender.
Ziggler's alliance with the powerful "acting" SmackDown GM Vickie Guerrero has also continued to pay dividends, especially when she banned her ex-husband's Spear just two days before Ziggler's World Title opportunity. But, Edge did not become The Ultimate Opportunist by having only one weapon in his arsenal, a lesson Guerrero's boyfriend had to learn the hard way.
Edge has once again proved his excellence in front of a capacity crowd, retaining the World Title in epic fashion. However -- since the victor of the Royal Rumble Match ultimately wins a main-event opportunity with one of the two World Champions at WrestleMania -- could his biggest challenge still lay ahead of him?
Natalya vs Michelle McCool vs Layla vs Eve Torres Edit
In a shocking turn of events at a sold-out TD Banknorth Garden, Raw's Anonymous General Manager evened the odds in Natalya's Divas Championship defense against Lay-Cool, ordering the bout as a Fatal 4-Way Match. This decision would set the stage for Eve to compete and capture the butterfly for the second time in her young career -- though not without serious controversy.
The battle was fierce and competitive as the quartet of sexy, smart and powerful Divas each desired to hold the coveted title en route to the Road to WrestleMania. When the dust settled, it was Eve pinning Layla to emerge victorious. However, the referee might have thought twice about handing Eve her second Divas Title had he seen Michelle simultaneously pinning Natalya behind him.
At Survivor Series last November, Natalya defeated Lay-Cool in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match to win the Divas Title. She then subsequently bested both Michelle McCool and Layla in singles competition.
However, the "Flawless" duo believed that this time they had Natalya figured out, and could reclaim the butterfly-emblazoned prize once and for all at Royal Rumble. That is, until Raw's anonymous General Manager changed the scheduled Handicap Match to a Fatal 4-Way, introducing Eve as a surprise competitor.
Although Lay-Cool could still capture the title, the expression on their faces emphasized the realization that their chances of coming out victorious had significantly decreased. Unfortunately for Natalya, her chances of retaining the title didn't improve, either. Both she and Eve were well aware that the champion did not have to be pinned or submit in order to lose the coveted championship. Ironically, Eve knew that fact better than all her opponents; just last June, she lost the coveted butterfly in a Fatal 4-Way Match without being pinned.
Having learned from her past experience, Eve capitalized on the opportunity to pin Layla, even though it can be argued that Michelle was justified in protesting the referee's decision. Her arguments would fall on deaf ears, however -- probably because the unsympathetic capacity crowd in Boston's TD Banknorth had drowned her out while cheering for their new Divas Champion.
- Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Edge (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero)
- Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE Divas Championship: Eve Torres defeated Natalya (c), Layla, and Michelle McCool