Royal Rumble (2009)

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Royal Rumble (2009)
Promotional poster featuring various WWE wrestlers
PromotionWorld Wrestling Entertainment
DateJanuary 25, 2009
CityDetroit, Michigan
VenueJoe Louis Arena
Pay-per-view chronology
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Royal Rumble (2009) was the twenty-second annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It took place on January 25, 2009, at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan and featured talent from the Raw, SmackDown, and ECW brands.[1] As has been customary since 1993, the Royal Rumble match winner received a championship match at that year's WrestleMania, (in this instance: WrestleMania XXV) for his choice at either the WWE Championship, the World Heavyweight Championship or the ECW Championship.

Five professional wrestling matches were featured on the event's supercard, a scheduling of more than one main event. The main event was the annual 30-man Royal Rumble match which featured wrestlers from all three brands. Randy Orton, the eighth entrant, won the match by last eliminating Triple H, the seventh entrant. The primary match on the Raw brand was John Cena versus John "Bradshaw" Layfield for the World Heavyweight Championship, which Cena won by pinfall after performing an Attitude Adjustment. The primary match on the SmackDown brand was a No Disqualification match between Jeff Hardy and Edge for the WWE Championship. The predominant match on the ECW brand was between Jack Swagger and Matt Hardy for the ECW Championship.



The Royal Rumble is an annual gimmick pay-per-view, produced every January by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) since 1988. It is one of the promotion's original four pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series, dubbed the "Big Four".[2] It is named after the Royal Rumble match, a modified battle royal in which the participants enter at timed intervals instead of all beginning in the ring at the same time. The match generally features 30 wrestlers. Traditionally, the winner of the match earns a world championship match at that year's WrestleMania. For 2009, the winner could choose to challenge for either Raw's World Heavyweight Championship, SmackDown's WWE Championship, or the ECW Championship at WrestleMania XXV. 2009 was the twenty-second event in the Royal Rumble chronology and featured wrestlers from the Raw, SmackDown, and ECW brands.


The card consisted of six matches, as well as one dark match. The matches resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters to build tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw, SmackDown, and ECW brands, with storylines produced on their weekly television shows, Raw, SmackDown, and ECW on Sci Fi.[3][4][5]

John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) who faced off with John Cena at the Royal Rumble

The main rivalry from the Raw brand played out between John Cena and John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) over the World Heavyweight Championship. JBL earned his championship match against Cena after winning a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match—a standard match in which the last remaining competitor who has not been eliminated is declared the winner—on the December 29, 2008, episode of Raw by defeating Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, and Shawn Michaels.[6]

Another rivalry from the Raw brand came with Melina challenging Beth Phoenix for her WWE Women's Championship in a singles match. Melina won the opportunity to face Phoenix on the December 29, 2008. episode of Raw by winning a battle royal, a match similar to the Royal Rumble, though with fewer competitors.[6]

The main rivalry from the SmackDown brand incorporated into the Royal Rumble featured Jeff Hardy and Edge, with the two feuding over the WWE Championship. At WWE's previous pay-per-view event, Armageddon, Hardy had defeated both defending champion Edge and Triple H in a Triple Threat match, a standard match involving three wrestlers, to win the WWE Championship. On the January 2, 2009, episode of SmackDown, on-air authority figure Vickie Guerrero announced that Edge would face Hardy for the WWE title at the Royal Rumble.[7]

The ECW brand's main rivalry, that between Jack Swagger and Matt Hardy, had the two feuding over the ECW Championship. On the January 13, 2009, episode of ECW on Syfy, Swagger defeated Hardy to capture the ECW Championship. On the January 16 episode of Friday Night SmackDown, WWE announced that Swagger would defend the ECW title against Hardy in a rematch at the Royal Rumble.


Other on-screen personnel
Role: Name:
English commentators Michael Cole (Raw)
Jerry "The King" Lawler (Raw/Royal Rumble)
Jim Ross (Smackdown/Royal Rumble)
Tazz (Smackdown)
Todd Grisham (ECW)
Matt Striker (ECW)
Spanish commentators Carlos Cabrera
Hugo Savinovich
Interviewer Todd Grisham
Ring announcer Lilian Garcia (Raw)
Justin Roberts (SmackDown/Royal Rumble)
Tony Chimel (ECW)
Referees Charles Robinson
Mike Chioda
Chad Patton
Marty Elias
Jack Doan
Scott Armstong

Preliminary matches[edit]

The first match of the evening saw Jack Swagger defend the ECW Championship against Matt Hardy. The match started with both wrestlers countering each other's moves until Swagger injured Hardy's left shoulder and then targeted it for the rest of the match. Swagger ultimately defeated Hardy by pinning him after slamming him to the mat with a gutwrench powerbomb. Swagger thus retained the ECW title.[8]

The second match involved the WWE Women's Championship, where Beth Phoenix defended her title against Melina. The match ended when Phoenix attempted the Glam Slam on Melina, but Melina countered into a roll-up pin, to win the Women's Championship.[9]

Main event matches[edit]

The Royal Rumble match in progress
Randy Orton after winning the 2009 Royal Rumble

The third match on the card pitted John Cena against JBL for the World Heavyweight Championship. JBL's employee Shawn Michaels accompanied him to the ring and first got involved in the match when the referee became incapacitated; he came into the ring and performed his Sweet Chin Music finisher both on JBL and Cena. He then left ringside, leaving JBL's arm on top of Cena. Cena however managed to get a shoulder up and performed an Attitude Adjustment to retain his World Championship.[10]

In the fourth match, Jeff Hardy defended the WWE Championship against Edge. Before the match began, Vickie Guerrero came out and announced the match to be No Disqualifications. Edge then revealed that Chavo Guerrero would be in his corner. During the match Hardy brought a ladder out and set it up near the Spanish announce table. When Chavo tried to interfere, Hardy put him on the table and jumped off the ladder, connecting with Chavo and breaking the table. Hardy then had the match won when he performed the Swanton on Edge after kicking Vickie off the apron when she tried to interfere. When Hardy went for the pin, Vickie stopped referee Scott Armstrong from making a three count. Jeff's brother Matt then made his way to the ring, placing a chair under Edge's face. Grabbing another chair, Matt at first appeared to be setting Edge up for his own version of Edge's con-chair-to maneuver. He instead hit Jeff in the head with the chair, allowing Edge to then pin Jeff and become the new WWE Champion.[11]

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler came out to call the main event. The main event consisted of the Royal Rumble match. Rey Mysterio and John Morrison started the Rumble. The final six participants left in the match were The Big Show, The Undertaker, Triple H and The Legacy (Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase and Randy Orton). While the Undertaker and Big Show brawled on the outside apron (both went over the top rope, but had not hit the floor), Orton eliminated Big Show with an RKO, causing him to fall off the apron. Big Show eliminated The Undertaker shortly thereafter when he pulled his opponent off the apron by his leg. Despite being at a disadvantage against the Legacy, Triple H eliminated both DiBiase and Rhodes. With Triple H by the ropes, Orton quickly clotheslined him from behind to send him over the top rope and become the winner of the Royal Rumble match.[12]


Shane McMahon returned after the Royal Rumble and attacked Randy Orton

On the January 26 episode of Raw, The Legacy came out with two lawyers and a therapist. Randy Orton then revealed that he suffers from IED, which causes him to experience violent outbursts when provoked, losing all control of his emotions and actions. According to Orton and his lawyers, Orton had told Stephanie McMahon that if fired, he would not only take DiBiase and Rhodes with him but the whole locker room, as he would bring in a lawsuit against the company.[13]

The Raw brand started the qualifying matches for the brand's upcoming Elimination Chamber match at WWE's next pay-per-view event, No Way Out. Three of the qualifying matches saw Kofi Kingston defeat Kane, Rey Mysterio defeat William Regal and Chris Jericho defeat CM Punk to qualify. In a fourth qualification match, Shawn Michaels failed to win a match against John Cena that would have made JBL eligible to participate in the Elimination Chamber.[14]

The ECW Championship feud between Jack Swagger and Matt Hardy had officially finished when ECW's on-air authority figure Theodore Long announced on the January 27 episode of ECW that Hardy had requested a move to the SmackDown brand. Swagger had other problems as his ECW title belt was stolen by Hornswoggle. When Hornswoggle's storyline father, Finlay, urged Hornswoggle to give the title back to Swagger, Swagger shoved Hornswoggle to the ground, which caused Finlay to knock down Swagger with his own championship belt.[15]

On the January 30 episode of SmackDown, Matt Hardy proclaimed that he had no remorse about smashing his brother Jeff in the head at the Royal Rumble and costing him the WWE Championship. He then told the universe that he no longer considered Jeff a partner or a sibling.[16] There were three Elimination Chamber qualifiers for No Way Out. The first match being The Undertaker versus Mark Henry, which Undertaker won via submission with the Hell's Gate. The second qualifier match was The Big Show defeating Festus with a K.O. Punch. The last qualifier was a triple threat match featuring Triple H, The Great Khali and Vladimir Kozlov. Triple H won the match after he delivered a Pedigree to Khali to pick up the victory.[17]


No. Results Stipulations Times[18]
1D Jimmy Wang Yang defeated Paul Burchill[18] Singles match Unknown
2 Jack Swagger (c) defeated Matt Hardy[8] Singles match for the ECW Championship 10:27
3 Melina defeated Beth Phoenix (c) (with Santino Marella)[9] Singles match for the WWE Women's Championship 05:56
4 John Cena (c) defeated John "Bradshaw" Layfield (with Shawn Michaels)[10] Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship 15:29
5 Edge (with Chavo Guerrero) defeated Jeff Hardy (c) [11] No Disqualification match for the WWE Championship 19:22
6 Randy Orton won by last eliminating Triple H[12] 30-man Royal Rumble match for a world championship match at WrestleMania XXV 58:37
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • D – indicates the match was a dark match

Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations[edit]

    Free agent
     – Winner
Draw[19] Entrant[19] Brand Order[20] Eliminated by[19] Time[19] Eliminations
1 Rey Mysterio Raw 20 Big Show 49:26 1
2 John Morrison ECW 5 Triple H 19:35 0
3 Carlito SmackDown 3 Vladimir Kozlov 06:11 0
4 Montel Vontavious Porter SmackDown 2 03:52 0
5 The Great Khali SmackDown 1 01:30 0
6 Vladimir Kozlov SmackDown 4 Triple H 02:40 3
7 Triple H SmackDown 29 Randy Orton 50:00 6
8 Randy Orton Raw Winner 48:30 3
9 JTG Raw 7 The Undertaker 11:59 0
10 Ted DiBiase Raw 27 Triple H 45:11 1
11 Chris Jericho Raw 23 The Undertaker 37:17 1
12 Mike Knox Raw 19 Big Show 32:42 0
13 The Miz ECW 6 Triple H 01:20 0
14 Finlay ECW 21 Kane 30:00 0
15 Cody Rhodes Raw 28 Triple H 37:01 2
16 The Undertaker SmackDown 26 Big ShowA 32:30 4
17 Goldust Raw 8 Cody Rhodes 01:11 0
18 CM Punk Raw 18 Big Show 22:29 1
19 Mark Henry ECW 9 The Undertaker & Rey Mysterio 03:14 0
20 Shelton Benjamin SmackDown 10 The Undertaker 04:17 0
21 William Regal Raw 11 CM Punk 04:23 0
22 Kofi Kingston Raw 12 The Brian Kendrick 06:58 0
23 Kane Raw 24 Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton & Ted DiBiase 18:21 3
24 R-Truth SmackDown 17 Big Show 12:06 0
25 Rob Van Dam Free agent 22 Chris Jericho 13:56 0
26 The Brian Kendrick SmackDown 13 Triple H 00:15 1
27 Dolph Ziggler Raw 14 Kane 00:21 0
28 Santino MarellaB Raw 15 00:01 0
29 Jim Duggan Raw 16 Big Show 02:50 0
30 Big Show SmackDown 25 Randy Orton 09:32 6

A Big Show's elimination of Undertaker came after Big Show was eliminated by Randy Orton.

B Santino Marella set a Record for the Shortest time in the Royal Rumble 1 second breaking the previous record held by The Warlord at 2 seconds in the 1989 Royal Rumble.


  1. ^ "WWE Royal Rumble event details". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 3, 2009.
  2. ^ Ian Hamilton. Wrestling's Sinking Ship: What Happens to an Industry Without Competition (p. 160)
  3. ^ Grabianowski, Ed. "How Pro Wrestling Works". HowStuffWorks. Discovery Communications. Archived from the original on November 18, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  4. ^ "Live & Televised Entertainment". WWE. Archived from the original on February 26, 2009. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "WWE Launches ECW As Third Brand". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
  6. ^ a b "And they're off..." World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  7. ^ van der Griend, Blaine (January 3, 2009). "Smackdown: Setting up the Rumble". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Burdick, Michael (January 25, 2009). "Results:Solidification with a Swagger". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
  9. ^ a b "Results:Viva Melina!". World Wrestling Entertainment. January 25, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
  10. ^ a b Sitterson, Aubrey (January 25, 2009). "Results:Beating the odds". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
  11. ^ a b DiFino, Lenny (January 25, 2009). "Results: Hardy's twisted fate brings gold to Edge". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
  12. ^ a b Tello, Craig (January 25, 2009). "Results:Detroit "RKO" City". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 27, 2009.
  13. ^ "The son also rises". World Wrestling Entertainment. January 26, 2009. Retrieved January 27, 2009.
  14. ^ "Preview: World Heavyweight Title Elimination Chamber Match". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 28, 2009.
  15. ^ "Extreme changes". World Wrestling Entertainment. January 27, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2009.
  16. ^ Matt Hardy says the incident was no accident World Wrestling Entertainment Retrieved on February 1, 2009
  17. ^ HHH, Taker and Big Show in the Chamber Retrieved on February 1, 2009
  18. ^ a b "Royal Rumble". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved February 23, 2009.
  19. ^ a b c d "2009 Royal Rumble Statistics and Eliminations". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 6, 2009.
  20. ^ "Royal Rumble 2009". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved December 20, 2012.

External links[edit]