Royal Rumble 2007
Date: January 28, 2007
Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 13,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Tazz, Michael Cole, Joey Styles, John Bradshaw Layfield

This show received the same amount of votes as 2001 and sounded intriguing so here’s a bonus redo. We’re back in Texas here with Undertaker and Shawn Michaels both in the Rumble, meaning good things should be happening. There’s also a well remembered John Cena vs. Umaga match, which should be a lot of fun. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is your standard look back at the history of the show, including what it means to win and go to Wrestlemania. Well that’s certainly a big deal. The rest of the card (not so big of a deal) is discussed as well, mainly focusing on Cena vs. Umaga.

We hear from all six announcers because WWE thinks we need to have six announcers. Just wait until there’s basically a press row.

MNM vs. Hardy Boyz

The Hardys had made a comeback late in 2006 and their main rivalry was with MNM. Joey Mercury is coming in with a shattered nose, meaning he’s got a face mask. MNM has Melina in their corner and just….wow. That’s really all that needs to be said. Matt comes in with a dislocated jaw and Jeff is Intercontinental Champion, showing you how balanced the team was. Nitro jumps Matt from behind to start and Mercury comes in to go after Matt’s injured face.

Matt takes over though and brings Jeff in, meaning it’s time for the WOOing from the crowd. It must be a North Carolina thing. Jeff’s atomic drop into the legdrop between the legs gets two and it’s back to Matt. Johnny sends him into the buckle though and we’re down to the beating. A good looking/hard kick to the head has Matt in trouble as MNM stays on the face for the sake of revenge. Makes sense actually and the kind of thing you wouldn’t see a lot of the time.

Melina hits the screeching because…that sound made me lose my train of thought so we’ll go to Matt being caught in a chinlock. Mercury misses a middle rope elbow though and it’s off to Jeff to speed things back up. A facebuster gets two on Johnny, followed by a Whisper in the Wind for the same with Mercury having to make a save. The Hardys hit their top rope legdrop/splash combination but Jeff is banged up and Nitro stays on the ribs.

We hit the waistlock for a bit until Jeff reverses into a rollup for two. Nitro grabs a bodyscissors as you certainly can’t fault their psychology so far. Jeff finally backdrops his way to freedom but, of course, the referee doesn’t see it so Matt stays in trouble. Double teaming doesn’t work so well though as Jeff sends MNM into each other, meaning it’s off to Matt so house can be cleaned.

The bulldog/clothesline combination gets two but Jeff has to break up the Snapshot (elevated DDT) as everything breaks down. Poetry in Motion is broken up and Nitro’s rollup gets two (and more screeching). The Twist of Fate into the Swanton (with Nitro rolling over so it can hit) gives Jeff the pin.

Rating: B. Good but not great match here as the Hardys were only going to be able to do so much at this point. I’m not sure what the point was in having MNM lose the matches like this when you need to build younger teams up but at least they were pushing the heck out of the Hardys while they could. Jeff would of course break free and go on to some huge things, but it was WAY too early to realize that yet.

From the first Hardys reunion.

FULL MATCH - The Hardy Boyz vs. MNM: Royal Rumble 2007

Jonathan Coachman (Raw Executive Assistant) and Teddy Long (Smackdown General Manager) are holding the Rumble drawing (SWEET). After the standard bickering over who will win, Edge comes in to pick his number but first we look at Kelly Kelly (my goodness the WWE women were stunning back then).

Edge’s partner Randy Orton (Raw Tag Team Champions) comes in to draw his own number. Orton threatens to eliminate Edge and we get the standard “I’ll show you mine, you show me yours” exchange. King Booker comes in to say tell me you didn’t just say that. I miss these segments and I have no idea why they don’t exist anymore. You can get some nice character development in all of a few seconds with no effort put in. Probably not high concept enough for WWE or something.

We recap Test vs. Bobby Lashley. Test wanted a title shot and is on a roll so he gets to be the sacrificial lamb to the monster champion. It sounds good, but it’s Test in 2007.

ECW Title: Test vs. Bobby Lashley

Test is challenging while Lashley does the Brock Lesnar jump to the apron entrance, complete with the same pyro. They start a little slowly until Lashley spears Test down, sending the Canadian bailing to the ropes. Back up and Lashley avoids a charge and snaps off a great looking t-bone suplex. If he could have talked, he would have block Lesnar’s career out of the water.

With the wrestling not working at all, Test tries posting Lashley instead to actually take over. Back in and we hit the armbar for a very, very long time, because that’s exactly what you would expect in an ECW match (To be fair, people like Lashley and Test never would have been in ECW to begin with. And there’s the whole WWE aspect so maybe the armbar isn’t as big of an issue as it seems. Maybe that’s enough filler to get through this armbar and….oh sweet we’re on to something else.).

Test gets suplexed again but the shoulder gives out, allowing Test to get in the big boot for two. That’s his big shot so Test tries a TKO, only to get countered with a belly to belly. A clothesline puts Test on the floor….and that’s a countout. Egads this needs a rematch? For TEST? Someone thinks this is worthy of a second match?

Rating: F. Just no all around here, between a big power guy using an armbar for such a long stretch of the match, Test in general, the stupid ending and thinking that a pay per view as big as the Royal Rumble isn’t enough of a stage to end this nothing feud. Terrible match here and it didn’t even feel like a TV main event.

Lashley beats Test up again. Why in the world was this not a clean pin? Lashley pinned him in an even shorter match on the following episode of ECW TV, so what was the point here?

John Cena’s ribs are banged up but he’ll defend the title anyway. Vince comes in and mocks You Can’t See Me, saying he won’t be seeing Cena as WWE Champion after tonight. Funny enough line, but Vince vs. Cena doesn’t do anything for me.

We recap the Smackdown World Title match with Mr. Kennedy winning a Beat the Clock Challenge to earn the shot at Batista. Kennedy cheated Undertaker out of the shot so Undertaker went after him, only to hit Batista by mistake. That would be saved for Wrestlemania XXIII though, with Kennedy getting the shot and bragging about beating six World Champions leading up to lucky #7 tonight.

Smackdown World Title: Mr. Kennedy vs. Batista

Batista is defending and easily tosses Kennedy around with raw power. Back up and some right hands stagger Batista as JBL sings Kennedy’s praises. A suplex takes Kennedy down again though and it’s time to head outside. Kennedy gets in a shot to the leg to slow Batista a bit and it’s time to go to work back inside. We hit a reverse Figure Four of all things (I haven’t seen that in years) until Kennedy gets caught in the ropes. A running boot in the corner keeps Batista in trouble as this has been almost one sided so far.

Kennedy grabs a half crab to stay on the leg for a good while until letting go, allowing Batista to snap off a spinebuster. After some holding the knee, Batista starts the comeback with clotheslines and a backdrop, followed by a Kenton Bomb (Kennedy’s Regal Roll). The Batista Bomb is broken up though and a ref bump allows Kennedy to get in a low blow. Kennedy’s neckbreaker (finisher) gets no count but the fans are chanting for Kennedy. For some reason Kennedy goes to the middle rope but dives into a clothesline. The Batista Bomb retains the title.

Rating: D+. Not the worst match in the world here as they didn’t bother having Kennedy trying to do more than he could have done. Batista wasn’t exactly great against smaller guys so there was definitely a styles clash here. At least the match had a point and felt like a TV main event, which is all this should have been. The fans reacted to Batista’s win though and seemed to like Kennedy, even if this really didn’t rocket off the launch pad.

JBL is FURIOUS over the non-count off the neckbreaker.

Kevin Thorn and Ariel try to draw a number when Hornswoggle (nearly feral at this point) comes in to do the same. Coach makes a short joke and gets bitten and attacked. Great Khali comes in for the visual joke, followed by grabbing three balls. He leaves two, which Kelly Kelly picks up. You know the joke and you know what Ron Simmons comes in to say.

We recap John Cena vs. Umaga. Cena escaped with a fluke win at New Year’s Revolution but Umaga’s manager Armando Alejandro Estrada decided the rematch should be a Last Man Standing match. Umaga injured Cena’s ribs coming in for a pretty simple but perfectly acceptable story.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Umaga

Cena is defending, Umaga has manager Armando Alexjandro Estrada in his corner and it’s Last Man Standing. It’s almost weird to hear Cena get a pretty strong face reaction but it’s still in full force here. Cena tries to slug away and even hits a jawbreaker, only to have a single shot to the ribs put him on the floor. Umaga sends him into the steps and it’s time to knock Cena up the aisle.

For some reason Cena tries to send Umaga head first into the apron and is promptly beaten down for his efforts. Serves him right. Back in and Cena charges into a clothesline for an eight count. Umaga throws the steps in but Cena snaps Umaga’s neck over the top and throws the steps over the top and down onto Umaga’s face for another near win. It looked great if nothing else and that’s what they were going for there.

Back in and Umaga, whose head is hard enough to survive having steps thrown at them, grabs a bearhug into a belly to belly. Umaga puts the steps up in the corner but the running Umaga Attack only hits steel. Another steps to the head shot drops Umaga again but Cena’s high crossbody (Just….why?) is countered into a swinging Rock Bottom (Oh….that’s why.). A low blog gets Cena out of trouble and he hits the Throwback onto the steps. The entire finishing sequence is initiated onto the steps but Umaga is too heavy for the FU, sending Cena head first into the steps and busting him open in the process.

That’s only good for nine and the fans think Cena sucks (now that’s more like it). Cena somehow gets all fired up and tells Umaga to bring it, meaning a bunch of right hands and a Samoan drop to crush Cena all over again. So I guess that’s Umaga bringing it. Cena gets tied in the Tree of Woe but Umaga misses a running headbutt. A whip sends Umaga into the post, followed by a heck of a monitor shot to the head. I mean, it shouldn’t work on Umaga but that’s what they do around here.

For some reason Cena dives at him and gets driven back first into the post to change control again. You would think Cena would learn at some point. It’s time to load up the announcers’ tables and since there are three of them, Cena is laid on the third one for a running splash but Cena moves, likely clued in by the running Samoan charging at him. That’s only good for nine so Estrada unhooks a rope for the sake of setting up the finish. The turnbuckle is ripped off and Cena grabs an FU before choking Umaga out with the rope in the STF to retain at 23:10.

Rating: B+. There wasn’t exactly any subtlety in this one and there’s nothing wrong with that. Last Man Standing matches are designed to be wild brawls with both guys beating the heck out of each other which is exactly what we got here. Cena had to go to another place to retain the title here and that’s the kind of match he needed to boost him to another level. Really fun brawl here with Umaga playing his role perfectly as the monster that has to be stopped somehow.

Wrestlemania ad.

Sandman goes to pick his number but sprays beer everywhere instead. Ric Flair comes in and Kelly hits on him. The lights go out and the rest of Extreme Expose (Brooke Adams and Layla) come in to dance. Again: back in the day when there were jobs for sexy women whose job was nothing more than to be sexy and dance in tiny outfits. There is something to be said about the old days.

We look back at various famous Rumble moments and winners in a nice touch as this is the 20th Rumble. That being said, how many times can we have THE MOST STAR STUDDED ROYAL RUMBLE IN HISTORY???

Royal Rumble

Ninety second intervals with Ric Flair in at #1 (That’s the second time he’s been #1. In five appearances he entered #3, #1, #5, #30 and #1 for some of the worst luck ever in this thing.) and Finlay in at #2 in what could be a very interesting midcard match if they were given some time. The promos alone could be interesting. Finlay easily wins a battle of the forearms and catches Flair with a backdrop. A rake to the eyes gets Flair out of trouble and it’s Kenny Dykstra (a twenty year old who has given Flair some issues before) in at #3.

Kenny knocks Flair down but has to save himself from Finlay. Some chops cut Kenny off and it’s Matt Hardy in at #4. Still not much going on aside from a bunch of right hands so it’s Edge in at #5 for some spears. Flair is knocked through the ropes to the floor and comes up with a pair of chairs. Matt cuts Edge off with a clothesline but Edge is still up to get rid of Flair without much effort. Edge tosses Dykstra as well and Tommy Dreamer is in at #6. Matt can’t get Edge out as the announcers joke about how Lawler survived for a long time by hiding underneath the ring. To be fair, it was a smart idea.

Sabu is in at #7 and sets up a table at ringside to fulfill general expectations. Dreamer clotheslines him out of the air though as Jerry impresses the commentators by remembering all of Sabu’s nicknames. Cruiserweight Champion (for a YEAR now) Gregory Helms is in at #8 as this isn’t exactly lighting the world up so far. More eliminations are teased but there’s just nothing going on at the moment and it’s really starting to show. Shelton Benjamin is in at #9 and nearly gets Matt out but can’t quite put him near the tables.

Matt can’t suplex Shelton out either and it’s Kane in at #10 (CLEAN THE RING OUT!), giving us a group of Finlay, Hardy, Edge, Dreamer, Sabu, Helms, Benjamin and Kane. House is cleaned in a hurry with a tilt-a-whirl powerslam to Helms and a chokeslam to Edge. Dreamer and Sabu, the latter via a chokeslam through the table, are tossed without much effort (good, as they were nothing more than filler anyway as no one took ECW seriously at this point). CM Punk, not yet a big star, is in at #11 and goes right for Edge which just feels right. We’re getting back into the same lull we were in earlier, just with some bigger names.

Finlay punches Punk down but can’t get him out (I’m as shocked as you are). King Booker is in at #12 and quickly eliminates Helms. Matt and Finlay can’t get rid of Kane so people keep running around and punch each other until Super Crazy (complete with lawnmower noises to start his entrance) is in at #13. More eliminations are teased with no eliminations so Jeff Hardy comes in at #14, hopefully firing things up a bit. We get some double teaming but NO ELIMINATIONS, even when they get in a fight with Kane.

The Sandman, coming through the crowd, is in at #15, cracks some people with the kendo stick, and is eliminated by Booker in about fifteen seconds. Jeff and Punk both manage to survive and it’s Randy Orton (with the sweet Burn in My Light theme) in at #16. Orton and Edge immediately get together to eliminate Crazy and both Hardys, thankfully clearing some of the ring out. US Champion Chris Benoit is in at #17 and slugs away at Booker before grabbing some German suplexes on various people. There’s very little to talk about between these entrances aside from kicking and the occasional suplex.

Rob Van Dam is in at #18 and starts firing off the kicks. Kane gets rid of Booker, who gets back in and dumps Kane like a royal jerk. The fight continues at ringside as Viscera, complete with smoking jacket, is in at #19. Rob hammers on Finlay as the announcers make a bunch of fat jokes about Viscera. Johnny Nitro is in at #20, giving us Finlay, Edge, Benjamin, Punk, Orton, Benoit, Van Dam, Viscera and Nitro. It also gives us another section of NOTHING HAPPENING until Benoit throws Shelton over the top but since that might be interesting, Benjamin gets back in.

Kevin Thorn is in at #21 giving us another meaningless body in there. A dropkick knocks Nitro into Viscera but some clotheslines can’t get rid of the big man. Hardcore Holly comes in at #22 and the crowd is just DONE. How boring of a match does it take to kill the freaking Royal Rumble crowd? Rob hangs on off a catapult to the apron as there are way too many people in the ring as we wait on someone to come in and clean house.

A bunch of people can’t get rid of Viscera so it’s hometown boy Shawn Michaels in at #23 and PLEASE HELP US!!! Shawn hits a Thesz press on Finlay (the only person not trying to get rid of Viscera) and dumps him without much effort. Viscera is finally dumped after a superkick from Shawn and everyone else getting together. Shawn gets rid of Shelton and somehow the ring is still overcrowded. Chris Masters is in at #24 and Benoit eliminates Nitro. Chavo Guerrero is in at #25 to really bring up the energy.

Benoit gets rid of Thorn as well and Rob can’t find someone to kick. MVP is in at #26 and dang I missed that clock entrance. Rob dropkicks Masters out as they’re doing a good job of keeping the total about the same at worst and going down when they can. Some right hands from Orton can’t get rid of Punk and it’s Carlito in at lucky #27. JBL insults Cole as is his custom while Shawn is put to the apron and BARELY hangs on in a spot that wakes the crowd up a bit. Great Khali is in at #28 and he has get rid of a bunch of people. Everyone gets chopped down with Holly being the only one eliminated.

Miz (JBL: “Don’t worry King, I hate him too.”) is in at #29 and Khali gets rid of him in short order. Van Dam, Punk, Carlito, Chavo and Benoit all go out at Khali’s hands and it’s a Punjabi Plunge to Shawn. There’s one name left and there’s the gong to give fans hope over Khali. Of course it’s Undertaker in at #30, giving us a final group of Edge, Orton, Shawn, MVP, Khali and Undertaker. The giant slugout is on with Undertaker getting the better of it and clotheslining Khali out to REALLY wake the fans up.

Old School hits MVP and we’re down to four in a hurry. MVP grabs a chair but Orton takes it away and caves in Undertaker’s head. Edge teases spearing Orton but Randy has to catch Shawn with an RKO, sending him underneath the ropes to the floor. A bloody Undertaker gets beaten down by Edge and Orton but of course comes back with right hands and running clotheslines in the corner. The double clothesline puts them down again and it’s Snake Eyes into the big boot on Edge.

A chokeslam on Orton is broken up with a spear and Edge blasts Undertaker with the chair. JBL points out the problem that knocking him down makes it even harder to throw him out, which is the only smart point he’s made all night. A Conchairto is loaded up but Shawn comes back in to get rid of Orton and Edge. Shawn collapses and it’s Undertaker sitting up, closely followed by Shawn’s nip up and you it’s on now.

Undertaker misses a charge in the corner and Shawn hammers away but gets whipped hard over the buckles. Shawn hangs on with one arm (like he did in 1995) and punches his way out as you can feel the energy here. Another Flair Flip in the corner puts Shawn on the apron but Undertaker misses a running boot and winds up on the apron. Shawn’s running forearm can’t get rid of him and a second attempt eats an elbow, allowing Undertaker to get back in.

Shawn grabs a swinging neckbreaker and both guys are down again. That means it’s time for the slugout as the fans are almost entirely behind Shawn. A big boot cuts Shawn down but he hangs on the apron again. Undertaker puts him on top and they slug it out with Shawn doing some of the best milking of the drama that you’ll ever see. Shawn FINALLY knocks him back to the mat and drops the top rope elbow.

Sweet Chin Music is blocked though and it’s a chokeslam to put Shawn down again. Somehow Shawn pops up with another superkick and they’re both down for what feels like the fifth time. Shawn tries another superkick with Undertaker against the ropes (how Shawn won in 1996) but gets backdropped out to the floor to give Undertaker the win, making him the first #30 entrant to ever win.

Rating: C-. Shawn and Undertaker just came as close as you can get to saving a really boring match with a ten minute segment. That was some of the best drama you’ll ever see and you could actually feel the drama at the level you almost never get in the Rumble, right up there with Hogan vs. Warrior back in 1990. Absolutely incredible finish there and they would have been crazy to not run that match at Wrestlemania at some point. It took two years but I’d say it worked well to put it mildly.

The rest of the Rumble though….egads. This was a wreck with WAY too many stretches of people laying around and doing almost nothing at all. You shouldn’t have more than eight or nine people in the match but for some reason they had over ten in there multiple times. There was almost nothing in there until Undertaker came in and that’s WAY too late to make this work. It doesn’t help that almost no big story for the first eighty percent of the match, which really makes the match a chore to sit through. Just check out the ending though because that stuff is incredible.

The drama is incredible.

The Undertaker wins the 2007 Royal Rumble

Shawn looks like he’s about to cry and Undertaker points at him. Undertaker soaks in the victory and does the pose at the Wrestlemania sign to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. The ending of the Rumble helps this a lot and the Last Man Standing match is great but the rest of the show just wasn’t working at all. This wasn’t the best time for the company as they were trying to develop some midcard talent but it wasn’t quite there yet. It was still a good show but there was a lot to be desired, especially in the Rumble. Give the Rumble a better middle and this show goes way up. As it is though, it’s just pretty good.

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