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Royal Rumble (2009), a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), took place on January 25, 2009, at the Joe Louis Arenamarker in Detroit, Michiganmarker. The 22nd event produced under the "Royal Rumble" name, it featured wrestlers from the Raw, SmackDown, and ECW brands. Five matches were featured on the event's card.

The main event, the annual 30-man Royal Rumble match, featured wrestlers from all the three WWE brands. Randy Orton, the eighth entrant, won the match by last eliminating Triple H, the seventh entrant. As a tradition, Orton received a World Championship match at WrestleMania XXV of his choice for the WWE, World Heavyweight, or ECW Championship. For the third straight year, there was an uneven distribution of participants in the Royal Rumble match among the brands (with fifteen from Raw, ten from SmackDown, four from ECW, and one special guest entrant).

The predominant match on the SmackDown brand consisted of a No Disqualification match between Jeff Hardy and Edge for Hardy's WWE Championship. Edge won with pinfall after Jeff's brother, Matt Hardy, interfered in the match and hit Jeff with a steel chair. The primary match on the Raw brand featured John Cena defending the World Heavyweight Championship against John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL), which Cena won by pinfall after performing an Attitude Adjustment. The undercard consisted of Jack Swagger versus Matt Hardy for the ECW Championship and Beth Phoenix versus Melina for the WWE Women's Championship.

The event had 450,000 PPV buys, down on the Royal Rumble 2008 figure of 533,000 buys.


Royal Rumble 2009 featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing script feuds, plot, and storyline played out on Raw, Friday Night SmackDown, and ECW on Sci FiWorld Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) primary television programs. Wrestlers portrayed a villain or a hero as they followed a series of events that built tension, and culminated into a wrestling match or series of matches. The event featured wrestlers from WWE's Raw, SmackDown, and ECW brands—a storyline division in which WWE employees were assigned to a television program of the same name.

The prime match scripted into the Royal Rumble, the annual Royal Rumble match, has featured at every Royal Rumble event since its inception. The match featured 30 male wrestlers from WWE's three brands; 23 participants were officially announced for the match. The match ends when one wrestler remains in the ring, after all 29 other wrestlers have been eliminated via being tossed over the top ring rope and having both feet touch the floor. The winner earned an opportunity to challenge for the WWE, World Heavyweight, or ECW Championship at WWE's April WrestleMania XXV pay-per-view.

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.

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.

The main rivalry from the SmackDown brand heading 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 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.

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 edition of ECW on Syfy, Swagger defeated Hardy to capture the ECW Championship. On the January 16 episode of Friday Night SmackDown, it was announced that Swagger would defend the ECW title against Hardy in a rematch at the Royal Rumble.


Preliminary matches

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 for some time, until Swagger injured Matt's left shoulder and then targeted it for the rest of the match. Swagger ultimately defeated Matt by pinning him after a Gutwrench powerbomb and retained the ECW title.

The second match on the card involved the WWE Women's Championship, where Beth Phoenix defended her title against Melina. Phoenix stayed mostly in control of the match after working on Melina's legs at some point of the match. The match ended as Phoenix attempted to deliver the Glam Slam to Melina, but the latter countered it into a roll-up pin, giving her the win and the Women's Championship.

Main event matches

Randy Orton after winning the 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. Shawn Michaels first got involved in the match when the referee was incapacitated, where 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.

The fourth match on the card involved the WWE Championship, as Jeff Hardy defended his title against Edge. Before the match began Vickie Guerrero came out and announced that the match would be a No Disqualification match. Edge then revealed that Chavo Guerrero would be in his corner. The first big action came in the match when Jeff Hardy brought a ladder out and set it up near the Spanish announce table. When Chavo tried to interfere, Jeff put him on the table and jumped off the ladder, connecting Chavo and breaking the table. Jeff then had the match won when he hit the Swanton after kicking Vickie off the apron when she tried to interfere. When Jeff 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. However, he instead smashed Jeff in the head with a chair. Edge then pinned Jeff to become the new WWE Champion.

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. The Undertaker was shortly eliminated afterwards when Big Show pulled him off the apron by his leg. Despite being at a disadvantage against the Legacy, Triple H managed to eliminate 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.


Shane returned after the Royal Rumble and attacked Orton

On the January 26 edition 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.

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.

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 edition of ECW that Hardy requested to be moved 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 title.

On the January 30 edition of SmackDown, Matt Hardy came out to ring and told the WWE Universe 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 considers Jeff a partner or a sibling. There were three Elimination Chamber qualifiers for No Way Out. The first match being The Undertaker versus Mark Henry, which Taker 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.


# Matches Stipulations Time
Dark Jimmy Wang Yang defeated Paul Burchill Singles match N/A
1 Jack Swagger (c) defeated Matt Hardy Singles match for the ECW Championship 10:27
2 Melina defeated Beth Phoenix (c) (with Santino Marella) Singles match for the WWE Women's Championship 5:56
3 John Cena (c) defeated John "Bradshaw" Layfield (with Shawn Michaels) Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship 15:29
4 Edge (with Chavo Guerrero) defeated Jeff Hardy (c) No Disqualification match for the WWE Championship 19:22
5 Randy Orton last eliminated Triple H to win. 2009 Royal Rumble match 58:37
 - The winner had the option of choosing which championship he would challenge for.

Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations

Red ██ and "Raw" indicates a Raw superstar, blue ██ and "SD" indicates a SmackDown superstar, purple ██ and "ECW" indicates an ECW superstar, and white indicates a special guest entrant.

Draw Entrant Brand Order Eliminated by Time
Rey Mysterio Raw 19 Big Show 49:24
John Morrison ECW Triple H 19:32
Carlito SD Kozlov
Montel Vontavious Porter SD Kozlov
The Great Khali SD Kozlov
Vladimir Kozlov SD Triple H
Triple H SD 29 Orton 49:55
Randy Orton Raw Winner 48:27
JTG Raw Undertaker 11:59
10 Ted DiBiase Raw 27 Triple H 45:11
11 Chris Jericho Raw 23 Undertaker 37:17
12 Mike Knox Raw 20 Big Show 32:42
13 The Miz ECW Triple H
14 Finlay ECW 21 Kane 29:59
15 Cody Rhodes Raw 28 Triple H 37:01
16 The Undertaker SD 26 Big Show 32:29
17 Goldust Raw Rhodes
18 CM Punk Raw 18 Big Show 22:29
19 Mark Henry ECW Mysterio
20 Shelton Benjamin SD 10 Undertaker
21 William Regal Raw 11 Punk
22 Kofi Kingston Raw 12 Kendrick
23 Kane Raw 24 Rhodes, DiBiase and Orton 18:21
24 R-Truth SD 17 Big Show 12:06
25 Rob Van Dam 22 Jericho 13:56
26 The Brian Kendrick SD 13 Triple H
27 Dolph Ziggler Raw 14 Kane
28 Santino Marella Raw 15 Kane
29 Jim Duggan Raw 16 Big Show
30 The Big Show SD 25 Orton
Randy Orton had already eliminated The Big Show prior to his eliminating of The Undertaker.

See also


  1. Matt Hardy says the incident was no accident World Wrestling Entertainment Retrieved on February 1, 2009
  2. HHH, Taker and Big Show in the Chamber Retrieved on February 1, 2009

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