Every year the WWE Royal Rumble match typically includes at least one major surprise. This year was no different.
During the 30-man battle royal, Edge made his return after a six-month absence from a torn Achilles tendon to win the match. As the winner, he will now get to face the champion of his choice at WrestleMania 26 — the company’s premiere event — which will take place on March 28.
The final four people in the match were Edge, Shawn Michaels, Batista and John Cena. Michaels was the first eliminated out of the bunch by Batista who knocked him off the apron to the floor. Batista was then the next to go after he charged Cena who ducked out of the way and pulled down the top rope with “The Animal” falling over the top rope to the floor.
The finish of the match would come about a minute later when Cena went for a clothesline but Edge countered and tossed Cena over the top and onto the floor for the win to cap off what turned out to be a very entertaining Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
Triple H, one of the perennial favorites, was eliminated before the 20th entrant in the match when fellow DX member Shawn Michaels superkicked him over the top rope and out of the ring.
The longstanding belief had been that Edge would not be healthy enough to return to action until at least WrestleMania if not later. But over the past few weeks, there had been some talk that he had already recovered and the WWE was trying to keep it a secret so he could make a surprise return.
There were also five title matches as part of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. The Undertaker defeated Rey Mysterio to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in a good match with plenty of back-and-forth action. While The Undertaker towered over Mysterio, he ended up taking a good share of punishment, including several kicks in the face which bloodied the big man’s nose. In the end, Mysterio landed a flurry of moves and went for his signature West Coast Pop only to be caught by The Undertaker who crushed him with the Last Ride and covered him for the pin.
WWE Champion Sheamus kept his championship after beating Randy Orton by disqualification. The two exchanged moves for close to ten minutes before Sheamus and Orton wound up outside the ring. Once there, Orton’s cohort Cody Rhodes hit the champion and slid him back in the ring. Orton then hit his RKO finisher on Sheamus but the referee had seen the interference and called for the bell.
After the match, Rhodes tried to apologize but that fell on deaf ears with Orton furious and then taking out his frustrations on his fellow Legacy member. The third member of the group, Ted DiBiase, sprinted to the ring and tried to play peacemaker but was instead punched by Orton.
Orton then yelled at both Rhodes and DiBiase for a moment but once he was done, he turned around and was dropped by a big boot to the face from Sheamus.
Earlier on the show, Mickie James defeated Michelle McCool in about 20 seconds to win the WWE Women’s Championship. McCool entered the ring first and made fun of her opponent, calling her Piggie James as she had done for weeks. James then came to the ring and immediately hit her with a DDT for the victory.
Christian held on to the ECW title by beating Ezekiel Jackson in a solid match. The end saw both men try to hit their finishers only to reverse one another. Finally, Christian was able to connect on his Killswitch maneuver for the pin.
The other title match saw The Miz successfully defend his United States Championship against MVP. The match was not advertised in advance but was added during the show.
MVP was in control for most of the match and nearly scored a pin on several occasions. Instead, it was the Miz catching him in a small package for the three-count out of nowhere for the victory.