Royal Rumble (2008) - Event

Event

Before the event went live on pay-per-view, Shannon Moore and Jimmy Wang Yang defeated Deuce 'n Domino in a dark match. The first match that aired was a non-title "Career Threatening" match between the WWE United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) and Ric Flair, in which had Flair lost, he would have had to retire from wrestling. At the start of the match, Flair started out working on MVP's left arm. Flair attempted to get the Figure-Four Leg lock on MVP, but MVP turned it into a small package for a two count. MVP knocked out Flair with a Running Big Boot in the corner and went for a pin, but Flair managed to get his foot on the rope just in time when the referee Charles Robinson counted to three. After the three count, the referee did not call for the bell as he had noticed Flair's leg on the bottom-rope and restarted the match. The match ended when MVP tried going for the Playmaker, but Flair countered the attempt into the Figure-Four Leg Lock, to which MVP eventually tapped out. Hence, Flair won and kept his career alive.

The second match was between John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) and Chris Jericho. The match began with Jericho trapping Layfield in the Walls of Jericho. JBL got to the ropes, however, and slid out of the ring with Jericho quickly following him. JBL strangled Jericho with the ring ropes and later, plunged him onto the ropes. Jericho recovered and clotheslined JBL out of the ring. When they got in again, JBL threw Jericho into the ring post, as a result of which, Jericho was busted open. JBL tried to take advantage of this situation, but Jericho still fought back. The fight went outside the ring, where JBL began clearing the ECW announce table. Jericho grabbed a steel chair and hit Layfield with it. The referee immediately disqualified Jericho, who ignored the fact that he had lost the match and started to strangle JBL with some wires by the ring, in the same process Layfield did to Jericho on Raw.

The third match was for the World Heavyweight Championship with champion, Edge taking on Rey Mysterio. During the match, Vickie Guerrero stood up from her wheelchair, attempting to comfort Edge. Mysterio had Edge set up for the 619, and Vickie jumped in the way, risking herself. Edge then recovered, and speared Mysterio for the pinfall.

The fourth match was between the Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton for the latter's WWE Championship. Early in the match, Hardy performed a Baseball Slide on Orton who hit head-first into the barricade outside due to the impact. Knowing he couldn't win the WWE Championship via a countout victory, Hardy brought the knocked-out Orton into the ring. Later, Orton took advantage in the match, as he applied a Body Scissors on Hardy, followed by a choke-hold. Some of the other main highlights of the match were Hardy performing a Whisper in the Wind on Orton that hit him on the head; and, later hitting a Moonsault from the top-rope to Orton outside the ring. When Hardy brought Orton back in the ring and tried to deliver a Twist of Fate, Orton suddenly reversed it into an RKO and pinned Hardy to retain his WWE title.

Other on-screen talent
Role: Name:
Commentator Jonathan Coachman
Michael Cole
Jerry Lawler
Jim Ross
Joey Styles
Tazz
Carlos Cabrera
Hugo Savinovich
Interviewer Mike Adamle
Ring announcer Lilian Garcia
Justin Roberts
Michael Buffer
Referee Scott Armstrong
Mike Chioda
Jack Doan
Marty Elias
Mickie Henson
Jim Korderas
Chad Patton
Charles Robinson

The main event was the Royal Rumble match. The first two superstars who began the match were Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker (who were the final two superstars in the previous year's Royal Rumble) where they remained in the match for a little over 30 minutes. During the match Michaels eliminated Shelton Benjamin for the third consecutive royal rumble match. The ninth entrant, Hornswoggle was the smallest wrestler to ever compete in the rumble match, and eliminate another superstar. He remained hidden under the ring throughout the match. He would however assist in eliminating The Miz; as he did this, Mark Henry and Big Daddy V grabbed Hornswoggle. As they prepared to throw him over the top rope, Finlay illegally entered the match, as he was not due to enter the match yet, and hit Henry and Big Daddy V with a shillelagh. He then left alongside Hornswoggle and it was later announced that Finlay was disqualified for using the shillelagh, and Hornswoggle was eliminated (leaving the match with Finlay). The twenty sixth entry, Chavo Guerrero, was the first world champion wrestler to compete in the Royal Rumble match since 1990, when Hulk Hogan won the match. Triple H, the twenty ninth entrant, dominated as he entered the match, eliminating Big Daddy V, Batista, Mick Foley, and Kane. This was Kane's tenth consecutive Royal Rumble match, which is a record. The turn of the Royal Rumble match came when John Cena, who was originally scheduled to be sidelined with a torn pectoral muscle until later in the year, entered the match as the thirtieth entrant making his "triumphant return". He set a record for the shortest time that the eventual winner spent in the rumble match. He spent 8:28 in the ring, passing Brock Lesnar's record of 8:59. He ended up squaring off with Triple H, as the final two men left in the match. Triple H would attempt to Pedigree Cena, but Cena would counter it into an FU that saw him throw Triple H over the top rope, thus winning the Royal Rumble match and a World Championship match at WrestleMania XXIV.

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