|Royal Rumble (2011)|
|Date||January 30, 2011|
|Pay-per-view event chronology|
|Previous||TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs (2010)|
|Next||Elimination Chamber (2011)|
|WWE event chronology|
|Previous||Royal Rumble (2010)|
|Next||Royal Rumble (2012)|
Royal Rumble (2011) is the twenty-fourth annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE. It took place Sunday on January 30, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. and featured talent from the Raw and SmackDown brands. As has been customary since 1993, the Royal Rumble match winner received a match at that year's WrestleMania (in this instance: WrestleMania XXVII) for his choice at either the WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship.
Four matches were featured on the event's supercard, a scheduling of more than one main event. The main event was the annual Royal Rumble match featuring 40 participants from both brands, instead of the usual number of 30. Alberto Del Rio, the thirty-eighth entrant, won the match by last eliminating Santino Marella, the thirty-seventh entrant. The primary match on the Raw brand was for the WWE Championship, between reigning champion The Miz and Randy Orton, which The Miz won to retain the championship. The primary match on the SmackDown brand was Edge versus Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship, which Edge won, to retain the title. The other featured match on the card was a Fatal Four Way match for the WWE Divas Championship between Eve Torres, Natalya, Layla, and Michelle McCool, which Torres won to win the championship.
The pay-per-view featured the annual Royal Rumble match, which has been featured at every Royal Rumble event since its inception. However, for the first and only time in the history of the event, the Royal Rumble match featured 40 wrestlers instead of the usual number of 30. The same rules implied regardless of the number of entrants; the match ends when one wrestler remains in the ring, after all 39 other wrestlers have been eliminated via being tossed over the top ring rope and having both feet touch the floor. The winner would earn a world championship match of their choosing at WrestleMania XXVII.
The professional wrestling matches at Royal Rumble featured professional wrestlers performing as characters in scripted events pre-determined by the hosting promotion, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Storylines between the characters were produced on WWE's weekly television shows Raw and SmackDown with the Raw and SmackDown brands—storyline divisions in which WWE assigned its employees to different programs.
In addition to the Royal Rumble match, the main rivalry from the Raw brand involved the WWE Champion The Miz defending his title against Randy Orton. The night after Survivor Series, The Miz cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and defeated Orton to become the WWE Champion before successfully defending it against Orton a month later at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs. After defeating Wade Barrett and Sheamus, in a steel cage match on an episode of Raw, Orton received another opportunity at the title in a match against The Miz.
The main rivalry from the SmackDown brand involved the World Heavyweight Champion Edge defending his title against Dolph Ziggler. After defeating "Dashing" Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre and The Big Show, Ziggler won a title opportunity for Edge's World Heavyweight Championship after Kane lost to Edge in his rematch. After winning his opportunity, Edge went on a campaign against Ziggler and his girlfriend, Edge's ex-wife, Vickie Guerrero. On the January 28 episode of SmackDown, Vickie Guerrero, who was the acting General Manager in place of the injured Theodore Long, banned the use of the spear and would strip him of his title if he was caught using it during his match against Ziggler.
The Divas rivalry entering the Royal Rumble was between Natalya and LayCool over the Divas Championship. Natalya defeated LayCool in a handicap match at Survivor Series to win the Divas Championship, and she would later team with Beth Phoenix in defeating LayCool in a Divas tag team Tables Match at TLC. On the December 20 edition of Raw, Melina turned heel after defeating Eve Torres and Alicia Fox in a #1 Contender's Triple Threat Match, when she slapped Natalya after the match. On the January 24, 2011 edition of Raw, Natalya successfully defended the title against Melina, and after the match ended, LayCool entered and announced that they will cash in their rematch clause at the Royal Rumble event.
Royal Rumble received positive reviews, most notably from Arda Ocal and Jim Korderas of Right After Wrestling on SIRIUS Radio 98, who called it one of the best Royal Rumble matches in recent memory. Writing for the United Kingdom's The Sun newspaper, Rob McNichol praised the event, particularly noting Alberto Del Rio's surprise Rumble match victory, and John Morrison's impressive performance which, he wrote, "featured arguably the spot of the decade as John Morrison was knocked from the apron to the guardrail, but avoided elimination by gripping the barrier and leaping back onto the steps. It truly had to be seen to be believed". He further praised Dolph Ziggler's performance in a big-match situation, giving a 9 out of 10 rating in his match with Edge and the story the Miz–Orton match told, in a match that received an 8 out of 10. Overall he awarded the event 8.5 out of 10. SLAM! Wrestling writers Dale Plummer and Nick Tylwalk shared similar compliments to the event, praising the short, though crowd-pleasing appearances of Kevin Nash and Booker T. Overall, they also awarded the event a score of 8.5/10. The event received 476,000 buys, up from the previous year's 465,000.
|1D||R-Truth defeated Curt Hawkins||Singles match||4:20|
|2||Edge (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero)||Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship|
If Edge had used the spear, he would have lost the championship.
|3||The Miz (c) (with Alex Riley) defeated Randy Orton||Singles match for the WWE Championship||19:50|
|4||Eve Torres defeated Natalya (c), Layla, and Michelle McCool||Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE Diva's Championship||05:14|
|5||Alberto Del Rio won by last eliminating Santino Marella||40-man Royal Rumble match for a world championship match at WrestleMania XXVII||1:09:49|
Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations
|1||CM Punk||Raw||21||John Cena||35:21||7|
|2||Daniel Bryan||Raw||8||CM Punk||20:55||2|
|3||Justin Gabriel||SD||1||Daniel Bryan||00:58||0|
|4||Zack Ryder||Raw||2||Daniel Bryan||00:43||0|
|5||William Regal||Raw||3||Ted DiBiase||04:10||0|
|6||Ted DiBiase||Raw||7||Michael McGillicutty & Husky Harris||12:16||1|
|7||John Morrison||Raw||10||CM Punk, David Otunga, Michael McGillicutty & Husky Harris||13:24||0|
|8||Yoshi Tatsu||Raw||5||Mark Henry||05:35||0|
|9||Husky Harris||Raw||15||The Great Khali||15:48||3|
|10||Chavo Guerrero||SD||4||Mark Henry||02:01||0|
|11||Mark Henry||Raw||11||CM Punk, David Otunga, Michael McGillicutty & Husky Harris||07:04||2|
|13||Michael McGillicutty||Raw||20||John Cena||15:07||4|
|14||Chris Masters||SD||9||CM Punk||01:58||0|
|15||David Otunga||Raw||19||John Cena||11:56||2|
|16||Tyler Reks||SD||12||CM Punk||00:34||0|
|17||Vladimir Kozlov||Raw||13||CM Punk||00:40||0|
|19||The Great Khali||Raw||16||Mason Ryan||01:17||1|
|20||Mason Ryan||Raw||18||John Cena||04:32||2|
|21||Booker T||Legend||17||Mason Ryan||01:08||0|
|22||John Cena||Raw||36||The Miz||34:17||7|
|24||Tyson Kidd||Raw||22||John Cena||00:53||0|
|25||Heath Slater||SD||23||John Cena||00:57||0|
|26||Kofi Kingston||SD||31||Randy Orton||26:04||1|
|27||Jack Swagger||SD||25||Rey Mysterio||04:41||0|
|29||Rey Mysterio||SD||35||Wade Barrett||22:34||2|
|30||Wade Barrett||SD||37||Randy Orton||21:23||2|
|31||Dolph Ziggler||SD||27||Big Show||07:12||0|
|33||Drew McIntyre||SD||29||Big Show||04:46||0|
|34||Alex Riley||Raw||28||John Cena & Kofi Kingston||02:50||0|
|35||Big Show||SD||30||Ezekiel Jackson||01:30||2|
|37||Santino Marella||Raw||39||Alberto Del Rio||12:54||0|
|38||Alberto Del Rio||SD|| —
|39||Randy Orton||Raw||38||Alberto Del Rio||08:18||3|
^ The Miz was not a participant in the Royal Rumble match.
- The Miz stated that if Riley won the Rumble it would be master vs apprentice, this happened at Capitol Punishment.
- This was the first Royal Rumble to ever feature 40 participants, making it the biggest Royal Rumble in WWE history.
Other on-screen personnel
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