WWE Champion John Cena def. Umaga (Last Man Standing Match)

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January 28, 2007

About a half-hour before his Last Man Standing Match against Umaga, WWE Champion John Cena could barely stand. His abdomen still seared in agony — the result of a devastating table splash at the hands of the Samoan Bulldozer on Raw less than a week ago. Yet somehow, someway, a bloodied, crazed Champ would persevere at the Royal Rumble, standing triumphant over the most savage of challengers in the most brutal of contests.

Make no mistake — all signs pointed to Umaga winning this match, which had been hand-picked on Raw several weeks ago by his personal handler, Armando Estrada. With no pinfalls, no submissions, no disqualifications and no count-outs, the only way to win was to make your opponent unable to answer the referee's 10-count. Since Cena had just barely handed Umaga his first defeat at New Year's Revolution three weeks prior, the odds of besting him again — and in a contest tailor-made for the super-heavyweight — were between slim and none. Umaga made sure Cena understood that fact from the onset, focusing a relentless assault on The Champ's heavily taped midsection. In fact, when Cena wasn't writhing in pain, he was struggling simply to stand upright before the referee finished counting to 10.

However, Cena would stand, and he'd bring plenty of fight to the Samoan Bulldozer. The steel ring steps would also play a formidable role throughout the battle; Cena would use them on Umaga several times, including an impressive throw from the ring to the outside that caught his opponent right between the eyes. Unfortunately, the unforgiving steel would also work against The Champ, especially when a failed FU attempt on Umaga sent Cena crashing face-first into the steps, leaving his face a crimson mask.

The sold-out crowd in San Antonio's AT&T Center appeared almost as stunned as Cena, but mostly because none of The Champ's offense seemed to finish off the super-heavyweight savage. A legdrop off the top rope, crushing a TV monitor into his skull… nothing kept Umaga down for more than a seven-count. That is, until he missed with a splash on the outside floor that utterly destroyed the ECW announce table. Still able to recover before the ref counted 10, Umaga re-entered the ring and got back to the business of pummeling Cena. Armando Estrada also kept busy; he removed the actual top ring rope from one corner, then instructed his Samoan Bulldozer to use the buckle's metal attachments on Cena. Umaga charged The Champ, who unexpectedly used his opponent's momentum to hoist him up on his shoulders for an Earth-shaking FU.

At that moment, a bloodied, bruised Cena snapped. Putting Umaga in the STFU, he wrapped the thick ring rope around the challenger's equally thick neck, then reared back for all he was worth. For what seemed like an eternity, Umaga continued to struggle, until finally he passed out from the lack of oxygen. The AT&T Center crowd loudly assisted the referee with his 10-count, then erupted as Cena was declared the Last Man Standing. 

Perhaps Mr. McMahon should review this match several times before heading to Raw this Monday. The WWE Chairman had visited Cena in the trainer's room before the contest, to personally inform him that he couldn't see him as the Last Man Standing, or as the WWE Champion. Clearly, the WWE Chairman was still feeling plenty sore after Cena called him a "pussbag" on Raw last week, so he was enjoying adding insult to The Champ's injuries. Now he must wonder how Cena was able to push himself beyond human limits and withstand Umaga's vicious attack. And if he noticed the frenzied look on Cena's bloodied face as he practically snapped the super-heavyweight's neck with the top ring rope, he better hope he can't see him Monday night.

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