The Return of Hustle, Loyalty, Respect

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January 27, 2008

NEW YORK -- As John Cena's surprise entry -- and even more stunning win -- in the Royal Rumble Match tonight proved, you can't keep a good "Champ" down, even if he doesn't have gold around his waist.

New York City's Madison Square Garden erupted -- and the Superstars' jaws (especially Triple H's) dropped -- when the familiar barbs of Cena's entrance music blared, signaling his return to WWE and entry as No. 30 in the Royal Rumble Match. The former WWE Champion was the last person anyone had expected to see. When Randy Orton helped put Cena out with a torn pectoral tendon in late September and effectively ended his WWE Championship reign, doctors predicted that he would be out for up to a year.

But tonight, just four months after his injury, Cena defied the doctors, the odds and all doubters. He looked into the eyes of his final opponents in the Rumble, Triple H and Batista and said, "Come and get some." Cena sent a clear and convincing message: "The Champ" is back and he's heading to WrestleMania. Videos: Cena's Road to Recovery

Tonight marked the first time Cena has won the 30-man Royal Rumble. But his victory wasn't about a milestone; it was about the beginning of his road to redemption. Cena couldn't help grinning as he soaked the cheers of his adoring fans.

As the New York faithful chanted his name, Cena's smile widened. But none of the World Champions in WWE were smiling, especially Orton, the man who put him out. Cena now has earned the right to face any World Champion in WWE in the main event at WrestleMania. Does he want to take back the title he never lost in the ring and get the ultimate revenge on Orton on the grandest stage of them all?

Or does Cena have his eyes on a different prize? Perhaps the former WWE Champion will shed some light on his return and his plans Monday night on Raw.

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