John Cena wins the Royal Rumble Match

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January 27, 2008

NEW YORK -- John Cena is back, and after a quick stop on Broadway for Royal Rumble, "The Champ's" return tour is headed to the grandest stage in sports-entertainment.

As far as anyone knew, Cena was expected to be out of action for a while -- perhaps as long as a year -- after tearing his pectoral muscle less than four months ago. Yet after shocking our fans worldwide by entering the Royal Rumble Match at No. 30, Cena whipped the capacity Madison Square Garden crowd into a frenzy when he tossed Triple H over the top rope to win the 2008 Royal Rumble Match. With the victory, Cena earns a World Championship opportunity against the titleholder of his choice at WrestleMania XXIV on Sunday, March 30, in Orlando, Fla.

Of course, with the Royal Rumble being perhaps the most unique match in WWE, there were plenty of surprises and highlights before Cena showed up as the final entrant. For instance, the final two survivors from last year's Rumble -- Undertaker and Shawn Michaels -- drew Nos. 1 and 2, making them the first Superstar tandem to finish one Rumble and begin the next. Unlike last year, however, it was HBK who would eliminate The Phenom later on.

The smallest Royal Rumble competitor, Hornswoggle, drew No. 9 … and promptly hid under the ring, only popping out to eliminate The Miz minutes later. When he popped out a second time, however, Mark Henry dragged him into the ring. Finlay came out to protect the leprechaun, but when the Irishman assaulted everyone in the ring with his shillelagh, he was disqualified from the Rumble -- unfortunately taking Hornswoggle with him as well.

Two WWE Hall of Famers also shocked the capacity crowd, as Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper entered at Nos. 18 and 19, respectively, to a pair of massive ovations; unfortunately, after a quick flurry that saw them rekindle their 25-year-old rivalry, both legends were dumped by entrant No. 20, Kane.

Finally, after 29 Superstars had entered, three-time former WWE Champion Cena made his way in at No. 30 to a raucous reaction from the MSG crowd. As Cena's entrance theme played, The Game stared in disbelief at what he saw. Pointing to his repaired right shoulder, Cena shouted "You and me, it's go time!" to The Game, and the fight was on.

In the end, it came down to three of the biggest and most beloved Superstars in WWE history -- Batista, Triple H and Cena. After The Game finally got the best of his former Evolution mate by dumping The Animal, it came down to the two men who met each other for the WWE Title just two WrestleManias ago.

20,798 rabid fans were torn over who to cheer for, and they got their money's worth from the final two. Just when it looked like The Cerebral Assassin would take Cena down with a Pedigree in the final moments, "The Champ" hoisted The Game on his shoulders and tossed him to the floor, finally winning the Royal Rumble Match and earning the right to face the champion of his choice on March 30.

Cena will be looking to capture some gold in the Sunshine State at WrestleMania XXIV … but which champion will he choose to face? Will he go after the WWE Championship -- currently held by Randy Orton -- and look to regain the title he never lost in the ring from a man who never beat him for it? Or will Cena look to conquer a different mountain and challenge an old foe, World Heavyweight Champion Edge, or a new kingpin, ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero, for a title he has never worn?

Regardless of whom he chooses to face at WrestleMania XXIV, one fact is certain: "The Champ" is back, he's better than ever and he's hungry for gold.

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