World Heavyweight Champion John Cena def. JBL

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January 25, 2009

DETROIT -- Going into the Royal Rumble, JBL was intent on becoming the new World Heavyweight Champion. But despite the begrudging efforts of the self-made millionaire's employee, Shawn Michaels, The Champ John Cena persevered, defeating the Longhorn Loudmouth and retaining his coveted title.

JBL took to the ring with his eyes on the prize, going so far as to install Shawn Michaels in his corner as extra insurance. Though HBK had been upfront about his distaste for the self-proclaimed "wrestling god," there were two things motivating him to assist his boss. Michaels had been promised not only a hefty payment in the event of Layfield's victory, but also a spot in the Royal Rumble if his employer were to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.

In order to earn his payday, HBK involved himself in the match while the referee was incapacitated, first performing Sweet Chin Music on his employer and then also kicking The Champ in the jaw. With both ring warriors lying prone, Michaels dragged the self-proclaimed "wrestling god" on top of Cena in order to give JBL the win. But even The Showstopper wasn't enough to put down The Champ, who recovered and hit his signature hold to best the No. 1 contender.

Shawn Michaels' employment with JBL had begun weeks prior, as a last ditch effort by HBK to provide for his family in the face of the collapsing stock market. Since then, Michaels has reluctantly done his boss' bidding, disqualifying the Longhorn Loudmouth's opponent to gain JBL No. 1 contendership -- even allowing himself to be defeated by Layfield for the World Title opportunity. Having already weakened John Cena one-on-one the week before, HBK even attacked Cena at JBL's bidding on the Raw prior to the Royal Rumble in a further attempt to put The Champ at a disadvantage. Throughout it all, however, The Showstopper has struggled to maintain his integrity.

The World Heavyweight Championship Match saw John Cena dividing his attention between the dangerous JBL and Michaels, waiting just outside the ring. But at the Royal Rumble, the self-made millionaire learned the hard way that even when the deck is stacked against him, The Champ perseveres.

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