The Royal Rumble Match is one of the most anticipated wrestling events of the entire year, and one of the main reasons for this is because of the surprises that it produces. With a total of 40 participants in the 2011 Royal Rumble Match, there were sure to be lots of surprises, even more so than in previous years. WWE did not disappoint as they produced surprises that will be talked about for weeks to come. Here are the surprises that occurred in this year’s Royal Rumble on Jan. 30.
The first surprise of the night came when The Great Khali returned at the number 19 slot, taking on all four of the members of the New Nexus in the ring. Khali was returning after being out of action for the past six months, ironically injured by the Nexus back in August. The Nexus were dominating the Rumble before Khali entered the ring, and seemed like no person could stop them. The 7-foot giant more than held his own against the New Nexus and even eliminated Husky Harris before being eliminated himself by the new muscle of the group, Mason Ryan.
The second surprise came two spots later when Booker T made his WWE return by entering the Rumble at number 21. Booker got the biggest pop of the night and the crowd was very supportive and appreciative to see him. This was the first time in more than three years that Booker T stepped inside a WWE ring, and was one of the biggest surprises in years. Booker T looked great in the Rumble, attacking everyone in sight, and hitting them with his signature moves. His patented Spinaroonie received a great cheer from the crowd, but Booker was eliminated shortly after by Mason Ryan, whom the crowd unanimously booed.
The next surprise came at the number 23 spot, when Hornswoggle entered the Rumble. The smallest wrestler on the WWE was making his first Rumble appearance, and made the most of it, as he lasted for more than 10 minutes, with the help of his friend John Cena. Hornswoggle managed to outlast 23 other superstars before getting tossed over the top rope by Sheamus.
The last surprise entrant of the night was Kevin Nash, who played the part of Diesel, entering the Rumble at number 32. Nash last played the Diesel persona during his first run with the WWE from 1993 to 1996, and got a huge ovation from the crowd. It was like Nash turned back the clock, as he looked more than 20 years younger, with his hair dyed black and his Diesel ring attire. Nash announced his retirement last year after leaving TNA, but looks to be back with the WWE for the time being. Nash cleaned house for the amount of time he was in the Rumble, but was thrown over the top rope by Wade Barrett.
But perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was not a surprise entrant, but that Santino Marella nearly ended up winning the 2011 Royal Rumble. Santino had the luck of the draw to get the number 37 position in the Rumble, but it seemed he was eliminated after he entered the ring. But the truth of the matter was that he exited through the bottom of the rope, therefore not being eliminated and was still in the Rumble until the end.
After Alberto Del Rio eliminated Randy Orton, he celebrated, thinking that he won the Rumble, and that’s when Santino re-entered the ring. When Del Rio turned around, Santino delivered his finisher, the Cobra. But when he picked Del Rio up to throw him over the top rope, Del Rio side-stepped Santino and threw him over the top to win the Royal Rumble. Still a great showing for a guy who absolutely no one expected would win the Rumble.
2011 Royal Rumble Results