|Royal Rumble 2011|
The Royal Rumble featured professional wrestling matches that involve different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines that will be played out on World Wrestling Entertainment's primary television programs. Wrestlers will portray villains or heroes as they follow a series of events that build tension, and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches.
The pay-per-view will feature the annual Royal Rumble match, which has been featured at every Royal Rumble event since its inception. As opposed to the traditional thirty participants, forty entrants are scheduled for the 2011 Royal Rumble match, the most in the history of the event. The match ends when one wrestler remains in the ring, after all 39 other wrestlers have been eliminated via being tossed over the top ring rope and having both feet touch the floor. The winner will earn a world championship match of their choosing at WrestleMania XXVII.
In addition to the Royal Rumble match, the main rivalry from the Raw brand involves the WWE Champion The Miz defending his title against Randy Orton. After Survivor Series, The Miz cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and defeated Orton to become the WWE Champion before defending it against Orton a month later at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs. After defeating Wade Barrett and King Sheamus, in a steel cage match on an episode of Raw, Orton received another opportunity at the title in a match against The Miz.
The main rivalry from the SmackDown brand involves the World Heavyweight Champion Edge defending his title against Dolph Ziggler. After defeating "Dashing" Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre and The Big Show, Ziggler won a title opportunity for Edge's World Heavyweight Championship after Kane lost to Edge in his rematch. After winning his opportunity, Edge went on a campaign against Ziggler and his girlfriend, and Edge's ex-wife, Vickie Guerrero. On the January 28 episode of SmackDown, Guerrero, who was the acting General Manager in place of the injured Theodore Long, banned the use of Edge's Spear and would strip him of his title if he used it during his match against Ziggler.
The Divas rivalry entering the Royal Rumble was between Natalya and LayCool over the WWE Divas Championship. Natalya defeated LayCool in a handicap match at Survivor Series to win the Divas Championship, and she would later team with Beth Phoenix in defeating LayCool in a Tables Match at TLC. On the following night's edition of Raw, Melina turned heel and slapped Natalya after winning a #1 Contender's Triple Threat Match against Eve Torres and Alicia Fox. After Natalya defeated the villainous Melina to retain the title on the January 24, 2011 edition of Raw, LayCool entered and announced that they will cash in their rematch clause at the Royal Rumble event.
Royal Rumble received positive reviews. Writing for The Sun, Rob McNichol praised the event, particularly noting Alberto Del Rio's surprise Rumble Match victory, John Morrison's impressive performance: "featured arguably the spot of the decade as John Morrison was knocked from the apron to the guardrail, but avoided elimination by gripped the barrier and leaping back onto the steps. It truly had to be seen to be believed." He further praised Dolph Ziggler's performance in a big-match situation, and the story the Miz-Orton match told. Overall he awarded the event 8 out of 10.
SLAM! Wrestling writers Dale Plummer and Nick Tylwalk shared similar compliments to the event, praising the short, though crowd-pleasing appearances of Diesel and Booker T. Overall they awarded the event a score of 7.5/10.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: R-Truth defeated Curt Hawkins in a Royal Rumble Qualifying Match
- Edge (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero) to retain the World Heavyweight Championship (20:48)
- The Miz (w/ Alex Riley) (c) defeated Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship (19:52)
- Eve Torres defeated Natalya (c), Layla & Michelle McCool) in a Fatal 4-Way Match to win the WWE Divas Championship (5:13)
- Alberto Del Rio won the The Royal Rumble Match (1:09:53)
Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations
A new entrant came out approximately every 90 seconds.
^ The Miz was not a participant in the Match.
Other on-screen talent
- The Miz stated that if Riley won the Rumble it would be master vs apprentice, this happened at Capitol Punishment 2011.
- This was the first Royal Rumble to ever feature 40 participants, making it the biggest Royal Rumble in WWE history.