The Royal Rumble PPV. The only time of the year when 30 people beat each other up and create chaos for a golden opportunity you know, like every Black Friday shopping.
What makes the Royal Rumble match so special amongst other match types is the unpredictability of it all as well as how every performer has contributed to the match whether it’s a 12-man elimination record from Roman Reigns in 2014 or not being in the match at all like Curtis Axel in 2015.
But, today, I’m not here to talk about the history of the Royal Rumble because Wikipedia exists but rather about the last few moments of a particular Royal Rumble match in 2007.
I’m, of course, talking about the best final moments or rather the best ending I’ve ever witnessed in a PPV aka Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker encounter at the end of that year’s Royal Rumble match.
What do I mean by that? Well, on the one hand, you have the heart-break kid (or the heart-break middle-aged man depending on who you ask) entering the match with his DX gear as a dedication to his injured friend Triple H and has won the Royal Rumble match more times than Manchester United with Premier League titles over a 15-year span.
On another hand, you have The Undertaker who despite being an accomplished 17-year veteran in WWE at that point, has never won the Royal Rumble match much like Tottenham Spurs with Premier League titles (I had to do this as an Arsenal fan).
However, what makes that particular isn’t really the context of both performers during the last moments but rather how desperate both men were to win the whole thing.
Michaels entered the bout at number 23 and for a second, I thought WWE was promoting that awful Jim Carrey movie “Number 23” but instead, he eliminated 4 people including Rated RKO which by the way, that team had one of the best theme mash-ups I’ve ever heard.
The Undertaker came out at lucky number 30 and among other folks, took out the Punjabi giant, The Great Khali who represented “the next big thing” in the worst of ways during that era.
The Deadman took a crap ton of chair shots from the recently eliminated Edge and Randy Orton and thanks to Shawn Michaels, Orton and Edge are out of the equation.
To quote George Clooney’s Batman, “The heat is on” as a kip up from Shawn Michaels and Taker’s Micheal Myer style sit up lead to minutes of pure classic that honestly produced the best ending in any wrestling PPV (in my humble opinion).
The final moments of that Rumble match were so good, If this were a match, it would’ve been the greatest 5 or so-minute encounter.
This interaction indirectly kickstarted Shawn Michaels’ final 3-year character arc especially since that match was the moment that he felt he could one-up The Deadman.
While yes, Shawn Michaels did face The Phenom before, Michaels was a completely different character when he faced Taker in the first ever Hell In A Cell match and later the casket match at the 98 Royal Rumble show.
Maybe at that time, Micheals wanted revenge for intimating the guy after refusing to put over Stone Cold at Wrestlemania 14 or breaking The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania undefeated streak to solidify his legacy.
Whatever his reasoning was, I was lucky as a fan considering it isn’t the last we see both of them interact in the ring as they not only started the 08 Royal Rumble match but also 2 back to back Wrestlemania matches (both of which are fantastic).
This match and the Royal Rumble 2007 PPV as a whole was my introduction to professional wrestling and because of it, I get to be part of a wrestling fanhood that has its ups and definitely its downs.
In other words, I’m just glad that this whole thing led to my fandom in Hornswoggle fighting against a suited-up short Bull named El Torito in a “WeeLC match”.