Alberto Del Rio won the 40-Man Royal Rumble Match

January 30, 2011

BOSTON — Some guys have it all. SmackDown’s Alberto Del Rio is rich, he’s handsome, and after winning tonight’s Royal Rumble, he is headed to WrestleMania.

The Mexican aristocrat triumphed over 39 other competitors in the biggest Rumble in WWE history to earn the opportunity to headline WrestleMania in a World Championship Match of his choosing on April 4, 2011 in Atlanta.

It was a career-defining moment for the smug Superstar who debuted in WWE barely six months ago. Entering the wild bout at No. 38, Del Rio used his cunning and good fortune to prevail in the all-important battle and join an elite group of Rumble winners that includes WWE legends Bret “Hit Man” Hart, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels.

Del Rio’s shocking victory was one of many surprising moments in this year’s over-the-top melee. Before the match even began, No. 1 entrant CM Punk was ambushed by The Corre, resulting in a massive brawl between the SmackDown group and The New Nexus. When the smoke settled and the Rumble started proper, The Straight Edge Superstar survived long enough to be joined by his New Nexus cohorts and the sinister set proceeded to control the match for an extended period of time. That was until John Cena arrived.

Putting on one of the most impressive performances in Rumble history, the Legendary star was by far the most dominant man in the ring, dumping seven Superstars over the top rope, including every member of The New Nexus. But Cena’s fury soon gave way to frivolity as he teamed up with No. 23 entrant Hornswoggle to hurl both Heath Slater and Tyson Kidd. Those unfortunate Superstars should’ve taken a page out of John Morrison’s book. Early in the bout, The Shaman of Sexy avoided elimination by clinging catlike onto the barrier and then jumping back into the ring. (Full list of Rumble participants)

As the action continued to heat up, top Superstars like Big Show, Rey Mysterio and Wade Barrett entered the fray. Even former World Champions Booker T and Diesel made unexpected appearances in the match, much to the delight of the WWE Universe. But it was the man who drove to the ring in a $200,000 Bentley that had the biggest impact on the night’s events.

As one of the final men to enter the ring, Del Rio had an advantage over the last three participants — Cena, Barrett and Orton. The Mexican Superstar lucked out when Cena was unceremoniously tossed by an interfering Miz. From there, it was a rapid turn of events as The Viper chucked Barrett before being dumped himself by an opportunistic Del Rio.

It was not over yet, though. Santino Marella had not been officially eliminated and crawled back into the ring, nailing a distracted Del Rio with The Cobra. The Italian Superstar nearly threw the arrogant competitor over the top rope, but Del Rio reversed at the last second to secure his spot in the main event of The Show of Shows.

With his victory tonight, Alberto Del Rio now begins his journey on the Road to WrestleMania. But as many Superstars can attest, this road can be very bumpy — even from the comfort of one of Del Rio’s luxury cars. Will this privileged Superstar arrive in Atlanta in style? Or will there be a breakdown miles away from the Grandest Stage of Them All? Either way, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.