As far as Royal Rumble "surprise entrants" go, the most effective surprise was a wrestler that was already a full-time guy, but one that hadn't been seen in quite some time. Love him or not, seeing the purportedly-sidelined John Cena pop up as the number 30 entry in the 2008 Royal Rumble match was a moment for the ages. Even the cynical Garden fans reacted positively (at first).
WWE just couldn't have a WrestleMania without Cena playing a heavily-promoted role (until the disaster that was WrestleMania 32, anyway). Though Cena was a surprise entrant, it was absolutely no surprise that he would shake off a long-term injury with the deftness that he did.
The 2008 Royal Rumble is on the lower end of Madison Square Garden pay-per-views, not that the show was awful or anything. The pieces just didn't click into place for a truly memorable card, outside of Cena's stunner of a comeback. Ric Flair's potential "retirement" match went on in the opener, with little drama. Heels won the three middle matches, including WWE Champion Randy Orton downing Jeff Hardy, at a point where fan adulation towards Hardy had never been higher.
But sometimes, all a show needs is an explosive ending. Even if the 2008 Rumble was middle-of-the-road up until then, the punctuation was emphatic.
Here are ten facts about the 2008 Royal Rumble you may not have known.
Justin has been a wrestling fan since 1989, and has been writing about it since 2009. Since 2014, Justin has been a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine. Justin also writes for History of Wrestling, and is a contributing author to James Dixon's Titan series.