John Cena vs. Umaga from Royal Rumble 2007 is a match that doesn’t get talked about a lot, but it is usually mentioned when Cena’s best matches are discussed. It seems like the Cena matches that get the most attention are his matches against CM Punk, Shawn Michaels, Edge, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton and Batista. I feel that his match against Umaga gets ignored because Umaga is not as famous as the Cena opponents I mentioned. After watching this match on YouTube, I can say that this match should get the same attention as Cena’s other famous matches.
- This match happened at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The attendance was 13,500.
- This was a Last Man Standing match.
- John Cena’s WWE Championship on the line. Cena won the WWE Championship at WWE Unforgiven on September 17, 2006 when he defeated Edge in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs (TLC) match.
- Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler were the announcers during this match.
- The time length of the match was 23:09.
- This match can be watched at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjjI1dhHnGA.
Jim Ross mentioned on commentary before the match officially started that Cena had an abdominal injury. Cena was taped up above the waist during this match. Cena was the first man to fall down when Umaga hit Cena’s injured abdomen. Cena fell out of the ring and the referee began to count. Cena wasn’t down for long and got up on the ring apron. Umaga hit Cena and Cena fell off the ring apron. Umaga left the ring and threw Cena into the ring steps. Umaga and Cena fought on the entrance ramp and then got back into the ring. Umaga hit Cena with a headbutt and attacked Cena’s abdomen. Cena tried to make a comeback and Umaga knocked Cena down with a clothesline. The referee counted and Cena got up at seven. Umaga slammed Cena down and left the ring. Umaga tossed the top part of the ring steps into the ring. Umaga climbed onto the ring apron and Cena bounced Umaga’s head off the top rope. Umaga fell off the apron. Cena threw the ring steps at Umaga and they hit him! The referee counted and Umaga got up at five. Cena sold a clothesline better than Umaga sold getting hit by ring steps, but I guess that’s because Umaga is supposed to be the unstoppable monster and Cena is supposed to be the injured underdog. Cena got Umaga back in the ring. Cena’s offense was stopped by Umaga’s spinning heel kick. Seeing Umaga do a spinning heel kick was very impressive. He was a great athlete despite being so big. Cena got up at five. Umaga started working on Cena’s abdomen again. Umaga hit Cena with a belly to belly suplex. While Cena was down, Umaga put the lower part of the ring steps into the ring. Cena got up at eight. Umaga knocked Cena down and put the ring steps in the corner. Umaga put Cena right next to the ring steps so Cena was sitting down with his back against the steps. Umaga ran at Cena and Cena got out the way. Umaga’s back hit the ring steps. Cena hit Umaga with the ring steps! Umaga went down and he was up at six. Cena jumped off the top turnbuckle and Umaga caught him. Umaga slammed Cena down and Cena yelled in pain. That was good selling by Cena. Umaga then sat on Cena a couple times. Umaga tried to do it a third time, but Cena got his knees up. Cena bounced Umaga’s head off the ring steps and then slammed Umaga on the steps. Umaga was down and Cena hit Umaga with the five knuckle shuffle. Cena got Umaga up for the FU (or Attitude Adjustment for today’s fans), but Umaga was too heavy. Cena went down and this was really bad for Cena because Cena‘s head hit the ring steps. The replay showed the Cena’s head was between the steps and Umaga. Cena got up at nine. Cena’s face was bleeding and he was bleeding so much the referee would have definitely stopped it if this happened during today’s PG WWE. Umaga was in control of the match at this point. Cena turned into Hulk Hogan and started Hulking up. Cena was hitting Umaga with punches, but the comeback was short and Umaga hit Cena with a sick Samoan Drop. Cena got up at eight and then blocked the Samoan Spike. Umaga hit Cena with a headbutt. Umaga put Cena upside down in the corner. Umaga dived at him and Cena sat up which caused Umaga to miss him. Cena hit Umaga with a leg drop from the top turnbuckle. Cena threw Umaga into the ring post. Cena left the ring and got a TV monitor. Cena hit Umaga with the monitor and Cena hit him hard! Umaga got up at seven and Cena knocked Umaga out of the ring. Cena jumped onto Umaga and Umaga caught him. Umaga rammed Cena into the ring post. There were three tables at ringside. From left to right, it was the RAW, Smackdown and ECW tables. Umaga got on top of the RAW table and Cena was down on the ECW table. Umaga ran on the tables to Cena and jumped onto the ECW table. Cena got out of the way and Umaga did a splash through the table! Cena got in the ring and the referee started to count Umaga. The count got to nine and Umaga got up. The announcers thought Cena had won, but they realized that there are no count outs in a last man standing match. Umaga did not have to get back in the ring before the ten count. All he had to do get to his feet. A couple things I need to mention. One, the camera showed a close-up of Cena’s face and he lost a lot of blood at this point. It was a lot worse than his bleeding during his match against Brock Lesnar in 2012. Two, JR and Jerry Lawler were doing a great job on commentary. That’s my favorite commentary duo. I wish every WWE match was called by them. Back to the match, Umaga hit Cena and Cena went down. While Cena was down, Umaga’s manager Armando Alejandro Estrada removed one of the top turnbuckles from the ring post and part of the top rope collapsed. It’s rare to see the ring rope on the mat during a match and the crowd reacted when the rope went down. Umaga tried to use the metal turnbuckle as a weapon. Cena ducked down and hit Umaga with the FU! Cena hit Estrada and then hit Umaga in the back with the turnbuckle. Cena used the ring rope to choke Umaga. Innovative spot! I don’t remember ever seeing anyone wrap a ring rope around someone’s neck during a WWE match. Cena stopped choking Umaga and Umaga started to get up. JR said, “My God, I can’t believe this Samoan monster!” Cena choked Umaga with the rope again! Umaga passed out and the referee counted to ten.
Winner: John Cena
****1/4 – Brett Mix (WrestlingDVDNews.com, BSabres87 on YouTube)
****1/4 – J.D. Dunn (411mania)
**** – Dave Meltzer (Wrestling Observer, @davemeltzerWON)
**** – Scott Keith (411mania.com, Insidepulse.com and Rspwfaq.net)
***3/4 – John Canton (TJR Wrestling, @johnreport)
***3/4 – Jack Bramma (411mania)
This match is considered to be Umaga’s best and many people say this is a top ten John Cena match. I’m a little bit surprised how great this match was because of the two guys in the match. If I saw this match-up on a Pay-Per-View card, I would not expect it to be a great match. I have always felt that Cena needs to be paired with a great worker to have a great match. Cena’s top three best opponents are Edge, Shawn Michaels and CM Punk. Two of them are WWE Hall of Famers and the other guy is known as “The Best in the World”. Cena proved me wrong. Umaga was not a bad wrestler, but he was not Shawn Michaels or Edge and I don’t think he will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. I was very impressed to see Cena have great match with someone who is not one of the best wrestlers. I don’t think the match would have been as good without the Last Man Standing gimmick, but that doesn’t make me less impressed. There were many things I love about this match. I enjoyed the innovative spots like Umaga running on the announce tables which looked really cool and the top rope being removed from the ring post. I love it when matches have spots that aren’t recycled spots I have seen many times. I thought the blood from Cena’s head made this match better. When blood is used correctly, it can really make a match more enjoyable (see Austin vs. Bret from WrestleMania 13). Another thing I enjoyed about this match was the commentary from JR and Jerry Lawler. They were fun to listen to and I think that good commentary can make a match more entertaining. The next time someone says that Cena needs to wrestle a great worker like Punk, Chris Jericho or Daniel Bryan to have a great match, tell that person to watch this match.