*Vince McMahon voice* Welcome everyone to the Royal Rumble… Review! Like every year around this time, I have been watching some old Rumbles. Past Royal Rumbles aren’t short of classic moments: Macho Man bashing the scepter on Warrior, Ric Flair winning the WWF Championship by winning the Rumble, Cena’s surprise return in 2008, and of course Bushwhacker Luke’s hilarious elimination. I always believe the road to WrestleMania starts with Survivor Series, then at Royal Rumble we start to come around the corner and head down the straight away towards ‘Mania. One thing that’s for sure is that after tonight the WWE’s plans for WrestleMania will be a lot clearer than it has been. I am so excited to find out the answers to questions like “will CM Punk continue his epic reign by defeating one of the most legendary wrestlers of all time?”. And out of all the elite wrestlers in the Rumble, who will be the last man standing tonight? In a day where there are WWE PPVs every month, I usually don’t get a “big fight” vibe. Tonight, though, most definitely has that vibe. The Rock vs. CM Punk is probably the most talked about main event since Brock-Cena. From talking to people on Twitter and by looking at the poll question on the site, it seems people are split on who they think will win this WWE Championship match. How about we start the show, and find out. THIS! Is the review for the 2013 Royal Rumble!
World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio (champion) vs. Big Show: Alberto Del Rio captured the World title on Smackdown a couple weeks ago in a Last Man Standing match that was solid with a fun ending. I sort of felt the opposite of that match tonight. I liked the whole match, but was sort of “iffy” on the finish. Big Show brutalized Del Rio with the massive chops to the chest and a Chokeslam through a table off a piece of the set which was my favorite spot of the night. Del Rio did get some offense in, though, even more than he did during their match on Smackdown. I dug how competitive the match was up until the finish that saw Ricardo duct tape Show’s ankles to the bottom rope. What makes this quirky finish different than that of the one on Smackdown? I suppose just the creativity of it all, and how I felt when watching. When Del Rio dumped the commentators’ table onto Show on Smackdown, I felt like that was an original and new finish. When I saw Ricardo bust out the duct tape, I felt a little let down. The best way to put it is that the finish felt anticlimactic to me. One more thing I wanted to note was how cool it was to see Bret Hart before the match. Ricardo with the Hitman’s glasses was a nice touch.
Tag Team Championship: Team Hell No (champions) vs. Team Rhodes Scholars: Another loss here by Rhodes Scholars looks to do all but seal the fact that they aren’t getting a run with the Tag belts. Time after time, Cody and Damien have had shots at the gold only to come up short. I was wondering where Team Hell No was going to go from here, and that became a little bit clearer during the actual Royal Rumble match. I’ll stick to this match, though, by saying it was pretty status quo. I liked the match, but it wasn’t a very memorable one. When I think back on the 26th Annual Royal Rumble, I won’t think of the Tag Team Championship match.
Royal Rumble: What an awesome surprise to see Chris Jericho return in the number two slot. Dolph and Jericho’s endurance was spectacular, and an awesome part of this year’s Rumble. I found myself every 6-10 minutes thinking “damn, Jericho and Zigs are still in there!”. Before I forget, I wanted to talk about Team Hell No. Surprisingly, D-Bry eliminated Kane when the chance presented itself. Of course there was some comedy when Bryan jumped onto Kane after being tossed over the top rope, hoping for Kane to carry him back to the ring. Kane dropped D-Bry which seems to be the start of some major friction between the Tag Champions. Could this be the beginning of the end for one of the most entertaining tag teams of all time? Another storyline coming out of the Rumble was Bo Dallas eliminating Wade Barruh. I have heard rumors (and we all know how those go) that WWE is set on pushing Bo Dallas for some reason. That rumor is looking more and more like it is one of the few true ones. One of my favorite moments of this Rumble was when Goldust’s music hit. Cody was so pumped! I loved how they trading rights and lefts right away with Cody hitting Goldust’s famous “drop to your back and hit your opponent with a right” move. Goldust still looked to be pretty formidable in the ring. Gosh, back in WCW, Goldust (aka Dustin Rhodes) vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin were some of my favorite matches. If you haven’t seen some of their work, do yourself a favor and look some up. The pace that those two worked at was and still is so fun to watch. Alright, so the Rumble boiled down to Ryback and Cena. I so dug seeing this two megastars collide with Cena getting the best of THE Ryback. Cena heads to WrestleMania, and I know a lot of peeps were predicting it, but I still loved this Royal Rumble. One of my favorite of all time. Oh and one more note, Kofi Kingston is always good for a super rad Rumble moment.
WWE Championship: CM Punk (champion) vs. The Rock: Just like the Royal Rumble match, the main event of the evening did not disappoint either. No, The Rock vs. Punk wasn’t one of the best matches of either wrestlers’ careers. However, the drama was high for the whole match. I know I was on the edge of my seat. I was bummed to see the table break during the Rock Bottom spot, but like the pros they are, they just reset to pull the spot right by the table. I did predict The Rock to win, but when Punk won, I really thought the match was done. Then, the oh so famous music of Vincent Kennedy McMahon hit. The match was restarted, and everything else is history from that point on. The Rock has become the new WWE Champion by ending the epic 434 day reign of CM Punk. Really, the only way for Punk’s crazy ridiculous reign to come to an end was to lose it to a guy like The Rock. If there was one thing I could say about Rock really quickly is I hope wrestles a little bit more before WrestleMania. And not just Elimination Chamber. Obviously, he is in great shape, but like JBL says there is nothing like being in ring shape.
Royal Rumble 2013 is in the books. I enjoyed the show through and through. Everything was above average for me with the tag match being an average one. It’s all but said that The Rock will now face Cena, but I am still excited for the rest of the card to unfold. Plus, I actually think The Rock-Cena II journey will be a fun one to watch even if the outcome is going to be Cena regaining the title.