WWE Live Review: Royal Rumble 2013
The Royal Rumble serves many purposes in the world of the WWE. The very nature of the event itself see's it stand out from the rest of the company's PPV output. This is after all a show that features a (usually) exciting over-the-top-rope battle royal style match-up. This scrap see's 30 wrestlers (inc. some surprises) battle it out and win a World Title shot at that year's WrestleMania. The Rumble is also not only the first WWE PPV of the year, but it is also what we fans like to call 'the first step on the road to Mania'.
The Royal Rumble is normally the place where the first seeds are sown as to what we may look forward to at the WWE's biggest show of the year WrestleMania. Last year of course we all knew that we were to expect a Rock/John Cena bout at that very event. However this year we were still in some doubt as to what may unfold at the Rumble and what effect it may have in relation to Mania.
First of all there were hints at a Rock/Cena re-match and of course we all want to know if Undertaker will make his annual appearance to defend his WrestleMania winning streak.The good news is that one of these questions was (pretty much) answered at the 2013 Royal Rumble.
Royal Rumble 2013 was kind of overshadowed by the main event encounter between (Hollywood action star) The Rock and the WWE's best bad guy CM Punk.
But the rest of the card was well worth a look too. The dark match (ie for live fans and DVD viewers only) saw United States Champion Antonio Cesaro battle The Miz. Your reviewer may not be a fan of Cesaro, but for what it is worth he did fare well here and his win over former world champion The Miz bodes very well for his character. Miz's face turn seems to be coming along well too.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio then kicked things off proper by beating The Big Show in a 'Last Man Standing' encounter. Show and Del Rio worked well together here, using the available weapons to the best of their ability and also pulling off a few nice stiff moves. Show's chokeslam through a table looked great and the finish was well worked. Del Rio retaining over his much larger foe shows the WWE's faith in him and his tenure as champ.
Team Hell No (WWE Tag Team Champs) then successfully defended their belts against the formidable and fun combo of The Rhodes Scholars. Am I the only one amazed that Cody Rhodes moustache can at times receive more attention than him? The match here unfortunately wasn't much to talk about. We have all seen this before and we also get the idea that the WWE will keep the gold with Kane/Danielson until they feel they have lost their charm.
The Royal Rumble itself had its moments and whilst much of the 30 man match was predictable. There were some nice touches and some pleasant surprises too. First up were surprise entrants Chris Jericho (a man who we have interview here and reviewed his rock band Fozzy too), Goldust and The Godfather. Jericho entered the match at number 2 and he lasted almost 50 minutes. Goldust had a memorable few moments and his exchanges with his brother Cody may lead to a match down the line. Godfather did his usual nostalgic thing and it went down a storm too. There were also a few returns by formerly injured stars , Rey Mysterio, Santino Marella and Sin Cara all received a nice pop when they made their entrance. The final four saw Ryback dispatch Randy Orton and Sheamus with ease, he then as we feared fell to John Cena to see Cena move one step closer to a rematch with The Rock.
Speaking of that result. The Rock did indeed best WWE Champion CM Punk in the main event of the show. Punk's recent knee injury did not seem to slow him down here and even though he lost his beloved title, he did leave the match without too much tarnish to his name. With only a few mistimed moves, this was a fine outing for both men (considering Rock's long in-ring lay-off and Punk's injury).
Royal Rumble ended with us now knowing that Cena could very well (or may have by the time you read this) decide to challenge Rock for the title at Mania. Hopefully Rock/Punk will get a re-match at Elimination Chamber to address the few faults we saw at the rumble and maybe now we almost have one half of the main event, we will see Punk challenge Undertaker to a match.
Royal Rumble 2013 was very good in parts and the Ruble itself had some extremely fine points and moments. The build up to WrestleMania is now in full swing and I cannot wait to see what else we get along the way. We also have the Hall Of Fame coming up too, so far Mick Foley and Bruno Samartino have been given the nod and of course many more will follow.
By Phil Allely