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Thread: WWE Royal Rumble 2013 Review

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    Royal Rumble WWE Royal Rumble 2013 Review

    Royal Rumble
    January 27, 2013



    Alberto Del Rio © w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs The Big Show - Last Man Standing Match - World Heavyweight Title
    It was two weeks ago on Smackdown that Del Rio defeated The Big Show to win the WHT in a Last Man Standing match. Now in the rematch, they’re having a...Last Man Standing match. That’s pretty fucking stupid. My biggest issue with this match is that Del Rio is the babyface and Show is the heel. Yet, when you watch it, unless you’re aware of the fact that this took place during Del Rio’s short stint as a face, you wouldn’t have any reason to suspect that Show wasn’t the babyface. Show never cheats nor does anything actually heelish. Yet, Rodriguez is there to try (And fail) to interfere late in the match and the entire finish is built around Del Rio locking in the armbar while Rodriguez duct tapes Show’s ankles to the bottom rope. It’s a clever finish seeing as once Del Rio releases the armbar, Show’s arm is in such bad damage that he can’t use it to lift himself up or reach the duct tape, and the duct tape prevents him from getting to his feet. Yet, it’s a total heel finish. It was just a couple of weeks ago Del Rio won the previous Last Man Standing match because he dumped a commentator’s table on Show. So it’s not as if Del Rio is getting Show back. How are you supposed to care about Del Rio as a babyface when he’s still 100% acting like a heel? The match is okay otherwise though. There’s a fun spot with the duo battling up the entrance way where the action saw both men on a piece of the hanging set where Show choke slammed Del Rio off through a table for a near ten count. The crowd seemed to really dig the match, but the match felt very similar to nearly all Del Rio and WHT matches during this era where it’s next to impossible for them to be seen as more than just good. Funnily enough, I went back and checked out my Elimination Chamber 2013 review (Featuring Del Rio/Show), written when the PPV had happened, and I had the same exact issue of wondering why Show was the heel despite not cheating while Del Rio and Ricardo were constantly cheating. A good opener otherwise though. ***


    Team Hell No © vs The Rhodes Scholars - WWE Tag Titles
    Cody’s tag team with Damien Sandow isn’t quite as forgettable as his time with Drew McIntyre (They were tag team champions?!), but it’s probably not as well known as his time as a member of Priceless or The Brotherhood. I suppose it’s equal to his time with Hardcore Holly? The point is Cody has been a member of some random ass tag teams. Yet, at the time, The Rhodes Scholars actually felt like they could have been something special. In fact, it seemed as if everyone went into this match expecting a title switch. It certainly would have made sense since Kane and Bryan had been tag champions for several months now and with Cody’s new mustache, his team was getting far more attention than they had been. Whether it’s fair or not, I feel as if knowing Sandow and Rhodes fail here and would never end up winning the tag titles does hurt the enjoyment of the match some. It no longer feels like the battle of the top two teams in the WWE, instead now it comes across as a top team in Team Hell No beating a team that never fully reached their potential. The match is fine though. Rhodes and Sandow tried to hang in there, but we didn’t get to see much of a heat sequence. Finish saw Team Hell No being better in sync with a blind tag, Bryan taking out Sandow with a missile drop kick, Kane dropping Cody with a choke slam, and Bryan forcing Sandow to submit to the Yes Lock for the victory. Looking back, should Sandow and Rhodes have won the titles here? Maybe they should have to build up to a rematch at Wrestlemania, where Kane and Bryan would have regained the titles just in time to drop them to The Shield at Extreme Rules. It would have been an improvement over Team Hell No’s random title defense against Dolph and Big E at Mania. ** ¾

    30 Man Royal Rumble Match
    This is an odd Rumble in that the vast majority of it is so unnoteworthy, but since it has such a strong pace and finishes strong, it ends up being a good Rumble, at least by modern standards. Dolph Ziggler ends up being #1 after winning a match where he got to choose his number, but Smackdown GM, Vickie Guerrero forced him to choose between numbers 1 and 2. Why you’re using a heel authority figure to screw over a heel wrestler is beyond me, but that’s what they did. Also, Ziggler has either great luck or terrible luck when drawing numbers in the Royal Rumble. He nearly always has a really low or high number. Along with Ziggler is the returning Chris Jericho and we’re reminded that Ziggler and Jericho apparently had a feud prior to Jericho leaving the company the previous summer. Both men would be in the match for over forty-five minutes, but neither did much. Ziggler’s sole purpose is what he always does - nearly get eliminated a million times. As for Jericho, the only worthwhile thing he did was make his surprise return. The rest of the first third is a whole bunch of nothingness except for the surprise appearance of Goldust, leading to a good amount of interaction with Cody Rhodes. The second third has Kofi Kingston’s typical near elimination (Using JBL’s chair to get back into the ring) that follows the same booking as all of his other eliminations in that he was then quickly tossed out after he got back in. The Godfather makes his return only to be immediately eliminated, making him a lame addition. NXT wrestler, Bo Dallas, made his appearance at #16, and lasted a full twenty minutes without standing out other than eliminating WWE IC Champion, Wade Barrett. It’s not a lot for 20 minutes of action, but for a NXT guy, it’s good enough. It led to a couple of Barrett/Dallas matches on Raw and NXT, which is more than most can say about their role in this match. The final third has the sole highlight of Daniel Bryan tossing out his Team Hell No partner, Kane, and then immediately be launched out of the ring into Kane’s arms. There’s a long argument between the two partners with Bryan begging his partner to put him back into the ring before Kane ultimately just drops Bryan to the flow to eliminate him. It’s a fun comedy spot, but it’s also disappointing in that that’s the only memorable thing Bryan did in the match.

    After fifty minutes of very few memorable spots happening, things really pick up once it gets down to the final six of Cena, Ryback, Orton, Sheamus, Y2J, and Ziggler. They’re given a good amount of time to get in spots with each guy getting in some offense. One guy will be tossed and the action would continue. In a match where there’s only two heavy favorites, Cena and Ryback, (Along with a couple of unlikely, but still possible ones like Orton or Jericho) the match nicely comes down to just those two men. Looking back, I do think it was a major mistake not giving Ryback the win here. He could jump to Smackdown to win the WHT at Wrestlemania while Cena can find another way to challenge the Rock at Mania. At this point, Ryback still had enough of potential that a win here and going on to Wrestlemania to win a title, that he could have still been a major star. Instead, the Rumble became yet another big show where Ryback would choke on. He failed at Hell in a Cell, Survivor Series, TLC, Royal Rumble, and would be failing at both Elimination Chamber and Wrestlemania (Against Mark Henry of all people?!) Yet, we’re supposed to buy into Ryback being Cena’s first challenger post-Mania? Say what you will about Ryback, but he clearly got fucked over during this time period. So Cena eliminated Ryback to win his second Royal Rumble match. It’s a little underwhelming, but it’s nothing compared to 2014 or 2015. If there’s one big positive to Cena winning, it’s that he went on to the Wrestlemania main event and won the WWE Title from The Rock. While this may not seem like such a big deal since it was a pretty common thing to do in the 90s, it has not happened a single time since 2013. The previous time before 2013 was 2005 with Batista! Say what you will about running Cena/Rock II, but they at least treated Royal Rumble as it should be treated. My biggest annoyance about the match was all of Michael Cole’s name dropping. He’d bring up some WWE legend (Bret Hart, Jake Roberts, Jim Duggan, Harley Race, ect) and then read off a “Quote” that the legend had said about the Royal Rumble match. Each of these quotes are so fucking generic and not for a second do I believe that they’re ever legitimate. The quotes feel so forced and frankly, they’re not adding anything to the match other than ignoring the action for a bit to name drop. For a Rumble match though, I felt it flew by, there’s a couple of moments when wrestlers were still coming out, and the final six battle stood out with a winner that actually meant something. ***



    CM Punk © w/Paul Heyman vs The Rock - WWE World Title
    A match several months in the making. At this point, Punk is the longest reigning WWE World Champion since Hulk Hogan’s first title reign in 1984-1988. When it comes to the quality of the match, I do feel as if it greatly varies depends on whether you’re just looking at the match on its own or looking at the booking afterwards. If you just look at it for what happened on this night, it’s a pretty great memorable night. For most of the match, there’s not much of a story, but they kept a strong pace and I felt both men looked good. Sure, Rock wasn’t as fast as he used to be, but he’s also ten years older from his main run. The commentators tried to create a story based on Punk’s recent knee surgery and how Punk seemed to noticeably be limping, but neither Punk nor Rock played into it much leading me to suspect it wasn’t an intentional story. Heyman is there to interfere when there’s an opportunity and unlike in the Del Rio/Show match, it makes perfect sense since Punk and Heyman are the heels. Where things get great is when Rock seemingly has the match won, but the lights go out and we can hear something happening. Michael Cole claims to see The Shield interfering and delivering their power bomb to The Rock through a commentator’s table. Now, it’s important that this was done in darkness because Mr. McMahon had ruled that had The Shield interfered, Punk would have been stripped of the title. Once the lights come back on, Punk drags his ass to the outside, tosses Rock back into the ring and finishes him off with the GTS for the victory. PUNK HAS SCREWED ROCK~! But wait! Mr. McMahon comes out to announce that while we hadn’t seen The Shield, it’s obvious that they did interfere, but before McMahon can strip Punk of the title, Rock gets on another mic and demands that the match gets restarted. McMahon agrees and we’re back at it where Rock quickly finishes Punk off with the People’s Elbow to win the match and become the NEW WWE World Champion to finish Punk’s historic WWE World Title reign. If you were in the building or watching live on PPV, it was a great moment. You saw something truly important. The problem is when you take into account the booking in the aftermath, this finish was awful. As long as the idea was for Rock/Punk II to take place at the next PPV of Elimination Chamber, Rock winning the title here was the worst possible outcome. The original finish with Punk using The Shield to screw Rock over was far over because it naturally set-up a rematch at Elimination Chamber. From a personal standpoint, since Rock matches would be incredibly rare, I would have preferred Rock defend the WWE World Title in an Elimination Chamber at the next PPV. That way we can see Rock interact with some other wrestlers besides just wrestling Punk again. In either potential Elimination Chamber main event, it’s something interesting. Since Rock won the title here and is clearly going on to face John Cena again at WM 29, there wasn’t a single reason to believe Punk would be regaining the title at Elimination Chamber. Ultimately, Punk/Rock II was about as useless as Rock/Cena II. *** ½


    Overall
    The Road to the forgettable WM 29 has begun. The legacy of this PPV is that it features what will most likely be The Rock's final ever championship win. It's a rather good match that has a memorable, if not very questionable booked, finish. The wacky booking isn't kept to the WWE World Title match though. The World Heavyweight Title contest saw a babyface acting like a heel as the heel challenger is once again screwed over. The Tag Team Titles match surprised most by not crowning new champions. To top it off, the Royal Rumble match saw the wrong guy winning when the runner-up could have greatly benefited from the win here. Yet, all of this rough booking doesn't actually seem so bad until you jump forward in time and see Wrestlemania 29 to witness what this Royal Rumble PPV built up to. A lame babyface Del Rio vs Jack Swagger? Chris Jericho's big return to the WWE resulting in him jobbing to Fandango? The Rhodes Scholars being bumped off of the PPV at the last minute? Team Hell No randomly wrestling Ziggler/Big E? I feel as if there was some pretty decent potential for WM 29 coming off of Royal Rumble, but it all went down the toilet. Although Royal Rumble 2013 isn't a great PPV, with only four matches, none of the matches have the opportunity to be less than just good. Enjoy the Road to Wrestlemania because the destination isn't going to be ideal.

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    Re: WWE Royal Rumble 2013 Review

    As great as Punk vs Undertaker at WM was, it really should have been Punk vs Cena. Del Rio was turned babyface because WWE thought he was getting a lot of cheers, when really Ricardo Rodriguez was more popular and more over than Del Rio.
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    Re: WWE Royal Rumble 2013 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by BattleKat View Post
    As great as Punk vs Undertaker at WM was, it really should have been Punk vs Cena.
    Considering how many times Punk/Cena had been done, the WM 29 match should have been Rock/Cena/Punk instead. That's the match that made the most sense and would have had build to it for months including Punk's own heel turn in mid 2012 against The Rock.

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    Re: WWE Royal Rumble 2013 Review

    a major mistake not giving Ryback the rumble win? Jim it's 5 years later and the guy is isn't booked for any promotion that has a presence in a very lively time in the business. He's hardly someone they missed the boat on A more useful title challenger than Jack Swagger maybe but jeez.

    That rumble is completely forgettable other than the Cena/Ryback staredown that was meant to be a bigger deal than it came off.

  5. #5

    Re: WWE Royal Rumble 2013 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    a major mistake not giving Ryback the rumble win? Jim it's 5 years later and the guy is isn't booked for any promotion that has a presence in a very lively time in the business. He's hardly someone they missed the boat on A more useful title challenger than Jack Swagger maybe but jeez.
    They gave up a chance on a guy ready to be a main eventer through a series of idiotic choices. The fact that Ryback hasn't given a fuck enough to try and work anywhere that gets any notice doesn't change the fact that WWE's handling of him made zero sense. This isn't some guy who has always had potential, but could never get a push by the WWE. This is someone the WWE shoved down our throats and when it was time to go with him, they had him lose a billion times in a row.

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