Royal Rumble 2013: A substandard event with few highlights
The Royal Rumble this year packed Jericho's surprise entry and Cena's predictable win, but was a below par event.
Every year in the wrestling world comes an event where rising stars and veterans get one more shot to fame. This year marks the 26th Royal Rumble event, which includes the ever popular and mandatory Royal Rumble match itself.
This match is regarded as one of the three (arguably four) major Pay-Per-View (PPV) events of the year.
If you’re a wrestling fan like me, you would know how eagerly viewers await the Royal Rumble. Since I cannot review the whole event for you (it was packed with one too many exciting moments) I’ve listed a few of the major highlights here.
Included are some of the most surprising moments of modern World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Now I warn you, this list has spoilers, so if you’re looking forward to watching re-runs, you may want to cover your eyes.
Fun with Bryan and Kane:
Ever since the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) switched the “Federation” with “Entertainment”, some hilarious bits of comedy have been added to spruce up their events. The Royal Rumble wasn’t devoid of these either.
‘Hell No’, a tag team comprising Kane and Daniel Bryan, found a way to make simple arguments very entertaining.
The duo gave a decent 10-minute title defence and a funny backstage promo about their entry into the rumble. Bryan eliminates his own buddy Kane, and is then seen being tossed into Kane’s arms, begging his teammate to put him back in the ring. Kane, however, decides to just dump Bryan on the floor.
This had fans in fits of laughter.
Jericho’s surprise entry:
Entry number two was one of the pioneers of the “WWE Attitude” era, Chris Jericho, AKA Y2J, who quickly journeyed to the pinnacle of his career by winning the Royal Rumble.
Dolph Ziggler planned on becoming the number one entrant. He could really use the limelight at the Rumble, but with the unexpected return of the first ever Undisputed Champion, Chris Jericho, this was impossible.
Jericho is a star and everyone loves him.
The Rumble is well known for its surprise entrants that create unanticipated special moments for fans. It’s a heavy dose of nostalgia.
Last year, Booker T and Diesel gave us this surprise, and this year, all that the Rumble needed to make viewers jump out of their seats was a surprise Y2J entry. Aside from him performing amazingly in the ring, the audience has a long-time connection with him as well, and this adds more circumference to his spotlight.
All Y2J fans know that he is also makes music, and when his music hit the ring, the arena exploded; it was a bigger pop than the much advertised the Rock received.
Dolph Ziggler is a main event draw:
In his interview, Ziggler makes it clear that he’s here to stay. In his promo, which is one of the best I’ve seen amongst WWE promos, he talks about the possibility of winning both World Championships of the company and becoming the Undisputed Champion - something that hasn’t been talked about since the second world title was introduced.
Ziggler cuts a small promo before the Rumble match is in order to gain heat, but the city Phoenix knows how to appreciate actual talent when they see it and instead of booing the heel, they cheer.
Not only does he stay in the Rumble match for 50 minutes, but also shows that he can do what the returning Y2J can.
CM Punk versus Dwayne Johnson:
I’ve seen mixed reviews of the match.
Some fans are frustrated that CM Punk lost to an elbow and had to resort to shield attacking the self proclaimed “People’s Champ” Dwayne Johnson in the dark. Other fans argue about the predictability of the event; once John Cena won the Rumble, it seemed rather obvious who the Champion would be.
Traditionally the champion is introduced after that challenger makes his entrance, but “to hell with tradition” says the WWE. CM Punk was to be introduced second, but he was unjustly introduced first which only made it look like an opening act for Dwayne Johnson.
An “Attitude” era mega star returns to challenge a modern day draw by cutting the line for the contendership of the most prestigious championship belt in the business. This belt had been defended for a record 434 days by CM Punk and he overcame odds. The belt would be awarded to different people practically every month before Punk’s reign. Back in the day, Stone Cold Steve Austin made the title valuable by defending it for a long time, and a reminiscence of that prestige shone on the WWE Championship once more through Punk.
There was great chemistry between The Rock and CM Punk which was entertaining.
However, towards the end of the match, Punk was seen labeling himself as a wrestler, not an entertainer. He ended up being pinned after the “People’s Elbow” was thrown at him – a move that is pointless and time consuming, with very little finish, and fans are forced to believe it’s a devastation finisher.
Overall, I thought this was a distasteful Royal Rumble that barely focused on the important event; rather, it marketed the return of Y2J and fell short in terms of creativity and providing real entertainment.
The PPV event seemed like a shell of its former self when compared to the great moments from previous events. Highlights of the match include a great World Title Match and a Tag Team Title Match. However, this was one the recent PPV events that actually featured wrestling manoeuvres like the company formally used to. Certain promos made the Royal Rumble worth the time and not that much of a waste of money.
The Rumble was made bearable due to underutilised talent and returning legends that had the element of surprise.
I hope to see a better Royal Rumble next January.
Follow Omer on Twitter @90s_child