Royal Rumble 2013: A substandard event with few highlights

Published: January 30, 2013
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The Royal Rumble 2013 was not entirely a waste of money. It had some promos and surprises that maintained its standard. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

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 review:

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.

PHOTOS: PUBLICITY

Follow Omer on Twitter @90s_child

Omer Anwar

Omer Anwar

Omer Anwar like to write about the modern geek, events, sports and movies, with a pinch of anger management issues. From wrestling to comic books, Omer likes to write for fans as a fan. He blogs at 90schildsperspective.tumblr.com/ and tweets as @90s_Child (twitter.com/90s_child)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://Google Werd

    I can’t believe The rock beat punk
    If you smeeeeeell what th rock is coockingRecommend

  • Adil Uddin

    The Rumble is well known for its surprise entrants that create unanticipated special moments for fans. It’s a heavy dose of nostalgia.

    You said it. To be honest, I don’t watch WWE or TNA that much now;but Royal Rumble match is definitely something to watch since reaction of people and commentators change with every new entrance after the countdown. I thought that either Dolph Ziggler or Y2J would be the final two men since they were in the ring till the last entrant but the winner was John Cena who doesn’t sound better in presence of likes of Randy Orton,The Rock,Shaemus,Kane or Ryback.And I don’t know why they don’t just change the WWE title back to what it used to look like till Summer 2005.

    Plus it was great to watch Goldust and Godfather too,pleasant memories from the Attitude Era.Recommend

  • Charles

    Chris Jericho never won a Royal Rumble, article sounds like you think he has.Recommend

  • Ovais

    And now a blog on wrestling … awesome ….. But i do believe CM Punk has made wrestling relevant again Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/Educated_Jahil Rehman

    Sad to see Pakistanis watching this piece of garbage rather than watching Kabbadi, which is better sport than this Recommend

  • Faisal

    John Cena will beat the Rock in Wrestlemania and become WWE Champion again. The title reign of The Rock is just temporary.Recommend

  • Goli Maar

    @ writer
    Please grow up for god sakeRecommend

  • Yaow

    Good to see a review of a WWE event on ET.

    WWE dropped the ball by holding Rock-Punk as the Main event. As soon as Cena won the Royal Rumble, it became painfully apparent that Rock will win the match and Cena will challenge him at Wrestlemania (So much for “*once in a lifetime”).

    The only hope now is if Punk invokes the rematch clause at Wrestlemania resulting in a triple threat between Punk, Cena and Rock!Recommend

  • MAD

    The Peoples Elbow is pointless? The most electrifying move in all of sports entertainment is pointless? what kind of a man are you ? If the Rock reads this he will lay the Smackdown on you. ;)Recommend

  • Faizan

    Cenation rules! Cena is back on track. he promised to win.. he did! Randy Orton and Sheamus fought great too.. each one of them could have been valued to win as well!..

    by the Rock vs. Punk was all scripted.. even as you can notice the return of Brock Lesnar now on Raw and Heyman joining forces with him.. Punk never gave his best shot with determination in that fight.. and it was just a people’s elbow to put him away.. WWE focuses more or scripts and revenue generation!

    Well… Royale Rumble was just awesome! the return entrances of Godfather, Goldust, Jericho.. wooooooooooooRecommend

  • http://90schildsperspective.tumblr.com Omer

    @Werd:
    I know right? but after Cena winning the rumble it seemed very obvious. However, if things go right there might be a chance that wrestlemania will feature a triple threat between the rock n the ex champ with Cena in the mix :) fingers-crossedRecommend

  • http://90schildsperspective.tumblr.com Omer

    @Charles: the surprise was brilliant and the feeling that he returned to finally win one was in the air. however, logically it was just the inner attitude era fan yelling, y2j was there for fan service.Recommend

  • http://90schildsperspective.tumblr.com Omer

    @Adil Uddin: I agree with alot u have said dear friend. I mean the title was a gimmick belt made specifically for John Cena, alot like the Smoking Skull World title for Austin and the Texas Hardcore title for Bradshaw back in the days. The Undisputed WWE title should have been brought back. FYI there is a new title about to make its debut; Punk has mentioned it in various interviews.Recommend

  • http://90schildsperspective.tumblr.com Omer

    @MAD: mate lets be honest here the people’s elbow, the five knuckle shuffle and the worm all are just pointless theatrics followed by a mere basic wrestling strike. u really think if one of ur mates got u down to ur back n then runs around while u “cant get up” and delivers an elbow to ur shoulder knock u out?Recommend

  • http://90schildsperspective.tumblr.com Omer

    @Yaow:
    U sir have won my recommendation vote!Recommend

  • http://90schildsperspective.tumblr.com Omer

    @Ovais: couldnt agree more mate. he actually made the title relevant again.Recommend

  • Sami

    If you are a real fight fan … Watch UFC bro !!Recommend

  • MAD

    @Omer: It was a joke my friend. BTW the worm is the most ridiculous finishing move I have ever seen. That and the Cobra. Recommend

  • Pessimist

    Growing up I was a big fan of wrestling, especially in the early 2000s. I stopped watching around 2008 when it became dull & boring. How is it now? My younger cousin tells me about CM Punk and I have seen a few of his fights on You Tube. He seems very good. Want to know something ironic? John Cena has the same personality for about 5 years now, that man seriously needs a new angle. Turn him heel will you? Btw, has the Undertaker officially retired? He was my favourite :)Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahmed

    Wonderful job!

    Wrestlemania 29, kindly Express Tribune, put a review on that,too. Thats the mother of all shows! Recommend

  • http://the-floppy-disk.blogspot.com/ Shahrukh Khan

    What a waste of time! CM Punk’s prestigious title reign ending in a substandard match. The Rock wasn’t cool as he was 10 years ago. From a neutral eye, Punk owned Rock in their promo war. Besides his corny and cheesy lines, Rock doesn’t had any meaningless thing to say. Now creative will put the title back on Cena, once again, The Mania this year is going to be so boring and predictable. The shock value of the product during the attitude era days is dead. That’s why people don’t tune in. The only thing worth watching is Punk’s bitter honesty on the mic. He says stuff which other wrestlers on the roster will never ever say. He made things interesting but the way creative messed up to make the kids happy, it has really disappointed hardcore wrestling fans out there.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/arsaljafri Arsal A. Jafri

    Its quite sad to see that Pakistani’s can never notice how much CM Punk has done for this wrestling business. He totally made the WWE relevant. Thumbs up for the article. Good to see a mature WWE fan in Pakistan :D Recommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    It used to be a tradition of mine to watch RAW and Smackdown every week while I was growing up but somewhere around 2006-07, the script became really dull. Also the new stars didn’t grab the imagination as old ones did.

    I might watch the Wrestle Mania and am hoping WWE has found better script writers.

    I also wanna see who the Undertaker will feature against at the event… it is 20-0 so far for him at Wrestle Mania. Recommend

  • Ryberg

    @Werd:
    Did you seriously just ask what The Rock is cocking?Recommend

  • Shobhit

    I miss Chris Benoit so much.
    This Royal Rumble match is going 2 the Ryback .Recommend

  • Ghulman

    First of all it’s freakin awesome to see wrestling review on ET, hoping for some more. First of all, Rumble was very ordinary like the writer mentioned but it can be tolerated because WWE has been providing us with amazing PPVs since Summerslam.

    I don’t care about Cena vs The rock 2 or Lesnar vs HHH 2. CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler & the Shield keep me interested in wrestling, hoping they get more spotlight than the part timers.Recommend