Royal Rumble 2013: Latest News and Rumors Surrounding WWE's Big PPV
The Royal Rumble is one of the best wrestling events each year, and the WWE always blows out the huge pay-per-view because it marks the official beginning of the road to WrestleMania.
The 2013 Royal Rumble will be one of the biggest PPVs in the company’s history.
Not only will the WWE Universe be treated to the actual 30-man battle royal to determine who gets a title shot at WrestleMania 29, there will also be a WWE Title match between defending champion CM Punk and The Rock.
Add in Dolph Ziggler and his Money in the Bank briefcase lurking, and this PPV has the potential to be the best of 2013.
Keep it here as we update all the latest news and rumors as the 2013 edition of the Royal Rumble approaches. Enjoy!
The Shield to Be Participants in the Royal Rumble?
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
It looks like The Shield will be at the Royal Rumble to do more than just stop injustice.
According to F4WOnline (via Wrestling Inc.), the WWE is expected to have the three members of The Shield—Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns—enter the 30-man Royal Rumble match Sunday.
There are many storylines that could be furthered with the trio’s introduction into the match, but as long as at some point all three are in the ring at the same time causing havoc, the decision to include them will be justified.
This could also begin a storyline based on the idea that the three men are only there to help someone else win and a new alliance will be revealed. I know I’m ready for a swerve!
NXT Tournament Decides Another Royal Rumble Entrant
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
The WWE put on an eight-man tournament at the Royal Rumble fan axxess events Saturday that involved the top male NXT stars in the company competing for a chance to enter the Royal Rumble on Sunday night.
While there were a plethora of stars which could have been acceptable winners, the WWE made the decision to go with third-generation star Bo Dallas—the son of Mike Rotunda (IRS), nephew of Barry Windham and the grandson of Blackjack Mulligan—as the NXT participant in the Rumble.
This is a new and unique idea that the company should continue every year, but instead of putting the match on and just announcing the results, either make this the YouTube Pre Show or put this tournament on the PPV.
Fans would love to see this!
Booker T Says He Won’t Be in the Rumble
Phot courtesy of WWE.com
According to Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc., former WCW and WWE world champion Booker T participated in a Royal Rumble conference call and claimed he would not enter this year’s Royal Rumble match.
This comes after many speculated that the SmackDown GM could be one of the surprise entrants in 2013.
While Booker T claims he is not in the Rumble, there is no question the man can still work in the ring; just look at his last feud with Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental title.
Add in the pop he gets from the fans every time he appears, and there is always a chance that Booker T could be a last-second addition to the match.
Event Added to Fan Fest
The WWE is holding a fan fest event at US Airways Center in Phoenix leading up to the Royal Rumble this weekend. While there will be different activities for the WWE Universe to take part in, it sounds like there will also be a spot in the Rumble up for grabs.
Raj Giri of WrestlingInc.com reports Ryback was doing local media hits and stated the fan fest will feature a tournament. Whichever superstar wins it will get a chance to enter the star-studded Rumble match on Sunday night.
While most of the top contenders have already been named as Rumble participants, such as John Cena, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan, this should add a little intrigue to the event. The report doesn't say exactly when the tournament will take place, though.
John Cena Doesn't Know Who to Root for
Courtesy of WWE.com
The two main events of the Rumble pay-per-view are the 30-man Royal Rumble match and the WWE Championship match between CM Punk and The Rock.
John Cena, the biggest star in WWE and the odds on favorite to win the Rumble, has a vested interest in the outcome of the Punk-Rock match because he will (in all likelihood) challenge the winner to a match at WrestleMania.
In an interview with Randy Cordova of the Arizona Republic to promote the Royal Rumble, Cena was asked who he is rooting for this Sunday.
I’m torn. CM Punk has been the champion for quite a long time now, but I know from my past instances with Dwayne Johnson that he’s very difficult to beat.
Cena was also asked about his relationship with Rock in the ring and how those kinds of grudges can bleed over into the locker room.
A lot more than people would think. People think it’s one big happy family, but attitude and egos do get in the way.
Leave it to Cena to play the company man by giving a standard answer to the first question and an honest answer to the second one. If Cena and Rock does end up being the WrestleMania main event, it will be interesting to see how the company builds that the second time around.
WWE Blows Out the YouTube Pre-Show
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
Instead of giving the WWE Universe Santino versus Tensai on the YouTube Pre-Show, the WWE is all-in on the Royal Rumble and has added a United States Championship match between Antonio Cesaro and The Miz to the Pre-Show, according to WWE.com.
The developing feud between these two budding stars has been a fresh change for each character, and this YouTube match should be the first of many meetings in this extended program.
While the YouTube Pre-Shows were an idea that many thought would not catch on, the company has made a concerted effort to give the fans enticing matchups that will force them to watch the broadcast.
Cesaro versus The Miz for the U.S. title is the best Pre-Show the fans could ever ask for.
Post-Raw Royal Rumble Card
Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images
After last night’s go-home episode of Raw, there are four matches scheduled for Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view. They are as follows; The Rock vs. CM Punk for the WWE title, Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio in a last man standing match for the World Heavyweight title, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow vs. Kane and Daniel Bryan for the tag team titles and the 30-man Royal Rumble match.
While most of the participants in to the 30-man Battle royal have been released—last night showed just 23 superstars in the ring to close the show—there are still open slots that could be filled by surprise entrants.
The hope now is that since the WWE is reportedly trying to add depth and experience to its roster (PWInsider via Wrestling Inc.), the last seven spots will be filled by either current WWE stars returning from injury (Christian, Mark Henry, etc.) or former superstars that have been re-signed (MVP, Shelton Benjamin, etc.).
As always, the Royal Rumble match and its participants will be a hot topic of discussion leading up to the event.
List of Revealed Royal Rumble Participants (h/t Wrestling Inc.)
John Cena, Sheamus, Darren Young, Titus O'Neil, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler (entering 1 or 2), The Miz, Antonio Cesaro, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Wade Barrett, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston, Brodus Clay, The Great Khali, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Michael McGillicutty, Cody Rhodes, Ryback, Damien Sandow
WWE Bringing Back Former Stars at Royal Rumble?
Photo courtesy F4Wonline.com
With less than a week until the 2013 Royal Rumble, there are reports surfacing about the WWE trying to secure surprise entrants in the 30-man battle royal for the No. 1 contender spot.
According to PWInsider (h/t Wrestling Inc.), there are many veteran names being considered for the match Sunday:
It was recently reported that Tommy Dreamer's name was brought up in a WWE creative meeting about surprise Royal Rumble entrants. MVP and Shelton Benjamin were also discussed for the Rumble. Their names have came up a lot within the company lately. They are part of the list of talents WWE would like to bring back to help with the roster depth and attendance. The problem with MVP returning is that he's under contract to New Japan.
Another name rumored within WWE recently was Low Ki, formerly known as Kaval on NXT. Kaval is considered a long shot and his return is probably just a rumor.
One team we can expect to see in the 30-man Rumble match is The New Age Outlaws - "Road Dogg" BG James and Billy Gunn.
One of the best parts of every Royal Rumble is the returning superstars.
Whether they were out for months with injuries or not employed by the WWE for a few years, when a veteran star’s music hits unexpectedly and they come running to the ring, the genuine excitement is very real.
Expect a few mark-out moments at this year’s Royal Rumble as well.
Brock Lesnar Not Likely to Participate in Rumble
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
While there has been a large contingent of fans throughout Brock Lesnar’s return to the WWE that have wished for more appearances, they will once again be disappointed by the news that the former world champion will reportedly not return to WWE until February.
That likely means no Royal Rumble for Lesnar.
PWInsider is reporting (h/t Wrestling Inc.) on the current plan for the former UFC and WWE champion:
WWE officials actually discussed going against Brock Lesnar's planned dates and have him work the January 7th RAW but obviously decided against it. Lesnar isn't expected back until February.
The WWE is clearly doing its best to work around Lesnar’s limited dates, but to not use the proven PPV cash cow for the Royal Rumble match will be a missed opportunity. If he appears without being advertised, the most WWE would be hoping for is a spike in ratings for Raw the following night.
Don’t expect to see Lesnar until his program with Triple H starts again.
Did the Rock Spoil WWE Championship Match?
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While The Rock is already heavily favored to win the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble, there are many fans in the WWE Universe that claim the veteran star gave away the ending of the match by swearing to God that he’d beat CM Punk.
Faces don’t swear to God and then lose.
F4WOnline is reporting (h/t Wrestling Inc.) about the WWE’s stance on The Rock’s comments and describes the history of the situation:
We noted before that WWE officials had discussions about CM Punk retaining the WWE Title against The Rock at the Royal Rumble and then have Rock win it at Elimination Chamber. F4Wonline.com notes that since Rock swore to God on RAW that he would beat Punk at the Rumble, the idea of Punk retaining was likely nixed. It's not a hard and fast rule but usually if a babyface guarantees or swears to God that he will win, he wins.
Most fans knew that The Rock was going to win anyway, but common sense indicates that the WWE wants its premier title on the shoulder of one of the biggest action stars as he begins his media blitz for the string of upcoming movies.
Reported Royal Rumble Script Surfaces
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As the 2013 Royal Rumble approaches, there was recent news that a time-schedule for the show had surfaced. The report claims that no entrants or winners were named, but the time for each match was revealed.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting (h/t Wrestling Inc.) about the current script for the Royal Rumble and the time layout for the entire show:
The current layout for WWE's Royal Rumble pay-per-view has a Rumble qualifying match planned for the YouTube pre-show, a Divas Title match that has not been determined yet, Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow, Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk vs. The Rock and the 30-man Rumble match.
A timed out script shows the Divas match for 10 minutes, the Tag Team Title match for 10 minutes, the World Heavyweight Title match for 20 minutes, the WWE Title match for 30 minutes and the Rumble main event set for 70 minutes total. These times include intros, the match itself and post-match happenings.
The script does not have winners or Rumble entrants at this point but does show that no other matches are scheduled such as The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro.
This is a fairly common schedule for the Royal Rumble show, so no shockers revealed here.
The biggest take away from this report is the length of the match between Punk and The Rock; 30 minutes is a long time for these two unless there is a title changing hands.
Ric Flair Will Be in the Building
Paul Kane/Getty Images
While it is still unclear if Ric Flair will be in the Royal Rumble match this year, the wrestling legend has been confirmed for both Raw and SmackDown go-home shows leading up to the Rumble this week.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting (h/t Wrestling Inc.) about Ric Flair’s schedule with the WWE and his current deal with the company:
Ric Flair is currently booked for the January 21st WWE RAW from San Jose, California and the January 22nd SmackDown tapings in Sacramento. The Rock is also booked for those two shows. Flair will leave for All Japan Pro Wrestling right after the SmackDown tapings. The Wrestling Observer reports that Flair is still working on a per-night deal with WWE but could be signing something more solid soon.
The WWE is usually very critical of superstars that were forced into retirement as part of a stipulation in a match, and that could possibly keep Flair from entering the Rumble.
If the WWE knows Flair is physically able to perform, though, the company could realize the chance they are presented and capitalize on it in a short-term capacity.
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