WWE Raw Preview: The Final Stop Before the 2013 Royal Rumble

Kyle SchadlerChief Writer IJanuary 21, 2013

photo from wwe.com
photo from wwe.com

It’s Monday again, and that means a new episode of WWE Monday Night Raw!

With just six days until the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, this will be the final stop before the event for WWE’s flagship show. As the Road to WrestleMania nears its start, WWE has gone over five points for this episode, which includes all the feuds clashing at the PPV.

So here is what they have in store for the WWE Universe this week!


Stylin’ and Profilin’: The Miz Targets Antonio Cesaro and the United States Championship

Since winning the WWE United States Championship, Antonio Cesaro has been very adamant that an American would never defeat him for the title. So far no one has been able to, but Cesaro has discovered the next American to step up to the plate.

A few weeks ago on Main Event, The Miz confronted the champion, and they have been eyeing each other ever since. With The Miz on commentary during the Wednesday night show, the feud would advance through words and intense stares. Things intensified this Monday on Raw, though, when The Miz had the legendary Ric Flair as a guest on MizTV.

With the Nature Boy giving The Miz his seal of approval, The Miz locked in the Figure-Four Leglock on Cesaro after both he and Flair took him down.

Cesaro would not take the embarrassment lying down, as he would gain some revenge two days later on Main Event. After The Shield took out the Awesome One, Cesaro slinked back in to deliver the Neutralizer.

Now just six days away from WWE’s first PPV event of 2013, will this feud come to a head in a one-on-one match on Raw? If not Monday night, when will The Miz get his match? Can he take the title away from Antonio Cesaro?


The Therapy Is Over: What’s Next for Team Hell No and Team Rhodes Scholars?

Team Hell No and Team Rhodes Scholars have been battling for the past couple of months now. Whether they were fighting in tag team action, or against each other one on one, these two teams are certainly at war.

Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes have failed a few times at capturing the WWE Tag Team Championship from Kane and Daniel Bryan, but they are not done trying just yet.

Last week on Raw, Team Hell No had a four-month follow-up session with Dr. Shelby. Shelby thought it would be a good idea to bring in Rhodes Scholars as well, but it backfired when they angered him instead of Kane and Bryan. The tag champion and Shelby were standing tall after the session, and even when the night ended after Kane defeated Sandow and Bryan beat Rhodes.

Their roll continued on SmackDown as well when they teamed with Randy Orton in a winning effort against Rhodes Scholars and Wade Barrett. That was last week, though, so the tides could certainly turn.

What will happen between Team Hell No and Team Rhodes Scholars this week on Raw? Which team will have the momentum heading into the Royal Rumble?


An Angry Giant: Has Alberto Del Rio Gone Too Far With the Big Show?

When the Big Show won the World Heavyweight Championship at the Hell in a Cell PPV in October, he declared that he would be champion for the next decade. Being a seven-foot, almost 400-pound monster, nobody was going to argue with him.

He would take down everyone in his path, whether it was his main challenger Sheamus or somebody like Kofi Kingston. The Big Show learned a lesson on the New Year’s Eve episode of Raw, though.

The champions were given the option of choosing their own opponents that night, and the Big Show chose Ricardo Rodriguez. After the match, Big Show learned that you don’t mess with someone’s la familia when Alberto Del Rio went on the attack.

Two weeks ago on SmackDown, general manager Booker T granted Del Rio a title match in Last Man Standing, and the Mexican Aristocrat took down the World’s Largest Athlete that night to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

Del Rio has since been poking the bear by throwing confetti on the Big Show on Raw, then water on SmackDown. The giant was so angered about the water that he just walked away from his match with Dolph Ziggler against Del Rio and Sheamus, causing a count-out lose for him in the process.

A bucket of water may have been too far, so the Big Show could be on the warpath Monday night.

Will the Big Show have something planned for Alberto Del Rio, or will the champion be one step ahead of him six days before their title match?


The Road to WrestleMania: Who Will Win the Royal Rumble?

Since 1988, the Royal Rumble has been a tradition in the WWE. From 1988 to 1991, winning the Rumble match was just a distinction you got to carry with you for a year, but in 1992, the reward for winning was the vacant WWE Championship.

Starting in 1993, the winner of the match was awarded a shot at the WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania. Out of the 20 winners of the Royal Rumble since the title shot became the reward, one year of which had co-winners, only 11 of those Superstars have gone onto WrestleMania to win the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship.

Last year’s winner, Sheamus, would be the first Rumble winner in four years to win one of the titles, and the winner of this year will be looking to do the same. Who will win the Royal Rumble, though?

WWE’s website has only nine Superstars confirmed so far, four of which are former World heavyweight champions. Three of those four are former Rumble winners as well, while the United States and Intercontinental champions join the mix with 3MB stepping in, too.

With 21 spots still open, who will announce their entry into the 2013 Royal Rumble?


The Best in the World vs. the People’s Champion: What’s Next for CM Punk and The Rock?

At Raw 1000, CM Punk shocked the WWE Universe when he attacked The Rock and laid him out with the Go to Sleep. Earlier in the night, The Rock would announce that he would be receiving a WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble, and Punk wanted the People’s Champion to know that he planned on being champion come the event.

Much like The Rock/John Cena feud, things went quiet until The Rock began to appear again.

Two weeks ago, The Rock made his return to confront the WWE champion, who had just solidified his spot as champion at the Rumble PPV by defeating Ryback. After going back and forth on the mic, The Rock got some revenge by hitting the Rock Bottom on his Royal Rumble opponent.

Last week on Raw, things escalated in a big way. After the Brahma Bull took shots at Paul Heyman and Vickie Guerrero during the Rock Concert, he and Punk went at it. The WWE champion ran down to the ring with his challenger meeting him in the middle, and the two of them started pummeling each other.

WWE referees, road agents and security were quick to respond, though, and broke up the fight as Raw went off the air. Now, just days before their big match, what’s next for the champion and his challenger?

Will CM Punk and The Rock do battle in some way? Can Raw contain these two combustible elements?

This week’s episode of WWE Raw is the go-home show before the 26th annual Royal Rumble event. It’s certainly shaping up to be quite the episode, but will it be? Tune in to find out!


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