While WWE’s Monday Night Raw is one of the most influential programs in all of television, the reason this week’s edition of the show is so important is because it is the go-home show for the 2013 Royal Rumble.
This is WWE’s last chance to build to one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year and lay the final groundwork for the road to WrestleMania 29.
The Royal Rumble features two major title fights and the 30-man Battle Royal to crown the new No.1 contender heading into WrestleMania. And the fans will be treated to one of the best shows from WWE in years.
As long as this go-home edition of Raw is one of the best of the last few months, the Royal Rumble has a chance to go down as one of the most memorable wrestling shows in history.
Where: HP Pavilion, San Jose, Calif.
When: Monday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: USA Network
Ric Flair in the Building?
According to reports, WWE is in full preparation mode for the Royal Rumble and will be saving all of the company’s biggest surprises for the road to WrestleMania 29. As for the Royal Rumble go-home show, the fans should expect to see veteran Ric Flair back in the ring to further sell The Miz’s face turn and put him over as a good guy.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc.)
Royal Rumble’s Go-Home Show
There is less than a week until WWE puts on one of the most important shows of 2013, and just like in years past, the company will do everything in its power to ensure that the fans on the fence about buying the live event will have no choice by the time Raw is over.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Will the Go-Home Raw Sell Skeptical Fans?
First, if there are fans who still don’t want to watch the Royal Rumble despite the amazing action, they are not real wrestling fans. As far as selling the skeptical fans on the next PPV, the company knows its fanbase and will do everything in its power to get everyone in the WWE Universe interested in the Rumble.
Hype Meter: 5 out of 5 Punk-to-Rock Connections
The WWE title match between The Rock and CM Punk is the biggest event on this card—even bigger than the actual Royal Rumble match—and the company will be pushing that feud heavy Monday. Add in the World Title talk and the 30-man Battle Royal preview, and Monday’s Raw will set the stage for an amazing Sunday special.
WWE Rumors: Possible Names Returning for the Rumble (PWInsider via Wrestling Inc.)
CM Punk’s Title Reign
After nearly 430 days as WWE Champion, CM Punk could be entering his final Raw as the title holder for awhile. With The Rock likely claiming victory Sunday, Punk’s unbelievable reign will come to an ending, and the wrestling world will never be the same. Fans should just enjoy their last chance to see Punk as champion for the near future.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Did You Enjoy the Ride?
As sad as it will be to see Punk drop the title, this was one of the greatest title reigns in wrestling history. Considering the time we live in, the attention span of the fans and the fact that Punk isn’t the prototypical WWE superstar, the fact that the current WWE title holder has been champion as long as he has is a testament to just how great he really is in and out of the ring.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Not-So-Happy Endings
Punk’s title reign was one of the greatest that wrestling fans of the modern generation will ever see, and the fact that it could be under a week from concluding is hard to fathom. If the WWE Champion knows he is going to lose Sunday, expect one of the best promos of the young star’s life Monday night.
WWE Rumors: Did The Rock Spoil Ending versus CM Punk? (F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc.)
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