The 2013 Royal Rumble is less than a week away, and Monday’s edition of Raw did a great job setting the stage for what should be a monumental pay-per-view.
The Royal Rumble is always one of the biggest shows each year for the company, but the addition of The Rock to the card and the fact that he is fighting for the WWE Championship makes this event one of the most anticipated events in nearly a decade.
Vince McMahon has the WWE Universe at a fever pitch for the Royal Rumble.
With an amazing Raw preparing the fans for the beginning of the road to WrestleMania 29, WWE has done a great job building to this PPV and making the people at home feel like they cannot afford to miss Sunday's action.
The company did its job Monday night and sold most fans still on the fence about ordering the PPV on the Royal Rumble.
Raw Results from Jan. 22 (via WWE.com)
Vickie Guerrero banned The Rock from the arena.
Randy Orton defeated U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro in a Beat the Clock Challenge.
Big Show defeated Zack Ryder, Ryback def. Heath Slater.
WWE Champion CM Punk addressed the WWE Universe.
Dolph Ziggler defeated The Miz in a Beat the Clock Challenge.
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No graduated from anger management.
Divas Champion Kaitlyn defeated Alicia Fox.
The Rock was ambushed by The Shield after Paul Heyman’s “Paul bomb.”
Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and Sheamus failed to Beat the Clock.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio defeated Tensai.
John Cena brawled with the Royal Rumble Match competitors.
Royal Rumble Hype
The Royal Rumble is the official start of the road to WrestleMania, and WWE is known for blowing out this show and all of the programming that follows the PPV. As seen on Monday’s Raw, the company is doing its best to tease possible feuds while not giving anything away until after the Rumble is over.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Who Will Win the Royal Rumble?
While there are dozens of superstars that claimed they would win the Rumble to close Monday’s episode of Raw, the simple answer is John Cena. There are many ways WWE could go with a winner, but the smartest business decision would be to let Cena win and set up a rematch with The Rock for the WWE title.
As excited as the fans in the WWE Universe are about the Rumble, superstars like Kofi Kingston are just as pumped for the show and are ready to see who wins in The Rock vs. Punk battle:
This is one hell of a build. 6 days. Royal Rumble. Rock vs Punk. #RAW— Kofi Kingston (@TrueKofi) January 22, 2013
The excitement for the Royal Rumble is very genuine, and nationally syndicated radio show Ring Rust Radio describes the situation perfectly:
The Rock Gets Rolled
While Punk’s promo on Raw was one of his best—much of it was lost on the crowd in San Jose—the best part of the Punk/Rock interactions was the attack from The Shield on The Rock while the WWE champion was safely perched in a luxury box. The attack left the challenger battered and bloody in the ring and proved that despite The Rock's jokes, this is a very serious situation.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Will The Shield Play a Role at the Royal Rumble?
Despite McMahon claiming that if anyone interferes in Sunday's WWE title match, Punk will be stripped of the title, there is no question that The Shield will try to influence to outcome of the bout. No matter what role they play, the trio will eventually pay for attacking The Rock.
The Rock was brutally attacked by The Shield Monday, and after the show, the former champion filled in the WWE Universe on his condition heading into the Royal Rumble:
After having Vince McMahon add a no-interference clause to his match with The Rock, WWE Champion CM Punk was furious and did his best to eliminate the threat:
I just tried to blow up Vince's head with my mind.— CM Punk (@CMPunk) January 22, 2013
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics you just can’t miss (some language NSFW).