A typical Royal Rumble is all about the 30-man Rumble match itself. The 2013 event will be different, however. It has a loaded card that will actually make the match the event is named after seem like an afterthought.
One of the great things about having a star like The Rock on the card is knowing that WWE will roll out the red carpet, especially for a marquee event like the Rumble.
WWE is investing all its time and effort into making WrestleMania the biggest event in company history. But before we can get to that night, the proper pieces have to be put into place. The Royal Rumble is the start of WrestleMania season, so it has a lot of stories to set up.
In anticipation of the huge event, here is a power ranking of all four matches taking place at the Royal Rumble.
No. 4: Team Hell No (c) vs. Team Rhodes Scholars for WWE Tag Team Championship
While I am looking forward to this match, just because I think any match with Daniel Bryan has the chance to be spectacular, it feels like this will be the event on the card that gets the short end of the stick because there are bigger things going on.
If the creative team is able to give this match 10 to 12 minutes, it should be one of the better tag team championship matches we have seen on pay-per-view. Bryan is great; Kane is good enough in his role; Rhodes and Sandow have good chemistry together.
There are just too many things that matter more on this card for anyone to be really excited about this particular match.
No. 3: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Big Show in Last Man Standing Match for World Heavyweight Title
If this was just a straight wrestling match, it would probably be No. 4 on the list. It gets a slight boost because of the Last Man Standing stipulation, as those matches are usually very entertaining.
I am interested to see how WWE books Del Rio in this match. He is being positioned as one of the top babyface characters on SmackDown, but the audience really isn't taking to him in that role.
Add to that the fact that WWE loves to protect big guys in a match, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Big Show win the title back. That would be a mistake, because the crowd already has problems taking Del Rio seriously. If he loses the belt two weeks after winning it, he will be stuck in midcard purgatory forever.
No. 2: Royal Rumble Match
As blasphemous as this might sound to WWE fans, I am not looking forward to this year's Rumble match. Sure, it is usually a good time and the end can be as exciting as anything WWE does all year.
There are two issues with this year's Rumble match. One, it really hasn't been made to feel like anything special. It feels like WWE is just saying we are just supposed to be invested in it because it is the Rumble.
That's not how wrestling works. You still have to provide a story and some kind of hook that people can get invested in.
The second issue is, the outcome with John Cena winning seems so predetermined. I don't have an issue knowing where a story is going to go, but no one else even seems like a logical choice this year.
And Cena, knowing that he is going to go over, cuts lame promos on the Raw go-home show. WWE just hasn't done anything to make me want to see the Rumble or care about who might win.
No. 1: CM Punk (c) vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship
While the build for CM Punk and The Rock has been spotty at times, I thought their angle on Raw was fantastic. It should have been the last thing they did together, but (SPOILER ALERT) things happen on SmackDown that feel like cheap filler.
Even if the match isn't an all-time classic, the story that WWE has presented us with over the last 10 months to get to this point has played out exactly as it should have.
Punk is the champion who still feels like he hasn't gotten the respect and credit he really is due after holding the belt for more than a year. He is the first wrestler since John Cena in 2006-07 to be WWE champion for at least a year.
Rock made his comeback last year against Cena, then realized he still has plenty to offer as a wrestler. The pinnacle of this business is being WWE champion, and his family has a rich history with the company that he clearly understands and respects.
This is one of the best storylines that WWE has run for a championship match. It's not quite at the level of Punk vs. Cena heading into Money In the Bank, but it is just a tier below that.
Unlike the Rumble, which hasn't provided a necessary hook to draw you in with an obvious outcome, this match has an outcome that you can see coming a mile away, yet there is still great interest to see how the whole thing plays out.