The Royal Rumble is one of the WWE’s most prestigious events of all-time.
The pay-per-view has hosted some of the greatest contests in history and the Rumble match itself has been responsible for the emergence of some of the company’s biggest stars.
Now the second most-purchased PPV on the WWE calendar, events such as the Rock’s eagerly anticipated in-ring return promise to make the 2013 Royal Rumble a truly memorable spectacle.
But which Rumble traditions will we see repeat themselves this year?
This article identifies some of the most noteworthy Royal Rumble traditions and the chances of them recurring this year.
Year after year, WWE gives a push to various stars who are not quite yet fully-fledged main eventers.
Last year it was Cody Rhodes and the Miz who impressed, each lasting over 40 minutes after entering the Rumble match particularly early.
In 2009, we saw Ted DiBiase last 45 minutes, while Carlito managed a solid 38 minutes three years prior. Of course, who could forget Kane’s monster 53-minute run in 2001 in which the Big Red Machine managed a record-breaking 11 eliminations?
This year, expect to see more of the same.
The likes of Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan and Ryback could be strong contenders for an extended run in the match, while any member of the Shield could well impress should they feature in the contest.
Such a push may not yield that coveted WrestleMania Main Event spot, but it can certainly do wonders for a Superstar’s budding career.
As we witnessed at last year’s Slammy Awards, the Royal Rumble is more than capable of providing us with shocking and memorable moments.
Last year, it was Kofi Kingston who exhibited his magnificent athleticism in avoiding elimination, while John Morrison showed similar brilliance a few years ago as he utilized his parkour style to successfully remain in the match.
There have of course been more magic moments throughout the Rumble’s decorated history though, in terms of sheer ingenuity and innovation, those two instances arguably stand head-and-shoulders above the rest.
With stars like Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara still potentially involved in the match, as well as athletes such as Kingston himself and Daniel Bryan, this year could well yield more of the same in terms of shocking moments and creative spots.
Possibly the greatest aspect of the Royal Rumble match is the return of stars of old.
Such cameo appearance, more often than not, bring about the biggest pops of the night, whether they come from part-time legends of full-time members of the roster.
Kevin Nash, Road Dogg and Booker T have been some of the most notable examples of such legends returning in recent years, while the unexpected arrivals of John Cena and Edge in 2008 and 2010 respectively were truly game-changing moments in both years.
With Christian and Mark Henry still sidelined, either man could be in line for a blockbuster return at the upcoming PPV, while there have already been a couple of former stars confirmed to make their dramatic comebacks.
Either way, it’s a fairly safe bet that we may be reunited with some familiar faces of old and that will only add to the hype and excitement surrounding the Royal Rumble match.
In terms of major title changes, the Royal Rumble has been fairly uneventful in its quarter-century history.
Of the 24 PPVs that have featured title matches, we have seen just six official title changes involving either the WWE or World Heavyweight Championships.
Considering that, for a number of those 24 PPVs, both of the aforementioned belts were defended on the night, that chances seem even more favorable to the current reigning Champions.
So, could this mean that CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio will indeed leave Phoenix, AZ with their belts still around their waist?
I say that on first thought, no. But, if history repeats itself, don’t be surprised to see the Rock’s homecoming unceremoniously crashed this Sunday.
Though these past occurrences are not necessarily certain to repeat themselves, in most cases, it definitely seems probable that such instances will recur.
Valuable pushes for various mid-carders would be a wise decision, while returns and moment of surprise will of course add to the hype of January’s staple PPV.
The outcomes of the two top title matches may be somewhat less likely to follow the trend of history but, given the vast amount of rumors over the past few weeks, both matches have become incredibly difficult to predict.
But what do you guys think?
As ever, please feel free to comment below with your thoughts heading into the Royal Rumble, as well as your opinions on the article itself.