Recapping and Grading the 2013 Royal Rumble
The Royal Rumble is one of the best and most exciting events of the year. It is a rare occurrence where a WrestleMania title shot is on the line and a new star can gain momentum.
This year, the event had its ups and downs. The Royal Rumble was exciting, but it failed to create a new star like it should.
Here is a recap and grades for each match on the card.
Antonio Cesaro vs. the Miz
The YouTube pre-show saw Antonio Cesaro defend his United States Championship. It was a solid match, and it looks like their rivalry will continue down the road.
At one point, it looked like The Miz tweaked his knee coming off the top rope. Other than that, both men performed well.
Cesaro used a ton of power moves and was impressive as usual. He is a great champion who would benefit from a manager who could generate more heat.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show
Surprisingly, Alberto Del Rio and Big Show's rivalry has been entertaining and has provided some great matches.
Their Last Man Standing match continued their fierce rivalry. Del Rio's new move arsenal has made him a new man, as has his face turn.
Big Show produced a solid performance here as well. He inflicted some serious damage on Del Rio.
The ending was clever, though I suspect many will complain about it. To me, it just allows the rivalry to continue into the future.
Team Hell No vs. Rhodes Scholars
I could watch these four wrestle every night.
Daniel Bryan is never bad in the ring, but he has great chemistry with Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. Kane is just a monster, so whenever he wrestles he just looks like a badass.
I am surprised Team Hell No retained, but that probably means their rivalry will continue with Rhodes Scholars. I really hope Sandow and Rhodes get the belts soon, though.
Royal Rumble Match
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The Royal Rumble match was great in itself. The result of who won, though fairly obvious, was bush league.
There were many great surprises in the Rumble match. Chris Jericho returned and entered No. 2, which was a great surprise for all.
Goldust had a great showing, another move which was super surprising. I really think they should bring back Goldust for WrestleMania season for a rivalry with his brother Cody Rhodes, a match many have called for.
The Godfather made a brief, but amazing comeback. He got a huge pop, showing his popularity from the Attitude Era.
Bo Dallas was booked well and looks like he may get a push right from the get-go. He eliminated Wade Barrett, who re-entered to eliminate him. This may create a big rivalry for the youngster.
Kofi Kingston did his typical spot in the Rumble where he used loopholes in the rules to stay in the match. It was very cool as he used Tensai to keep his feet from the ground and then pogoed with JBL's chair back to the apron.
What was troubling is WWE's insistence on ensuring that babyfaces are dominant. Four of the last five participants were the top four babyfaces in WWE.
The final three were Sheamus, Ryback and John Cena. Why couldn't one top heel be at least final two?
So here is the WWE's chance to give Ryback the momentum back he has lost in the Shield storyline. Instead, they give it to Cena, who doesn't need to win the Royal Rumble or the Money in the Bank ladder match last year or to bury Dolph Ziggler on back-to-back Raws.
I won't penalize the entire match for Cena winning.
CM Punk vs. the Rock
Finally, The Rock has come back as WWE Champion!
Before the match, The Rock cut an amazing promo. It really showed soul and set the tone for the match itself.
I really digged the whole match, to be frank. I think how everything went down is perfect.
The table part got screwed up, as it collapsed under their weight. But, that was really the only blemish on the match.
The ending was great. The Shield interfered in the darkness, and everyone thought Punk won, but Vince McMahon came out.
He was going to strip Punk, but Rock asserted that he restart the match. That happened and Rock pinned Punk after a People's Elbow.
The only thing I am not looking forward to is another Rock vs. John Cena WrestleMania match. I have really enjoyed Punk and Rock's rivalry and would rather see that than Rock-Cena II.