WWE Royal Rumble 2013: What We Learned from John Cena's Win in the Rumble
As you will have undoubtedly heard by now, John Cena won his second Royal Rumble match Sunday night.
The former WWE champion, who entered at No. 19, eliminated up-and-coming star Ryback in the match's tense closing moments to emerge as the victor.
Then, of course, he dramatically pointed at the big WrestleMania sign in the corner (winners of the Rumble are contractually obligated to do this, apparently) to signify his upcoming title shot at WWE's biggest pay-per-view of the year.
No doubt many fans are disappointed by this. In fact, the crowd in the U.S. Airways Center seemed positively deflated at the result, with Cena only getting a mild applause for his win. Others, like former WWE announcer Todd Grisham, have already hit the Twitter-verse to complain bitterly:
John Cena wins the Royal Rumble Match! Nice to see someone who doesn't get to many big moments to win such a huge match. #shocker— Todd Grisham (@GrishamESPN) January 28, 2013
Hey, people like surprises in their Rumble matches, and Cena winning was most definitely not a shock (the star had vowed to leave Phoenix as the winner on last Monday's Raw). Indeed, the result was so predictable, I'm surprised WWE's booking team didn't shy away from doing it.
But, nonetheless, they scripted Cena to win the bout.
So, what have we learned from his victory?
Well, it tells us that WWE still isn't ready to go all the way with Ryback. Obviously, management likes the star (why else would he have been presented as so dominant?) but seems unwilling to truly push him to the Moon.
Maybe it's his green in-ring ability or his lack of promo skills. He doesn't feel as over as he once did either. Notably, the crowd wasn't exactly going crazy for him when he came out, nor later when he had the showdown with Cena.
Is management losing faith in Ryback? We'll have to wait and see. But Sunday night's result certainly didn't do terribly much to help him, even if he did have a good showing.
As for Cena? Well, it looks like he's headed for a WrestleMania 29 title match with The Rock.
This is something that was solidified by The Great One's hard-fought victory over CM Punk Sunday night.
No doubt Rock and Cena will deliver an outstanding program in the run up to WrestleMania and produce another record-breaking number on PPV. For all the eye-rolling about Cena winning again, from a business point of view, it makes perfect sense.
The victory here also plays into the long-term storyline: Cena has noted on WWE TV that he had a terrible 2012 and aims to turn things around in 2013, presumably by avenging his loss to Rock at last year's WrestleMania on April 7 and winning the title. Sunday night was the start of this journey.
Sure, it would have been nice to see Dolph Ziggler or even the returning Chris Jericho pull out the victory, but how would that have helped WWE in the long run?
OK, so some are irritated by Cena's victory Sunday night. And maybe they have a right to be. But the company clearly does have a plan for WrestleMania, and they're sticking to it. Cena's win is predictable, sure, but it's also a very astute business move too.
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