Tuesday, 2 April 2013

WWE Royal Rumble 2013 Review (1 down, 2 to go)

The Road to Wrestlemania began with the Royal Rumble which took place on Sunday 27th January in Phoenix, Arizona. Sorry that I have taking an age to do my reviews. I started a full time job which can involve me being away for aorund 16 hours a day. So here we go with the first of three reviews that I have to do before Wrestlemania XXXIX (no pressure then)

The Pre-Show match was between Antonio Cesaro and The Miz for the United States Championship.
Cesaro hit a nice tilt-a-whirl backbreaker after catching Miz in the air and then Cesaro hit a sit out slam for a two count. Cesaro hit more power moves like a gutwrench suplex and backbreaker for two counts. Miz made his comeback with the neckbreaker/backbreaker combo and Miz jumped off the top rope with a double axehandle, but he caught his knee on the mat. He was favoring his knee. Miz was able to keep the match going and he hit Cesaro in the face with a kick. Cesaro goes to the floor, Miz went after him and Cesaro threw him head first into the side of the ring where there was steel which the referee didn't see. Cesaro then rolled Miz into the ring and got the win. I thought it was a decent match to get people into buying the PPV.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro
Predictions: 1 for 1

The first match in the event is for the World Heavyweight Championship as The Big Show challenges Alberto Del Rio in a Last Man Standing match. Highlights of the match include Del Rio countering a powerbomb into a hurricanrana; Del Rio getting thrown through a table which resulted in a 9 count; Show crashing through the security wall; and Del Rio hitting Show repeatedly with a chair. The end came Del Rio doused Show with a fire extinguisher and then applied the cross armbreaker to him. While that was happening, Ricardo "Virgil" Rodriguez used duct tape (I'm fucking serious!) to tape up Show's legs to the bottom rope. The referee counted to ten and Del Rio wins the match. I enjoyed the match but I really didn't like the ending. Whilst it means another match between the two, I feel that it makes Del Rio look weak.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Predictions: 2 for 2

Next we get Matt Striker interview Dolph Ziggler in which he announces that he will be going in as number 1 in the Royal Rumble and then cash in his briefcase to win the World Heavyweight Championship as part of a plan to unify the World Championships at Wrestlemania. Yeah, good luck with that although I would seriously mark out if he does pull it off.

Next was the Tag Team Championships match with Team Rhodes Scholars challenging Team Hell No. The match begins with Bryan and Sandow with Bryan applying a surfboard submission in the corner. After a while, Rhodes Scholars started to isolate Bryan with Rhodes applying a half Boston crab and Sandow hit the Elbow of Disdain. Bryan eventually hit the hot tag to Kane after hitting a spike DDT to Rhodes. The end comes when Kane is hit with a double suplex. Bryan got in a blind tag and Kane hit a Chokeslam and afterwards Bryan applied the LeBell "Yes" "No" Lock to Sandow to get the win and retain the belts. I enjoyed the match and I was surprised that Team Hell No won as I thought they would go with the break up of the team. It looks like they are going in a different direction for now.
Winners: Team Hell No
Predictions: 2 for 3

Due to the fact that we're ending with the WWE Championship match, the Royal Rumble match is next. The number 1 entrant is Dolph Ziggler and number 2 is, shockingly, Chris Jericho. Cody Rhodes comes in at number 4, Kofi Kingston number 4 and Santino Marella is number 5. Santino doesn't last too long as Rhodes makes him the first to be eliminated. We get another surprise entrant as Goldust comes in at number 8 and goes after his brother and Sheamus, last year's winner, comes in at number 11. 

We now go to number 15 and Darren Young comes in. Kofi Kingston uses a head scissors to send Tensai out of the ring. Ziggler kicks Kofi and he lands on Tensai's back. Tensai throws Kofi onto the Spanish announcer's table, stranding him. Kofi saves himself from elimination by using JBL's chair to hop himself from the announcer's table to the the ring apron. Kofi eliminates Young however, Rhodes rewards Kofi's efforts by hitting him with the Disaster Kick to send Kofi to the floor, eliminating him.

We fast forward briefly to number 19 when my prediction John Cena comes out and quickly eliminates Slater and Rhodes and then Kane comes in at number 24, who is making a record 14th Rumble appearance and 
he eliminates Khali. Bryan (who came in at number 21) then eliminates Kane. Cesaro sends Bryan over the top rope and he is caught by Kane. Bryan pleads with him to put him back in the ring but Kane doesn't do that and Bryan is therefore, eliminated. 

The final two to come in are Sin Cara and Ryback and after Ziggler eliminates Jericho with a superkick, we are left with the final five of Ziggler, Cena, Orton, Sheamus and Ryback. Ryback eliminates Orton with a clothesline and Sheamus eliminates Ziggler after he had been in for over 50 minutes. Later on, Sheamus hit the White Noise on Ryback however, Sheamus went for the Brogue kick and Ryback ducked and eliminated Sheamus. We now are down to Cena and Ryback. Cena knocks out Ryback with a STF and tries to put him over the top rope. Ryback, however, fights back with a Thesz press and he then tries to powerslam Cena out of the ring. Cena manages to avoid elimination and he dumps Ryback out to win the Royal Rumble for the first time since 2008. 

I enjoyed this Rumble and, even though a lot of people are angry that Cena won and I'm a Cena hater, I'm actually ok with it. It would be nice to see the WWE Championship defended at the main event of Wrestlemania and with Cena, we will get to see that.

Winner: John Cena
Predictions: 3 for 4

The main event is for the WWE Championship as CM Punk defends it against The Rock. The match starts with them brawling right away and after a little bit when they were outside the ring, Punk starts to wear down The Rock by focusing on his ribs. Rock sees an opportunity after Punk injures his knee after a springboard dropkick.
Later on, Rock goes for the Rock Bottom but Punk elbows out of it and goes for the GTS and then he applies the Anaconda Vice, which is countered into a pin for 2. Rock applies his really bad version of the Sharpshooter and Punk gets out of it by getting to the ropes. The action goes to the outside and Rock tries for the Rock Bottom on to of the Spanish announcer's table but it collapses before he could do so so he did it to the floor instead. The action goes back to the ring and Punk hits Rock with a roundhouse kick to the head. Rock hits a leaping clothesline then a spinebuster and is about to go for the People's Elbow when the lights suddenly go out. When the lights go back on, the referee is down and The Rock is on top of a collasped announce table. Punk looks shocked about what has happened and he rolls Rock back into the ring and pins him to retain the WWE Championship...

...Or so Punk thinks because Vince McMahon comes out and declares that because The Shield attacked The Rock (which you didn't see so I'm guessing Vince saw something that we didn't) the title would be stripped away from Punk. However, Rock goes on the mic and says that he doesn't want it to end that way and convinces Vince to restart the match. Rock goes back into the ring where Punk hits the bulldog in the corner followed by a clothesline then a Macho Man elbow drop for a 2 count. Punk goes for the GTS but Rock gets out of it and hits the spinebuster followed by the People's Elbow to get the win and become WWE Champion for the first time in over ten and a half years. 

I really thought this was an good, exciting match and the chemistry between the two was very good. It was good the way they used the disqualification stipulation as you didn't see The Shield attack The Rock. I thought that The Rock was really good and it looked at times like he had never been away. As for Punk, I'm sad that his reign had ended but it was the first time that a Championship reign lasted over a year since the 380-day reign of John Cena in 2006-2007. Punk is a bigger star now and although I would love to see him with the WWE Championship again, he doesn't really need it.

Winner: The Rock
Predictions: 4 for 5

I thought this was a really good show. All the matches seem to work well, although I didn't like the way the World Heavyweight Championship ended. The Road to Wrestlemania is up and running and it should be a good ride.

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