Sam Pierce / January 28, 2013 - 2:48pm
The Royal Rumble was once one of the most unpredictable events in professional wrestling. However, this year, it was the complete opposite. Not only could I see who the winner of the Royal Rumble match would be, weeks in advanced, but I could also smell what creative was cooking for the main event of WrestleMania.
The Royal Rumble match didn't close the show because of the Rock's in-ring return against CM Punk for the WWE Championship. After a disappointing lack of surprise entrants, we were down to one of the most expected final 2 in Royal Rumble match history. John Cena and Ryback. They weren't given much time and Ryback was thrown over the top rope in weak fashion. Wait, Cena won and they made Ryback look bad? Yikes. Cena celebrated in the ring as he pointed to the distant WrestleMania sign, high above the crowd, but even they didn't seem into it. The only cool thing about this Rumble was that the Godfather returned. Seems as though he's lost his stride, because he only had two lovely ladies on the ho-train and lasted about a second in the match. Tsk, tsk. The match itself wasn't bad but in this day and age, when professional wrestling's popularity is in decline, you have to do something big, every chance you get.
I'm over the Rock. His shtick doesn't do it for me anymore. Having him in a guaranteed WWE title match at the Royal Rumble overshadowed the rest of the roster and ruined a push for someone like Ryback who was on his way up, fast. The Royal Rumble was sadly, about the Rock returning to the ring. First match back, for the WWE title, and he didn't even have to earn it. Absolutely ridiculous. The Rock had CM Punk set up for the People's Elbow but then, out of nowhere, the lights went out. Who could it possibly be?! The Undertaker?! Sting?! Oh no, wait, it's the Shield because that isn't obvious, at all. They attacked the Rock and sent him through the announce table with their signature triple power bomb. The lights came back on, Punk threw the Rock in the ring and hit the 3 count. Hold on a second... Punk won? Punk won! I can't say that I liked the finish but Punk actually beat the Rock! The small amount of excitement I had quickly diminished when Vince's music hit and announced that he was going to strip CM Punk of the WWE Championship, due to the Shield's interference. The Rock, trying to be the superhero that he claims to be, stopped Vince and said something along the lines of “you don't take it from him, I do...” Vince restarted the match and here we go again. At this point, every wrestling fan in the world knew the Rock was going to win the strap. One people's elbow later and we have a new WWE Champion. How sad that Punk got pinned after the People's Elbow. I expected him to kick out of that and then lose to a Rock Bottom. I guess it doesn't matter if he looks weak too, as long as the Rock gets what he wants. I get it, he sells... To the mainstream crowd but not necessarily to us, the hardcore fans, who want to see some new faces get a chance at the gold. Looks like Cena-Rock 2 for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, doesn't it? What was supposed to be once in a lifetime has magically become two years in a row. How exciting!
All of the finishes were really generic at this year's Royal Rumble. Del Rio retained the World Title against Big Show by taping his legs to the ropes, a spot that we saw a few years ago in the Last Man Standing match between John Cena and Batista. C'mon, at least wait a little longer before repeating the same gimmicky finish in the same match type. Also, Team Hell No defeated Rhodes Scholars for the billionth time, so I guess their luck has run out and WWE has to finally push some new tag teams. Nothing was wrong with the quality of the matches on this event, but everything was wrong with the finishes and how predictable they were. Hopefully things get shaken up a bit at Elimination Chamber next month.
What did you guys think of the show? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.