[WWE News] ‘Royal Rumble’ 2013 Preview; Lineup + Predictions
[EDIT = The recap of the show is now live. CLICK HERE TO READ IT]
This Sunday, WWE presents the Royal Rumble live from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ. While this event is one of the biggest each year, the 2013 edition especially has that “big event” feel to it due to its blockbuster main event.
Click “read more” for a full (announced) lineup of the show plus my own thoughts and predictions.
Main Event: CM Punk (c) Vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship
- This is a match many wrestling fans are anticipating with bated breath and it’s one of the most hyped and biggest main events the WWE has had in quite some time. On one side you have CM Punk, the longest-reigning WWE Champion of the modern era and a man who is only out to pad his legacy and be the “Best in the World”. On the other side stands The Rock, the superhero from a bygone era who has returned to his old stomping grounds to defend the company’s honor against the tyrant who sits atop the mountain. This is a classic hero Vs. villain story to a tee and a match that sells itself…which is good because while Punk has been knocking it out of the park promo-wise, reigniting the spark that catapulted him to success in 2011 in the first place, Rock has been doing his same old schtick which some love and others abhor. To Rock’s credit he has also mixed enough seriousness in there to make Punk appear to be an actual threat and one he takes very seriously, but his concerts and dumb nicknames have been drowning that out for me. It’s all but a foregone conclusion that The Rock will emerge victorious and carry the WWE Championship to Wrestlemania 29 and now that The Shield has been banned from the match I am inclined to agree with this line of thinking. As much as I love Punk as a character and as a champion, it makes too much business sense to let Rock have a run with the championship en route to their biggest show of the year. There’s a small chance that it could end differently now that it’s too predictable but WWE should stick to their guns for business reasons. As much as I hate to admit that because Punk is so goddamn good as champion.
- OFFICIAL PREDICTION: The Rock wins the WWE Championship
The 2013 Royal Rumble Match
- Make no mistake about it: Rock/Punk is the main event of the show but that doesn’t mean the event’s main attraction, the Royal Rumble match, should be forgotten. 30 men will square off for the ultimate prize: a chance at challenging for one of the World Championships at Wrestlemania 29. It’s a chance to make a new star or to cement an old star’s climb back up the ladder. It’s a match built for highlight reels and for shock value, for crazy eliminations and for surprise entrants. No matter what happens, no matter who enters, it will be an entertaining watch as it is every damn year. As for who will win…well John Cena did guarantee his victory in the match and the last time he guaranteed a win, back around Money in the Bank last year, he made good on his promise. With no one else even really built to take the match and be victorious, my pick is Cena in order to set up for Rock/Cena II at Wrestlemania 29. But to be truly honest I don’t care who wins because I just love the Royal Rumble and want to watch it unfold.
- OFFICIAL PREDICTION: John Cena (dark horse candidates: Ryback, Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton)
Alberto Del Rio (c) Vs. The Big Show in a “Last Man Standing” match for the World Heavyweight Championship
- Del Rio shocked the WWE Universe by defeating Show for the World Heavyweight Championship in this very type of match two weeks ago on Smackdown. Now Show is gunning for his revenge, promising to flatten the new “Latin Superhero” and regain his belt in short order. It’s kind of odd that they’re doing the same exact match as their first meeting but it allows them to get creative with, as Dusty Rhodes would say, “plundah” and since it’s the Royal Rumble they’re bound to want to give it their A-game (their match from two weeks ago wasn’t all that great). Show is a great character and vastly underrated as champion, but WWE is pushing Del Rio as the Hispanic face of the company so hard (almost to pandering levels) that it would seem ridiculous for him to drop the belt so quickly. I think Del Rio will retain once again with another creative finish to cement himself as a viable World Champion…long enough for Dolph Ziggler to set his sights on him.
- OFFICIAL PREDICTION: Alberto Del Rio retains.
Team Hell No (c) Vs. The Rhodes Scholars for the WWE World Tag Team Championship
- Team Hell No and The Rhodes Scholars have had a long-standing feud over the past few months, leading to various verbal exchanges and an unfortunate injury to pre-mustachioed Cody Rhodes. With Team Hell No graduating from anger management last Monday it’s time for them to enter a new phase in their partnership, which is needed as the act is getting more and more stale. The Rhodes Scholars are a tremendous team and Rhodes and Damien Sandow are just so good at being the heels that I want them to desperately take the Tag Team Championship and move the division in a new direction. I think this would be the perfect place to do it…but part of me thinks Team Hell No isn’t quite over yet. I see them retaining here but they’ll drop it soon after.
- OFFICIAL PREDICTION: Team Hell No retains.
Antonio Cesaro (c) Vs. The Miz for the WWE United States Championship
- Despite a feud that’s been built up for a few weeks, with the added involvement of Ric Flair no less, this match will be taking place on the pre-show which will air on YouTube 30 minutes before the PPV starts. That’s a shame too; I was hoping that this would be on the main show as I think Cesaro has earned the right to be showcased on PPV every month. With this being a pre-show match I don’t expect much length or quality-wise but I could always be surprised. What I don’t expect to be surprised by, however, is a new United States Champion; Cesaro is making a great U.S. Champ right now and it goes so perfect with his gimmick that having Miz, who isn’t really catching fire as a babyface quite yet, take it away from him at this point would be ludicrous (especially on the PRE-SHOW). Cesaro will retain with the Neutralizer and continue to build himself up until WWE pulls the trigger and gives him a main event push.
- OFFICIAL PREDICTION: Antonio Cesaro retains.
WWE Royal Rumble 2013 takes place live starting at 8PM/7PM Central on January 27th from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ. Call your local cable or satellite provider to order the event, or watch it online through either WWE.com or the WWE App for your phone/tablet.