Now In Color!
The Road to Wrestlemania NYNJ(29 to all you non sequitur wrestling fans.) At a time when the main event for the upcoming Wrestlemania was all but chiseled into stone, the 2013 Royal Rumble was little more than a mid-card match that lasted for an hour. Everyone knew that by the end of the night John Cena would be facing the Rock for the WWE title in New Jersey for mania 29. Looking back it really strikes me as a dumb move(though I can tell you that at the time I would have told you it was a dumb move too so I guess in retrospect nothing really changed). This was the year for CM Punk to headline Wrestlemania, and even though I preferred his match with Undertaker to his two matches with Rock, this slight against Punk was one of several things that ultimately led to him leaving the WWE and wrestling in pursuit of a MMA career with the UFC. I guess the biggest complaint that one can have about any Royal Rumble match is the lack of potential winners, and this year there really only was one believable winner(even in the era of two big gold belts).
Standout Performance – It’s a tie between a returning Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler who started number one and number two and went on to stay in the match for over forty-five minutes. Jericho was a surprise entrant, and on his return to the ring he stayed out there for ever. He even got to tease a mania match with Ryback which never happened(sorry Chris you get to job out to the Fandango, while Ryback gets to job out to Mark Henry). Ziggler, a heel at the time, was the other star popping up ever so often to hit a slick move as if just to remind you that he was still in there.
Surprises – The aforementioned Chris Jericho, Goldust(teasing the never ever going to happen Wrestlemania match between he and brother Cody), and the blink and you’ll miss him God Father(who showed up, if for no other reason, to remind everyone that the attitude era was not as great as everyone wants to think it was).
The No Chance In Hell Winner – There are always participants in the Rumble that have absolutely zero possibility of headlining Wrestlemania and this year the clear cut winner is David Otunga. I’ll tell you that this is quite the accomplishment for Otunga because we’re talking about a Rumble that included all three members of 3MB, both Prime Time Players, and the main roster debut of Bo Dallas. Not to mention Brodus Clay.
Most Memorable Moment – In the how the hell is Kofi Kingston going to get back in the ring this year spot, he pogo sticked JBL’s chair from the announce table back to the ring. Of course he was eliminated in seconds to ensure that people know that he’s just a mid-card geek.
What To Watch For – The “Cena Nuff” sign during John’s entrance. Zack Ryder’s bump upon elimination, major face plant. Daniel Bryan being the most over guy in the match and his classic interaction with then wacky tag partner Kane. John’s nasty drop-toe hold on the big guy. Also listen for the Michael Cole sound-byte of High Drama, and Wade Barrett’s entrance music. Seriously I think he’s had more themes than any other wrestler in the history of this company.