For this one, as well as the two that follow, it’s not formatted the same way as the others. That’s because I wrote this one live in 2013 and I’m not going to edit it or change it up.

WWE Royal Rumble

Phoenix, Arizona

January 27, 2013

The announcers for the match are Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Jerry Lawler.

Dolph Ziggler was the #1 entrant. He had AJ Lee & Big E Langston. He got a sloppy kiss from AJ as he entered. They went to the back. Ziggler said he was all alone in the spotlight exactly where he belonged. He said when this Royal Rumble match ends it’s going to be the same with him standing in the ring by himself as the winner of the Royal Rumble match. If you’re wondering there is a WrestleMania logo in the building. Ziggler said he didn’t care who the #2 entrant was.

Break down the walls! Chris Jericho! The lights went out and the crowd went crazy as Chris Jericho entered the match as the #2 participant. I did not see that coming. There’s some continuity here since Ziggler beat Jericho to send him out of WWE back in September. Ziggler nearly eliminated Jericho, but Chris landed on the apron and hit a chop off the top rope. Jericho’s got a tattoo on his left arm, which is new since we last saw him. The crowd chanted “you still got it” at Jericho. Jericho said “I never lost it baby!” Jericho hit a superplex. The #3 entrant is Cody Rhodes and Jericho meets him with punches. Ziggler got to his feet, so the two heels worked together to attack Jericho. Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho on Rhodes and he applied it to a thunderous ovation. Ziggler attacked Jericho from behind to break it up. The #4 man is Kofi Kingston with a lot of energy. He went right after Rhodes and then Ziggler avoided the Trouble in Paradise by Kingston. Ziggler nearly got eliminated by Kingston again. Lots of attempts for elimination, but everybody was able to hang on. Santino is #5. Cole immediately mentioned that Santino finished second two years ago. He nearly eliminated all four guys. Then they all faced him. Jericho chopped him and then Ziggler gave Santino a superkick. Rhodes threw Santino over the top to eliminate him.

The #6 spot belongs to Drew McIntyre of 3MB. We’ve got five guys in the ring as they all tried to eliminate people, but nobody was getting tossed. Nice dropkick by Ziggler on Jericho. Ziggler nearly eliminated Jericho, but Chris did a wonderful job of dangling his feet near the floor and his feet did not touch the floor. In at #7 is Titus O’Neil. He hit a double clothesline on Kingston & Rhodes at the same time. O’Neil hit a backbreaker on Kingston. Jericho hit a dropkick off the middle rope to eliminate McIntyre. Loud “Y2J” chant for Jericho. The #8 man is…Goldust. Nice surprise there. He went right after his brother Cody. They each did their low uppercut punch spot. The crowd was really behind Goldust as they started a “Goldust” chant for him. The #9 spot belongs to David Otunga as we have seven guys in the ring right now. Goldust and Cody were working together for a bit. The crowd liked that. Then Cody nearly eliminated Goldust. Not a lot went on there as we waited on #10 and that ended up being Heath Slater. There were some more near eliminations of Ziggler, but he kept hanging on.

It’s Sheamus at #11 to a big ovation. He’s the one I picked to have the most eliminations. He hit a lot of his signature spots on a bunch of guys. He did his clubbing forearm blow spot to O’Neil and threw Otunga into him to get rid of O’Neil. Then he did the forearm blows to Otunga and gave him a Brogue Kick to knock him out. Tensai is the #12 man as the crowd started an “Albert” chant for him. Cole mentioned that this was his sixth Rumble and at least we have the fans to tell us what his name was back in the day. Ziggler missed a splash in the corner and took a bump over the top, but he was able to stay on the apron to avoid an elimination. The #13 man is Brodus Clay. He danced with the Funkadactyls by the entrance and then he finally got into the ring after about 20 seconds. Clay went after Jericho early on. Cody challenged his brother so Goldust gave him a backdrop, but Rhodes held on. Cody threw Goldust into the steel post and that eliminated him. It’s Rey Mysterio at #14. He hit the 619 on Ziggler and then to Jericho. He hit his splash off the top onto Jericho as Cole pointed out that Ziggler & Jericho have lasted over 20 minutes. It’s Darren Young at #15. When he got in there everybody worked together to dump Brodus Clay over the top to the floor. Kingston gave Tensai a headscissors to the floor. Kingston was on the apron, so Ziggler kicked him. Kingston landed on Tensai’s back. Tensai attacked him, but Kingston was able to get onto the Spanish table and he wasn’t eliminated yet. Kingston wanted JBL’s chair.

The man at #16 is Bo Dallas from NXT. Kingston used JBL’s chair and he hopped onto the chair all the way to the ring. Kingston eliminated Young. Then Kingston was eliminated by a Disaster Kick of Cody Rhodes. That was a very innovative spot by Kingston. The crowd loved it. It’s The Godfather as a surprise entrant at #17. With a couple of ladies for the hooooooooooo train. As soon as he got in the ring, Ziggler knocked him out quickly. He was eliminated in about three seconds. His music played during the entire time. The Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett is #18. Sheamus went after Barrett, but Barrett was able to overpower him and nearly eliminate Sheamus. There’s John Cena at #19. JBL said there’s nobody on their feet – he meant to say everybody is on their feet. Cena got a huge pop. He went in there on fire. He threw Slater out and gave Rhodes the Attitude Adjustment to eliminate him. There are eight guys in there with Cena, Dallas, Barrett, Ziggler, Jericho, Sheamus, Mysterio and the #20 man Damien Sandow. It’s the first Rumble for Sandow. Barrett battled with Mysterio and Barrett won that battle by eliminated Mysterio with a kick to the ribs. Mysterio was gone. The match is over 30 minutes in length now. Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho on Cena, but that didn’t really work.

The #21 man was The Dazzler Daniel Bryan. He unleashed kicks on every guy in the ring. The crowd chanted “yes” along with him. There was a loud “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chant as everybody was brawling. The US Champion Antonio Cesaro entered the ring as #22. More dueling Cena chants from the crowd. Ziggler missed an attack on Dallas in the corner, but Dallas wasn’t able to eliminate him. Barrett decked Cena with a hard kick to the stomach. The Great Khali is #23 and he might not get to the ring until #24 is up. I’ll be nice and say that it took about ten seconds for him to get there. Sadly there was no Natalya sighting there. JBL said Khali & Natalya had an interspecies relationship. Not a whole lot happened with Khali entering the match. It’s Kane in the #24 spot as Cole pointed out it was a record setting 14th Rumble in a row for him. The ring is very full at the moment, so there’s not a lot of room for guys to hit signature spots in there. That was another period with not a lot happening. It’s Zack Ryder entering at #25. He hit the Rough Ryder on Ziggler. Kane threw out Khali. We didn’t really see it. Bryan threw out Kane as the crowd gave a big reaction to it. Cesaro knocked Bryan out, Kane caught him and Bryan wanted him to put him back into the ring. Kane didn’t want to put him back in, so Bryan fell to the floor.

There was a big pop for #26 Randy Orton. He nearly eliminated Dallas, but that didn’t work. Orton ended up hitting his DDT off the ropes on Dallas & Ziggler a few times. RKO for Ryder. Orton threw out Ryder rather easily as Ryder took that bump on his chest and landed right on his face too. Ouch. Jinder Mahal enters at #27, which is the luckiest spot according to Cole because four guys have won from that spot. I don’t think he’ll make it five. Cena gave Cesaro a backdrop over the top to eliminate the US Champ from the match. The #28 spot belongs to The Miz. As he entered the arena, he brawled with Cesaro. Miz limped down to the ring with Cole telling us that he has an injured ankle. Mahal gets eliminated by a high knee lift of Sheamus. Sin Cara is #29 meaning that Ryback will be the last man into the ring. The ring is pretty full. It’s hard to count how many are in there. Bo Dallas eliminated Wade Barrett. That’s a possible feud for the near future. After he was eliminated, Barrett eliminated Dallas from the match. Then Barrett hit Dallas with the Bull Hammer elbow to knock him out at ringside. It’s Ryback in at #30 to a huge reaction.

The crowd chanted “Goldberg” at Ryback, who quickly eliminated Sandow with a clothesline while he was on the apron. Ryback picked up Sin Cara and threw him over the top to the floor onto Sandow, who caught him. Ryback eliminated Miz from the match. Jericho with a Codebreaker on Ryback. Lionsault for Sheamus. Springboard kick by Jericho nearly eliminated Sheamus. Didn’t work. Jericho went for a Codebreaker on Ziggler and he hit it, but Ziggler held on. Ziggler hit a superkick on Jericho to send him out.

The final five in the match are Cena, Ziggler, Orton, Sheamus & Ryback. The five biggest names. Orton with RKO on Ziggler and then he hit a RKO on Cena. RKO to Sheamus too. Orton hit his DDT off the ropes onto Ryback. He went for the RKO, but Ryback gave Orton a clothesline over the top to eliminate him.

The final four are Sheamus, Ziggler, Cena & Ryback. Ziggler hit Cena with a jumping DDT. Sheamus gave Ziggler to eliminate him. Ziggler lasted about 50 minutes. The final three babyfaces faced off. Sheamus & Cena gave a double suplex to Ryback. Then they stared at the WrestleMania sign. Cena hit his spinning suplex on Sheamus. Ryback decked Cena with the Meat Hook Clothesline to a big ovation because some in the crowd don’t like Cena like usual. Sheamus hit White Noise on Ryback. Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick. Ryback ducked it. Ryback dumped Sheamus over the top. Down to Cena & Ryback.

There was a big showdown for the final two as Cena & Ryback each stared at the WrestleMania sign. Ryback hit the spinebuster on Cena. “Feed Me More” chants, but Cena avoided the clothesline and applied the STF submission hold in the center of the ring. The story was that Ryback was out from the move, so Cena put Ryback on the top rope. Ryback fought back with a Thesz Press. He went to powerslam Cena out, but Cena avoided that elimination and Cena dumped out Ryback out. John Cena wins the Royal Rumble after about 55 minutes of action.

Winner: John Cena

Analysis: ***3/4

I really liked that Rumble match. I realize the Cena haters are going to bitch about him winning because that’s how they feel, but I don’t mind it. So what if it’s predictable? A lot of things in wrestling are predictable. What I like about Rumble matches are the spots they do in it to build to exciting elimination sequences. I loved seeing Chris Jericho and Goldust with Jericho get a lot of chance to “shine” in the match. He was on fire before he was eliminated by Ziggler. I thought Ziggler was one of the biggest stars of the match, so that was good to see too. Orton getting eliminated by Ryback was interesting. Could that be a future feud if Orton turns heel? Might happen. Cena’s win was inevitable and it was predictable, but it was still an exciting match from my perspective.

 

Ranking the Rumble matches in terms of star ratings:

1992: ****1/2

2007: ****1/4

2001: ****

2005: ****

2002: ***3/4

2000: ***3/4

2013: ***3/4

2004: ***1/2

1990: ***1/2

2010: ***1/4

2006: ***1/4

2003: ***1/4

2008: ***1/4

1997: ***1/4

2012: ***

2011: ***

2009: ***

1994: ***

1995: **3/4

1998: **1/2

1988: **1/2

1996: **1/4

1993: **1/4

1991: **1/4

1999: **

1989: **

We head to 2014 next, which was not met with love from the WWE Universe.

 

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