Royal Rumble: The Complete History

Royal Rumble 2013

On July 23, 2012, during Raw 1000, The Rock announced that he would challenge for theWWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. During the same episode WWE Champion CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and John Cena each stated that they would face The Rock as defending champion

Date: 27th January, 2013
Venue: US Airways Center
City: Phoenix, AZ
Attendance: 13,000
Commentators: Michael Cole,
Jerry “The King” Lawler and John “Bradshaw” Layfield
Theme Songs: “Champion” by Clement Marfo & The Frontline and
“What Makes A Good Man” by The Heavy

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Background

Royal Rumble 2013 promotional poster

Royal Rumble 2013 promotional poster

On July 23, 2012, during Raw 1000, The Rock announced that he would challenge for theWWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. During the same episode WWE Champion CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and John Cena each stated that they would face The Rock as defending champion; later that night, The Rock was attacked and laid out by Punk which marked the start of Punk becoming a heel character. Punk defended the championship for the rest of the year, while on December 23, 2012, The Rock tweeted to CM Punk that he was ready for the Royal Rumble. On the January 7 episode of Raw, Punk retained the WWE Championship by defeating Ryback in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match after interference from The Shield group, who had also interfered during Punk’s defence against Ryback and John Cena at Survivor Series; this win secured Punk as the wrestler who would defend against The Rock. On the January 21 episode of Raw while speaking about beating Punk at the Rumble, Rock was assaulted by The Shield. Following the assault, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that if The Shield interfere in the match, Punk will be stripped of his championship.

On the December 31, 2012 episode of Raw John Cena announced he would enter the 2013 Royal Rumble match, making him the first confirmed entrant in the competition, and stated his desire to be WWE Champion. On the January 4, 2013 episode of SmackDown Randy Orton and Sheamus both announced they would participate in the Royal Rumble match as well, both wanting to win the World Heavyweight Championship. On subsequent episodes of Raw and SmackDown numerous wrestlers confirmed their participation: Dolph Ziggler claimed Cena had entered the match to hide from him, so Ziggler entered himself to stop Cena; 3MB (Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew Mcintyre) announced all three members were entering; Wade Barrett was confirmed on the20th Anniversary of Raw; The Miz announced on his entry during commentary of Main Event; Antonio Cesaro announced his entry by interview. On the January 21 episode of Raw aBeat The Clock Challenge was held with the winner being able to pick their entrance number. Ziggler defeated The Miz in the fastest time (due to beating Orton’s time over Cesaro and Sheamus vs Barrett ending in a time limit draw), but Raw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero (after Ziggler barged into her office and gloated about winning) declared that his choice was between the first and second entry. On the same episode, Ryback announced his entry into the Royal Rumble after defeating Slater, while The Prime Time Players(Darren Young and Titus O’Neil) and Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) also promised to win the match. On the January 25, 2013 episode of SmackDown, Kofi Kingston and The Great Khali announced their entries into the Royal Rumble.

Big Show began a feud with Alberto Del Rio after humiliating Del Rio’s personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, sarcastically picking him to fight Show for the World Heavyweight Championship during “Champion’s Choice Night” on the New Year’s Eve 2013 episode of Raw, leading to a disqualification win for Big Show after Del Rio interfered. On the January 11, 2013 episode of SmackDown, Del Rio defeated Show in a Last Man Standing match for the championship. Three days later on Raw, Show announced that he would invoke his rematch clause at the pay-per-view. The week after, he made the match a Last Man Standing Match.

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Match Results

World Heavyweight Championship:
Last Man Standing Match
Alberto Del Rio (c) (with Ricardo Rodriguez) defeated The Big Show (16:58)

WWE Tag Team Championship:
Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane) (c) defeated Team Rhodes Scholars (Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes) (09:24)

Royal Rumble Match:
John Cena won by last eliminating Ryback (55:18)

WWE Championship:
The Rock defeated CM Punk (c) (with Paul Heyman) (23:46)*

*Initially CM Punk had won the match with the assistance of The Shield, however Mr. McMahon restarted the match after stating that there would be no outside interference.

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Aftermath

CM Punk, livid that his reign had ended, would invoke his rematch clause at Elimination Chamber, but The Rock defeated him and retained the championship. Punk would then challenge Cena for his contendership, which Cena accepted and would defeat Punk. Punk would later go to WrestleMania to try and end The Undertaker’s undefeated streak. After Elimination Chamber, The Rock retired the spinner and bling belt (which was Cena’s design for the championship and used by the company for the past eight years) and revealed a new belt to represent the WWE Championship.

The following night on Raw, John Cena announced that he would challenge the reigning WWE Champion with his winning the Royal Rumble match. With The Rock retaining the championship, this would set up a rematch between The Rock and Cena from last year’s WrestleMania.

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Royal Rumble Stats

Draw Entrant Order Eliminated by Time Eliminations
1 Dolph Ziggler 27 Sheamus 49:47 2
2 Chris Jericho 25 Ziggler 47:53 2
3 Cody Rhodes 12 Cena 27:39 4
4 Kofi Kingston 9 Rhodes 22:18 2
5 Santino Marella 1 Rhodes 00:55 0
6 Drew McIntyre 2 Jericho 02:40 0
7 Titus O’Neil 3 Sheamus via Otunga
07:30 0
8 Goldust 5 Rhodes 09:41 0
9 David Otunga 4 Sheamus 04:24 0
10 Heath Slater 11 Cena 15:49 1
11 Sheamus 28 Ryback 37:23 5
12 Tensai 7 Kingston 05:37 0
13 Brodus Clay 6 Jericho, Slater, Rhodes, Sheamus, Young 03:47 0
14 Rey Mysterio 13 Barrett 15:43 0
15 Darren Young 8 Kingston 02:51 1
16 Bo Dallas 21 Barrett1 21:42 1
17 The Godfather 10 Ziggler 00:05 0
18 Wade Barrett 20 Dallas 20:34 2
19 John Cena WINNER 26:39 4
20 Damien Sandow 22 Ryback 16:26 0
21 Daniel Bryan 16 Cesaro & Kane2 07:55 2
22 Antonio Cesaro 18 Cena 08:50 1
23 The Great Khali 14 Kane & Bryan 03:08 0
24 Kane 15 Bryan 01:46 2
25 Zack Ryder 17 Orton 02:34 0
26 Randy Orton 26 Ryback 10:20 1
27 Jinder Mahal 19 Sheamus 02:10 0
28 The Miz 24 Ryback 05:08 0
29 Sin Cara 23 Ryback 03:27 0
30 Ryback 29 Cena 09:06 5

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