|Royal Rumble 2013|
|Date||January 27, 2013|
|Venue||US Airways Center|
|Last Event||Tables, Ladders & Chairs|
|Next Event||Elimination Chamber|
Royal Rumble 2013 was the twenty-sixth annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by WWE. It took place on January 27, 2013 at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the first WWE pay-per-view of 2013, and will feature the traditional Royal Rumble match.
Royal Rumble featured professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines that are played out on WWE's television programs. Wrestlers portray villains or heroes as they follow a series of events that build tension, and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches.
On July 23, 2012, during Raw 1000, The Rock announced that he will challenge for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. During the same episode WWE Champion CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and John Cena each stated that they will 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 will 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 the 20th 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 a Beat 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 25th, 2013 edition 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 2012 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.
The pre-show match featured reigning United States Champion Antonio Cesaro defending his title against The Miz. During the match, Miz attempted a diving attack and injured his leg. Shortly after, Cesaro won after landing the Neutralizer.
The first match on the card featured reigning World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio defending his title against Big Show, who invoked his rematch clause after losing the title to Del Rio on SmackDown, in a Last Man Standing match. After Del Rio managed to stand up after being chokeslammed through a table from an elevated position, he managed to win when he locked in the Cross Armbreaker and Ricardo Rodriguez duct-taped Show's legs to the bottom rope. Show was unable to free himself in time and was counted out.
The second match on the card featured reigning WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) defending their titles against Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow). The match ended when Bryan applied the No! Lock on Rhodes, forcing him to tap out.
The fourth match was the annual Royal Rumble match. Notable events included Dolph Ziggler deciding to enter first, followed by the surprise return of Chris Jericho at #2. Later, Goldust returned and was eliminated by his brother, Cody Rhodes. Sheamus entered at #11, quickly eliminating Titus O'Neil and David Otunga. Kofi Kingston was about to be eliminated, but jumped into the recently eliminated Tensai's arms, who put him on the Spanish announce table. Kingston made it back onto the apron using a chair like a pogo stick, but was quickly eliminated by Cody Rhodes before reentering the ring. Following this, The Godfather made a surprise entry, only to be immediately eliminated by Ziggler. John Cena entered at #19, quickly eliminating Rhodes and Heath Slater. Kane and Daniel Bryan teamed up to eliminate The Great Khali, but Bryan then eliminated Kane. When Antonio Cesaro sent Bryan over the top rope, Kane caught him, only to drop him, eliminating him from the match. Later, NXT tournament winner Bo Dallas managed to eliminate Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett, leading to Barrett eliminating Dallas and hitting him with the Bullhammer Elbow, despite having already been eliminated. Ryback entered at #30 and eliminated Damien Sandow, Sin Cara, The Miz and Randy Orton, while Ziggler finally eliminated Jericho after over 40 minutes. The final four consisted of Ziggler, Sheamus, Cena and Ryback. Sheamus eliminated Ziggler and hit Ryback with the White Noise, but Ryback managed to eliminate him. Cena then eliminated Ryback to win the Rumble.
The main event and fifth match on the card featured reigning WWE Champion CM Punk defending his title against The Rock. During the match, Rock attempted to Rock Bottom Punk through the Spanish announce table, but the table collapsed beneath them. Rock quickly landed another Rock Bottom successfully outside the ring, but Punk kicked out after being rolled into the ring and covered. When Rock attempted a People's Elbow the arena went dark and Rock was attacked by an unknown entity, believed by the commentators to be The Shield. When the lights came back, the assailant(s) were nowhere to be found, and Rock had been driven through the English announce table, allowing Punk to roll him into the ring and get the winning pin. As he celebrated with the title, Mr. McMahon came out and reminded Punk that if the Shield interfered, he would strip him of the title. Before he could however, the Rock said he wanted to take the title from Punk and told McMahon to restart the match. Vince did so, and Rock won the match with a People's Elbow, ending Punk's historic reign at 434 days.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Pre-show: Antonio Cesaro (c) defeated The Miz to retain the United States Championship (7:37)
- Alberto Del Rio (c) defeated Big Show in a Last Man Standing match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship (17:02)
- Team Hell No (Kane & Daniel Bryan) (c) defeated Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) to retain the Tag Team Championship (9:25)
- John Cena won the 2013 Royal Rumble match
- Winner receives his choice of a WWE Championship or World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania XXIX (55:05)
- If The Shield interfered in the match, Punk would be stripped of the title.
- Match restarted after The Shield interfered. Rock convinced Vince McMahon to restart the match after McMahon was originally going to strip Punk of the belt.
Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations
A new entrant came out approximately every 90 seconds.
Other on-screen talent
- WWE Royal Rumble 2013 Fan Fest
- List of WWE pay-per-view events
- WWE Event History
- Royal Rumble
- Event gallery
- Royal Rumble 2013 offical website
- Royal Rumble 2013 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Royal Rumble 2013 at Online World of Wrestling
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