Royal Rumble feedback: Round 3

2013 Royal Rumble
Thumbs in the middle
Best match: Punk-Rock
Worst match:Tag title match
            Well, I hate to be Negative Nellie ALL the time, so I'll begin by saying this year's show blew the 2012 atrocity away. The opener, a World title Last Man Standing match between champ Alberto Del Rio and The Big Show, began slowly, but surprisingly, picked up thanks to some deft booking. I realize this is a staged sport, but I'm 45 years old and can't stand it when guys beat somebody like Show with physicality. I need a little realism to get in the zone; therefore I got a kick out of the finishing sequence. Losing didn't hurt Show and not winning clean didn't hurt Del Rio, thanks to the ingenuity. **
        Although he's been in some effective comedy bits lately, and he and D Bryan have chemistry, there's very few wrestlers who bore me more than Kane. I mean, Big Show isn't stiff out of necessity; he'd kill someone if he laid 'em in there like Misawa. Kane, tho, isnt stiff OR menacing because he never really learned to work a strong match before Vince signed him and taught him "the WWF style". Of course, like anyone else who would type a letter to Dave Meltzer, I love Daniel Bryan. Having to share the spotlight in a tag match stinks, so this bout had no chance. Sandow's OK, and Rhodes has improved greatly over the last few years, especially his facials and reactions. Not terrible; in fact, one star is all that seperates my 'Best match' from my 'worst match'. *1/2
      After the abortion that was last year's Rumble, there was no doubt in my mind that I'd continue my long streak of NOT buying WWE PPV's. But my buddy Marc just had to get it, and who am I to turn down a free CM Punk match? Since my expectations were so low, the opening 15 minutes of this year's Battle Royal had me smiling. A crowd that I thought was pretty much dead absolutely EXPLODED at Chris Jericho's appearance. But after that first quarter hour, it was downhill, although not embarassingly so. As usual, the rich got richer. To hook the crowd, the match started with 2 of the best workers in the company (Ziggler & Jericho). Their hard work and talent got the fans off their hands. So naturally, it all came down to Cena and Ryback, a charismatic mediocrity vs Vince's Wet Dream, Ryback. Cena was able to carry the big oaf to a watchable final few minutes, but truthfully, Ryback's awful. So naturally, he'll soon be headlining and winning Mania. Feed me more? Gag me less! Also, I know that WWE has become very predictable in the results department, but is there ANYONE who didn't think Cena and Rock were coming out of this show winners? **
    I probably shouldn't have been, but I was shocked at the silence that greeted The Rock during his entrance. And it clearly threw Duane off also. For the first half of the match, Rocky had no spring, was late in hitting his spots, and Punk appeared to be genuinely, and understandably, pissed that the handsomely rewarded action star was killing his Rumble main event. But again to my surprise, Rock warmed up and appeared to be a full step faster once they got to the meat of the match. It looked as this would be a repeat of 2002's Lesnar-Rock match, in that the crowd would turn fully on the babyface by match end. Instead, he won them back with a hard working performance, and received a resounding pop for his first of two 'people's elbow's'. I admit, the ending sequence baffled me. Where were The Shield? Were they actually there, or did Rocky just throw himself on the announcer's table? I thought we were getting an original ECW type of blackout, so they got me when the lights came back on and there was nobody in sight but the 2 combatants. I thought of 8,000 different possible swerves at this point, only because I've seen way too many wrestling matches over the last 35 years. So instead of a big moment like Lawler at the ECW Arena, we got a tweaked Dusty Finish. Oh, well. I'd give the match **1/2, the PPV overall a **. But as I said, compared to last year's debacle, it was the '89 Great American Bash.
Derek Hamel
Tulsa, OK

Hey guys,
Thumbs in the Middle for what should by all rights have been a Thumbs Up
show, as all the matches were really good. On paper, a very solid show,
that led to where it was supposed to lead. Just how they got from A to B
was somewhat mind-boggling, especially if you are a fan that cares about
storylines and consider yourself invested in the product and therefore
(probably foolishly) expect the company to actually cater to you, as a
loyal member of their core audience during both good and in bad times.
At times last night, I felt like they rather wanted to make everything
as simple and straight-forward as possible, so as not to overly confuse
or challenge the fan-base, and I kind of hate it, if my wrestling
storylines are that overly simple that a three-year old can easily
follow them without having to think along for even five minutes. But
hey, at least they didn't panic and throw a monkey-wrench into their own
plans because it was "known" where things would be going.
It's hard for me to choose a worst match, because from a workrate point
of view, they were all really good and the default diva's trainwreck was
absent from the card, presumably for timing reasons. While most people
will probably go with Show/Del Rio for the finish, I'll just decide to
go with Rock/Punk, which actually was a hell of a match, but I'll vote
it worst for the finish as well.
1.) Miz/Cesaro during the pre-show was good and thankfully the right guy
won. Miz looked to legit have hurt himself and he really is such a
clumsy klutz - just stay off the top rope, if there's even a remote
chance you'll land like you did here. Also his left hand offense is just
abysmal. I don't know what you do with him, he's fine in any mainstream
role they put him and I like his promos, even though he just isn't a
face and it really is weird they paired him off with Flair (they should
have stuck with Ziggler and just delayed the whole thing). Cesaro held
the match together though and did some cool stuff once again. He'll go far.
2.) Alberto/Show last man standing was fine as well. That choke slam
through the table looked scary and ADR looked to really have bumped his
head on the landing, which is the second PPV something like that
happened after the Rollins bump at TLC. Just reconsider these spots, if
they lead to head injuries. Alberto came across as one though SOB, but
he as well just doesn't scream face to me. His whole look and facials
just come across as insincere, he has this natural heel charisma about
him that Orton also has. He's just not that likable face that Rey or Sin
Cara are. That being said, I found the finish to be somewhat creative,
even though it's not really what you want from your face at this point
(but it shows a certain smartness and ruthlessness). Also, the Bret
cameo was fun.
3.) Team Hell No/Rhodes Scholars for the titles was another good match.
Hell No, while I like them, are running their course and this should
probably have been the match to put Rhodes/Sandow over, but maybe they
wanted to do the Bryan/Kane Rumble spot leading to their break-up and
them losing the tiles on RAW or the next PPV. Still a scary thought to
put Bryan in a new program during the Mania build, would hate to see him
get lost in the shuffle during Mania season. Maybe they can build to a
Bryan/Cesaro match, that would probably be awesome.
Big E. Langston reporting live from the Rumble cracked me up. Was the
first time he showed the charisma I heard him having during his NXT/FCW
stint that sets him apart from the usual musclehead crew (Ryback, Zeke,
Mason Ryan, etc.). He really could become a serious monster like Mark
Henry during his last run if he keeps displaying that kind of personality.
4.) The Rumble. Jericho certainly was a major and great surprise, I
popped big and at first didn't really realize who's theme music I was
hearing until my brain registered. Maybe it was because I met him during
a Fozzy gig only a few weeks ago that I marked out and he's just great
at playing his hand close to his chest and his surprise returns not
really leaking beforehand. Also, he never missed a beat and held the
whole thing together along with Ziggler until late in the match.
Goldust was fun, Godfather was a semi-spoiled surprise and got a decent
pop. Other than that, unless you consider Rey or Sin Cara, or to some
extent Santino surprises (and really, to the casual fans they wouldn't
have been, as all three haven't been off tv that long and I don't really
think any of their injuries have been acknowledged on tv at all). Also
no stars from the past, except for the two mentioned. Maybe they figured
Jericho coming back would make guys like Shelton, Masters or Carlito
pale in comparison. Interesting there was no Big Show in the Rumble, as
he was the one "major" start missing. I would have thought that at least
one surprise return would be in the match, either Henry or Christian.
The Kofi spot was fine, just a notch down from Kofi last year and
Morrison I think the year before that. Bryan/Kane was a fun spot that
had me laughing, and with the two of them eliminating each other, I
guess that means the act will be done soon. Mixed feelings about that,
since it's Mania season. Kane really was his best in years with that
team and they really played off each other well. Hope Bryan doesn't get
lost in the mid-card shuffle. Bo Dallas was a nice underdog story, looks
like they'll put him with Barrett, which is fine.
Cena/Ryback/Sheamus as the final three was kind of Vince's personal wet
dream of who he sees as the future of his company, and it sent the wrong
message. Ziggler working the whole match and then nonchalantly getting
thrown out without so much as an afterthought was anti-climatic. Sure,
the Rumble + MITB combo to unify the titles at Mania was an internet
geek's dream and I knew we wouldn't get it, but still, have him
eliminate Ryback on a fluke (maybe have Langston out there catching
Ziggler and putting him back to eliminate a surprised Ryback; this could
also lead to Ryback/Langston down the road, which may sound scary but
would make for an impressive visual). Then have a classic heel/face 5
minute finale with Cena and Ziggler and Cena can still eliminate him,
maybe after it looks like Ziggler actually wins after Langston getting
involved. They did a Cena/Langston attack before and it could further
lead to Ziggler and Langston breaking up down the line. That Cena/Ryback
finale was cringeworthy, with the two guys who aren't the smoothest
workers trading moves. It kind of was a modern version of Hogan winning
the Rumble in '90 and '91, but at least he had heels to play off of as
the final elimination.
5.) Punk/Rock was a good match and Rock looked very good for not being
in the ring in almost a year (although I am sure he trained for the
match). Heyman was great here, too.
It always bothers me when the champion comes out first. Also, with Punk
and his whole respect/best champion of the modern era shtick, it would
actually have made sense for him to demand (via Paul E.) to be
introduced second and only come out after Rock. Another opportunity
given away.
Punk putting the top back on the Spanish announce table and bowing to
them cracked me up big time, he does these little things so well and
nobody really puts thoughts into such minor things these days. Then
later, "the table getting revenge" on Rock was scary, and it wasn't the
first time something like that happened (remember Orton almost breaking
his legs and only getting very lucky he didn't or HHH/Angle a few years
back). Lucky that Rock didn't injure his leg in that spot. Maybe it's
time to either retire these spots altogether or construct the tables in
a safer manner.
That final sequence actually had me throw up in my mouth a little.
Now don't get me wrong, Rock with the belt during Oscar/pre-Mania season
could lead to unprecedented mainstream attention, which is fine.
But the Dusty finish and restart by Vince was kind of lame, I would have
preferred Brock being involved (planting the seeds for a Rock/Brock
match down the line) and especially not the People's Elbow, which is a
classic set-up move, á la the Five Knuckle Shuffle, to be the finish. It
somewhat rubbed me the wrong way, when a dominant champion gets pinned
after a silly, over-exaggerated elbow. No, I'm not saying imagine if
Bruno, Backlund or Hogan got pinned with an elbow drop after a
multi-year reign, but come on, at least give Punk a move that I as a fan
can believe to really incapacitate the champion for more than three
seconds. Maybe a Rock Bottom, maybe even have him kick-out and do a
second one (OK, OK, I watched too much New Japan main events these last
few months) - hell, even a power-bomb through a table would have served
as poetic justice here about a million times better.
Well, maybe we will find out during RAW that it wasn't The Shield after
all who attacked Rock, but if it really was Brock, I don't think they'd
waste an appearance by him without showing him on camera and I'm sure
Heyman could have shown some sort of whacky night-vision proof on the
So as I said, the direction they are going for Mania is alright and
according to plan, but how they got there was very paint-by-the-numbers
and kind of insulting to the intelligence of their core fan base - but
maybe all the casual/lapsed fans that probably bought the show for
nostalgia reasons were actually fine with it (and these fans wanted to
Rock to win and get back at Punk). We'll see about that in terms of
ratings and Elimination Chamber/Mania buyrates I guess.
Kind regards,
Markus Gronemann
Vienna, Austria
Dark Mat EU

Hey Guys,
Thumbs Slightly Up
Best Match: Rock vs CM Punk
Worst Match: Show vs Del Rio
Ordered the PPV because of The Rock. He's what brought me into wrestling in 1999 and I've mostly stuck around since waiting for the next Rock. Only 2nd PPV I've bought since 2005. Bryan sold me on Rock winning to watch, so thanks for that. The Rumble has always been my favorite, and I liked this one (writing before I read other feedback). Jericho stole the show for me in the rumble, he worked a long time, seem to have the best pop and crowd behind him. Feel bad for Sin Cara, he got the letdown reaction when everyone realized Ryback was left and no more surprises. Ziggler was great too. Like how Barett put over Dallas, even laying him out starts something for Dallas. As much as I enjoyed the Kofi chair spot, my wife questioned my age and maturity. Good thing she didn't see the duct tape finish. Cena seemed to eliminate Ryback without as much drama as I expected. 
Month after month on PPV I read and hear about the lack of real finishes, and man I felt duped for a minute until the restart. I sat there feeling like I wasted 55 bucks, then the match restarts, rock wins and I'm the happy little mark I was back in 99. Rock's promo before the match was the best in a while, and Big E should be an interviewer gimmick moving forward. That's the good, as well with this noticeable trend of older guys putting over younger guys (Goldust, Barrett, Hart, Jericho) which was something I'd never see during a HHH infused WWE. The bad, well you had a duct tape finish. I'm sure there are many more that can elaborate on that. 

Ryan Bentz

Hey Dave
This show was a thumbs up for me.
Best match: Rock vs Punk
Worst match: Tag title match(still an alright match though)
Really enjoyed the show tonight, loved the swerve in the main event it had me at first and I thought punk was retaining the title, Rock winning was a great moment but it was sad for me to see Punks reign come to an end.
The Rumble was pretty good I thought, I liked the Jericho surprise and that it came right out if left field. Goldust was a good surprise also, godfather felt like a bit of a wasted spot. Cena winning was predicable but not sure out of who was in the match who else they could go with so I was fine with it.
Love the site,
Doug Evans.

Royal Rumble 2013:
Overall: Thumbs up, but with reservations.
Best Match: Rock vs Punk
Worst Match: Miz vs Cesaro (Actually all the matches were good)
I ordered the PPV online as it is not available on Singapore cable networks. More than willing to pay $10 for the online edition. This was my first real-time PPV in over 17 years (Wrestlemania XI was my last and I was a 15 year old kid), and the first I paid for. Overall, the show was WELL worth the ten bucks, but I would not have paid $50+ for the TV version.
The prematch was a decent one between Miz and Cesaro. If I had not followed WON and F4W I would have no idea who the face or the heel was in this match.
I thought Miz was a heel (remember he was during his championship run) but here he was behaving like a face. It took me a while to figure out that he was a face. Cesaro, when I saw him waving the flag around I thought for sure he was a babyface, but he was booed rather heavily and behaved rather heelishly. I have watched WWE extremely sporadically since 2006 (think a net total of 10 shows, RAW and Smackdown combined), and back then US flag wavers were almost exclusively babyface. But once that was sorted, these two did a pretty decent match. I thought Miz landed terribly on that top rope spot, and I hope he's not hurt. It was a good way to start the show.
The show proper was in reasonably good HD quality (720p) and the streaming was pretty smooth. Some minor glitches occurred where the feed would switch to non-HD for extended periods of time but on the whole, a very professional job done by WWE.
The first match was the World Heavyweight match. This title is my favourite because the belt reminds of the kind Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes used to carry, and looks like a professional wrestling belt, as opposed to the eyesore on the other brand. Show and del Rio were great in their role, with show being the giant bully heel and Alberto being the shrewd babyface. I think they're trying to infuse shades of Eddie Guerrero into Alberto, in terms of making him a crafty, ' cool' face.  
The tag match with Hell No (I love those guys and started watching wrestling again because of them) and the Rhodes Scholars reminded me a lot of 80's tag team matches. Was a good, by the numbers match, and the ending was predictable. Three out of three belts retained. Punk was doomed.
The Rumble was really good uptil the finish. I must confess I am tired of John Cena. I just don't find him entertaining anymore. He's boring beyond belief. He wrestles well and all, but I just don't get what people see in him. I was amazed at seeing Jericho again. He was one of my favourite wrestlers. Was mildly surprised to see Golddust (mostly because my whole screen showed his titantron, as opposed to it just being above their heads) but I never liked that character when it first came out, so didn't care much for him. Saw Ryback for the first time in my life. Guy looks like a smaller version of Big Show. Big guy, clobbering hands. I was sad to see Rey and Sincara just make cameos. Rey Misterio is one of my other favourites. Was hoping Danielson would do well but they sacrificed him for a comedy spot. The guy does not 'look' like a star but he makes the crowd go crazy for kicks and punches, for chrissakes! Why can't they use him better?
The commentary was really good, and JBL is an excellent bully heel commentator. Cole and Lawler (was it? It's been too long) were adequate. I wished Jim Ross was there. He really makes a huge difference, especially for someone like me who doesn't follow the product frequently, and he is the best at giving the story behind the match.
I went to the main event knowing that Rock would win, but the swerve was really good. I actually cheered after Punk was declared the winner, but the moment I saw Vince come out I knew the title was changing. Of all the past champions, CM Punk was probably my favourite since Bret Hart in 92(?) He and Danielson are pretty much the two guys who made me follow the product again. It was good to see him have a great match with the Rock. Heyman was good in his role, Rock looked huge (I really don't think he was that big even during his heyday). It was a very good match, and that table collapse in the middle of it was a very well done spot (I'd like to think it was planned).
Overall a very good PPV in a self-contained manner, but leading into Wrestlemania are the same old guys. Cena. Rock. I think I'll give that a miss, unless Undertaker is having a match. He too was one of my favourites.
Balaji Narasinham

Best Match: Rock-Punk
Worst Match: Tag Titles
Thumbs up for the overall show.
The predictability of WWE pushing towards Cena/Rock at Mania made the
endings to the Rumble and title match somewhat predictable. Although
both matches were still very well worked by all involved.
Del Rio retaining made sense as they are trying to get him over as a
top babyface, although the ending didn't work for me the TV match a
couple of weeks ago was a lot better.
The tag titles needed to change hands while Kane and Bryan are a good
team they have now beaten Rhodes and Sandow too many times but there
isn't really any other tag teams to move into the challengers role.
Very interested to see if Ziggler's promo about uniting the world
titles at  Mania goes anywhere and Ziggler's promos gave me a tiny bit
of hope Cena wasn't winning.
Chris Jericho made the Rumble, while Ziggler was very good everyone
knew going in that he was going to be good, Jericho was by far the
biggest surprise entrant and he helped keep the rumble together. Cena
winning was predictable and had it not been for the work of Ziggler
and Jericho honestly would've put this Rumble well into the bottom
half in history.
Rock and Punk was fantastic although I hated the Shield run in and due
to the way it was done the immediate re-start and Rock win had to
happen. Which was disappointing as I was hoping for something to
happen to allow Punk to escape the PPV with the title and there were
ways of keeping Punk as champ as the show went off the air but then
putting the title on Rock either at RAW or the Chamber but the attack
when the lights went out wasn't it.
Dave Lander
Sydney, Australia

Overall, a very good ppv.  
However, a really upside down finish when face Del Rio wins over a monster heel in such a chicken shit manner. WTF?
Michael Cole was stumbling over his words all night, jeez,
Miz is simply not prime time, no matter what they do and the rub from Flair. He gets "A" for effort, but...Goldust and Godfather were over more than Miz.
Yet, Jericho has the "it" factor, as one of the biggest reactions of the night was of disappointment when he was eliminated.
Ziggler, similar to Miz, is simply not a believable, let alone bankable, star.

Jeff Bukantz

Thoughts about WWE Royal Rumble.

I attended this years Royal Rumble live in Phoenix.

I was with my sweetheart, she has only been watching Wrestling for about two years.

Tonight when we got home she told me her thoughts on the CM Punk vs Rock Match

She was disappointed in the way CM Punk was disrespected tonight as the WWE champion.  She understand this a work, yet she would have like to seen CM Punk lose in a better way then the bullshit finish that was tonight with Vince coming out and saying well you won however i think you cheated even though i have no proof that the sheld attacked the rock because the lights went out. So i am going to take the title from you until the rock said no. She was upset because CM Punk should have been given more respect. If Vince wanted to have the rock go over then why did they not just have the rock go over clean rather then being a bully.

She was upset because CM Punk has a great story of being champion for over a year and over came alot and for Vince and the creative staff to do punk this way she was upset and felt cheated out of her 120 dollars she bought the tickets for me and my cousin and two god children.

Vince tonight by having CM Punk lose this way tonight disrespected everyone else who has been WWE champion.

I also feel upset and frustrated, i left wrestling after 28 years of it  watching because i got more in to MMA.

I came back when CM Punk cut his pipe bomb promo on RAW last summer i was hoping things would change and they did for a while. Yet we are here tonight with CM Punk doing a bullshit job to the Rock. Oh well we are back to the status quo of the Rock and John Cena on top.

CM Punk is different he brings a different type of people to wrestling. tonight I saw alot of adults in CM Punk shirts.

Also John Cena was booed out of the buliding when he won the Royal Rumble tonight. The energy was there to do something special with Ryback or anyone but Cena.

Oh well i am not sure i will order Wrestlemaina this year. I will still follow the business because i will always be a fan of Pro Wrestling.

Daniel Prokosch

Royal Rumble 2013:
Overall thumbs in the middle. To me there was no best or worst match. The big 3 matches were in the same range and all were hurt by the same: flat finishers. ADR vs. Big Show was a slow paced brawl with some good spots but a real lame finishing. Tag match was OK for a throwaway match. The Rumble started great, but as the match went on it felt rushed. It die when Jericho and Ziggler were eliminated. The final 4 was one of the worst of all time, not because Cena won but because of overall execution. The crowd didn't know what to make of it, so they just booed everybody. Rock vs. Punk was good up to the lights out sequence which was beyond stupidity. Punk winning because of it was wrong and then restarting the match a let Rock win in 2 minutes was total bullshit. It could had been way more effective and epic if Rock just won it clean, or doing an intervention (not the lights out crap) but with him being able to overcome it in the same match. It looks like there will be another Rock vs. Cena match, but lets see what twist and turns they add to it. Some people may complain about predictabilty and lack of spots for the "all year long" guys, but at the end of the day Rock vs. Cena is the biggest money making match and that's what the business is all about. Plus, the bigger stage, the better chances for those guys to steal the spotlight and make a name for themselves.

Leonardo II Mendez
San Sebastian, PR

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