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434 Days...And Over?
on January 31, 2013
Normally I wait until the end to give my summary but based off how I see the previous reviews along with the amount of votes they've been getting, I'll give it now. I'm not the type of person who only concentrates on the match result before the match itself & I'll give the devil it's due if that match was pretty damn good or entertaining regardless if I like the winner or not. I personally didn't want C.M. Punk's title reign to end (and for those who will complain about spoilers, just look at the DVD cover!) nor did I want to the person who won the Rumble to win it but I'm not going to deny that this was the best Rumble event from the undercard matches to the Rumble itself in at least the last two to three years regardless of who won the matches.
Last Man Standing Match: World Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show - We get a special treat before the match as Del Rio & Ricardo Rodriquez get some encouraging words from Bret Hart backstage before making their way to the ring. Big Show took control early with heavy chops to Rio's chest before he recovered taking out Big Show's legs while also catching Show in a frankensteiner when he went for a powerbomb & delivering a top rope legdrop to take Show down as Del Rio continued to use a chair to keep show down. Show would eventually catch Del Rio & made him pay for with his power such as a chokeslam, slam on the floor, and beating him up using the entrance stage before delivering on high chokeslam that had Del Rio crashing on the way down before making their way back to the ring where they continued to fight using whatever was around from the barricade, chair, steel steps, fire extinguisher, Ricardo Rodriquez getting involved, and a prop we've seen make a big different in another Last Man Standing match in recent years. While I liked their previous Last Man Standing match on SmackDown better, this was still a good match showcasing Big Show at the dominate giant while Del Rio as the smaller man who brought a fight.
Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars - Hell No was in control early on with Kane using his power strikes while Bryan has some offense himself like a suicide dive onto both on the outside & applying a surfboard submission during the match. Rhodes Scholars had to resort to cheating behind the referee's back in order to gain the advantage & continued to single out Bryan with even Cody applying a variation of the half crab submission of his own with Kane waiting for the hot tag on the apron. This was a solid tag team match using the typical "tag team wrestling 101" formula in regards to how both teams worked throughout the match with the only real negative being that we've seen them fight on TV various times that this match didn't stand out.
Royal Rumble Battle Royal - As usual, WWE put together a great "by the numbers" video package featuring facts & highlights from the previous Rumble matches. Various moments include Dolph kissing A.J. so hard during his entrance that you would think he was going to swallow her, the #2 entrant being a blast from Dolph's past, the Rhodes family reunion, Sheamus' dominate entrance, the returns of Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara, how Kofi saved himself from elimination this year, the return of the Ho Train, Team Hell No, The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro, NXT star Bo Dallas entering the Royal Rumble & having his "Undertaker/Maven" moment, Sheamus vs. Randy Orton, and when it got down to the final five. While I didn't agree with the winner, I won't deny that this Rumble was entertaining from start to finish & way better than what we got last year.
WWE Champion C.M. Punk vs. The Rock - Both men started off trading fist with the brawl going in & out of the ring with a funny part happening with Rock taking off the lid of the spanish announce table only for Punk to keep putting it back on & even doing a comedic jester to the announcers. A distraction by Heyman allowed Punk to take control using a unique head vice submission while also taking the match back on the outside with a springboard dropkick to Rock on the apron, top rope double axe handle, and suicide dive. They eventually continued to trade momentum allowing for some good sequences like a GTS to Rock Bottom to Anaconda Vice to pin attempt & later how Rock was able to counter a pin attempt by Punk into the Sharpshooter as the action continued back on the outside & in the ring that eventually resulted in one announce tables destroyed before the lights went out & the other table was broken as well. While this was another case where I personally wouldn't have chosen the guy who did win the match, I won't deny that this was a quality match between the two that at times did come off as a fight as much as a wrestling match.
I already gave my "bottom line" in the beginning that this was the best Rumble PPV from top to bottom in the past few years as far as quality goes regardless of who won what match so if you can get past that part then this is a show I would go out of my way to see.