By Ryan Kester
Royal Rumble Match
I'm just going to go ahead and get this out of the way here, I am not excited about the idea of another Rock vs. John Cena build for WrestleMania. Last year's build was godawful, and the last thing we need is another round of the two trying to take away each other's heat. I think it's one of the best moves WWE can do for business, but for my tastes and my money it's the least desirable option.
That being said, this was a good Rumble. WWE didn't pull as many comedic shenanigans as last year, and the reveal of Chris Jericho at the beginning made for a fun moment. More importantly, several stories could be built out of the action of this match, and the flow from start to finish felt natural and kept me entertained.
CM Punk vs. The Rock
This match was good enough, but the pace was way too slow for the payoff to such a well-built feud. The mic exchanges and physical interactions between Rock and Punk have been very intense, and the match here did not reflect that in the slightest. Both men got their big spots, but they got to each of them at a very leisurely pace.
I liked the Shield run-in during a complete blackout. The spot felt unique and was well executed. Everything after that felt like way too much. WWE overbooked this match to the point that Rock's eventual win felt anticlimactic. This wasn't helped in the slightest by the ending being telegraphed by Cena winning the Rumble because the Rumble went first.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show
This match was unexpectedly fun. The two men worked a lot of interested and unexpected spots, and the action throughout was entertaining for me. Since Show's heel turn, he has really improved at his in-ring storytelling, and we got more of that last night.
Much like the WWE Championship match, the ending to this kind of let the air out of an otherwise solid effort. Cena's duct tape win over Batista is just a few years old at this point, and it wasn't the greatest idea when he did it. Last Man Standing matches have pacing problems as it is, and the duct tape spot shows who's going to win the match before the count even begins.
Don't let my above misgivings about the direction WrestleMania seems to be taking make you believe that I thought the show was bad. It was entertaining and made me content enough with the money I parted with to watch. However, I still find myself unable to get excited to see another round of Rock vs. Cena build.
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Kester's WWE Royal Rumble Rundown: John Cena wins the Rumble, The Rock becomes WWE Champion, and Alberto Del Rio is the Mexican Bret Hart
Jan 28, 2013 - 12:00 PM
Jan 28, 2013 - 12:00 PM
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