The People Rejoice.
With WrestleMania just 70 days away, the Road to WrestleMania begins with the 26th annual Royal Rumble, which came to you, live on pay-per-view, from the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ. In one of the most anticipated and career-making matches of the year, 30 WWE Superstars will compete in the wild and unpredictable 30-Man Royal Rumble Match as such Superstars as John Cena, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Ryback, The Miz, Wade Barrett, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Antonio Cesaro, and Dolph Ziggler, who will be forced to enter the Royal Rumble Match at either #1 or #2, will go to war in the WWE’s annual over-the-top rope extravaganza and the prize for winning the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match? A guaranteed shot at either the WWE or World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania XXIX! August 25, 2002; that was the last day that “The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment” The Rock held the WWE Championship, but “The People’s Champion” wants the title back, but to do so, The Rock will have to unseat the self-proclaimed “Best in the World” CM Punk, who has held the WWE Title for an astounding 434 days. With both champion and challenger guaranteeing victory, something will have to give when “The Best in the World” collides with “The Great One” The Rock with the WWE’s top prize on the line and, as decreed by Mr. McMahon, if The Shield interferes in the match, then CM Punk will be stripped of the WWE Championship! After an impromptu title defense resulted in Big Show losing the World Heavyweight Title to Alberto Del Rio in a Last Man Standing Match, “The World’s Largest Athlete” would challenge new World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio in a Last Man Standing rematch for the gold! The WWE Tag Team Titles would also be up for grabs at the Royal Rumble as Team Hell No defends the tag titles against longtime rivals, Team Rhodes Scholars.
- United States Championship: Pre-Show Exclusive: Antonio Cesaro (c) def. The Miz by pin following the Neutralizer to retain.
- World Heavyweight Championship: Last Man Standing: Alberto Del Rio (c) (with Ricardo Rodriguez) def. Big Show to retain.
- WWE Tag Team Championship: Team Hell No (c) def. Team Rhodes Scholars by Damien Sandow tapping out to Daniel Bryan’s (c) No Lock to retain.
- 30-Man Royal Rumble Match: WINNER- John Cena (#19)
- WWE Championship: The Shield Banned: The Rock (with Mr. McMahon) def. CM Punk (c) (with The Shield & Paul Heyman) by pin following the People’s Elbow to win the WWE Title.
Royal Rumble Match Entrants
- Dolph Ziggler
- Chris Jericho
- Cody Rhodes
- Kofi Kingston
- Santino Marella
- Drew McIntyre
- Titus O’Neil
- David Otunga
- Heath Slater
- Brodus Clay
- Rey Mysterio
- Darren Young
- Bo Dallas
- The Godfather
- Wade Barrett
- John Cena (WINNER)
- Damien Sandow
- Daniel Bryan
- Antonio Cesaro
- The Great Khali
- Zack Ryder
- Randy Orton
- Jinder Mahal
- The Miz
- Sin Cara
Royal Rumble Match Eliminations
- Cody Rhodes elim. Santino Marella
- Chris Jericho elim. Drew McIntyre
- Sheamus elim. Titus O’Neil
- Sheamus elim. David Otunga
- Cody Rhodes elim. Goldust
- Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes, Heath Slater, & Darren Young elim. Brodus Clay
- Kofi Kingston elim. Tensai
- Kofi Kingston elim. Darren Young
- Cody Rhodes elim. Kofi Kingston
- Dolph Ziggler elim. The Godfather
- John Cena elim. Heath Slater
- John Cena elim. Cody Rhodes
- Wade Barrett elim. Rey Mysterio
- Kane & Daniel Bryan elim. The Great Khali
- Daniel Bryan elim. Kane
- Kane elim. Daniel Bryan
- Randy Orton elim. Zack Ryder
- John Cena elim. Antonio Cesaro
- Sheamus elim. Jinder Mahal
- Bo Dallas elim. Wade Barrett
- Wade Barrett elim. Bo Dallas
- Ryback elim. Damien Sandow
- Ryback elim. Sin Cara
- Ryback elim. The Miz
- Dolph Ziggler elim. Chris Jericho
- Ryback elim. Randy Orton
- Sheamus elim. Dolph Ziggler
- Ryback elim. Sheamus
- John Cena elim. Ryback
Before heading out to defend the World Heavyweight Championship, Alberto Del Rio & Ricardo Rodriguez meet up none other than WWE Hall of Famer Bret “The Hitman” Hart, who endorses the new champion, saying that Del Rio is like a “Mexican Bret Hart”, telling Del Rio to go out there and take care of that “tub of goo”, Big Show! Del Rio exits, but Rodriguez is still gushing at the sight of one of his childhood heroes and the ever-courteous “Hitman” puts a pair of his signature shades on the face of the personal ring announcer!
The Royal Rumble got off to a major start as SmackDown’s top prize was up for grabs as Alberto Del Rio, with Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner, defended the World Heavyweight Championship against the former champion, “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match, where the only way to win is to incapacitate your opponent to the point of them being unable to answer the referee’s ten-count. After battling in the ring, the war would spill to the outside of the ring and up to the staging area, where Big Show would toss Alberto Del Rio into a set piece before using a florescent light bulb, smacking it on the back of Del Rio! Big Show then sets up a table before climbing the set piece, literally pulling Del Rio up on top of the suspended piece, hoisting Del Rio up and tossing the champion through the table and to the concrete floor with a chokeslam! Miraculously, Alberto Del Rio is somehow able to make it back to his feet before the referee reaches his ten-count! Big Show then brings Del Rio back into the ring where he sizes Del Rio up for the K.O. Punch, but Del Rio manages to quickly escape the ring. Big Show then tosses the steel steps at Del Rio, but the champion narrowly avoids disaster. Ricardo Rodriguez briefly tries to assist his employer, but Big Show easily deals with Rodriguez, tossing the ring announcer into the ringside barricade. Big Show then attempts to deliver the Spear to Del Rio, but Del Rio again dodges the giant as Big Show goes crashing through the barricade! Del Rio then grabs a steel chair, positioning Big Show’s arm on the steel steps, delivering a vicious steel chair shot to Big Show’s arm! Back in the ring, Del Rio locks in the cross armbreaker on the injured arm of the giant. Meanwhile, Rodriguez uses a roll of duct tape to tape Big Show’s feet to the bottom rope! Del Rio then releases the cross armbreaker and, with Big Show’s feet being tied up, he is unable to get to his feet before the ten-count, ensuring a successful title retention for the still World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio!
Backstage, “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee, & Big E. Langston are interviewed by Matt Striker as, with Dolph being forced by Vickie Guerrero to choose to enter at either #1 or #2 in the Royal Rumble Match, Ziggler says that he will be entering at #1! After Big E. Langston scares Matt Striker away, Ziggler states that he will make history in the Royal Rumble Match by winning the Rumble, saying that he will cash in Money-in-the-Bank to win the World Heavyweight Title and, at WrestleMania, he will win the WWE Title, unifying the two top championships!
The WWE Tag Team Titles were also on the line at the Royal Rumble as Team Hell No, Kane & Daniel Bryan, defend the WWE Tag Team Titles against their longtime rivals, Team Rhodes Scholars, Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow. In the end, it was Daniel Bryan locking in the No Lock on Damien Sandow, forcing Sandow to tap out to pick up the win and successfully retain the WWE Tag Team Titles for Team Hell No.
Then it was time for one Superstar’s career to be made as thirty Superstars would battle in WWE’s annual over-the-top rope extravaganza, the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match, with the last Superstar standing earning a guaranteed title shot at either the WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXIX! As revealed earlier in the night, “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler enters the match first as the #1 entrant. Before the Rumble officially gets underway, Dolph says that the Rumble will end just as it began, with him standing alone in the ring. Ziggler then says that he does not care who the #2 entrant is, telling the individual to just get out there. However, Ziggler and the rest of the world could not have anticipated as none other than the first Undisputed WWE Champion in history, “Y2J” Chris Jericho, was the #2 entrant into the Royal Rumble Match! As Jericho battles the man who resulted in his firing from the WWE in August, Dolph Ziggler, the third entrant, Cody Rhodes, joins the fray. The #4 entrant was a highlight reel of last year’s Rumble Match as Kofi Kingston joins the Rumble. The #5 entrant into the Rumble has a mixed history in the Rumble Match as Santino Marella enters the match, but would attack every one of the other participants, which would come back to haunt Santino as all four Superstars target Santino before being the first one eliminated from the Rumble, thanks to Cody Rhodes. Drew McIntyre then enters the Royal Rumble Match at #6, followed by one of The Prime Time Players, Titus O’Neil at #7. Chris Jericho would then use his Rumble experience to spot an opening, eliminating Drew McIntyre from the match. An unexpected brotherly battle would then ensue as “The Bizarre One” Goldust enters the Rumble at #8, immediately going to war with his younger brother, Cody Rhodes! The Harvard Law graduate, David Otunga, then enters at #9, followed by the front man of 3MB, Heath Slater, at #10.
The #11 entrant into the Royal Rumble Match was the winner of last year’s Royal Rumble as “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus enters the Rumble, taking over the Rumble, tossing David Otunga into Titus O’Neil to send Titus out of the match, following that up with the Brogue Kick to Otunga, eliminating Otunga from the Rumble! The first super heavyweight of the Rumble would then enter the fray as Tensai enters at #12. The Royal Rumble then gets funky with “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay entering at #13. The sibling rivalry between Goldust and Cody Rhodes then finds its way onto the ring apron as Rhodes viciously sends Goldust into the steel ring post and out of the Rumble Match. The #14 entrant was another former Royal Rumble winner as “The Master of the 619” Rey Mysterio joins the Rumble. In a rare joint effort, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes, Heath Slater, and the #15 entrant, Darren Young, work together to eliminate Brodus Clay. Shortly after this, Kofi Kingston is somehow able to eliminate Tensai from the match! With Kofi still on the apron, Dolph Ziggler tries to eliminate Kofi, but Kofi lands on the back of Tensai, avoiding elimination! Kofi then finds his way onto the Spanish announce table, where he finds himself stranded away from the ring. As NXT competitor Bo Dallas enters at #16, Kofi Kingston borrows JBL’s chair, using it to scoot his way back to the ring apron! Kofi then manages to eliminate Darren Young before Cody Rhodes ruins all of Kingston’s efforts by hitting the Disaster Kick, eliminating Kingston! The Royal Rumble continues to serve up the shockers as Attitude Era icon The Godfather makes his surprise entry at #17! However, The Godfather suffers a quick exit from the Rumble, thanks to Dolph Ziggler. The #18 entrant was the Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett, followed by the #19 entrant, which was none other than the winner of the 2008 Royal Rumble Match and the man who promised to become the WWE Champion again in 2013, John Cena. Cena is quickly met by a wall of Rumble entrants, but Cena quickly crushes dreams by eliminating Heath Slater and Cody Rhodes.
Moments after his tag team partner, Cody Rhodes’ elimination, Damien Sandow enters the Rumble at #20. Wade Barrett then gets his first elimination in the Rumble Match, taking Rey Mysterio out of the match. One-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, Daniel Bryan, then enters the match at #21, followed by the United States Champion Antonio Cesaro at #22. “The Punjabi Giant” The Great Khali then enters the Royal Rumble Match at #23, followed by, arguably, the most dominant Superstar in Royal Rumble Match history as the other half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, “The Big Red Monster” Kane, enters his fourteenth Royal Rumble Match at #24. Zack Ryder then enters at #25 as Team Hell No works together to eliminate The Great Khali. However, in a major shocker, Daniel Bryan then eliminates his own tag team partner, Kane, but when Daniel Bryan is knocked off of the ring apron, but is caught by Kane! Bryan then asks his tag team partner to put him back in the ring, but Kane opts to drop his partner, eliminating Bryan! The #26 entrant was none other than “The Viper” Randy Orton, who delivers the RKO to Zack Ryder before sending Ryder out of the match. The final member of 3MB, Jinder Mahal, then enters the Royal Rumble Match at #27. In a battle of strength, Antonio Cesaro tries to hoist John Cena out of the Rumble, but Cena fights back, eliminating the United States Champion from the Rumble. After failing to defeat Antonio Cesaro for the United States Title on the Royal Rumble Pre-Show, The Miz enters the Rumble at #28, brawling with Cesaro before officially entering the match. Meanwhile, Sheamus sends Jinder Mahal out of the Rumble Match. “The Masked Sensation” Sin Cara then makes his return, entering the Royal Rumble Match at #29.
In a shocking elimination, the rookie NXT competitor, Bo Dallas, is able to hoist Wade Barrett over-the-top rope, eliminating the Intercontinental Champion! However, Wade Barrett would destroy the dreams of the young hopeful, eliminating Bo Dallas from the Rumble before blasting Dallas with the Bull Hammer Elbow. The last Superstar to enter the 2013 Royal Rumble Match was none other the juggernaut, “The Sin City Cyborg” Ryback, who enters at #30. Ryback makes an immediate impact, eliminating Damien Sandow, followed shortly by Sin Cara. The Miz then attempts to eliminate Ryback, but Ryback overpowers Miz, sending Miz out of the match. The #1 and #2 entrants then resume their war, but, in the end, it was Dolph Ziggler delivering a super kick to Chris Jericho that would finally eliminate Y2J from the match! Randy Orton then etches his dominance into the Royal Rumble Match as “The Viper” drops both John Cena and Sheamus with the RKO, but when he tries to deliver the RKO to Ryback, Ryback fights back, using his power to eliminate Orton! Shortly after this, Sheamus is able to use his trusty Brogue Kick to finally eliminate the #1 entrant, Dolph Ziggler, leaving only Ryback, Sheamus, and John Cena in the Royal Rumble Match! After taking Cena down with the Meat Hook Clothesline, Ryback would wage war with Sheamus, but when Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick on Ryback, “The Sin City Cyborg” dodges the move, eliminating Sheamus from the Rumble, leaving only Ryback and John Cena! The two powerhouses then square off with John Cena locking in the STF on Ryback, putting the big man out with the submission move. However, Ryback would not be out for long and the war would rage on. Then, for only the fourth time in WWE history, a Superstar would win two Royal Rumble Matches as John Cena manages to send Ryback over-the-top rope to win the 2013 Royal Rumble Match, earning a guaranteed title shot for either the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania! Which championship will John Cena challenge for at WrestleMania XXIX?
Then it was time for the much-anticipated main event as “The Best in the World” would collide with “The Great One” as, on his sensational 434th day as the WWE Champion, CM Punk, with Paul Heyman in his corner, would defend the most prestigious championship in the WWE against “The People’s Champion” himself, The Rock and, as decreed by Mr. McMahon, if The Shield interferes, then CM Punk will be stripped of the WWE Championship! Throughout the match, CM Punk and The Rock would each target the other’s injuries as Punk would hone in on the injured mid-section of The Rock and Rock would target the surgically-repaired knee of Punk, even locking in the Sharpshooter, nearly making Punk tap out. The champion would manage to get to the ropes and then made his way quickly to the outside, but The Rock would pursue the champion, keeping Punk on the outside of the ring as Rock dismantled the Spanish announce table. Champion and challenger would then battle for control on top of the Spanish announce table with CM Punk looking to hit the GTS on The Rock, but Rock would counter as “The Great One” would set Punk up for the Rock Bottom. Before The Rock could deliver the Rock Bottom, however, the table would give way and both men would crash to the floor! After rolling into the ring and back out to prevent a double count-out, The Rock makes sure that Punk would feel the Rock Bottom as Rock drops Punk with the Rock Bottom on the arena floor! The Rock barely gets CM Punk back into the ring, but Punk manages to counter with a kick to the head of The Rock as the back-and-forth battle continues. Moments later, The Rock looked to be closing in on the WWE Championship as he sets Punk up for the People’s Elbow, but as Rock hits the People’s Elbow on CM Punk, the lights go out in the arena! In the darkness of the arena, commentator Michael Cole is able to identify that The Shield had arrived on the scene, solely through the flashbulbs of the cameras in the crowd, as, still in the dark, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns assault The Rock again, putting “The People’s Champion” through the announce table with their three-man powerbomb, all described by Michael Cole! When the lights came back on, however, there was no sign of The Shield, but there work was apparently done as The Rock laid among the rubble of the announce table with CM Punk still down in the center of the ring. Michael Cole tries to get the attention of the referee to try and inform him of what happened to no avail. Pretending to know nothing about the attack, CM Punk heads to the outside of the ring, rolling The Rock back into the ring as Punk pins The Rock to successfully retain the WWE Championship!
Just when it looked like the Royal Rumble would end on a high note for WWE Champion CM Punk, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon came out with a different plan in mind as the Chairman says that, while no one was actually able to witness The Shield’s interference in the match, it is obvious that they were the ones behind the attack. McMahon was ready to strip CM Punk of the WWE Title, but before the Chairman could make the official decree, The Rock, still down at ringside, manages to grab a microphone and interrupt the Chairman. The Rock says that they are not ending the night like that, saying that he will take the title from CM Punk, not Mr. McMahon, and ordering that the match be restarted right now! The Chairman agrees and Mr. McMahon agrees that the match be restarted! The bell rings and CM Punk immediately takes it to The Rock, dropping the elbow drop off of the top rope on The Rock, but The Rock manages to kick out. Punk then goes for the GTS, but The Rock counters, hitting the Spinebuster on Punk and following it up with the People’s Elbow, pinning CM Punk to end Punk’s unparalleled 434-day reign as the WWE Champion and ushering in a new era, an era of the people!
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