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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

FIGHTS: Royal Rumble '13 Road to Wrestlemania notes from

by Bowie Ibarra

It was pretty much WWE going 'lets return to the status quo, back to what everybody hated before' so they can pander to the people who are only going to stick around for 'mania and abandon them for the remainder of the year.  Ah, well, it had its moments.


It was about two Rumbles ago now that Del Rio won the entire event.  And at that event, he was the 'Mexican Aristocrat' that was a not-so-subtle angle similar to the immigration issue that was at the forefront of politics at the time.  Now, with the issue being buried and only recently resurrected again, it was a good time for Del Rio to be a smiling good guy.  Either way, I've been a fan and will always be a fan.

Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez made show look stupid by taping his leg to the ring rope and having Del Rio humiliate him, taking the victory.  But Del Rio paid a steep price for it on Raw the next day.  We'll see how this progresses on the road to 'mania.
Photo courtesy WWE.COM


It was a good time.  I didn't mind it, and thought it was better than last year.  Here are some notable moments:

  -  Jericho returns at the number 2 spot - My buddy Brandon Stroud made sense of it on his review (which you need to read and follow to get his great 'Best and Worst' blogs).  But for me, it was just whatever.  He showed up before, and I thought it was cool.  But then he bailed afterwards.  I support him, bought the DVD, etc.  I just hope more comes from this run than just getting a check to finance his rock career.

-  Goldust vs. Cody Rhodes aka Brother against Brother - It was a confrontation the Twitterverse was calling for for years, and it went down finally at the Rumble.  It was great, with Cody getting the advantage on his brother and throwing him out.

- Kofi gets kicked out of the Rumble by Rhodes - After taking the time to hop back to the ring after being placed on the announce table by Tensai, Kofi hopped on a chair back to the ring.  But his return was short lived as Rhodes drop-kicked him the f**k out of the Rumble.

- Shemus getting kicked out near the end - I took great joy watching the fans cheer for that POS Shemus before getting kicked out near the very end.  I swear, if that turd won again, I was going to be mad.  So it was great to see him get thrown out at the very end and cheer in front of his supporters.

- Cena wins Rumble - And, for a minute there, I thought someone else was going to win.  This has definitely turned into a Hogan 'I'm sick of you always winning' run.

Photo courtesy WWE.COM

Wild match up that ended strangely.  But it started strong, with Punk getting in the Rock's face with the title and the announcement like a pro-boxing title fight.  That was cool.

-  Rock 'breaks the count'  - I have to admit, I absolutely positively 'LOVED' Rock going old school and breaking the refs count during some crazy action outside the ring.  I wish I could see this more these days.

- Heyman needed to help pace Punk - I was upset at all the highspots Punk was taking to defeat Rock.  Lots of top rope maneuvers were killing me and taking a toll on Punk.  He grabbed at his knee several times, a clear sign he was not at 100%.  I've had knee surgery and it sucks.  It also takes time to heal.  I didn't want to see Punk re-injure it.  And for that, I felt Heyman needed to pace him on those risks.

- Rock gets jumped in the dark - Rock gets jumped in the dark, somehow, by mystery people, and Punk pins him for the win when the lights come back on.  That was a crappy finish to what was a pretty good match up to that point.  Then it got even more craptacular.

- Rock wins WWE Title - Rock calls off McMahon, who wants to strip Punk of the title with no definitive evidence of The Shield interfering, and gets back into the match and wins it.  I have to admit, I was okay with that, because Punk taking the win that way was kind of crappy.  I hoped he had enough to put a hurting Rock away, but a healthier and stronger Rock got the best of a recovering from knee injury Punk.

Considering that, I would have liked to see a 100% Punk against a 100% Rock.  I think Punk not having a match that pushed him like this one, a tune-up match so to speak, really played to Rock's advantage.  Rock's a beast when it comes to training, and even though he'd not been in the ring for months in a match like this, I think his strength, conditioning, rich WWE main even experience, and healthier overall fitness helped him out.

You got to respect Punk's title run, which is the longest run in recent memory.  And you've got to respect him stepping into the ring running on half a tank to defend the title he earned, loves, and has shown the most respect to.  Rock was just too much for an unhealthy Punk, and he takes the WWE Title down the road to WrestleMania.


BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuester. 

His combat sports themed book, PIT FIGHTERS: BAPTISM BY FIRE, features a luchador from Mexico who transitions to mixed martial arts competition.  It is available in paperback and on Kindle for .99 cents.

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  1. I really thought Ziggler was going to win the rumble. He is becoming more of a joke as time goes on. I'm beginning to think he will be a perrenial 'brides maid' in this league.

    BTW the events on raw really set a lot of stuff into motion, mostly predictable though.

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