The morning after the Royal Rumble and what it means going forward

Craig Wilson

Now that the dust has settled after a good, albeit predictable, Royal Rumble card, I’ll take a quick – I am utterly shattered – look at the evening itself and what it means going forward. Our prediction thread from yesterday will also be revisited to see how poorly, certainly for me, the predictions we made were.

Predictions

Myself and Jamie called the pre show correct, we all got tag titles match wrong, James was only one to call the Alberto Del Rio v Big Show match, James and I both incorrectly thought CM Punk would retain whilst Jamie and James both mentioned Cena as Rumble winner.

Scores:

Jamie: 3
Craig: 1
James: 2* (didn’t give a prediction for pre-show match)

What the evening’s results mean

I think the Internet Wrestling Community is somewhat united in its disappointment in both the outcome of the Royal Rumble match itself as well as The Rock ending CM Punk’s title reign. That said, few could argue that The Rock v Cena is big business and after recent years, that’s what is most important to Vince McMahon and the WWE as a whole.

Sure, the “once in a lifetime” words from last year sound so hollow now but whatever you think of their merits as performers, The Rock v Cena is a billion dollar feud. But who wins and who loses from the other matches?

Pre-show Cesaro v The Miz: As above, I predicted Cesaro to win and he duly did in what was a fairly one sided affair that Cesaro can be very happy with. Not much solace that The Miz can take from it, however. How his fortunes have changed. Headlining Wrestlemania 27 and lasting 45+ minutes in last year’s Rumble to being on the losing end in the pre-show match up at this year’s Rumble and having a fairly unsuccessful cameo in the Rumble match. Cesaro, on the other hand, needed last night’s win. He’s struggled of late with the fans not caring too much about him, something not helped by being stuck in his previous feud with R-Truth. If last night is a launching pad for bigger and better things then Cesaro could be a breakout star of 2013 in the WWE.

Alberto Del Rio v The Big Show: Now, it was only James that called this one correctly although I did um and aw before eventually plumping for The Big Show to win this. As opening PPV encounters go this was a good one and whilst ‘Last Man Standing’, or Texas Death Mathces as they were once known, traditionally end in bloodshed and carnage, it was a victory for brains over brawn with Rodriguez tying Show’s feet to the ropes preventing him from getting up from the 10 count and allowing Del Rio to retain his belt. Show, erm, showed he can still put on a good match despite age and wear and tear so I expect this one to go on a little longer. I very much doubt that ADR will go into Wrestlemania with the belt but as the results above show, I am pretty hopeless when it comes to predictions.

Team Hell No v The Rhodes Scholars: Another surprise result here, I think everyone, certainly myself, James and Jamie, predicted that Cody and Sandow would win the belts. However, it wasn’t to be. Kane and Bryan teased dissention in the Rumble match with Bryan eliminating Kane and when Kane had chance to save Bryan from elimination he didn’t. Is this one for Dr Shelby or will Team Hell No drop the belts tonight on Raw? Interesting to see what this means, also, for Rhodes Scholars. After losing individually to Kane and Bryan on television ahead of the Rumble, it was expected they’d overcome the champs to win the belts at last night’s show. Unless Rhodes and Sandow win the belts either tonight or very soon, they will be left looking weak and not as serious contenders.

Royal Rumble match: Disappointed that this one didn’t headline the show, which it always should. Couple of good spots contained within it, good to see Chris Jericho return and last an impressive 50 minutes, Goldust’s return and mini feud with Cody Rhodes was entertaining, Kofi had a nice moment in Rumble where he prevented himself from being eliminated by jumping on Tensai’s back and then onto announce table. Perhaps one of the best moments was NXT tournament winner, and third generation star, Bo Dallas getting a good run in the Rumble match and even eliminating the Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett.

However, Cena’s victory didn’t come as much of a surprise nor was the final five of Cena, Ziggler, Orton, Sheamus and Ryback. More pressing, what does last night’s Rumble mean for Ziggler? Many predicted he would last a long time, I even thought he could pick up the victory. While he did last over 50 minutes I can think of very little in the way of stand-out moments from his time in the ring. He’s still to cash the Money in the Bank in and does last night further demonstrate that Ziggler has still really to prove himself in the eyes of many in the back? I can’t help but think that it does.

Punk v The Rock: The outcome of this one has been written in stone since it was announced and I think my prediction of a Punk victory was more in hope than anything else here. Whatever your thoughts on the outcome of the match, I’m as disappointed as any, it was a very very good main event match. The lights going out and The Rock being put through a table is a bullshit thing to do on PPV – with so many people to pay to see the action – and that resulted in the ‘Dusty finish’ and then the Rock ending Punk’s 434 day title reign with an elbow drop.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Punk is very entertaining when he is doing the chasing and that added with him now being a heel bodes very well. I think he’ll focus his ire on The Shield at tonight’s Raw and his anger at last night’s injustice will make for very interesting viewing in the coming weeks and months. I have a sneaky feeling that Punk v Rock II will take place before Rock v Cena II.

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