Thursday, January 25, 2018

Royal Ramble: 2013

I was going to touch on a much older Rumble, but in looking back at the older blog posts, I found that I never did do a "proper" musings on the 2013 Royal Rumble. And then I did a little digging as to why and that's when I remembered why I didn't do it... because it was the build-up to the most needless rematch in the history of anything and I never bought the show. So I didn't watch it and proceeded to not watch it for years because it was needless, given what the end game was going to be.

But then I came across a curious post that I did around that time, which involved a man nearly losing an eye during a robbery. A traumatic event to anyone, but in his mind, the worst thing to happen to him that week wasn't the robbery or even the eye injury, but the fact that The Rock ended CM Punk's year-plus long reign as WWE Champion. And that did put a smile on my face.

For curious parties, said post can be seen here with a Youtube embed. Now if that doesn't inspire you, then I don't know what will.

But anyway, it's time to give this show a proper write-up... whatever that means.

World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio defeated Big Show in a last man standing match to retain the title. A bit of context here; Del Rio had won the World Title (a.k.a. the Big Gold Belt) on an episode of Smackdown a month ago from Big Show in a Last Man Standing match. And in a move that I normally wouldn't do but figured why not since I had the WWE Network, I took the common courtesy (or whatever the term would be) to watch THAT match before watching this show. And it was a really decent little match where there was a genuine effort to make Del Rio look like this never say die hero and when the guy won the title, it was a nice little moment that got the crowd cheering to the heavens.

And then I asked myself why they didn't save this for PPV instead of wasting it on free TV for a seemingly inconsequential rating. Because watching this match - a seeming retread of the Smackdown match, right down to the stipulation - left me with a deflated sense of dejavu. Sure, it was a fine match on its own accord and I liked Del Rio hogtying Big Show to keep him down in a clever finish, but why not have the title switch here? It might not have helped Del Rio much long term (he'd drop the title a couple months later), but it would've been a nice start.

Enough armchair booking. Let's watch the rest of this show.

WWE Tag-Team champions Daniel Bryan Danielson and Kane (I refuse to use their team name because it's stupid) defeated Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow (whose team name I also refuse to use because it's just as stupid) to retain the titles. This was a solid, perfectly acceptable bit of tag-team wrestling between two gelled teams and it was fairly enjoyable stuff. Bryan and Kane would eventually drop the titles to the Shield somewhere down the line and go their seperate ways.

And then we have the Royal Rumble... and John Cena overcomes the odds to win it... if the odds meant starting at No. 19 while everyone else is exhausted. This was a fairly so-so Rumble; other than the return of Chris Jericho who had been absent for a time as well as a cameo from Charles "Godfather" Wright and his lovely entourage, there wasn't anything special or even remotely interesting that took place during the near-hour long endeavor. As far as Rumble matches go, this was fairly pedestrian and I felt more bored than irritated. I suppose it's better than nothing, but... this felt like nothing in the end.

And then we have The Rock defeating WWE Champion CM Punk to win the title and end Punk's 430+ day long reign or whatever it was. I wouldn't have cared back then because the ending was so obvious from the getgo and even watching now, this whole match was a huge colossal waste of time. In my mind, I felt they could've done the quick match where Punk got a few moves in before Rock got his stuff in and won the title in like five minutes. It would not have been the "glorious" end of a long WWE title reign - and really, the reign itself was nothing special through no fault of Punk's - but considering there was no real reason for Punk's run as champion to end other than to necessitate a needless rematch at Wrestlemania 29 between Rock and Cena, it would've been better than insulting the crowd's intelligence.

And yes, sometimes, it's not about the destination; it's about the journey. But in this case, I'd prefer a quick shortcut rather than the needless marathon we just witnessed. It seemed like no matter what they did to try and convince people it could go both ways, everyone - and I mean EVERYONE - knew where this one was going. And it was not a fun ride, either way. After all, it did ruin one guy's week... you know, despite almost losing an eye.

If I were watching this in 2013, I would've deemed this a colossal waste of time and money because the end game was so blatantly obvious even a blind person could see it coming. But watching this show five years later on the WWE Network, it was a case where the wrestling was good, the matches were decent, but there was no incentive to care. This was the viewer on cruise control, waiting for something interesting to happen and nothing ever really does.

Not a bad show, but I wasn't really feeling this one, so... meh.

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