Royal Rumble (2013) was the twenty-sixth annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE. It took place on January 27, 2013 at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the first WWE pay-per-view of 2013, and will feature the traditional Royal Rumble match.
Four matches were contested at the event, including one in this pre-show. In the main event, John Cena won the titular Royal Rumble match, making him the seventh multiple Rumble winner. In another prominent match, Antonio Cesaro defeated The Miz to retain his WWE Intercontinental Championship. Also on the card, Alberto Del Rio retained the World Heavyweight Championship against Big Show in a Last Man Standing match, Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) retain Raw Women's Championship against Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody and Damien), and The Rock defeated CM Punk to capture the WWE Championship marks the conclusion of Punk's long reign at 434 days.
On the December 31, 2012 episode of Raw John Cena announced he would enter the 2013 Royal Rumble match, making him the first confirmed entrant in the competition, and stated his desire to be WWE Champion. On the January 4, 2013 episode of SmackDown Randy Orton and Sheamus both announced they would participate in the Royal Rumble match as well, both wanting to win the World Heavyweight Championship. On subsequent episodes of Raw and SmackDown numerous wrestlers confirmed their participation: Dolph Ziggler claimed Cena had entered the match to hide from him, so Ziggler entered himself to stop Cena; 3MB (Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew Mcintyre) announced all three members were entering; Wade Barrett was confirmed on the 20th Anniversary of Raw; The Miz announced on his entry during commentary of Main Event; Antonio Cesaro announced his entry by interview. On the January 21 episode of Raw, a Beat The Clock Challenge was held with the winner being able to pick their entrance number. Ziggler defeated The Miz in the fastest time (due to beating Orton's time over Cesaro and Sheamus vs Barrett ending in a time limit draw), but Raw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero (after Ziggler barged into her office and gloated about winning) declared that his choice was between the first and second entry. On the same episode, Ryback announced his entry into the Royal Rumble after defeating Slater, while The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) and Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) also promised to win the match. On the January 25, 2013 episode of SmackDown, Kofi Kingston and The Great Khali announced their entries into the Royal Rumble.
The card included five matches that resulted from scripted storylines and had results predetermined by WWE. Storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Raw and SmackDown.
On July 23, 2012, during Raw 1000, The Rock announced that he would challenge for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. Later that night, reigning champion CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and John Cena each stated that they'd face The Rock as defending champion; later that night, Punk turned heel, attacking and laying out The Rock. Punk defended the championship for the rest of the year, while on December 23, 2012, The Rock tweeted to Punk that he was ready for the Royal Rumble. On the January 7 episode of Raw, Punk retained the WWE Championship against Ryback in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match after The Shield interfered. They also did during Punk's defence against Ryback and John Cena back at Survivor Series; this win secured Punk as the one who would defend against The Rock. On the January 21 episode of Raw while speaking about beating Punk at the Rumble, The Shield assaulted The Rock. After the assault, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that if The Shield interfered in the match, Punk will be stripped of his title.
Big Show began a feud with Alberto Del Rio after humiliating Del Rio's personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, sarcastically picking him to fight Show for the World Heavyweight Championship during "Champion's Choice Night" on the New Year's Eve 2013 episode of Raw, leading to a disqualification win for Big Show after Del Rio interfered. On the January 11, 2013 episode of SmackDown, Del Rio defeated Show in a Last Man Standing match for the championship. Three days later on Raw, Show announced that he would invoke his rematch clause at the pay-per-view. The week after, he made the match a Last Man Standing Match.
CM Punk, livid that his reign had ended, invoked his rematch clause at Elimination Chamber, but The Rock defeated him and retained the championship. Punk then challenged Cena for his contendership, which Cena accepted and defeated Punk. Punk later went to WrestleMania to try to end The Undertaker's undefeated streak. After Elimination Chamber, The Rock retired the spinner and bling belt (which was Cena's design for the championship and used by the company for the past eight years) and unveiled a new belt to represent the WWE Championship.
The following night on Raw, John Cena announced that he would challenge the reigning WWE Champion with his winning the Royal Rumble match. With The Rock retaining the championship, this would set up a rematch between The Rock and Cena from last year's WrestleMania. Cena would go on to win the match and the championship, making him a record 11-time WWE Champion.
|1P||Antonio Cesaro (c) defeated The Miz||Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship|
|2||Alberto Del Rio (c) (with Ricardo Rodriguez) defeated Big Show||Singles match for World Heavyweight Championship|
|3||Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) defeated Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow)||Tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship|
|4||John Cena won last eliminating Ryback||30-man Royal Rumble match for the world championship at WrestleMania 29|
|5||The Rock defeated CM Punk||Singles match for the WWE Championship
Had The Shield interfered, Punk would have been stripped of the title, but restarted the match from Vince McMahon.
Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations
A new entrant came out approximately every 90 seconds.
|2||Chris Jericho||Raw||25||Dolph Ziggler||47:53|
|3||Cody Rhodes||SmackDown||12||John Cena||27:39|
|4||Kofi Kingston||Raw||9||Cody Rhodes||21:18|
|5||Santino Marella||Raw||1||Cody Rhodes||0:55|
|6||Drew McIntyre||SmackDown||2||Chris Jericho||2:40|
|10||Heath Slater||SmackDown||11||John Cena||15:49|
|13||Brodus Clay||SmackDown||6||Jericho, Slater, Rhodes, Sheamus & Young||3:47|
|14||Rey Mysterio||Raw||13||Wade Barrett||10:43|
|15||Darren Young||SmackDown||8||Kofi Kingston||2:51|
|16||Bo Dallas||NXT||21||Wade Barrett||21.42|
|17||The Godfather||Legend||10||Dolph Ziggler||0.05|
|18||Wade Barrett||SmackDown||20||Bo Dallas||17:34|
|21||Daniel Bryan||SmackDown||16||Antonio Cesaro and Kane||6:55|
|22||Antonio Cesaro||SmackDown||18||John Cena||7:50|
|23||The Great Khali||SmackDown||14||Kane and Daniel Bryan||3:08|
|25||Zack Ryder||Raw||17||Randy Orton||2:34|
- Wade Barrett eliminated Bo Dallas after he had been eliminated, but Barrett has suspended for his creative differences.
- After Antonio Cesaro pushed Daniel Bryan off the apron, he fell into Kane's arm, but Kane decided to drop him onto the ground, thus officially eliminating him.
Other on-screen personnel
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