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Reviewing The Rumbles: 2013

January 25, 2017 | Posted by Rob Stewart
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Reviewing The Rumbles: 2013  

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2013: Twice In A Lifetime

There’s an argument to be made that the Royal Rumble should be the headline, main event match on its own card every year. That’s understandable. But sometimes, it just makes sense to have a world title match go on last. This was actually one of those years. Let’s not pretend we didn’t all know what WWE was lining up for WrestleMania 29, but putting the main event before the Rumble this year would have made the Rumble itself even more of a formality than we all expected it to be. So, no… I’ve never been in the “It should always go last!” camp; sometimes storytelling can dictate better card arrangement.

The Participants

1. Dolph Ziggler
2. Chris Jericho
3. Cody Rhodes (who just wrestled in the match before this one! And lasts 27+ minutes here!)
4. Kofi Kingston
5. Santino Marella
6. Drew McIntyre
7. Titus O’Neil
8. Goldust
9. David Otunga
10. Heath Slater
11. Sheamus
12. Tensai
13. Brodus Clay
14. Rey Mysterio
15. Darren Young
16. Bo Dallas (if I recall correctly, this appearance pre-dated his actual roster call-up by quite some time)
17. The Godfather
18. Wade Barrett
19. John Cena
20. Damien Sandow
21. Daniel Bryan
22. Cesaro
23. The Great Khali
24. Kane
25. Zack Ryder
26. Randy Orton
27. Jinder Mahal
28. The Miz
29. Sin Cara
30. Ryback

Final Four

4th – Dolph Ziggler (eliminated by Sheamus)
3rd – Sheamus (eliminated by Ryback)
2nd – Ryback (overfed by John Cena)
WINNER – John Cena


-Dolph starts off the Rumble with a pretty vanilla heel promo. “I’m gonna win!” “I don’t care who #2 is!” That kind of stuff. Nothing noteworthy, and it’s certainly less than he’s shown himself capable of.

-Jericho in at #2 without a decoy ploy from Christian! Man, no respect for Dolph Ziggler, Jericho. Fans are, as always, super into a Y2J sighting, because he’d been gone for months.

-Commentary alerts me to the fact that Cody eliminated 6 guys in 2012! I actually hadn’t noticed that at all, and maybe if commentary wasn’t so busy taking turns in the ring that year, they could have kept track of that fact.

-Santino, funny as always. He enters, tosses EVERYONE over the top, but they all land on the apron. He celebrates obliviously until they re-enter and stare him down. He asks for a “timeout” to arm the Cobra, but they don’t oblige. The best of this is perhaps unintentional, as a few moments later, while the camera is focusing on some action, you can see Santino doing the Sad Charlie Brown Walk in the background. Santino certainly delivers the little moments in Rumbles.

-Cody was still a pure heel here fighting with Goldust, and the commentary team ponders what Dr. Shelby could do for these two. It’s a shame Shelby never became a recurring character after the Team Hell No angle resolved.

-By #10, Jericho and Ziggler have been after each other from the get-go. It finally clicks for me as to why: Ziggler beat Jericho in a match that nulled Y2J’s contract a few months before at SummerSlam. So long-form storytelling in the modern era! Nice.

-Sheamus is the first guy to get the Newbie Dominance Run, as he enters at #11, flattens everyone, and pitches Titus and Otunga.

-Cody and Goldust have a good bit where they are both on the apron in threat of elimination until Cody finally gets his brother backwards and to the floor. BIG heat from the crowd for that elimination, too.

-Kofi gets dumped into the arms of an already-out Tensai, who slams Kingston on the announce table and leaves. Kofi asks JBL to borrow his chair, and then pogo-sticks on the chair back to the ring apron whereupon he is immediately Disaster Kicked out of the match by Cody. It’s a funny spot, but that’s about all, and the fact that he never even gets back IN the ring makes it feel as useless as, well, as I guess it was.

-Godfather comes out to great applause, but he is eliminated so quickly by Dolph that his music never even stops. In a good moment, Godfather is basically all “Aw shucks”, and then struts back up the entranceway with his music playing and the hoes on his arms.

-Wade Barrett reminds me how much I want pants with my own name on them. Wrestlers have all the nice things.

-John Cena’s music hits at #19, JBL mistakenly declares “No one here is on their feet!”, and Cena hits the match like a tornado, making short work of Cody Rhodes and Heath Slater to eliminate them.

-Bryan gets another Newbie Dominance Moment, and the fans are already popping huge to his entrance, foreshadowing the summer to come. He hits the action and No Kicks the hell out of everyone.

-I’m pretty sure that, for the first time ever, both tag champs, the Intercontinental champ, and the United States champ are ALL in the Royal Rumble together (Bryan and Kane, Barrett, and Cesaro).

-The Great Khali is announced as “the first man to ever be eliminated by a Diva”. I want to argue this point, but I guess Chyna was never a DIVA by the era’s terminology, right? So I guess, on a technicality, this is true.

-Ziggler makes a lot of big saves on attempted eliminations over the course of the match, and commentary appropriately builds him up for this by making note of it when he does and talking about how hard he has fought to stay in the match. See, when they aren’t talking about hashtags and Mountain Dew, they can actually prop up a match.

-Best spot of the match is probably Bryan eliminating Kane from behind (sure, sure… tag guys inexplicably turning on each other and all has long been a pet peeve for these, but it made 100% sense here with their history… even though they’d both recent graduated from anger management), but is then tossed into Kane’s arms by Cesaro. Kane hangs onto Bryan like a doll while they get into a “YES!/NO!” argument before Kane just drops him to the floor.

-So by the last run of this match, my wife joins in watching for the first time ever in my reviewing of these. She points out that the whole premise is inherently unfair and does not like that guys get to come in fresh and have an advantage over people that have been there a while. She distracts me from the mundane-ness of this match for a bit by complaining every time a new guy gets to come out about how unfair this is. It’s a good thing Big Show wasn’t in this one.

-Dolph and Jericho both get a big Iron Man push and last to the Final Five. I was hoping they’d be in the last four together, but Dolph eliminates Chris.

-The Final Four is underwhelming after Dolph is out. Stuff happens, Cena wins over Ryback to set up his half of Cena/Rock II. Where they worked very hard to make us forget how good Cena/Rock I was.


1. 2001 (Austin III) – 10/10

2. 2010 (Edge) – 9/10
3. 2004 (Benoit) – 9/10
4. 1992 (Flair) – 9/10

5. 2007 (The Undertaker) – 8/10
6. 1997 (Austin I) – 8/10
7. 1998 (Austin II) – 8/10

8. 2008 (Cena I) – 7/10
9. 2002 (HHH I) – 7/10

10. 2005 (Batista I) – 6/10

11. 2003 (Lesnar) -5/10
12. 1989 (Studd) – 5/10
13. 1996 (Michaels II) – 5/10
14. 2011 (Del Rio) – 5/10
15. 1999 (McMahon) 5/10

16. 1993 (Yokozuna) – 4/10
17. 1990 (Hogan I) – 4/10
18. 1994 (Hart/Luger) – 4/10
19 2013 (Cena II) – 4/10
20. 2009 (Orton) – 4/10

21. 2012 (Sheamus) – 3/10
22. 1991 (Hogan II) – 3/10
23. 2006 (Mysterio) – 3/10
24. 2000 (The Rock) – 3/10

25. 1995 (Michaels I) – 2/10
26. 1988 (Duggan) – 2/10

The final score: review Poor
The 411
This another bland Rumble without a whole lot of impact. If nihilism isn’t your thing, I guess it's better than the two BOOOO-fests that follow it, but this one kind of felt like it was just killing time until Cena/Rock.