Royal Rumble 2013


Dean Malenko made Great Muta submit to the Texas Cloverleaf in 0:23:41.
(Dean Malenko won the WWF Intercontinental Title.)
Rating: *****
Toshiaki Kawada and Yokozuna defeated Cactus Jack and Sabu when Yokozuna defeated Sabu by countout in 0:09:59.
(Cactus Jack and Sabu retained the WWF World Tag Team Titles.)
Rating: 1/2*

Strap Cage Match
Shawn Michaels and Diesel defeated Hollywood Hogan and The Giant in 0:15:56.
Rating: **** 1/4
20-Man Royal Rumble
Vader won a 20-man Royal Rumble:
x Anderson and Sasaki started out.
x Vader entered at 0:02:00
x Diamond Dallas Page entered at 0:04:00
x Sasaki threw out Diamond Dallas after a savate kick in 0:04:45
x Anderson threw out Sasaki in 0:05:11
x Ric Flair entered at 0:06:00
x Anderson threw out Flair in 0:07:51
x Johnny Grunge entered at 0:08:00
x Jushin Liger entered at 0:10:00
x Anderson threw out Liger after a piledriver in 0:10:56
x Sabu entered at 0:12:00
x Vader threw out Anderson after the Power Bomb in 0:12:07
x Vader threw out Grunge in 0:12:29
x Vader threw out Sabu after a vertical suplex in 0:13:52
x Rocko Rock entered at 0:14:00
x Vader threw out Rocko after a headbutt in 0:14:14
x Bret Hart entered at 0:16:00
x Razor Ramon entered at 0:18:00
x Vader threw out Ramon in 0:19:14
x Brian Pillman entered at 0:20:00
x Rick Steiner entered at 0:22:00
x Davey Boy Smith entered at 0:24:00
x Pillman threw out D.B. Smith in 0:24:20
x Hiroshi Hase entered at 0:26:00
x Vader threw out Hase after a kick to the midsection in 0:26:11
x Yokozuna entered at 0:28:00
x Ahmed Johnson entered at 0:30:00
x Rick Steamboat entered at 0:32:00
x Dave Finlay entered at 0:34:00
x Vader threw out B. Hart in 0:35:49
x Toshiaki Kawada entered at 0:36:00
x Vader threw out Ahmed Johnson after a swinging punch in 0:38:43
x Vader threw out Finlay in 0:38:56
x Steamboat threw out R. Steiner after flying headscissors in 0:41:11
x Pillman threw out Steamboat in 0:41:44
x Kawada threw out Yokozuna in 0:42:12
x Vader threw out Pillman after a side step in 0:45:00
x Vader threw out Kawada after a choke slam in 0:45:25

Rating: **** 1/4
Steve Austin pinned The Undertaker with the Stone Cold Stunner in 0:13:12.
(Steve Austin retained the WWF World Title.)
Rating: ** 1/2

Match Observations:

Without a doubt this Royal Rumble was the best WWF PPV to date. Excellent
matches from top to bottom and more than just a few surprises.

Dean Malenko regained the WWF Intercontinental title after a spectacular
performance by both wrestlers. Maybe Muta was psyched out by the fact he's
never beaten Malenko in a singles match. If that indeed was the case, you bet
they'll have to drag him into a rematch screaming and kicking - Muta won't be
doing one voluntarily.

The Double Strap Cage Match was a sight to behold. Shawn Michaels was out for
redemption, and redemption he got. While the Giant and Diesel kept each other
busy, Hogan barely got any offense in against an angry Michaels. The finish
accomplished two things: it ultimately redeemed Michaels and it brought Hogan
back to earth due to its humiliating fashion. I somehow sense Hogan won't let
this be the end...

Luck of the draw. Nowhere does this term mean more than in Royal Rumbles. In
past years, those who entered late always had a competitive advantage. Luck of
the draw will overcome almost anything: ambition... determination... stamina...
tenacity. There is one thing it doesn't overcome: fury. No other term describes
Vader's state of mind better after the beating Bret Hart handed him. Vader was
in the Sharpshooter for a total of seven minutes. Nobody helped him get out of
it. For obvious reasons, I might add. Vader, along with Yokozuna, had to be the
odds-on-favorite to win the Royal Rumble and that was no secret. If another one
of the top favorites is tiring himself out wearing down Vader, why should
someone else break it up ? After all, it's ever man for himself. And every man
for himself it was. At some point Vader after being in the Sharpshooter for
several minutes snapped. He broke the hold. Right around that time, Hiroshi
Hase hit the ring and had the bad idea of attacking Vader. He didn't even get
a single blow in before Vader had disposed of him and went after Hart like a
madman. Hart managed to get Vader into the Sharpshooter one more time, and
that did it. As soon as Vader got out, Hart was gone from the match. As was
Ahmed Johnson. As was Dave Finlay. As was Brian Pillman. Toshiaki Kawada
inadvertedly eliminated his own tag team partner, Yokozuna, when Vader ducked
out of a thrust kick to the head which hit Yoko sending him over the top rope.
Obviously, nothing was going to stop Vader now. He made short work of Pillman
and Kawada and captured the victory after the hardest 45 minutes of his life.

The much-hyped return of a "true franchise player" to the WWF fell flat in
comparison to Vader's performance. The franchise player was nobody else than
Rick Steamboat, coming out of a lengthy retirement to wrestle the best the
WWF has to offer one more time. That would have been a bombshell on any other
show, but not today.

Is it just me or is there friction between Arn and Flair ? They went at it
like two archenemies. Maybe it was their competitive spirit, but it should be
noted that Flair did *not* come out with Arn when the latter interfered in
the main event costing the Undertaker the first title he's had in some time.

Apparently Anderson considers Austin a less dangerous opponent than the
Undertaker. We will see if his tactics come to fruition when Arn faces Steve
Austin for the WWF World Title at In Your House.

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