One of the biggest and most anticipated pay-per-views in recent memory has finally arrived. Tonight, the WWE presents its annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view event from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Below are the matches that will take place at tonight's Royal Rumble (via WWE.com):
- The Miz squares off against Antonio Cesaro for the WWE United States Championship in a pre-show match.
- Kane and Daniel Bryan (Team Hell No) will defend their WWE Tag Team titles against Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow (Team Rhodes Scholars).
- 30-man Royal Rumble battle royal: Who will be the last wrestler standing in the ring?
- After winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on a recent edition of SmackDown, Alberto Del Rio looks to regain his title against The Big Show.
- In a heavily anticipated match, The Rock challenges CM Punk for the WWE Championship.
My quick take on tonight's Royal Rumble pay-per-view event:
With WrestleMania fever looming, WWE is in a must-perform situation, as the Royal Rumble could prove to be the event that will shape up the company's largest pay-per-view in March.
The Royal Rumble already has a very strong lineup card, featuring some terrific matches that will surely have viewers scrambling to order the pay-per-view. Breaking down the Royal Rumble even further, there could be some title changes at hand, such as in the main event between The Rock and WWE Champion CM Punk.
The 30-man Royal Rumble match looks to be entertaining as it normally is. The WWE may have some tricks up its sleeve by having former past wrestling stars come back for the night and compete in the battle royal.
Although The Rock vs. Punk is clearly the headline main event of the program, the attention should also be focused on John Cena. Cena, who seemed to have lost it all last year, may be that final wrestler left standing in the ring after the Royal Rumble match. If The Rock can come away with the victory tonight, Cena would not only get his rematch, but a chance to win the WWE Championship. This could make for one of WWE's biggest headline main events in history.
Outside of the Royal Rumble match, which could feature a string of surprises as it always has, it is hard to predict who will win the WWE Tag Team titles contest. The WWE has done a good job in recent weeks giving no clear indication as to who will win this match at the Royal Rumble. Both teams have been evenly competing head-to-head. It should remain interesting as to which tag team will come away with the belts around their waists.
There will be plenty at stake during tonight's Royal Rumble pay-per-view event. The WWE should enjoy a very successful and entertaining event with the lineup card that the show is set to feature.
WWE Royal Rumble live coverage:
The WWE Royal Rumble begins with an opening video package recapping all the events leading up to the pay-per-view.
Before the start of the match, Del Rio and Ricardo met with Bret Hart backstage.
Match No. 1: The Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio for the WWE Heavyweight Championship.
Your winner to retain the World Heavyweight championship: Alberto Del Rio. The WWE got off on the right foot with an impressive opening match. However, the ending of the match, which saw Ricardo tape the Big Show's foot to the ropes, resulted in a cheap victory for Del Rio.
Match Rating: 3.5/5.
A long video package aired showing some of the participants of the Royal Rumble match.
Match No. 2: Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow vs. Kane and Daniel Bryan.
Your winners to retain the Tag Team titles: Kane and Daniel Bryan. Solid tag team match, as the WWE played it safe by keeping the titles on Kane and Bryan.
Match Rating: 3/5.
Match No. 3: 30-man Royal Rumble battle royal.
Ziggler opened up the Royal Rumble match as the first contestant. Chris Jericho surprisingly returned to the WWE as the second contestant to enter the battle royal. Santino, who entered in a No. 5, was the first wrestler elimination.
Ryback, the final wrestler in the Royal Rumble match, quickly eliminates a few contestants. Randy Orton, Sheamus, Ziggler, Cena and Ryback are left in the battle royal. After Orton, Ziggler and Sheamus are eliminated, Ryback begins to battle Cena.
Ryback attempted to throw Cena outside the ring. However, Cena reversed it and eliminated Ryback. With earning the victory, Cena goes on to face the WWE Champion at WrestleMania.
Match No. 4: The Rock vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship.
During the match, as The Rock was about to hit the People's Elbow on Punk, the lights darkened. Suddenly, the Shield came out and slammed The Rock through the announcer's table. After Punk pinned The Rock, Vince McMahon came out to the entrance way. As McMahon was about to strip Punk of the WWE Championship, The Rock said he wanted to earn the victory and the match restarted.
Quickly afterwards, The Rock took control of the match and delivered the People's Elbow to nail the victory and capture the WWE Championship.
Match Rating: 4.5/5.