2013 WWE Royal Rumble: Are We Really Surprised John Cena Won?

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2013

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

John Cena has done it, folks. He is the winner of the 2013 WWE Royal Rumble. And are you really surprised?

To say that my Twitter timeline blew up when John eliminated Ryback to win the Rumble is an absolute understatement. There were some folks spitting hate. That’s the only way to say it.

To be fair, before anyone bashes the guy or decides to rake him over the coals for this win, let’s not forget that he is the face of WWE.

While the man himself may or may not publicly admit that, we all know the deal. John Cena is WWE. I have said countless times that Cena’s likeness should be the company’s logo, like Jerry West for the NBA.

He is what the WWE is and what it wants to be known for.

For WWE, this is perfect booking. John Cena, after having spent the duration of CM Punk’s record-breaking WWE Championship run a definite arm’s length from the title, is now ascending back to the spot that he has technically never relinquished.

John is the top guy and now is headed back to the top.

Honestly, it’s not as though the majority of WWE fans have forgotten who he is. With John’s hype week in and week out, it’s impossible to not remember. So, because of this, his win on Sunday night is not surprising.

But, for me, it is a little disappointing.

Why? Because we have been here before. We are so used to seeing John overcome the odds, rise above the hate and fight his way out of the corner to be the hero that he has always been portrayed as. We have seen it so many times.

So many times.

While I will readily admit that Ryback has his critics and still has a mountain to climb in order to prove that he truly has what it takes to be WWE’s top dog, the fact is he has been traveling that road for some time now. Vince McMahon obviously believes in him, sees potential and wants him thought of as a future marquee guy. But again, he does need some work.

However, for Ryback to come that close to winning the Rumble surely ignited the imaginations of those who perhaps are not even that supportive of him. For at least some of his critics, the thought of Ryback winning the match had to be somewhat appealing.

Why? Because it’s different.

It’s fresh, new, a creative spin on an angle that we have seen play out so many times with John Cena at the center. Ryback’s arm raised at the end of The Royal Rumble signals a new direction—one that is not only a glimpse of the future, but one that delivers right now. Today.

Don’t misunderstand me here, this is not about “hating” on Cena. He is who he is, WWE obviously believes in the guy and he has put a lot of work in during his career to make the product as good as he possibly can.

With that said, I cannot help but go back to the point that we have all been here before. No new ground was broken by John winning The Royal Rumble. The only potential new storyline that could come from this is Ryback taking exception to being so close to winning the Rumble, only to be eliminated by Cena.

The likelihood of Ryback turning heel on Cena, though, is very slim. Ryback has been groomed as a big-time babyface and I do not see that changing at this point.

For me, John’s Rumble victory is not something to hate him for. He is simply doing his part in the company. It’s just the same old song and dance.

And it doesn’t look to end anytime soon.

John Cena is your 2013 WWE Royal Rumble winner. And we should not be surprised.