On DVD and Blu-Ray from 15th April 2013

Royal Rumble is one of my favourite WWE events. What other chance do you get to see 30 wrestlers brawling in a ring. Granted, there’s usually not 3o in at one time, but you’re guaranteed to get at least 6 at once, knocking each other back and forth off the ropes in a bid to take them out of the equati0n.

This year’s Royal Rumble 2013 takes place in Phoenix, Arizona and this DVD/Blu-Ray is an absolute treat of 2 hours and 50 minutes of hard-thumping action!

Opening the show is the towering giant that is The Big Show. His opponent is none other than Alberto Del Rio, accompanied by his ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez, who’s on a high after being given a pep talk by Bret Hart backstage. In past fights, both Del Rio and The Big Show have been rather stale, especially with Big Show’s repeated matches with Sheamus. However, in this fight for the WWE Heavyweight Championship belt, Del Rio proves there’s more to him as he displays some lucha style, high-flying techniques. This really spices up what could have been a stale fight, and though The Big Show’s routine is fairly straight-forward, with a love for slaps his opponent’s chest, it seems to work much better with Del Rio. The fight is based on Last Man Standing rules, where the winner is determined by a 10-count of a floored opponent.  These rules mean that anything goes with no disqualification, so imagine the crowd’s delight when Del Rio and The Big Show take the fight outside the ring and decide to use steel chairs, scale set light fittings, tables and even a fire extinguisher! For a heavyweight match, this is one that keeps your attention throughout and is definitely far from the usual boring, thunderous fights.

Following the impressive opener is a Tag Team Championship match between the reigning holders, Team Hell No, comprising of Kane and Daniel Bryan, and Team Rhodes Scholars’ Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. As usual, an energetic performance is put on by both teams, but with a notable difference of the more efficient partnership between Kane and Bryan. The WWE commentators remark how Team Hell No have just graduated from anger management classes and have learnt to work with one another without blowing a fuse. Goat-man Daniel Bryan seems to capture the enthusiasm of the crowd as he lays down his brutal submissions on Rhodes and Sandow, most notably the omoplata. Cody Rhodes too seems to be a fan favourite, if only for his Clark Gable/Freddy Mercury-esque moustache that he has sported of late. Both teams put on a superb show that concludes in an impressive fashion.

After two entertaining fights, we get to the match that everyone is looking forward to: The Royal Rumble. 30 wrestlers will compete, starting with two in the ring. An extra wrestling superstar will enter the ring every 90 seconds. The last man in the ring will main event at Wrestlemania 29. Sound simple? Far from it. One of the greatest things about the Royal Rumble is that you can expect the unexpected. It’s a massive free-for-all and anyone can be offered a chance to participate in the Royal Rumble match. Starting off in the ring as the number one contender is Dolph Ziggler, who’s wide grin soon turns upside down when the crowd erupt onto their feet as Chirs Jericho walks through the entrance doors! Fans love nothing more than a WWE legend from the past trading punches with the superstars of today. What ensues is a good hour’s worth of rope-swinging, wrestlers brawling, launching and teaming up as each try to throw one another out of the ring. Highlights from the fight include appearances from WWE legends Goldust and The Godfather, as well as some excellent pogo hopping skills by Kofi Kingston and promising talent from newbie Bo Dallas. Familiar big-name faces appear such as John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus, but expect to see others from 3MB, The Miz, Rey Mysterio and The Primetime Players. More often than not, you see wrestlers partnered up with or fighting against the same weights and groups of wrestlers, but with Royal Rumble’s free-for-all style, we get to see the incredible light take on the super heavy, and see how smaller names take on the much larger personalities in the ring. This is definitely a Royal Rumble not to miss with tons of fun surprises along the way.

An energetic Royal Rumble makes way for the main event: a WWE Championship title grudge match against CM Punk, who’s retained the belt for a whopping record number of 434 days straight, and the people’s champ, The Rock, who last entertained a title match 10 years previously. If you want polar opposites, you couldn’t find two better guys. The Rock is a WWE legend, a wrestler who loves the people and the people love him in return. CM Punk, however, is a one man army, where only he and his belt count, and it seems as though he’s been up to some naughty tricks to keep hold of the belt for so long, especially seeing as 3 man wrestling team, The Shield, appear every time someone tries to scupper Punk’s plans. The audience seem rather split between the two WWE superstars, but I have a feeling most are in support of The Rock, as they join in with The Rock’s “If you smell what The Rock is cookin?!” trademark catchphrase. The two, with manager Paul Heyman accompanying CM Punk, want to finish each other off, once and for all. From the ring of the bell, they keep the crowds on the edge as the fight spills in and out of the ring. The poor Spanish commentators always seem to come worse off in any match they attend, with their desk being used as a weapon by the wrestlers and this match is no exception. The Rock and Punk look pretty evenly matched but it’s only when the lights go out in the arena that the real game-changer occurs. A controversial fight, with a shocking yet slightly post anti-climax, leaves the audience visibly stunned.

You can’t get much better than this for a Royal Rumble event, but if you want that bit extra, I advise choosing the Blu-Ray edition over the DVD due to the wealth of extras on the Blu-Ray disc.

Rating: ★★★★½

Get your copy now from WWEDVD.co.uk or Amazon

DVD Special Feature
John Cena Shares His Thoughts at Royal Rumble, 27th January 2013

Blu-ray Exclusive Extras
Includes 80 mins of Exclusive Extras!

Monday Night RAW 21st January 2013
Vickie Guerrero & Paul Heyman address The Rock
Ryback vs. Heath Slater
CM Punk declares victory at the Royal Rumble
Kane & Daniel Bryan graduate from Anger Management
The Rock confronts Paul Heyman
Alberto Del Rio vs. Tensai
John Cena proclaims victory at Royal Rumble

SmackDown 25th January 2013
CM Punk addresses The Shield

About Steph 790 Articles
I'm a 1st Dan Black Belt & certified coach in Japanese Atemi Ju Jitsu, have trained in BJJ and Muay Thai and currently train in CSW (Combat Submission Wrestling) at MCKG under Mel Corrigan. I love to compete and have medalled at openweight events. I've a total appreciation for all martial arts and always eager to learn new techniques!

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