WWE DVD Review: Royal Rumble 2013

First debuting in 1988, thanks to the mind of Pat Patterson, the Royal Rumble is seen as one of the WWE’s big four pay-per-view events of the year. The rules are simple, the match starts with two WWE Superstars and then every two minutes another superstar enters the fray, each with the goal of eliminating the other by throwing them over the top rope. This sequence continues until 30 WWE Superstars have entered the ring. The winner is the one left standing. They are then guaranteed a place in the championship main event match at the company’s biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania. 

All of this normally occurs over the course of an hour or more and so the WWE traditionally fill the remaining time with a supporting card of matches that often include a championship match or two. This can often lead to the other combatant for that main event match at Wrestlemania being decided.

This year’s event (the 26th) took place in Phoenix Arizona and was a little different than those before it thanks to the changing of the running order, which saw the main Royal Rumble match switched to second from last and replaced in its normal spot by the WWE Championship match between The Rock and CM Punk. An interesting but unsurprising choice, especially when you consider the standing that The Rock has, not only in the WWE but also in the wider entertainment world. However this change does allow for one of the main negative points of this year’s event to occur and that is the winners of both the main Royal Rumble match and the WWE Championship match become very easy to predict. Arguably you could say that no matter the order this would have still been the case, but when the fun of watching the event comes from the unpredictability, taking that away reduces the fun somewhat.

This aside the WWE Championship match is certainly still an enjoyable bout thanks to brilliant performances from all involved and the result is an emotional roller coaster which does not leave fans wanting, despite the predictability. The actual Royal Rumble match itself is enjoyable too (especially a certain sequence involving the innovative Kofi Kingston), but the end does leave you incredibly frustrated as result, as throughout the course of the match you get the feeling that the WWE may do something different with the finish, only to have them do the predictable option.

One of the other aspects of the Royal Rumble event that has become popular over the last few years is the addition of adding gimmick appearances from past WWE Superstars or legends. The only difference this year was that disappointingly there were only two of them. Although one of them was a real throwback to the Attitude era, the other seemed to be brought in solely to tease fans about a possible match between him and his brother who is also a WWE Superstar, which to date has not happened.
Royal Rumble 2013 image courtesy of WWE.comThese aspects aside, due to the length of time required by the 30 man rumble match, the rest of the event’s card is actually shorter than your average pay-per-view. So you find yourself with only two other matches on this year’s event card, both of which are matches for WWE Championship titles.

The first of these matches is the show opener between The Big Show and Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship which is being contested under last man standing rules, meaning that the loser is the combatant that can not answer the referee’s count of ten. Despite the distinct height and weight difference between the two athletes, this match is very enjoyable and has a highly entertaining finish that will leave audiences smiling. It is also worth noting that prior to the start of this match there is a segment featuring WWE Hall Of Famer, Bret The Hitman Hart, Alberto Del Rio and his Valet/Announcer Ricardo Rodriguez. During this the Hall of Famer wishes Del Rio well and gives Rodriguez a pair of his trademark glasses. Whilst it is nice to see Bret Hart, this segment seems to have little purpose other than to seemingly tell the audience that Del Rio is a credible champion because Bret Hart says so. It’s a nice touch by the WWE but it does seem to be somewhat forced and as such seems to be a little false.

The final of the two matches is the WWE Tag Team Championship match between champions Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) and Team Rhodes Scholars  (Cody Rhodes and Damian Sandow). This is also enjoyable down to the fact that all four superstars involved deliver fantastic performances, work together well and manage to engage with the crowd too.

The event aside, this DVD is pretty standard for WWE PPV releases of late. The picture transfer is fantastic thanks to the WWE now shooting and broadcasting all of their events in HD. The extras on this disc are below average for the DVD as it only has one short interview with John Cena that was conducted after the event and even though it was made for the home entertainment release only, it frankly isn’t enough. The Blu-Ray release on the other hand has over eighty minutes of extras all of which illustrate what happened in the WWE following the Royal Rumble. This is a nice touch and certainly works to engage the audience more into the story that developed after the event and beyond. It’s just a shame that the DVD is lacking in extras, but when you consider the £12.99 price point and that the DVD probably was not able to hold much more due to the size required by the main pay-per-view, then you can almost forgive the decision. But if it’s the extras you like and you can afford to spend the extra £1, then it is certainly a worthwhile decision to purchase the Blu-Ray.

In conclusion, while the pay-per-view is marred by the aforementioned predictability, as a whole the event is still enjoyable on some level. Combine this with a well priced DVD and this is certainly worth adding to your collection, though spending the extra money to get the Blu-Ray version is also recommended.

WWE Royal Rumble 2013 is available now on Blu-Ray and DVD here.

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