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Home arrow PPV arrow 2013 Stories arrow Rock wins WWE Championship at the Rumble
Rock wins WWE Championship at the Rumble
Written by David Dunn   
Jan 29, 2013 at 03:40 PM

130129_rockAfter 10 years without a title, The Rock dethroned CM Punk to win the WWE Championship and bring Punk's record-setting 434 day reign to an end at yesterday's Royal Rumble.

The Rock proved he could still hang with the self-proclaimed best in the world despite an almost year long absence from the ring, matching Punk move for move and ultimately putting the WWE Champion on the mat with a spinebuster followed by the most electrifying move in sports entertainment, the People's Elbow.

Before The Rock could capitalise on his signature move and cover Punk, the lights in the US Airways Center went out.

The commentary team began to speculate as to what may have happened before Michael Cole identified The Shield in the blackout, and a crashing sound indicated The Rock had been triple powerbombed through the commentary table.

When the lights came back on, Punk was left alone in the ring while The Rock was down and out amongst the pieces of Cole, JBL and Lawler's work station.

The WWE Champion hauled the People's Champion back into the ring and covered him while a reluctant referee, unable to confirm whether there had been outside interference or not, counted the three.

Before Punk had a chance to celebrate, Mr McMahon's music hit and the WWE Chairman made his way to the ring.

Mr McMahon began to follow through on his warning to Punk from Raw, and appeared ready to strip Punk of the WWE Championship due to suspected involvement from The Shield before The Rock cut him off.

"No," Rock told Mr McMahon, "you don't take it from him, I do".

Mr McMahon agreed, and ordered the match be restarted, putting Punk's historic title reign back in jeopardy.

Punk tried to finish things quickly and take advantage of Rock's weakened state with an elbow drop from the top rope but the Great One kicked out before the three.

Punk called for the GTS, but couldn't keep Rock on his shoulders long enough before eating a spinebuster.

The Rock then motioned for the second People's Elbow of the night, driving his exposed elbow into the heart of the WWE Champion to win his first WWE Championship in more than 10 years.

Earlier in the night John Cena earned himself a spot in the WrestleMania 29 main event with his second victory in the Royal Rumble.

Entering the match at number 19, Cena cleared the ring of Heath Slater, Cody Rhodes and Antonio Cesaro en route to being part of a final four with Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Sheamus.

Sheamus eliminated Dolph Ziggler, who still has a Money in the Bank contract, from the match before he was thrown over the top rope when attempting to Brogue Kick Ryback.

With just Cena and Ryback left, Cena was able to use Ryback's momentum against him and dump him to the outside too, securing a spot in the main event of WrestleMania and becoming one of just four men (alongside Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin) to have won two Royal Rumble matches.

WWE Royal Rumble Results:

  • United States Championship:
    Antonio Cesaro (c) def. The Miz
    Cesaro bounced Miz's head off the ring apron on the outside of the ring before moving the action back between the ropes to strike with the Neutraliser.

  • World Heavyweight Championship, Last Man Standing Match:
    Alberto Del Rio (c) w/ Ricardo Rodriguez def. Big Show

    Ricardo Rodriguez helped Del Rio to defeat Big Show when he duct-taped Big Show's feet to the bottom rope while Del Rio had the giant trapped in a cross armbreaker. Del Rio eventually broke the hold and returned to his feet while Big Show flailed about on the mat as the referee counted to 10, handing Big Show his second Last Man Standing defeat this month.

  • WWE Tag Team Championship:
    Team Hell No (c) def. Team Rhodes Scholars
    With Kane taking care of Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan dragged Damien Sandow to the mat and made him submit to the No Lock.

  • 30-Man Royal Rumble Match:
    John Cena eliminated Ryback to win
    Sheamus eliminated Dolph Ziggler, and Ryback eliminated Sheamus, leaving Ryback and John Cena as the final two men in the match. Ryback charged Cena but Cena used his momentum to fling Ryback over the top rope and earn a spot in the main event of WrestleMania 29.

  • WWE Championship:
    The Rock def. CM Punk (c) w/ Paul Heyman

    After the match was restarted due to suspected interference from The Shield, The Rock put CM Punk down with a spinebuster and finished him with the People's Elbow.
Saturday, April 19
- WWE Raw (10.15am, the BOX)

Sunday, April 20
- WWE Raw (3.45pm, the BOX)

- WWE Main Event (6.15pm, the BOX)

- WWE SmackDown (7.05pm, the BOX)

- WWE Main Event (11.50pm, the BOX)

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