Michael N. Todaro

WWE Royal Rumble 2013: The Rock ends CM Punk's reign WWE Champion

The 2013 Royal Rumble is in the books, and it saw the end of CM Punk's 400-plus-day reign as WWE Champion. The Rock managed to capture the title after a grueling main event. Laugh if you want, but we also covered the Pro Bowl on Sunday night.

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Royal Rumble full results

The 2013 Royal Rumble is in the books, and it was a momentous night capped off with the end of CM Punk's 400-plus-day reign as WWE Champion. The Rock managed to capture the title after a grueling main event that was restarted due to interference. It is the eighth WWE title reign for The Rock and his first in over 10 years.

More: Head to Cageside Seats for full Royal Rumble results.

Here are the full results.

In the opening pre-show match, Antonio Cesaro retained his U.S. Title by defeating The Miz with the Neutralizer after Miz injured his knee.

The Royal Rumble pay-per-view itself opened with a Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship between champion Alberto Del Rio and The Big Show. The match was pretty insane, with Big Show chokeslamming Del Rio off the stage and through a table. Del Rio fought back, however, blasting Big Show with a fire extinguisher and other plunder, before duct-taping Show's legs to the bottom rope. As Big Show was literally unable to stand, Del Rio won the match via chicanery to retain the title.

Next up was the Tag Team Title match between Team Hell No and Team Rhodes Scholars. Daniel Bryan and Kane retained their titles as Bryan put Damien Sandow in the "No Lock" for the submission.

The Royal Rumble was next, inexplicably. The Royal Rumble should always be last. Always. Dolph Ziggler and the returning Chris Jericho were No. 1 and 2, respectively, to get the match started. As expected, Ziggler got the longevity streak this year, although Jericho lasted nearly as long. Ziggler made it to the final four, but was eliminated via a Brogue Kick from Sheamus, leaving a final three of Sheamus, Ryback and John Cena. Ryback eliminated Sheamus and was then eliminated by the winner, John Cena, who had entered at No. 19.

The main event was CM Punk vs. The Rock in a solid match. There was a significant table botch at one point, but just as The Rock was about to hit the People's Elbow, the lights went out and The Rock was taken out. Announcer Michael Cole stated that the attackers were "The Shield," although it was impossible to tell with the lights out. A stipulation of the match was that Punk would be stripped of his title if The Shield interfered. Punk pinned the Rock to retain, but Vince McMahon came out to strip him of the title. McMahon in turn was interrupted by The Rock, who said, "You don't get to take the title from him. I do." Rock ordered the match to be restarted, and McMahon complied. After a few more minutes of action, The Rock successfully hit the People's Elbow for the pin and the title.

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Paul Heyman's face tells a tale

Paul Heyman has been around pro wrestling for decades. He's been a hustler, a manager, the owner of ECW, a revolutionary, Brock Lesnar's best friend, a sage, a mentor and widely considered one of the finest minds in all of combat sports. Above it all though, Paul Heyman is a master of having a face. And of having his face react to things.

To wit:

Wwestare_medium

Look at that. you can't teach that. Sweaty. Bug-eyed. Full of concern, consternation, compassion, horror, despair and just about any other emotion you can think of. They're all packed into that face. All of them. All of the emotions. Paul Heyman is a silent-movie star born 50 years too late. Poor Paul Heyman. It is with this GIF that we attempt to pay homage to you and to immortalize all of the things that you do.

Also lol.

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Spanish announce table fights back

Finally, the Spanish announce table fights back.

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The prodigal Goldust returns

Dustin Rhodes made his return at the 2013 Royal Rumble. He is timeless.

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Big Show low blow

Anything goes in a Last man Standing match! Even this!

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Bret Hart is not super young

EMPHASIS ON THE WAS

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Royal Rumble live chat

Join Jason Kirk, Andrew Sharp and Bill Hanstock for live Royal Rumble discussion! Throw your requests, questions and opinions in the comments below! Let's rumble!

You can also find Royal Rumble coverage at our own Cageside Seats!

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