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The five best moments of the 2013 Royal Rumble Match
The 2013 Royal Rumble Match might be over, but the memorable moments from the melee will live on forever in WWE lore. From fan-favorite Superstars making their surprise return to a massive (and much-needed) victory by a future WWE Hall of Famer, this year's battle will go down in history as one of the greatest Royal Rumble Matches ever. So after taking some time to take stock of the over-the-top-rope classic, WWE.com breaks down the bout and presents our five favorite moments from this year's Royal Rumble Match.
Kofi finds a way back in
Kofi Kingston is no stranger to stealing the show during Royal Rumble Matches. Actually, by now, it's almost expected that "The Wildcat" will do something during that bout to bring the WWE Universe to its feet - or to steal its collective breath. And this year was no different, as Kofi, who was hurled out of the ring by Dolph Ziggler, found himself clinging for dear life onto the back of the massive Tensai, who had just been eliminated and was still lingering at ringside.
Then, using Tensai to project himself onto the Spanish announce table, Kofi once again found himself in a vicarious situation. But ever resourceful, the former Intercontinental Champion kindly asked JBL for his chair, then proceeded to use it like a pogo stick, hopping his way back to the ring apron, where he promptly eliminated Darren Young.
Sure, he was eliminated moments later by Cody Rhodes, but Kofi's innovative feet will definitely go down in Royal Rumble Match history.
Brother vs. brother
Jim and John Harbaugh may be coaching against each other in Super Bowl XLVII, but one week earlier, a brother vs. brother battle played out inside the WWE ring.
A long-standing tradition of the Royal Rumble Match is the return of past WWE Superstars who come back to enter the fray once more ... even if it is just for one night. And in 2013, there were a couple of notable returns, but one stood out above the rest. With his younger brother, Cody Rhodes, inside the ring battling it out with a bevy of Superstars, Goldust came back to WWE. Wasting no time, The Bizarre One bolted into the ring and headed straight for the younger Rhodes brother, and a civil war of sorts raged inside the ring.
Cody eventually eliminated his older bro, but not before Goldust got some good licks in, and even garnered not one, but two, chants from the sold-out crowd.
Jericho’s return shocks The Showoff
Chris Jericho has a knack for making memorable returns to WWE, and Sunday night proved to be no different. When The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla "broke the walls down" in Phoenix, the WWE Universe in attendance went absolutely wild. Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler kept quiet as he looked on from inside the ring.
It takes a lot to render The Showoff speechless, but when the No. 1 entrant in the 2013 Royal Rumble Match found out who the second Superstar to enter the fray would be, Mr. Money in the Bank became silent. Jericho had a more than impressive turn in the battle to boot, lasting more than 40 minutes and making a real run at an over-the-top victory and all that it would have entitled.
Anger management not working after all?
Just days after graduating from Dr. Shelby's anger management program, WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No seemed as strong and cohesive as ever at Royal Rumble, retaining their illustrious titles in a hard-fought bout against Team Rhodes Scholars.
But when it came time to partake in the Royal Rumble Match later in the night, a potential spike was momentarily driven between Kane and Daniel Bryan.
After Kane eliminated The Great Khali, Bryan snuck up behind The Big Red Monster and dumped his tag team partner over the ropes and out of the match. Moments later, Bryan was tossed over the top by United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and fell directly into the arms of a still-shocked Kane, who was suddenly faced with a big decision. After a moment's thought — and some not-so-persuasive arguing on the part of Daniel Bryan — Kane decided against helping his tag team brother out, instead simply dropping Bryan to the ringside floor and ending his night.
Cena rises above Ryback
John Cena has high standards.
And by those standards, the Cenation leader knew he came up plenty short in 2012. So looking to right his course in 2013 by putting himself directly on The Road to WrestleMania, Cena entered the Royal Rumble Match a man on a mission. Coming in at No. 19 and right into the heart of a frenzied melee, the 10-time WWE Champion had a long, hard fight ahead of him, and an uphill battle if he wanted to mark off his first big goal of the new year.
But as he's done time and again over the course of his illustrious career, the Cenation leader rose above 29 other Superstars — including the monstrous and, frankly, terrifying — Ryback en route to winning the 2013 Royal Rumble Match and punching his ticket to the title match of his choosing at WrestleMania 29 on April 7.