By Jeramie McPeek
Posted: Dec. 6, 2012
The WWE released its promotional poster for the 2013 Royal Rumble this week.
Not surprisingly, the dramatic, black-and-white artwork features The Rock and the word “FINALLY,” as the WWE Superstar returns to the ring 10 months since his last match at WrestleMania XXVIII.
The Hollywood heavyweight, who will star in the upcoming G.I. Joe and The Fast and the Furious sequels, will also be making his return to Phoenix for his first match at US Airways Center in more than a decade.
But not just any match.
A night after this past July’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view held in Phoenix, The Rock made a rare appearance on Monday Night RAW to announce that the WWE’s Board of Governors had granted him a title match against the reigning WWE Champion at the Royal Rumble in January 2013. The surprise announcement was met with a surprise clothesline later that night from the then-and-still champion CM Punk, who felt disrespected by the “People’s Champion.”
At the time, of course, no one knew whether or not Punk would actually be the one defending the title against The Rock six months later. But the self-proclaimed “Best in the World” has managed to hang on to his championship belt despite strong competition from the likes of John Cena, Daniel Bryan, The Big Show and, more recently, the up-and-coming Ryback.
In fact, earlier this week, Punk surpassed Cena for the longest title reign in the WWE’s modern era at 381 days. A reign that is now guaranteed to break the 400-day plateau later this month, as the champion underwent surgery on his knee on Tuesday, saving him from another title defense against Ryback at the upcoming “Tables, Ladders and Chairs” PPV on Dec. 16 in Brooklyn.
Punk is expected to be fully healed and ready for The Rock, when the two face off for the first time on Jan. 27, 2013, a match even Cena is apparently looking forward to.
A limited number of tickets are still available for the Royal Rumble, but we also have a pair to give away! Visit USAC20.com to register in our 20th anniversary sweepstakes and you could be there, in person, when The Rock returns to US Airways Center… FINALLY!