For the first time in 434 days, CM Punk is not the WWE champion.
On Sunday night, The Rock defeated the Punk in the main event of the 2013 Royal Rumble. It’s The Rock’s first title since 2002.
On the 1000th episode of “Monday Night Raw,” The Rock returned to announce that he would face the WWE champion at the Royal Rumble, with the title on the line. It was the first time he wrestled in a match, since defeating John Cena at WrestleMania 28.
Initially, it looked like Punk would walk out of Phoenix with the title. Punk pinned The Rock after the challenger was put through the announcers table when the lights in the arena went out. The perpetrator could not be seen on the broadcast, but announcer Michael Cole insisted that it was The Shield.
The match was eventually restarted at the behest of The Rock, after Vince McMahon announced that he would strip Punk of the title. The chairman stated last week that Punk would lose the belt if The Shield interfered in the match. However, The Rock grabbed the microphone and demanded that the match have a legitimate finish. He landed a “People’s Elbow” before pinning the champion.
Elimination Chamber is the next scheduled Pay-Per-View. The rock is expected to defend his title at the event.
The Rock’s victory all but guarantees a rematch between him and Cena at WrestleMania 29. Cena was the last man standing in the Royal Rumble match, giving him a spot in the main event in April. He knocked Ryback out of the ring to secure the victory. He will try to reclaim the WWE title for the first time since July 2011.
Four titles were defended on Sunday night. Below are the results of each match from the Royal Rumble.
United States Championship (Pre-Show)
Antonio Cesaro OVER The Miz
World Heavyweight Championship (Last Man Standing Match)
Alberto Del Rio OVER Big Show
Tag Team Championship
Team Hell No (Kane & Daniel Bryan) OVER Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes &Damien Sandow)
30-man Royal Rumble
The Rock OVER CM Punk