Ziggler to kick off Royal Rumble; Rock attacked by the Shield
Last Updated: 22/01/13 12:50pm
Ziggler: will enter the Royal Rumble first or second
Dolph Ziggler's hopes of winning the 2013 Royal Rumble took a hit on Raw after it was announced that he would enter the bout at either number one or two.
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The Showoff, who lasted nearly 20 minutes in the multi-man contest in 2012, thought he would be able to pick any number between one and 30 when he won a Beat the Clock Challenge on Monday.
Ziggler conquered The Miz in a quicker time than Randy Orton bested Antonio Cesaro, and then, with assistance from girlfriend AJ Lee and associate Big E Langston, interfered in Sheamus' bout with Wade Barrett, preventing either of the Europeans from beating his total.
However, Mr Money in the Bank was not smiling for long and just as he was about to confirm that he would join the Rumble as the 30th and final competitor, Ziggler's former ally, Vickie Guerrero, scuppered his plans, informing him that he must select one of the opening two spots.
Ryback should be a major player in Sunday's Rumble and suggested as much by dissecting 3MB member Heath Slater in singles action on Raw - and Big Hungry ended the show embroiled in an all-out brawl between the confirmed Rumble entrants, including John Cena, Orton, Sheamus, Cesaro and Brodus Clay, giving a taster of how frenetic this weekend's event will be.
CM Punk will defend his WWE Title against The Rock on the same evening and told Raw's raucous crowd in San Jose, California that he would still be in the possession of the gold that he has held for over 420 days by the end of it.
The Rock had been banned from entering the arena by Guerrero after his uncomplimentary comments about her during last week's Raw, but he defied her orders, purchased a ticket and interrupted the musings of Paul Heyman to insist, once again, that he would seize the WWE Championship on Sunday.
The Great One, however, was then attacked by The Shield - the band of vigilantes that have helped Punk maintain his strap over recent months - though it was later announced by Vince McMahon that should the same thing occur in Phoenix, the Second City Saint would be stripped of his belt.
Alberto Del Rio will put his World Heavyweight Championship on the line against Big Show this weekend and both competitors recorded victories on Raw; the Mexican Aristocrat defeating Tensai and the World's Largest Athlete beating Zack Ryder.
Plus, WWE Tag Team Champions Kane and Daniel Bryan graduated from anger management - and celebrated by hugging it out - and Divas Titlist Kaitlyn saw off Alicia Fox, while the imposing Tamina Snuka watched on a monitor backstage.
WWE Royal Rumble will be shown on Sky Sports Box Office (channel 743) and in high definition on Sky Box Office HD (channel 752) on Sunday, January 27 at 1am (Mon).
WWE Royal Rumble will be repeated on Sky Sports Box Office (channel 743) - but NOT on Sky Sports Box Office HD (channel 752) - between 9am on Monday January 28 and 9pm on Saturday February 2. Repeat showings will last for three hours.
The event is priced at £14.95 for UK customers, €21.95 for customers in the Republic of Ireland.
You can order WWE Royal Rumble by pressing the Box Office button on your remote. Select 'sports & events' and follow the on-screen instructions.
Viewers are also able to call 08442 410 888 to book WWE Royal Rumble. (There may be an additional charge for telephone bookings).
You can also book WWE Royal Rumble online by clicking this link www.sky.com/orderboxoffice
Cable customers should contact their local cable operator.