The Rock captured the WWE championship in controversial fashion at last Sunday's Royal Rumble in Phoenix.

John Cena emerged victorious in the actual 30-man rumble event to procure a shot at that very title at WrestleMania despite a surprise return and pretty ambitious performance in the marathon match by Chris Jericho.

There was no sign of either Brock Lesnar or the Undertaker on the card, although Lesnar appeared in grand fashion the next evening on Raw. The Dead Man and Triple H seem to be waiting in the wings for their re-emergence, as there does need to be some drama portioned out over the next couple of weeks of television.

Can't remember the last time there was a ppv consisting of but four matches, but this one had only that few. Antonio Cesaro retained the United States championship on the pre-show. That's ridiculous. They both deserve to be on the main show and I can't imagine how it helps promote additional buys for the ppv.

Alberto Del Rio held onto the world heavyweight championship in the opener by defeating Big Show in a Last Man Standing bout that was pretty decent overall, but hurt by a cheap finish. Ricardo Rodriguez tied Show's feet with duct tape and he was unable to get back into the ring to beat the count. Bret Hart made a cameo before the opener and endorsed Del Rio. Soembody recognizes Del Rio's face turn has been a bit weak.

Kane and Daniel Bryan retained the tag team straps with a win over Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes. Bryan got Sandow to submit to the no-lock after several minutes of action.

The Rumble went pretty long and Ziggler and Jericho each worked over 45 minutes of it. Ryback and Cena were the last two left and Cena threw the big guy out after absorbing some stiff-looking clothesline offense from the now long past annoying "Feed Me More" guy. Big guy faces shouldn't have to pander so blatantly and pathetically to fans. He actually looks like he blows himself up repeating his chant so frequently.

Rock and Punk had a solid match that got very positive reviews overall. They did a swerve at the end with the lights going out and the Shield coming out to triple-team Rock and put him through the announcer's table with the power bomb. Punk dragged Rock into the ring and scored a pinfall and was announced as the winner.

That brought Vince out to say he was going to do as promised and strip Punk of the title due to the interference, but Rock got up and said he wanted to win it on his own and they went another couple of minutes before Punk succumbed to a Rock-Bottom and People's Elbow. There was quite the celebration as the people's champion held up the coveted gold belt he had not held for ten years while pursuing his acting career.

Monday's Raw saw Punk whine and complain about what happened the night before. Eventually, he challenged Rock to a rematch at the upcoming Elimination Chamber pay per view. It was roulette night in Las Vegas with Vickie Guerrero spinning the wheel to make matches and stipulations. Randy Orton defeated Antonio Cesaro in an excellent non-title bout and Bo Dallas upset Wade Barrett in another contest.

The Shield laid out John Cena and then Sheamus when he tried to make the save. Ryback got the same rough treatment from the three on one crew and was left laying after being driven into the steel ringside steps.

When Vince came out to give Paul Heyman a performance review, Lesnar's music hit just as Vince was preparing to fire Heyman. After some dramatic pausing, Lesnar snatched Vince and spun him around for the F-5. Storyline next day was that Vince had a broken pelvis. According to wrestlingobserver.com, Vince is scheduled to undergo real life surgery for a hip problem and will be out of the picture for a little while. It would appear that sets up a reason for Triple H to look for revenge on Lesnar in the coming weeks.

Trish Stratus was announced as another member of this year's WWE Hall of Fame class. The company does a fabulous job with the compilation videos for the HOF nominees. She just looks too young to be in that place at this time.

(Shamokin's Bill Gilger "arranges" the interview each week with The Insider)