WWE Royal Rumble 2012: Six Superstars Who Could Make an Impact

TJ WalkerContributor IIIJanuary 20, 2012

WWE Royal Rumble 2012: Six Superstars Who Could Make an Impact

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    It is almost time for the first WWE pay-per-view of the year: The Royal Rumble.

    Established 24 years ago, the Royal Rumble has since gone on to be one of the most important PPVs of all time. What makes it so important? The fact that the winner is guaranteed a title shot of their choosing at Wrestlemania.

    And with The Rock vs John Cena being the main event, this Wrestlemania promises to be the biggest one yet! So of course, winning this Royal Rumble is absolutely huge.

    Unfortunately for many, however, there can only be one winner of the Royal Rumble match. Okay, that's not really true, but regardless, not everyone can win the match. In fact, many big names (Christian, Big Show, CM Punk, etc.) have been unable to add a Royal Rumble win to their already-impressive resumes.

    However, just because a Superstar doesn't win the Royal Rumble, doesn't mean they cannot leave an impact. A prime example is Kane. A man who, since 1999, has never won the Royal Rumble. Despite never winning, Kane holds the record for most men eliminated in a single Rumble match.

    And in the spirit of the Royal Rumble, here are seven other competitors who can have a HUGE impact in the Royal Rumble, even though they likely won't be winning.

    NOTE: The following are Superstars who, in my opinion, aren't winning the Royal Rumble. They'll just have really good showings. Also, superstars who are already in a match were not considered and neither were superstars whose participation in the event was questionable (i.e. Mick Foley). 

Kofi Kingston

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    So far, 2012 has been a rough year for Kofi Kingston. Sure, he started the year off as one-half of the Unified Tag Team champions, but his partner's backstage woes have kept Kingston from revitalizing the tag team division like he promised to do.

    If WWE has any mercy, it will give Kofi a good showing at the Royal Rumble, even if he fails to win it. After all, Kofi Kingston is extremely exciting to watch and the fans love him.

    With John Morrison, Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio and Evan Bourne not competing in this year's Rumble, someone needs to light up the crowd and Kingston is just the man to do it. His incredible energy and athleticism, along with his infectious smile, make him the perfect person to enter around the middle of the Royal Rumble match when things are starting to get repetitive.

    While he may not be the biggest person in the match, Kingston is certainly over with the crowd and no one would be upset to see him make a few amazing comebacks before finally and decisively being put over the top rope.

    While he is in there, we could expect Kingston to do his high-impact, high-flying moves to sweep out many of the heel jobbers (Tyler Reks, Tyson Kidd, etc.) and maybe a few mid-card wrestlers as well.

Mason Ryan

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    The Welsh powerhouse known as Mason Ryan certainly has annoyed many fans with his lack of technique and finesse in the ring. Luckily for him, things like that are not needed in the Royal Rumble. All that's needed there is the ability to get your opponents over the top rope. And with strength like Ryan's, that should be easy.

    Expect Ryan to come in when the heels have banded together (a la the New Nexus at the 2011 Royal Rumble) and there seems to be no hope or expectations for Ryan to dominate for a significant portion of the match.

    Regardless, Ryan will be an absolute beast during the Royal Rumble, using his incredible power to send many a man over the top rope before finally being eliminated by a coalition of desperate superstars.

Hunico/Primo/Epico/Camacho

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    While alone each of these men could probably have some impact, if they team up, then they will be nearly unstoppable. If they were to pull a New Nexus, the impact would be massive. Unless Primo and Epico are thrown into some random match with The Usos (who are the only possible competition for the tag belts right now), they will be in the Royal Rumble.

    For this to happen of course, either one of these men will get an early draw and barely manage to survive until the others slowly manage to arrive, or they will all get lucky and come out within a short interval of time (maybe even one after another).

    Working together, Hunico, Primo, Epico and Camacho could easily force their will on the Royal Rumble and will likely take out many superstars, including a couple of relatively big names (i.e Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, R-Truth, any surprise guests, etc.). 

    And then, once they've run their course and all hope seems lost, some bold face (like Kofi Kingston or Mason Ryan) can break up the group and give someone a legitimate chance at winning.

Brodus Clay

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    After weeks of having his return pushed back, Brodus Clay burst on the scene with an unexpected gimmick that most fans immediately embraced. Even those cynical wrestling purists who think that WWE should be all about 60-minute Iron Man matches have taken a liking to Clay.

    However, with his newfound popularity, Clay has gotten himself into quite the situation. After all, comedy gimmicks don't have a very good history with the Royal Rumble (see Santino Marella and Honkey Tonk Man). Then again, most comedy gimmick wrestlers aren't almost 400 pounds. And most superstars that are almost 400 lbs can't boast the surprising agility of Brodus Clay.

    So, if Clay lasts longer than a few seconds, expect him to make his presence felt. After all, while comedy gimmicks don't do too great in the Rumble, powerhouses do. And despite his easy-going nature, Clay is a powerhouse. The crowd loves him, so we can probably expect an amazing comeback from him before being eliminated.

    And before he's eliminated, expect Clay to do his fair share of putting people over (the top rope) and don't be surprised if he dances his way back into the locker room once he gets eliminated.

Wade Barrett

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    The Barrett Barrage is coming to St. Louis for the Royal Rumble and we can expect it to do some damage before it leaves. 

    Wade Barrett has spent the last few episodes of Smackdown bragging about how he will win the Royal Rumble. While this year may not be his year to win it, Barrett would like to argue otherwise and woe to the superstars who disagree with him.

    Barrett is a tough guy and there's no doubt many superstars are going to be able to contest to that after the Rumble. Odds are he will face one of his former Nexus or Corre teammates during the Royal Rumble, and odds are, he won't think twice about tossing them over the top rope.

    WWE likes to portray Barrett as cold and calculating, as well as brutal and strong, and this will be a successful combo that will leave a huge impact on the Royal Rumble. After Barrett is done showing off how skilled he is, don't be surprised when he meets up with Sheamus and the two wind up eliminating each other in order to keep their budding feud alive.

Sheamus

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    Whether you call him "Great White" or "Celtic Warrior", there's no denying that the Royal Rumble was built for guys like Sheamus. Hard-hitting, tough as nails and determined to win his ticket to Wrestlemania, Sheamus is going to have a massive impact on the Royal Rumble, even if he doesn't win it.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Sheamus is going to have his fair share of eliminations throughout the Royal Rumble. If people like Heath Slater and Kurt Hawkins are there when Sheamus is, expect them to be flung over the top rope like they were nothing. Also expect Sheamus to face men like Mason Ryan and even his 'rival', Jinder Mahal, as well.

    After Sheamus is done making his mark on the Royal Rumble, his feud with Wade Barrett is likely going to rear its head and cause both men to eliminate each other. Of course, neither Sheamus or Barrett are good losers so it's likely they will continue their fight outside of the ring.