WWE Royal Rumble 2012: 5 Superstars Who Would Most Benefit from a Rumble Win
For decades now, the Royal Rumble has been a launching pad for future WWE Superstars.
Yokozuna, Batista, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels are just a few of the names who have won the annual bout and proven very successful because of it.
Every single wrestler in the entire WWE clamors just to participate in the Rumble, because they know the payoff for winning: a title shot of their choosing at the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania. And a title match at the granddaddy of them all is something the great majority of wrestlers will only ever dream about.
Indeed, some have better chances than others. Some would be able to do much more with a Rumble win than others.
Here are five superstars who would benefit most from winning the 2012 Royal Rumble match.
Photo Courtesy of Imperfections/Inconquerable
Cody Rhodes has come a long way.
Remember when Legacy disbanded and everyone thought Ted DiBiase would be the breakout star? Remember "Dashing" Cody Rhodes and his corny grooming tips and tired gimmick?
When Rey Mysterio broke Cody's dashing nose it was the best thing that ever happened to him.
Cody has grown leaps and bounds since taking on this darker persona, and in the beginning of his reign as Intercontinental Champion many fans hoped that he would elevate the title back to its former prestige.
Unfortunately, that hasn't quite happened yet. But Cody is still one of the strongest performers on WWE's current roster.
His most recent angle has segued into another possible angle with his brother, Dustin Rhodes, better known as Goldust. Unofficial word is that a match between the two could be scheduled to take place at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. If this is the case, then a win for Cody at the Rumble seems unlikely.
Nevertheless, a Rumble win could definitely work wonders for him—and the prestige of the Intercontinental Title.
Dolph Ziggler seems to have hit a glass ceiling.
For a long time, Ziggler wasn't much more than a decent wrestler on the mid-card. He put on good matches, but WWE didn't do much to push him, and no one really took too much notice of him, either.
Then he hooked up with Vickie "Insta-Heat" Guerrero.
With her by his side, Ziggler managed to win his first Intercontinental Title in the summer of 2010, and was even named the World Heavyweight Champion in early 2011.
But, his reign with the World Heavyweight Title lasted all of 11 minutes, and his 160 days with the Intercontinental Title certainly wasn't anything special.
After moving over to RAW, his 182-day reign as United States Champion wasn't booked much better.
However, titles aside, Ziggler's feud with fan favorite Zack Ryder certainly helped to develop his gimmick and garner heat—without any help from Vickie.
Ziggler doesn't need Vickie anymore, and many members of the WWE Universe agree that he's ready to break into the main event.
Evidently WWE management feels the same way, as he is slated to face CM Punk for the WWE Championship this Sunday at the Royal Rumble.
That being said, Ziggler very well may not need a Rumble win to finally break through. However, with John Laurinaitis as the special guest referee and Triple H once again butting his nose into Johnny's beef with Punk, the match doesn't actually seem to center around the WWE Championship, but whether or not Laurinaitis will be allowed to keep his position as interim RAW GM.
If Ziggler doesn't come out victorious against Punk on Sunday, a Rumble victory will be his next best bet to shatter that glass ceiling.
Of everyone on this list, Wade Barrett's WWE career has definitely been the biggest roller coaster ride of them all.
In the summer of 2010, Barrett and the rest of Nexus burst onto the scene in what was the most compelling storyline WWE had thought up in years. He was thrust into the main event and very nearly became WWE Champion.
Unfortunately, he was up against John Cena.
After falling victim to Super Cena and the chronically poor decision making of WWE Creative, Barrett became virtually irrelevant. He headed The Corre—a poor man's knockoff of Nexus—and had a rather forgettable run as Intercontinental Champion.
But then he started an angle with Randy Orton—and the Barrett Barrage began.
At barely two years on the main roster, Wade Barrett is already one of the best talkers in WWE today—he was one of the best talkers when he was back on NXT—and his wrestling ability is on par with current main eventers.
Many already consider Barrett to be the future of the company; and if he were to win the Royal Rumble match this Sunday, the future very well could come sooner rather than later.
The Miz has gone through a lot of ups and downs since dropping the WWE Championship to John Cena last spring; and it seems worth noting here that his 160-day reign as champion has been the longest of any single reign with the WWE Title since Triple H held the strap for the seventh time back in 2008.
After losing at Extreme Rules, Miz fell out of the main event scene before re-emerging with a new heel R-Truth, as some of the primary antagonists in the extremely mishandled conspiracy storyline.
Just when it looked like Awesome Truth was finally gaining some momentum, R-Truth was suspended for his first violation of the WWE Wellness Policy, and Miz was pretty much left S.O.L.
Since then, he has been seeking vengeance against former partners who have crossed him: he "ended" John Morrison's career, and is now feuding with a returned Lil'-Jimmy-loving-but-still-completely-crazy R-Truth.
This past Monday, Miz was named the undesirable No. 1 entrant into the Rumble after losing a match to Truth. While this is a colossal disadvantage as he will have to make it through the entire match and outlast 29 other competitors, it could also mean that he is being set up for an impressive win on Sunday.
Needless to say, Miz could definitely use the reviving jolt that a victory like that would provide.
It really is unfortunate how far Drew McIntyre has fallen.
When he debuted in 2009 he was "The Chosen One," personally signed by Mr. McMahon himself and apparently on the fast track to a World Championship.
But all he got out of that was a brief reign as Intercontinental Champion, and later a completely meaningless reign as a WWE Tag Team Champion alongside Cody Rhodes.
In early 2011 it looked like he might have been on the brink of another push when he entered into an extremely brief angle with Kelly Kelly and Edge; but that, too, went nowhere.
It seems like McIntyre may be paying the consequences for the actions of his real life ex-wife and former WWE Diva, Tiffany. On August 8th, 2010, she was arrested in Los Angeles for domestic assault after allegedly having a pretty explosive argument with McIntyre. She was released from her WWE contract shortly thereafter, and ever since McIntyre has largely remained off TV.
Recently, however, he has resurfaced. After being drafted back to SmackDown in December, GM Teddy Long began putting pressure on McIntyre to win some matches in order to justify his contract. Unfortunately for him, however, he subsequently lost to Ezekial Jackson, Ted DiBiase and twice to Santino Morella. In that storyline, he status with the company seems to be up in the air.
McIntyre deserves to be used. He is a good, big wrestler—a Mr. McMahon favorite—and he harbors decent promo skills. A win at the Royal Rumble would most definitely rejuvinate his career; and perhaps his recent losing streak is setting him up for just that.
Who Do You Think Should Win the Royal Rumble?
What makes the Royal Rumble one of WWE's most exciting events of the year is the unpredictability of the Royal Rumble match itself.
Yes, there will always be the favorites to win, and the ones who seem likely to win due to sheer bias, e.g., Chris Jericho and Randy Orton for this year.
However, there are always the dark horse contenders who can come from behind and surprise us all with a victory. Perhaps come Sunday, one of these five men will overcome the odds to be named the 2012 Royal Rumble winner and change their career forever.
Who do you think would benefit most from a Royal Rumble win? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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