What's up, ladies and gentlemen? My name is Eric Kanes, and I am back here today with my monthly pay-per-view preview. I will break things down and give the realistic odds for each match.
As always, I'll have fellow QuickWrestlingNews columnist Geddy Cahoon joining me. Also, as most of you know, I held a "Writer Search" on QuickWrestlingNews earlier this month, so we have seven new writers—Dave Scott, George Cushnie, Ace Brunswick, Liam Hindmarsh, Adam Behan, Nicholas McConnaughay and "Primetime" Gregory Bitetzakis—joining us. From now on, this will be the permanent nine-man PPV prediction team. Also, since we have this many writers, there is now a new column posted on QuickWrestlingNews every single day, so make sure to check that out.
Make sure to add me on Facebook for more on that and to keep up with all of my latest columns.
Now, without any further ado, let's get this show on the road!
Eric Kanes: The first match on the card will probably be the steel cage triple threat match that will see Daniel Bryan defend his world title against both Big Show and Mark Henry. Up to this point, Money in the Bank has been more of a curse than anything else. It helped Edge and Rob Van Dam but ever since then, WWE just hasn't been able to get it right.
CM Punk got his momentum killed for the next two years, Jack Swagger ended up where he is now, Kane's reign sucked, The Miz had a lot of potential but his momentum was completely killed, and Alberto Del Rio is self explanatory. However, so far, WWE has done a fantastic job with Daniel Bryan's heel turn and Bryan has done a fantastic job himself. He's been showing a lot of personality and has instantly gone from being just a good wrestler to one of the most interesting characters on the show. If WWE has faith in him, he will become a major star.
As for the match, I can't imagine any outcome but Big Show and Mark Henry brawling while Daniel Bryan escapes through the door or quickly climbs out of the cage. The steel cage is supposedly there to prevent Bryan from escaping, but in reality, it will make it even easier for him to do just that.
Eric's Pick: Daniel Bryan
Geddy Cahoon: This match should be fairly entertaining. Bryan-Show has proven to be a massively entertaining feud ever since Bryan turned heel, and at least they freshened up their usual Pay Per View formula by tossing Henry in and making it a steel cage match. I assume Henry will be "injured" in this match, and finally take some time off for his injury. Bryan's definitely retaining, either through some
underhanded tactic, or all three men will go barreling through the cage or something, breaking it down and resulting in another no-contest. Either way, I don't think they'll be taking the belt off D-Bry just yet.
Geddy's Pick: Daniel Bryan
Liam Hindmarsh: I am loving Daniel Bryan so much right now. This slow, burning heel turn he's got going on right now is brilliant. It's so much better watching him play this role rather than the slightly dorkish person who is the subject of countless unfunny jokes by Michael Cole. We have Big Show, the crowd favorite. The man who sampled the taste of being world champion before having it ripped away from him only a few minutes later. Then we have Mark Henry, the man who practically dominated SmackDown during the second half of 2011. What I love is that is we have three different directions in this match. The solid babyface in Show, the monster heel in Henry, and then Bryan who is in the transition from face to heel.
Before i continue writing, Mark Henry was apparently injured at the SmackDown tapings on Tuesday. At the time of this writing it's unconfirmed if he will or will not be competing at the Royal Rumble. My writing will assume he will be. In my opinion, it wouldn't change the outcome of the match anyway.
Putting Big Show and Henry in a cage is a risk on WWE's part. It's hard to put two large guys in a regular match and keep it entertaining so limiting their movements to inside a cage could hinder this match. But in another way, I kind of understand why the WWE has done this. Over the past month or so, Bryan has escaped the clutches of Show and Henry by luck or by his new heelish tenancies. The idea of the cage is that Bryan has nowhere to run and that if he wants to keep his title, he has to step up and fight. Obviously the power moves are going to be coming from Show and Henry with Bryan doing the more technical things. The way the WWE has shown it, it's almost inevitable that Bryan will lose, but I just don't see it. I don't know how but Bryan will find some way to pull out the win.
Liam's Pick: Daniel Bryan
Dave Scott: I hope this match will be the end of this feud to move Daniel Bryan onto something different. Bryan can't have the matches that he should be having against these two so I'm guessing we will see a Daniel Bryan win but in a cowardly sense to amplify his heel turn.
Dave's Pick: Daniel Bryan
George Cushnie: This one’s fairly cut and dried for me. Bryan retains the title, probably by escaping the cage. His heel turn’s one of the few things that’s been done well over the last few weeks. He’s turned into a cocky heel champion, almost showing traits of Chris Jericho. There’ll be some kind of spot where Henry or Big Show will slam/spear Bryan into the side of the cage and it’ll collapse, giving him the win. There’s no other outcome I can see except D-Bry retaining here.
George's Pick: Daniel Bryan
Ace Brunswick: I expect Bryan to go over here in a cheap, heelish fashion. No way should Bryan be losing the title just steps into his heel run. The guy seems like he's gonna be a good heel champion. Escaping will most likely be the way Bryan's gonna win this thing because it goes with the theme of the past few matches he has had: Escape.
Ace's Pick: Daniel Bryan
Adam Behan: Setting this match inside a steel cage automatically gives Daniel Bryan the edge, as he can quickly escape. I can't see Big Show or Mark Henry winning; they are just there to fill space. This match will not exceed my low expectations and will be nothing special. My pick is Daniel Bryan to retain at the Rumble.
Adam's Pick: Daniel Bryan
Nicholas McConnaughay: The night that Daniel Bryan crowned himself as the World Heavyweight Champion by defeating the Big Show, there was immediate speculation as to whenever his reign would conclude. Numerous speculated that the conclusion would be immediate, several also stated that the only reason he cashed in so early is because they didn't want him to be in the main-event at WrestleMania. I think that that's a logical observation to be perfectly honest. I don't feel as though Daniel Bryan will hold onto the strap for very long. He has been built awkwardly, and the conclusion seems to be inevitably nearing, but I don't think that it will be at the Royal Rumble. I expect that through somewhat shady tactics, Daniel Bryan will walk out still as the World Heavyweight Championship, and the trigger might be pulled on his heel turn.
Nick's Pick: Daniel Bryan
Gregory Bitetzakis: I am looking forward to this match. For one, it's a rare triple threat steel cage match and two, you have conflicting styles with the lumbering, slow, big monsters of Henry and Show, with the fast, technical Bryan. But I also feel this match is one of the easier ones to predict. Bryan is setting up a heel turn and has the momentum, plus with the steel cage aspect he can continue his cowardly victories by just escaping the cage with no need of a pin or submission. Bryan will flee the cage door while Henry and Show are SLOWLY punishing each other and continue his eventual full fledged heel turn (I have to watch his ROH promos because I can't see how he will be credible as a heel but time will tell).
Gregory's Pick: Daniel Bryan
Eric Kanes: Next, we've got John Cena vs. Kane in what has been the most ridiculous storyline since Kane ruined SmackDown two years ago with the "Devil's Favorite Demon" crap. This insanely fake stuff is the reason people make fun of wrestling. I get that you're supposed to suspend your disbelief but it's hard to take a show seriously when you're supposed to believe that hell is under the ring.
Anyway, it seems like the seeds may have been planted for John Cena's heel turn and I hope that WWE is going in that direction. I'm not sure exactly what will happen here but I think John Cena will go crazy and destroy Kane to get the win. I guess the story will be that he was so focused on avenging Zack Ryder that he took it to far and turned into a monster himself, or something along those lines.
Eric's Pick: John Cena
Geddy Cahoon: Well...this one could really go either way. Kane could win and say that Cena is still weak, as he hasn't fully "embraced the hate" yet. Or Cena COULD "embrace the hate," kick the living crap out of Kane, and then just stay face by saying the only hate he embraced was the hate Kane directed at him. Or something corny like that. Like I said, it's tough to call. They're not really building towards either guy as the winner. Since this is WWE, I'll go with Cena.
Geddy's Pick: John Cena
Liam Hindmarsh: The heel turn is coming. The heel turn is coming. Or is it? I've enjoyed the majority of this storyline, maybe except for the bad acting of a certain diva. (Hi Eve, How ya doin?) The idea is good, finally bringing to light the large section of anti-Cena fans who have been making their voices heard for a number of years now. For all the crap that Cena gets, he has played his part well in this, refusing to embrace the hate. Then we had Raw this Monday when everybody's favorite broski was destroyed by everybody's favorite mask wearing psycho. Who can be blame for this? Well, more wooden acting from Eve gave us the answer of John Cena although I do have to say Cena's angry face did look more constipated than angry. Maybe he ate one too many fruity pebbles and they got lodged somewhere. Okay, moving off topic there. What I've enjoyed about this storyline is that it's not just about Cena and Kane. The ability to include other people like Zack Ryder as a way to mess with Cena's emotions has worked perfectly. Kane has been great also. As a fan who grew up in the Attitude Era, It's nice to see a bit of old Kane again. The Big Red Machine who could tear his way through anybody.
From what I've read, people aren't expecting much of a match here. I think people will end up being surprised by this. It won't be a technical classic but it has the potential to be a damn good brawl. What I think will be the most interesting things to see in this match will be the mannerisms of Cena and if they change at all. Cena wants to hurt Kane, but maybe Kane wants that too. As Kane said, it's all about embracing the hate. If Cena snaps and relentlessly beats Kane, has Kane completed his objective of getting Cena to embrace the hate? Anyway, to my pick. Towards the end of the match, Cena will show some indecisiveness. He'll have a chance to injure Kane or maybe the crowd booing will distract him. Whatever it is, Kane will strike, winning the match and leaving people wondering what happened to Cena.
Liam's Pick: Kane
Dave Scott: I wish this rivalry hadn't kicked off when it had because they don't have long enough to build it before The Rock steps in to face Cena. I wish they could have had a few matches with Kane going over a few times to show him a monster who can defeat Cena, but at most I'm guessing they will both be included in the Raw Elimination Chamber. However, I feel they will have one upset in the three matches that they have scheduled.
Dave's Pick: Kane
George Cushnie: Ah, Mr. Fruity Pebbles vs. Mr. Embrace the Hate. What can we say about this one? This feud actually feels fresher than it should, because it’s something we’ve not seen for a while. Kane works better in a heel role in my opinion. This would’ve worked better as a NO DQ match/Falls Count Anywhere. Neither one tells a great story in the ring so the crowd may be dead for parts of it. Kane should win here, probably by chokeslam or a tombstone. Otherwise, it’s pointless having invested time in the storyline.
George's Pick: Kane
Ace Brunswick: No way will Kane be winning this one cleanly with Wrestlemania right around the corner. They'll be booking Cena strong all the way. Then again, Cena rarely loses clean at all. I expect a Cena win or a Kane win via disqualification because Cena won't stop his assault/uses a weapon (Which goes with Kane's words about Cena "embracing the hate). Either way, I think the last image of this match-up will be Cena standing victorious be it officially or just for the sake of beating the hell out of Kane.
Ace's Pick: John Cena
Adam Behan: This match, I believe, is harder to predict than I first thought. Kane is an unstoppable monster and should go on to win. His destruction of Zack Ryder has him as the favorite. However, Cena is Cena and has now embraced the hate. A safe bet would be John Cena, like always, but I am going to go with a No Result.
Adam's Pick: No Result
Nicholas McConnaughay: What can I say about this match? I've actually legitimately held some intrigue towards the happenings. Whether it be because of this being the first real-feud of the big red, and newly masked monster, or because I'm genuinely interested in seeing what happens. John Cena's character is as interesting as it has been for a long time, and whilst I've been fooled too much before to serve as the boy who cried heel-turn, I wouldn't be surprise with John Cena showing more ruthless aggression. Ultimately, I think that it will end with John Cena scoring the victory through questionable methods, but I'd like to see this feud conclude at Elimination Chamber somehow.
Nick's Pick: John Cena
Gregory Bitetzakis: Hmm...interesting match with one side having the all mighty JOHN CENA and his I am constipated and angry face (watch Raw again, I can't get over it) and EVIL KANE who hasn't been in a real match in forever. I am flipping back and forth because I can see that with there being one more PPV before Rock vs. Cena, you need a rematch between these two to fill the gap so a Cena loss, then revenge victory is feasible. But it is Cena so a win will most likely occur to gather momentum for WrestleMania. But let's not leave out a DQ finish for Cena to set up the rematch. I think I just convinced myself that Cena will most likely win by DQ to set up the rematch at Elimination Chamber.
Gregory's Pick: A Constipated John Cena
Eric Kanes: Here we've got the highly anticipated WWE Championship match between CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler, with John Laurinaitis as special guest referee. The big question is whether or not Laurinaitis will screw Punk. At this point, I'm pretty sure it won't happen. Dolph Ziggler already owns four victories over CM Punk, even if they're not clean, so that means CM Punk has a higher chance of winning. Plus, it's not like Dolph Ziggler's going to go into WrestleMania as WWE Champion, so the outcome is pretty obvious.
I think it will end with John Laurinaitis attempting to screw CM Punk but CM Punk finally beating the hell out of him. To end it, Mick Foley, or somebody else, will come down and count to three, giving CM Punk the win. The following night, Laurinaitis will get fired from RAW and Mick Foley will take over as GM.
I also just want to point out that even know I couldn't stand Laurinaitis when he first became GM, he has grown on me. It would be awesome if he was replaced by Foley and RAW and then Teddy Long was replaced by Laurinaitis on SmackDown.
Eric's Pick: CM Punk
Dolph Ziggler's Rumble match against Edge last year was one of my favorite matches of 2010. It
had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, because I legitimately thought that Ziggler had a
shot at winning. This time...Nah. They've built Ziggler up TOO much. You don't pin the champ four
times, THEN also take his belt from him in the same month. Plus, Punk is money. They're not quite
ready to de-belt him yet. Whatever happens, this is sure to be an amazing match, albeit one that
we've seen multiple times on RAW. They should get a decent amount of time here, and I'm eager to see what Laurinaitis does. I'm thinking he'll TRY to screw Punk, but will just end up screwing himself
and Ziggler. The story's probably going to get worse once HHH makes the scene this Monday, but
for now let's enjoy the relatively entertaining title picture for what it is.
Geddy's Pick: CM Punk
Liam Hindmarsh: Dolph Ziggler is getting better and better each and every week. I'm enjoying hearing him on the microphone and I think as he gets more experience, he has the abilities to be a very good promo guy. In my opinion, he is one of the best sellers on the roster. The way he used to sell the rough ryder was awesome. I love this whole show-off thing he has going on right now. It fits him so well and at the moment, he does have quite a lot to brag about. It's also nice to see another younger guy in the WWE title picture. I like the way this story has ran with Ziggler stealing wins over Punk in various ways and bragging to just about everyone that he beat the WWE champion. We also have the John Laurinaitis factor in this match who himself has had a number of issues with Punk. Punk is awesome right now, his promos have been excellent as always, and this week we even finally saw a GTS to Mr. Laurinaitis. With Lauranaitis as the ref, the question is will how will Punk be able to keep his title.
This match will be good. As I said earlier, Ziggler is awesome at selling. He really does make the moves look like they hurt and with Punk's style, it could be a nice mix here. With Lauranaitis as the ref, it's almost inevitable that something is going to happen. We'll see the usual stuff like Ziggler breaking the rules which JL will overlook, but he'll be hard on Punk, threatening DQ's. I don't see JL lasting the entire match before Punk hitting him or an "accidental" clash which sends him down. Or maybe even HHH arrives towards the end of the match to make sure it's called fairly. Either way, Punk walks out still champion.
Liam's Pick: CM Punk
Dave Scott: I love CM Punk but part of me would love to see Dolph Ziggler get a WWE title run, but again this is probably not the right time. If Ziggler was to win, he'd more than likely lose the title before WrestleMania. It would be a horrible idea to have a quick title change before then.
Dave's Pick: CM Punk
George Cushnie: This will be the match of the night. Give them 30 minutes with minimal interruptions from Johnny Ace. If their match from RAW a few weeks ago is anything to go by, then we’re in for a treat here. Before the news on Monday about Johnny’s Job Evaluation by HHH next week, I’d have put my house on Ziggler being the new WWE Champion. Instead, I think Ziggler will win, but Punk will retain the title by DQ. Don’t rule out a role at ringside for Mick Foley here either.
George's Pick: Dolph Ziggler via DQ
Ace Brunswick: CM Punk should retain here. There's no reason to give Ziggler the title this early. Laurinaitis and Punk will have their moments, obviously. Whatever happens, be it via pinfall, countout, submission, or disqualification, Punk will retain his title.
Ace's Pick: CM Punk
Adam Behan: Now I have been saying for weeks that this match will be won by CM Punk with definitive ease. I am still going to stay with Punk to retain. The lead up towards the Rumble has been one sided. Ziggler has just been that good leading to the Royal Rumble that he cannot win. Mr. Laurinaitis will not count the final decision; he will be unconscious via a GTS. Winner, the Cult of Personality.
Adam's Pick: CM Punk
Nicholas McConnaughay: I don't think that anybody is impatiently waiting with a blatant shake at who will walk away with the WWE Championship in this match, but that's not the point. The point going in is how CM Punk will retain. Dolph Ziggler has been on fire as of late but truly isn't ready to be the champion, especially approaching WrestleMania. I don't know how they're going to do it, but CM Punk successfully defends. They may go one of two ways - John Laurinaitis simply counts the three and does an attack afterward, or CM Punk knocks him out enabling for Mick Foley, or a legitimate referee, to come in the ring and make the count.
Nick's Pick: CM Punk
Gregory Bitetzakis: Who would have thought that after all of the hype Ziggler has been receiving he would be overshadowed in a championship match not only by Punk but a guy at referee who can't even sell a move? (watch his face when Punk lifts him up for the GTS=PRICELESS) So throughout the weeks leading to last Monday's Raw, I was slowly leaning towards Dolph to win the belt because of the Laurinaitis factor but that got squashed with the fact that if Punk gets screwed by John, he will most likely be fired. I say most likely because it leaves wiggle room for a screwy finish with even HHH turning heel on RAW. Barring that I just don't see Big John being fired especially since he is improving on the mic with his delivery and the rivalry with Punk is growing more and more. All this means will Punk will somehow walk out with the belt.
Gregory's Pick: CM Punk
Eric Kanes: And finally, the match everybody is looking forward to - the Royal Rumble. I think that this year, although it is somewhat predictable with Chris Jericho winning and going on to face CM Punk, there are several other potential winners. Randy Orton could win and go on to face Daniel Bryan. Triple H could enter and go on to face CM Punk, as the evil GM (while Jericho goes on to face Undertaker). Don't rule out a surprise return either.
However, I won't spend too much time guessing. I'll just be looking forward to the surprises this Sunday. Until then, I'm locking in Chris Jericho as my pick.
Eric's Pick: Chris Jericho
Geddy Cahoon: I don't think I need to say anything about the entertainment value of this match. It's the only reason most of us order this Pay Per View. It's an awesome spectacle, and this year will be no different. WWE has built a few guys up to win it. First off is Sheamus, whose chances are weak. He's not ready to main event WrestleMania. He was on fire for a while there, but he's fizzled out. Next, I'll say Ziggler has a shot after he loses to Punk in the championship match. I don't know if he's totally ready to main event either though. I doubt they'd do Punk vs. Ziggler at WrestleMania AND Royal Rumble. Mick Foley definitely has a shot to win it. I'd love it if he did, so they could do a "One more run" type story with him. The guy can still go to a degree, and if he's willing, let him. That said, he doesn't totally need the Rumble win to do that. Miz has a shot too. They're not gonna put him in at number one just to be the first guy thrown out. He main evented 'Mania last year and it was great. I could dig a Miz/Punk feud. He'll probably just last very long, and then face Truth at WM though. Jericho's chances are big blah blah. We all know that. I hope it's not him, though it's likely. He doesn't need it. The two guys who have the biggest shot are Randy Orton and Wade Barrett. Orton's been in talks to win in his hometown for a while now. If he wins, we'd be sure to get an awesome match and feud with Heel D-Bry at Wrestlemania. That said, I think Barrett has a higher chance. If he wins, we get a triple threat (Or Fatal Four Way!) for the title between him, Bryan, Sheamus, and Orton, which would be...Amazing. Plus, they've been building Wade and he's main evented Pay Per Views before. I think this might be his time. Or I'm hoping, at least.
Geddy's Pick: Wade Barrett
Liam Hindmarsh:I'm not going to go into too much detail here because quite frankly, I'd be here for days typing and you guys would have probably stopped reading by now. Some of the guys who were already booked will probably be in here so expect people like Cena and Kane to make another appearance, depending on the outcome of their match anyway. I'm glad the Rumble is back down to 30 people. Last year felt like a little bit of an overkill. The only problem I have this year is that the announcers are still playing to the fact that the winner will main event WrestleMania. Last year, Del Rio won and he opened WrestleMania. This year, everyone knows that Rock and Cena is main eventing. Not a big problem. I just don't see why they say that you will main event WM28 when the winner won't. Anyway, back onto the good stuff. The interesting thing about the Rumble this year is that there haven't been any qualification matches so just about everyone on the roster can be in it. As always, we can expect one or two surprises. Maybe a Hall of Famer will make an appearance for one night or even an injured superstar making their return.
I'll make this short. My final four in the rumble will be Orton, Jericho, Barrett, and Sheamus. The crowd is going to be hot for Orton all night. Him and Barrett will certainly be going at it while Sheamus also has his issues with Barrett. The rumors of Orton winning are strong. Only one person in my mind can win. That man is Chris Jericho. Whatever the "It Begins" stuff was all about, we'll get our answers to shortly. Maybe even the following Raw. But for the Rumble, Jericho wins by eliminating Orton. Punk vs. Y2J at WM 28. The IWC starts to foam at the mouth.
Liam's Pick: Chris Jericho
Dave Scott: There are few believable options for winners of the Rumble match - Jericho, Orton, Barrett, Sheamus, and Cena. I would love to see Barrett or Sheamus go over and win it. However, this is all about a Wrestle
Dave's Pick: Chris Jericho
George Cushnie: Now we get to the main event of the evening. This is quite tough to call for me, even getting down to naming the final four. There’ll probably be a couple of surprise entrants, but no one will stand out. I doubt Miz would go all the way, but I’d love to see it. It would be awesome if Christian came back for the Rumble and shocked the world by winning it, but I can’t see it happening. The final four for me will come down to Wade Barrett, Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Chris Jericho. It’s a case of head over heart for me. Heart says Sheamus, but my head says Chris Jericho.
George's Pick: Chris Jericho
Ace Brunswick: Four favorites come to mind namely Jericho, Orton, Sheamus, and Barrett. Out of the four, my personal favorite is Wade Barrett. Both he and Sheamus were the ones who cut promos about the Rumble match itself so they're well built. I expect big things from them in the match. However, both Sheamus and Barrett are relatively young and new to the main event scene compared to the other two. With that said, I don't expect the WWE to give a new main-eventer the Rumble match two years in a row. Now let's examine the two veterans: Orton and Jericho. Orton is the hometown guy so he's got a legitimate shot. However, he has already won the event and very recently (2009). Jericho on the other hand, hasn't. Plus his character right now is full of mystery with his recent actions (or lack thereof), only speaking ominously about the Rumble event this past RAW. It has been rumored that Punk and Jericho will be duking it out at Wrestlemania for the WWE title so this is a good way for Jericho to get that shot.
Ace's Pick: Chris Jericho
Adam Behan: I am really struggling to pick a winner here. There is so much talent and potential winners in this match that no matter who wins, WWE can't go wrong. The final four I foresee will be Randy Orton, Sheamus, Cody Rhodes, and Wade Barrett. No one from Raw is good enough to be there at the end, and will be mostly eliminated early. The Royal Rumble winner I am betting on is Cody Rhodes tossing over Orton for the win. I would love to see Punk and Rhodes at WM28.
Adam's Pick: Cody Rhodes
Nicholas McConnaughay: I am beginning to feel it in the air, the genuine interest, and this is a big part of the reason. The Royal Rumble match is always one of the funnest matches of the year, and truly kicks off the road to WrestleMania. I think it's fair to say that they were slightly derailed by giving Alberto Del Rio the victory, but this time around, it's looking good. I hate to be predictable, but Chris Jericho is coming out of this match with the victory, one way or the other. They've been building this moment subliminally for months, and now commences the work touch of the quill to the canvas as they paint us their picture. Some say that Randy Orton could pull out the arguable upset because it's in his hometown, but I'm sticking with Chris Jericho.
Nick's Pick: Chris Jericho
Gregory Bitetzakis: My favorite match in professional wrestling and the sole reason why the Royal Rumble is my favorite PPV (yes, easily over WrestleMania). 30 men enter....1 winner (or 2, Bret and Lex). Chaos and destruction everywhere. This year, the event seems wide open with as much as five superstars having a legit shot at winning (PLUG...read my preview at quickwrestlingnews.com to see who I think has the best shot at winning). I want to share my final four which will be Randy Orton, Sheamus, Wade Barrett, and Chris Jericho. I think when it is all said and done, Chris Jericho will eliminate Randy Orton to come out the winner. He will then go on the challenge CM Punk for the belt at WrestleMania. But for a dark horse candidate watch for Wade Barrett, I also love his chances to pull off the victory.
Gregory's Pick: Chris Jericho
As always, here are some bonus questions for our readers:
Which match will steal the show?
Eric Kanes: Every year, I buy the Royal Rumble PPV solely for the Rumble match itself. WWE rarely puts any effort into booking any of the other matches. This year is different and the other three matches are actually somewhat anticipated. Nonetheless, the Royal Rumble is the most unpredictable match of the year and ultimately, the one I am looking forward to the most.
Geddy Cahoon: Probably a little bout called The Royal Rumble. It's WWE's most consistently entertaining match, and I don't think I've ever not enjoyed a Rumble. Everyone's going to be saying this, but it's true.
Liam Hindmarsh: The Rumble is always good but Punk and Ziggler will almost definitely be the match that steals the show. These two have shown on Raw that they have decent chemistry and if they get 20+ minutes, we're all in for very nice treat this Sunday. The crowd will be hot for Punk. The odds are stacked against Punk. This match has the perfect ingredients for something special. I'm not usually one for star ratings but this match could easily achieve a four star level (out of five). This match could certainly happen again later in the year, maybe even with Ziggler as WWE champion.
Dave Scott: Royal Rumble match by far. The spectacle of it alone makes it the most interesting match of the year, every year. I've been watching the Royal Rumble every year for as long as I can remember and I can honestly say that it never gets boring!
George Cushnie: There’s only one choice with four matches on the card: Punk/Ziggler all the way. It’s got all the tools to be an excellent match and it's Dolph’s chance to show he belongs in the main event for the long-term. It’s time for him to drop Vickie Guerrero, though. He’s at the stage now where his in-ring work is up there with Punk & Bryan and his promos have improved so much that he’s able to draw heat on his own. He doesn’t need her anymore and it’s time for him to fly on his own. I’d say this match will be ***+ and the feud will continue on past the next PPV.
Ace Brunswick: Triple Threat World Title match between Big Show, Mark Henry, and Daniel Bryan. It's so easy to just say Ziggler vs. Punk but the thing is, going into the event, we already know and expect a great match from them to the point that if they just perform "okay/good", we'll be disappointed. On the other hand, people know Henry and Big Show aren't the best out there when it comes to in-ring performance so some might have lowered their standards for this match but we've never seen those three in the ring yet so perhaps the addition of Bryan will greatly impact the dynamics between Show and Henry enough for their match to be considered good or even borderline great. They just need to be solid on all aspects and they can steal the show IMO.
Adam Behan: For the PPV card we currently have, Dolph Ziggler, CM Punk, and Mr. Laurinaitis will be the highlight of the Rumble for me. The build up around this match has been paramount on Raw for the last few weeks. I see a thirty minute match of technical wrestling, charisma, and showmanship where two wrestlers will give it their all. This will be the match we remember at the end of the Royal Rumble. Saying the Rumble match will be the best match is a 25 year trend, it always is the best match, I can just see Ziggler stealing the show, that big show off.
Nicholas McConnaughay: Every match on the card has potential, although I can't shake the feeling that the World Heavyweight Championship match will be disappointing. Obviously though, the match that will steal the show is the match that steals the show every year and that is the Royal Rumble. The match is usually filled with a compilation of returns and hard-fought attempts at capturing the brass ring, but it never fails to be entertaining.
Gregory Bitetzakis: The Royal Rumble match will always be the main attraction but I am extremely interested in the cage match between Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, and Big Show. The cage brings more intrigue, especially with the different styles of the competitors. Also, they can do a lot of things with this match including finishes and spots so I feel like given time, this match could steal the show.
Which match should be added to the card?
Eric Kanes: I'll have to go with Primo & Epico vs. The Usos vs. Hunico & Camacho in a Triple Threat tag team match. The tag titles won't mean anything if they aren't defended at every pay-per-view, like the main titles.
Geddy Cahoon:Something with Cody Rhodes or Swagger. The titles don't get defended frequently enough. It doesn't even need to be a title match. Maybe they could've had Cody and Swagger team up and face two guys from their respective shows. If the opposing team wins, they get future title shots. That took me 30 seconds to come up with.
Liam Hindmarsh: Since both the US and IC champions will probably be in the Rumble, WWE should put their new tag champions on the show. Give some PPV time to those belts which have very little prestige right now. Let Primo and Epico go at it with The Usos. Give them ten minutes and see what happens. The tag team division can't get any worse that it already is so you might as well work with what you have and put them on the show. If anything, just so the fans can see The Usos' awesome entrance. It's a sad thing when you want to see a tag team just for their entrance.
Dave Scott: Zack Ryder vs. Jack Swagger for the US title should have been added to the card with a stipulation. Something like a ladder match which could be a potential show stealer.
George Cushnie: Was there anything worth adding to the card? I suppose Primo/Epico vs. The Usos or Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust, but other than that, there’s nothing that I can think of. That’s the problem at the minute. There’s no undercard feuds building that anyone really cares about. Cody vs. Justin Gabriel could've been really good, as would R-Truth vs. Jack Swagger. Other than that, I’m really struggling to see what the undercard’s gonna be like on the road to WrestleMania.
Ace Brunswick: Any announced midcard title match be it for the Intercontinental, United States, or Tag Team titles. I just feel that having the midcard titles featured on the card adds more importance to those titles.
Adam Behan: For the Rumble, I have been thinking recently about the lack of quality matches for Sunday. With only four matches leading in, I can see the PPV revolving around the Rumble match itself and therefore is a weak starting card. I would have been very contempt to see a Tag Title match between Epico and Primo against Drew McIntyre and Santino. Now it might seem a bit odd that I would say this match, but I so could see Teddy Long making this match backstage. It could be a huge face turn for Drew on PPV, it would make the tag champs credible, and actually lead to something story wise.
Nicholas McConnaughay: I wouldn't be surprised if we saw one or two filler matches decorating the night, but there isn't really anything crucial to be added. I would say that we should see Air Boom challenge for the straps again, but we all know why that can't happen.
Gregory Bitetzakis: I feel like the Royal Rumble is a big event so I would have liked to seen all the belts being defended, but since we know how the WWE hates the tag team and women's divisions, I wanted Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus. You could have very easily held off Orton's return till the Royal Rumble match and put these two together in an incredible match. For one, they have a rivalry developing and also would have made Orton's return all the more special. So put this match in there but knowing WWE that will be a FAIL!!!
Will you be ordering this PPV?
Eric Kanes: Hell yeah, I'm ordering this PPV. The Royal Rumble match itself is one I cannot miss.
Geddy Cahoon:I want to. I really do. I'm still iffy though. I might be too busy with school and stuff, but if I find the time, of course I'll be getting it.
Liam Hindmarsh: I won't be ordering it personally but I'll be watching with a group of friends at one of their houses. We all chip in to save on money. Rumble, beer, and pizza all at 1am. I swear people will think I'm crazy. This year the under card is good and the Rumble, like always, sells itself. I actually want to raise a point about ordering a pay per view. Over here in the UK, A WWE pay per view costs £14.95. I used a money conversion tool which told me that £14.95 came out at about $23.50. I think it's so unfair that the American fans have to shell out almost $50 a month for a pay per view, when technically, it's costing me half the amount. I do think that is one thing that is damaging the buy rates of pay per views. They are way too expensive.
Dave Scott: No. I'm attending a Royal Rumble party at one of my mate's flats. Booze, gambling, more booze, and wrestling...Perfect!
George Cushnie: Yeah. I only order four PPVs a year (Rumble, Mania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series). If there’s another during the year, it’ll depend on the card. Otherwise, I’m happy to pick and choose which ones I watch.
Ace Brunswick: I don't have to order anything. The PPV will be televised for free in my country.
Adam Behan: I am working through the PPV sadly, and will not be able to watch it live (being an Aussie does have its downfalls) and have not ordered it. I will watch it on a later date, but I will be keeping track through live feeds on the net. The Royal Rumble PPV is always strong; I just wouldn't take the day off of work for it this year.
Nicholas McConnaughay: This is one of the few pay-per-views that I'll actually go out of my way to witness as it is happening. I'll be watching, one way or the other.
Gregory Bitetzakis: Yes, got the friends ready, Domino's Pizza on speed dial, and beers on tap (or in my friend's case, Pepsi). Plus, this PPV has always been my favorite so I have to order it...no doubt!
That's all for today, folks. Make sure to leave us feedback to let us know if you like the new format with nine people. Until next time, I'm out!
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