For the last couple weeks, I've been thinking a lot about the Royal Rumble (not WrestleMania) and more importantly, who's in the Royal Rumble match and who I think should win the all-important Royal Rumble match.
As all of you may know, the winner of the Royal Rumble will receive the Main Event of WrestleMania 25, probably the biggest and most hyped Main Event in wrestling history, even more than WrestleMania XIV ('98) when HBK faced Stone Cold for the Title.
But the only problem with this, ingoring the WWE Title match and Cena/JBL match is No Way Out. The Elimination Chamber is back, and that of course means another match which stalls the otherwise great Road to Wrestlemania build-up.
Although only four matches have been decided, I don't see any other feuds in place (no big matches) except for a possible Stephanie-Vince/Stephanie-Shane feud when Vince comes back to Raw, so I think all the other matches will be like Armageddon where most came from ECW or random matches with no build-up, such as Punk vs. Mysterio (great match, though).
The Rumble is one of my favorite PPVs of the year, I can't but help see that it's becoming too predictable with Raw/SD! actually naming the participants this year.
Check it out...
From SmackDown, if Triple H, Big Show, Undertaker, Kozlov, and Shelton Benjamin are in the Rumble...
-Big Show can't really win the Rumble, because it would be too predictable (the WWE never lets big men win with the exception of Undertaker). Plus, Show's contract ends later this year (from somewhere I heard as early as February).
-Undertaker winning it would totally screw up the HBK/Taker WrestleMania storyline we've all been hearing about.
-Kozlov could win it, but nobody wants to see someone with a head as a finisher win a Royal Rumble match.
-Shelton could, and should (he deserves the push) win it, but he would be a very unlikely winner mainly because he already is holding the US Championship.
-Triple H could very likely win it (more than Shelton) because this would fit the Edge/Triple H storyline for WrestleMania.
My conclusion for SmackDown would be that you should look forward to the Christian/Hardy feud (if it happens) because it will be better than the Main feud. You've got two men who can't really win (Taker/Show), one talented but mic-challenged man (Kozlov), one man who probably won't feud with Edge (Shelton), and of course, Triple H. I really don't want to see Triple H/Edge/Hardy/Christian feud because E&C would not really be there with Edge's psychotic character, and Triple H and Hardy already hate each other.
From Raw, you've got Orton, Jericho, Rey, and Kofi Kingston. In Raw's scenario, all four guys deserve the push, could generate a great storyline (maybe not Kingston), and are all very popular.
-Jericho could use the Rumble as a "told you so" promo-maker for the fans. WWE could also use this to make a great Cena/Jericho feud, or HBK/Jericho feud with JBL.
-Orton could push the Legacy to their supposed "greatness" with them helping Orton win the Rumble, so we could get this Phase business out of the way...
-Rey needs a push because he would work perfectly in the PG-rated WWE. He is almost as popular with kids as Cena is, if not more (how many masks can you see?), and could go well with JBL (complete opposites, and JBL screwed Rey out of the title shot of the Rumble) in a feud. But, he probably won't win because of the contract issues he has with management right now.
-Kingston would be the dark horse in this match. He could just be Batista-esque and come out of nowhere and win it. I don't see this happening, because I don't see Kofi having promo skills yet, which is a big factor before WrestleMania.
From what I just said, I think Raw will win the Rumble, because they have such good options, especially with Jericho and Rey.
I'm personally wishing that Triple H comes in, eliminates just about everyone, and Rey comes in and eliminates him. Or Jericho could be in early, and wait until 30 with Orton in the ring, and be horrified (gotta love the reactions) when Triple H comes in the ring.
Jericho and Orton work on Triple H, who manages to drive off Orton (by instinct and pure hatred) and after that Jericho low blows him to eliminate him later. Jericho would win and celebrate in that way where he attracts more heel heat than anyone else but Edge.
Or a surprise could come in the form of MVP. This would skyrocket his face turn if he actually won the Rumble without cheating. Although this would screw the supposed Triple H/Edge match, WWE could have have MVP "cash in" at No Way Out, or they could have MVP/HHH/Edge Triple Threat (like they have not done it a million times) at WrestleMania and make the Main Event a little interesting.
The Rumble will be great, and I am looking forward to it.