8 Early Favorites to Win the 2013 Royal Rumble

David LevinSenior Writer IIDecember 21, 2012

8 Early Favorites to Win the 2013 Royal Rumble

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    No, it is never too early to talk about the first pay-per-view of the 2013 wrestling year.

    We all can smell what the WWE is cooking when it comes to the Royal Rumble and the potential (I say that because CM Punk is still on crutches and we have not seen The Rock lately) colossal event on the horizon.

    Whatever the outcome and whatever the result, the WWE Universe will be curious who will win the Battle Royal and challenge for the WWE of World Title at WrestleMania 29.

    Remember, the win last year by Sheamus led to an 18-second win for the Irishman and the World Title around his waist.

    Who will win this year? It is anyone's guess. But with so many stars who could take a leap forward in 20313, there are plenty to choose from.

    Here is a look at eight competitors who could be considered potential headliners to win the event.

Wade Barrett

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    I think when all is said and done that Wade Barrett will be the most dominant force in the WWE at the end of 2013.

    And he should be.

    Barrett is a beast and will only get better. If not for the arm injury that cost him most of the 2012 year, he could have already been a major player in the World Title picture. I guess that is a good thing for Big Show.

    Barrett lost to Kofi Kingston at TLC, but in the end it may have done more for him-mainly because that type of match put him over even further.

    Barrett and his "bullying" tactics will be a force in 2013. Barrett headlining WrestleMania 29 would not be a bad thing.

The Shield

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    Hey, JR. Business just picked up a bit in the WWE.

    What if The Shield, who as a group have been able to take six man tag matches and make them 3-on-1 situations, has a member who wins the Royal Rumble.

    Not so far fetched. 

    By April, The Shield may be as big as the nWo. Roman Reigns could be the next breakout star in this company. If Reigns wins and faces John Cena or Sheamus for the World Title, then this company just got a whole lot stronger.

Randy Orton

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    As a heel.

    If Randy Orton does not come back from his injury and turn heel, there is something wrong. Maybe "The Viper" stays out of action long enough to make an entrance at the Rumble and wins.

    It seems to fit and would be a great character program heading into the spring.

    Hopefully, the creative team of the WWE thinks the same thing.

Cody Rhodes

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    This probably does not happen since Team Rhodes Scholars is in line to claim the World Tag Titles. However Rhodes, with a manager like Ric Flair, would be tremendous.

    And the irony of Ric Flair managing Dusty Rhodes' son is just awesome to begin with.

    Rhodes appears to be a great tag team star, but I still think his best days are ahead of him as a singles wrestler. And he should wear gold again at some point. 

    Rhodes vs. Punk could be an instant classic.

Ryback

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    I see him getting in the ring and beating the hell out of his opponents. While some opponents may work in packs of two and three, Ryback could be the one man in the ring who could beat them all.

    This is an odd situation for the big man. The Rock will face Punk when he certainly deserves a chance at the WWE Title and if he wins, then he faces Punk (or The Rock) at WrestleMania.

    One interesting scenario I have also devised is the idea of Ryback winning and then choosing the World Champion, who winds up being John Cena.

    It could happen.

Antonio Cesaro

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    His gimmick is solid. His work is on point. Sky is the limit for this Swiss star.

    Antonio Cesaro reminds me of a young Steve Williams and Dory Funk Jr. in one package. It is a solid combination that was a proven winner. Cesaro is following in that trend.

    The United States and Intercontinental Title may at some point be unified, which would make for an interesting feud between Cesaro and Kofi Kingston or some other behemoth (Ryback). 

    And Cesaro winning the Royal Rumble would be another step towards greatness.

The Miz

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    He has headlined WrestleMania before.

    While his mic skills have made him just as valuable on the mic as he is in the ring, The Miz has done something important with the WWE as of late—he has gotten over as a face with the company and the WWE Universe has become enamored with him.

    I think Miz has just as much charisma to give Punk and Cena a run for their money. He could be the next true face in this company and it would appear so far the fans may embrace this.

    I do not think his mic skills and television prowess is as good as Roddy Piper, but in this era, they are above point and that is good for the WWE.

John Cena

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    He has become an afterthought of sorts. The leader of the WWE is watching others take a swing at the World Title or the WWE Title. We should not feel sorry for John Cena, but we should be curious about why he is in the predicament he is in.

    A Royal Rumble win would certainly make him the leader of the pack again and maybe see him face Sheamus for the World Title or take a crack at CM Punk or even Dolph Ziggler with a title at stake.

    That would rock New Jersey.