WWE Royal Rumble 2013: Ranking the Most Likely Rumble Match Winners
Every January, someone wins the Royal Rumble match, earning the right to challenge for a World Title on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania. This year will not be any different. One WWE superstar will defeat 29 other superstars and be declared the 2013 Royal Rumble winner.
So who has the best chance at winning the Royal Rumble match? While 30 superstars will have the opportunity to win, I have narrowed the list down to six possible winners.
The criteria used to rank the six superstars are taking into consideration what they are currently doing, how the win could benefit them and backing from WWE management.
Odds of each superstar winning will be given and have been calculated and decided by the writer.
Whether it is Ryback staying in the main event and winning or WWE taking advantage of Daniel Bryan’s popularity, the Rumble winner will once again have the opportunity to main-event WrestleMania.
The former Intercontinental Champion should be getting a push to the main event scene. A Rumble win would certainly help that. However, Barrett continues to lose to Kofi Kingston and other midcarders. There is not enough of a chance for Wade Barrett to win.
The group is making waves in the WWE with their attacks and claim to be shielding us from injustice. They were successful in their first pay-per-view match, but that has been their only match. Their lack of experience makes it very unlikely that any member of the Shield will win.
Last year The Miz entered No. 1 in the Rumble match and lasted over 45 minutes. (photo courtesy of wwe.com)
Odds of Winning – 25:1
The awesome one recently became a fan favorite, but he generally is relegated to MizTV segments without wrestling many matches. A Royal Rumble win would put Miz back in contention for a World Title, and another opportunity to headline WrestleMania.
However, there lies an issue regarding the Miz winning. He hasn’t been wrestling very often and has been demoted to facing 3MB when given a match. It would be very surprising to see the Miz go from defeating jobbers with a different legend as a partner to winning the Royal Rumble match.
A while back, rumors were reported regarding the Miz being elevated to the main event scene. Although the Miz may have some fans in WWE management, his chances of winning the Royal Rumble match are just slightly better than most of the other 29 competitors.
Will Sheamus be the next back-to-back Rumble winner? (photo courtesty of royalrumbler.wordpress.com)
Odds of Winning – 15:1
The Great White has been trying to win back the World Heavyweight Championship from the Big Show, but so far has been unsuccessful. A Rumble win for Sheamus would be reminiscent of last year when the first ever Irish-born WWE Champion won the match. It would make Sheamus the first back-to-back winner since Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1997 and 1998.
However, Sheamus should not win the Royal Rumble this year. He was just in the main event scene and became stale and boring very quickly. His goofy fan-friendly character is not interesting. He needs a break from the main event scene.
Unless WWE decides to give us another back-to-back Rumble winner, I highly doubt Sheamus will win. Then again, it would show WWE management is certainly behind Sheamus as a long-term top star.
Last year Ziggler challenged for the WWE title. This year, he may win the Rumble match. (Photo courtesy of fanpop.com)
Odds of winning - 10:1
Dolph Ziggler is currently main eventing pay-per-views while the WWE Champion is out due to injury. He is still Mr. Money in the Bank. So what would happen if Mr. Money in the Bank won the Royal Rumble match for the first time ever?
A Royal Rumble win would prove that WWE management sees Dolph Ziggler as the real deal. It would work under the idea that Vickie and Dolph are splitting up so WWE can push Ziggler on his own.
Then again, Dolph Ziggler is Mr. Money in the Bank so he doesn’t even need the win. Should WWE waste the win on Mr. Money in the Bank? Probably not, but they don’t have so many better choices.
John Cena won the Royal Rumble in 2008
Odds of winning – 4:1
John Cena has not been WWE Champion in over a year since losing the title to Alberto Del Rio at Hell in a Cell 2011. He has not been World Heavyweight Champion since April 2009.
Since losing the title most recently, John Cena continues to main event pay-per-views, but without winning gold. The Rumble would be the perfect opportunity to let Cena finish his quest to become the champ again.
Hypothetically, John Cena could win the Royal Rumble and face the Rock (as long Rock defeats CM Punk) for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. However, I don’t want to see another Cena-Rock match as it ruins the idea of "once in a lifetime" from last year.
Then again, WWE did just award Cena the Superstar of the Year after having one of the least successful years of his career. WWE would be playing it safe and although it would ruin last year’s slogan, another match between John Cena and the Rock may draw big numbers again.
Bryan was World Heavyweight Champion last year at Royal Rumble. A win would allow him to return to the World Title picture. (photo courtesy of 928wrestling.blogspot.com)
Odds of winning – 3:1
Daniel Bryan is one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions and quite possibly the most over superstar in WWE right now. His popularity has gone through the roof due to the YES! YES! YES! And NO! NO! NO! chanting, anger management classes and diner segments. A Rumble win would put Bryan back where he was last year, in a championship match at WrestleMania.
A Rumble win would accomplish a number of great situations for Daniel Bryan. First, WWE would be capitalizing on his popularity. It would also give WWE the opportunity to end the tag team and put the titles on a new team like Team Rhodes Scholars.
Also, a Royal Rumble win would give Bryan the chance to redeem himself after losing in 18 seconds last year against Sheamus.
Daniel Bryan should be a top star in 2013 and the best way to kick start this project is by having him win the Royal Rumble.
A Rumble win would allow Ryback to attempt to shellshock Big Show at WrestleMania (photo courtesy of wwe.com)
Odds of winning - 2:1
The Big Hungry is currently in the main event recently feuding with WWE Champion CM Punk and now with the Shield. A Rumble win is not necessary for Ryback considering his current status, but it would help him.
A Rumble win would prove how dedicated WWE is to building Ryback as the new top babyface of the company. His “Feed Me More” chant won a Slammy Award and can be heard among the crowd at every show.
Ryback should be considered a favorite, if not the No. 1 choice for winning the Rumble match. The only way he is not winning is if WWE decides to push someone who is not currently in the main event.
It would certainly set up the rumored match involving Ryback at WrestleMania with the Big Show.
While Ryback is the favorite going into the match, WWE tends to surprise us in the end. Last year, I thought Chris Jericho was a favorite to win the match, only to have Sheamus be pushed to the main event.
WWE should take advantage and move Bryan, Ziggler or the Miz to the main event. However, they are more likely to play it safe with Ryback or John Cena.
The Royal Rumble match has been won by established top stars and those on their way to the top. Either way, the first pay-per-view of 2013 is an annual must-see show.
Seth M. Guttenplan is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, writer for CamelClutchBlog.com and host of OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW!? PWPRadio’s weekly radio show covering all wrestling news and rumors. To read more from Seth, follow him on Twitter (@sethgutt) and check out guttwrenchpowerblog.com.