Three of WWE's top talents have already been announced for this year's Royal Rumble match: John Cena, Sheamus and Randy Orton. When you announce names that are that big and you announce them as early as WWE has, there's one thing WWE is trying to communicate: this year's Rumble is going to be big.
But there are 27 more spots to be filled, and even the WWE doesn't have 27 more main event level superstars. There are a handful of superstars other than these three that could conceivably walk away with the victory, but certainly not 27.
As history will show, however, you don't have to win the match for it to be a boost to your career or a feather in your cap. Kane, for example, will always be feared in January's pay-per-view, ever since he broke the record for most eliminations in one match (11) in 2001.
In 2002, Maven had the highlight of his career when he eliminated the Undertaker from the Rumble match. Ten years from now, guys like Kofi Kingston and John Morrison may be remembered most of all for the spectacular ways they avoided elimination in 2012 and 2011, respectively.
Since everyone knows that changes can be made at the very last minute in the world of WWE, the mid- and lower-card superstars have a few weeks left to impress WWE creative and to earn a spot in the Rumble.
But as we anticipate one of the year's biggest matches, is there any way to get a clue as to which of our favorite up-and-comers are getting pushed and may get the chance to join the Rumble and be eliminated by someone already headlining pay-per-views?
To that extent, we can take a look at my weekly review of WWE's four "other" shows: NXT, Main Event, Superstars and Saturday Morning Slam. After we review everything that happened on these shows, we'll decide who benefited the most last week and who needs to be sending feelers to TNA and ROH.
My "highlights" version of all four shows is below.
If it piques your interest enough to read on, the slideshow breaks down the shows individually, segment by segment, complete with my questions, predictions and/or honorable mentions. If you disagree with my selections for who benefited/suffered the most, there's a comment section below.
On NXT, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns show up for the first time on NXT as The Shield, and Bo Dallas defeats Epico in a match that reveals a slight new tweak to Bo's gimmick.
Sasha Banks returned to the ring, this time in a losing effort to Tamina. Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger teamed up to defeat Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel in tag team action.
The main event saw Seth Rollins defend the NXT Championship against Corey Graves. The Shield interfered to end the match before Graves could win the belt. Before the show was over, Dusty Rhodes announced that Rollins will defend the NXT Championship against Big E. Langston next week.
On Main Event, Antonio Cesaro successfully defended his United State Championship against The Great Khali, who continues to be accompanied to the ring by Natalya and Hornswoggle. The seeds have also been planted for a Cesaro/Miz feud.
We also got the official word that CM Punk will definitely defend his title against Ryback in a TLC match on Raw. The final match of the evening featured Wade Barrett running the Gauntlet, pinning Yoshi Tatsu, JTG and Justin Gabriel, before Kofi Kingston finally defeated the new Intercontinental Champion.
This week's Superstars was filled with as many Raw Rebounds as we've grown accustomed to. But there were a couple of decent matches, too.
The Primetime Players lost to the Usos again after the Usos used a bit of "Twin Magic," and Brodus Clay defeated Primo in the final match.
On Saturday Morning Slam, the focus was almost exclusively on Team Hell No and 3MB. The interviews and very brief video packages set up matches between both teams, Kane vs. Jinder Mahal and Daniel Bryan vs. Heath Slater. Team Hell No won both matches.
Now, if you care to read more about any of these happenings, please enjoy the slideshow.