Entering each and every Royal Rumble, there is always a short list of superstars who are expected to contend for the victory. This handful of wrestlers usually includes the top stars in the company and that is once again the case this year. Among the favorites are John Cena, Ryback, Sheamus and Randy Orton, but nothing is guaranteed.
The WWE has gone off the beaten path many times over the years in order to produce a surprise result and I can certainly see that being the case when it comes to the 2013 Rumble. Cena is an overwhelming favorite while Ryback, Sheamus and Orton are all obvious contenders as well, but there are other guys in the match who would benefit more from a win.
There are definitely times when booking predictably is smart and proper, but I don't consider that to be the case when it comes to the Rumble. Cena, Ryback, Sheamus and Orton are all guys who don't need a Rumble win in order to enter the main-event scene, so I would much rather see the Rumble be used to elevate a guy who really needs it.
Aside from the obvious picks, here are the top five dark-horse candidates to win the 2013 Royal Rumble, including my analysis of how good their chances to win actually are.