The 2013 Royal Rumble is easily one of the most anticipated WWE events in years. Considering the unpredictable nature of the event, one could easily argue this is a bigger pay-per-view than last year's WrestleMania.
At the very least, many fans are more hyped for this year's Royal Rumble than WrestleMania 28. In order to ensure you don't miss out on a single second of the exhilarating action, WWE offers a live stream service through its official website, WWE.com, for $44.99.
Given the blockbuster main events, fans will not want to skip out on this pay-per-view extravaganza, and to make matters even more enticing, they're giving us The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro with the WWE United States Championship on the line for free on the YouTube pre-show starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Royal Rumble match itself is worth the price of admission considering anybody has a chance to win it. The unpredictable nature of when a superstar will enter, if a legend or returning superstar will surprise fans or an unforeseen wrestler winning the match forces fans to be intrigued with this event. It is literally impossible not to be excited for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view each year.
Some could even make the case that it is more exciting than WrestleMania itself because it sets the stage of WrestleMania. Heading into WrestleMania, fans know what they're going to get. However, heading into the Royal Rumble, fans have no clue what WWE has in store for the rest of the year and they get a glimpse into WrestleMania. It doesn't get any better than the Royal Rumble, which has become arguably WWE's second-most important pay-per-view event of each year.
Let's get into some predictions.
The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro for the WWE United States Championship
Since WWE started the free YouTube pre-show, you'll be hard pressed to find a better attraction. The Miz and Cesaro are two main-event-type performers, and now we have a championship on the line. The Miz will eventually win the United States title from Cesaro because his movie, The Marine 3, is set to be released soon, but don't expect that to happen here.
Cesaro has done a phenomenal job since winning the Untied States title from Santino Marella at the SummerSlam pre-show on YouTube. Cesaro has a ton to offer, and this feud has yet to reach its full potential. Cesaro retains here, but expect The Miz to defeat Cesaro for the title sometime in the upcoming weeks.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro via The Neutralizer
Team Rhodes Scholars vs. Team Hell No for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Kane and Daniel Bryan have been among the most consistently entertaining performers since they started to work together back in the summer of 2012. Their segments have been phenomenal and they have been among the most over performers with the crowd. Still, given their graduation from anger management last Monday night on Raw, it is safe to assume that they'll be breaking up in the near future.
Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes have had several battles with Kane and Daniel Bryan, but have failed to come out victorious when it mattered most. Considering Kane and Bryan will likely split shortly, it's only fitting that Team Rhodes Scholars walks away with the WWE Tag Team Championships on pay-per-view to finally put them over as a legitimate tag team.
Prediction: Team Rhodes Scholars via miscommunication between Kane and Daniel Bryan
Big Show vs. Alberto del Rio in a Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Shockingly, Alberto del Rio is over a face in WWE after a horrible run as a heel. Big Show continues to do a great job as a monster heel and is the main reason fans have taken a liking to Alberto del Rio. Despite Big Show deserving to win back the championship, it simply wouldn't make sense at this time.
The Last Man Standing stipulation loses its luster since this is the gimmick match we saw del Rio win the title earlier this month. Expect a solid match with del Rio likely trapping Big Show underneath another 'immovable' object to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
Prediction: Alberto del Rio via forklift/vehicle in the parking lot
30-Man Royal Rumble Match
Easily one of the most exciting matches of the year, the 2013 edition contains five legitimate contenders in John Cena, Sheamus, Ryback, Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler announced this afternoon that he will enter No. 1, so fans should expect to see him make it to the final four or final two to provide some intrigue of a top heel walking out victorious.
At the very least, we should expect to see Ziggler set the all-time record for longest time spent in a Royal Rumble given his uncanny athleticism and stamina. Ziggler's entire gimmick is about showing off and stealing the show, so it would only be fitting for him to put that on display at one of the biggest events in history.
Ziggler said earlier this month his main goal in the Rumble was to make sure Cena didn't win it. Considering WWE has yet to pull either man away from their lengthy feud, it's safe to assume that they will be in the final two and we'll watch Cena win his second Royal Rumble to earn a guaranteed title shot against the winner of The Rock versus CM Punk.
Prediction: John Cena eliminates Dolph Ziggler (who enters No. 1) to win the Royal Rumble
The Rock vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship
Many have debated back and forth on whether or not the Royal Rumble or the WWE Championship match will be the main event of the pay-per-view. We've seen a few times in the past that the Rumble does not main-event the pay-per-view, so I fully expect the WWE Championship match to close the show at this point.
This match has become more unpredictable in recent weeks, but with The Rock announcing back on the 1,000th episode of Raw that he would compete for the WWE Championship no matter what at this event, it's safe to assume that he will walk out as WWE champion. WWE is at an important time in its history, and having The Rock, movie megastar, walking around with the WWE Championship during promotional tours heading into WrestleMania is too big of an opportunity to pass up.
CM Punk may deserve to retain the championship here, but the safer bet is that he will lose the championship to The Rock. Expect this to be a much better match than The Rock's main event with John Cena at WrestleMania 28. The dichotomy of the match is simply better with Punk playing a legitimate heel and The Rock being the most over face in the business right now.
Prediction: The Rock via Rock Bottom