On Sunday night, the WWE will host one of its biggest pay-per-views of the year with the Royal Rumble. The pay-per-view, which is set to take place at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated events in early 2013.
Here is a complete preview of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view lineup card and match predictions (via WWE.com):
The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro for the United States Championship
Recently, the WWE has begun building The Miz as the second coming of Ric Flair. With The Miz returning to the ring for competition after his in-ring talk segments on previous editions of Raw, the former United States champion is looking to regain the title to provide an instant boost to his career.
However, Cesaro has done very well as the United States champion thus far in his title reign. Certainly, Cesaro has a bright spot in the WWE in years to come. With that, the WWE would be wise to keep the United States belt on Cesaro but have the match remain very unpredictable.
Your predicted winner to retain the United States Championship, Antonio Cesaro.
Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow (Team Rhodes Scholars) vs. Kane and Daniel Bryan (Team Hell No) for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Kane and Bryan have done a nice job in recent weeks as an unpredictable tag team combination. Despite all of their success as a tag team unit, Rhodes and Sandow should be given their opportunity to shine and put a new day into the championship belts. This could trigger a wider feud between the two teams in the future.
Your predicted winners and new WWE Tag Team champions, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow.
30-Man Royal Rumble Battle
With the winner of this Battle Royal earning a spot to compete at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship, it should be quite clear that John Cena will be the last wrestler standing in the ring. Although many solid wrestlers will compete in the Battle Royal, Cena's storied comeback after a disappointing 2012 should not stop at the Royal Rumble.
Your predicted winner and new No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship, John Cena.
The Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Del Rio is starting to find his groove back at the top of the card for the WWE after capturing the World Heavyweight belt from the Big Show on a recent edition of SmackDown. With Del Rio fitting in comfortably as a babyface, look for his momentum to carry him over in this potentially entertaining match.
Your predicted winner to retain the World Heavyweight Championship, Alberto Del Rio.
The Rock vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship
The Rock's return to the WWE has been full of energy, as "The Great One" looks to stamp his place once again in the record books by ending Punk's historic and long title reign. This could easily be the best match of the Royal Rumble, as The Rock and Punk have such strong in-ring ability. With Punk on the losing end of this match, the company could begin setting up for its WrestleMania main event between The Rock and Cena for the WWE Championship.
Your winner and new WWE champion, The Rock.