WWE Royal Rumble 2013: John Cena and the Top 9 Challengers for the WWE Title

SMG@sethguttAnalyst IIJanuary 28, 2013

WWE Royal Rumble 2013: John Cena and the Top 9 Challengers for the WWE Title

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    John Cena has won the 2013 Royal Rumble, and has the opportunity to challenge for either the WWE or World Heavyweight title at WrestleMania 29.

    The popular thought is that John Cena will challenge The Rock for the WWE title at WrestleMania. However, the Elimination Chamber will occur before then with some other top challengers for the WWE title.

    Ryback was the runner-up in the Royal Rumble match, giving him a great reason for being a top challenger for the WWE title.

    Who are those other top challengers for the WWE title?

    Here are John Cena, Ryback and more top challengers who deserve a WWE title match.

John Cena

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    The obvious challenger for the WWE title is the winner of Sunday night’s Royal Rumble, John Cena.

    The widespread thinking here is that John Cena will challenge The Rock for the WWE title at WrestleMania in New Jersey. It would be the second WrestleMania in a row we see this match. However, this time it is for the WWE title.

    John Cena did not have a great year in 2012. He did not hold a World Title at all and lost pay-per-view after pay-per-view to the likes of CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler.

    Will this year be John Cena’s year?


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    The runner-up to the winner of the Royal Rumble, Ryback should still be considered a top challenger for either World Title.

    As we have seen in the past, the runner-up usually does quite well. Chris Jericho, the runner-up in the 2012 Royal Rumble, faced CM Punk for the WWE title at WrestleMania. Many other runner-ups have also challenged for a World Title at that year’s WrestleMania.

    Ryback has been pushed into being a major top star in WWE and may have deserved the Royal Rumble win just as much as Cena. Ryback has had opportunities at the WWE title, but The Shield and Brad Maddox have always prevented Ryback from winning.

CM Punk

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    The former WWE champion must be considered a top challenger for the title that he held for over 400 days and just lost at the Royal Rumble.

    At some point, CM Punk will get his rematch against The Rock, but it remains to be seen where and in what situation.

    Will CM Punk get a one-on-one match against The Rock? Will CM Punk have to earn his title back in the Elimination Chamber?

    In any case, CM Punk is a top challenger and whether or not he wins the title back soon, he should stay a top challenger.

    After losing the World Heavyweight title, CM Punk fell out of the main event picture until his pipe-bomb promo. However, after putting his name in the record books, Punk will remain a main event star.


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    Sheamus was one of the final three Superstars in the Rumble match, but was unsuccessful in being the first Superstar to win back-to-back Rumble matches since Stone Cold Steve Austin.

    Regardless, Sheamus’s showing at the Royal Rumble proves he is still a top challenger for the WWE title. It was only three months ago that Sheamus was World Heavyweight champion, a title he held for six months.

    It is not unheard of for one Superstar to challenge for the other WWE title after losing the World Heavyweight championship. Daniel Bryan was the last Superstar to do this. After he lost the World Heavyweight title to Sheamus and the feud ended, he began to challenge CM Punk for the WWE title.

Randy Orton

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    The Viper hasn’t been very successful since returning from a Wellness Policy suspension, but he was one of the final six Superstars in the Rumble match.

    It seems to be only a matter of time until Orton is back in the WWE title picture. Perhaps a heel turn is necessary to make it happen.

    Randy Orton could still have a feud with Sheamus that leads to a WrestleMania match. The winner could be in serious contention for a world title match.

    Randy Orton continues to be one of the most popular Superstars in the WWE and will always be considered a top challenger for the WWE title. He was in numerous number one contender’s matches for the World Heavyweight championship last year despite coming up short each time.

Big Show

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    The Big Show recently lost the World Heavyweight title to Alberto Del Rio and was unsuccessful in winning it back at the Royal Rumble.

    Could he switch his gears to the WWE title?

    Just like Daniel Bryan did last year, Big Show could make the transition. Show was in contention for the WWE title at SummerSlam, but it seemed as though he was just used to take the pin. This way John Cena didn’t have to take the pin and it set up another match between Cena and Punk.

    Big Show is nearing the end of his career, and this may be the last time he is considered a top challenger for the WWE title.

Dolph Ziggler

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    The number one entrant, Dolph Ziggler, was the iron man of the Rumble match and one of the final six Superstars.

    Although, he is still Mr. Money in the Bank for the World Heavyweight title, it is possible WWE decides to make a swerve. A.J. Lee could find that while Ziggler was being managed by Vickie Guerrero, she put a clause in the Money in the Bank contract that would allow Ziggler to cash in on either World Title.

    A.J. Lee would have to be the one to discover this as Guerrero and Ziggler no longer see eye to eye.

    Even without the briefcase, Ziggler is on the verge of being a main event star in WWE and a top challenger for the WWE title.

Chris Jericho

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    The Ayatollah of Rock n’ Rolla returned at the Royal Rumble as the number two entrant in the Rumble match.

    Could Jericho make another extended stay in WWE?

    Anytime Jericho returns, he is immediately pushed into being a top challenger for a World Title. Just like year, Jericho returned and feuded with then-WWE champion CM Punk.

    Maybe it just worked out that both Superstars claimed to be the best and the storyline basically wrote itself. In any case, Jericho has always been a top star and was the first undisputed champion after the merge of the WWE and WCW championships.

The Undertaker

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    The Undertaker may not seem like someone who deserves to be a top challenger for the WWE title, but the legend will always be a top star.

    With CM Punk’s streak over, there is no chance of a streak versus streak match at WrestleMania 29. However, that doesn’t mean the Undertaker still wouldn’t defend his streak against the WWE title.

    Would WWE put the title on Undertaker one more time before he retires?

    While it seems unlikely, the Undertaker deserves a WWE title match just as much as The Rock did.

    Both are part-time wrestlers who have only been seen in big matches over the last couple of years. It remains to be seen what kind of match the Undertaker will be involved in at WrestleMania 29.


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    John Cena and Ryback are the two top challengers for the WWE title, but the others on this list also deserve a chance.

    Will the WWE title be defended inside the Elimination Chamber? If so, then WWE needs to choose five challengers for The Rock.

    With John Cena’s title match coming at WrestleMania, Ryback and CM Punk would be two of the choices for Elimination Chamber.

    Who do you think are the top challengers for the WWE title? Do you agree or disagree with my list? Why or why not? Please leave your comments, suggestions and ideas in the section below.




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