WWE Royal Rumble 2014: Superstars Who Will Shine Under PPV Spotlight

Alfred KonuwaFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2013

From WWE.com

Each year, the Royal Rumble kills several birds with one stone, namely when it comes to spotlighting up-and-coming stars. Some stars impress by hanging around long enough to make a dent, while others go on a run of several eliminations.

For more athletic workers like Kofi Kingston and John Morrison, an innovative, social media-baiting spot does the trick.

Morrison saved his Royal Rumble life in 2011 when he somehow managed to avoid being eliminated by walking the barricade like a tight rope.

Kingston one-upped him the very next year, walking on his hands en route to re-entering the Rumble to make sure his feet didn't touch the floor. He delivered an encore this year, using an office chair as a pogo stick to save himself. Perhaps the "every man for himself" cliche should be changed to "by any means necessary."

No one trait is necessary for a WWE Superstar to become an overnight sensation at the Rumble. The ways in which the prototypical WWE Superstar can shine are endless, with each having equal chances of being the topic of water cooler discussion come Monday morning.

Dolph Ziggler has cooled down considerably over the past few months, but he could get the Kofi spot of having an athletic, Rumble-saving stunt.

A recent interview between Ziggler and Renee Young on WWE.com (h/t WrestlingInc), following a win over Fandango on Raw, hinted toward things possibly turning around for him. He could use a career spark to become relevant again, and the Royal Rumble is the perfect place to start.

In addition to Ziggler-like athletic prowess, stars expected to shine under the Royal Rumble spotlight will have been pushed strongly headed into the Royal Rumble match, putting them in position to build on their momentum.

Big E. Langston comes to mind when the word momentum is brought up. Over the past several weeks, he has become an Intercontinental champion and enjoyed the benefits of teaming with established veteran Mark Henry.

With rumors already swirling of a pending feud between the two, if Langston were to eliminate Henry alone, it would immediately become a story. But don't expect him to stop there, as he is one of a select few candidates who could lead the pack in eliminations. 

Another candidate is Roman Reigns. He is the sexy pick to win the Royal Rumble, as no top star has separated himself as an odds-on favorite to this point.

The Shield is slowly but surely teasing a split, and if his Survivor Series performance was any indication, Reigns' singles career is set to take off.

Even if he doesn't win the Royal Rumble, all he needs is a brief showcase of dominance to land on the "superstars to watch" radar.

Somewhere off the radar and inside a compound is the Wyatt Family. Stables have done well in the Royal Rumble in recent years. In 2009, Randy Orton used the Legacy to lead him to victory, with the entire stable taking three of the final four spots. Should the "random" draw fall in his favor, Wyatt's strategy should mirror that of CM Punk's in 2011.

As a member of the Nexus, Punk used the strength in numbers to his advantage, as the Nexus ganged up on every incoming Superstar until John Cena arrived.

Both the Shield and the Wyatt Family will be in an advantageous position in January, with group and individual brands expected to soar.

The Royal Rumble is a useful tool to highlight WWE's endless youth movement. With so many stars on pace to shine, the most talked-about WWE Superstar from that match may not be the winner.