WWE Royal Rumble 2014: Superstars Most Likely to Steal Show During Battle Royale
The 2014 Royal Rumble will feature 30 superstars that all have a chance to win a title shot at WrestleMania, but only one fighter will walk away as the victor.
Everyone else will have to settle for just being part of one of the most exciting matches of the year and trying to make it that much better than the year before it.
With every Royal Rumble, there are always a few standouts the match revolves around and the rest of the participants are filler just to eat up time and get eliminated.
So who are the fighters that are most likely going to be the most important and entertaining wrestlers this time around?
Here's a list of a couple of names that should be responsible for carrying the 2014 Royal Rumble on their backs and making the pay-per-view event memorable.
Kofi Kingston is on this list primarily for one reason and one reason only: spots.
There's virtually no chance that he'll be taken seriously as far as contenders go to win this match, but if history repeats itself, there should be at least one time during the chaos when Kingston can shine.
In previous Royal Rumbles and similar battle royal-style events, Kingston has evaded elimination by doing some crazy stunts like his handstand or jumping on Tensai's back and hopping on a chair to make it back to the ring.
More than likely, Kingston is going to be doing another awesome stunt that will be a true highlight of the night and that people will be talking about for quite some time.
Despite being relatively new to the scene in comparison to the rest of the current WWE roster, The Shield has been one of the most influential entities in 2013.
Like Legacy, Evolution, the Nation of Domination and other stables before them, The Shield has a chance to team up and do massive damage, possibly even controlling the entire flow of the match's events.
Even if that isn't the case, all three individual members should be treated well and have good performances in this year's Royal Rumble.
But there's one man in particular to look out for that could very well be WWE's top priority.
Roman Reigns stole the show at Survivor Series by eliminating nearly everyone on the opposing team. Could he follow the same pattern and get the most eliminations here as well?
It would seem odd at this point for the Royal Rumble not to feature a few spears and humblings on behalf of Reigns, who is poised to have a fantastic year in 2014.
With WWE teasing that The Shield could split up, don't be surprised if a huge moment of the night involves one of these teammates sending another over the top rope.
Big E Langston
Three may not be enough for Big E Langston, but 30 should do the job.
Still, even though he is probably not going to win the event, WWE clearly values the Intercontinental champion and won't make him look like a fool.
Langston is likely to fill one of the powerhouse spots of the night, getting several eliminations and looking quite strong.
Perhaps he'll toss a bunch of people over the ropes. Maybe his big thing will just be one important elimination of someone huge like Mark Henry or Big Show.
There's also a good chance that Langston is the so-called "iron man" of the night, lasting the longest out of all the participants.
He could make an early entrance and last until near the end and in the process, be a true standout in the eyes of the fans for hanging in there for so long.
Whatever happens, Langston is not going to look like a chump, that's for sure.
Daniel Bryan has been the standout fighter in WWE for months now, so this trend should continue here as well.
Some may argue that he has a chance at winning the whole thing and can even be booked as another coast-to-coast victor, which would certainly be noteworthy enough for him to be on this list.
But even if he suffers defeat, the crowd is still going to have their eyes glued on him and will go crazy when he makes his entrance.
Bryan is one of the biggest stars in WWE at the moment and as such, will be booked as an anchor of the match.
It's completely illogical to have a big name who many people are expecting to win the match not look like one of the most important wrestlers and WWE will not make that mistake.
Per usual, WWE will expect Bryan to wow the crowd and he'll in turn try to prove why he deserves to be given all the praise he gets.
Let's be perfectly frank here. There is absolutely no way Batista is going to be in this match and not make waves.
Although he is not a legend on par with someone like Stone Cold Steve Austin or Shawn Michaels, he is still a former main-eventer and a big enough name to warrant having the spotlight on him.
Batista's entrance will be treated as a huge deal and he'll undoubtedly eliminate several people—possibly almost immediately when he enters the ring.
There's also an extremely high chance that he'll be at least in the final four if not the final man standing tall.
The Animal is going to be unleashed and even if he's eliminated, it should be a highlight to start a feud with someone for WrestleMania XXX.
Just ponder how excited WWE and a lot of fans would be if Batista could return and get eliminated by a freshly turned heel and also returning Sheamus to set up a match between the two at WrestleMania.
If something like that wouldn't steal the show for at least part of the night, I don't know what would.
CM Punk is in a better position than anybody to win this year's Royal Rumble, so if that happens, he's guaranteed a spot on this list.
Not only does he value himself as the best wrestler in the world, but a large portion of the audience agrees with him and he'll need to back that up here.
In the past, Punk has had some impressive moments at Royal Rumble pay-per-views, such as his WWE Championship match against The Rock last year or his dominance at the beginning of the 2010 match.
Look for Punk to get several important eliminations by tossing out the likes of Ryback and maybe even Batista—particularly if he's the winner of the match.
Who do you think will be the stars of the night? Which wrestler is leaving the Royal Rumble with a title shot at WrestleMania?
Leave your predictions and thoughts in the comments below!
Anthony Mango is the owner-operator of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment as well as the host of its podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.