The 27th edition of the Royal Rumble is fast approaching, and storylines are well in development ahead of the marquee show later this month.
One thing the Rumble match often guarantees—as well as shock returns—is plenty of twists, as the buildup for WrestleMania season gathers pace.
This particular pay-per-view promises plenty of opportunities for some of the top Superstars in the WWE to change their career path by providing an almighty swerve.
It isn't just the actual Rumble match that can provide it, too—the rest of the card also has promise for some big twists.
Let's take a look at the most likely swerves WWE will provide at the Royal Rumble.
With the WWE's track record of main event finishes in recent months, this could not be as bizarre as it sounds.
With the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view next up after the Royal Rumble, it also allows Brock Lesnar to secure his spot in the chamber—by wreaking havoc with the Randy Orton vs. John Cena match.
Whether it is as ridiculous a finish as the one at Battleground—where Big Show effectively caused the match to be a no contest—is up for debate. Lesnar's interference could simply enable one man to claim the title.
Which is seemingly what his intentions are following his promo on Raw last week.
Perhaps it's not the most exciting swerve in the world, but it certainly would be a surprise.
Given the full-time talent on the WWE roster, it would be a bit of a shock if someone such as Sheamus or Chris Jericho came back and immediately won the Royal Rumble.
You would imagine characters such as CM Punk and Daniel Bryan have much more of a chance to be the last man standing and go on to headline WrestleMania 30.
It's not unusual for it to happen, of course—think John Cena in 2008, for example—but it just feels like the championship picture is crowded enough without a returning Superstar being thrown into the mix.
Prior to the Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view, it was teased that The Authority may be starting to move away from Randy Orton as their self-professed "Face of the Company."
When Orton knocked Stephanie McMahon out—albeit accidentally—the reaction from Triple H was so fierce that it led many to believe The Authority were going to wash their hands of Orton.
Of course, as things panned out, Orton went on to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion—but could the swerve happen at the Royal Rumble?
WWE are not averse to having hugely controversial endings to their pay-per-view shows, as the last few months have proved.
One more in the buildup to WrestleMania season could reignite the storyline involving Orton and Triple H.
The Shield have been a major talking point between wrestling fans for a good few months now. Whilst their impact has no doubt been huge in their inaugural year as a stable, the feeling is things are about to implode.
What better place for that to happen than the Royal Rumble? It is, after all, a show where friends have become enemies for the past 26 years.
How it happens is another matter entirely. This option has good substance—with Roman Reigns fast emerging as the dominant figure of the group, it could be that Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins will have had enough.
If we see a scenario where all three men are in the ring together at the same time, could it be that The Shield turn their back on Reigns by eliminating him?
It would make for a pretty big talking point, that's for sure.
Whilst we're on the topic of swerves, it could be that the biggest one to happen in recent weeks could lead to another huge twist at the Royal Rumble.
Daniel Bryan's decision to align himself with Bray Wyatt on Raw last week was a move that shocked many. It left people wondering what would happen next—and it added some fire to a storyline that seemed to be petering out.
You get the feeling that the story will reach its head at the Royal Rumble—Bryan will surely be booked to appear inside the Elimination Chamber at the forthcoming pay-per-view, meaning this storyline could well come to an end at the Rumble.
Bryan going on to win the Rumble by turning his back on Bray Wyatt would make for an excellent twist, and a great way to round the story off.
With Roman Reigns set for a huge push following the Royal Rumble, the big swerve is surely likely to involve The Shield.
And whilst we touched on a possible scenario where Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins could turn their back on Reigns, it is much more likely that the big monster will be the one who enacts the swerve.
After his huge impact at Survivor Series where he cleaned house with a series of devastating spears, what odds Reigns ending his association with The Shield by turning babyface and eliminating both Rollins and Ambrose?
It is the most likely scenario we are going to see at the Royal Rumble, in my opinion.