The Royal Rumble is one of the WWE’s most interesting pay-per-views each and every year, and the 2014 edition of the show on Sunday, Jan. 26, is shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory.
As the event approaches, the anticipation surrounding the 30-man over-the-top-rope Battle Royal, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match and a stacked undercard has the entire WWE Universe excited for the PPV.
On paper, this show is living up to the hype.
Here is all the vital viewing information for the 2014 Royal Rumble, the match card, a full slate of last-second predictions and a focus on the biggest matches of the night.
Where: CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.
When: Sunday, Jan. 26, at 7:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WWE.com
|Match||Stipulation/ Title||Predicted Winner|
|30-Man Royal Rumble Match||Over-the-top-rope Battle Royal||Daniel Bryan|
|Randy Orton vs. John Cena||WWE World Heavyweight Championship||Randy Orton|
|Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar||n/a||Brock Lesnar|
|Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt||n/a||Bray Wyatt|
|Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The New Age Outlaws||Kickoff match for WWE Tag Team Championships||New Age Outlaws|
30-Man Royal Rumble Match
The 30-man over-the-top-rope Battle Royal known as the Royal Rumble match is one of the most exciting events of the entire year. The best Superstars from past and present compete in a bout that has the ultimate prize on the line.
The winner of the Royal Rumble gets a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and a main event slot at WrestleMania XXX.
While the return of Batista and the hype around him entering this match has made The Animal the clear favorite, he will not win. CM Punk has also been picked as a favorite due to the fact that he will come out at No. 1, but he too will not be victorious.
Who will win the 2014 Royal Rumble match?
Bryan beat John Cena at SummerSlam and was robbed of his title when Triple H and The Authority screwed him out of the belt on multiple occasions. The former WWE champion was robbed of the title once again by Shawn Michaels and never received his proper rematch.
The WWE hasn’t forgotten that Bryan deserves the push; the company has simply done everything in its power to throw the fans off the scent of a possible Bryan victory.
Whether it’s the Wyatt storyline in general, the heel turn, the singles match on the Royal Rumble card or his non-inclusion in the match beforehand, each is an example of the WWE setting a distraction.
After Bryan loses to Wyatt in the duo’s match Sunday with interference from Luke Harper and Eric Rowan, the fans will really be down on Bryan. When his music plays late in the Royal Rumble match and he hits the ring to clear house, though, all will be forgiven.
Bryan will be in the main event for WrestleMania XXX and will win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and the rise back to the top begins with a surprise victory in the Royal Rumble.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Predicted Winner: Daniel Bryan
Randy Orton vs. John Cena
We’ve seen Randy Orton fight John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship before. The fans saw it at last month’s TLC PPV, they saw it in 2007 and several other times over the last decade.
The WWE realizes that another match doesn’t have fans interested despite the company’s best efforts to draw heat with Orton’s unsolicited attack on Cena’s father. With several top contenders like Brock Lesnar and Batista looking to fight for the title, this championship match will not have a clean ending.
Should Brock Lesnar get involved in the WWE world title match?
After Cena and Orton go to battle in another solid in-ring bout—the match quality between these men is much better that the storyline—the two men will both be down in the ring. As both stars struggle to stand, Lesnar’s music will hit and the Beast Incarnate will attack.
The self-proclaimed No. 1 contender will beat down Orton first, thus giving him the disqualification victory, before turning his attention to Cena and leaving both men destroyed in the ring.
With the WrestleMania XXX sign in the rafters, the visual of Lesnar standing over Cena and Orton would be the perfect way to build to Elimination Chamber.
Predicted Winner: Randy Orton
Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. New Age Outlaws
Pre-show kickoff matches usually mean nothing and have no repercussions, but with an ultra important PPV like Royal Rumble, no time can be wasted.
As odd as it is to see the New Age Outlaws squaring off against Goldust in 2014—Cody Rhodes is by far the youngest man in this rivalry and the only star not prevalent during the Attitude Era—this should be a great in-ring match.
A fast-paced tag team bout is the perfect way to open the show, but there is likely something much more sinister boiling below the surface. With the New Age Outlaws getting a serious push over the last two weeks and picking up a win over the champions, the next step could be for Cody and Goldust to drop the titles.
Without the Tag Team straps, the possible tension and eventual breakup of the Rhodes Brothers could spawn a dream feud leading to a WrestleMania match.
If the duo loses the Tag Team titles Sunday and foreshadows tension, there is no question that one of the brothers will eliminate the other in the actual 30-man Royal Rumble match.
Predicted Winner: New Age Outlaws
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