The Royal Rumble has always been a highlight of the wrestling calender. One of 'the big 4' PPV's a year. What makes it so great? One word. Unpredictability. The Royal Rumble match itself, though never a spectacle in pure wrestling, is fascinating because anyone within reason can win it.
So onto my predictions, in no particular order.
Michelle McCool (c) vs. Mickie James (women's championship)
After a brilliant segment on Smackdown! and in general the best build-up to a match in the women's division in years, this match actually has some clout. This is a hard one to call, McCool has been champion for quite a while now but then again Mickie has been lacking in the ring. I see this feud continuing for a while yet, so I say McCool to win in a dirty fashion, so that this feud will continue towards Wrestlemania.
Winner: Michelle McCool (still champion)
Christian (c) vs. Ezekiel Jackson (ECW Championship)
This could be one of the last ECW title matches with various rumours of rebranding the brand appearing on the internet. Christian has been champion for a long time now, and really he is far too good for ECW, therefore I see him losing unfairly, and moving on to bigger things on Raw. Perhaps a feud with The Miz?
Winner: Ezekiel Jackson (New ECW Champion)
Sheamus (c) Vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship)
This is a very awkward match to call. Sheamus has been on a huge run on Raw, but Randy Orton is Raw. I cannot see Sheamus as champion heading into Wrestlemania so he either loses it at the Rumble or at Elimination Chamber. I feel that if he loses his momentum will die, and the whole reign would have been rather pointless. However I do see Orton pulling out all the stops to beat Sheamus. So I say that Orton wins, but by DQ.
Winner: Randy Orton (Sheamus still champion)
Undertaker (c) vs. Rey Mysterio (World Heavyweight Championship)
I believe that Rey Mysterio is occassionally put in the title scene to prove he can wrestle at that level. I do not see Rey winning winning cleanly over 'taker. Therefore the only possibility of a loss is that Undertaker is screwed. Or will Rey be screwed? I am going out on a limb and saying that Shawn Michaels or Batista will get involved in this match and help Undertaker (not that he needs it) to victory over Mysterio. This is because they both want to face Undertaker at 'mania.
Winner: Undertaker (still champion)
The Royal Rumble Match:
Now we all know this is the hardest match of the year to call, and I shall attempt it by process of Elimination. 28 participants have been announced, lets start cutting them down. The following will not win the rumble:
Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Carlito, Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, MVP, Santino Marella, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Finlay, John Morrison, Kane, Matt Hardy, R-truth, Shelton Benjamin, Vladimir Kozlov, Yoshi Tatsu, Zack Ryder.
So we are left with John Cena, Shawn Micheals, Ted Dibiase, HHH, Chris Jericho, CM Punk, Batista. There are of course two suprise entrants. So onto the next round of elimination: The following, I predict will not win the Rumble.
John Cena: He has been in the title picture too long and is rumoured to be working with a back injury that WWE will want to heal before 'mania. So he may be working a reduced schedule for a while.
CM Punk: I believe that he and Gallows will be winning tag team gold soon, therefore Punk will sadly not win the Rumble.
Batista: Batista's heel push has been reduced as of late with losses to Mysterio. I believe WWE has other plans for him for the big event.
Suprise Entrant No. 1: I believe the first suprise entrant will be Randy Orton. After winning the rumble last year and beating Sheamus by DQ, Orton will sneak his way in. However I believe he will be eliminated by Ted DiBiase.
Ted DiBiase: I cannot see him winning the Rumble, because he is not anywhere near built up enough yet. However, by eliminating Orton he may well become a big star.
Suprise entrant No.2: Edge. I see him returning and eliminating Chris Jericho, and in the process getting eliminated himself.
Chris Jericho: For reasons stated above.
So we are left with HHH and HBK. I am not saying that these will be the last two standing, but they are the two most likely to win the Royal Rumble. There can only be one winner, and I believe that winner will be HHH. I belive that perhaps Michaels will have just Eliminated someone from that last batch above, and then from behind HHH eliminates him, to initiate a heel turn and a subsequent DX break up.
The amazing thing is that this is one of the most unpredictable Rumble's ever, because the under-card matches are also tough to call. But that being said I am sticking by my picks, even though I will probably be made to eat my words. The most important thing however, is that the show lives up to expectations unlike last years effort. Heres to a fantastic Rumble!