Royal Rumble 2010 Raw Contenders

Siva PrasadCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2010

NEW YORK - MARCH 28:  Wrestler Shawn Michaels speaks at the press conference held by Battle of the Billionaires to announce details of Wrestlemania 23 at Trump Tower on March 28, 2007 in New York City.  (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

It’s All About the Rumble, and How You Play It:

Having Hornswoggle running around with glow sticks would have taken away from the fact that this year Triple H and Shawn Michaels are very real contenders for winning the Royal Rumble. That said, WWE did itself a big favour by concentrating tonight on RAW about the Royal Rumble more than anything else. This is the second biggest event of the year after all.

Dissent between the two members of DX, former Royal Rumble winners Shawn Michaels and Triple H, continued tonight on the final RAW before the 2010 Royal Rumble, this Sunday on PPV.

Triple H made it clear that although he realised HBK wanted to get to face the Undertaker, HHH himself wants to win the Royal Rumble just as bad. Hunter went on to confirm that at the Royal Rumble it will come down to him vs HBK, and he will not let Shawn Michaels prevent him from winning the Rumble.

DX then proceeded to beat Legacy in the opening match of the night. However, the finish involved HBK tagging himself in to hit the Sweet Chin Music on Cody Rhodes, despite Triple H being ready to hit the Pedigree. At the end, the two partners gave nothing more than a half hearted celebration. Hornswoggle was nowhere to be seen, with the full focus placed on the 2010 Royal Rumble.

To further add fuel to the fire, HBK has been quoted in an interview not only saying that DX could break up to focus on WrestleMania (after the Rumble), but that he is not likely to be going anywhere else anytime soon.

When asked if he had any plans on retiring, Michaels said:

"Well, that's always the million dollar question. I'd like to go on record as saying I have been trying to retire for the last three years... [WWE] makes it very difficult, you know, Vince McMahon is nuts. I try to walk away then WrestleMania comes up, they put me in a match, I do well, and [Vince] doesn't make it very easy."

That might just sound like a guy who is trying to hide the possibility that his involvement in WrestleMania is not getting any smaller, and for that to happen he could well have to win the Royal Rumble.

The Dark Horse for the Rumble

By the same token, WWE could be pulling a swerve on all of us. Sheamus winning the title was a big swerve, something that came right out of the blue. And with WWE having Legacy lose to DX, there remains the possibility of Cody Rhodes or Ted DiBiase winning the 2010 Royal Rumble.

Ted DiBiase in particular has been mentioned in many circles as the dark horse for the Royal Rumble. He just released his first feature film, the Marine 2. There’s long been a discussion about making him a face, and splitting the group up by having Ted feud with Randy Orton.

The Royal Rumble seems to be the perfect set-up for this feud. Randy Orton challenges Sheamus for the WWE Title. If he wins, and Ted DiBiase wins the Rumble, WWE will have sown the perfect seeds for a Legacy implosion.

It’s not unthinkable for this to happen. WWE had Randy Orton win his first World Title while he was still under Triple H in Evolution. That lead to an Orton face turn, and a HHH/Orton feud. WWE are very well placed to pull the same trick now, with the 2010 Royal Rumble being the perfect stage to spark the feud into overdrive.

Kofi Kingston: Trouble in the Rumble

Kofi Kingston’s feud with Randy Orton has disappeared, almost vanished into thin air once Orton set himself up for a match with Sheamus for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble PPV. Kofi is without a feud, and tonight on RAW found himself beating the Miz, who is likely to be defending the US Title against MVP, also at the Rumble.

Question: So what about Kofi?

The man who seems like the brightest star WWE has produced in years goes into the 2010 Royal Rumble with no feuds, no conflict. This seems too normal a life for a guy who is such a big star. WWE have been behind Kofi, allowing him to embrace his African roots in favour of his Jamaican gimmick.

I would think Kofi will not be involved in the U.S. Title feud between Miz and MVP. He’s already moved beyond U.S. Title levels, and he can be considered a real pretender to win the WWE Royal Rumble.

The smart money might be on HHH or HBK, but I would bet everything I have on Kofi Kingston. John Cena won the Rumble a couple of years ago, when he came from nowhere. It was right out of the blue. Kofi has been similarly out of the limelight in the weeks leading up to the Royal Rumble, almost as if it's the calm before the storm.

Expect Trouble in Paradise.

Hustle. Royal. Rumble. 2010.

John Cena has been in a transition stage from a feuding point, he’s got no feuds going into the Royal Rumble. The deposed WWE Champion must be a firm favourite to win the Royal Rumble, seeing as he was the only man still standing in the ring at the end of RAW tonight.

Cena lost a non-Title match to Sheamus after Randy Orton interfered for the DQ. Cena then laid both the champion and challenger down. It made for an impressive statement for John Cena, who looks to have the most momentum of all the RAW challengers heading into the 2010 Rumble.

There’s little to suggest that Cena can’t win. A possible reason is Cena won the Royal Rumble not too long ago, and winning again so soon might be an unorthodox move by the WWE. However the WWE has been questioned by some for putting the WWE Title on Sheamus to begin with. If they do play to rectify that situation while not hurting Sheamus’ credibility, a John Cena win at the Royal Rumble followed by a John Cena WWE Title win at WrestleMania could be just the thing needed to appease the WWE fan base.

Guys, your thoughts about who will win the Rumble? Are they going to be from RAW or someplace else?

I’ll be back on Friday with the ECW contenders (yes, they do exist) and Smackdown! contenders.