It's that wonderful time of the year again Bleachers! It's Royal Rumble season! The Royal Rumble has to be one of the most radiantly designed matches ever to have crossed a wrestling fan.
Even with the crappy build-up that WWE has given us towards the Royal Rumble, everybody can't help but get excited for it. It is definitely one of the more highlighted Pay-per-views that WWE offers us throughout the year!
The one thing that recent Royal Rumble's have me excited about is the Wrestlemania sign and the winner of the Royal Rumble match pointing towards it. It just gets me extremely excited for Wrestlemania! It's incredible. I'm very much looking forward to seeing that Wrestlemania XXVII sign hoisted above the stadium and the winner of the Rumble pointing towards it with pyro shooting out from all sides.
This year, the Royal Rumble emanates from the TD Garden in John Cena's unofficial hometown of Boston MA. This Sunday, the Royal Rumble promises to ignite us, delight us, excite us, and invite us to order it on pay-per-view! Okay, so I might have stolen a page from the book of Chris Jericho's return, but so what? I just really wanted to use that line somewhere in my writing!
Anyways, in this slide-show, I'll be doing match per match break down/analysis and predicting my winner for each bout.
Yes, that also includes the Royal Rumble match even though my chances of guessing right this year are 2.5%. I'll even add in a projected match rating that's my guess on how the match quality will be! So strap on your seatbelts, ease the seatback, click it into gear, and go into overdrive cause from this point forward, it's 100% Jeri-....yeah, I need to stop youtubing Chris Jericho.
I really don't follow anything that the Diva's are doing on both RAW and SmackDown! so, you might find me just randomly throwing out a name of who might win Diva's matches when I write my predictions for upcoming PPV's. All I know is that the IWC was pretty drilled up over the fact that Natalya vs. Melina wasn't on the Royal Rumble card. And the fact that LayCool is in the title picture again.
I've been reading reports online, and apparently Awesome Kong is set to make her debut either in this match, or the Royal Rumble match. I would actually bet my money on her appearing in this match because it automatically sets Awesome Kong up as a threat to the Diva's Championship. As for the match itself, I still see Natalya retaining here with a possible disqualification on Kong's part.
Predicted Winner: Natalya
Projected Match Rating: 4/10
Stipulation: Edge cannot use the Spear. If he does, he loses the World Title.
Next up, we have Edge vs. Dolph Ziggler for the coveted World Heavyweight Title. The Rumble has always been a place where people who technically wouldn't get a title shot do. Look at the World Title match at the Royal Rumble 2006, and the WWE title match at the Royal Rumble 2004.
I personally think that the SmackDown! writers did a very good job in building up this match. Even with the great build-up, I think there was always a doubt in people's mind that Ziggler won't win the title even though he had a tremendous amount of momentum going into the Rumble. So, I gotta give props to the WWE for throwing in the stipulation in there to make the match more marketable and in a way, more suspenseful.
The thing I have a problem with the most is the five Spears that Dolph Ziggler received on this past edition of Friday Night SmackDown! which made up for the Spear Ziggler was most probably going to take at the Rumble anyway.
So, looking at the match from a physical and psychological standpoint, the playing field is still kinda level. Dolph received his share of Spears on SmackDown! and Edge is banned from using the Spear. I can definitely see the referee being knocked out, and Edge using the Spear which wouldn't cause the disqualification. And this would set up Dolph automatically getting into the Elimination Chamber next month.
That being said, Dolph Ziggler can certainly establish himself as a main-event player even if he loses the match. I have a feeling that this match can certainly steal the show at the Royal Rumble because it has so much potential.
Edge, the street fighter, and Ziggler, the amazing grappler. If Ziggler does lose, I can certainly bet my money on Dolph winning the Money In The Bank this year, and being in the Elimination Chamber for the World Title next month.
Predicted Winner: Edge
Projected Match Rating: 8.5/10
I'm not too ardent on the whole Randy Orton-Miz feud if you will. Normal feud, decent matches, and just a passer by type thing until the Wrestlemania feuds erupt on RAW and SmackDown! Although, what the Miz pulled off on TLC was brilliant, and it really displayed his character well.
I'm still very confused as to why the WWE Championship match here wasn't Miz vs. John Morrison. If WWE was worried about the buyrate, they shouldn't have been.
The rumble card could have had Hornswoggle vs. Swagger Soaring Eagle for the Undisputed WWE Title for all I care, but I would have still bought it. Why? Cause the Rumble concept sells the PPV to me. Unless WWE want's Miz vs. Morrison as the main event for Wrestlemania, I really thought the move WWE pulled was extremely stupid. The least they could have done was add Morrison in as a Triple Threat Match.
Any who, I expect the Miz to retain here, and unfortunately for Miz's credibility, by disqualification.
If the writers were smart enough, they would have put a stipulation that Miz would lose the title had he get himself disqualified. Everybody knows that Alex Riley will be there by Miz's side. If he isn't then there's Michael Cole.
So the chances of Miz retaining by DQ seem to be pretty high at this point. And really, at this point, does anybody even care if Randy Orton loses to Miz cleanly? Orton is extremely popular already so one clean loss to Miz wouldn't hurt him. Creative needs to think about giving Miz a clean victory, especially if Miz wants to go into Wrestlemania as champion.
Although the Miz winning by DQ would give Orton an automatic entry into next month's Elimination Chamber, if Miz really wants to go into Wrestlemania as WWE Champion, he needs this clean victory more then anything else.
Predicted Winner: The Miz by disqualification
Projected Match Rating: 7/10
The Royal Rumble match has to be the most anticipated match in a Wrestling Fan's mind. It is in mine anyway! It pumps some new life into the WWE every year and keeps the wagon running with newly created storylines. Or gives the ongoing storyline a purpose.
I really hate the fact that this year, there are 40 superstars rather than 30.
I kinda liked it at first because I thought that WWE would be able to bring out some talent from FCW and give them some exposure. But when I found out that WWE just made it 40 entrants because they wanted to achieve a higher buyrate, I just got extremely disappointed.
It tells me that Vince is putting money over tradition. That's how he does business. Survivor Series is an example too. But to me, having 40 superstars in the Rumble would be like moving Wrestlemania to the end of December. It just doesn't feel right.
Anyways, remember that capitalized "SPOILER ALERT" in the title? Yeah, this is pretty much where the entire spoilers are. So, if you're big on surprise entrants that most people wouldn't bet their money on, I say stop reading now. And no, not surprise entrants like Bourne, Jericho, Batista, Christian, or Triple H.
I'm just going to get straight to the surprise entrants here.
Apparently, there is said to be some legends coming in at the Rumble. No surprise here. Jim Duggan is sure-fire. WWE always throws him in. Maybe even Roddy Piper and Steamboat but those are looking doubtful as of now. According to Wade Barrett's tweets, the Godfather and his "hoe-train" are going to be there as well. Well, maybe not his hoe-train. Goldust too maybe? If you consider him a legend that is.
Here's the best part (well, I found it to be pretty great). Booker T apparently cancelled all of his independent bookings for this weekend. Now, Booker may as well be heading to Boston to meet up with his WWE pals, but I have a strong feeling that the officials might as well throw him inside the Rumble. No problem from me here as long as he doesn't win it!
If you haven't read recent reports, then you might not realize that there is a strong possibility that Kevin Nash might be in the Rumble as well.
Kevin has gotten a flight booked for Boston today that arrives 5 PM. He might as well be meeting up with his old buddies like Booker, but I have a strong feeling that he'll be in the Rumble as well. How else are they going to fill in the 40 spots?
From this point on, I'll be listing superstars I think have a strong possibility of winning on different slides and giving them a number from a scale of 1-10 with 10 being a strong possibility that they'll win the Rumble. Also, I can definitely see Randy Orton and Ziggler coming in the Royal Rumble seeing they lose their title matches. But I really can't see them winning it.
John Cena has to be in the Main-Event of Wrestlemania. Unless he wins the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber next month or wins a number 1 contenders match there-forth, I really can't see anyone else winning the Rumble.
Reports are suggesting that Vince wants Miz/Cena at Wrestlemania XXVII, and if Miz were to go to Wrestlemania as champion, I really don't know how Cena is supposed to make it to Wrestlemania. At this point, it seems like there's a very high chance that Cena will win the first 40-man Royal Rumble match in history adding yet another accolade to his already Hall Of Fame career
Chances of winning on a scale of 1-10: 9.5
The hottest heel in WWE right now. If John Cena doesn't win the Rumble, he's a very possible second choice. Although, I'm not too sure on CM Punk, because Punk is supposedly going to do something with Evan Bourne or even the Corre at Wrestlemania.
I can definitely see Cena's and Punk's feuds wrapping up at Elimination Chamber or something like that, but man would I love to see Cena vs. Punk! Or even Orton vs. Cena vs. Punk! Although if WWE really wanted Cena vs. Punk, I'm not too sure as to why they gave it away for free on Raw weeks ago.
Chances of winning on a scale of 1-10: 8
I'm not too keen on the fact of Alberto Del Rio winning the Royal Rumble just yet. Definitely next year, but not right now. Alberto Del Rio is still relatively new to the WWE, and people wouldn't pay to see him at the Wrestlemania main-event as of now.
So, while WWE might just give the victory to Alberto Del Rio, I just have to be very against it, and can't see it happening. The "It's my destiny to win the Royal Rumble" thing that he's doing is just there for him to gain momentum and he most likely will stay in the Rumble for quite a while, even in the final 4!
Chances of winning on a scale of 1-10: 6
It just wouldn't make sense for a returning Triple H to win the Rumble. If Triple H won the Rumble, that means that Sheamus would have to win the title at Elimination Chamber which would be extremely predictable.
I just can't see WWE wrapping up Triple H and Sheamus's feud at Elimination Chamber if Triple H would win the Rumble. It's been a year in the making, so it would make no sense to just end the long heated feud at such as small PPV like Elimination Chamber.
I can definitely see Triple H just returning to eliminating Sheamus, and himself, while continuing with his fight backstage or something like that.
I would much rather see Triple H vs. Sheamus at Wrestleamania without a title up for grabs in maybe a No Holds Barred Match. I would definitely pay to see it even though it occurred without the stipulation last year.
Chances of winning on a scale of 1-10: 4
I know it may seem a bit impossible, but really, it's not. I've checked all over the web, and there aren't any Fozzy tour dates left. So, that kinda speaks something in my mind. Even though Jericho recently said that he has no intention of resigning, that's what he does as a heel.
He plays with the fans. Just 4-5 months ago, he said he would quit the WWE had he lost the six-pack challenge at Night Of Champions. He still showed up next night on RAW, and even though he went through with the punt angle with Orton the following week, it displayed that you never trust Jericho when he is heel.
Even through his Twitter, Jericho said that he is a heel, heels lie. So, if Jericho said he has no intention of resigning, and there are no Fozzy dates left, that seems kinda seems fishy in my eyes. Oh Jericho, save us from the boredom that is RAW! Please!
Chances of winning on a scale of 1-10: 7 as of now. 10 if he shows up at the Rumble.
So there it is Bleachers. My predictions. Just to let some people know, I can see Bourne, Goldust, and Christian returning at the Rumble.
Speaking of Christian, I haven't totally ruled him out as a potential Rumble winner. I still find the whole Edge/Christian segment at the Slammy's fishy. And the fact that reports were out months ago that Christian would be returning in January but now, all of a sudden he won't be, just don't seem right.
The same reports were out when John Cena was injured in 2007-2008, but looked what happened there. I really hope Christian wins cause I'm really wanting Christian vs. Edge for Wrestlemania here. Judging by the reports, I think that if Christian even appears at the Royal Rumble, there's a VERY strong possibility he'll win it.
Any who, I leave you Bleachers with last years Royal Rumble Promo Video (Watch it!). Skillet and the Royal Rumble were made for each other! Dang. Anyways, don't be afraid to leave a comment below! Stay tuned for more parts of my "Getting in the Wrestlemania Spirit!" series, as well as my Royal Rumble PPV review coming out Sunday night, or Monday!
This is Ray Samuels signing off here at BleacherReport!