WWE Royal Rumble: Making a Case for Why Each Wrestler Could Win the 40-Man Match

Dan PowerSenior Analyst IJanuary 27, 2011

WWE Royal Rumble: Making a Case for Why Each Wrestler Could Win the 40-Man Match

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    The Royal Rumble is less than one week away from now, and most of the entrants to the 40-man over-the-rope battle have been announced.

    With 40 participants to the January classic battle royal it will be the biggest Royal Rumble ever. And with 40 wrestlers taking part to the event, there are 40 potential winners with obvious favorites and underdogs. 

    As you probably already know and as you will see, only a few are true potential winners, but everyone in the match have at least a very slim chance to emerge victorious from the most prestigious battle royal.

    The win might be awarded to an already established wrestler or to one in the middle of a huge push. But who knows if WWE doesn't want to shock the WWE Universe with a major upset and push someone out of nowhere?

    I have tried to find at least one good reason why each wrestler could win it all. For some cases, it was easy, but for some others, it was a real challenge. 

    So, with no more introduction, let's see what I found for everyone listed in the match so far...

    * The following slideshow contains minor spoilers with few names added on SmackDown! I only mentioned the names of the new participants to the match and no results from SmackDown!

Darren Young

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    Darren Young will enter the match with vengeance in mind and it could lead him to a surprise victory.

    Such a win could put him in an interesting angle with The Nexus and The Core. In fact, it would be a true shocker if he was to headline Wrestlemania and it would be a weird happening. 

Michael McGillicutty

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    He has as much chance as Husky Harris to win it all and the only reason he could emerge victorious would be to create a mega shocker.

    There's also the Nexus factor to consider in his case. 


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    He is a two-time World Champion powerhouse and the 2010 King Of The Ring. A win at the Royal Rumble would be a priceless jewel to add to his crown.

    If he earns the opportunity to headline Wrestlemania, it would be the push he needs to reach the top of the top for good. 

Daniel Bryan

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    He currently has the momentum with a good run with the US Championship. He is a WWE rookie, but he is a very talented veteran.

    A win at the January classic would be a second step for his inevitable ascension to the top. He might not win a World Title at Wrestlemania, but only his presence in the main event would be a huge push. 

John Morrison

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    One of those who desperately needs a huge push... And what would be better than winning the Royal Rumble match and headline Wrestlemania? If he's not amazing on the mic, he can get over with the fans with just his astonishing innovative moves in the ring.

    Morrison once received some push, but he never reached the top of the ladder and only battled over a World Title on very few occasions, the last time being earlier this year, against The Miz. 

Husky Harris

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    A victory from Harris would be one of the biggest shocker of all times and that's the only reason why he could win.

    He can always receive some help from his Nexus friends, but only in last resort, if he's the last one surviving. 

Mark Henry

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    The Wolrd's Strongest Man certainly deserves some recognition from WWE for his loyalty and a victory at the coming pay-per-view could be a great reward. 

    Physically, Henry got what it takes to emerge victorious in the Royal Rumble environment. If the odds were in favor of the biggest and strongest man, he would be in the top of the favorites. 

Alberto Del Rio

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    The Mexican sensation believes it's his destiny to win the Royal Rumble. But beyond that, he has the talent to make it. 

    He is currently the rising star with the best momentum in WWE. He is a top quality heel and his mic skills are only matched by his in ring abilities. He can also count on his personal ring announcer to get some outside help.

Cody Rhodes

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    He has wrestling running in his blood and he possess undeniable in-ring abilities. By winning the Royal Rumble, he could prove he's more than "just" the son of Dusty Rhodes and that he's not over-rated as many are saying.

    With the little push he received with a number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, he might continue his ascension with a huge splash if the creative thinks it's his turn. 

DH Smith

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    DH Smith could win the January classic with his strength and with his motivation of becoming successful in singles competition.

    The WWE could cause a very shocking moment by giving him the win. It would be an instant push to the top. 

CM Punk

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    CM Punk is a favorite to win the classic over-the-rope battle. He is a three-time World Heavyweight Champion, but 2010 was a miserable year for him with the failure of the Straightedge Society.

    He is now a top heel and, as the leader of Nexus, he can do a lot for WWE. If he gets the chance to headline Wrestlemania, it could be the ultimate push that would put and keep him on the permanent main-eventer level.  


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    An underdog in the Royal Rumble environment who could survive with his natural agility.

    His win could increase the next Superstars episodes TV ratings.

Ted DiBiase

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    As we can see, the son of The Million Dollar Man can't buy everything. Otherwise, he would have already bought success. 

    If he can't buy his ticket to the Wrestlemania main event, he can always earn his spot by winning the January over-the-rope encounter. Since he parted ways with Orton and The Legacy, DiBiase is going nowhere and he could surprise many with such a huge win. 

David Otunga

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    As a member of Nexus, he can get help from his acolytes if he is the last one from the group in the ring. 

    He is not a favorite, but the WWE could surprise the fans if Otunga emerges victorious. If his chances are from none to slim, he certainly has more chances than Husky Harris or McGillicutty. 


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    By winning the over-the-rope battle, it would get the crowd and the viewers at home scream "What's Up?!" all night.

    It could make that catchphrase the most popular ever and it could sell a lot of merchandise. They could even earn extra money with a 2011 remix of R-Truth's song on ITune. 

Rey Mysterio

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    He did it once, so he knows what to do to survive. In 2006, he spent 1:02:12 in the ring to earn the win and he holds the record for lasting the longest ever.

    At the age of 36, he still has a few years ahead in his career and it would be a good timing to make him headlining Wrestlemania for a last time before retiring. 

Tyson Kidd

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    His agility alone can lead him to the biggest win of his career. It could be an interesting upset and showdown.

    As the one who carried the Hart Dynasty on his shoulders, he has that quiet charisma to become a big name in WWE. 

John Cena

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    As the face of the company, he is an obvious favorite to win the Royal Rumble match.

    He already achieved that feat once, but if he repeats, he will join the only two other legends who won the January classic more than once. Only Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin did that, so it would place Cena in the WWE icons' category. 

Justin Gabriel

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    With some help from The Corre, Gabriel could cause a shocker by winning the Rumble match. His father was a professional wrestler in South Africa and he trained him. He started his professional career at the age of 16 so he knows the rope.

    Now aged of 29, he is in his prime and his agility could ensure him a win this coming Sunday.  

Wade Barrett

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    Barrett won NXT Season One because he was simply the best. Following that, he became the leader of The Nexus v.1 and then moved to Smackdown to form a new group, The Corre.

    He held his own decently against John Cena and headlined some PPVs and Raw episodes. He is without a doubt World Championship material and a win at the Royal Rumble would solidify his status as future permanent main-eventer. He has the size and the strength to be the last man standing at the end of the 40-men match. 

Heath Slater

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    If Heath Slater shocks the world with a win at the Royal Rumble, it could lead to a long term sponsorship deal between the Wendys Restaurants and WWE.

    Can you imagine yourself eating a Slater Burger combo for lunch? That would be odd. As odd as seeing him winning. After all, if Jim Duggan already did it, why not Slater? 

William Regal

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    The veteran knows the ropes and his sneaky side will work in his favor in the Rumble match environment with his opponents possible under-estimating him.

    The 2008 King Of The Ring, despite he's 42 years old, is still in good shape and he might win it all to add this accomplishment to his impressive resume for someone who never won a World Title with WWE.

Yoshi Tatsu

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    Tatsu won the Wrestlemania 26-man battle royal dark match so he knows the tricks to emerge victorious from such an battle.

    He will be one of the underdogs for this coming Sunday, but his intensity and his agility could lead him to a shocking victory. Like in the case of Primo, such a win would increase the Superstars TV ratings. 

Zack Ryder

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    As Ryder would say, "Woo Woo Woo! You Know it!"

    The wannabe superstar could upset the fans with a win in the Royal Rumble match. If the creative wants to shock the WWE Universe, he would be an excellent choice to do so. 

Ezekiel Jackson

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    This man is a beast and he made history by being the last holder of the defunct ECW Championship. He could make history again with his super strength and pull off a win at the January traditional pay-per-view.

    He slammed Big Show with a scary ease so he should have no problem to toss everyone on his path over the top rope.

Drew McIntyre

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    The Chosen One could prove everyone he is actually "the chosen one", handpicked by Vince McMahon himself.

    With his ruthless aggression and his rage he could find his way to be the last man in the ring after the match. At the young age of 25, he is already an established wrestler who made his mark on the British wrestling scene and he is a former Intercontinental Champion.

Jack Swagger

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    The former ECW and World Heavyweight Champion already shined at Wrestlemania when he won the Money In The Bank match in 2010. So, the next step for him is to headline Wrestlemania in a World Title match.

    At 6'6" and 263 pounds, Swagger can use his glorious amateur wrestling background to his advantage in the Royal Rumble match. He is solid on his feet and it won't be an easy task to toss him over the top rope. If WWE didn't drop the ball on his case, he is a favorite to emerge victorious.

Mason Ryan

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    Formerly known as Goliath in the UK Gladiator TV show, Ryan is a genuine powerhouse and he didn't waste time to make his mark on Raw.

    The enforcer of the "new" Nexus can easily throw anyone over the rope and, with some help from his associates, he can become the less experienced wrestler ever to win the Rumble bout.

The Big Show (not official yet)

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    At 7'1" and nearly 500 pounds, the Largest Athlete In The World will enter the ring with the size advantage. He will be the prime target, but he already proved he could overcome the odds of multiple opponents against him.

    A win in the Royal Rumble match is one of the rare thing he didn't accomplished in WWE so it could be his turn this year. 

    * As I write this, he is not on the official WWE.com list, but he should be in since he was involved in the improvised battle royal on the last episode of Raw...

Kofi Kingston (according to Smackdown spoilers)

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    The current Intercontinental Champion is very over with the fans and a win at the Royal Rumble is something Kofi Kingston can achieve with his amazing in-ring abilities.

    He already proved he could be a great champion and to headline Wrestlemania could be the push he needs to reach the next level on the card. He is without a doubt World Championship material.

    * As I write this, he is not on the official WWE.com list...

Kane (according to Smackdown spoilers)

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    The Big Red Monster already proved he was an almost unstoppable elimination machine when the time comes for a Royal Rumble match. With the record of 11 eliminations he established at the 2001 edition of the January classic, it was a shocker he didn't win the match. He is also the most experienced in such an environment. 

    But this year is different; he had a strong 5-month run with the World Heavyweight Championship until he lost the Title in December. So we can expect an enraged Kane in the ring this Sunday looking to find a way to put the hand again on the gold. And, at the age of 45, it could be a last gift from the WWE before he retires. 

    * As I write this, he is not on the official WWE.com list.

Vladimir Kozlov (not official yet)

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    He got the size, the strength and his MMA background as weapons to emerge victorious from the Rumble match.

    As the co-holder of the Tag Team Championship, he is in the middle of a push and he was undefeated for over one year when he debuted in 2008 so he must not be under-estimated. 

    * As I write this, he is not on the official WWE.com list, but he should be in since he was involved in the improvised battle royal on the last episode of Raw...

Santino Marella (not official yet)

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    Beware of the Cobra! If Santino can use his lethal Cobra hit in the Royal Rumble match, he could surprise many and toss everyone over the rope. 

    He will also be motivated to make the fans forget he holds the record for the shortest presence in the prestigious battle royal. 

    * As I write this, he is not on the official WWE.com list, but he should be in since he was involved in the improvised battle royal on the last episode of Raw...

Triple H (? ? ?)

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    There's a huge buzz on the Internet about his return and the Royal Rumble match would be the perfect stage for a comeback of this magnitude.

    HHH won the 2002 edition of the prestigious battle royal and he could join his DX buddy Shawn Michaels on the two-time winner's list along with Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold (3).

    His presence this Sunday would be the less surprising surprise, but if he gets in the match, his experience and his in-ring skills could lead him to the win. It could be the best way for him to end his career to win the Rumble match and then to headline Wrestlemania for a last time.


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    Well, these were 34 names to watch with their respective reasons why they to win the Royal Rumble over-the-rope extravaganza. Of course, some of them have zero chance to emerge victorious so what I wrote about them is to take with a grain of salt; but who knows what WWE has in store? 

    I didn't list all the surprise participants mentioned all over the Internet because most of them are nothing more than rumors. I don't expect to see Brock Lesnar or Goldberg. However, it's not impossible to see Batista, Chris Jericho, Kimbo Slice or even Bret Hart. There are even rumors about the presence of the first Royal Rumble winner, Jim Duggan, to fill a spot. 

    I think Skip Sheffield, Michael Tarver, Chris Masters and The Great Khali are some we can expect to see as fillers. There will certainly be one or two Hall Of Famers, most likely Jerry Lawler.

    I hope you enjoyed that not too serious article, but always expect the unexpected with WWE. I'd like to hear from you. Who do you think will win? Who do you expect will fill the remaining spots? Who would you like to see as surprise entrants?

    I'd like to conclude with my prediction to win it all : CM Punk...!