It is quite the coincidence that my 40th Bleacher Report article should culminate with the first-ever 40-man Royal Rumble match in WWE history.
This is typically the hardest match of the year to call, and really there is only one way to tackle it as usual: Process of elimination.
Currently, the WWE have only confirmed the following names for the match:
Alberto Del Rio
David Hart Smith
The following wrestlers have now also been added to the match: Big Show, Chris Masters, JTG, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Santino Marella, Vladimir Kozlov
However six names are missing from that list, so for arguments sake the only names I am going to even consider that are not already listed are HHH, Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler. Other entrances will either be current superstars, legends or perhaps returning superstars who I very much doubt will win.
The way I will tackle this is in stages of elimination. Consider the stages to represent the chances of each wrestler winning the Royal Rumble match i.e. if you are in stage one, it might not be worth turning up:
Stage One eliminations:
Darren Young, David Hart Smith, Mark Henry, Primo, R-Truth, Ted DiBiase, Tyson Kidd, William Regal, Yoshi Tatsu, Zack Ryder, Santino Marella, Vladimir Kozlov, JTG, Chris Masters
Stage Two eliminations:
Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Ezekiel Jackson, Heath Slater, Husky Harris, Justin Gabriel, Mason Ryan, Michael McGillicutty, Jack Swagger, Big Show, Kane, Kofi Kingston
So after two stages of elimination, we are left with just nine possible winners:
Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk, John Cena, John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, Sheamus, Triple H, Wade Barrett, Randy Orton
All of these guys have a shot at winning the Royal Rumble, however there can be only one winner. We proceed to Stage three of eliminations, with a little more detail:
Stage Three eliminations:
Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio: Will probably be involved with each other somewhere in the match, one will eliminate the other.
Sheamus: If HHH does indeed return, then expect HHH to eliminate Sheamus.
John Morrison: Will probably be eliminated by one of the big names in the match
Wade Barrett: I predict that CM Punk will get the better of Barrett here.
Randy Orton: Expect him to be a victim of The New Nexus
So, our final three are John Cena, CM Punk and Triple H (Given he returns)
Now, obviously the favourite here is John Cena, as has been rumoured on pretty much every wrestling related site on the Internet.
However, picking John Cena would be boring and predictable, and quite frankly I would rather be wrong and go with the more exciting option.
It would be far better to have CM Punk win the Royal Rumble because it would finally cement his place at the top of the WWE after weeks of teasing that eventuality.
So, I'll say that HHH and Cena will be fighting to throw the other over the top rope, CM Punk will come in Randy Orton style from 2009 and eliminate them both, kicking 2011 off with a huge bang.
Let me now quote what I believe the probabilities will be for this match in regards to who will win:
P(Cena) = 1/3 P(Punk) = 1/4 P(Triple H) = 1/6 P(Other) = 1/4
Rumoured surprises for the match are Booker T (who coincidentally cancelled an appearance this weekend), Chris Jericho, HHH (of course), Christian, Evan Bourne and two possible legends.
Cena is the more likely winner, but for the sake of the WWE product I hope he doesn't win again.
Winner: CM Punk