Ladies And Gentleman, the Royal Rumble is just 4 weeks away and to be honest, the last few rumble events have produced some mighty shockers. Edge returning and winning the Rumble in 2010 was a shocker (unless you read the spoilers before hand). Alberto Del Rio was not exactly someone I expected to win the Royal Rumble in 2011. And last year, yeah, I didn’t think the dark horse Sheamus would stop Chris Jericho from winning the Rumble. That is exactly why this pay-per-view is my favorite PPV of the year (and yeah that top-trumps Wrestlemania). It doesn’t matter how bad or lacking in the matches the under-card is, the match itself is what you pay for. Except this year is different, WWE have something else for you to spend your money for… The Rock.
The Brahma Bull challenges CM Punk for the WWE title at the Royal Rumble (CM Punk will face Ryback on the first RAW of 2013 for the title, but lets face it, Ryback is not winning that match). Now the question in my mind is simple… which match will actually be the main event? The Rock vs CM Punk or the Royal Rumble match? Tradition has the Royal Rumble match main-eventing the card every year (of course in some cases, like the 2006 event, this wasn’t the case). And the reason it main-events the card is simply because that’s the match everyone wants to see. But this mega-superstar The Rock we are talking about. The Rock is The Rock, and logically should The Rock take a back seat to another match on the card? I mean Attitude Era fans will pay big money to see The Rock return since it’s so rare. And CM Punk vs The Rock has been building ever since July at RAW 1000, when CM Punk decked The Rock and turned heel. This brings up the question of… Tradition vs Business. Respect the PPV’s long-standing tradition and go with the Royal Rumble match as the main event, or go for the big-money match Rock vs Punk as the main event. I personally they’ll go with Rock vs Punk for the main event, since he’s on the freaking cover, but I’m not bothered either way.
Anyway, let’s go down to the Potential/Rumored Winners. First and foremost:
John Cena – A Big-Name widely considered to win the Rumble for the second time. The Rock vs John Cena II has been widely rumored to be occurring at Wrestlemania 29, with The Rock beating CM Punk for the WWE Championship at the Rumble, John Cena winning the Royal Rumble, setting up the rematch from their epic clash at Wrestlemania 28. Makes a lot of sense, and gives Cena a victory over The Rock, makes things 1-1, and setting up a final encounter, possibly at Wrestlemania 30 (plans, plans…). However, I don’t want this to be the case, as John Cena vs The Rock I was billed as “Once In A Lifetime”. So why have them go at it again, and contradict that tagline? Leave it as “Once In A Lifetime”.
However, John Cena doesn’t necessarily have to go for the WWE Championship. The winner of the Royal Rumble is entitled to a championship match against either the World Heavyweight Championship OR the WWE Championship. So John Cena could pull a u-turn and challenge the World Champion. I mean, as of now he’s feuding with Mr Money In The Bank Dolph Ziggler right? So how about John Cena goes on to win the Royal Rumble, Dolph Ziggler cashes in Money In The Bank at Elimination Chamber 2013, John Cena comes out and says he’s gonna fight for the World Title at Wrestlemania 29, setting up Ziggler vs Cena for Mania? That’d be a scenario I’d be down with. Ziggler could also beat Cena at Mania, and put himself over big time. Then again, I highly doubt that WWE would have their poster boy John Cena lose at Wrestlemania for a 3RD YEAR IN A ROW, so Cena would likely win.
Randy Orton – The Viper has been away from the World Championship picture for an extremely long time (other than a short 4 way feud in May which led to a fatal four way at Over The Limit) and with Orton spending most of his time since losing the title in September 2011 putting over up and coming heels, perhaps Orton should be rewarded with a run at the World Title, with him being rumored to battle Dolph Ziggler for the World Title during the majority of 2013 (click here to see my blog post about them rumors in November) I could totally see him winning the Rumble in 2013. Then again, he was one of the big favorites to win the Royal Rumble last year, and never won the match. Maybe history will repeat itself.
Sheamus – Winner Of Last Year’s Royal Rumble has apparently been chosen to win the event for a second year in a row, according to several reports. It’s suggested that he’d go on to face Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 29. Now I would not like it if Sheamus won the Rumble. Sheamus hasn’t actually been out of the main-event scene ever since he won last year’s event. He won the Rumble in January, feuding with World Champion Daniel Bryan until April, won the World Title at Wrestlemania 28, held onto the title until October, and feuded with Big Show for the title up until TLC a week ago. And now you want him in there again? To be honest, I’m kind of getting sick of seeing Sheamo fighting for the title. I’d say give him some time away from the World Title picture. I wouldn’t exactly say no to a feud between him and Wade Barrett. But then again, someone winning two rumbles in a row is something incredibly rare, and it would be a special moment if Sheamo won the rumble again.
Undertaker – Now, this man is also (wait for it) rumored to win his 2nd Royal Rumble match. :O SHOCKER! Undertaker has been rumored to return and win the Rumble and go on to face WWE Champion CM Punk at Wrestlemania 29 in a Streak vs Title match. This makes sense and it’d be a great moment to see the Undertaker come back and rule the rumble. CM Punk would be a great opponent for the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 29, and Triple H did hint at The Undertaker’s return at the Slammys on Monday, and he could return at the Royal Rumble event. My only problem with Undertaker winning the WWE Title is simple… is he physically able to be WWE Champion? What I mean when I say that is, can ‘Taker do the house shows, wrestle every week and represent the company as WWE Champion? I mean… The Undertaker has only wrestled twice in the last two years. If The Undertaker is ready for the run… fine. Give him the title. But I don’t want a repeat of 2007, when Taker won the World Title at Wrestlemania, and got injured a month later. The WWE Championship has become to important to be given to a wrestler who gets injured and vacates the title. I mean CM Punk has been champion ever since November 2011. Whoever ends CM Punk’s reign should be WWE Champion for a while and not just a couple of months.
Ryback – FEED ME MORE! To be honest, Ryback has been my pick to win the Rumble since he had that staredown on RAW in October, and I’m not budging from this pick. Ryback still has a lot of momentum behind him, and despite loses in 3 PPVs in a row, a Rumble win for Ryback would make up for all of that and him finally getting his victory over CM Punk at Wrestlemania would be a great moment. But… rumors have also been flying around that Ryback is scheduled to meet Big Show for the World Title at Wrestlemania 29 (therefore contradicting the rumor above about Sheamus vs Randy Orton. Rumors have a tendency to do that). Now that would be a really bad idea. 4 Reasons:
1) The match would totally suck.
2) From a storyline prospective, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. CM Punk has been pissing off Ryback ever since October, so why would Ryback opt to face Big Show for the World Title, while he has a chance to get revenge once and for all on CM Punk (providing he’s still the WWE Champion at Wrestlemania 29) and become WWE Champion? But then again, things never seem to make sense in WWE anymore (like The Rock getting a WWE Title shot despite only showing up once in a blue moon).
3) If Big Show is still the World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestlemania, then whoever faces them at the event is all but guaranteed to dethrone him as champion, especially if that someone is Ryback. It takes away the predictability from the product, and that is something I don’t want to happen.
4) Seeing Big Show in the main event at all would be rather disappointing for me. Seriously, this man is past his prime, and shouldn’t be allowed near the ring, let alone the World Title. Please get the World Title off this guy pronto.
Now 4 of the guys on that list have won the Royal Rumble before, and to be honest, if a former Rumble winner does win it again, I would not be bothered. Having someone win the Rumble more than once is incredibly rare in WWE. The last time a former winner of the rumble won it again was 2001, when Stone Cold Steve Austin won it an unprecedented 3rd time. Only the true greats of WWE have won it more than once. Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels are all immortalized as some of the greatest wrestlers in WWE history, and have won the Rumble more than once, and it’d be a nice change to see someone wins the Rumble for a 2nd time. I, however, DO NOT think this will happen. I thought Ryback would win the Rumble in October, and I stand with my pick.
Part Two Will Hopefully Come Before Christmas Day, and will be regarding The Rock vs CM Punk, and a 3rd will be about the rest of the card.Remember to follow me @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter, and I will see you soon.