A British Point of View: Who’s Your Rumble Pick?

Martyn Nolan

A look into the upcoming Royal Rumble PPV.

The rumble increases in capacity and so does my interest.

I have seen a few articles recently speculating the results of the upcoming Royal Rumble and the lack of uprising talent being the victor. In the past a familiar format seems to have taken place. One wrestler who you think is deserving of the win has a great showing but never actually wins the match. This guy was usually Kane eliminating 11 people or The Rock in 1998 lasting for 45 minutes. These guys never won but made you think they should. Then the usual big guys like Steve Austin, Triple H, Randy Orton and Undertaker came in for the win.
 
There hasn’t really been a ‘shock’ winner of the Royal Rumble since Rey Mysterio won. I define ‘shock’ as more of someone has never been in the PPV main event scene or held a world title at that time.
 
There is usually one Superstar who stands out as the obvious victor as we build up. Take Randy Orton after he punted Vince McMahon in the head just days before the event. Everyone knew he would win as it made sense from a booking stand point.
 
However this year is slightly different. We do not have many people who stand out to be obvious winners of this year’s crown. If you read my work regularly you will remember my instant prediction from last year where I stated Chris Jericho would be the winner in 2011. This prediction is more than likely not going to come to fruition now, due to Jericho’s exit from WWE recently. However, all things are possible and Jericho is the last of the “veteran” wrestlers who has not got a Rumble victory on his CV.
 
Further to the point, the Royal Rumble this year has 40 participants. The biggest we’ve seen and a greater chance for talent to get in the ring on a PPV.
 
At present time WWE still seems to be giving John Morrison a push and if I had to pick a winner at the moment then I’d most probably throw my money on him. Strong build up’s from Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk and John Cena also make you wonder whether they could push them for the win.
 
I think the one hope I have for this year is to give the win to someone who has not main evented Wrestlemania or been a world champion. Cena said on RAW that Cena Vs Orton would be an ideal match for the main event of Wrestlemania but I would prefer it if we had some unknowns in the main event spots. This would free veteran talent like Triple H, Cena, Orton, Undertaker and possibly Chris Jericho to have quality grudge matches rather than just being thrown into a championship match.
 
Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels had a classic wrestling match at Wrestlemania 21 where no title was involved, this left the door open for a rookie Batista to win his first World title against Triple H.
 
When Bret Hart and Stone Cold had their infamous submission match at Wrestlemania 13 it left the spots open for Undertaker and Sycho Sid to take the main event.
 
If you have Morrison take the Rumble then you could have a good main event with Edge for the World Heavy Weight Championship. This is something I know will not probably be in the works but we all know that they could have a classic near fall match where people wouldn’t be sure of the victor. If you put Cena in the championship match then you know that 9 times out of 10 he will lift the crown.
 
I really felt that Cena and Undertaker were going to be locking horns at Wrestlemania 27 but I’m wondering whether WWE will try to hold out for Undertaker reaching 19-0 first to then have the showdown with Cena for the 20-0 battle. Cena and Undertaker seems to make sense as at the time of writing WWE doesn’t seem to have any big “Wrestlemania” matches on the cards.
 
21 had HBK V Angle, 22 had HHH V Cena (for the first time), 23 had HBK V Cena (for the first time), 24 had Flair V HBK, 25 and 26 had HBK V Undertaker. All matches that had a Wrestlemania feel to them. Unless WWE are successful in bringing in Sting, Goldberg or Brock Lesnar (something that definitely looks to be dead and buried after being announced as an Ultimate Fighter coach) into the situation then I’m struggling to see the “big” Wrestlemania match this year. One of the obvious reasons is HBK’s retirement. Nearly every big match at Wrestlemania or every classic wrestling match over the past 5 years has had Shawn Michaels at it’s centre.
 
That is why I feel they need to push some younger talents and a win for one of them in the Rumble seems to make sense. Create matches we haven’t seen before. The only option I can see at the moment is if they go with the traditional main events for Wrestlemania is to turn John Cena heel this year. Something that I truly believe WWE does not want to do unless they have too.
 
I have high expectations for 2011 as WWE have started to produce a product which supports younger talent. Jeff and Matt Hardy have now left the company and people like Del Rio, Ziggler, Swagger and Kingston have easily filled the left gap.
 
The Royal Rumble could be the start of something special or it could be the start of a mediocre road to Wrestlemania, who knows?
 
On another note, I was really happy to see the announcement of Shawn Michaels being the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame. I am surprised that WWE have decided to do it this quickly but it has easily made any wrestling fan take interest in the upcoming ceremony.
 
The segment between Del Rio and HBK was also a winner last week on RAW. I do think that Del Rio regretted sticking his chin out that far for the kick but in the end it must have seemed worth it. It was a nice segment which wasn’t exactly a passing of the torch but it only helped in furthering Del Rio’s heel character.
 
If you have any predictions for the direction WWE will take going into Wrestlemania or if you just want to send me your thoughts then send me an email on beansontoastuk@msn.com or get in touch through twitter at www.twitter.com/beansontoastuk.
 
Martyn
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