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Chris Cash: The person I would like to see win the Royal Rumble this year is different than who I think will win. My personal preference to win is Dolph Ziggler. I think he could gain a lot by pulling double duty yet again on pay-per-view, and although he will come up short against CM Punk earlier in the night, entering and wining the Rumble would be huge for his future. 2012 should be a breakout year for Dolph and I'd love to see it start at the Royal Rumble and culminate at WrestleMania.
And while that is what I would LIKE to see, I don't think that's what happens this Sunday. The obvious choices going into the event are Randy Orton and Chris Jericho. I honestly don't see either winning. I think they have bigger plans for Jericho this weekend, but they don't include the Rumble. As for Orton, I think him and Wade Barrett take each other out of the match in order to continue their feud. That really narrows the list down to a couple of other guys that I feel have the best chances of winning this year. One of them is Sheamus and with the lack of direction he's had in recent months on Smackdown, it's high time they give im something of substance and meaning.
I believe Sheamus will win the Rumble. I'd like to see Dolph win.
Nick Paglino: What I like the most about this year's Royal Rumble match is that it seems less predictable than Rumble matches in the past. Years when the winners have been Triple H, Alberto del Rio, and Edge, for example, it always seemed to be a forgone conclusion that those names would pick up the big win. This year, however, there are several candidates who seem likely choices to win the match and headline WrestleMania, and with the added stipulation of "anyone" being eligible for the bout, there is an air of unpredictability surrounding this year's Royal Rumble.
Personally, I think the most expected names to win this year are Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Wade Barrett, Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler. Will WWE pull a major twist and have CM Punk retain the title and then go on to win the Rumble match? Will we see Ziggler pull double-duty yet again and win the match after a loss to CM Punk? Will Chris Jericho "end the world as we know it" and win the big bout? The questions and possibilities certainly provide intrigue.
But the most important question is which of the many potential winning situations will be the best fit for the post-Rumble WWE landscape and the main event at WrestleMania? A lot of people think Chris Jericho should win the match. But does he need to? Jericho is a future Hall of Famer, and I would have to think that although he deserves a Rumble win, he doesn't need it as much as someone like Sheamus, Ziggler or Barrett need it. Many people are suggesting that Jericho could win the match via non-involvement, where the last two participants eliminate each other and Jericho enters at #30 to automatically win the match. Arda Ocal of "Aftermath" radio proposed this idea several weeks ago, but does this type of win devalue the Rumble match? I think it does. I would definitely feel let down if 29 superstars work their asses off only to have the match finish with basically a non-finish. Does it tie into Jericho's current story line? Sure, but at what cost to the reputation of the Rumble match?
In the end, I see Randy Orton winning this year's bout. WWE loves to give the big win to "returning" superstars, and when you team that with the show taking place in St. Louis and Randy Orton having been away from the title picture for quite awhile now, I see a second Orton victory. Again, do I think that's how it should go down? No. I'd much prefer a Barrett or Ziggler win, but I don't see WWE going that route this year."