Chris Cash – Wrestlezone Writer; Voice of Wrestling Host
I said it months ago and I will stick by my shot-in-the-dark choice of Brock Lesnar winning the Rumble. He "should" be in Phoenix and if he's not there to get involved in the WWE Championship match, he's an easy pick for the battle royal. If he doesn't enter the Rumble, I think Cena (or even Rock, somehow) will end up getting the win. I'm afraid it's a foregone conclusion we're going to see Cena vs Rock II at 'Mania, with the title on the line. One of them wins the Rumble, and one of them wins the title between now and April. It might not be Rock beating Punk though – we still have the Elimination Chamber pay per view if it's needed.
And now for the moment none of you have been waiting for, the often-wrong Royal Rumble predictions of yours truly…
Mike Killam – Wrestlezone Writer
I'm going to take a long shot guess here and say that Randy Orton wins the 2013 WWE Royal Rumble. The dirt sheets and more reliable news sites have been spinning the obvious Rock/Cena wins for months now; there's no doubt in my mind WWE realizes what everyone thinks will happen. If you polled every wrestling fan on the internet, it wouldn't surprise me that 9 of every 10 believes in the back of their mind that Cena is going to walk away on the Road to WrestleMania. Why? Because he's John Cena, and he always wins in big scenarios.
Except for WrestleMania, where he lost his most important confrontation to the Rock. Except for every title match he's had against CM Punk in the last 18 months. I personally wouldn't mind seeing John Cena walk away from the Rumble victorious, but there's still a small part of me that thinks WWE is walking the obvious path, with every intent to swerve us. I don't believe for a second that Vince McMahon wants to give us Rock/Cena and Triple H/Lesnar – two rematches from Mania 28 and Summerslam – as the main events of HIS "showcase of the immortals". And I also don't think that management would keep the belt on Punk for over 400 days just to feed him to the Rock en route to Cena at WrestleMania. I know it's not likely, nor is it the obvious route, but I say Punk retains and Randy Orton walks out the Rumble winner to set up a match with Sheamus in April.
And of course, a Round Table discussion wouldn't be complete without a final statement from our own beloved Vincent K. McMahon character, Nick Paglino.
Nick Paglino – Wrestlezone Editor
At first glance, this year's Royal Rumble match seems less predictable than others. There are a multitude of on-the-brink main event level talents that could use the win, which would lead one to think that there's no clear cut favorite this year.
But then you factor in John Cena. And then you factor in WWE's incessant need to protect John Cena. And then you factor in the fact that even though the show is being "headlined" by The Rock vs CM Punk, John Cena is STILL the company's #1 guy.
Finally, you factor in Cena "guaranteeing" a victory, and he rarely guarantees anything and fails. All of the above ingredients yield a John Cena-winning-the-rumble stew.
It's being reported that the Royal Rumble match will be the last match of the night. The only way WWE would ever do this, in favor of having The Rock main event the show, is if Cena is going to win the Rumble match so the fans can go home as happy as they were when The Rock beats Punk for the WWE Title.
Is this what I want? Absolutely not. I've said it time and time again – John Cena does NOT need to win matches like this. The company centers around him, so give these types of key wins to talents that really need them. But in the end a John Cena Rumble win will keep him the focal point of the PPV, and will get him to the main event at WrestleMania so he can challenge The Rock for the WWE Title.
Thanks to all who contributed in this Royal Round Table discussion. So what do you, the readers think of this year's Royal Rumble PPV? Will John Cena walk away the obvious victor? Will Brock Lesnar make his surprise return to disrupt the Rock's title hopes and dreams? Cast your predictions and give us your thoughts in the comments section below, and on the previous pages. And tune back into Wrestlezone Sunday night at 8/7c for complete coverage of WWE's Royal Rumble PPV.
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