This Sunday is the Royal Rumble and everyone has been heavily deflated from the recent efforts on WWE TV. Yes RAW hasn’t blown my socks off, but in reality, does the ‘Road to WrestleMania’ really start on the first RAW of the New Year or does it start at the Royal Rumble? I have always got this impression on the actual PPV when we see that WrestleMania banner hanging from the rafters.
This past Monday’s RAW was a shining example when the show cloased to the traditional brawl in the ring with most competitors for this Sunday’s main event. Everyone in the IWC moaned about this but have we ever really got anything different in the past? People expected something shocking, something to talk about.
Has everyone forgotten that this is the Royal Rumble and no matter what, the PPV will sell alone just for the Rumble? This time round you have an addition in the epic encounter of CM Punk V The Rock. Even if you are complaining that the build hasn’t been Stella you still cannot deny that this is greater than any WWE Championship PPV Match we’ve had in the past 4 months.
Then there is the Rumble itself. This year, not one person has stood out as an obvious winner like we have had in previous years (Like Orton, who was one of the worst predictable Rumble winners in history in my opinion.) but we have a blend of Wrestlers who could take the victory.
Again, the build hasn’t really stood out but the stage is set to give you fairly safe wins like John Cena or Brock Lesnar but they could also go with other possibilities such as Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Ryback or Antonio Cesaro should they want to throw in a swerve.
The product hasn’t been appalling recently, just bland. Once the Rumble is over and we have the first real RAW on the road to WrestleMania under our belt then I believe everyone will feel a lot more upbeat about what is happening.
I thought it would be a bit fun to play fantasy booker for a bit and give you some predictions. SO here we go...
I really think that WWE have a great opportunity to do many different scenarios with Dolph Ziggler. Unfortunately, Dolph is in the Rumble with no real explanation of why because in reality he could already announce he will be facing the World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania with his briefcase. He could win the Rumble and make it look like he throws away the Money in the Bank briefcase because he doesn’t need it anymore, only to resurface it in the future when we have forgotten it existed. Or he could lose at WrestleMania and cash in again straight away to win. The possibilities are endless. With his drawing in the Rumble being 1 or 2 then I would imagine he will go for glory as the number 1 entrant. My pick for the second entrant would be John Cena and possibly the 3rd being Big E Lansgton so they can double team him only for Cena to no sell and gain the ultimate glory in the end. (Sorry, got to get a bit of bitterness towards John Cena in somewhere haven’t I?)
From what I can see so far I would pick these as my Rumble competitors:
Wade Barrett, Antonio Cesaro, Big E Langston, Brodus Clay, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan, Darren Young, Hornswoggle, The Shield, Dolph Ziggler, 3MB, The Great Khali, John Cena, Kane, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Randy Orton, Ryback, Sheamus, Titus O’Neill, Zack Ryder.
My predictions for Rumble returns are:
Christian, Rey Mysterio Brock Lesnar and Mark Henry.
With all that being said I still think WWE will go with the safe option of giving John Cena the victory this Sunday.
Antonio Cesaro defends his US Title in the YouTube pre-show against The Miz. I love the way they have been booking Cesaro. He is heel but he is winning with impressive feats of strength and ability. Unfortunately with the way they have been pushing The Miz recently I don’t see Cesaro winning this clean. I think he will retain the Championship but do it in an underhanded way.
The WWE Tag Team Championships are on the line and I think this Sunday marks the beginning of the end for Team Hell No. Kane and Bryan as opponents at WrestleMania makes sense so I believe they will lose the Championships this Sunday and start their rift possibly within the Rumble. Even if they don’t lose them this Sunday I still think they will do at Elimination Chamber.
Alberto Del Rio takes on Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship in another Last Man Standing match. I know it can be a good match but did it have to have exactly the same stipulation as their last contest? It’s hard to believe that WWE would take the title straight off Del Rio so I would have to predict that he retains here.
Then we have the WWE Championship match between CM Punk and The Rock. It has been predicted for months that Rock would just turn up and take the Championship from Punk but I really do believe that they have shifted their position on this. I would love for CM Punk to go on a reign all the way in to WrestleMania 30 as I think what he has now makes sense. If he ends up in a Triple Threat match with Rock and Cena and beats them both it gives him more fuel for the summer to express how good he is. With the events on RAW this week stating that The Shield cannot get involved then we can only presume that either Brad Maddox or Brock Lesnar will make the save. My prediction is that CM Punk retains the WWE Championship.
Overall we have one of the biggest Rumble’s we have had for years and everyone seems to be down on it. I’m not expecting much but the Rumble has always been my favourite PPV with WrestleMania so I will sit down, watch and try to not have fantasy thoughts of Steve Austin, Goldberg, Brock Lesnar or Undertaker making their return and clearing house in the Rumble.
Are you looking forward to the Rumble? Have you expected more of a build? Who do you think will win?