Barnett's Oddly Specific 2014 WWE Royal Rumble Preview and Predictions: Will we have a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion? Does the heavily favored Batista win the Rumble Match? Who are the surprise entrants?
By Jake Barnett
Check back tonight for Jason Powell and Chris Shore's live coverage reviews of 2014 WWE Royal Rumble. Dot Net Members can look forward to the exclusive audio review after the show. Become a member of the ad-free version of Prowrestling.net for just $1 for one month. Use the coupon code "rumble" when signing up via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
How will the 2014 Royal Rumble go? I’ll try to predict it very specifically.
Pre-Show – The Brotherhood (Cody and Goldust) vs. The New Age Outlaws for the WWE Tag Team Championships: This match confuses me. Why is it not on the main Royal Rumble card? Why can’t a pre-show match be between two guys who are trying to earn a shot at the Rumble? A smaller 10-man Battle Royal between some NXT Superstars would be a nice tease. The Tag Team Championships have been on an upswing recently, or at a few teams actually seem to want them, so why not give it the dignity of a PPV match? Unless this is the longest Rumble Match in history and the card is already timed out perfectly, it makes little sense. Look for one or two filler matches to be added to the card anyway.
In any case, you know how this match will go. The Outlaws will get their signature spots by cutting off Cody Rhodes in their corner. We’ll get a few hope spots and a hot tag, and then the match will break down into a flurry of spots. WWE tag matches are like fireworks shows, you really don’t have to pay close attention until the last 90 seconds. It will end with Goldust hitting his Final Cut on Road Dogg and picking up a pin.
Prediction: The Brotherhood retains.
Match One: Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt: If you’re a Dot Net Member and you catch our audio shows, you know I’ve been very critical of the way this feud has been booked, as I think everyone has. It makes little sense to have Daniel Bryan join the Wyatt Family, just to have him turn on them two weeks later. His promos afterward trying to put his actions into perspective made even less sense, especially when he said he joined the family in order to get Wyatt into an enclosed space, and then told Wyatt on Smackdown that he would no longer be a prisoner of his mind. Dude, you were in the family for two weeks! It’s really as if they hit fast forward on this feud, and we missed the intervening two months where Bryan was psychologically manipulated by Bray Wyatt.
The bad storytelling aside, I think we’re going to get a good match here. It’s difficult to predict, because there are a lot of directions they could be going with Bryan as a character on this show, but my gut says Bryan loses this match. My prediction is that Bray Wyatt picks up the win with Sister Abigail because of outside interference from Luke Harper, and Bryan gets his revenge by eliminating the family in the Rumble match.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt defeats Daniel Bryan.
Match Two: Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show: Brock Lesnar is headed for a WrestleMania main event. Anything less would be a waste of his talents and drawing power. With that in mind, there is only one possible conclusion to this match. Big Show has dominated Lesnar on television, as WWE has been eager to point out. Lesnar flopped around for him like a pro, and really made show look like a guy who he’d have trouble with. The only reason to do that is to have Lesnar destroy Show on PPV, and I think that’s what we’re in for here. My prediction is that Show and Lesnar have a competitive match, but Lesnar is just too much down the stretch and wins clean with an F5. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lesnar kicks out of the KO punch, and we get another spot or two on the outside with the announce tables.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar defeats Big Show clean.
Match Three: John Cena vs. Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: This match got the lionshare of the build focus for this PPV, and for the life of me I can’t understand why. Cena and Orton’s feud felt recycled from the beginning, and the way it’s been presented on television did nothing to dissuade me from that. Cena’s Dad getting beat up, and John chasing Randy Orton out of the arena on Raw was something right out of their feud in 2007. You can argue that people probably forgot about the last time Orton beat up dear old Dad, but why would you? Am I supposed to believe that nobody could come up with any other reason to fire up John Cena? What about using his live in girlfriend that happens to be a contracted wrestler as a lever for the same purpose?
On top of that, you still have to overcome Randy Orton’s title reign being big footed by the Authority and their various whimsies. I can’t remember a time when a champion felt less relevant than Orton does now. Wait, yes I can, it was Chris Jericho during his first Undisputed Title Reign! The jinx continues? In any case, I can’t see John Cena not being in the first WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match at WrestleMania, so I think he wins here clean with an Attitude Adjustment after a competitive match.
Prediction: John Cena defeats Randy Orton
Match Four: The Royal Rumble Match: As I said in my Dot Net One Shots earlier this week, I can’t remember a time where the Rumble match seemed to be such an afterthought. There are only three superstars that could be seen as being favored, and I’ll go through them individually:
Most Likely Winner – Batista: The return of Batista was pretty underwhelming for me, as I was expecting better promo than what we got, and he looked pretty ridiculous in his skinny jeans and zip up that exposed his rather androgynous navel tattoo. In any case, his return did pop a nice number for the first hour of Raw, and so I think WWE will probably stick to the heavily rumored plan of having Batista leave Pittsburgh as the number one contender for WrestleMania.
Feel-good winner – Daniel Bryan: I predicted a Daniel Bryan loss earlier in the show because I think he has a pretty decent chance of making a big impact in the Rumble. If he doesn’t come away with a victory in the Rumble, I think he’ll likely be eliminated by the person who will be his eventual WrestleMania opponent. Here’s hoping for a surprise appearance from The Undertaker…
Longshot – CM Punk: From all appearances, CM Punk is on a collision course with Triple H at WrestleMania. I don’t think he’ll win the rumble, but I think he has a chance to be this Rumble’s Iron Man, and will make the early part of the match highly entertaining. It will be interesting to see if the Authority rigs the order of competitors against him, or other types of manipulation throughout the match. If Punk somehow wins, it would certainly throw a lot of my assumptions about the WrestleMania card in the trash.
Predictions for the 10 unadvertised Rumble Entrants:
Rob Van Dam
Do you have questions, comments or concerns? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org or in twitter @barnettjake
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