By Ryan Kester
Saturday, January 28, 2012 – 4:00 P.M. (CT)
Join me tonight for live coverage of UFC on FOX. I will post my official preview and predictions for the WWE Royal Rumble shortly after the UFC show concludes tonight.
The Royal Rumble is right around the corner. I, like many, look forward to this event every year as The Rumble match is one of the few things in wrestling that delivers consistent entertainment and opportunities for surprise. WWE views the Rumble as the first step on the Road to WrestleMania, and I enjoy seeing which young bucks get prominent roles in the match.
This year, there are several potential winners of the Royal Rumble. Chief among them is Chris Jericho, whose entire return has been a build to the Royal Rumble. Jericho's return was heralded by a series of viral videos that promised the "end of the world as you know it" and Jericho echoed those sentiments with the only words she's spoken since his return. Couple that with the talk that Jericho will be facing CM Punk at WrestleMania, the self-proclaimed "Best in the World," and the Rumble becomes a logical way for WWE to get there.
Another logical move would be for WWE to give Randy Orton his second Royal Rumble win. The Rumble is being held in Orton's hometown, and after the years' worth of good business Orton has done, he's earned a prominent role in WrestleMania. If Daniel Bryan retains his championship early in the evening, then Orton could very easily win the Rumble to set up for a match between the two at WrestleMania.
Speaking of Daniel Bryan, he is another potential player in the Rumble, even if it is a bit of a longshot. If he loses his championship early in the evening, his tactical heel character would be right at home in the Rumble match. With a victory in the Rumble, Bryan would be able to have the WrestleMania match, in chase mode, which WWE hyped with his briefcase before Mark Henry's injury necessitated a title swap. Plus, Bryan could go on to face CM Punk in a WrestleMania moment that would cause the internet to break. Again, the above paragraph is highly unlikely, but it's a possibility many have overlooked that would put WWE back in the position they were building towards throughout the fall.
Continuing with some of the less likely Rumble winners, Sheamus could really use a Rumble victory to get his character back on track. Creative seems to be lost with what to do with Sheamus, and he has been in holding pattern after holding pattern since his feud with Mark Henry last summer. Sheamus and Daniel Bryan showed a good chemistry together when their face and heel roles were reversed, yet they really haven't done enough together to where a feud between the two would feel like a rehash. Sheamus is another potential winner if Bryan or Mark Henry walks out of the steel cage with the World Heavyweight Championship around their waist.
Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler are a pair of young heels climbing up the main event. From the moment Mat Striker mentioned that even wrestlers that have already had a match at the Rumble could appear in the Royal Rumble match, I have been thinking of Dolph Ziggler. I don't expect him to win the WWE Championship, and WWE has spent several PPVs having Ziggler in multiple matches and I could easily see a repeat tomorrow. If nothing else, I fully expect Ziggler will have a strong showing in the Rumble following a loss to CM Punk.
Rhodes has the talent to crack the main event. I just don't see an obvious money match for him coming out of the Royal Rumble, and he appears to be building towards a match with his brother, Goldust. Cody Rhodes is a man that will be in the main even soon, but I don't think his breakthrough moment will be happening at this year's Rumble.
Wade Barrett is another budding heel, but WWE has a lot of work ahead of them to make him feel like a credible threat again. The Rumble would be a quick way to get that started, but a Barrett victory would feel lackluster at this point and it would start the Road to WrestleMania off with a whimper.
There you have it folks, my thought son the key players and potential victors of the Royal Rumble. Check back later for my complete predictions for the Royal Rumble PPV, and feel free to hit me up at ryan.kester@gmail .com or follow me on Twitter at @TheRyanKester to share your thoughts with me.
Kester's Blog: The potential WWE Royal Rumble winners
Jan 28, 2012 - 04:00 PM
Jan 28, 2012 - 04:00 PM
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