Shore's Royal Rumble preview and predictions: Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match, The Rock vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship, Who will win the Royal Rumble?
By Chris Shore
The following predictions are made with no prior knowledge of the planned finishes for any of the matches. In other words I'm guessing, just like you.
The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro for the United States Championship: Is there any reason to move the title here? I don't think so and I don't think WWE thinks so. Miz may yet turn out to be a decent babyface, but this attempt at it is an utter failure. Cesaro retains here and goes on to the Rumble where he is eliminated by Miz to keep the feud going.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro retains the United States Championship.
Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars for the WWE Tag Team Championships: I'm going to make the pick here that WWE needs to make and that I think they will make, but I also fear I am terribly wrong about this one. WWE likes the Kane and Daniel Bryan gimmick. And while it has had its moments, the partnership has run its course. Rhodes Scholars would make a good heel tag team in the division (which admittedly needs babyfaces), and would provide a significant lift to two young stars and one fuzzy caterpillar. Come on, I had to make one mustache joke.
Prediction: Team Rhodes Scholars wins the WWE Tag Team Championships.
The Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio in a Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: While both championship matches are "pick 'em" matches, this one is even more wide open due to the continued push for Dolph Ziggler. A last man standing match creates the perfect environment for a cash in, and it sure does feel like they want to put the belt on Ziggler, and I think Ziggler vs. Del Rio as the opener at WrestleMania 29 is a great idea.
That said, Big Show has been doing great work, and there is the matter of Ryback's WrestleMania opponent out there. Ryback is a popular pick to win the Rumble and go on to challenge Big Show. I don't know how you get there logically, but it's WWE. Who needs logic? With all that going on, I'm going to pick what I want and say Del Rio wins either via gimmick or a returning Mark Henry interfering…
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio retains the World Heavyweight Championship.
Bonus Pick: Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship. …and then promptly loses the title to Dolph Ziggler who cashes in after either Big Show or Big E Langston do the damage to an already wounded Del Rio
The Rock vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship: Here's the big one. I' am confident in my pick, and yet if I am wrong I won't be surprised in the least. Either way this goes, we need a rematch. The build between Rock and Punk has been stellar, and I would love another month of the two of them going around. They can get there with either winner as long as Punk cheats to win, but that begs the question: What can Punk do to cheat?
The Shield are out, at least in theory. I guess it is possible that they show specifically to strip Punk, but I would have a real hard time with that. It doesn't make sense to suddenly turn on him like that. Brad Maddox is out there, but is he enough to cost the Rock the title? I'm sure the Rock Bottom afterward would be a real crowd pleaser, and I bet Maddox would be great running around screaming, "I beat the Rock," but I don't think he has enough credibility yet to be that guy.
So with Punk's options limited, and an absolute impossibility of Rock putting Punk over clean (this time anyway) the only option I see left is Rock walking away champ. It plays perfectly into Rock vs. Cena II and the redemption of John Cena. That idea makes me gag like a 14 year old girl at a sewage treatment plant, but this is WWE we are talking about. They lover their babyfaces.
Prediction: The Rock wins the WWE Championship.
The Royal Rumble Match: Picking the Rumble this year is a little bit of a crap shoot. While I am confident in my pick, the reality is that if Cena (or Ryback) isn't the guy, anything could happen. I think there are at least three guys who have a serious chance to win, even though most signs point to just one guy:
Dolph Ziggler: I do not think this is a good pick, but I would be stupid to not at least include him. WWE has set him up well over the past few weeks, losses to John Cena notwithstanding, and they have hinted at this as a possibility. I think there is little chance, but he's the guy I think has the best chance if it is neither of the top two guys.
Ryback: Take the Rock out of the equation and I give this match to Ryback completely. The guy has had a great year getting over, and while I'm not completely sold on him, there is no doubting his current star power. As much as the Ryback vs. Big Show option may intrigue some, I think the logic hill is too high to cross to get Ryback to choose the World Heavyweight Championship, and I don't see him headlining WrestleMania. At least not this year.
John Cena: When you look at the WWE Championship match, you begin to understand that the winner of the Rumble will see either an almost 500 day champion in CM Punk or The Rock sitting there. Why would the winner pick anybody but the WWE Champion to face? When you couple that with the fact that this is pre-determined, you realize there is only one guy who Vince McMahon sees as big enough to face either man. And he's the guy who is going to win the Rumble.
Prediction: John Cena wins the Royal Rumble.
Bonus Picks - Royal Rumble surpsises:
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