Shore's WWE Royal Rumble preview and predictions: Will John Cena or Randy Orton win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Can Daniel Bryan exorcise Bray Wyatt? Who will win the Royal Rumble match?
By Chris Shore
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The Royal Rumble: WWE's thinness at the top of the card has created a very small pool of credible winners for this year's Rumble, with Batista and CM Punk being the only guys that make sense from the announced participants. Of course there are plenty of spots available for some of the other stars to make their way to the winner's circle. While that's part of what makes the Rumble fun, it's also what makes this year's Rumble so incredibly weak. We don’t know who is in the match and so we don't know who looks strong.
With all of that said, I have to believe it’s Daniel Bryan who enters as a "surprise" and wins. It can't be CM Punk because of his feud with the Authority. In fact I fully expect shenanigans with Punk. It could be Batista because I do believe that was the plan before the crowd continued to go insane for Bryan, but I hope not. Batista challenging for the title at WrestleMania, regardless of the opponent, just doesn't feel like a big deal after his lackluster return. So I'm picking Daniel Bryan to win, even if I don't feel all that secure in my pick.
Daniel Bryan wins the Royal Rumble.
Randy Orton vs. John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The match WWE tried to get us to focus on is the match they did a terrible job of promoting. They did all the things they were supposed to do: having both guys on TV each week, promo spots, fighting spots; but all of them nearly put the people watching to sleep. The brawl on the go home Raw was dreadful and may have actually been the high spot of the feud. I can't imagine anyone, even Cena's fans, are clamoring for a title change outside of just wanting to see someone other than poorly booked Orton hold the belt. I want to see Bryan vs. Cena for the title again at Mania, and since I picked Bryan for the Rumble, I'll pick Cena here to make it happen.
John Cena wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show: I'm cautiously optimistic that these two can have a decent match, and while WWE has done an OK job of building the match--after rushing into it--I'm not exactly on fire for this match either. It seems a huge waste of a Brock Lesnar match, even if they are able to deliver a quality match, and I don't feel like Brock gets anything out of the win, which is my pick. Having Show go over makes absolutely no sense.
Brock Lesnar wins.
Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt. The most rushed feud in the history of WWE hopefully blows over after this PPV, and I'm going to pick against Bryan here simply because I think they will put him under if he is going to go over in the Rumble. I don’t like that idea, I think he should go over on both, but I also understand the need to protect Wyatt and the idea is that the Rumble win makes everyone forget about the loss to Wyatt. The problem is everyone will forget about the loss to Wyatt, meaning whatever Wyatt gains from the win would be lost as well. It’s a tough situation, but I'm not sympathetic. If WWE had listened to the fans months ago they wouldn’t have had to make this clunky transition.
Bray Wyatt wins.
Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. The New Age Outlaws for the WWE Tag Team Championship. The Kick-Off match should be a good one for the Rumble. Fans will already be looking forward to some nostalgia acts in the Rumble match itself, so they will be hot for the Outlaws, and to a lesser degree (only because he has been around) Goldust. Normally WWE wants to put babyfaces over on the pre-show to give fans the feel good moment to entice them to buy, and I expect that to play out here. This could be a sleeper match if the Outlaws are well rested. They haven't been as crisp as of late, but I think if they are rested, and Goldust works like he has been since his return, this could be a very fun match.
The Brotherhood retain the WWE Tag Team Championships.
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