Chair Shots: Royal Rumble 2014 Prediction Column
Jan 24, 2014 - 10:30:11 AM
Welcome back everybody to the column that is NOT one of the surprise entrants in the 2014 Royal Rumble- Chair Shots! Now we’re only a few short days away from one of my favorite PPV’s of the year, the Rumble. I’ve been watching wrestling a long time, and remember watching the very first Royal Rumble on the USA Network when I was living at home with my parents. I was just starting to see this girl, and we talked on the phone throughout the event. I basically play by played the entire thing for her, as she was just getting into wrestling at the time. A mid-carder won the very first Rumble, in Hacksaw Jim Duggan, but those days are long gone. With the automatic shot to Main Event Wrestlemania, the days anything less than a top-tier player winning the thing are a thing of the past. Unfortunately I feel that has taken away the mystique a little bit. Yes, there are 30 men in the Rumble, but realistically only about 5-6 of them have any chance at winning the thing. They’re still fun to watch though, and hopefully this year’s edition will be enjoyable as well. So let’s get on with the card shall we?
RhodesDust vs. The New Age Outlaws (Tag Title Match)
The Royal Rumble pre-show kicks off with what should be a hot opener, as the stalwarts of the Attitude Era, The NAO return to PPV face the hottest team on the planet, Cody Rhodes and Goldust. Nobody is better in the tag-team scene right now then the Rhodes’ boys and Goldust continues to impress me with his tremendous resurgence in the squared circle. Just think about it, this is a man that has been as low as you can get in the sport. He’s gone on record saying there were nights he competed in TNA that he doesn’t even remember. Yet here he is now doing some of the best work of his career side by side with his brother Cody, who is fantastic in his own right. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there isn’t a better “feel good” story in wrestling right now then Dustin Runnels.
On the flip side of things, The Road Dogg and Billy Gunn are back on the scene firmly entrenched in the Authority storyline, most recently bailing on CM Punk during a tag match with The Shield. Now, they’re going after the gold against two men who have also bucked The Authority on more than one occasion. While I am a huge fan of what the Outlaws did during their time, I think their age is starting to show. Gunn’s performance against Punk on Raw was OK, but he’s definitely lost a step or two after many years in the squared circle. However, I see a title change occurring here, mainly because I think it’s time to give The Uso’s a shot at the gold. And with a heel team to track down, there is a good shot we may see that. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a RhodesDust/New Age Outlaws/Uso’s Triple Threat match somewhere down the road. The tag team division is hot right now, and I really hope it stays that way.
Winners- The New Age Outlaws
Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan
I suspect this match will be the opener for the PPV, and what better way to get the crowd into the show than with the YES! Man himself, Daniel Bryan. Now whether or not DB is in the Rumble remains to be seen. At last count, there were still five spots remaining and Bryan was NOT announced as a participant at the time of this column. Whatever the case, D-Bry will certainly do his best to steal the show in a match against his current adversary, Bray Wyatt.
Now I know there is a lot of mixed feelings about Bryan’s place in the card right now. Is he buried? Is he getting pushed? Was the Wyatt Family idea horrible? Was it entertaining? All of these questions have been batted around in just about every conceivable way possible. I’m one of those that enjoyed the story for what it was, with the hopes that there are bigger things in store for the current IWC darling. I mean he most certainly deserves the WWE World Heavyweight Title right? I don’t think anyone is more over at the moment. Why the WWE isn’t acting on that is beyond me. All I can hope is there is a bigger picture yet to unfold and that he will have his much deserved title reign.
As for this match, Bryan needs to win, but more importantly, Bray Wyatt needs to look good. He hasn’t had a lot of in-ring time to this point, and this is probably his biggest match to date. If Wyatt tanks in the match, the push may come to a close. While he is great as the leader of the bizarre cult-like family, he needs to be able to perform. I hope he comes out of this looking good and The Wyatt’s continue to get pushed.
Winner- Daniel Bryan
Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar
A while ago, I wrote a column talking about how I felt the return of Brock Lesnar has been less than stellar. With such a limited number of dates, it’s very hard to get any sort of momentum behind him. He comes and goes, wrestles a match on a PPV, and then disappears again for a month or two. Now Lesnar comes back claiming to be the self-proclaimed #1 contender to the WWE World Title. That means, as we get firmly entrenched in WM season, Lesnar will be staking his claim to the Main Event at the biggest event of the year. I’m not really sure how I feel about that. Does Lesnar deserve to have that spot over others that have busted their ass all year to get there? Personally I say no, but I don’t make the decisions.
As for the Rumble, Lesnar goes one on one with the “Face Today, Heel Tomorrow” Big Show in a feud that has little to no build-up whatsoever. They’ve had a couple of encounters that have seen Show manhandle Lesnar, making him scream like girl from “Toddlers and Tiaras” that just lost their Little Miss Bumblebee Pageant. Seriously, Lesnar needs to stop making any vocal sounds whatsoever. No talking, no screaming, not even a grunt. I’d be fine with a big old muzzle over his mouth, because every time he opens it I lose any ability to take him seriously. Whatever the case, Lesnar wants a title shot; Show is floundering about doing not much of anything. This one should be a no-brainer with Brock coming out on top.
Winner- Brock Lesnar
John Cena vs. Randy Orton (WWE World Title Match)
So for all the hype at TLC about unifying titles, and Orton vs. Cena being a monumental match that will be remembered forever, the match itself was quite the disappointment. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t the epic encounter it was made out to be. So of course that means we’re going to do it again this PPV in a straight up one fall match that will signal the 82nd time (maybe an exaggeration) that these two men have fought for the gold. I’m not a huge fan of either of these men, but I can firmly respect what John Cena has done for the WWE. He’s their Iron Man, putting it all out there for the company no matter what people think of him. He can put on some fantastic matches with the right person. Randy Orton is not that person.
For whatever reason, Cena and Orton don’t click in the ring. I think Cena’s best matches are against opponents that are going to push him to put on a great match. CM Punk wants to be the best match every night. Daniel Bryan wants to be the best match every night. They get upset if they aren’t. I don’t get that same feeling from Randy Orton. A lot of times I think Orton coasts through matches, never really doing more than he has to. For me, Orton has never proven that he is “The Guy.” He’s never been much of a draw in the Main Event scene, and I hope that come Wrestlemania he is without the belt. Regardless of those feelings, I think Orton will come out of this on top, setting up a fight for the gold at Elimination Chamber next month with Cena/Batista/Lesnar/Punk/Bryan/Orton.
Winner- Randy Orton
Now before I get to the Rumble itself, there have been talks that AJ Lee vs. Naomi COULD be added to the card once they lay out match times and such. While it would be some nice filler, I don’t really feel the need for it personally. I’d let them have their match the next night on Raw, and have AJ retain and start gearing up her feud with Tamina from there. OK, moving on!
Royal Rumble 2014
Rumble time always brings up great discussions. Who will be #1? Will there be any surprise entrants? Who will have the most eliminations this year? Who will be in the match the longest? All of questions can elicit any number of responses, except for the first one. We already know going into the match that CM Punk has been given the #1 spot by Corporate Kane as punishment for bucking his Authori-tay! I actually see Punk going very deep in this match, possibly also answering the question of who will last the longest. There is always one workhorse in the match, and if it isn’t Punk, I could see it very easily being Seth Rollins of The Shield.
As for surprise entrants, I expect to see the return of Sheamus at the Rumble and possibly RVD as well. There has also been talk of Chris Jericho returning, but I don’t know if that will happen just yet. While not announced for the match, I very much hope to see Daniel Bryan appear as well. What I don’t want to see if a wasted spot like The Godfather last year, who entered the ring and was immediately eliminated from the match. That’s just ridiculous and a spot that could have been given to another deserving star.
The most eliminations I see coming from the current beast of the WWE, Roman Reigns. Reigns has been rumoured to be having a breakout moment at the Rumble, and if all goes according to plan we’ll not only see him get that moment, but further continuation of tension between the members of The Shield. I like Reigns a lot, and a Reigns vs. Rollins vs. Ambrose match at Wrestlemania would really look good on that card.
Now it’s time to pick a winner. All reports to date point towards Batista winning the Rumble. I’m not happy about that one bit. Like Orton, I’ve never been a huge Batista fan, and this is a man that hasn’t yet wrestled a match. The Rumble will be his first match since he left the WWE and tried to unsuccessfully make his mark in MMA, and somewhat successfully make a mark in movies. Does he deserve to win the match? Do the fan get screwed once again with a part-timer coming back and taking up a share of the spotlight? I hate how many part-timers are hogging spots right now. It drives me crazy. The Rock did it. Lesnar continues to do it. Batista will be doing it. It shows a lack of faith in today’s talent and it’s a bit of a slap in the face to those that work hard to get where they are. I think we all know who I’m talking about here. So for this prediction, I’m going to give who I think will win, and who I want to win.
Who I Think Will Win- Batista
Who I WANT To Win- Daniel Bryan
So there you have it, my picks for the 2014 Rumble. While I don’t think there’s a lot of unpredictability in the undercard, I do think the Rumble itself has a lot of question marks around it. Are the reports of Batista winning true, or just a red herring put out by the WWE? We’ll find out on Sunday, so until that time let’s count it down.
Until next time,
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