Hustle Is Posting Right Now - Royal Rumble Predictions (Who Will Win & Who Should Win)
Jan 24, 2014 - 10:36:14 AM
You rock, Maricel.
"It's time to Rumble.."
Do you smell that, folks?
Inhale deeply, and enjoy, for it is the smell of excitement in the air. We're only a couple days away from the Royal Rumble, which officially kicks off the Road To WrestleMania. For damn near every fan of WWE and their product, this is the best time of year, without a doubt. Like many of you, the Rumble event, and the Rumble itself, is one of my must-see things on the wrestling calendar every year, and this year is no different. I'm excited for some of the different possibilities that we might be getting, and there's a bit of unpredictability going into the event, as there are multiple outcomes that people are picking for the Rumble itself and for the WWE World Title match. I have a lot to say, so I don't want to waste too much more time here in the intro. As per usual with my pay-per-view predictions, I'll be picking who I think will win each match, and I'll also be picking who would win if I were the one in charge of the booking decisions. Sometimes, both of those picks will be the same, and others, they will be vastly different. Let's get on with this..
First things first, I think everyone is expecting a match or two to be added to the card, either at the last possible minute, or without announcement. It's becoming the "in" thing for WWE to do, for one reason or another. I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that we end up seeing AJ Lee VS Naomi at the Rumble, but perhaps not for the title. Who really knows with the Divas division at this point? It's a mess. Some fresh blood needs to hit the division, posthaste. Emma being shown on Raw and Smackdown is a nice start, but she won't be enough by herself. Either way, I'll pick AJ to win the match if we see it, for the title or not for the title, because you have to think the company is building towards AJ VS Tamina at some point. Whatever.
Cody Rhodes & Goldust VS New Age Outlaws - WWE Tag Team Title Match
Goldust. Road Dogg. Billy Gunn. These three men are not only involved in a match together in 2014, but they're involved in a pay-per-view (pre-show, yes, but it still counts in the record books) match for the WWE Tag Team Titles in 2014. That's incredible, and a mere few months ago, it's something that nobody would have been able to see coming.
We haven't seen a title match on a WWE pre-show since SummerSlam, when Dean Ambrose defended the United States Title against Rob Van Dam. We haven't seen a title change on a WWE pre-show since WrestleMania, when The Miz won the Intercontinental Title from Wade Barrett (only to drop the title back to Barrett on Raw the next night). We've seen a total of six title matches take place on YouTube pre-shows, and only twice have we seen titles change hands (Antonio Cesaro defeating Santino for the United States Title at SummerSlam 2012 being the other). Combine that with the New Age Outlaws not really being full-time performers, and the odds of a title change here aren't that great. It's probably about time that WWE begin to have some seeds of dissension planted between Cody Rhodes and Goldust if we're really going to get the on-again, off-again WrestleMania match where they face each other. Perhaps have one of them accidentally (or "accidentally") hit the other during the match, but not to the point that it costs them the victory. If that Mania match isn't going to happen, then I guess that changes the equation a bit, but I still don't see the Outlaws getting the straps here. They still connect with live crowds after all these years, but Cody and Goldust deserve a longer reign for the work they've been putting in, and I think they'll get it.
Who Will Win: Cody Rhodes & Goldust (Still Champions)
Who Should Win: Cody Rhodes & Goldust
Daniel Bryan VS Bray Wyatt
Well.. here we are. No matter what side of the fence you're on involving what I discussed in my last column, most of you will agree that this is not the match "we" wanted, nor expected, to see at this point in time. I have no doubt that it will be a good match, as Bryan is probably the best worker on the planet today, and Wyatt isn't exactly terrible, either. It just isn't what was expected, or at least hoped for. It is what it is, though, and this is the match we have.
Bryan has to win here, doesn't he? He just has to win. Even if he loses the match due to interference and all types of shenaniganery, how much of a hit does his momentum take if he loses here? Wyatt, for all the magic that he brings to the character, still isn't as over with live crowds as he probably should be, and yes, working with Bryan could/should help that, but I think a Wyatt win here might actually hurt him. The crowds are almost willing Bryan into a top spot, imagining it and forcing it into fruition. They want him to succeed in a way that is so organic, unlike just about anything I can ever recall seeing in my years of watching wrestling. When he stumbles, or when a road block is placed before him, it deflates those crowds. It will be a momentary deflation, and they seem to keep coming back, but they're coming back for Bryan, almost without concern for his opponents, etc. In a normal situation, a heel getting a win over a face can really help to get the heel over, especially if the heel wins by nefarious means. With Bryan, however, live crowds will almost go turn to sabotage (there's that word again, haters), showering the heel with.. chants for Daniel Bryan? That isn't getting the heel over. That's helping to get Bryan even more over. Most of the wonder with Bray Wyatt's character is his promos, where his fantastic vocal patterns and storytelling abilities shine through. How much can they shine if you can't hear anything he's saying over "YES! YES! YES!" and "DAN-IEL BRY-AN" chants, though? We've seen live crowds drown Triple H and Randy Orton out with those chants, flustering both men and knocking them off their game. Wyatt might not be able to recover from something like that. You have to give Bryan the win, letting him build momentum, and moving him away from this particular storyline, at least for the time being. It's time to see what the company truly has in store for him.
Who Will Win: Daniel Bryan
Who Should Win: Daniel Bryan
Big Show VS Brock Lesnar
This is a match that should be pretty easy to figure out. While it hasn't officially been announced, Lesnar placed himself right into the WWE World Title picture post-Rumble. That probably means that he'll be a part of an Elimination Chamber next month at.. wait for it.. Elimination Chamber, and not in a one-on-one match for the title, but it's still him being in the picture. If you're going to go in that direction, having him pick up a win over Big Show is a good first step, if you ask me. I've talked about it before, but Show is at that point in his career where wins and losses mean very little, if anything at all. If you're feuding with Show, and can actually pull off the victory against him, it will be treated as a huge deal, even if he's coming off of several other losses in a row. We already know that Brock can physically lift Show up into the air for both a Superplex and an F-5, but I'll be damned if it isn't super impressive every single time he does it. Giving him a clean victory over Show here doesn't hurt Show at all, but it's what Brock needs heading into the Chamber. The big question here is.. just how YOLO will YOLO Lesnar be? The man gives no fucks, bumping around the ring like he was some Cruiserweight that wasn't being paid a ridiculous amount of money. I have no doubt that he'll do it again here. He just needs to be careful. Like we saw in his match against John Cena at Extreme Rules, when he nearly destroyed his knee jumping over the top rope, that big bastard can be hurt as he builds up all that speed and force behind his every move. Take it easy, Brock. The big payday for 2014 is yet to come.
Who Will Win: Brock Lesnar
Who Should Win: Brock Lesnar
Randy Orton VS John Cena - WWE World Title Match (Match can only end by pinfall or submission)
This is the point on the card where things can really start to go in either direction. Conventional logic would tell you that Randy Orton should win here, simply based on the favorites to win the Rumble match. Pretty much everyone that you'll see making predictions will have Batista, CM Punk or Daniel Bryan as their winners. Orton facing any of those three at WrestleMania makes perfect sense and wouldn't need any change in storyline direction to make happen. On the other hand, conventional logic isn't exactly something WWE always uses when it comes to John Cena matches, giving him wins when they don't really make any sense. Would it surprise any of you to have Cena walk out of the pay-per-view as a 15-time World Champion? It sure as heck wouldn't surprise me, that's for sure. Even if Cena doesn't win here, there's still a pretty decent chance he wins the title at Elimination Chamber, anyway. Ric Flair's mark of 16 World Title reigns is going to fall, and it's going to fall hard, but that's a different story for a different column.
I'm listing this match before the Rumble because I think the Rumble will be the actual main event of the show. There just isn't an outcome I can see in this match that would be "worthy" of ending the show. Not with the possible outcomes that the Rumble itself can deliver, that is.
Even with the added "intrigue" of Orton attacking Cena's father, I just can't find myself getting completely invested in this match. There's too much going on elsewhere on the show for me to get excited about, we've seen these two face each other a million times before, and they can't build the match properly on the mic because Cena simply ethers Orton in that regard time and time again. If it were up to me, I would have Cena victorious, not just because I'm a fan of his, but because he's just more interesting. He gets a better reaction, he delivers better on the mic, he has good matches with a broader variety of opponents, and so on and so forth. However, while I think Cena should win, I don't think he will win. As I mentioned, there's just too many directions the company can go in that make sense if Orton is still the champion moving forward.
Who Will Win: Randy Orton (Still Champion)
Who Should Win: John Cena (New Champion)
Royal Rumble Match
Fun times are always had when it comes to predicting the winner of the Royal Rumble, and this year is no different. Right off the bat, you have to look at the three "favorites" I mentioned before.. Batista, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.
Of course, Bryan isn't even in the match, but with five unannounced entrants, he could always be added as a "surprise". Many of the people picking him are saying that it's the company's way of throwing some people off the scent, so to speak. No Bryan in the Rumble, people are sad.. boom.. Bryan's in the Rumble, he wins, people are happy. I don't really buy that line of thinking, and the people predicting him to win are proof of that, in an odd sort of way. It isn't going to be a huge surprise because so many people are positive that he'll be in the Rumble.
Punk has long odds working against him, now that he has been given the first spot. To win, he'll have to go the distance, something only Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit have been able to do in the history of the event. The storylines are being written for him to do just that, and if not, come damn close to it. Beefing with The Authority tends to place you in situations like that.
Batista, as you should probably be aware of by now, just made his return to the promotion. Moments before he even showed up on Raw, hints at a possible feud between Batista and Randy Orton were being teased. With their history in Evolution, and with Triple H running things, that feud would make perfect sense, even if it isn't one that a lot of people want to see.
If you want to look further, you probably have to go down the "surprise entrant wins the Rumble" route to do so. I've seen a lot of people predict Sheamus as the winner. I've seen a few people who think The Undertaker will make his return and win. I've even seen one or two think Sting shocks the world by showing up and winning the Rumble. See, I'm crazy, but I'm not that crazy.
As of this very second, I haven't even decided if I think Bryan will be in the Rumble or not, so I'm pretty much winging the rest of this paragraph, if not the entire section. There is so much to be gained by him winning, and the pop that he would receive when he eliminates the final person would be insane. It's that kind of reaction that would make the Rumble match deserving of main eventing the show, because it's that kind of reaction that would top anything Cena or Orton could do in winning the WWE World Title match. As much as I want to see it.. and, boy howdy, do I want to see it.. I just can't bring myself to make the official prediction.
I just can't shake the feeling that Batista is going to be the man. I have Orton winning the previous match, and if he's going to be the WWE World Champion coming out of the Royal Rumble, then it just makes sense for Batista to be named as his Mania challenger, should Orton make it out of Elimination Chamber with the belt. As much as I don't want to see it.. and, boy howdy, do I not want to see it.. I just can't bring myself to make any other prediction.
Who Will Win: Batista
Who Should Win: Daniel Bryan
Just for the hell of it, let's make some mini-predictions for the Rumble itself, shall we?
Who will the five unannounced entrants be?: Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Kevin Nash, Dolph Ziggler & Bad News Barrett
Who stays in the Rumble the longest?: CM Punk
Who stays in the Rumble the shortest?: Xavier Woods
Who has the most eliminations?: Roman Reigns (10 eliminations before being dumped out by Dean Ambrose)
Who gets the cursed #14 spot?: R-Truth
There you have it, guys and gals. I'll turn it over to you for your predictions now. Let's see how they differ from what I just picked.
Enjoy the show!
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