Posted by James Tee
The Royal Rumble is usually one of the most anticipated PPVs of the year in the WWE. Its signature match is, indeed, a determining factor that shapes up the WrestleMania card with several rivalries and often unveils the company’s next breakout star(s). However, this year seems to be quite special, mainly due to the comeback of many “part-time” wrestlers such as The Rock, Brock Lesnar, Undertaker and, possibly, Steve Austin. These returns obviously have a tremendous impact on the booking of this match as a result. We, at WrestlingNews.net, give you our thoughts about who should be the last man standing this year.
Candidate #1: Ryback (picked by Ilyass Garara)
No matter how we look at it, Ryback’s main event push is far from being a success. Despite him being deemed “unstoppable”, it looks as if the only goal was to feed him to Punk (no pun intended). While his in ring work remains debatable, the current status of the character is not good and WWE definitely needs some help in order to bring back his early momentum.
Since the WWE Championship seems to have enough contenders for the time being, I suppose that a win at the Royal Rumble would probably put him against the World Heavyweight Champion. Unfortunately, the booking will be quite delicate as Alberto Del Rio has just turned face and Big Show winning it back would weaken the Mexican aristocrat as well. Heel turn maybe? Time (and Vince) will tell.
- James Tee’s reply:
Ryan Reeves has always been one step away from being a legitimate main event star. Ever since he first appeared on the $1,000,000 Tough Enough, there is no denying he has an impressive look. However, on that occasion, Daniel Puder beat him to the main prize. After being released, and subsequently re-signed, he was forced to ditch the Ryback gimmick and was part of the first season of NXT as Skip Sheffield; a character that insulted both the intelligence of the fan and Reeves. However, after breaking his ankle at the height of The Nexus, Reeves was taken away from the spotlight at a time where the whole of the WWE was ahead of him.
Now as Ryback, it appeared that he would become a world champion due to his impressive connection with the WWE Universe. However, I can only see yet more disappointment for him. All I can think is that if unsuccessful at the Rumble, he will become just another Bobby Lashley. Vinny Mac does love his big men though, and at the moment, there is no bigger man than Ryback.
Candidate #2: Dolph Ziggler (picked by James Tee)
It goes without saying that Dolph Ziggler is one of the most impressive workers in all of sports entertainment. However, his journey to the top has often stalled, and he needs something to take him to that permanent main event level.
Despite the fact that he holds the Money in the Bank briefcase, there is no reason why Ziggler cannot win the Rumble; the potential to build him either as an arrogant heel or a cocky face in the run up to Wrestlemania must be something appealing to WWE management.
- Ilyass Garara’s reply:
Even though I think other wrestlers are more deserving to win, this option still sounds interesting. His Money in the Bank briefcase is not an issue, the simplest booking would have him fail to cash it in after the World Heavyweight Championship only to win the Royal Rumble later on.
On the other hand, I am not expecting that to happen because he is set to enter at #1 or #2. That means he was probably selected to stay in the Rumble the longest, which, in itself, is a great sign of confidence from management. No matter what the plans are, I honestly hope he will get a better treatment than the jobbing he did against John Cena these recent weeks.
Candidate #3: John Cena (picked by James Tee)
Although I am not a fan of the superman style gimmick, nor the prospect of another Rock – Cena matchup at Wrestlemania, it is not hard to see Cena winning the Rumble. I honestly think that Rumble night will be a night full of swerves and, for the first time in many years, there are many people who could win the Rumble match.
However, it is Cena in my view that could be the biggest swerve of all. Nobody has really talked him winning the match itself, and considering his history with Punk and Rock, maybe it is such a simple scenario, that WWE will go through and make Cena a multiple time Rumble winner.
- Ilyass Garara’s reply:
Well, we just couldn’t avoid this option could we? First of all, I think the current plans are still to book The Rock vs Cena 2 at WrestleMania despite the positive reactions to The Rock’s feud with CM Punk. Unless these plans change, I think Cena does not need a 2nd Royal Rumble win as the match should be used to elevate an unestablished worker. He has reached that level where he does not need to win the big matches in order to be featured in main-event programs, just look at the 2012 PPVs. Still, knowing how WWE’s lazy booking happens when we want it the least, part of me says many fans will be disappointed by the end of this Sunday night.
Candidate #4: Daniel Bryan (picked by Ilyass Garara)
While his Tag Team match significantly weakens his chances, I am still expecting the former American Dragon to shine during the Rumble match. I believe Team Hell No has run its course and it is time for him to get a second shot to main-event WrestleMania. We all know that he can deliver outstanding matches and his mic’ skills turned out to be way better than expected.
In my opinion, the best scenario would be to lose the Tag Team Championship to Team Rhodes Scholars in order to initiate some internal tension. During the Royal Rumble match, Daniel Bryan eliminates Kane and wins it later on. A short feud with the Big Red Machine will follow before he can switch to his title feud. At WrestleMania, he will finally get the chance to “avenge” his 18 seconds loss. It is very unlikely to happen, but miracles do happen in the WWE.
- James Tee’s reply:
There is no doubting the impressive athletic pedigree of Daniel Bryan, and arguably, he is the best all-rounder in the WWE today. His mic work over the past nine months has been absolutely delightful, and it is clear Kane has brought out the best in the Aberdeen, Washington native. The pros of Daniel Bryan winning the Royal Rumble are almost too obvious. The man is yet to have the Wrestlemania classic any wrestling fan would love to see. It would also give him the chance to have a respectable main event match, but I just cannot see Bryan being the last man standing this Sunday.
For starters, I think that he will be an early entrant, probably within the first ten, therefore hampering his chances of survival. On top of that, there are too many potential feuds going into Wrestlemania that the obvious solution would be Kane vs Daniel Bryan to settle the Hell No feud.
The only thing that would change my opinion is if we see a heel turn before the Royal Rumble match. A heel Daniel Bryan would almost certainly be in the final four, and from there on in, it is very rare that we are able to pick an obvious winner.
In Daniel Bryan’s own words; Will he win the Royal Rumble? No, No, No.
Remember that these predictions express our own opinions. If you do not agree, which is encouraged, please leave your comments in the section below. Make sure you also take a look at our Countdown to Royal Rumble where you can relive some legendary moments and have a look at several statistics.
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