Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to my WWE Royal Rumble Predictions! The event takes place this Sunday (January 27th) from the US Airways Centre in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Royal Rumble has always been my 2nd favourite annual WWE PPV, behind WrestleMania. There’s always an exciting atmosphere amongst the WWE Universe whenever the Royal Rumble takes place, because we all know that we’re on the Road to WrestleMania, where we find out who will be competing in one of the main-events at the Showcase of the Immortals.
The Royal Rumble is one of the most exciting matches of the year, for its unpredictability in terms of who will win, who will return and who will put on a great showing. Kofi Kingston won a Slammy Award for saving himself with a handstand at last year’s Rumble and I remember being very impressed with The Miz’s performance as well, so it goes to show that the winner is not the only notable participant. This year’s event is sure to get people talking, with The Rock taking on CM Punk for the WWE Championship, not to mention the Royal Rumble match itself. Another great thing about this event is the theme song! I quite like ‘The Heavy’, so it’s pretty cool that ‘What makes a good Man’ is the theme for this event.
You could say that there’s a lot riding on this event and my predictions, because after the last two editions of the SLTD Predictions League, I’ve been left at the #1 Spot. I’m currently joined at the top by SLTD Radio’s own ‘Scottish Nightmare’, George, who I’m sure would love nothing more than to edge me away from the #1 Spot!
As usual, my predictions come in the order that I think the matches should appear at the event, and with that being said, let’s get to my predictions for the 26th Annual Royal Rumble!
Pre-Show: Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. The Miz for the United States Championship
I would’ve booked this match to have its own spot on the televised portion of the PPV, but it’s certainly going to be a great way to start the show nonetheless. It’s a good idea to open the event with some relatively big mid-card names like Cesaro and Miz, as opposed to lower mid-carders like JTG and Santino Marella. That way, the crowd will get more into it, and will be electric when the show goes live. I’ll let the fact that it’s only a YouTube “exclusive” slide, considering the Royal Rumble is a tough event to book in terms of time, due to the Rumble match itself taking around an hour from start to finish.
I’m expecting this match to be a rather good one, considering not only the build-up, but the immense talent these guys have. The Miz has certainly turned things around since his face turn, and with a possible alliance with Ric Flair, his future could be bright in the next few months. Antonio Cesaro is one of the most entertaining Superstars in the company right now, and I know this year will also be huge for the Swiss Sensation. It’s clear that both men will have what’s sure to be a great year in 2013, but it all starts this Sunday at the Royal Rumble.
As for the match result, I’m predicting a win for Antonio Cesaro. The man has managed to redeem some of the prestige that the United States Championship lost with Santino Marella in early 2012, so losing the belt on a Pre-Show wouldn’t help Cesaro or the Title. If The Miz, or anyone else for that matter, does happen to defeat Cesaro for the Championship, it’s hopefully going to be televised live on PPV, because that’s what the match would deserve. I also think Cesaro should win, because if he’s holding the title from now until after WrestleMania, it’ll be harder for him to get lost in the shuffle as we lead to the big event. The finish will see Antonio Cesaro hit ‘The Neutralizer’ on The Miz to retain the gold.
Winner and still United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro
Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto del Rio (c) vs Big Show
Normally I wouldn’t have put this match as the opener to an event as big as this, but considering how there are only 4 matches announced for the main card, it was the only way to go. I was quite surprised that they added the ‘Last Man Standing’ stipulation to this match again, but it didn’t take long to figure out the possibility of Dolph Ziggler cashing in Money in the Bank.
If you’ve been reading AOB’s WWE Week in Review lately, you’ll know that I think Alberto Del Rio is merely a transitional Champion, and his reign will be extremely short-lived. So, with the fact that the aim of this match is to decimate your opponent to the point where they can’t answer the count of ten, how easy would it be for Ziggler to swoop in and take on the winner immediately after the bout? It will most likely be Del Rio if it does happen, because it’ll be a lot easier to cash in on him than on Big Show.
Eliminating the idea of a cash-in, I think this has the potential to be a very good match. The first Last Man Standing match between these two men on SmackDown wasn’t bad, so we could see things get a lot more extreme this time around. They wouldn’t want to produce the exact same match as last time, right? In a lot of previous cases, WWE have tried to add twists, turns and more exciting moments to a match as big as this one when it’s being repeated, so we could see a surprise ending, such as both men being counted down, like the Last Man Standing match ended between Shawn Michaels and Triple H at the Royal Rumble in 2004, I think.
The most likely conclusion, however, and my prediction for the match, will see Alberto Del Rio take a brutal beating similar to last time, and find a way to pull off the victory after a sudden rush of adrenaline. We’ll see Del Rio defeat Big Show by putting him through the announce table, the security barrier, or another big move like those. Whatever happens after the match is anyone’s guess. I personally think a cash-in is imminent, but you never know. It could happen on Raw or SmackDown instead.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio
WWE Tag-Team Championship match: Team Hell No (c) vs Team Rhodes Scholars
All 4 participants in this tag-team match are superb wrestlers, so I’ve been excited to see them go at it for the titles for a long time. I think that we would’ve definitely seen the match a lot sooner if Cody Rhodes hadn’t injured his shoulder on Main Event over a month ago, and if it had been scheduled for an event like TLC, I would’ve predicted a win for Team Hell No. However, considering the fact that we are gearing up fast on the Road to WrestleMania, there’s a little hint of unpredictability in this match as far as I’m concerned. As I’ve mentioned before, I’d be very interested in seeing Daniel Bryan and Kane facing off at WrestleMania, and I wouldn’t be quick to rule it out as a possibility. If that’s going to happen, it’s going to need some excellent build-up, and for them to lose the tag-team titles.
Also, considering how Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are still in the early stage of their careers, I’m going to rule out a Royal Rumble win for either of them this Sunday. Instead, I think they’re going to win the Tag-Team Championships, and hold onto them until after WrestleMania 29, so, similarly to what I said about Antonio Cesaro, they can avoid being lost in the shuffle during WWE’s biggest time of the year. My prediction for this match is that Kane and Daniel Bryan fail to work together properly, and it leads to Bryan getting hit with Cross Rhodes to earn Team Rhodes Scholars their first WWE Tag Team Championship together.
Winners and new WWE Tag Team Champions: Team Rhodes Scholars
WWE Championship match: CM Punk (c) vs The Rock
This match is going to be huge. No doubt about it. The build-up has been great overall, leaving little to be desired, but when we saw The Rock and CM Punk engage in that huge brawl nearly 2 weeks ago, that’s when I knew that this match was going to be great. You’ve got an icon like The Rock, who came back to the WWE to defeat John Cena at WrestleMania 28, and he’s definitely going to be the favourite in this match. Then you’ve got CM Punk, who’s currently the longest reigning WWE Champion of the last 25 years (and counting). CM Punk is not going to want to lose to The Rock, especially since he wrestles nearly every day of the week, and Rock has wrestled twice since 2004. Rock winning the Championship is definitely going to get people talking. It’s huge for the company, but think of the ramifications. Will he wrestle on Monday Night Raw? Will he appear at house shows or live events? The most likely answer is no.
Although I see The Rock picking up the Championship between now and WrestleMania (I just know it’s going to happen), they can’t go more than 2 months without having someone there at every show, every tour and every interview. I also think that The Rock is going to be a really obvious prediction for some of you guys. I, for one, think that CM Punk beating Rock would be way bigger news than the other way around. We saw The Shield attack Rock on Raw, so who’s to say that he’ll even be at 100% this Sunday?
CM Punk will be stripped of the title if The Shield interfere, so here’s how I predict the match will end. Rock and CM Punk are beating the holy hell out of each other, when the referee is inadvertently knocked out. Out comes Brad Maddox (who was finally hired by Paul Heyman this week on Raw), and he’s wearing a referee t-shirt. He helps CM Punk to defeat The Rock, allowing the title reign to continue, and order to be restored.
Winner and still WWE Champion: CM Punk
30-Man Royal Rumble match where the winner gets a WWE/World Title match at WrestleMania 29
There are several people that I’d like to win this match, but only few that I think have a chance at winning. The obvious choice is John Cena, who will most likely be challenging The Rock for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, but I think there’s a way around that so that Cena doesn’t win. It’d be easy for him to win a #1 Contender’s Elimination Chamber match next month! That way, he doesn’t have to win this match, which is supposed to be designed to push young talent. So you can cross Cena off of my list.
Although they have the potential to win, I’m going to eliminate Randy Orton and Sheamus from my predictions as well. They are rumoured to be facing each other at ‘Mania this year, but I don’t want it to be somebody who has already won before, unless it’s a huge surprise like Stone Cold or The Undertaker (a kid can dream). I’d like to see Cesaro, Ziggler, Sandow, Rhodes and Bryan win, but out of them, Dolph has definitely got the best chance. We already know that Dolph will be one of the first 2 guys to start the match, so how epic would it be if he won? Plus, I think it’s high time we got a push for Dolph Ziggler, and although it may be a waste, considering he already has the briefcase, I think it would be cool if he had 2 opportunities to win championship gold pretty soon. My prediction is that Dolph Ziggler goes from coast to coast, winning the 2013 Royal Rumble match.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
That’s all she wrote, folks! I’ll be back this Sunday morning with AOB’s WWE Week in Review. I hope you all have fun watching this Sunday’s Royal Rumble, and if you enjoyed reading my predictions, please be sure to leave a like on Facebook, a tweet or a comment down below! I’ll be live-tweeting during the Royal Rumble this Sunday night, but if you want to talk to me about wrestling, my writing or anything at all before that, be sure to follow me on Twitter @AdamOB96. Thanks for reading!