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That's right, boys and girls, I have found time in my extremely busy schedule to grace you plebeians by writing a Pay Per Preview. Why? Because it's the Royal Rumble.....Damnit! This is the time of the year when the WWE ups its game to prime time in preparation for the biggest event of the year: Wrestlemania. There is no way, I would have missed coming back and doing a Royal Rumble Preview. Besides, it's not just an old Royal Rumble, it's the biggest Royal Rumble ever. There will be 40 people competing in one match to see who will be going to face the champion, of their respective brand, at Wrestlemania.
Let's delve right into the whole 40 man Rumble issue right now, I know many of my fellow internet wrestling fans are not happy with such a change to the beloved Rumble. Some of you say that the match will be watered down, others complain that it will tarnish some of the history that's associated with the match i.e. Kane eliminating 11 men in one match. I can see where you guys are coming from, but I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you people. First of, the Rumble is a clusterfuck of a match to begin with in the first place, so enough of this horseshit about having the watch watered down. Look, the Rumble isn't some sort of classic wrestling bout that you will be talking about for years to come, it's a 60 minute match that features a bunch of men attempting to throw each over the top rope. Along the way, we get a bunch of surprises, some drama, a couple of pretty neat spots, more drama, and if we are lucky there is a major surprise or two in there. Essentially, that is the Royal Rumble. Now, you get that for 80 or 90 minutes instead of the traditional 60 minutes, which is why I find it mind boggling as to why anyone would complain about the change to 40 men in the Rumble. Another reason as to why the Rumble got expanded to 40 mean was to facilitate the inclusion of The Corre and The New Nexus into the Royal Rumble. For anyone who watched Raw last Monday it was painfully obvious that at some point in the Rumble, the two factions will face off against one another (more on them later), and it will heighten the tension of the drama and the Royal Rumble. Stop complaining about the change to this year's Rumble because it's ultimately a good thing.
On the second point of previous records being tarnished due to this year's longer and larger Rumble, I sympathize with you guys a bit more. If adding 10 extra men to the Rumble was simply a ploy to have John Cena enter #1 and overcome the odds by breaking Mysterio's record of lasting 62 minutes in the 2006 Royal Rumble or shattering Kane's record of 11 eliminations, I would be beyond pissed. Hell, my worst case scenario for the night and journey to Wrestlemania is the potential main event of John Cena vs. Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 27. If this ends up occurring, you can be rest assured that I will be skipping Wrestlemania this year since I absolutely hate the Jizzbucket known as Randy Orton and find myself sickened by the corniness of Cena. Having stated that, I don't think the WWE is heading in the direction of Orton vs Cena at Wrestlemania which is why I'm still excited about the Road to Wrestlemania. What direction do I think the WWE is heading in for the Mania main event? You will have to read on to find out.
Let's get it started off with Finger Eleven's "Living in a Dream" which is this year's official Royal Rumble Theme.
Natalya (Champion) vs. Lay Cool
2-on-1 Handicap Match for the Divas Championship
Fans of the blog already know this but for those of you who are new or are reading for the first time, I will make something clear. We have a rule on Vintage Blogs when it comes to Women's wrestling, we don't really cover it. It's not because we're sexist (although we are) it's just because women's wrestling absolutely sucks. Moreover, the WWE Creative team does not put any effort into the booking and storylines for their for women's division so why should I waste my valuable time covering their shitty matches. If the WWE does ever go back to giving a shit about the Women's division, we will give the Divas their rightful coverage.
Edge (Champion) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Singles Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Singles Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Matches like these are one of the reasons as to why the Royal Rumble is one of my favorite PPV's of the year. Normally, you wouldn't get to see an upper midcarder like Ziggler get a title shot at a major PPV but since the Royal Rumble match itself is the big attraction of the PPV, they can put guys like Ziggler in a title match to reward him for being one of the best wrestlers during the past year. His series of matches with Daniel Bryan, the heat he draws with Vickie Guerrero and his overall improvement have shown that Dolph Ziggler clearly has the goods to one day become a World Champion. With this match against Edge, he has the opportunity to show Vince and the management just what he can bring to the table in a main event match. If Ziggler does well, we will see him become a World Champion before the year ends ala Jeff Hardy 2008. As for his chances against Edge on Sunday...... Yeah, I don't forsee Dolph going into Mania or Elimination Chamber as the World Heavyweight Champion.
Prediction - Edge Retains the World Heavyweight Championship
The Miz (Champion) vs. Randy Orton
Singles Match for the WWE Championship
Singles Match for the WWE Championship
As I stated above, the the thought of a main event featuring Randy Orton vs John Cena at Wrestlemania 27 terrifies me which is why I will be fervently rooting for The Miz to pull out a victory. I believe there is a very good chance that he will be able to do so since the company, particularly Vince McMahon, is really high on him. The Miz has been nothing but spectacular in his time as the WWE Champion. As usual, he has been stellar on the mic when he has been called on to do a promo. When provided with a quality opponent (ie John Morrison) he has delivered spectacular matches. In fact, his match against Morrison that started off the New Year on Raw is an early Match of the Year candidate (see below). Away from the wrestling ring, he has done more publicity work that any other wrestler barring maybe John Cena. I think the WWE rewards The Miz as they have a very interesting match for him at Wrestlemania. For clearence purposes, I'm not being cryptic for the sake of being cryptic, my Royal Rumble pick should make it a lot clearer.
Prediction - The Miz Retains the WWE Championship
This is what you have all been waiting for, this was what you came to read. Unfortunately, as any good Communications major knows, you have to tease everyone a bit before giving the big reveal up which is why we are going to go through a list of guys who will either a) have no fucking shot what so ever b) possible surprise entrants c) possibly returning from injury d) workhorses of the match or e) Serious Contenders .
A - Have No Shot What So Ever Category
Actually, the majority of the Rumble participants should be in this particular category; however, I'm 0nly going to cover a few of the major ones.
Mark Henry - No matter how many times the WWE tries to build him up before the Rumble, every one of us knows that the artist formerly known as Sexual Chocolate will not be winning the Royal Rumble.
The Corre barring Wade Barrett - You can say it as much as you want but the 4 guys in The Corre will never be equals. Out of those 4, the WWE is the highest on Barrett and Gabriel but as of right now, the only one who maybe ready for a main event push is Wade Barrett, which is why he is the only Corre member who has a shot.
Santino Marrella - He has the record (1 second) for the shortest amount of time in the Rumble. Need I say more?
Nexus barring CM Punk - They have actually admitted that they would sacrifice themselves for Punk in the Royal Rumble, which makes it a safe bet that none of them will be winning it. Of course, I fully expect, at least, one member of the new Nexus to turn on Punk but they won't win.
B- Possible Surprise Entrants
Chris Jericho - Am I expecting it to happen? Fuck and no. Am I hoping for it to happen? Almost as bad as any male virgin hopes to lose their card carrying membership to the v club. Nevertheless, there is a case to be made and when there is one of those on the table, you can be rest assured that I will be there to do so. I have read the interviews where Y2J claims that he is not planning on coming back to the ring anytime soon. However, with a second autobiography (Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps) coming out this February, and Jericho approaching the age of 40, you can be rest assured that in the back of Jericho's head there is the itch to return. Moreover, Randy Orton needs someone to feud with since he won't be involved in the title picture. Who better than the man he punted and put out of action in September? Maybe, I'm just hoping a little too hard but I want it to happen really fucking bad.
Batista - It's been nearly 10 months since The Animal left the company, and the Rumble seems like a ripe time for Batista to come back into the fold. What makes me think that he will be coming back? The fact that the WWE has been making references to him on TV (ie CM Punk reminding the audience that Cena ended Batista's career) and there has been a lot more footage of him airing on TV. Combine that with the fact that Batista's acting career doesn't seems to be going anywhere, and I think The Animal may be returning. If it seems like I am grasping at straws, it could be possible since I really enjoyed Batista's run as a heel and want him back. Furthermore, I just want Mason Ryan and Batista to come face to face. The universe may or may not explode.
Any Number of Legends - Could be the likes of Ron Simmons, Arn Anderson, Sgt. Slaughter, but within the 40 entrants, you can be sure that the Hall of Famers will find their way in.
C- Possibly Returning From Injury
Evan Bourne - Bourne was the recipient of a pretty good push last year until he became an unfortunate victim of a Randy Orton burial. Then he proceeded to disappear off the face of the Earth, and became injured. A Rumble return and a solid showing would go a long way in revitalizing Evan Bourne's career.
Christian - Before you read any further, you you should know that I have been a fan of Christian ever since he started rocking the Captain Charisma gimmick. When he started the crusade against Cena on Raw, I was fully on board and from there on out, it has been on a full fledged man crush that I have on the Pontiff of the Peepulation. I followed him to TNA, I rooted for him to come back, I even started watching ECW because of him, and once again I find myself awaiting his return. The guy has everything going, he is over with the crowd, he is beyond talented in the ring and on the mic, he has great matches with everyone, and he doesn't seem to any have issues that should prevent him from winning the World Championship. Once again, I'm pleading for the WWE to give Christian a chance so he can prove himself. What better way for him to do other than come back, win the Royal Rumble and go on to face Edge at Wrestlemania 27 for the World Heavyweight Championship. Fuck it, a fella can dream, right?
Triple H - It seems as if it's time to play The Game. You ever wish really hard for a Christmas present and then on Christmas morning, you don't get it. That's one of the worst surprises, and that's exactly what I equate Triple H returning to. Unfortunately, it's all but a done deal for The King of Kings to come back. Now, the only question remains weather he will be an actual participant in the Rumble or will he just come out and cost Sheamus a shot at main eventing Wrestlemania.
D - Workhorse Category
This is the category of guys who actually build the match portion of the Royal Rumble, they are the ones who actually toil away doing most of the work, keeping things exciting for the crowd. They are the ones that teeter on the brink of elimination and add drama to the proceedings. Later on, when a big guy or a big name comes into the ring, these guys are the ones that get eliminated. However, they should be given the proper credit because without them, the Rumble wouldn't be what we have all come all to enjoy.
Brian Danielson aka Daniel Bryan - Now that they have finally gotten rid of the Bellas/Daniel Bryan angle, he can go back to being a ferocious competitor and the best technical wrestler in the company. He can revert back to his old ways in this match with a 20 to 30 minute showing and possible elimination or two. With an impressive Rumble, he can put the stink of the Bellas angle behind him, and start a feud with someone over the United States Championship.
John Morrison - Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw Morrison as the #1 or #2 entrant in this Rumble. Hell, he even has an outside shot of winning the Royal Rumble but I don't think it will be happening. However, that won't stop him from lasting a tremendous amount of time in the Rumble. With a good showing in the Rumble, Morrison can continue to be in the uppercard level since he will be a participant in Raw's Elimination Chamber.
Rey Mysterio - I considered putting him into the contenders category but I don't think he has properly been built up for a Wrestlemania main event, which is why he will last a long time in the Rumble and then he will get eliminated by Del Rio or get distracted by Cody Rhodes.
Kofi Kingston - The Intercontinental Champion used to be called the workhorse Champion, and Kofi will get to put some serious time into this match.
Jack Swagger - The All American American needs a good showing in the Rumble. For the past few weeks, he has been playing Kofi's bitch and he doesn't have much in the way of heat. With a few eliminations in the Rumble and possibly eliminating a crowd favorite, Swagger will be back in no time.
E - Serious Contenders
Alberto Del Rio - Do I expect it to happen? No. However, I would not be surprised if Del Rio actually managed to win the Royal Rumble. He is one of the few men who has consistently been appearing on both Raw and Smackdown, the audience is aware of who he is and he gets a tremendous amount of heat with the Mexican JBL gimmick. Usually, his matches are good, and he is damn entertaining to watch. Barring injury, I have no doubt that he will be a Champion on one of the main brands in the upcoming year. I just don't think the WWE is willing to put him in a Wrestlemania Main event this soon.
CM Punk - Arguably, he is the best heel in the company. For my money, he is the best talker in the company, he consistently puts on great matches. Hell, two weeks ago, Punk and Cena put on a wonderful match that actually felt worth of a main event slot. Right now, he has leadership over the hottest faction in the WWE. It appears as if the time is right for the first ever Straight Edge Royal Rumble winner. Unfortunately, I don't think it will happen due to the man below.
John Cena - As much as it pains me to type this, I think John Cena will be winning the Royal Rumble on Sunday. From there on out, he will go on to face The Miz at Wrestlemania. Why? Ever since he won the title, The Miz has constantly said that he felt disrespected even though he has been champion. No one has shown greater disrespect to The Miz than John Cena. After all, Cena has come out and publicly stated that a worthy main event at Wrestlemania, for him, would be facing Randy Orton for the title. You have your title program built up right there as The Miz can go on to Wrestlemania and prove that he is worthy to be there by beating John Cena, who would be the victor of the biggest Royal Rumble ever.
Prediction - John Cena overcomes the odds once again
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