by Daniel Johnson, Kyle Childers, Jeremy Cundiff and Bad Booking
The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro (c) for the WWE United States Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Johnson: It is a crime that Antonio Cesaro is not featured on the main Royal Rumble show apart from the Rumble match itself. What would be more of a crime would be if The Miz defeated him for the WWE United States Championship. I just don’t see The Miz coming out with the victory in this one. WWE has done too good of a job pushing Cesaro to botch his title run with a loss on a pay-per-view pre-show. It is also worth mentioning that The Miz really doesn’t need a run with that championship now and if he did get it, it would probably fade into the background again.
Kyle Childers: The WWE is doing something rare with this Cesaro run, they’re actually giving him time to get over while holding the title. While he had issues early on, Cesaro has finally found a foothold with the crowd in his United States of Antonio gimmick. For this reason I see them keeping the momentum going and the title on Cesaro.
Jeremy Cundiff: I would love to see Cesaro win and set up a Miz/Cesaro program, more because I am a fan of Cesaro and want to see him over than because I’d like to see Miz catch on again. But I’m tossing up my prediction and leaning with Cesaro, even though my gut is telling me they might go ahead and put it on Miz. Either way, this one will be a solid one, or at least it should be.
Bad Booking: Cesaro gets the win and moves on to bigger and better things. Miz needs that figure four to go away!
Team Rhodes Scholars vs. Team Hell No (c) for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Daniel Johnson: I’m going to be optimistic about this one and say Team Rhodes Scholars defeats Team Hell No. Bryan needs to get away from Kane and start shining as a singles competitor. Yet, all in all it is worth mentioning that none of these wrestlers needs to be in a tag team and could all do better as singles competitors (apart from Kane who would probably just play psycho for the umpteenth time). WWE is letting their tag team division slip again anyway so Bryan, Rhodes and Sandow need to be let loose.
Kyle Childers: While I’m a fan of both teams, the graduation segment sort of brought some finality to Team Hell No. It was like a band doing their farewell concert and performing all the hits before that last encore. As much as I’d like to see Sandow and Rhodes find singles success, it’s hard to argue against them winning the titles at the Rumble.
Jeremy Cundiff: Hmm…this one’s up in the air, too. I say the champs retain, and then we wait for some more tag teams to step up…otherwise we could be heading into another tag team drought. Shame, because that shit was just starting to pick up.
Bad Booking: If there is any time to pull the trigger on the inevitable break-up of Hell No, better start here. Replay the whole Harts/Quebecers scenario, but Kane is Bret Hart to Bryan’s Owen Hart. Don’t worry about Bryan though, he’ll still be popular/over as hell.
The Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) (c) in a last man standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Johnson: Talk about a dull match to balance out Rock/Punk with. Alberto Del Rio will most likely win this bout that will surely serve as a bathroom break for many. I really hope they prove me wrong, but I don’t see that happening.
Kyle Childers: Didn’t we see this match already? I swear that we did, I mean, I watch a lot of wrestling but I know I didn’t imagine it. Same match, same result. WWE seems very high on Del Rio as a face but there’s always the wild card of Ziggler and his Money in the Bank.
Jeremy Cundiff: Oh God, no…I’m covering my eyes as I type this out, but Del Rio. They’re really going to try and make him a likeable face…for the love of Eddie Gilbert, just get Ricardo off on his own and out in the ring already!
Bad Booking: The most redundant match on the whole card. I wouldn’t be so surprised to see both men knocked out which allows Ziggler to cash the briefcase.
The Rock vs. CM Punk (with Paul Heyman) for the WWE Championship
Daniel Johnson: The Rock will reclaim the title and it may even close out the show. Punk has had a great run despite some hiccups here and there. There is no shame in Punk dropping it now and if the WWE wants to go with another WWE Championship run for the The Rock they probably won’t get a better time to do it than this year’s Wrestlemania season.
Kyle Childers: This one seems like a foregone conclusion to most, it’s Wrestlemania season and all signs point to the once in a lifetime rematch of Cena vs. The Rock at Wrestlemania with the WWE Championship on the line but I’m an optimist. I’m also Team Knees 2 Faces in the encounter, however foolish that may be.
Jeremy Cundiff: This is the moneymaking match for Wrestlemania. Or so I thought. I hate to say it, but I think I know where this one is going to go. The Rock beats Punk, going on to face John Cena in a rematch at Wrestlemania where Cena gets the belt back from Rock. And I don’t like it one damn bit.
Bad Booking: The Rock is going to win sadly. WWE has invested too much money in him, and not winning the title is not in the cards. Don’t worry for Punk though. He can still enter the Rumble, and enter Wrestlemania as the one who is about to end the streak!
2013 Royal Rumble Match
Daniel Johnson: I’m banking on Dolph Ziggler to pull out the victory here. Speaking of banking since Ziggler already has a Money in the Bank briefcase itcould be either great or garbage if he wins the Rumble. With the brand split over the unification of the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship should be inevitable. If Ziggler wins he could win both titles and restore them. Yet, it could be garbage as that might just be getting fans’ hopes up for something special. Plus,with all the people WWE pushes as main event players a title unification would really throw the main event scene out of whack. Apart from that as I’ve mentioned elsewhere I’d love to see El Generico appear in the Rumble even if it is just a one time appearance and that character never appears in WWE again. With there being no chance of that happening WWE better deliver as far as surprise entrants go. Also, if Rock and Punk don’t close out the show the chances of one of them winning the Rumble is through the roof.
Kyle Childers: As sad as it is, over the last few years the Rumble winner has started to matter less and less. 2008 saw John Cena use his shot at No Way Out instead of Wrestlemania, lose and then lose his rematch in a triple threat at Wrestlemania XXIV. Randy Orton, Edge, and Alberto Del Rio all won the Rumble and then lost their title challenges while the sole Rumble winner/champion got his shot in an opening match that lasted 18 seconds. This year seems to be the year that WWE brings some significance back to the Royal Rumble and that burden looks like it will fall on John Cena.
Jeremy Cundiff: I see Cena and Ziggler are both in this match, and I see two potential outcomes. One is John Cena winning, and going on to face The Rock in a Wrestlemania rematch for the WWE Championship. That is the predictable one that I’ve seen coming since last year, and one they’ve probably had booked for a while. The other is the one that the fans are seemingly demanding, the one that goes against all logic. That one is Dolph Ziggler winning the Rumble, thus being the only guy to ever have two guaranteed title shots at the same time…and that’s all I’ve got to say about that. As for miscellaneous stuff…screw Wrestlemania, THIS is the one pay-per-view a year I will spend the cake on. And the Royal Rumble match is the reason why. It is the big shock event of the year, seemingly, where you can see guys returning for just one night, or coming back to blaze a new career path. You can see strange pairings, amazing match-ups, and moments where shit just stops making sense. I LOVE the Rumble, and where WWE has spent 2012 to be firing on all cylinders, I can only hope they’ve saved something for 2013. Tonight should be worth the delinquent cable bill, my friends.
Bad Booking: Dolph Ziggler or John Cena are the really obvious answers to me. Ziggler for the heel heat, and Cena to set up Wrestlemania with The Rock. That being said, don’t be surprised if Brock Lesnar and HHH brawl to start their Wrestlemania program. Also, I think Mark Henry returning to destroy The Shield would be an awesome sight too. Ryback most likely will have the most eliminations, because he needs to be fed!
Photos 1, 3-5: en.wikipedia.org
Photo 2: dropkickradio.com
Categories: Smooth Runs