The Road to WrestleMania is about to begin with the 2011 Royal Rumble! This is my favorite pay-per-view of the year, so I tend to go to the extreme with my predictions and throw as much detail out there as possible. Much of the detail can be found on my Royal Rumble Statistics page.
WWE Championship: The Miz (c) vs. Randy Orton
Well, I was expecting Morrison to get his title shot here, especially because the Royal Rumble has so few main eventers and Orton would be one of the biggest names in it (and one of the potential winners), but it seems like their plans are different. I'm a little annoyed at that, because I think Morrison and Miz could have had a great match and I'm hoping that this doesn't mean that a) they're souring on Morrison, and b) Miz is dropping the title. I don't THINK Miz will drop the title to Orton here...but I'll just say that if he does, I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest bit...just disappointed.
PREDICTION: 60% Miz retains. 40% Orton wins the title back.
World Heavyweight Championship: Edge (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler gets a world title shot! I've been a fan of Ziggler since the beginning and was very happy when he won the IC title, but man, I didn't foresee that he'd do THIS good. He's been kicking ass since he won the title and he TOTALLY deserves this title shot. Granted, Ziggler won't win here, and despite me being a fan of him, I'll admit that he shouldn't, but I'm still very happy to see that they're rewarding him for all his effort. I'm also glad that this means Kane is back in the Royal Rumble to keep up his consecutive streak going, and since it needs more main eventers. If Ziggler gives them a good match like he's been doing for months and months now, despite how Edge will retain, then I think it is pretty safe to say Ziggler will win Money in the Bank in 2011 and a world title as well.
PREDICTION: Edge will retain.
Divas Championship [Handicap Match]: Natalya (c) vs. LayCool
If they're going to be bringing in Awesome Kong, it wouldn't surprise me if they made her take out Natalya and win the title. Therefore, Natalya has to retain here not only to keep that title (obviously) but also to look strong. Then, when they're pissed, Layla and Michelle bring in Kong as their solution to get back at Nattie.
PREDICTION: Natalya retains.
THE ROYAL RUMBLE
Well, I had a long post here before about my statistics page and how my projected winner was #23. However, now it seems the WWE has decided that there will be FORTY people to the Royal Rumble this year, instead of the standard 30. That COMPLETELY throws all of my entrance predictions and all my statistics out the window. I'll admit it...I don't like the change (and it isn't just out of frustration that all that work is wasted on my part). I think 30 was the perfect amount and that there wasn't anything that needed to be changed. I still think CM Punk and John Cena are the two men to beat in it, and that the focus will be on the two Nexus stables (or whatever Barrett will end up calling his group), but now this just throws me for a loop. I apologize in advance if my predictions and review come out jumbled and confusing, because I had originally planned things to be completely different (and was really proud of how they would have come out). That being said...I don't want to write this off as a failure just yet. The Royal Rumble will still be very entertaining this year, no doubt, and in fact it may even be BETTER this way. As always, I'll reserve final judgment until I see the final result.
As for who will participate, that's up in the air. There are over 40 people on the roster right now, especially if you include potential returns (such as HHH and Jericho) and special participants (possibility of Lawler, for instance). Some people, you can definitely rule out. Goldust is injured, he won't be in it. I doubt Joey Mercury will. I wouldn't be surprised if Christian, Jericho, Bourne, Sheffield, and Tarver all sat out as well as Alex Riley and Curt Hawkins. Now what does that all mean in regards to the prediction that really matters...the winner? Absolutely nothing. It doesn't matter if there are 30 people like normal or 40 this year. It still ends up being a list of 10 men, and those 10 men only, that have any chance at winning, and THIS, I'll put in order of likelihood:
1. CM Punk - Nexus helps him win and we see Punk against Orton or Cena (or, in my mind, a fatal four-way between those 3 and the Miz) at WrestleMania2. John Cena - He faces either Miz or Punk or both in the 4-way concept mentioned above.3. Alberto Del Rio - Out of all the people that could potentially face Edge for the title at WrestleMania, this for some reason seems like the most likely option.4. Kane - Here's where it gets to the less and less likely options. This is only if Taker somehow wins the title before WrestleMania and they want these two to have a match.5. Sheamus - I doubt it, but still, as much as I don't want to admit it, they do have him at a higher rank on the hierarchy than a lot of others, so he needs to be on this list as a potential.6. Triple H - Big name, returning, blah blah.7. Wade Barrett - If they go with Taker v Wade, then Wade at least has to be on this list as a potential.8. Chris Jericho - He'd be returning, he'd be the biggest name to not win a RR yet, and he has his book coming out (you can read my review here). I'm not expecting it, but still, something to think about.9. Christian - On the off-chance that he returns, wins, and faces Edge. Not very likely, but the 9th most likely scenario in my head. It sure as hell makes more sense for Christian to win it than Kozlov, right?
10. John Morrison - I would say he narrowly beats out Mysterio and Big Show to get the final spot, but he still won't win it. He's just the 10th most likely person to win. I'm a big fan of his, and I like how they're finally pushing him, but it won't amount to a Royal Rumble victory.
But let's have a bit more fun. What other stuff can I predict? Here's a list of things I can see happening:
- The first two entrants may very well be Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes
- Sheamus will clear house and HHH will return and eliminate him
- The man with the most eliminations this year will be Sheamus, Kane, or Cena.
- Final Four: CM Punk, John Cena, Triple H, and either Wade Barrett or Alberto Del Rio
- Mark Henry and Big Show both get eliminated by the Corre or Nexus teaming up