This Sunday from Phoenix, Arizona is the most anticipated Royal Rumble in the history of the pay-per-view. The road to WrestleMania begins on Sunday night. We will finally have the WWE Championship match between CM Punk and the Rock. The Rumble match will give us some indication as the direction WWE is going towards WrestleMania.
I consider this pay-per-view one of the most enjoyable and difficult to predict. The WWE title match is 50/50, it could go either way. While there are only a few favorites to win the Rumble, it is still difficult to predict.
However, I will do my best and with that here are my predictions for WWE Royal Rumble 2013.
Preshow: U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz
This Sunday prior to Royal Rumble, Antonio Cesaro will defend his U.S. title against the Miz.
WWE could have had a Divas Championship match or Royal Rumble qualifying match as their preshow instead and moved the U.S. title to the main show.
In any case, I still don’t think it is time for Cesaro to lose his title. He did win the belt during the preshow of SummerSlam, but he has become too big of a superstar to lose it during a preshow.
Also, the Miz has been improving his character as a babyface, but he has not become such a major player that he should be the one to dethrone Cesaro.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro (Still United States Champion)
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars
Once again we will see Team Hell No against Team Rhodes Scholars for the WWE tag team titles.
What will make this time different from other times?
This feud has lasted a very long time, partly due to the fact that they are the only two legitimate tag teams in WWE. There are other teams, but Team Rhodes Scholars have been the only team anyone has ever thought would defeat Team Hell No.
The Royal Rumble would also be the perfect time for Kane and Daniel Bryan to begin to split up as after losing the titles, they can each try to win the Rumble match. It would have seemed less likely for either to win if they were still WWE Tag Team Champions.
Winner: Team Rhodes Scholars (NEW Tag Team Champions)
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show (Last Man Standing Match)
Another rematch we will see at the Royal Rumble is the World Heavyweight Championship match between Alberto Del Rio and the Big Show. I have no problem with this match happening again as Big Show deserves a rematch after losing the title. However, there is no reason for this to be another Last Man Standing match.
An “I Quit” match would be preferable, but the repeat of the stipulation actually has me thinking about a possible cash-in.
Honestly, the longer Ziggler holds the Money in the Bank briefcase, the more I think he won’t cash in until after WrestleMania.
However, if someone is laid out for at least ten seconds, it would be the perfect opportunity if Ziggler wants to cash in. In addition, he could theoretically cash in early in the night and then win the Rumble, which would be very interesting.
In the end, I believe WWE is building Del Rio to be their next top Mexican babyface and therefore, will have him keep the title for the foreseeable future.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio (Still World Heavyweight Champion); No Cash-in.
WWE Champion CM Punk vs. The Rock
Finally, the Rock has come back…to challenge the WWE Champion, CM Punk.
The most anticipated WWE title match in Royal Rumble history will come this Sunday and it seems as though people are very mixed in who they think will win.
Will The Rock be the one to end CM Punk’s reign?
My head says The Rock will win, but my heart says he won’t.
Either way, whoever loses, will most likely enter the Royal Rumble and make it to the final four.
With the Shield not allowed to interfere, it seems as though someone else will most likely interfere. The top two candidates to help CM Punk are Brad Maddox and Brock Lesnar. Therefore, my money (figuratively, not literally) is on one of those guys helping Punk allowing him to win.
Winner: CM Punk (Still WWE Champion)
30-Man Royal Rumble Match
John Cena is by far the favorite to win the Royal Rumble match, mostly due to the expected Rock-Cena II match at WrestleMania 29.
However, I don’t necessarily think that the match will happen. I also don’t think John Cena needs to win in order for it to happen.
As I said before, I expect Punk or Rock to be in the Rumble match, whoever loses the WWE title match. I expect Punk or Rock, John Cena and Ryback to be the final three in the Rumble.
I still think it is Ryback who should win the Rumble match. He is being groomed to be a top star in WWE and a Royal Rumble win would be perfect for him. I am just not sure how WWE plans on using him at WrestleMania now.
It is also possible that the loser of the Rock-Punk match wins the Royal Rumble. I think a triple threat match involving Cena, Rock and Punk for WrestleMania would be much better than Cena-Rock II.
Therefore, I hope Ryback wins, but I think the winner will be Cena, Rock or Punk.
Winner: John Cena OR Loser of the WWE Championship Match
What do you think of my predictions? Who do you think will be the winners at WWE Royal Rumble 2013?
Seth M. Guttenplan is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and host of OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW!? PWPRadio’s weekly radio show covering all wrestling news and rumors. To read more from Seth follow him on twitter (@sethgutt) and check out guttwrenchpowerblog.com.