It’s that time of year again, wrestling fans. The road to the “Granddaddy of them all,” WrestleMania 28, starts Sunday, January 29, 2012 in St. Louis at the PPV known as the Royal Rumble. The PPV has a few matches on the under card, usually the title matches, but it is the main event that is the crown jewel that kicks off the road to WrestleMania, the 30 man over the top Royal Rumble match. Two competitors start, and then every 90 seconds (or whatever intervals the WWE wants to use), another comes in and joins the fray until all 30 competitors have entered. A person is eliminated when they are thrown over the top rope. The last man standing is the winner, and goes on to WrestleMania as the challenger of whichever World or WWE Title of his choosing.
The match itself is great. Even a lot of the eliminations can be awesome. One of my personal favorite Rumble Matches is the 1992 Rumble where Ric Flair went from being entrant #3 to winning the WWE Title (in that particular Rumble, the Title was up for grabs). In my opinion, it was a great performance by Flair. One event I liked seeing in a Rumble match was when John Morrison in last year’s Rumble did a matrix type of move where he was knocked off the ring and some how grabbed onto the barrier, and his feet stuck to it, and they did not touch the floor. One elimination I won’t ever forget is when Maven eliminated the Undertaker of all people, and Undertaker’s facial expression was priceless. Undertaker was so mad that he took Maven out and beat him up, and the fight went to the concourse, and the popcorn machine got all smashed up. Great stuff.
WWE Championship: CM Punk (c) vs Dolph Ziggler with VP of Talent Relations and Interim Raw GM John Laurenaitus as the special guest referee
Let me make something clear. I usually do not like matches with special guest referees. Too much attention is paid to the special guest referee, and they always get more involved in the matches than they should. That being said, the background story is that WWE Champion CM Punk and John Laurenaitus do not see eye to eye obviously. Of course, plans change like they always do in WWE, but as everyone knows, the next night on Raw, HHH is going to give John an evaluation so the question remains: Will John screw Punk or not? I know that Johnny Ace said he did plan to screw Punk, but as I said, he is going into the match knowing about this evaluation. A lot also depends what they plan to do with the Rumble as far as the direction they want to go in as well. I have a sneaking suspicion that Laurenaitus makes an attempt and it backfires somehow, and Punk remains Champion leading to Laurenaitus’ removal the next night on Raw.
Prediction: Punk retains his WWE Championship
World Heavyweight Championship in a Steel Cage: Daniel Bryan (c) vs Mark Henry vs Big Show
This one is pretty easy to call. We are seeing both Big Show and Mark Henry getting their rematches against Bryan. Bryan and Show are feuding over the injury of AJ it looks like to me. Weird, but that is what they are going with it seems. Mark Henry is working through injury so I don’t see him getting the belt, and I don’t see Show getting it either. I think Bryan retains. I do feel that WWE is doing Bryan a disservice by having Michael Cole constantly undermining the guy. It is not a good way to get Bryan over as a champion if you have Cole insulting him every two minutes.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan escapes the cage with his World Title.
Kane vs John Cena
This has to be one of the worst feuds ever. Just plain awful. “Embrace the hate?” I have no idea what this is supposed to be about. I just about tuned this feud out honestly. I have very little interest. I am guessing that Cena will win since the Rock should be coming back very soon to kick off their feud for Wrestlemania.
Prediction: John Cena wins.
30 Man WWE Royal Rumble Match
Usually, in the past, it was made quite obvious who the Royal Rumble winner was going to be. Last year, it was fairly obvious that Alberto Del Rio was winning the Rumble. In 2006, it was obvious Rey Mysterio was winning, and so on and so forth. This year, I am not picking up that vibe. It almost can be anyone. This year, it is being reported that anyone, even the champions, can be in the Rumble which makes it even less predictable. I do like that it is not going to be as predictable. I mean, this Rumble is as wide open as last year’s Kentucky Derby field.
Prediction: Even though it is my opinion that a younger guy like Rhodes, or even Wade Barrett should take the Rumble, I just don’t think WWE is going to go that way. I think they are too afraid to push a younger guy (then they wonder why no one is getting over), and go with the same warhorses that they always do, so I think , even though it may be too obvious, and say Chris Jericho.
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead