What better time to start looking ahead at who the WWE Royal Rumble 2012 winner could be? With only two months to go, I think it is fairly easy to grasp what the lay of the land will be in January. Let’s break it down Vegas style and see who has the best chance of challenging for gold at WrestleMania 28!
I thought I’d have some fun and take a look at the chances that each top prospect has of winning the Royal Rumble using Vegas odds. Of course take these odds for what you will as I had The Rock listed as the biggest long shot of being the WrestleMania 27 Guest Host. Nobody ever accused me of being a savvy handicapper.
Of course things can and likely will change from now until the Rumble in terms of injuries, card placement, and even champions. However, to be fair I left current WWE champions CM Punk and Daniel Bryan off of the list.
John Cena – The obvious number one choice for any Royal Rumble win would have to be the former WWE champion John Cena. Surprisingly Cena has only won one Rumble, but the landscape has changed over the years. I think Cena wins the Rumble, defeats the WWE champion before WrestleMania 28, and defends the championship against The Rock.
Randy Orton – If it isn’t Cena, than why not Orton? Orton has had a remarkable career turnaround in 2011 becoming a leader in and out of the ring in the WWE. Orton has probably done more than any other headliner in the last year to elevate new talent and boost young stars. Orton has been a good soldier since dropping the title but this guy is ready to jump back into the WWE title picture. I love Orton’s chances of winning, but in the WWE nothing is ever a sure thing.
Odds: 2 to 1
Chris Jericho – Jericho made waves this past week when he announced his intentions for the Royal Rumble. There are strong rumors pointing towards a Jericho win and subsequent CM Punk match at WrestleMania. My hunch is that they didn’t sign this guy for big money only to bring him back and have him leave the Rumble early. Chris Jericho has done just about everything in his career except win a Royal Rumble. High odds say that changes Sunday.
Alberto Del Rio – The 2011 Royal Rumble winner has to be at the top of the list. Del Rio has certainly had his share of ups and downs in recent months. Yet he is still arguably the best heel on the RAW brand and the only credible heel to win the Rumble and face Punk (should Punk remain champion) for the WWE championship on WrestleMania 28. Another possibility here would be a Del Rio win and a babyface turn, thus finding himself challenging Mark Henry in Miami. Of all WWE heels, I like his chances the best. Del Rio would also be the first man to win back to back Royal Rumble matches since Steve Austin in 1997 and 1998.
Odds : 3 to 1
The Miz – If the Rumble were to happen today I would boost his odds. Right now The Miz is enjoying a second run as a top heel. However, the WWE creative team doesn’t appear to be all in on The Miz which makes me think he has very little shot of winning in January. However, if a RAW heel were to win and his name wasn’t Alberto Del Rio, The Miz would be that guy.
Odds: 8 to 1
The Big Show – The WWE big man has never won a Royal Rumble and his career is winding down. What better way to pay tribute to Show than give him a Rumble win. The SmackDown side needs this storyline much more than the RAW side does anyway. If the WWE can cool the Show vs. Henry feud until WrestleMania, there could be a lot of buzz about Show winning and challenging the big man in Miami.
Odds: 10 to 1
Triple H – Triple H is always a wild card when it comes to the Royal Rumble. I have a hunch that Hunter will compete in this year’s match, which makes him at least a top ten candidate to win the match. On the other hand I could see a big angle here with The Undertaker to set up a WrestleMania 28 rematch. Yet I would not be shocked to see Triple H vs. CM Punk for the WWE championship at WrestleMania.
Odds : 10 to 1
Mark Henry – The big man will be challenging for the title earlier in the night and my hunch is that he actually walks away from the show as champ, although I certainly hope not. If not, Henry has a great shot of winning the Rumble. With the way he has been booked this year, a Henry win would cap off one of the best comebacks in WWE history.
Odds: 15 to 1
Wade Barrett – In case you have missed it we are back to booking Wade Barrett as the flavor of the month of SmackDown. Like The Miz, if the Rumble were held today the odds of Barrett would be much higher. Yet also like The Miz, the WWE creative team has been hot and cold with Barrett for the last year. My hunch is that the weather will get chilly in Barrett’s WWE home by January, but maybe he can make some believers in creative between now and then.
Odds: 20 to 1
The Undertaker – While he may be the longest tenured WWE talent in the ring, The Undertaker has only won one Royal Rumble. That is why I find it hard to believe that the 2007 Royal Rumble winner will repeat at this stage of the game. I do think it would be a great storyline to have him win and go into a championship match against CM Punk with the streak on the line, I would be surprised. As a matter of a fact if I were booking the show, that is exactly what you’d see.
Odds: 22 to 1
R-Truth – Truth is a little busy right now serving a suspension for a breach of the WWE Wellness Policy, but this could be a good thing for him. He will be coming back as a super hot babyface about six weeks before the Rumble. Vince McMahon is reportedly licking his chops about the prospect of “Little Jimmy” merchandise. What better way to market those “Little Jimmy” tees than giving the man a Rumble win and a WWE championship match in Miami?
Odds: 25 to 1
Cody Rhodes – Cody is one of the unsung heroes of SmackDown who is finally breaking out this year into the singles star I always thought he could be. Back when my partner Jeff Peck and I recorded our WrestleMania 26 preview edition of the The Still Real to Us podcast, I picked Cody as the breakout star between he and Ted DiBiase Jr. While I don’t think he is quite ready yet to be a Royal Rumble winner, I do think his odds are pretty darn good of pulling off an upset.
Odds: 25 to 1
Odds 30 to 1
Sheamus – Finally, Sheamus makes the cut as a prospect, albeit not a good one to win the match. Sheamus is poised for big things and it was only a couple of years ago when he was dominating as WWE champion. Maybe the WWE is holding off the inevitable Sheamus vs. Henry series for a reason? I don’t think so, but the man has at least a shot of getting into the WWE world heavyweight championship match at WrestleMania 28 against either Henry or Bryan.
Odds: 50 to 1