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Who will face The Rock at the WWE Royal Rumble 2013? – Inside The Wheelhouse

The Rock vs. PunkOne of the most interesting things to come out of the RAW 1000th episode a couple weeks ago was The Rock announcing that he would be wrestling at the 2013 Royal Rumble. Now it won’t be in the Royal Rumble match or in some sort of random Tag Team match like he did at Survivor Series 2011 either. Instead he will be going one-on-one against the current WWE Champion at that time for the title at the kick-off for “the road to WrestleMania 29.”

With that being said I have compiled a list of wrestlers who I believe could be the WWE Champion at that time:

CM Punk: The current WWE Champion CM Punk has to be the clear-cut favorite to fill that spot at Royal Rumble 2013 to take on The Rock with the title on the line. He ended the 1000th episode of RAW by taking out The Rock and leaving the door wide open to some sort of program/match between the two. If CM Punk is the Champion at that time you have to wonder if he could hold onto the title from his current title reign which would also make many wrestling fans happy at that time.

Sadly as much as I enjoyed CM Punk as WWE Champion and believe he should be headlining even this coming year’s WrestleMania at Metlife Stadium, I just don’t believe the WWE will be booking such a thing to happen for this year. The seeds were planted the day after WrestleMania when The Rock came out and stated he would be chasing after the WWE Championship yet again. Once those words were uttered that day it was a foregone conclusion that he would be going for or defending as the WWE Champion come WrestleMania 29. With that announcement at the 1000th episode of Monday Night RAW it’s safe to say he will be leaving Royal Rumble 2013 as the WWE Champion, which will be sad for many CM Punk fans out there.

John Cena: Despite how the WWE advertised their match at WrestleMania 28 as being “once in a lifetime,” there is going to be another John Cena/Rock match at some point in the next 365 days or so. I believe if I was an odds maker I’d say that will happen at WrestleMania 29 but I won’t discredit it happening at Royal Rumble 2013 for the title, especially if the WWE believes CM Punk has improved enough to be “the guy” against The Rock for the title at WrestleMania 29.

If that were to happen that would mean The Rock would have two victories over John Cena which is something I also can’t see happening at this point. Wrestling booking 101 tells us that something like that typically doesn’t happen with two such big forces like John Cena and The Rock but I wouldn’t bank on it not happening either. If WWE wants to make Royal Rumble 2013 a big seller then having The Rock vs. John Cena II for the title could certainly bring fans to tune in and watch the PPV.

Daniel Bryan: While the seeds were planted for CM Punk to take on The Rock at some point during the 1000th episode of Monday Night RAW the same could be said for Daniel Bryan. Bryan has had a rollercoaster of a ride in the WWE the past year and has finally broken through the way many wrestling fans thought he would/could. You just have to wonder if the WWE sees money when they look at a potential Rock/Bryan match-up for Royal Rumble 2013.

A lot can change in the next couple of months and the growth of Daniel Bryan could surprise us as much as it has the last nine months. It could very well be come January 2013 that Daniel Bryan is the top heel in the WWE and the perfect person to take on The Rock for the WWE Championship. One thing is for certain and that is a match between the two would make wrestling fans very happy that the WWE decided to pull the trigger on the match-up.

Dolph Ziggler: By the time January 2013 rolls around its safe to say that Dolph Ziggler would have a World Heavyweight Championship run under his belt and will be looked at as one of the top heels in the company heading towards WrestleMania 29. Besides Punk & Bryan, Dolph Ziggler is one of the top pound-for-pound wrestlers in the company today. He has gained so much respect from fans lately that want to see him finally break out that it reminds me a lot of The Rock’s rise during the summer of 1998 heading into the fall where The Rock would win his first WWE Championship at Survivor Series 1998.

I honestly believe that The Rock vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble 2013 could be the “sleeper pick” out of all the potential match-ups already listed. Ziggler can make ANY wrestler in the WWE look good and with that trait gives you the quality of matches we haven’t seen since Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and the man himself, The Rock. Ziggler vs. The Rock could be a huge headlining match-up at Royal Rumble 2013 and even if The Rock walks out with the gold could put over Ziggler more then he could by beating The Rock that night.

For more on this topic join us for the Thursday August 9th edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net.

Check out Jeff Peck’s wrestling podcast “The Still Real to Us show” which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and www.wrestlechat.net

 You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at www.979espn.com

You can follow Jeff on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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