Hello loyal readers and welcome back for a very special article. I started writing for camelclutchblog.com in February of last year so I never had a chance to write a Royal Rumble article. This is my favorite time of year to be a wrestling fan.
The build up to WrestleMania begins this month with my number one pay-per-view, the Royal Rumble. I love everything about the Rumble, the format, the anticipation of which wrestler will be next, the shocking eliminations, the tension as the final four participant’s battle it out for a shot at the title at WrestleMania 27. I also love listening to all the pundits try to predict who will win the main event.
Some years are easier than others to predict. To help you out, because without you I’m just talking to myself here, I’ve broken down the participants into five categories you can reference when picking your Royal Rumble winner. Just follow these easy steps and you too can amaze your friends with you wrestling prognosticator prowess.
These are the guys who you know are not going to main event WrestleMania so they are not winning the Rumble. They can be anyone from straight up jobbers to up and comers who just aren’t quite there yet. Basically if your name is Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, Zack Ryder, R-Truth, Ezekial Jackson, Chris Masters, Vladimir Kozlov, Santino Marella, or anyone in Nexus not named CM Punk, you have no shot at winning. Chances of Winning: 0.0 (That’s a little Animal House humor for you all)
4 – The Former Royal Rumble Winners
We have not seen a former winner outlast all the other competitors since Stone Cold won his record third Rumble in 2001, so going with a former winner is usually not a good idea. But this year has two interesting possibilities. There are currently six former winners on the WWE roster, seven if you count Mr. McMahon who “won” in 1999. Of those six, Edge is the World Champion and Randy Orton is challenging for the WWE Title at the Rumble. That leaves four. Rey Mysterio is a former winner but I would doubt he can win again, so now we are down to three. The Undertaker is still injured and even if he is ready for WrestleMania, all the rumors point to a mega match against Brock Lesnar. So that leaves John Cena and Triple H. If anyone can break the no repeat streak it certainly is a wrestler of Cena’s standing within the WWE. And Triple H is a dual threat because he also fits into the next category as well. Chances of Winning: 15%
3 – The Surprise Returning Superstar
One of the best aspects of the Rumble is the fact that the format is perfect for surprise appearances. My favorite memories of each year are those moments when the unexpected entrance music hits and I sit up on the couch in shock. When John Cena came back in 2008 no one saw it coming. I remember that feeling of utter amazement at what I was seeing. That truly was great theater. Last year brought another similar moment with the return of Edge. While most people predicted that would happen, I purposefully kept that information from my son who was watching with me. He guessed on his own that Edge would come back, and when he came out at number 29 my son went absolutely crazy that he predicted it.
The look of pride on his little 8 year old face is something I will always cherish. This year is tailor made for a Triple H return from injury. The only problem is, at this moment, he doesn’t really fit in to either title picture if he wins. Edge and Orton are faces, and he doesn’t have a real history with The Miz. But, if Orton defeats The Miz at the Rumble and Sheamus defeats Orton at the next pay-per-view, well that makes things very interesting indeed. After all, it was Sheamus who was the one who put Triple H out of action back in the spring. Chances of Winning: 30%
2 – The Veteran Who Never Won It All
This group is different from the group in category five on the list. These guys have main evented pay-per-views in the past and could be there again. They have traditionally done well at the Rumble but have never been able to go all the way. The three main wrestlers I think of in this category are Mark Henry, Kane, and The Big Show. Of the three, The Big Show has come the closest to winning the Rumble, finishing an agonizing second on two occasions. Maybe this will finally be the big man’s year. Plus he has been on television a lot lately, and that never hurts at this time of year. Chances of Winning: 5%
1 – The Wrestler Getting The Spotlight
I can even see this being the final four in the ring. I think Del Rio will give a good performance as a springboard to big year, like Edge and Rey Mysterio in the 2005 Rumble or RVD in 2006, but I think this just isn’t his time yet. Same for Barrett, I still think he needs some seasoning. To me, this year is all about the man who replaced him as leader of the Nexus, CM Punk. I can see him winning and working into some kind of three-way match for the title with Cena and whoever the champ is. Punk had a good showing at the Rumble last year with his whole Straight Edge rant between eliminations. He has been on television a ton lately between his RAW hosting role, his feud with John Cena, and his surprise reveal as the new face of Nexus, I just feel that all signs point to Punk and the time is right for him to take that next step. Chance of Winning: 50%
So there you have it. Based on the numbers, my choice is CM Punk as the winner of the 2011 Royal Rumble. But don’t be surprised to see Triple H standing alone at the end either. Or be surprised, isn’t that the point? Do you have a different favorite in mind for Royal Rumble winner? Or maybe a memorable Royal rumble surprise from the past? Leave me a comment; I would love to know what you think.
Vince DeHoratus lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two kids. He has been a life long wrestling fan and he has passed that love onto his son. Though not quite yet “middle aged and crazy”, he is fast approaching it.
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