With the Royal Rumble taking place this Sunday the biggest question on the mind of every wrestling fan is who will win the Rumble match itself and go on to the main event of Wrestlemania 30 to challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. With the calibre of talent on the WWE roster I believe that this years Rumble is probably going to be one of the hardest to call. There are so many potential winners narrowing it down to three was a challenge in itself, let alone picking a main winner recently in the WWENews Writers Royal Rumble Match Predictions article. In this piece I look at my top three potential winners, explain my reasons, and look forward to their challenge whether they win the match or not as one thing is guaranteed, all three will be at Wrestlemania.
My main pick to win the match is Daniel Bryan, which is a somewhat bold move considering he hasn’t officially been entered in the match (If this happened on Smackdown then it’s because I have not watched it yet) but I expect him to be somewhat of a surprise entrant into the match. He has a match with Bray Wyatt earlier in the night and I would expect that Bryan will be going over in that match to blow off the angle there. Why do I think Bryan is going to win? Simply right now he is the most over wrestler on the roster and has such a fan following with being the under dog why would you not put this guy in the main event? It’s going to sell the Pay Per View especially if Bryan is booked strong going into Wrestlemania. He would have to face off against Randy Orton for me to bring that feud to an end given the run of matches they went on toward the end of 2013. Bryan could face John Cena as an outside bet but I can’t see WWE having Cena drop the belt to Bryan at Wrestlemania.
Should my prediction be wrong and Bryan does not win the Rumble then the matches being teased right now for him are potentially against Shawn Michaels or The Undertaker. I saw something that he could face Sheamus but I kind of don’t buy that right now. Of the two men I would prefer Bryan to go up against Undertaker. Yes there is a good chance Bryan will lose, as although he is a good choice to break the streak I just cannot see him making Undertaker tap out to the Yes Lock or keeping Undertaker down for the three count with the running knee. I would be against him facing Shawn Michaels simply for the fact I wouldn’t want Shawn to come back and have another match. He made a decision to retire, I don’t want to see such a great wrestler turn potentially into another Ric Flair or Terry Funk in that he doesn’t know when to step away. I would like to see WWE capitalise on the huge momentum Daniel Bryan has right now and push this guy to the moon. He can carry the company and I have every faith he would make a great champion given the chance.
The overwhelming favourite to win the Rumble going into the weekend amongst WWE fans is Batista. Having just returned to WWE this past Monday on Raw Batista has stated his mission is simply to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Right now Batista doesn’t really have any kind of program on the cards at this point but I am sure the Rumble match itself will be used to build something up for the animal to keep him occupied until Wrestlemania 30. While Batista is the favourite I am kind of against him winning the match given he has literally only just come back. I’m not saying the guy shouldn’t get an opportunity but I do feel it’s a slap in the face to those superstars who have worked hard while he has been away. If Batista is the winner then I expect him to face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania as I can’t see WWE not giving Lesnar the strap at Elimination Chamber. While I would normally not really be bothered about Batista facing Lesnar there is actually a part of me that is interested in seeing this one go down. You have two guys who have competed in MMA outside of WWE that can work a different style to what they did several years ago making for an interesting, realistic and more intense battle.
Should WWE throw the curve ball I am expecting them to and Batista doesn’t win the Rumble then I would expect him to be involved in the championship match at Elimination Chamber. Here I expect there to be a continued feud with Randy Orton and would thoroughly expect to see these two face off at Wrestlemania. It’s nice to have Batista come back to WWE after taking time off from the company. Whilst it’s no secret he doesn’t agree with the companies PG initiative I don’t think he is as against it now he has seen how it works. Lets face it he would not have come back if he wasn’t going to be happy. Coming back for another run I can see Batista only building on the huge success he had in his first run with the company and further cementing the all but given Hall of Fame position he has more than earned. I hope that 2014 will see Batista at the best he has been since becoming part of the WWE.
My final pick came down to the one and only CM Punk. 2013 was a stark contrast to the run Punk had in WWE throughout 2012, and with Punk’s contract being up again in July 2014 WWE need to make a commitment to one of it’s top superstars by giving him another big push to the top of the card otherwise I fear Punk could walk away from the company. There’s no denying that Punk is one of WWE’s best wrestlers, something he has proved since joining the company. Winning the Royal Rumble for Punk would add to an already incredible career with WWE. If Punk wins then I would probably expect his Wrestlemania opponent to be Randy Orton. That way there is still the storyline element with The Authority that would see Punk up against the odds but hopefully emerging the victor. Brock Lesnar is also a potential option to face Punk if WWE chose to go there again but I cannot see WWE going there again having already had this match at Summerslam 2013.
If Punk doesn’t pick up the win at the Rumble then I can only see his Wrestlemania fate going one way and that is to face Triple H. The way WWE is going with the Authority and Punk feeling there is a conspiracy against him involving Triple H all signs seem to be pointing this way right now. In my last article I gave my thoughts on why this match doesn’t really do anything for CM Punk in terms of career progression and it seems to be more for Triple H to hold onto the glory days that little bit longer so if you want to know my thoughts on this please check out the article. Of all three superstars I have picked I think Punk is the one who needs this win the most to really get him back up in the main event scene. Punk has great fan support, much like Daniel Bryan, and I hope WWE are at least willing to give Punk his chance after almost a year out of the title picture to prove to everyone that him being Best in the World isn’t just a catchphrase, it’s the truth.