It’s that time of year again, the start of the Road to Wrestlemania, which means not only are WWE about to start putting some effort in to try and get you to watch Wrestlemania, IT’S ROYAL RUMBLE TIME!! 30 guys enter, but only one man leaves with a shot at a champ of their choosing at WrestleMania. You can guarantee we’re in for some thrills and spills tonight, but perhaps most thrilling of all is whether day 434 could be the most “electrifying” of CM Punk’s historic reign…
I. AM. PUMPED!! Unfortunately my plans for watching this live tonight fell through (due to my friend going off to America to play a gig with his band instead of staying in gloomy England to watch wrestling with me. Tsk, the cheek of it.), but I’m still hyped about this show anyways. I’ll be watching it first thing in the morning before any of you inhabitors of the internet get chance to spoil my enjoyment! To be honest tonight’s show looks like it could be great. All the main undercard matches have my interest, and who doesn’t love the rumble match itself? And then you’ve got day 434. Will it be the end of Punk’s title reign? Will The Rock once again hold the WWE Title? I’m damned if I know, but I know one thing, it should be ridiculous fun finding out!
United States Championship Match
Antonio Cesaro © vs. The Miz
Wow, they must be giving the other matches a LOT of time tonight if this is bumped down to the pre-show and we have no divas whatsoever (sorry Jimmy Redman). Well I guess most of you already know how much I rate Antonio Cesaro, and I’m really pleased with how he’s been moving forwards as US Champ. The guy’s still doing solid work in the ring, and his recent matches with Randy Orton have shown he’s perfectly competent when put in the ring with the upper tier guys. Yeah, Antonio needs to just keep doing what he’s doing and he’ll be absolutely fine. I’m expecting big things from that man in 2013.
To be honest I’m expecting big things from Miz too, and I know I was a big advocate of him making the face turn prior to Survivor Series, but since then something just hasn’t clicked for him. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but Miz isn’t really working as a babyface yet. Although admittedly he lost several points with me for that horrible looking version of what they tried to call a figure four on Dolph Ziggler Monday night. Yeesh, if Flair’s been nice enough to pass the move on the least you could do is learn to apply it properly!
So yeah, Miz is floundering slightly, but it’s not completely irredeemable just yet. He’s still got time to find his feet, and occasionally there is the odd spark where he does connect with the crowd. As it stands though, he’s still got some work to do, but I don’t see why he shouldn’t be able to pull it out of the bag?
Who I want to win: Cesaro. No question. The guy is doing well as US Champion and, as I said a couple of months back, I can’t see anyone beating Cesaro for the strap until they start trying to push someone as some kind of “American everyman hero”. Still reckon it’s gonna be Swagger too.
Who I think will win: Cesaro. I can’t see them putting the title on Miz. The crowd don’t seem that behind him yet. By all means use this to build on to try and get the crowd on his side to give him another shot down the line. But right now I can’t see the title switching hands.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Team Hell No © vs. Team Rhodes Scholars
So this right here is my dark horse pick for match of the night. Two teams packed so full of awesome it’s really difficult for me to choose between them. Either of these teams would make fine tag champs at the moment, and honestly I’d be pretty happy to see either of them win.
Team Hell No have somehow managed to maintain their awesomeness. They never fail to put a smile on my face, regardless of how silly what they are doing actually is. In fact it usually helps add to the hilarity the more ridiculous the whole thing is. Gerald the waiter, the anger management classes in general, “DR PHIL!!”, the graduation with the entire crowd hugging it out on Raw, their whole run has been brilliant fun to watch, and has kept me tuning in week after week to find out what happens to them next.
But on the other hand, Team Rhodes Scholars have been just as entertaining in my opinion. Damien Sandow has been all kinds of awesome since his debut, and the team he’s put together with Cody Rhodes (and his magnificent ‘tache) has been a delight. There’s just something about them teaming together that feels…right? Like they were meant to team together, they compliment each other so well.
So what happens when put two teams with such great chemistry together? Well I’m hoping for it to combine to make an awesome tag team title match that reminds everyone just how great tag team wrestling can be. I’m quietly confident that these guys can pull it off.
Who I want to win: I honestly don’t know. I usually lean towards one side or the other, but I’d happily have either of these teams win as long as they got to continue feuding.
Who I think will win: Hmmm. Maybe Team Hell No. I’m hoping the anger management graduation and them finally saying “WE are the Tag Team Champions” isn’t some kind of grim foreboding that their run is nearly over. I still think Team Hell No has plenty of legs, and let’s be honest, with them making the crowd hug on Raw we could have a whole new “Kiss Cam”-esque thing right there.
Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio © vs. Big Show
Well, well, well Alberto Del Rio. Where has this come from? For months you bored me to tears, and now look at you doing the whole face turn thing much more effectively than The Miz has managed to. Well that’s a turn up for the books right there. Well I can admit when I’m wrong, and I was wrong about Alberto Del Rio. The last few weeks have been great watching the face Del Rio emerge. Somehow Del Rio has managed to do what Miz hasn’t, and has instantly engaged the crowd and got them on side. Although having Ricardo Rodriguez with him doesn’t hurt that any.
Del Rio has look phenomenal since his win over Big Show, and yes it’s a little bit strange that they’re having the rematch as ANOTHER Last Man Standing, but I’ll go with it. After Alberto having to tip the announce desk onto Show to beat him last time, I’m quite interested to see what tricks Del Rio might have up his sleeve for this time around.
That’s not to take anything away from Big Show, I just don’t think he’s leaving as champ tonight. But then, he may till win the match and not leave as champion. We all know Ziggler’s lurking around with his briefcase, so is tonight the night he decides to cash in? Personally I think it’d be fairly stupid of anyone to cash in tonight, because even if you do win it means that next month you’d potentially be plunged into the Elimination Chamber to defend your title. Surely it’d be much smarter to wait until everyone’s finished killing each other in the Chamber and then cashing in? But since it has no basis in logic or reasoning, then expect Ziggler to probably cash in tonight.
Who I want to win: Albertooooooooooo Del Rioooooooooo!! Because “Si!” chants and counting to ten in Spanish are fun.
Who I think will win: Hmmm. Not sure exactly, because I’ve got a sneaking suspicion whoever does walk out as champ is going to have to defend it in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber next month. Let’s say Del Rio, just because I think WWE really want to get behind this face push.
WWE Title Match
CM Punk © vs. The Rock
Oh holy cr*p, it’s day 434 and I’m worried as all hell. Is this gonna be the day that my boy, your WWE Champion, the BEST WRESTLER IN THE WORLD, CM Punk loses the WWE Title? Well that’s certainly what the internet would have you believe. It looks like we’ve already resigned ourselves to Rock beating Punk and Cena winning the rumble so “once in a lifetime” can become the more much lucratively money-spinning “at least twice in a lifetime, but maybe more”. But is that how it’s gonna go down? I may be deluding myself, but I’m not so sure.
Since we’ve had the recent stipulation of Punk being stripped of the title if The Shield get involved, it’s started my mind ticking. Granted most of this is probably “Fantasy Booker” territory, but nevertheless thinking is what I’ve been doing. What if Punk wins? Or what if a member of the Shield does get involved and Punk gets stripped of the title?
All I’m saying is that The Rock IS on the Elimination Chamber poster that leaked, so it could well happen that Punk somehow retains tonight (Brad Maddox? Anyone?). If they do want to do Cena vs. Rock II then they could hold off the title switch until Elimination Chamber. I mean what better way to round out the longest title reign of the last 25 years than by having Punk go over Rock at the Rumble? Not even Cena managed to beat The Great One, so that could be one final feather in his cap before dropping the title in a multi-man match like the chamber. I know it’s probably all pie in the sky at this point, but I’m allowed to dream aren’t I?
Who I want to win: CM Punk. #Knees2Faces all day, everyday.
Who I think will win: Well that’s the question of the night isn’t it. Are WWE gonna do what everyone expects them do and put the title on The Rock, or do they have at least one more twist for us in the story of CM Punk’s historic title reign? Honestly, I think it’s probably The Rock who’s gonna walk out with the title. But you never know, they could swerve us all and have something spectacular planned. Maybe. Perhaps.
30 Man Royal Rumble Match
Woop! Rumble time!! John Cena’s promised us he’s gonna win this, but the whole world and it’s dog promises that every year, and they can’t all win. So let’s break this down to the skinny of it. Who stands a serious chance of walking away form this year’s rumble as the winner? Well we have to at least mention last year’s winner. Is it outside the realms of possibility that Sheamus could win back to back Rumbles? You never know, especially when it comes to the fighting Irishman. WWE have pushed him strongly before, and that all started with a big rumble win. History could potentially repeat itself?
How about Orton? After seemingly being lost in the shuffle for the last few months, could Randy once again manage to win the Rumble? There have been rumblings and rumours that Orton could potentially play a prominent part in WrestleMania this year. Could that begin with a win tonight?
And then there’s Cena. I can’t help shake the feeling that Cena is winning this Rumble. Especially since he’s supposedly coming off the “worst year of his career” (in which he still main-evented a buttload of shows, but whatevs). It really is looking like the plan is already in motion to make it Rock/Cena 2 at WrestleMania and tonight is when the trigger is pulled.
Well even if Cena does win, at least we should have plenty of other things to keep us interested on the journey. I’m expecting more spot mayhem from Kofi (and possibly John Morrison, if rumours are to be believed), an old schooler (or two) to show up…and most likely have two words for us directly after our a*ses have “called somebody”. I’m hoping for MVP. Seriously. I want MVP back in WWE and in my life. I miss him.
I’m also expecting Ziggler to put in one hell of a showing, even though he’s gonna be entering at number 1 or 2 (oh Vickie, you so devious…). I’m not saying he’s gonna HBK the thing and win it, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Dolph get down to the business end of the match.
Since this isn’t the kind of match for me to make a straight up prediction I’ll leave you with my wonderful dream thought for what could happen. Say Punk loses the WWE title, well…how about if he entered the Rumble and he managed to win it with the help of the Shield? CM Punk shoehorns himself into the WrestleMania main event by hook or by crook. It’s never gonna happen, but it’ a nice thought to end on.
So that’s it. We’re just a few short hours away from the Rumble, and the excitement is starting to kick in. How about killing a bit of time by checking out my top 10 Royal Rumble Moments on this very website? And when you’re done with that you can always let me know what you think about tonight by using the comment box below. That should take you up 1am quite nicely!
Thanks for reading, enjoy the show, and I’ll see you all next month!