WWE Royal Rumble Preview

Posted by Grey Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Road to WrestleMania officially kicks off as the 24th annual Royal Rumble takes place tonight at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Prepared yourself for the biggest Rumble ever.

After taking a six-week hiatus since the mid-December event, WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, The Daily Zombies's ever-diligent Wrestling PPV Preview returns just in time for the first and arguably, most interesting pay-per-view (PPV) of the year, Royal Rumble.

As per the annual tradition of Royal Rumble, the winner of the PPV's namesake match will move on to headline the subsequent WrestleMania to challenge for the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship, setting the tone for the Road to WrestleMania. But this year, the opportunity to kick-start the Road to WrestleMania gets even more harder than ever as an unprecedented forty Superstars will be involved in the Royal Rumble match, vying for the much-coveted price of performing in the main event of "The Greatest Stage Of Them All", WrestleMania.

In the meantime, due to the immensely star-studded Royal Rumble match, all other matches were made to look like an under-card match, with Dolph Ziggler challenging Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship, Randy Orton challenging WWE's "Must See" Champion, The Miz, for the WWE Championship, and last, and the least, Natalya will take on former champions LayCool in the same 2-on-1 Handicap Match where she initially won the Divas Championship.

Who will emerge victorious tonight? Allow us here at The Daily Zombies to look into our undead crystal ball for our preview and prediction.

Anyway, We have had quite a field day for our prediction on last month's WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, hitting a killer hit rate of five out six match right on the money. Bring on the Royal Rumble and let's see how we gonna fare this time round?

40-Man Royal Rumble Match

Royal Rumble Match: Consisting of thirty men, beginning with two in the ring. At regular timed intervals, one of the remaining 38 wrestlers enters the ring, with the objective of eliminating all other opponents. When all others have been eliminated, the winner of the event will get an one-way-ticket to headline WrestleMania, being the number one contender to the title of his choosing.

With WWE upping the ante this year with an unprecedented forty Superstar participating in the eponymous Royal Rumble match, the hype is definitely catching with the fans, as the unpredictability of the match seemingly gets even wilder. I said "seemingly" for the simple reason that despite all the hype, the fact remains that only a handful of selected Superstars can in fact be deemed eligible to headline the subsequent WrestleMania. Say, can you imagine Zack Ryder challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXVII?

With that out of the way, we remained intrigued at the potential character drama, obligatory major Superstar return, and impromptu participation by surprise guest stars, all elements of an effectual Royal Rumble. Past feuds gets reignited, future feud gets started and current feuds intensified.

As a helpful indication of what to expect, here's a detailed breakdown of the wrestlers that have been confirmed as participants for the Royal Rumble match. Please note that list is in the order of announcement of qualification of the respective participants and are not indicative of the entry order for the match itself.

1) Alberto Del Rio - SmackDown
2) R-Truth - Raw
3) Rey Mysterio - SmackDown
4) John Cena - Raw
5) CM Punk - Raw
6) David Otunga - Raw
7) Husky Harris - Raw
8) Michael McGillicutty - Raw
9) King Sheamus - Raw
10) Daniel Bryan - Raw
11) John Morrison - Raw
12) Ted DiBiase - Raw
13) Mark Henry - Raw
14) Darren Young - Raw
15) David Hart Smith - Raw
16) Primo - Raw
17) Tyson Kidd - Raw
18) William Regal - Raw
19) Yoshi Tatsu - Raw
20) Zack Ryder - Raw
21) Ezekiel Jackson - SmackDown
22) Heath Slater - SmackDown
23) Justin Gabriel - SmackDown
24) Wade Barrett - SmackDown
25) Mason Ryan - Raw
26) Jack Swagger - SmackDown
27) Drew McIntyre - SmackDown
28) Chris Masters - SmackDown
29) JTG - SmackDown
30) Kane - SmackDown
31) Kofi Kingston - SmackDown
32) The Big Show - SmackDown
33) Santino Marella - Raw
34) Vladimir Kozlov - Raw

So that leaves us six unknown spots. Before we proceed with our prediction on the eventual winner of the Royal Rumble, allow us to fill the six unknown spots with our prediction. Rumors have been rampant online circulating a list of surprise entrants from logical (Triple H, Evan Bourne), to potential (The Undertaker, Skip Sheffield), to probable (Awesome Kong), to inane wild shots (Sting! Kevin Nash! Brock Lesnar!). Here's our wild guesses (again not the entry order, but in order of the likelihood):

35) Triple H - His big return before WrestleMania was all but guaranteed and what better time and place than in Royal Rumble to take out Sheamus, and likely himself out to further the feud.
36) The Undertaker - It's about damn time too, if they were to actually install the Deadman in WrestleMania XXVII, which is an unthinkable idea if there weren't any plans to.
37) Evan Bourne - It's about time to make his return from his injury.
38) Christian - Another likely return from injury.
39) Skip Sheffield/Michael Tarver - The return of both NXT rookies from their respective injuries remains likely.
40) Chris Jericho - In my opinion, the most interesting return if the online rumor turned out to be true. In his twitter post in response to a question of when he will be returning to WWE, he wrote "10:43pm", deemed as many as an indication of the #40 entrants of the Royal Rumble.

With an unprecedentedly star-studded roster participating in the match, we are sticking to our Royal Rumble tradition last year by picking out five likely winners (incidentally, our fourth choice last year, Edge, struck gold). You might think we are cheating here, but five out of forty is like one out of eight, the standard amount of participants in a "Money In The Bank" match. Any self-respecting professional wrestling viewers would know the difficulty in that, and if you have been watching our Wrestling PPV Preview, you would have by now realized that most of the time, we are predicting the results of a one-on-one singles match with a fifty percent of striking the right results.

Predicted Winners: 1) John Morrison
The winner of the best match of last month's TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs PPV. The Ladder Match for the #1 contender for the WWE Championship with Sheamus was an excellent testament of the agility and overall in-ring ability of both contestants, and in particular, John Morrison.

So why kill the momentum for the WWE Championship match against former tag-team partner which took two weeks to build up? Our guess: For this. Just so that Morrison can win the Royal Rumble. In style.

Traditionally, Royal Rumble molds midcard Superstar and catapult them into the title picture. This is exactly what "The Guru of Greatness" lacks in confirming his arrival in the upper card.

Predicted Winners: 2) John Cena
Before you moan and cry over this choice, let's face the reality. Winning the Royal Rumble is a big deal. So what can be even bigger than winning the Royal Rumble? Winning the biggest Royal Rumble ever. Which is just what the WWE management and bookers might do to further elevate Cena's status among the icons.

Predicted Winners: 3) CM Punk
Yet another interesting development if this were to really happen. And it just might, in order to further cement Punk and the New Nexus's top heel status to face Cena at the upcoming WrestleMania. And the numbers game can be well-played here with the rejuvenated state of the New Nexus.

Predicted Winners: 4) Alberto Del Rio
With the heavy screen presence of Del Rio across both Raw and SmackDown lately, it might just be a sign that he might just achieve his destiny here. A Championship feud with Edge is not overtly interesting but feasible.

Predicted Winners: 5) The Undertaker
My choice for the surprise winning entrant of the year. He's the Deadman, and there's no need for explanation on why he can win.


WWE Champion The Miz vs. Randy Orton

The rematch from last month's PPV. The Miz outdoes Orton almost at every turn since the announcement of the rematch despite Orton being absolutely over whichever show he is on. Which makes you wonder: Does Orton really need the title? And can The Miz escape from The Viper one last time?

Predicted Winner: The Miz
WWE's "Must See" Champion has been doing the "weak heel champion" routine exceedingly well. Meanwhile, Orton continues to be massively over both in and out of the ring. Based on the two facts, we already know who will be holding the WWE Championship up high by the time this is over. The only question remain would be whether The Miz is finally getting a clean win over Orton or are we heading for a DQ here.


World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Dolph Ziggler

Argh... almost the kind of demented bizarre love triangle you might just like. If you are the likes of Michael Cole or Matt Striker.

For those who missed out on the latest episode of Smackdown, Guerrero, the acting General Manager in place of the injured Theodore Long, has banned Edge from utilizing his finisher, Spear, in the match that if he were to use the move, his title would be stripped.

What I described as "throwaway title shot featuring up-and-coming midcarders in their first title opportunity" when I was predicting Morrison and Sheamus #1 contender Ladder Match last month eventually turned out to be this one. Other than the fact this ain't no any "throwaway title shot". Ziggler has stepped up greatly in his role, providing some very well-deserved heel heat along with the natural heel heat magnet, Vickie Guerrero, with capable in-ring abilities.

With not much competition, this should be the show-stealer of the show.

Predicted Winner: Edge
The odds against Edge are stacked so well that there's just no way that Ziggler going to win this one. Weird logic? Hey, that's professional wrestling for you.


Divas Champion Natalya vs. Lay-Cool (2-on-1 Handicap Match)

The 2-on-1 Handicap Match that got Natalya her first Divas Championship returns as a rematch. But all I am wondering is whatever happened to Melina with all the build-up (even a heel turn for crying loud) for a title match which got nowhere.

Anyway, as much as we have seen this match repeated ad nauseum in many other forms and shapes, there is one element which might just prove to be the game changer for every WWE Divas: Awesome Kong. Will she make her first appearance in WWE here, building up to a feud against Beth Phoenix?

Predicted Winners: Natalya
It's funny how we are always relatively certain in our prediction but when it comes to a Divas match, it's always a toss. Bearing in mind how Awesome Kong's appearance might just change the whole WWE Divas scene, we decided to stick to Natalya.

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The Rundown
WWE PPVs come and go, but if there's two PPV you watch every year, one of them got to be this one (think I said something similar last year). The forty-man Royal Rumble has undoubtedly hyped the event tremendously.

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