THE RAGER! – The 2013 Royal Rumble Lineup (John Cena, Ziggler, Sheamus)

So last week, I dissected Raw and my own hatred towards the show and I believe we are all now better for it (we means me, obviously). I had less of an issue with this week’s episode (which is surprising seeing as how, on paper, Rock’s concert should’ve made my head completely explode) so dissecting it again would be far less entertaining. Besides, a wide variety of writers here and Pulse Wrestling have essentially already have done just that and they’re way better at this than I am. This obviously includes our weekly coverage of the shows as well as recaps (especially the That Being Said miniseries, it’s a lot of fun). So instead, I do what I do best, look ahead towards the Royal Rumble and throw out my fantasy booking ideas that I have.

So of right now the current wrestlers have been booked to participate in the match:
John Cena
Randy Orton (depending if speculation is wrong that he may take more time off for personal issues)
Dolph Ziggler
Heath Slater
Jinder Mahal
Drew McIntyre
Antonio Cesaro
Wade Barrett

So that leaves 21 more slots to be filled, obviously there’s lower guys that will probably fill the roster. First off, this time last year, Ryder was still coming off the biggest push of his career and that still didn’t land him in the match so I find it even less likely he’ll be in it now that he’s been stale for quite some time.
Also, you’re going to put in some spots for people that lost earlier in the night so that probably means we’ll see Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow and CM Punk (if they decide to actually keep all the title matches before the rumble match).

So now we’re down to 16 spots, yes (I’m a writer, math blows)? Let’s throw in guys on the roster that will probably be included:
Big E Langston – not sure if they’re going to throw him into the mix as a participant or guarding Ziggler on the apron, I’m gonna go with participant and the two works together.
Brodus Clay – He was used as a filler match last year so I doubt that they’ll have him miss out again. Maybe we’ll even see a more purposeful Clay after being called out by Punk last week and their match this week.
Christian – By all reports, he’s all healed up and ready to go by the time Rumble comes around.
Ryback – He’s still focused on Shield but I don’t expect them to have another match at Rumble, but I’m sure we’ll see him attack the trio during the match.
The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns) – see above.
Darren Young – Eh, why not?
David Otunga – Haven’t seen much of him on TV the past couple weeks so I’m not expecting a stellar outing but I’d be surprised if he missed out.
Great Khali – Because Vince just can’t let it go.
Jack Swagger – It’s been a long time since he took some time off, he makes his return here and will be pushed to the moon. Except they’ll push him for a week or so and then forget all about him again.
One of the Usos – Because apparently WWe can’t wrap their heads around letting both into the match (they did the same every year with Crime Tyme).
Justin Gabriel – Because he can do flips and stuff!
Kofi Kingston – See above.
Mark Henry – Not sure if he’s quite ready for full-time action but I would be surprised if he wasn’t used for the giant factor. By the timetable, he should be close anyway so he might do a short stint in the rumble but be ready to fully go by Mania.
Miz – Haven’t seen much of him in the ring lately as he seems to be focusing more MizTV but, again, he’s Vince’s new face-toy and apparently has the thumbs-up from Flair so it’s a forgone conclusion that he will be in the match.
Titus O’Neal – I went back and forth on this one because there’s the possibility of them doing an either/or thing between him and Darren Young but, for some weird reason, I have a feeling WWE isn’t going down that route with PTP.

So unless I forgot how to count, that leaves 2 more spots for surprise/legends. I’m thinking either X-Pac or Billy Gunn will come out seeing as how many WWE appearance the two have made.
The easy guess for the last remaining spot would be to go with Mick Foley, especially when his HoF induction announced but he had his return moment last year and I don’t think they’re going to take that route again this year. So with that in mind, I’m gonna say Steamboat makes a surprise entrance into the match.

Of course, there’s a lot of other factors that can happen between now and then such as injuries, card changes and there are a obvious number of wrestlers that we’ll probably see if those changes occur.
Other possibilities: Mysterio, Undertaker, Regal,Tensai

There have been precedence where Divas have entered the Rumble (Chyna, Beth Phoenix, Kharma) but we don’t really have any Divas on the roster that are the established power houses that WWE usually go with in this scenario.

It’s a shame that Tyson Kidd was injured and will miss almost the entire year, I know he probably wouldn’t have won the rumble or anything but I can imagine he would be used in a couple high spots and have a good showing. Other wrestlers that will likely miss due to injury are R-Truth, Sin Cara, Evan Bourne, and Santino.

So that’s, by and large, who I expect to be included into the match but as far as who I think will win or how I think the match will go, I haven’t quite made up my mind. So what do you think? Will there be less legend/surprise entrants this year and the focus squarely on the current roster? Or will we see the opposite? Drop me a comment below!

Unrelated thought about Raw last night: I did enjoy that the 20th anniversary episode was a change from Raw 1000 in the sense that there wasn’t a big focus on past stars but more matches with current talent (the only thing out of the norm was a Flair appearance, Mick Foley’s appearance and the Rock concert). I do enjoy both formats, they definitely have their place in retrospective episodes and I think they did a good balancing act between the two shows.

Be on the lookout for this week’s Classy Ring Attire podcast which will feature a special guest! Follow us on twitter @CRAttire for the latest on the podcast as well as Live Raw coverage and most PPVs.

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do twice.

The Answer: Something everyone should consider.

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