CB’s World: 2013 WWE Royal Rumble Preview and Predictions (CM Punk vs. The Rock, 30-Man Royal Rumble Match, More)

Hey everyone and welcome back to CB’s World, Royal Rumble preview edition. With that in mind, below this little intro is the current card for the 2013 WWE Royal Rumble that is taking place this coming Sunday 1/27/13. Like many of my fellow columnists here at Pulse Wrestling, this is my favorite PPV event of the year as it kicks off the Road to WrestleMania and features the once per year spectacle known as the 30-Man Royal Rumble match. This year’s PPV is also buoyed by the huge main event WWE Championship match that will take place between WWE Champion CM Punk and The Rock, and I expect “The Best In The World” vs. “The Great One” to be nothing short of an epic instant classic…

…well, you know, depending on the booking, of course.

With that said, here’s the card, along with my predictions for this year’s Rumble festivities:

2013 WWE Royal Rumble: Preview and Predictions

WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Team Hell No (c) vs. Team Rhodes Scholars

CB’s Slant: Team Hell No has had an incredibly entertaining run as Tag Team Champions. However, it’s time for a tag team titles change as the Road to WrestleMania 29 heats up, mainly because it would free up Daniel Bryan to move back into singles competition where he really belongs. WWE usually starts getting more serious around this time of year, and I’d love to see Bryan in the Royal Rumble match later in the show after losing here.

Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions: Team Rhodes Scholars

World Heavyweight Championship Match: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Big Show

CB’s Slant: Mike Gojira recently discussed whether or not Alberto Del Rio is a transitional champion, and With Dolph Ziggler still carrying that Money In The Bank Briefcase, that is a very fair question to ask. With that said, I have really enjoyed how Del Rio has won the crowd over in such a short time as a plucky baby face champion, mainly because he just is awesome in the ring and I want to see him do well. I think that Del Rio will retain the World Heavyweight Championship against the Big Show in this spot, and it will be interesting to see of WWE resists a Ziggler cash-in or goes all-in with it on the Royal Rumble stage.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio*

*If Del Rio does in fact retain, I am calling it now: Big Show takes out Del Rio unexpectedly on Monday Night Raw, leading to a Dolph Ziggler cash-in on TV to create a big post-Rumble moment that will certainly draw attention. Therefore…

Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion on Monday Night Raw: Dolph Ziggler

WWE Championship Match: CM Punk (c) vs. The Rock

CB’s Slant: One thing that will be very telling come Sunday night is how WWE positions the final two matches of the night. Will they have the Royal Rumble Match first and let Punk vs. Rock headline the show, or will WWE slot this title match first and save the big reveal of the Rumble winner who will headline WrestleMania for last?

For my purposes, I’ll leave the title match in this slot, and save the Rumble thoughts for last. I think Punk vs. Rock is my favorite WWE title match of Punk’s entire reign, at least since Punk wrestled Daniel Bryan anyway. From the sequel to THAT RAW PROMO to last week’s pull apart brawl to everything in between, The Rock and Punk have done everything right to sell me on this match. It just feels like an important, high-stakes, can’t-miss contest, and whatever the result CM Punk vs. The Rock will be talked about for a very long time.

As for the outcome — and I would not do it this way — I think there is just no way The Rock doesn’t win the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. After all, WWE didn’t bring The Rock back again during WrestleMania season for no reason, and Rocky holding that WWE Championship belt is the best way for them to bring in eyeballs and maximize their mainstream coverage for the Road to WrestleMania.

Personally, I would have Punk retain the title and keep his historic title reign intact, especially since a win over The Rock would be that kind of signature victory that could cement Punk’s legacy for years to come. At the same time, Punk would likely be booked to win in anything but a clean victory, so I guess it’s just as well that my official prediction is…

Winner and NEW WWE Champion: The Rock

30-Man Royal Rumble Match: Winner Becomes #1 Contender for either WWE or World Heavyweight Championship

Current announced participants are: John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Antonio Cesaro, Wade Barrett, The Miz

CB’s Slant: Ah, yes, the Royal Rumble match. There are always so many directions one can go with this thing, and so many stories within stories that can be told. Here’s one outlandish never-will-happen prediction before I get down to official business:

This never will happen, but… How about Zack Ryder wins the Royal Rumble by eliminating John Cena, reveals he is the leader of The Shield and faces The Rock for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania? You want to undo all of the damage that’s been done to Ryder, WWE? That’s how you do it.

Anyway, I expect this year’s Rumble to have a couple of surprise entrants as has been done in previous years. I am going to (somewhat safely) assume that the New Age Outlaws end up in the Rumble match, especially since DX has been heavily rumored as 2013 WWE Hall of Fame inductees. Other surprises could be guys like John Morrison or MVP on the Mid Card side, or maybe Brad Maddox cuts a deal with one of the GMs to enter the Rumble at #1 with the stipulation that if he goes the distance he gets his WWE contract. They can then have Maddox “pull a Santino” and wind up not being officially eliminated until very late in the match, though he was not involved in most of the action.

On the main event side, rumors have been swirling that guys like The Undertaker or Brock Lesnar could also get involved in these proceedings. I will say this: While I don’t think Taker will show up, if Lesnar is in, he will win the entire thing and move on to face The Rock at WrestleMania. That could be the money storyline WWE is going for, and it certainly would be a million times better received than Brock-HHH II.

For whatever reason, however, I don’t think the above scenario will take place. Instead, I think you’re looking at a short list of two potential Royal Rumble winners that are the most realistic choices:

1. John Cena, of course; and
2. Daniel Bryan

If Cena wins, WWE can tease Cena going after Ziggler’s Big Gold Belt (after Ziggler cashes in on Raw) and then have him choose The Rock, which of course would set up the Rock-Cena rematch that has been hinted at for the past year.

If Bryan wins, it would create a great opportunity for him to instantly transition from tag team comedy gold to the top of the card where he ultimately belongs as a singles wrestler. I also think Bryan would end up going after Dolph Ziggler (again, after Ziggler cashes in on Raw) — and by proxy, AJ Lee — with the storyline being that Bryan is trying to avenge losing his World Heavyweight Championship in 18 seconds at last year’s Mania.

And since one of the above is a lot more obvious than the other, I’m going to go with the more intriguing option and say…

Winner of the 2013 Royal Rumble Match: Daniel Bryan

So there you have it, at least on my end.

What do you think will happen at the 2013 Royal Rumble? How would you book the show? What surprises would you like to see? Who will win the title matches and the Rumble match? Sound off in the comments section below!

That’s all from me — CB.

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