Rasslin’ Roundtable – WWE Royal Rumble

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Royal Rumble Roundtable!  We had four matches on the actual card with one pre-show match and I also did a little special feature with some more in-depth questions involving the Royal Rumble match itself.  Enjoy!

 

Pre-Show Match

United States Championship:

Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. The Miz

 

Rhett Davis:  This match seems like a lose-lose for the WWE.  If Antonio loses, then he loses his a lot of his momentum which he has accrued over the last few months.  If Antonio wins, then Miz loses what momentum they’ve tried to give him with this face turn.  Which has been terrible.  However, with as long as Antonio’s reign has been, I can’t see it coming to an end here at the Rumble on a pre-show match.

Winner (and STILL United States Champion):  Antonio Cesaro

Chris Sanders:  As I said in this week’s RAGER, I really think it do more damage than good if they took the US belt off of Cesaro and gave it to Miz. Sure, they’re trying to establish Miz as an elite competitor but it’s hard to do that when he horribly botches a Figure Four on the live show. That being said, WWE will get in it’s own way here and I will just sit around and say I told you so.

Winner:  Miz

Justin C:  Miz’s face turn has gone about as bad as you could imagine. Not even Ric Flair can help him at this point. He shouldn’t be the one who takes the US Title away from Cesaro. He retains.

Winner:  Antonio Cesaro

Ralph Hardin:  If this match is indeed taking place, I don’t see any way short of them having plans for Cesaro to win the Royal Rumble (they don’t) that he loses here. The Miz, who I actually enjoy, is doing better as a face. I’m even okay with the passing of the figure-four from Flair, but a Miz win here doesn’t really do anything for either guy.

Winner:  Antonio Cesaro

The Tally:  Antonio – 3

Miz – 1

 

WWE Tag Team Championship:

Team Hell No (or Team Friendship) (c) vs. The Rhodes Scholars

 

Rhett Davis:  I like both of these teams, but I suspect that the champs are going to be heading towards a break-up in the near future.  Therefore I see The Rhodes Scholars winning this and going on to fighting Team Friendship at Elimination Chamber and winning there too.

Winners (and NEW WWE Tag Team Champions):  The Rhodes Scholars

Steven Gepp:  Rhodes Scholars win, they win the rematch at Elimination Chamber, Team Hell No go through the recrimination break-up, and Bryan and Kane get a WrestleMania payday. Probably on the pre-show. Next. Oh, having said that, this should be a good match.

Winner:  Rhodes Scholars

Chris Sanders:  This one seems to be a little more up for grabs compared to the other title matches. However, we have sort of a resurgence of Team Friendship in recent promos which might lead to them having the tag belts for a little longer. However, I do think Rhodes Scholars will have the championships soon, just not now.

Winners:  Team Friendship

Justin C:  All good things must come to an end at some point. Team Hell No has run its course. Hopefully Daniel Bryan gets a singles push this year. A mis-communication between Bryan and Kane leads to a Disaster Kick by Rhodes on Bryan, giving the Rhodes Scholars the victory.

Winners:  Team Rhodes Scholars

Ralph Hardin:  The pairing of Kane and Daniel Bryan has been a pleasant and unexpected entertaining run, but it seems to have run its course. Cody and Sandow are two guys I would rather see as singles, especially as Sandow’s search for someone to mentor is a clever bit. But, I’m okay with putting the titles on Rhodes Scholars and letting Kane and DB feud for a while. I’d prefer Bryan have a higher profile match at ‘Mania, but if they want to wait and blow off this whole angle then that would be fine. Maybe a Dr. Shelby on a pole match.

Winners:  The Rhodes Scholars

The Tally:  The Rhodes Scholars – 4

Team Hell No – 1

 

World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing Match:

Alberto del Rio (c) vs. Big Show

 

Rhett Davis:  This match will be great (like the first time they fought), but I’d be surprised to see the WWE give the title right back to Big Show after del Rio being so successful as a face champion.  Not to mention we still have Dolph Ziggler lurking around with his MITB briefcase to cash in (and it works better on a face champion when the holder is heel).  Therefore I see Alberto holding onto the title in a clean manner that will look impressive against a foe like Big Show.

Winner (and STILL World Heavyweight Champion):  Albertoooo Dellll Rrrrrrriiiioooooooo

Steven Gepp:  ADR is only holding the belt so Orton gets it at Elimination Chamber and then Cena gets it at WrestleMania. Match will be okay, if that.

Winner:  Alberto Dellllllllll Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrio

Chris Sanders:  The only way I could really get behind this match is if somebody pulled the duck tape gag again. Del Rio is a new face that’s trying to gain a base and just got the belt a couple weeks ago, there’s no way it comes off of him.

Winner:  Alberto Del Rio

Justin C:  There’s really no point to give the Title to Del Rio and take it away from him so quickly. Del Rio hits an enziguri kick on Big Show, knocking him off the apron and sending him through some tables set up on the outside. Del Rio retains.

Winner:  Alberto del Rio

Ralph Hardin:  I guess the word is the title was put on Del Rio because Big Show was in the midst of contract negotiations. Maybe the plan is just to have ADR as a placeholder champion and but the belt back on Show now that a new deal has been worked out. That is, assuming they have a drawn out plan for the World Heavyweight Championship from now until Wrestlemania. However, Del Rio’s emergence as a face that the crowd really seems to get behind might have changed those plans. I hope so. However, I also would not be surprised if whoever wins this match is in no condition to fend off a challenge from Mr. Money in the Bank, Dolph Ziggler. In fact, Ziggler almost has to cash in here or at the Chamber ppv, right? I’m guessing ADR pulls off the win but in the end doesn’t leave with the belt.

Winner:  Alberto Del Rio (with a MITB cash-in and win from Dolph Ziggler)

The Tally:  Alberto Del Rio – 5

Big Show – 0

 

WWE Championship:

CM Punk (c) vs. The Rock

 

Rhett Davis:  The number of ways that this match as well as the Rumble is kind of awesome.  You could have Punk go over clean here (not likely), have Rock win clean, or have Punk win via shenanigans.  And all of these choices have a ton of choices for their path following this PPV.  I think the most likely outcome is for Brock Lesnar to return and level The Rock (because only The Shield was banned) and let Punk go over Rock that way.  Or for a more fun twist, Brock could come back and attack Punk!  And set up a match between them at Mania.  Anyways there are a ton of ways that this could go with Taker, Rock, Cena, Brock, Punk, and possible Triple H.  However… I see Punk going over Rock thanks to the Lesnar interference.

Winner (and STILL WWE Champion):  CM Punk

Steven Gepp:  Unlike everyone else in the world, I don’t think they’re going to go with Rock/Cena2 at WrestleMania. I think this is the money feud at the moment. So, Rock wins here… but by DQ. Lesnar-ference (as only the Shield were banned from interfering). This sets up Elimination Chamber where we have Rock, Ryback, Punk, Cena and two others to make up numbers, and Punk wins this one by Shield-ference. This leads to a steel cage match at Wrestlemania between Rock and Punk, where Rock finally takes it out and wins the big one.

Winner:  The Rock (by DQ)

Chris Sanders: The match itself will be great, I have all the confidence in the world in the participants. A lat of people are assuming Rock will win the belt here and take it all the way to WM29 and I have been one of those people. However, I’m not so sure anymore because the more I think of it, the more I’m not convinced Rock will be making weekly appearances this entire time. No, I’m not going off of the promo video for a February show that’s advertising “WWE Champion CM Punk vs Ryback” because those things are rarely accurate and all WWE would have to do is insert a new card graphic if things changed. BUT I will say something will happen at the end so that Punk retains and whatever it is, it will take Rock out until he is a last minute entrant into the Elimination Chamber and Rock walks away then as champ.

Winner:  CM Punk

Justin C:  My head says The Rock is winning, but I think C.M. Punk pulls this one out. The ref is distracted telling The Shield to leave. This allows Brock Lesnar to run in and F5 Rock. Punk adds a GTS for good measure and walks out of the Rumble WWE Champ. There’s more money to be made in Rock chasing Punk for the WWE Title headed into the Elimination Chamber.

Winner:  C.M. Punk

Ralph Hardin:  As much as I don’t want to see it, I think the WWE is pretty much locked into putting the WWE title on The Rock. While I normally would welcome the move, as I am a big Rock fan and am always glad to have him on my TV, I just hate the idea of ending CM Punk’s lengthy title reign this way. I don’t like the idea of a part-time guy, even if it is Rocky, ending Punk’s reign. Especially since it then means that Rock will then likely go over a whole cadre of contenders in the Elimination Chamber next month before a showdown at Wrestlemania with the Rumble winner, but more on that later. So, although it’s not what I want, my prediction…

Winner: The Rock

The Tally:  CM Punk – 3

The Rock – 2

 

30-Man Royal Rumble Match

 

Who will win?

 

Rhett Davis:  As much as I would love to see mah boy D-Bry win it, I just can’t imagine anyone besides Cena winning.  Although I think the SmackDown scene needs the win more than the WWE title scene, I think that Cena wins this. *sigh*

Winner:  John Cena

Steven Gepp

Winner:  John Cena

Chris Sanders:  I think we’re in for a pretty good Rumble match this year. I do like the recent announcement of the 8 Man tournament the night before for NXT wrestlers where the winner gets a spot in the Rumble. I’m only an occasional NXT viewer so I don’t have a strong opinion of who will win that but I would guess either Bo Dallas or Corey Graves. Although, I do wish Bray Wyatt was healthy and could compete because I’m ready for him to move up. Either way, I have high hopes for the rumble match itself.

Winner:  John Cena (my backup choice is Daniel Bryan)

Justin C:  No matter who wins the WWE Title Match, I think John Cena wins this. There are other options, but Cena is the obvious choice. So was Jericho last year, but I don’t think the WWE will stray away from their golden goose winning here.

Winner:  John Cena

Ralph Hardin:  The Royal Rumble is my favorite match of the year. Ever since the first one, I have loved the concept. That the winner now gets a guaranteed Wrestlemania title match is just icing on the cake. My favorite part is the unpredictability of it all. It’s the only match I can think of where so many stories can be told. A big performance in the Rumble can be a star-making performance for a wrestler even without winning. Whether it’s a Kane or Diesel-esque run of tossing out jobbers or an Iron Man long run in the match, it’s great to see someone emerge from the Rumble a bigger deal than when they entered. Unfortunately, unless I’m wrong (and I’d be happy to be in this case), all of that unpredictability is out the window. It seems the powers that be are dead set on Rock-Cena II: Twice in a Lifetime (Really, We Mean it This Time). And I’m sure that will be a good match, but this year more so than any other in recent memory, is just begging for something different. Sadly, I just don’t see it happening.

Winner:  John Cena

The Tally:  John Cena – 5

 

Who will be eliminated first?

 

Rhett Davis:  This could literally be anyone, but I’ll say that Titus O’Neil goes over first.

Steven Gepp:  Dolph Ziggler

Chris Sanders:  Jinder Mahal (because why not)

Justin C:  Let’s go with Tensai. Who wants to see him in there longer than 2 minutes anyways?

Ralph Hardin:  I wish this was “Who will last the longest?” instead. I’m guessing Ziggler or Bryan for that one, by the way. Very rarely has someone being eliminated first been notable. It will probably be someone of little consequence.  One of the Usos…or maybe the other one.

The Tally:  Titus O’Neil – 1

Dolph Ziggler – 1

Jinder Mahal – 1

Tensai – 1

One of the Usos – 1

 

Who will be eliminated last?

 

Rhett Davis:  Since I think that John Cena is going to win, the final guy should be someone who could actually suspend the disbelief that Cena may not win.  So I’ll go with Randy Orton.

Steven Gepp:  Undertaker

Chris Sanders:  Dolph Ziggler (because it would be the final nail in the whole rivalry between Ziggler and Cena)

Justin C:  I think it will come down to Ryback and Cena, so Ryback is the answer.

Ralph Hardin:  Historically, the Rumble runner-up has been able to parlay that into some measure of success. For example, Chris Jericho last year ended up with the WWE title shot against CM Punk. And whoever the 29th man eliminated is, it will likely be someone the fans would buy as a potential winner, so I’d expect someone higher up on the food chain. Maybe there could even be some storyline that comes out of being runner-up. A heel turn perhaps?
My pick is Randy Orton.

The Tally:  Randy Orton – 2

Undertaker – 1

Dolph Ziggler – 1

Ryback – 1

 

Who will be in the final four?

 

Rhett Davis:  These four are usually the superstars that get the biggest push in the upcoming months so I’ll go with John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton, and Ryback.

Steven Gepp:  John Cena, HHH, Kevin Nash, Undertaker

Chris Sanders:  Cena, Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, and Randy Orton

Justin C:  John Cena, Ryback, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler

Ralph Hardin:  Well half of my picks are already there. Cena wins, Orton is runner-up, and that leaves two. Again historically, that usually includes at one surprise, someone that the fans will be thinking “surely he won’t win.” And then he doesn’t. Santino Marella wasn’t winning the Royal Rumble, and neither will (whoever). But that’s the beauty of the Rumble. Having said that, I think we’ll end up with a final four of legitimate contenders this time around.  My picks are John Cena, Randy Orton, Ryback, and Wade Barrett.

The Tally:  John Cena – 5

Dolph Ziggler – 3

Randy Orton – 3

Ryback – 3

Triple H – 1

Kevin Nash – 1

Undertaker – 1

Daniel Bryan – 1

Sheamus – 1

Wade Barrett – 1

 

Who will pick up the most eliminations?

 

Rhett Davis:  This is one of the biggest pushes a guy can get in the Royal Rumble is winning it, lasting a long time, or eliminating a ton of guys.  I think that Ryback will eliminate four or five guys upon him entering the match.

Steven Gepp:  Kevin Nash

Chris Sanders:  Kane (I still think he needs to win one of these one day)

Justin C:  Ryback. They will make him look strong the whole match.

Ralph Hardin:  Perhaps only the winner gets more accolades than the guy who goes on a run of eliminations somewhere in the middle of the match. The easy pick this year I think would be Ryback, as he needs something to keep him going after clearly not being able to win the WWE Championship, and if he couldn’t beat Punk why would he immediately be considered a threat to him again, or a threat to The Rock, should he prevail. But I’m going to go a different direction.  My pick is The Shield.

The Tally:  Ryback – 2

Kevin Nash – 1

Kane – 1

The Shield – 1

 

Who will be the final entrant into the Royal Rumble?

 

Rhett Davis:  This could be anyone, but it seems, in the last few years anyways, that the #30 entrant has either been someone returning from an injury or one of the big contenders.  I don’t see Cena entering this late… again.  Therefore I see the #30 entrant being Randy Orton.

Steven Gepp:  Undertaker

Chris Sanders:  John Cena

Justin C:  Sheamus. The WWE will hype up the Rumble winner from last year getting the last number.

Ralph Hardin:  I hate it when #30 wins the Rumble. Yes, it plays up the whole idea that the luck of the draw is super-important, but I just don’t like the idea that a guy comes out and wins a Wrestlemania title match for less than 10 minutes of work. This year, I’d expect either a surprise appearance like Rey Mysterio or Christian, or a strong heel, like Barrett or maybe Cesaro (does his pre-show match with Miz leave the two of them out of the Rumble?).  My pick is Wade Barrett.

The Tally:  Randy Orton – 1

Undertaker – 1

John Cena – 1

Sheamus – 1

Wade Barrett – 1

 

Thanks for tuning into the Royal Rumble Roundtable and feel free to put your comments in the section below on who you think will win each of the categories or matches!

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