I’ve been called out recently for removing a blog I wrote about my Royal Rumble predictions (this was on a separate website that I contribute to) as my predictions were so off the mark. The person that called me out for it was none other than the bain of my very existence since I have returned from Miami, Josh Isenberg. Much to his delight, I lost a bet at Wrestlemania. The bet was, if the Rock won, I would be forced to re-post a horribly inaccurate blog that contained my predictions for the 2012 Royal Rumble. If John Cena won, I would be a guest-host on Chair Shot Reality the night after Wrestlemania. As the following blog shows, The Rock won, and I now look stupid. But there’s always next years Rumble, so don’t get too cocky Isenberg!
“The Royal Rumble is a WWE Pay-Per-View that kicks off what is called the “Road to Wrestlemania”, the WWE’s version of the Superbowl. It includes a 30-man over the top rope battle royal, and the last person left in the ring goes on to main event Wrestlemania 28 in Miami, Florida this April.
I made some predictions a while back, but I thought I’d update them now that everything pre-Rumble has fallen into place. I made my old predictions based on the assumption of Orton not competing, and before Jericho’s storyline really unfolded. So, with that said, I think the two choices most likely to win the Rumble are, indeed, Orton and Jericho. I have reservations about them both, as I’ll point out, but I think they’re the most likely candidates. I also have an outside shot on CM Punk, more on that in a minute.
It now seems that the Jericho story is going to advance at the Rumble, and with the knowledge that he’s in it, a victory for Jericho seems like a strong possibility. I have a handful of concerns. One, will Jericho even wrestle? He broke his streak of talking for a moment the other night, but will he also break his no-wrestling streak? It remains to be seen. I’ve heard talk of everyone eliminating each other down to #30, and Jericho simply enters the match and wins it automatically. I’m not sure about the feasibility of that. I also accept the possibility that he’s just trolling again. It would be a pretty good masterstroke, to promise “The end of the world as you know it” at the Rumble, then do absolutely nothing of note. So I also accept that.
Orton seems like the obvious, traditional favourite to win. Established star, he’d set up a big title match at Mania, etc., etc. There are a lot of signs pointing to him. My problem is this – if he was going to win, why not as a surprise entrant in the Rumble itself? It may have been a business strategy – i.e., ensure everyone that Orton will be at the Rumble to get the buys, as he is the #3 star in the WWE and sells PPVs and tickets. Still, the WWE has passed on that opportunity before in favour of the surprise return, and will the Rumble really be improved in terms of buys by any one star? I figure that the Rumble itself is the real selling point. So having him return early on SmackDown smells fishy to me, and I think they’re likely to have Orton win a chamber match next month instead.
Their emphasis on any superstar being able to enter the Rumble is what makes me think about this. Why point that out? Arguably it’s to explain the presence of someone like Ziggler in the match after he (probably) loses the title match, but I recall him being in the Rumble match last year after losing to Edge, and there was never any prior qualification to his doing so. They’ve also explicitly referenced world champions entering the match, which makes me think Punk is going to make an appearance. The reason I think he might win is because of the WWE’s increasing trend toward tearing down the brand split and forming the “supershow”. SmackDown is more of a B-show than ever these days, and I get the feeling that the WWE would rather just unify the world title and have the champion feature on both shows than continue on with two world titles. I could envision CM Punk winning the Rumble and challenging Bryan at WrestleMania to unify the titles. It’s an outside shot, but not impossible, in my mind.
Anyway, it all makes for a fascinating evening for a wrestling geek like me! Unfortunately, WWE is not something that you can have a punt on so I will have to make do with enjoying the spectacle purely for entertainment purposes.”