The Live Wire - By Tony Cottam

TLW: WWE Royal Rumble 2004 Predictions

Well, hello. Welcome to the Royal Rumble Predictamania Live Wire Special Edition! 25% more insanity than any other Live Wire! Badger badger badger mushroom! See? MADNESS! Whoooo! Ahem. We’ll just skip over that intro, and pretend it never happened… and to take your mind off it, here’s the predictions for The Rumble!

Well, hello. Welcome to the Royal Rumble Predictamania Live Wire Special Edition! 25% more insanity than any other Live Wire! Badger badger badger mushroom! See? MADNESS! Whoooo!

Ahem. We’ll just skip over that intro, and pretend it never happened… and to take your mind off it, here’s the predictions for The Rumble! Whooo!

Eddie Guerrero vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Guerrero vs. Guerrero : Eduardo vs. Chavito : Uncle vs. Nephew… the heat in this match could hardly be any stronger. Despite Kurt Angle’s meddling and best attempts to cool this whole situation down, any fool could have seen that this would take a man-to-man showdown to settle it. And hey, who are we to disagree? We travelled the world and the seven seas… but I digress into an 80’s classic Eurythmics song for second…

On paper, this right here could well be a contender for match of the year – let’s face it, if these two can’t display any chemistry together, then there’s no hope for anyone anymore. Two of the best technicians on the Smackdown roster, and they should light the arena up – this, folks, is your show stealer. If I had to pick a winner (and if I’m writing a predictions column, I suppose I’d better) then I would go for a Chavo win, with Kurt Angle interjecting himself somehow, setting up a Eddie-Kurt feud in the future…
Winner : Chavo Guerrero Jr.

World Tag Team Championship
Tables Match
Ric Flair & Batista (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz

Simple equation here – I can’t see Ric Flair going through a table, so The Dudleys lose. With that aside, I think this could actually be a good match. The Duds have great chemistry and can work a formula match like this in their sleep. Batista will be seen by many as the weak link, but this match could be right up his street – not a lot of technique required, just straight up power.

Flair can handle any actual wrestling that needs to be done, and will doubtless manage to antagonise 90% of the fans in the process, as only Ric Flair can, leaving Batista to hit his collection of clotheslines, powerbombs, and… erm.. grunts. As I said, I can’t see Ric Flair going through a table, so this one will be a win for Evolution… ha! The Dudley Boys can’t beat Evolution… you only need to LOOK at them to know that!
Winners : Ric Flair & Batista

World Heavyweight Championship
Last Man Standing Match
Triple H (c) vs. Shawn Michaels

And here we are, back for the now monthly Clique get together. Y’know, it’s easy to be cynical about Trips working with HBK all the time, but if they can throw on a match like they did on Raw a few weeks ago, then I’m all for it. Like it or not, HHH and HBK have undeniable chemistry and trust each other implicitly – it may not make for the best politics backstage, but in the ring, it sizzles… and at the end of the day, it’s in the ring that counts, right? Right!

Reading rumours on the ‘Net as we all do – it seems that Trips is heading into WrestleMania as champion, which would suggest an easy win for him here. Alas, says I, I think not. I’m going to break one of my own prime directives here and bet AGAINST Trips on PPV. I see Michaels taking the belt, but dropping it back to Trips before WrestleMania. And above all, this should be a HELL of a match… get those stars ready now, folks.
Winner : Shawn Michaels

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Jamie Noble

In a way, this has been booked terribly, with no effort in creating a storyline between the two, other than Rey’s (brief) attempts to help Nidia. On the other hand, with Noble winning a #1 contender’s match, and just fighting for the belt, it’s been booked in an old school ‘The Belt Is The Prize’ way – which is no bad thing.

The sad thing about this is that there’s no way in hell that a) these two will be allowed to display everything they can do or b) they will be given 15-10 minutes to put on a show. – it’s a problem the entire Cruiserweight division suffers from, but a match on PPV is a step in the right direction, I suppose. Anyway, for the actual winner? I just can’t see Mysterio losing the belt so soon, and I think the Nidia/Mysterio/Noble triangle has a few more twists left in it yet.
Winner : Rey Mysterio

WWE Championship
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Hardcore Holly

Well, it’s nice to see a change at the top of the card, even if the presence of Hardcore Holly is about as welcome as Britney Spears at an all night wedding chapel. Holly, realistically, isn’t on the same planet as Brock, but the question hanging over this match is whether Brock can make Holly seem like a legit threat without losing face himself.

Personally, I think they might just be able to pull it off. There’s no way on Earth I see Hardcore Holly walking away with the Championship, but I do see him walking out of the match with a little bit more status. Brock can do his reputation the world of good by carrying Holly to a good match here – it’s about time we saw what Brock was made of. Brock to win. Holly to be banished back to midcard hell. Hopefully.
Winner : Brock Lesnar

Royal Rumble Match
Kane, Kurt Angle, Booker T, John Cena, Goldberg, Chris Benoit, Scott Steiner, Billy Gunn, Christian, Rikishi, Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin, Mark Henry, Charlie Haas, Rico, Nunzio, The Hurricane, Big Show, Spike Dudley, Matt Morgan, Matt Hardy, Tajiri, Test, A-Train, Rene Dupree, Ernest “The Cat” Miller, Randy Orton, Bradshaw, Rob Van Dam, and Rhyno – Chris Benoit – #1 ; Goldberg – #30

Well, this is one of my favourite matches of the year, every year without fail – and the talent in this one could make this one of the best we’ve seen yet. I love a decent rumble, and if it’s being set up as I think it is, with Chris Benoit going all the way, then this will be something special.

There’s so much hype and storylines going into this rumble, and hopefully, there will be some coming out of it as well. For me, the two main storylines will involve two men NOT in the Rumble… will Paul Heyman try and screw over Chris Benoit? Will the Undertaker return to gain revenge on Kane?

In my eyes, the answer to both of those is YES. Undertaker may not appear, but his presence will be felt… Paul Heyman will send out his hitman Brock Lesnar to deal with Benoit… but Lesnar will make the mistake of messing with Goldberg – which will result in a couple of matches being set up for WrestleMania…

And Benoit will win. Oh yes, in at #1 and the eventual winner – now is the time to pull the trigger on the Benoit push. It could be his last chance, and if anyone deserves it, it’s Benoit. I’d look for Orton to be in the mix come the final four also, possibly a Foley interference to run him out? Who knows…
Final Four : Chris Benoit, Goldberg, Kane, Randy Orton
Winner : Chris Benoit

So, peeps – look forward to this, I know I am.. the Rumble card for this year looks solid, and there will maybe even be a Women’s Championship Match thrown in for good measure (possibly Victoria vs. Molly)… even if that doesn’t come about – Guerrero vs. Guerrero and HHH vs. HBK provide a solid base for what looks like it could be a great Rumble… and lo and behold – No Sandwich Match! Get the snacks in early!!! Don’t miss this one! Tune back in on Monday to see the aftermath…

Until then, have fun, go mad.

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Tony Cottam

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