There’s always an increased sense of excitement when the Royal Rumble comes around. We all know that the Road to Wrestlemania has begun and after this Sunday we should know one of the main events. So just who will win the Rumble? You don’t really think I’m going to tell you in the opening paragraph?
So far there are twenty-nine wrestlers named for the Royal Rumble match, namely:
Batista, Booker T, Charlie Haas, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Christian, Dan Puder, Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Gene Snitsky, Hardcore Holly, Jonathan Coachman, John Cena, Kane, Kenzo Suzuki, Luther Reigns, Mark Jindrak, Muhammad Hassan, Orlando Jordan, Paul London, Rene Dupree, Rey Mysterio, Ric Flair, Scotty 2 Hotty, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Simon Dean, The Hurricane, Viscera
One name to go, so will there be a surprise entrant or more likely a final qualifying match on Heat? Thirty wrestlers, all in with a chance of getting a title shot at Wrestlemania 21, believe that and you’ll believe anything! My opinion is that only two men can win this Rumble, namely Batista and John Cena.
Was there a clue on this week’s Raw? Tazz and Cole taunting JR and Lawler about the fact that Smackdown have won both the post-brand extension Rumbles. Could it be that this year a Raw competitor will come out on top? If that’s the case then get ready for Batista’s biggest success ever.
So why Batista? Well it just makes total sense doesn’t it? The last thing Triple H wants is Batista to win the Rumble and at this time of year sometimes your worst nightmares come true. But what would happen if Batista does win the Rumble? Could this scenario occur?
Triple H really isn’t happy about the prospect of defending his title against Batista at Wrestlemania (sorry Orton fans he loses on Sunday). It may keep the belt in Evolution but more than anything Triple H wants that belt round his waist. So, why doesn’t Batista do a Benoit and instead ask the WWE Champion on Smackdown for a title shot? That way Evolution can rule the roost on both shows. An interesting situation for sure though I doubt it will happen, but you never know.
Batista is certainly getting a great push at present and he’s doing a good job. The face turn is almost complete, note the way it looked how he didn’t approve of what Triple H did on Raw this week. Note also how he’s already getting cheered by the crowd. The face turn is overdue, Monday Night could be the evening to stay awake and watch the ads, I mean Raw.
Then again, Vince could decide to let this run even longer. Perhaps Flair could screw Batista out of winning the Rumble. That would allow John Cena to win the match and set up his Wrestlemania title shot against JBL who, sadly I can’t see losing his belt before the big card. Cena doesn’t impress me in the ring, his microphone ability is good of course but getting a bit tired to be honest. If he’d dropped his US title I’d have made him a bigger bet to win the Rumble.
It should be a decent Rumble. Hopefully some new feuds can be set up, possibly Booker T and Eddie Guerrero? And of course if we enter the Rumble with only 29 wrestlers (28 and Coach) confirmed, those rumours of who the 30th competitor could be would start going into overdrive.
World Heavyweight Title: Triple H v Randy Orton
The build-up has been ok but haven’t we already seen this too many times? There’s no variety in their matches, why not give this match some form of stipulation? I can’t see Triple H losing the title here, and besides even if he did he’d only get it back again soon, that’s Raw these days. I just wonder what happens to Orton if he does lose here. With Edge and Michaels feuding and Benoit a face, there aren’t that many big names he can feud with.
WWE Title: JBL v Angle v Big Show
And still no one can get the belt off JBL. I doubt the belt will change hands here and talk is that JBL will meet Big Show in a Barbed Wire cage match at No Way Out. Big Show has had most of the attention in this feud thanks to his feelings for worthless Diva, Joy. The presence of Angle could make this a decent match though I wouldn’t hold your breath. I go for JBL to get another tainted victory over Big Show setting up the No Way Out match. As for Angle? Not sure, talk is of a match with Undertaker but I’m not sure. Interesting times ahead on Smackdown which makes a change.
Edge v Shawn Michaels
This will definitely be the match of the night. The feud has been top level material and should carry on to a storming match at Wrestlemania, Ladder match anyone? Edge needs a win here and I think he’ll get it though it’ll be as clean as a kid playing footie in a mud filled park.
Undertaker v Heidenreich Casket Match
Boy will this suck. Heidenreich is pretty useless at the best of times and we’ve all seen the ‘I’m a big strong guy scared of caskets’ routine before. Thing is though, Undi has a pretty bad record in these matches, particularly at the Rumble. I go for Big John to get a win here. Why? Well, I have a feeling Wrestlemania will see Undi team with Kane against Heidenreich and Snitsky. Expect some form of insane alliance to be formed this Sunday.
Where will this PPV leave the Wrestlemania card? I’ll discuss that next week.Stephen Ashfield