It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year: Royal Rumble 2014

Posted on January 26, 2014

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Like many others, the Royal Rumble match itself is my favourite match of the year. The mix of internal stories, nostalgia comebacks and innovation make it different but the same every year. Each year the winner is fairly predictable, with Batista the heavy favourite this year, The Animal returned last week and immediately stated his intention to go after Randy Orton, and the announce team barely mentioned anyone else as a threat to win. It’s a little underwhelming that Batista vs. Randy Orton is looking the likely WrestleMania XXX main event, but there we go.

What would I like to see in the match itself? A strong showing for a superstar in the midcard would be great, with Fandango being my preference. Johnny Curtis has done brilliantly with what is admittedly a terrible gimmick, and is one of the more entertaining parts of the show. He can go too. Give him a good 45 minute run and let him tell a story throughout. A long showing for CM Punk is almost telegraphed as well, seeing as he is going to be the first entrant into it thanks to Director of Operations Kane. Punk is hurtling down the road to a Mania confrontation with the biggest of bads, Triple H. The Rumble will surely be the next stop on that journey. 

The implosion of The Shield will surely continue. Roman Reigns seems all but guaranteed to play a major role in the match, with most tipping him to make the final four at the very least. I can see him eliminating a load of guys, before being dumped over the top rope himself by Dean Ambrose. I still say Ambrose is going to be the long term lead guy from the faction, but Reigns will probably get the immediate rub. The other three-man faction are represented as well, with Luke Harper and Eric Rowan of the Wyatt Family confirmed in the match. Bray himself has a match earlier in the evening against Daniel Bryan, which will bring that story to an end. 

It is Daniel Bryan around whom most of the speculation resides. Not officially entered into the match itself despite being by far the most popular guy on the show, most have had him penned in as winner for months. His constant screwing by the Authority surely has its end game in a feel good moment in the main event of the biggest show in the companies history? His only way of getting there is by winning the Rumble. The heavy rumour is that he’s facing Sheamus for the third time at WrestleMania. I have no problem with seeing that match again, but it feels a little underwhelming considering the travails of Bryan over the past months. 

Then there’s the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar. After dealing with The Big Show on the undercard (which he surely will), his stated intention is gold. I wouldn’t be surprised if he enters the Rumble and wins it. On his predicted card, Barry has Lesnar vs. Bryan as the Mania main event. I can’t think of anything more perfect for the show.

In all of this, the WWE World Championship bout between Randy Orton and John Cena carries little currency. I have no interest in either guy after years of seeing them on top, and even less interest in seeing them against each other. It matters little though, as the Royal Rumble is about one thing and one thing only, the Rumble itself. 

A winner? I’m begrudgingly going for Batista, but hoping for Bryan. Only time will tell.

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