January 24, 2015 by Joey Keogh
Before we get started with my totally spot-on (ahem) predictions, is this the ugliest Royal Rumble poster ever? Seriously, it looks like an advertisement for a boxing match in Vegas. Also, how disappointing that, after an incredible year, poor Seth Rollins is relegated to hanging out with the other randomers (Orton being on there is kind of a spoiler, no?) down the bottom instead of up top opposite Cena and Lesnar, where he belongs (though Tumblr will get a kick out of him being positioned next to his old buddy Ambrose). Hopefully this isn’t foreshadowing, because if Cena triumphs yet again it won’t be pretty. Much like this poster.
6-Man Tag Team Elimination Match: The New Day -v- Tyson Kidd, Cesaro & Adam Rose
This match seems like a surefire pre-show event, which totally sucks because Kidd and Cesaro are great together and their double team move is awesome. I’m dying to see more of their in-ring work. It’s also incredibly annoying to stick them with the obnoxious Adam Rose, who looks more like a dodgy has-been magician every time we see him (is he brushing his teeth in the arena?). Obviously, The New Day are struggling to get over because they have a rubbish gimmick nobody cares about but E, Kofi and Woods are all great and, even though they’ve been struggling under the weight of the borderline-racist preacher bullshit they’ve had to sell to us, they can still kick ass and they work together quite well. Having said that, even though they probably need a win here, I’d rather see Kidd and Cesaro take it, because they’re going to be even better as smug-as-fuck heels and a feud with The New Day could simultaneously put both groups over at a later stage. As for Rose, well, let’s just pretend he isn’t involved.
Predicted winners: Tyson Kidd, Cesaro & Adam Rose
2015 Royal Rumble Match: 30-man Royal Rumble match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match at Wrestlemania
The Rumble match itself is always a lot of fun, even if it’s a bit of a mess in the ring at first. There are, obviously, going to be a load of surprise entrants tonight but confirmed to appear thus far are; Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, Rusev, Bad News Barrett, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Goldust, Stardust, Big Show, Kane, The Miz, Damien Mizdow, Dolph Ziggler, The Usos, Ryback, Luke Harper and R-Truth, which leaves lots of spots open. Rumours are swirling that Bo Dallas and Sheamus (both currently out with injuries) are scheduled to make an appearance, along with Randy Orton, who could be making his long-anticipated return to the ring, also (and, as noted above, appears on the poster). As for the legends, Rob Van Dam is rumoured to appear, along with Sting (snore) and the usual long-shot hopefuls such as The Rock, Stone Cold, et al. As for who’s set to emerge victorious from the scrum, all bets are on Roman Reigns, who is in prime position to walk out of this with a Wrestlemania title shot even if he’s been boring as hell the past few weeks. Personally, I’m hoping for someone with a bit more edge, like Bray Wyatt or maybe even Dean Ambrose. Setting a Rollins/Ambrose bout up for WM31 (provided Rollins wins his match, which I reckon he might) would be amazing, because all too often WWE relies on the older talents to sell their biggest event of the year but putting these two in the top spots would prove they’re willing to stake their bets on the younger set. They’ve more than earned it, and the draw would be huge considering their history. Of course, either way Ambrose/Reigns/Rollins could be on course for Wrestlemania even if neither of those guys wins the Rumble.
Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
Divas Tag Team Match: Paige & Natalya -v- The Bella Twins
This match was originally supposed to be for the title, but as per usual, the ladies have been robbed, and are now competing in a bullshit tag match for no apparent reason. If you don’t watch Total Divas (and why would you?) then this pairing won’t make any sense to you, but basically Nattie and Paige are buddies on the show now so naturally they’re facing up to the mean ol’ Bellas as a team. This is shitty booking because Natalya and Brie have no business getting in the ring with Paige and Nikki – both of whom, over the past few months, have worked hard at getting over with the story-lines they’ve been given (however terrible they’ve often been). Paige has been great since she moved up, Nikki has dragged a bit but is gaining traction both in the ring and on the mic where she more than outdoes her totally unnatural sister. It makes more sense to leave those two to duke it out over the belt than to add two other chicks and make the match about absolutely nothing. Who knows, maybe AJ will finally show up and interfere. We can dream.
Predicted winners: Paige & Natalya
Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos -v- The Miz & Damien Mizdow
It feels like we’ve seen this same match a million times before at this stage and, given the current state of the tag team division, it doesn’t really bode well that these two groups are fighting it out for the titles yet again. Mizdow has been hinting at a turn over the past few weeks, and the fans are totally behind him, so this may be his moment – maybe he’ll screw his boss over, or maybe he’ll steal the win for himself and then refuse to hand over the belts. The more likely scenario is that either The Usos will retain (snore) or Mizdow will win it for his team and Miz will take all the glory. Either ending would be dull and add absolutely nothing to this already played out feud, so hopefully this is a turning point for Mizdow. Although, I’d be happy if The Usos lost, faded into the background, and a couple of NXT tag teams moved up to make this shit interesting again.
Predicted winners: The Miz & Damien Mizdow
Tag Team Match: The New Age Outlaws -v- The Ascension
Although the beat-down of The Ascension on this week’s Raw left many fans feeling cold, it was a good lead-in to what will most likely be their triumphant victory over the legendary New Age Outlaws. Finally they’ll be over with the fans because thus far nobody has known what to do with them and they’ve basically been treading water. The obvious angle would be to have them disrupt the tag title match and steal the attention from The Usos/The Miz and Mizdow, therefore establishing themselves as the big, bad heels of the division. However, it seems more likely they’ll beat the shit out of the NAO and end up being booed out of it as a result. Any excuse to bring the old dogs back is fine with me, but if it means giving The Ascension the rub, then even better. Let’s face it, as I’ve already discussed at length, the tag team division is in need of some new blood pronto or it’s literally going to be the same match-ups over and over at every PPV until the end of the year.
Predicted Winners: The Ascension
World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Match: Brock Lesnar -v- John Cena -v- Seth Rollins
The Lesnar/Cena angle has been done to death (and it’s never going to be as good as the infamous 16 Suplexes), and it was never particularly exciting to begin with, unless the face of the company was getting his ass handed to him of course, but Rollins’ involvement in this match fills me with hope for a more interesting outcome than we’ve come to expect. There were rumours a few weeks back that Cena’s victory had been spoiled by advertising for a subsequent PPV, but hopefully that was all just conjecture because if he is set to overcome the odds yet again then everyone else on the roster should just quit. There are a million different ways this match could go, with Cena’s victory only being one (horrible) possible outcome. For starters, Lesnar could turn face as he has been hinting at doing for a while by standing up to the cowardly heel Rollins. His manager Heyman could turn on him either, robbing him of his title shot and allowing Rollins to swoop in and steal his moment. Speaking of Rollins, is he ever going to cash in? Is that how he’s going to win dirty, so to speak, at this event, by finally cashing in and winning the belt in the process? Don’t forget, his old buddies Ambrose and Reigns still have a bone to pick with him over what happened last year and, after teaming up on Smackdown a few weeks back, they may be set to storm in and ensure Rollins doesn’t win – or, for that matter, walk out of the match unscathed. Either way, anything but a Cena win would be great. Lesnar is a top fighter, but he’s never going to be a weekly guy so really Rollins should take the win here. He’s had an incredible year and he totally deserves it. Plus, could he really be hated more than he is? Maybe if he headlines Wrestlemania 31 opposite whoever wins the Rumble match…
Predicted winner: Seth Rollins
The Royal Rumble kickoff show is at 7 ET/4 PT, with the main show starting at 8 ET/5 PT live on the WWE Network this Sunday, 25th January 2015