Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 Royal Rumble Predictions

This poster might be Santino biggest contribution to the Rumble

No sports blog is complete without pro-wrestling coverage, so let's get it started with some predictions for the Royal Rumble. This is the most accessible PPV of the year, so it's a great time to get your friends into it too. A new guy enters the ring every 1-2 minutes so you can spend the night explaining who people are ("He's a crazy guy who has imaginary people talking to him" or "He's famous because he's really pale") rather than why they should care about two guys grappling for 3 hours. And if you successfully convert anyone, Wrestlemania is right around the corner!

John Cena vs Kane

Cena has played the clean-cut, goody two-shoes for years. Children and women cheer for him while grown men boo him out of the building. Kane returned about a month ago, playing up the boos that Cena has been getting and trying to get him to "embrace the hate". To do this, he has been attacking Cena's buddy Zack Ryder every week, trying to stir up something in Cena. Last week Cena finally showed some hate, beating on a defenseless Jack Swagger and almost crushing him with the ring steps. This week Kane attacked Ryder until he was taken away by an ambulance, and after some awkward facial expressions, Cena showed a scowl that presumably means he has finally snapped. What is Kane's ultimate plan with all this? Will the hate be enough to beat Kane? Or is that what Kane wants?

John Cena's best Kane impression

With two months to go until Wrestlemania, they have a long time to keep Cena busy until the Rock comes back and starts hyping their matchup. In order for this story to continue, the final step would be for Cena to go crazy beating on Kane. Even though Kane takes a beating, this will be all part of his plan, and he will get the win by disqualification.

Prediction: Kane by DQ

CM Punk vs Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship

I'm not entirely sure how this match came to be. Ziggler just dropped the US Title to Zack Ryder a few weeks ago, and is now getting a title shot? Apparently he has gotten a bunch of victories over CM Punk recently, but from the fast-forward blur of my DVR, I don't think any of them were convincing wins. Ziggler doesn't have Vicki or Jack Swagger in his corner, so they are not a factor. John Laurinaitis is the special guest referee, but after promising to screw over Punk last week, he has promised to call it fair this week, otherwise HHH will fire him at his performance review on Raw.

Ziggler, you gotta do something about your hair!

I think Ziggler has shown a lot of promise this year. He can have solid matches and deliver very good mic work. He is moving past the mid-card US/Intercontinental level, but isn't quite at the main event level yet. I expect him to get there over the course of the next year, but I don't see him winning the belt on Sunday. Besides, so many victories heading into a PPV is never a good sign.

Prediction: CM Punk clean.

Daniel Bryan vs Mark Henry vs Big Show in a Steel Cage Match for the Heavyweight Championship

This is a Smackdown feud, so I can only guess at what is going on based on the few clips I've seen. Daniel Bryan, the small vegan underdog got the Heavyweight Championship a while back, but has turned heel over the past few weeks. He whined a lot when the Big Show accidentally knocked over his girlfriend AJ. I imagine he has some sort of beef with Mark Henry.

There have been some rumors that Big Show is going to fight Shaq at Wrestlemania. If that happens, it doesn't make a lot of sense for him to also have the championship - nobody is going to believe for a second that Shaq is going to win the Heavyweight Championship. I think they'll drag this out a little longer and let Bryan retain.

Prediction: Bryan, escaping the cage while Big Show and Mark Henry beat each other up.

Royal Rumble Match
There hasn't been as much revealed about this year's match compared to previous years'. Other than the Miz coming in at #1, we don't know the ordering. We haven't had qualifying matches, so we're not sure which mid-carders are in. The announcers even said that for the first time ever, anyone can enter. Will someone who already has a match like Cena go in and win it? Before we get to my pick for the winner, here are some random predictions:

Funkasaurus, the most entertaining wrestler today

- With Big Show, Mark Henry and Kane all already in other matches, Brodus Clay (aka "Funkasaurus") is one the few big men in the match. Given that all his matches have been squashes until this point, I expect him to do very well. He will probably clear a ring full of mid-carders, have enough time to do his t-rex dance before getting thrown out.

- Santino already has the record for fastest elimination in the Royal Rumble (1 second), and did extremely well last year, coming in at second place. I expect a so-so performance this year. The cobra might be great, but it is not going to knock anyone over the top rope.

- Mick Foley was put in at the last minute this week on Raw. I'm not sure where his run is going. I haven't seen him wrestle in years, and from what I've read, his TNA run was not that exciting. Since he came out with some Cactus Jack gear this week, I'm going to guess he'll wear some Dude Love clothes on Sunday.

- Christian has been out for a while with injuries, but I think he'll make a return towards the end.

- Mason Ryan is another guy who's been around but hasn't done much. He's built for this kind of event and will throw a few people over the top rope.

- As far as surprise entrants go, I can't really think of anyone that special who is active and not at TNA. I'll go with Tough Enough winner Andy as a surprise.

- Final four are going to be Orton, Seamus, Jericho and the Miz!

Nobody got this t-shirt

Prediction: Jericho has been on a roll since he came back. He's doing babyface mannerisms that are so over-the-top that he's a heel. He didn't speak for a few weeks, pretending to be so overwhelmed by emotion that he had to leave. This week he teased the t-shirt launcher and finally muttered a few words. I've been hearing rumors of a Jericho/CM Punk main event at Wrestlemania and this is a perfect chance to set that up. I think he'll get a late number and hang in there until the end.

What do you think is going to happen? Post your predictions below!


Taker most likely surprise entrant.

Also consider JR and/or Michael Cole.

I can see Taker coming back. I doubt they'll add JR/Cole to a 30-man Rumble though. Poor Tyson Kidd, or whoever would get bumped off the card for those announcers!

Definitely Jericho as winner. The rest sound like good bets too. As for surprises, Booker T?, nah, he'll likely be on commentary throughout. I hadn't thought about Miz in the final four, but that makes a lot of sense. he just won't win it.

Yeah I wonder if going from #1 to the end is kinda played out. But the Miz was a good champion whose title reign was too short, and then he got stuck doing that weird program where he was fired. He deserves a push and this might be where it starts!

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