Royal Rumble 2012

January 29, 2012 by staff 

Royal Rumble 2012Royal Rumble 2012, Royal Rumble weekend is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times on the WWE’s annual calendar. Bets are placed, odds are wagered, and the entire wrestling community seems to be abuzz with speculation as to who’s in, who’s returning, and who is going to walk away with that coveted main event slot at WrestleMania. This year, the playing field is wide open, with two very distinguished probable winners, and a host of dark horses that just may surprise us.

Who will outlast 29 other men and earn a Championship match at Wrestlemania XXVIII? Let’s count down what I consider to be the most likely of scenarios.

5. Cody Rhodes – It’s a long-shot, but Cody Rhodes has a storied history of impressive showings in the Royal Rumble match. In 2009, Rhodes made it all the way to the final four, alongside fellow Legacy members Ted Dibiase and Randy Orton. He’s been gaining a great deal of traction and momentum on a weekly basis on Friday Night Smackdown, and seems poised to become a future main event player. While this remains my most unlikely of depicted outcomes, I expect Cody to come up big in this year’s Royal Rumble, and perhaps begin a clear-cut trek to face a family member in Miami.

4. Wade Barrett – The Barrett Barrage has been seemingly unstoppable in recent months. Wade Barrett has consistently maintained an upper hand over major favorite Randy Orton, and has been made into an on screen favorite by commentators. His rivalry with Randy Orton seems to be anything but over, so a big elimination angle in either Barrett or Orton’s favor wouldn’t come at all as a surprise on Sunday. Barrett remains an “underdog” by odds, based solely on a lack of favorable title match-up scenarios, but nonetheless, his presence will undoubtedly be felt come the Rumble match.

3. Sheamus – An obvious “dark horse” with all the momentum in the world to fuel a possible win. Sheamus has been floating about on Smackdown for the last couple of months with little direction, but plenty of wins and crowd support behind him. The Royal Rumble is frequently used to catapult superstars just over the upper mid-card hump, and could do wonders for Sheamus’ career. The match itself is built for a superstar of Sheamus’ size, ability, and character, so it would come as no major surprise to see him walk out of St. Louis with a victory.

2. Randy Orton – There is a clear divide between numbers #2 and #3. While it wouldn’t be completely out of the question for WWE to go in a direction like Sheamus, Wade Barrett, or Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton (along with my #1 pick) seems to be a clear-cut favorite to head to Wrestlemania with a Championship match. Orton is rolling with a full head of steam, riding high off of a monstrous return this past Friday night on Smackdown. The Rumble is in his hometown of St. Louis, and all signs point to a big year for Orton, beginning at Wrestlemania XXVIII. Can Randy Orton become a two time Rumble winner amidst an on-going personal vendetta with Wade Barrett? Perhaps the only thing standing in his way is WWE’s tendency to humiliate the “hometown boy” whenever they get a chance.

1. Chris Jericho – This past Monday on Raw, Jericho spoke his first words (into a microphone) since returning to WWE on January 2nd. “This Sunday at the Royal Rumble, it’s gonna be the end of the world as you know it”, Jericho smiled confidently as he finally established some sort of connection to his eerie return promos. We have no idea what it means, but it’s got to be big. Big enough, in fact, to make him the odds on favorite to leave the Royal Rumble this Sunday with a victory. The odds seem to be stacked in Jericho’s favor – a victory brings his strange new character into the limelight, gives him a clear cut direction heading into the Showcase of the Immortals, and sets up a plethora of options for the first ever Undisputed Champion as we begin the exciting path to Miami.

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