Powell's WWE Royal Rumble Preview and Predictions: Stubborn against the grain Royal Rumble predictions, The Rock vs. C.M. Punk for the WWE Championship, Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show for the World Hvt. Championship

Posted in: Powell Editorials
Jan 27, 2013 - 05:57 PM

By Jason Powell

Check back tonight for Jason Powell and Chris Shore's live coverage reviews of 2013 WWE Royal Rumble. Dot Net Members can look forward to the exclusive audio review after the show. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.

C.M. Punk vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship: It feels like it's inevitable that The Rock will win the WWE Championship sometime between now and WrestleMania 29. The question is whether it happens tonight, on television, or at Elimination Chamber. They could surprise us by keeping the strap on Punk for a month to set up a rematch, but if they are going to put it on Rock heading into WrestleMania 29 then why not do it now so that he doesn't feel like as much of a short-term champion? The placement of the match could tip off the finish. If Punk is going to retain, they may put this match on before the Rumble match. If Rock is going to win, I'd be very surprised if this match did not go on last. Either way, I'm really looking forward to seeing how these two work together. I was told to keep an eye out for Punk laying in some of his kicks.

Prediction: The Rock wins the WWE Championship.

The 30-Man Royal Rumble: It was a year ago around this time that I correctly predicted that Sheamus would win the Rumble match. I found out later that day that Sheamus would win the Rumble and shared that information as a potential spoiler in the Dot Net Members' Forum. Can I do it again? Um, probably not. John Cena is the safe pick. It's the obvious pick. It sets up a WrestleMania rematch with The Rock.

I'm a stubborn SOB who would rather be wrong than predictable. Actually, I'm an egomaniac. If I pick Cena and he wins, no one pats me on the back. If I pick someone else and they win, then you remember my brilliant prognosticating for years to come and someday you will tell your grandchildren of my greatness (lie to me). If I pick someone else and Cena wins, then no one remembers by Tuesday that idiot Powell went against the grain. It's a beautiful thing.

I'll kill all the suspense by telling right now you that I am going with Ryback, perhaps even with him eliminating all three members of The Shield to get the win. I admit that I felt more confident about this pick before the World Hvt. Championship changed hands. Now I'm left hoping the title shift to Alberto Del Rio was a distraction that would make us all believe someone other than Ryback would win the Rumble match. Yeah, it's a reach, but it's my reach. I've been predicting this for months so why give up now? I warned you that I am stubborn.

So how do they get to Rock vs. Cena at WrestleMania 29? There are plenty of ways. My favorite is they finally make the Elimination Chamber feel important by making one of the matches for a shot at the title that the Rumble winner chose not to challenge for. I can live with a predictable Elimination Chamber match, but I want some unpredictability from my Royal Rumble.

You are probably wondering why Ryback wouldn't choose to go after the WWE Championship. It could be as simple as Big Show getting under his skin. Maybe Cena calls in a favor by reminding Ryback that he gave him the Hell in a Cell match. Come on, you know creative and Michael Cole are dying to work in lines about Show being Ryback's biggest meal ever.

As for surprises, it was last year at this time that we were talking about how Christian was due back from an injury. He seems like a good candidate. Same with Mark Henry. Throw in some fun nostalgia acts, a long run for Ziggler, a big elimination for Bo Dallas in his debut, and my number hitting and we have ourselves a successful Rumble match. Would I put money on my Ryback pick? Hell no. Cena is the favorite. Hell, Cena is always the favorite. Let's have some fun.

Prediction: Ryback wins.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing Match: Based on my previous reach, er, prediction, I'm forced to go with Big Show getting the title back here or at Elimination Chamber or Dolph Ziggler cashing in successfully. Thus, I will use this space to explain why I don't expect Dolph Ziggler to cash in unless this match goes on after the Royal Rumble. It would seem odd to me if Ziggler were to win the championship and then compete in the Rumble. A world title change should pack a punch, and going on to compete in the Rumble would take the focus off the title win. I don't feel great confidence about this entire scenario, especially since they have pushed the hell out of Del Rio since he won the strap. I went from assuming he was a transitional champion to now wondering whether he could wear the strap going in and coming out of WrestleMania. As much as I hate the way they feel the need to constantly remind us that Del Rio is Mexican, they have done a hell of a job of making him feel relevant again despite his lousy babyface turn.

Prediction: Big Show regains the World Hvt. Championship.

Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow for the WWE Tag Team Championship: I'm sticking with my ongoing theory that Dr. Shelby will eventually side with his fellow intellectuals in Team Rhodes Scholars. Even if the good doctor didn't make the trip, I do believe they'll finally put some gold around Cody's mustache, er, around the waists of Cody and Damien Sandow.

Prediction: Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow win the WWE Tag Team Championship with help from Dr. Shelby.

Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz for the United States Championship: The New Master of the Figure Four should learn how to apply the hold before he uses it to win a championship. Cesaro's gimmick is wrapped around him being the U.S. Champion. Even if he dropped it here, I think it would be only a matter of time before he would regain it. I don't see the point in doing a quick title change. Thus, I'm going with Cesaro keeping the gold.

Prediction: Antonio Cesaro retains the U.S. Championship.

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