Last year in my Royal Rumble Wishlist, I went 0-6 in predicting surprise returns. One of the best parts about the annual 30-man over-the-top-rope battle royale, with the winner heading to Wrestlemania to challenge for a world championship, is watching the clock count down to zero and hearing a familiar theme song you haven’t heard in years. Last year, the best we got were the pre-announced Mick Foley return, and all three announcers (Michael Cole, Jerry the King Lawler, and Booker T) making their way into the melee. You’ve gotta do better than that, WWE. So, I’m dusting off some new predictions for this year’s Rumble, and I’ll refrain from repeating any of my picks from last year (although it’s certainly likely that Brock Lesnar could make his return). Let us prepare ourselves for a Rumble of sorts!
The former Johnny Nitro has been absent from the E for the over a year, letting his contract expire to spend some time healing at home. Now that he’s cut ties with former girlfriend and backstage nuisance Melina, he’s much more likely to get another offer from Vince. Morrison has the ability to become a solid main eventer in the current WWE landscape, and a worst, he can be the new-era Rob Van Dam, flipping and flying just below the top of the card. Morrison is heavily rumored to make his return this Sunday, so don’t be surprised if we get an OMG moment or two out of the Prince of Parkour.
NXT has been producing new stars lately, with many of the top names getting called up to the big leagues, including The Shield and Big E. Langston. One NXT prospect I’m dying to see on WWE TV is Bray Wyatt, the former Husky Harris (and member of the Windham family). Bray Wyatt’s character is that of a Max Cady from Cape Fear turned cult leader, and this big man can not only thrill you on the stick, but he can haul ass in the ring. The WWE lacks factions these days (outside of The Shield), so Bray Wyatt forming his Wyatt Family on the grand stage could fill that void.
The Landlord of the House of Pain fell to injury in 2012 during the most successful run of his career. WWE has done the “unstoppable monster” storyline a hundred times, but with Mark Henry, that sh– was legit. Henry is rumored to be healed and healthy, and sooner than later he’ll return for likely his last run as an active competitor. The “Holy Sh–” moment would come when Big E. Langston has dominated the Rumble ring, and Henry’s music hits, leading to a staredown between the two strongest dudes in the history of the WWE, Sexual Chocolate vs. Choc Lesnar.
Without a WCW to pilfer, and the stink of TNA oozing from the pores of their superstars, WWE has looked to the indy wrestling scene over the past decade to shore up their roster. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins were all darlings of the indy scene, now making good in the big time. One of the most over indy stars that has never wrestled in WWE or TNA is El Generico, the masked luchador from French Canada. Generico has reportedly signed a deal with WWE, and pending he doesn’t get popped for a wellness violation, we could hear the tones of “Ole’” during this year’s Royal Rumble.
Jericho was “fired” last summer following a match with Dolph Ziggler, and has since been touring with his band Fozzy. The Royal Rumble marks the first step on the Road to Wrestlemania, so one would assume that veteran A-Lister Chris Jericho would want back into the mix to get that big ‘Mania payday. Jericho is one of the most re-debuting superstars in history, and a fresh start at the Rumble could wash away the bad taste of his silent return from last January.
This is a longshot, for sure. However, it could be an interesting swerve, whether Punk retains against The Rock or loses his WWE Championship. The only way a Punk entry into this Rumble would work is his Punk ends up winning the whole thing. If he loses his WWE title on Sunday, a Rumble win gets him right back into the thick of things and he’s guaranteed a spot in the ‘Mania main event. If he RETAINS, a Rumble win for Punk would prevent the Cenas or the Rybacks from getting that ‘Mania spot. Plus, a Rumble win is one of the few brass rings Punk has yet to achieve in his WWE career. Anything to keep Punk on the top of the card, I say.
There ya go, smart marks! Expect me to go 0-6 once again, but enjoy watching the Royal Rumble in all of it’s glory this Sunday at 8PM EST, only on Pay Per View! We all know Cena’s gonna win.
Filed Under: PoP! Top 6-Pack