We all know that the Royal Rumble is one of the most exciting pay-per-views of the year. Although there are 30 superstars in the match—and only a handful of those have a legitimate chance of winning each year—other elements such as one-off returns of legends, guessing the winner when the final four participants are left, among other things, keep the level of suspense at a fever pitch.
In this two-part series, I will predict two potential dark-horse winners of the Royal Rumble match and book their road to WrestleMania.
So, without further ado, let's get to our first dark-horse winner: The Miz.
The Miz has surely revived his WWE career. When he split from John Morrison, many believed that Morrison would be the one to excel from the team, and Miz would receive the shaft. However, things turned out completely different. Miz earned another tag team title reign, US and IC title reigns and—most importantly—a WWE Championship reign.
In the midst of this success, his career began to plummet shortly after the end of his WWE Championship reign. He hovered around the title scene for a portion of the year but never again became a threat to the title holder.
His character experienced a resurgence when he began to show signs of becoming a babyface after losing the IC title to Kofi Kingston. This turn became official when he quit then-team CM Punk, eventually becoming a member of the Mick Foley Survivor Series team.
With his recent MizTV episodes and interaction with WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, his career is experiencing an upswing.
How his potential win should be booked
This isn't a matter of how he should win the Royal Rumble, but how his win should be booked leading to WrestleMania 29.
As we all know (unless WWE Creative pulls an unthinkable swerve), the WWE Championship picture is pretty much a lock, with only a few names at this point thrown in the mix. So, by default, Miz would choose to vie for the World Heavyweight Championship. This would also be a focal goal for the Miz, seeing how a WHC reign would put him in a short list of WWE superstars that have held every active title.
Ideally, Alberto Del Rio will not be WHC come WrestleMania—that is a civil debate for another article. As a result, Dolph Ziggler will be champion by then due to Big Show giving ADR a knockout punch after another loss (on another SmackDown, not at the Royal Rumble since Ziggler is a RR participant), resulting in Ziggler successfully cashing in the briefcase.
This leads to a Miz/Big E. Langston mini-feud to get us past Elimination Chamber. The Miz can beat Langston by DQ at the pay-per-view, due to interference by Ziggler. After that, both can spend the rest of the time heading to WrestleMania trying to gain the upper hand by promos and tag team matches involving other WrestleMania matches.
What do you think? Civilly comment below. Stay tuned for Part 2.
Chris Featherstone is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, as well as a writer for WrestlingInc.com. He hosts a weekly wrestling talk show, Pancakes and Powerslams, which airs Tuesdays at 11pm ET on Blog Talk Radio. You can show your support by following @cravewrestling on Twitter and liking Crave Wrestling on Facebook.