The Royal Rumble is one of the WWE’s best pay-per-views every year because it marks the official beginning of the road to WrestleMania, and the 2013 edition of the show will be no different.
This year’s card is full of premier matchups—everything from the 30-man Royal Rumble match to the WWE Championship battle between The Rock and CM Punk—and the WWE Universe has to be excited for what looks to be an amazing show.
If you’re looking for predictions on who will walk away from the Royal Rumble PPV victorious, be wary—these projections will be right on the money.
Where: US Airways Center in Phoenix, Ariz.
When: Sunday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: Pay-per-view (local cable providers)
Live Stream: WWE.com has PPV for $44.99
U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz (Pre-Show)
In what should be the best YouTube Pre-Show to date, United States Champion Antonio Cesaro will defend his title against former WWE Champion The Miz.
This will likely mark the official beginning of the duo’s extended feud, and the WWE Universe should be rejoicing. This is an amazing matchup on the mic and in the ring.
The Miz hasn’t worked well as a face and Cesaro isn’t over enough as a heel yet, so working together will polarize the WWE Universe and get them excited. Miz has to lose at the Royal Rumble to further the storyline, but he will get it back when he wins the U.S. title at WrestleMania 29.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro Retains U.S. Title
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show (Last Man Standing Match)
In one of the most stunning victories in recent history, Alberto Del Rio beat The Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship on a pre-recorded episode of SmackDown.
Now the Mexican Superstar must put the title on the line in a last man standing match.
Big Show obviously has the size and power advantage, but the WWE’s desire to get Alberto Del Rio over as a good guy will have the rising star steal another win.
As unpredictable as the world-title scene has been, it has still been more interesting over the last month than almost all of 2012.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio Retains the World Heavyweight Championship
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars
After months of success in the tag-team division, Team Hell No may not only have graduated from anger management class, they may have outgrown the division altogether
Rhodes Scholars deserve immense credit for turning themselves into an excellent tag team, but they will win Sunday because of the fact that Team Hell No is on a one-way track toward breaking up and feuding.
The Royal Rumble will mark the beginning of the end of Team Hell No, and the subsequent feud between Kane and Daniel Bryan will culminate in a WrestleMania 29 match. Or, at least, it should.
As for Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow, expect a long heel title run for the charismatic duo.
Prediction: Rhodes Scholars Win the WWE Tag Team Titles
30-Man Royal Rumble Match
The 30-man Royal Rumble match is one of the best every year, not only because of the fact that the winner gets a title shot at WrestleMania, but because you get all of the best stars in the company thrown together in the biggest battle royal on the schedule.
Not only do you get the top stars in the company in the match—guys like John Cena, Randy Orton and Sheamus—the inevitable returns and surprise appearances will keep the WWE Universe on the edge of their seats for the entire bout.
There are a million ways the eliminations could go Sunday, but the only certainty is that John Cena will be the man left standing in the ring when the match is over.
2013 will be the year of the Cena.
Prediction: John Cena Wins the Royal Rumble Match
WWE Champion CM Punk vs. The Rock
While the Royal Rumble PPV was named after the 30-man battle royal it features each year, that match will not be the main event when a WrestleMania-worthy bout like CM Punk versus The Rock for the WWE Championship is on the card.
Punk has the title reign on his side and plenty of recent experience defending his championship, but The Rock has come back to the WWE looking as ready as he ever has to win another title.
Add in the rub The Rock would give the WWE title being on the media circuit while promoting his movies over the next three months, and the company would be foolish from a business perspective to not give The Rock the WWE Championship.
Punk may lose at the Royal Rumble, but the champion will get his rematch and will now have a feud with The Rock on his resume. How's that for a win-win situation?
Prediction: The Rock Wins the WWE Championship
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