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Friday, January 29, 2010

Royal Rumble Predictions

Pay-per-views are always a hot topic of debate here in the PWI office. From people proclaiming outlandish surprises to the slightly jaded older guys like Matt Brock who refuse to believe any real surprises exist anymore. With that being said, we've decided to compile some of the predictions from our writers and editorial staff and throw 'em up on here.

Let us know what you think about our "expert" picks. Agree? Disagree? Only you have the power to let us know where our heads really are. Also, don't forget to check back on Sunday during the Royal Rumble PPV as Managing Editor Jeff Ruoss will keep a running blog going of all the happenings of the biggest wrestling organizations first big show of the year.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the predictions from our contributing writers Brady Hicks (BH), AL Alven (AA), and Louie Dee (LD), senior writers Frank Ingiosi (FI) , Dan Murphy (DM), Al Castle (AC) and our very own Editor-in-Chief Frank Krewda (FK).


The PWI Editorial Staff

ECW championship
Christian (C) vs. Ezekiel Jackson

BH - Christian is the best on ECW ... PERIOD. I don't see the point in him losing the belt to anybody other than that Zack Ryder guy, and only because he's ready to step up to Raw or Smackdown.

AA - Christian has been a terrific champion holding the ECW strap for a WWE-era record six months. He's overdue for a promotion, especially with WrestleMania right around the corner. Jackson has emerged as a monster, and is primed to take the next step.

LD - I think Big Zeke takes it and wins the title. Why? Well, two reasons: A) He has William Regal by his side, and B) It's youth movement time.

FI - Regal interferes and we have a new champion.

DM - I’m calling for Ezekiel Jackson to take the ECW title, leading to a Jackson/William Regal feud and freeing Christian for a jump to either Raw or Smackdown.

AC - Christian's due for a promotion to Raw or Smackdown, but Ezekiel is far too green and unsophisticated in the ring to carry the ECW brand.

FK - Christian will retain by DQ after Regal & Kozlov interfere on Jackson’s behalf.

With a vote of 4-2, the tribe has spoken. Ezekiel Jackson will take the ECW title from Christian, at least in our opinion.

Women's championship
Michelle McCool (C) vs. Mickie James

BH - Part of me was expecting Maria to turn on her friend and join with Team McCool. Since that hasn't happened in recent weeks, I'm going to go with Mickie James FINALLY getting her revenge.

AA - McCool and her cohort, Layla, have humiliated "Piggy James" at every turn for months now. Some sort of retribution for James, even if it comes in the form of a win here and a brief title reign, is likely.

LD - This issue is still going on? Could've fooled me with all the TV time they get. Maybe this is the blowoff; either way, I'll take Mickie. There are more heel Divas on SmackDown to challenge her anyway.


DM - This is the hardest to predict for me. Common sense would dictate that Mickie gets the last laugh after all the taunting, but if WWE truly is upset with Mickie’s so-called weight gain (and for my money, she is by far the most attractive woman on the WWE roster, so this whole weight issue seems completely ridiculous to me), then I see McCool getting the win. After all, WWE is a company that seems to get its jollies from publicly humiliating its talent.

AC - Basic storytelling dictates that the good guy - or gal, in this case - wins in the end. And you don't get much more sympathetic than a cute little farm girl being teased about her weight. But considering WWE's past track record, I think the message being sent here isn't, "Be proud of who you are," but rather, "Hit the gym, ladies." And so evil will triumph over good in this one.

FK - Piggy, despite her new country music career, is a very sympathetic figure right now, so she’ll get the belt-and turn heel somehow.

With a vote of 5-1 in favor of Mickie James, our council is pretty solidified on who is walking out of the Rumble with the belt. What about you?

World championship
The Undertaker (C) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

BH - Look for 'Taker to retain his title. At this point, The Undertaker needs the title much more than Rey. Retaining it at WrestleMania is a different story ...

AA - Obviously, 'Taker is set for another showdown with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania, but a title doesn't need to be on the line for that to happen. So, we're likely to see a new champion here. Best guess is that Batista gets inserted into the match by Vickie Guerrero, and walks away with the belt. Either way, poor Rey doesn't have a chance.

LD - Neither man is what they were 10, five, or even three years ago. And if this were the Rey of yesteryear, I'd say he has a puncher's chance. But he can't fly around the ring as well anymore, and that's about the only way he'd be able to tackle 'Taker's ground game.

FI - With a little help from Batista, The Undertaker takes this one.

DM - Of course, if WWE is building to Michaels vs. Undertaker, there’s little chance 'Taker will drop the belt to Rey Mysterio. I expect a DQ finish involving Batista, leading to the inevitable three-way match at No Way Out.

AC - The winner of this match may depend a lot on its placement in the card. If it goes on before the 30-Man Rumble match, then the Undertaker must hold on to his title in order to make Shawn Michaels' pursuit of victory dramatic. But if it goes on after the Rumble match, it might be even more dramatic for Michaels to win the Rumble, only to have the Undertaker lose the world title later in the night. There goes Michaels' WrestleMania rematch. But I'd bet on the former.

FK - 'Taker’s banged up and it makes sense for him to work even fewer dates. Besides, he called out Shawn last week on Raw. I expect WWE to build the HBK-UT for 'Mania, plus Rey has tons of heels to defend the title against on Smackdown.

With a vote of 3-2 with a very oddly placed vote for Batista, The Undertaker gets the nod to hang on to the big gold belt.

WWE championship
Sheamus (C) vs. Randy Orton

BH - I expect Sheamus has to lose his championship at some point, but I don't think it will be on this night, and to another rulebreaker. I see Sheamus enjoying a run until WrestleMania, to help establish him as a force on Raw.

AA - Devoid of much build, this comes off as a placeholder match, basically a way to kill time until WrestleMania. WWE has invested too much in Sheamus to have him lose here. Plus, Orton is a stale figure in the main event scene. Sheamus gets another feather in his cap and Orton moves on to, um, something else ...

LD - As conniving as Orton is (especially with Legacy around), I have a feeling that there's too much volatility in the situation with Orton, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, and John Cena. Someone's bound to get involved and it's going to cost Orton.


DM - I see Sheamus getting an upset, “flukey” type victory over Randy Orton, but my Celtic brother will drop the belt prior to 'Mania.

AC - There's no question that Randy Orton will wear world title gold again by the end of the year, but this doesn't look like his best opportunity to win back his belt. This match seems to be more about testing the waters for Orton's eventual turn into a full-fledged fan favorite. And nothing spells sympathy like being robbed of a world title victory. This may be a sort of passing of the torch from WWE's current top villain to its future one.

FK - Orton will win with help from Cody Rhodes to help lead to an Orton-DiBiase WrestleMania.

Another one sided vote here as the pale-skinned Celtic Warrior seems to be on track to keep his title, at least in our eyes, with a vote of 5-1.

Royal Rumble

BH - Only a handful of names are being tossed around as possible winners. One wrestler who nobody seems to be talking about is Edge. I believe Edge will leapfrog his rival, Chris Jericho, to earn the WrestleMania title shot. And if WWE can find a way to get the World title around Jericho's waist, this could be one of the most intense - and certainly well built - WrestleMania main events in many years.

AA - One of these years, it would be great to see an out-of-left field winner. As it is this year, I see only John Cena, Shawn Michaels, and Triple-H as realistic possibilities. Cena won the Rumble as a surprise entrant two years ago. And HBK seems too obvious, given his recent interaction with the Undertaker. Triple-H winning may seem obvious on many levels as well, but the potential of a Wrestlemania title match against Sheamus brings this outcome into focus.

LD - My heart says Jericho or Punk, my gut says Triple-H. While I'd love to see one of the young guns get the push, it's been "whose turn is it anyway?" among the big names in the Rumble the past five or six years. Jericho and/or Edge are about the only "top" guys who haven't won the Rumble. If Edge is back, I think he and Jericho have a built in 'Mania match waiting to happen so there goes that idea. HHH won the Rumble the "longest" time ago so I think he takes it.

- Call it a reversal of fate, as Shawn Michaels will get screwed by his old partner, Triple-H when all is said and done.

DM - I have no interest in seeing Shawn Michaels face The Undertaker at WrestleMania again. There’s little chance a rematch will be able to top last year’s Match of the Year, and I’d much rather see the streak on the line against a younger star where a win over “The Dead Man” would mean much more. So, since Michaels/’Taker is the match I’d prefer not to see, I expect it to happen.

AC - Fifteen years after he won his first Royal Rumble match, Shawn Michaels will once again stand alone in the ring at the end of the night. And in doing so he will not only have guaranteed himself a WrestleMania world title match, but likely also his equally-coveted 'Mania rematch with the Undertaker. How will Triple-H react to this, especially if he is the last one to be eliminated by Michaels? That's good, old-fashioned wrestling intrigue right there.


FK - I've already said it, but Ted DiBiase Jr. will take home the win. This will set up the separation from Orton he needs to split up Legacy and set up a WrestleMania showdown.

So the final votes are in. In possibly the toughest match in WWE to predict, we have a prediction. One vote for Edge, two for Michaels, and one for DiBiase Jr. stretch out our votes just enough that three for Triple-H give him a solid victory, at least if our votes actually counted for anything.

There you have it. PWI's crack board of writers and editors have taken their time to set up some predictions, how do you think the Rumble will play out? Feel free to comment on our predictions and overall outcomes. And don't forget to check back on Sunday during the Royal Rumble for an updated running blog of all the what not that takes place in Atlanta, Georgia!

1 comment:

brady said...

In the words of Dolph Ziggler, "I am perfection..."