A Hare-Brained Prediction For Sunday’s Royal Rumble

We’re two days away from the 2012 Royal Rumble, and while watching the promo on Smackdown tonight, I had an epiphany.

It can be argued that this year’s Royal Rumble isn’t as important as those in previous years. Why? Because the winner of the Royal Rumble is supposed to “headline” Wrestlemania in a title match. Problem is, this year there’s already a “headline” Wrestlemania match: John Cena vs The Rock.

Meanwhile, the promos for the Royal Rumble keep emphasizing the fact that “anyone can enter the Royal Rumble match, making it the most unpredictable in history.” This seems like useless information, as the Rumble is unpredictable EVERY year. Some of the biggest pops in WWE have come for a Superstar returning in the 30-man melee.

Then I got to thinking…why would they keep saying that? Who ever gets left out of the Royal Rumble match every year? No one, right?


There are two people who, every single year, never participate in the Royal Rumble: The current WWE Champion and the current World Heavyweight Champion. They’re already the champs, so they don’t have to earn the Wrestlemania Main Event; as long as they keep their title, they’re in. So for the promos to keep pressing on the “anyone can enter” thing, they’re essentially impling that the champs, normally not included, can enter this year. Which leads me to one (of many) hare-brained Royal Rumble predictions:

CM Punk will retain his title against Dolph Ziggler, then enter the Rumble match anyway and WIN.

Think about it: Punk is all about anti-establishment, getting over on “the system.” What better way to mess things up than to win the Rumble while champion, thus guaranteeing him a shot against HIMSELF? Not only that, but this eliminates the “Royal Rumble winner not actually headlining Wrestlemania” problem created by Cena/Rock, because Punk would already have been in a next-to-last title match anyway. What better year to throw a wrench into the status quo than when the main event of Wrestlemania was announced a full year ago? This would be a BRILLIANT move for WWE Creative, putting Punk even more over than he is now and creating a fantastic sub-storyline to mesh with the Cena/Rock build-up.

Of course, this line of thinking could set up other scenarios: Punk could win and challenge whoever the World Heavyweight Champion is for the Undisputed title, John Laurinitis could enter and win (they do say ANYONE can enter), a Legend could finally win, etc. Having the current champion win the Rumble would be completely unexpected and downright shocking, which makes me even more confident in its coming true…

…or Jericho could win, causing “the end of the world as you know it.” Or even Randy Orton in his hometown of St. Louis. Who knows, really?