Philadelphia will be playing host to the first pay-per-view of 2015 where the always exciting Royal Rumble event will see Brock Lesnar defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena.
Billed as ‘The Final Chapter’ between the two superstars, the outcome of the title match will provide a clearer indication as to who will be advancing to WrestleMania to defend the championship against the winner of the Royal Rumble.
This year we saw the returning Dave Batista outlast 29 other men to main event WrestleMania where Daniel Bryan was crowned the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship, two events where the outcome seemed predictable.
Since WrestleMania it’s been expected that Roman Reigns will be winning the Royal Rumble in 2015 and then defeating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and the face of the company.
Over the past week there have been numerous reports surfacing online suggesting that the WWE have scuppered their plans to have Reigns win the Rumble, meaning there’s a chance he won’t challenge The Beast in March.
If that doesn’t go ahead as planned, who could the WWE turn to as alternative winners of the Royal Rumble? Especially since it was widely expected that Reigns would be the one. Here are three superstars I think would be great alternatives.
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No superstar on the current roster manages to gauge a reaction quite like Dolph Ziggler manages on a weekly basis, whether it’s a live episode of Monday Night Raw, a taped Friday Night SmackDown or even a house show; the fans adore Dolph Ziggler. And rightfully so, he’s possibly the hardest working superstar on the roster and leaves it all in the ring every time he is there.
He can talk, he can work and he knows how to deal with pressure situations – defeating The Authority 3-1 down was no small feat and was inside the ring when Sting finally debuted in the WWE and that would have been a special feeling in itself. If the championships weren’t unified right now then it’s almost certain that Dolph Ziggler would be holding one of the belts. Even now that they’re unified Ziggler deserves to be in the championship picture and I believe this could begin with a surprise victory in the Royal Rumble.
There have been rumours that Ziggler could be considered as a winner if they do go against Roman Reigns and he would be an ideal and surprising candidate; an underdog who could go on to main event WrestleMania and possibly walk out the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
The Lunatic Fringe has had an incredible 2014 even though it wouldn’t seem like it when The Shield imploded, he’s done really well to cement himself as the best face in the WWE. His feud with Seth Rollins was incredible and even though his feud with Bray Wyatt failed to exceed the high expectations, it was still entertaining. Even Dean Ambrose is getting a bigger reaction than Roman Reigns, and again he deserves it because he’s a lot better inside the ring and light years ahead of Reigns on the microphone, he is a more complete superstar but lacks the look Vince wants to be a champion.
Stars have broken the mould in the past and became champions, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and most recently Daniel Bryan so there’s nothing stopping Ambrose from becoming the champion we know he can be. The only way is up for Ambrose and the fact that he has unfinished business with Seth Rollins after the questionable finish at the Hell in a Cell event means he could be inserted into the title picture if Rollins does in fact cash in next month.
It would be great to see Ambrose get a huge moment at WrestleMania, and if it is against his former Shield brethren then the moment would be that much more special, he would be a great alternative to Roman Reigns – some might suggest he would be the better alternative.
Sheamus is more of a wildcard pick to win the Royal Rumble, I believe it’s widely expected that Sheamus could return to in-ring action at the Royal Rumble as one of the surprise entrants and this time The Celtic Warrior could be considered as one of the favourites to win.
There have been rumours suggesting that if and when Brock Lesnar walks away from the WWE and turns back to Mixed Martial Arts, his storylines will be handed to Sheamus and he will be built up into a monster-like character; hopefully as a heel.
The only question mark for a Sheamus Royal Rumble win would be who his opponent could be at WrestleMania, already Brock Lesnar and John Cena could be possibilities but Seth Rollins could also throw a spanner in the works. The fans will want to see Roman Reigns or Dean Ambrose headline WrestleMania and perhaps Sheamus isn’t a huge draw yet but a successful run as a heel could change that.