The 28th annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view comes to us live from Philadelphia on Sunday night and boasts the highly anticipated Royal Rumble match as the main event, as well as the triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Here are the GiveMeSport wrestling writers predictions...
Kick off show - Tyson Kidd, Cesaro and Adam Rose vs. The New Day
For me, The New Day have been rather underwhelming since their debut and haven't quite gained the reaction from the Universe that WWE were hoping for. This match is a way to put them over further and hopefully will show that Cesaro, Kidd and Adam Rose can't co-exist.
Senior Writer Michael O'Brien: Recently announced for the Royal Rumble pre-show a six man elimination tag team match is actually one I would like to see. This may not be the best rivalry but I personally enjoy the performances by Kidd and Cesaro. With two teams who could both really do with a push in this one, I’m going to go with The New Day to open the Royal Rumble with a win.
Lead WWE Writer Raza Kazi: It's not a highly anticipated match and there's a reason it's only on the pre-show but it's still a great excuse to watch Tyson Kidd and Cesaro compete. Obviously they won't last as a trio especially if Tyson Kidd and Cesaro advance as a more serious team, which is why I believe The New Day will pick up the win. It's the pre-show match, Kofi, Woods and Big E have a lot more to prove as a team and the babyfaces usually win on the pre-show.
The New Age Outlaws vs. The Ascension
The New Age Outlaws returned around the same time last year and enjoyed a WWE Tag team title run in their short time with the company last year, but it doesn't seem like this will be their fate this year. The legends have been brought back to "put over" The Ascension and bring them some more heat, so hopefully they will pick up a memorable win here.
Michael: This is a tough one to call. On the one hand, the Ascension came highly rated from NXT and really need a push to help propel them up the roster. Then again, to have them actually overcome a legendary tag team would put weight behind their claims from recent weeks. I think we’ll see The Ascension get the win here as it will help establish them as a big name in a struggling tag team division and only help improve their heel image.
Raza: I've followed The Ascension since day one when Viktor wasn't even a part of the group so as a fan I wasn't too happy with how they were buried, even though the segment was great. Their push to the main roster hasn't gone as planned and I hope that a victory can lead them to bigger and better things - namely the WWE Tag Team Championship. That's the reason the New Age Outlaws are 'back', to put The Ascension over and I believe The Ascension will walk out the victors.
Paige and Natalya vs. The Bella Twins
Rather than have Nikki defend her Divas Championship here, WWE have opted to have a third tag match on the cards. Nikki is in need of some momentum here because it seems Paige and Natalya are taking over her spotlight on Total Divas. It will be interesting to see if The Bella Twins continue to work together, or if we finally see Brie make advances towards the Divas Championship.
Michael: A relatively well built feud here and capitalising on the success of Paige in Total Divas. The victors for me however will be The Bella Twins as it is always a good idea to keep your champion strong when they’re not defending their title - particularly with an eager AJ Lee scheduled to be back soon.
Raza: No Divas Championship match so this is probably the best we could have asked for with Paige and Natalya involved, I don't think there's anything to really get excited about right now, both Paige and Natalya will be looking for a title shot in the near future but the Total Divas storylines will also have an impact on future divas matches, I believe Paige and Natalya will pick up the win as they need it more than The Bella Twins as Nikki is already holding the championship.
The Usos (c) vs. The Miz and Damien Mizdow - Tag Team Championship
That Mizdow face turn is imminent, it's just when that is the big question now. The Usos have only just regained the titles and being the Tag Team of 2014, I can't see them dropping them so easily. I think Mizdow could cost his team the match and finally put the wheels in motion for what should be a decent feud with The Miz.
Michael: The Miz and Mizdow’s days are numbered in my opinion, so a loss is on the cards for them at the Royal Rumble. The Usos are the flagship tag team right now and they will be involved in WrestleMania as the champions in my opinion.
Raza: Another tag team match and this time for the WWE Tag Team Championships, I don't think we'll see anything different from the two teams. Maybe we'll see a bit more friction between Damien Mizdow and The Miz which could follow on to the Royal Rumble whilst The Usos always bring it in their pay-per-view matches, I see no reason as to why new champions should be crowned, The Usos will retain.
Seth Rollins vs. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar (c) - WWE World Heavyweight Championship
This is the one match that throws all predictions up in the air, John Cena has apparently already been leaked as the winner, whilst Brock Lesnar is still set to face Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania, which means one of the claims is false. Seth Rollins isn't exactly a dark horse in this either. I do think it's to soon to give Seth the title though and it would be a bit confusing having the title and the Money in the Bank briefcase. John Cena would equal Ric Flair's record as a 16 time World Champion if he claimed the title here, but I can't see that either. For me Brock Lesnar is the most dominant force in WWE right now and he will keep his title until Wrestlemania.
Michael: The match that everyone wants to see and where everyone has their favourites. I would love to see how much further Rollins can go as champion and although I think we’re not far from seeing that, I don’t think it’ll happen at the Royal Rumble. John Cena was reportedly part of a leak this week where promotional material had him pictured as the champion but I personally think Brock Lesnar will emerge victorious once again, giving him a big battle at WrestleMania once again.
Raza: Seth Rollins makes this match a lot more exciting and more unpredictable. He has the briefcase so there's a chance he could still walk out with the championship, John Cena is being advertised as champion after the Royal Rumble whilst Brock Lesnar's future in the WWE is uncertain and the WWE might decide to take the gold off him. It's difficult to call this one down the middle but I think with his contract expiring, Lesnar won't retain but he can still look strong as he won't need to be pinned. I also don't think Seth Rollins will cash-in until WrestleMania where he could potentially cash-in on Roman Reigns and I believe the championship heading into WrestleMania will be John Cena.
30-man over the top rope Royal Rumble match
This is probably one of the most unpredictable Royal Rumble matches I have seen in a long time, between Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns we have five worthy winners already and that's without any surprise entrants. I still feel like the likes of Randy Orton and Sheamus are due their return, but the main five guys could be the final five and either one can take it. There was a lot made about Daniel Bryan not being involved in this match last year and I think he might get his chance to shine this year instead.
Michael: It’s unpredictable and anyone can win - we all know that's not true. It is unpredictable though and this year we are given a large crop of contenders to be the last man standing. Daniel Bryan could win the match he was supposed to win last year whilst Dolph Ziggler could actually make 2015 his year like he was claiming quite a lot before being fired. Whilst I predict a Roman Reigns victory, wildcard entries have to go to Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose and Rusev.
Raza: Around half a year ago everyone would have answered Roman Reigns instantly, but with the return of Daniel Bryan, the rise of Dean Ambrose, the ever-increasing popularity of Dolph Ziggler; there are options which is great to see before a huge match. I think this will be the event where Kane eclipses Shawn Michaels' record of most eliminations, we'll see many returns such as Sheamus, Randy Orton, Bo Dallas and even the likes of Rob Van Dam and potentially other ECW or even NXT superstars. I expect Rusev to have a huge impact and perhaps eliminate the most opponents without breaking the record whilst Bray Wyatt should be one of the final competitors. I still believe regardless of the rumours, Roman Reigns will win the Royal Rumble but it won't be easy and it won't be a shock to see him lose. On Monday Night Raw we saw Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair pick their favourites to win in Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose - I think Roman Reigns was left out on purpose to divert the attention. What will be interesting is to see who eliminates Daniel Bryan; it could be a huge moment for an up and coming star whilst the fans might boo whoever throws him over the top rope.
These are just the predictions of the GiveMeSport wrestling writers, do you agree? Who do you think will be the surprise entrants this year? Use the comments box below to share your thoughts and opinions.
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