The first WWE Pay-Per View of the New Year is set to be held this weekend.
The 2013 Royal Rumble will take place on Sunday, Jan.27 in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s the 26th annual Royal Rumble, and will begin the road to WrestleMania 29.
The PPV event will feature the most highly anticipated match since WrestleMania 28. WWE champion CM Punk will challenge The Rock, with the title on the line. It’s The Rock’s first match since he defeated John Cena at WrestleMania in 2012.
Other than the WWE title match, the actual Royal Rumble match is set to take place. The match will feature 30 contestants, and will likely begin before The Rock challenges Punk.
With the winner of the Rumble scheduled to challenge for either the WWE or World Heavyweight championship, a few superstars have a legitimate shot of being the last man in the ring.
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Who has the best chance of winning the Royal Rumble?
Cena is the odds-on favorite to win the Rumble and go on to wrestle in the main event of WrestleMania 29. Ever since The Rock announced he would fight for the WWE title, rumors have been swirling that he would win the championship and go on to face Cena at WrestleMania in a rematch.
Last year’s match between the two superstars was billed as “once in a lifetime.” After The Rock defeated Cena cleanly, the two would need another reason to reignite their feud. The WWE title is reason enough for the wrestlers to fight again.
In 2012, Sheamus had a historic title reign, holding the World Heavyweight belt for 210 days. Only Triple H and Batista have held that title for a longer period of time.
The No.2 babyface in the company, Sheamus hasn’t held the belt since he lost it to Big Show at the Hell in a Cell PPV. Winning the Rumble would give the WWE a reason to put him back in the hunt to win the title.
Sheamus won the battle royal last year, and a second straight victory could help him win the World Heavyweight championship, once again.
Orton has been one of the WWE’s top stars in the past decade, but he hasn’t been a major factor in the company for the past year. Between injuries and a suspension, Orton seems to have lost his spot among the elite wrestlers.
The “Apex Predator” has been most effective as a heel in his career, but has played the role of a babyface in his most recent run with the WWE. There have been rumors that Vince McMahon is ready to make him a heel again, and launch Orton back into the title picture.
What better way for Orton to turn heel than with an underhanded win at the Rumble?
Ziggler is the most likely wrestler to make the leap to becoming an elite WWE superstar in 2013. He had a big 2012, winning the Money in the Bank briefcase and defeating Cena in the main event of the Tables, Ladders and Chairs PPV.
On the last edition of “Monday Night Raw,” it was determined that Ziggler would be the first or second entrant in the Rumble. Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit are the only two wrestlers to win the Rumble after entering the match first. Don’t be surprised to see Ziggler pulls of the same feat, or at least comes close to doing so
While The Undertaker is only expected to wrestle at WrestleMania, there’s a chance he could make an early return to the Rumble.
If Cena and The Rock have a rematch in April, the Undertaker will likely face CM Punk at WrestleMania 29. A win for The Undertake at the Rumble could put the Dead Man’s 20-0 WrestleMania streak against Punk’s title streak.