The new year is upon us. In the world of WWE this means we begin the trek toward the Royal Rumble.
The most of the times 30-person (there have been some diva involvement and had 40 entrants in 2011) battle royal is one of the most popular events in history.
This time around will also be among the most important Royal Rumble matches to win because there is now only one WWE world heavyweight championship that rules them all.
With that said, it’s easy to see CM Punk and Roman Reigns as favorites to win. Obviously, this could change with unforeseen injuries, the luck of the number drawn and other superstars jockeying for momentum leading into the January spectacular.
Punk has been on a roll the last few months in pretty much taking down Paul Heyman’s group of assassins, albeit for the time being. He also battled the Shield on his own at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs and won. To me, this shows Punk knows how to work around the whole strength in numbers thing.
A fact that could benefit him considering he is slowly angering the Authority more and more with each passing week. I wouldn’t be surprised if Triple H and Stephanie put a target on his back when the bell rings. Punk always seems to rise to the occasion as the underdog, and it wouldn’t be the first time a performer had to deal with being the marked man.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin made sure not to make friends going into the 1998 Royal Rumble. That didn’t stop him from winning the event and going on to WrestleMania to defeat Shawn Michaels for the WWE championship. Punk is also hungry to reclaim what he believe is rightfully his.
The longest WWE title holder of the modern era has been out of the championship picture for a while now to deal with Heyman issues, but now the “Best in the World” looks to have a renewed focus. This means trouble for those in the way of the wily superstar.
At the same time there is a young gun who has the power and ability to shock the world. Roman Reigns, along with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, has been a force in WWE for more than year now. In that time they’ve faced the top names in the business.
Undertaker, John Cena, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and many others have been victims of the well-oiled machine. It’s good to have allies when you go to war, and this trio normally sticks together. Reigns could use this to his advantage to a certain point.
Though it probably wouldn’t be for long, as Rollins and Ambrose have the same aspirations of making it to the top of the WWE mountain. Every member of the group has been impressive in their own ways, but Reigns’ star has appeared to shine the brightest recently.
The powerhouse has managed to stick out. He made a huge statement at Survivor Series, emerging the sole survivor for his team. Reigns didn’t just stand victorious, but he did against former world champions and veterans of the business.
I’m sure Reigns got a big boast of confidence from that win. If history is any indication, success at Survivor Series leads to success in WWE overall. Look what impressive showings at Survivor Series did for Randy Orton.
It’s not very often an emerging superstar like Reigns comes out of the Royal Rumble victorious. However, we are in a new WWE era with a wealth of new blood on the roster, so why not?
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