Saturday, 24 January 2015

WWE Royal Rumble 2015 - Preview and Predictions

WWE - ROYAL RUMBLE 2015 - Event poster featuring Triple Threat match between John Cena, Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar
This Sunday, WWE presents their annual over-the-top-rope extravaganza, with the winner heading to Wrestlemania for WWF Championship match, likely against whoever emerges victorious from the night's other key attraction, a three-way battle between John Cena, Seth Rollins, and defending champion, Brock Lesnar. 

Though the current product isn't something you'll find covered often at a blog called Retro Pro Wrestling, it's a little late in the day to make this part of my twice-monthly contributions to Camel Clutch, and besides, it sure beats spending more time covering the WWF, circa 1995.

Notable as one of the few major WWE events with no advertised singles matches, the 2015 Royal Rumble features no less than four tag bouts, along with the aforementioned triple threat, and the Rumble itself.

Here's my picks for the winners and losers, all in the order I suspect the card will run.

Quick predictions (in reverse card order):

  • Seth Rollins becomes your new WWE Champion
  • Roman Reigns gets his inevitable Rumble win
  • The Usos retain the tag titles
  • Paige & Natalya beat The Bella Twins
  • The Ascension beat the New Age Outlaws
  • The New Day beat Kidd, Cesaro & Adam Rose

Pre-show kick-off match:
The New Day vs. Tyson Kidd, Cesaro, & Adam Rose
Prediction: The New Day win

WWE - ROYAL RUMBLE 2015 - Royal Rumble kick off match - The New Day vs. Tyson Kidd, Cesaro & Adam Rose
There may not be a great deal at stake here, but, given enough time, this could well be one of the best things we'll see in the ring at the Wells Fargo Centre. Despite rumours that they've been busting hump in an attempt to become a top WWE tag team, those in charge don't yet seem to be fully behind Kidd and Cesaro. 

A shame really, since a program with The Usos could well produce some in-ring magic. 

Meanwhile, The New Day (a gimmick this writer just doesn't get), continue to shine, and thus are my pick for a win. 

The New Age Outlaws vs. The Ascension
Prediction: The Ascension win 

WWE - ROYAL RUMBLE 2015 - New Age Outlaws vs. The Ascension
For no other reason than sheer boredom, I recently found myself watching Kayfabe Commentaries' 1989 timeline with Brutus Beefcake. Among much madness, the Barber criticised modern wrestling as lacking opportunities for newly-emerging talent to mix it up with veteran performers. If ever there was a match to counter such a criticism, it's this one. 

Though not many are happy to see this one, I'm perfectly OK with this being on the card if it means the Acension can benefit from mixing it up with veterans Billy Gunn and the Road Dogg on a stage as big as the Royal Rumble. 

Whilst a win for the former NXT stars is pretty much a foregone conclusion -Please, God, let it be a foregone conclusion-, there's more to this one than who wins. As long as they prove they can hold their own on a major show here, this writer predicts we'll be seeing a lot more from The Ascension. 

Divas tag team match:
Paige & Natalya vs. The Bella Twins 

WWE - ROYAL RUMBLE 2015 - Paige & Natalya vs. The Bella Twins
There were a few months back in mid-late 2014 when other commitments meant I kind of lost track of the latest developments in the WWE. The last thing I remembered, Nikki and Brie hated each other. A few months later, I flick on WWE programming, and there they are as bosom buddies again. 

To this day, I still don't know what happened there, nor do I particularly care. Either way, I'm going to go with the general consensus among fans that the good girls take the win, yet still fail to overthrow Divas Champion Nikki at subsequent events. 

WWE Tag Team Championship match:
The Usos vs. The Miz & Mizdow
Prediction: The Usos 

WWE - ROYAL RUMBLE 2015 - The Usos vs. Miz & Mizdow
Logic and precedent all but ensure a really enjoyable tag team title match with a win for Jimmy & Jey.

That said win should come from miscommunication between Miz and his 'stunt double,' Mizdow, is also pretty much a given. This writer predicts the demise of the heel act later in the night, when Miz hurls Mizdow out of the Rumble match. The ensuing argument should distract Miz long enough for somebody to eliminate him , too. 

Cue much ringside brawling and a possible clash at the next big event. 

Royal Rumble match:
Predictions: Roman Reigns wins, Sting is the surprise #30 entrant
Predicted final five: Reigns, Orton, Kane, Bryan and Sting.

WWE - ROYAL RUMBLE 2015 - Rumble match participants Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose
There's a big difference here between what I'd like to happen, and what I think will happen. 

What I'd like to happen, would be for Daniel Bryan to claim the big Rumble victory many felt he deserved last year, and go on to make up for lost time with a proper WWE title run. Call me cynical however, but I don't that belt will be around Bryan's waist for at least the majority of 2015.

What I think will happen is something like this:

With only one more entrant to come, Reigns, Orton, Kane and Bryan duke it out in the ring, with Randy beating down on Roman and Kane eliminating Bryan to take the-feud-that-never-ends to the next level. 

The Authority henchmen then do a number on Roman Reigns, and for all intents and purposes, it looks like he's gone. Cue the buzzer, and the arrival of The Icon. Continuing to be a pain in The Authority's ass, Sting heads to the ring and assists the former Shield man in a valiant comeback. Sting eliminates Orton, Triple H gets involved to eliminate Sting, and Roman dumps out Kane to win. 

Hey, it could happen. 

WWE Championship:
WWE Champion Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
Prediction: Lesnar wins, Rollins cashes in, becomes your new champion

WWE - ROYAL RUMBLE 2015 - WWE Championship - Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
As above, we're more into fantasy booking territory than pure predictions here, but this one doesn't seem too far out of the realms of possibility. 

I predict a long match in which all three men battle to the point of exhaustion. With Rollins on the outside, Lesnar makes the WWE faithful happy by drilling Cena with an F5 and retaining his title. Coming to his senses, Rollins returns to the ring with the Money in the Bank briefcase and, continuing the tension between the two men that has been building for weeks on end, clocks Lesnar around the back of the head with it. 

One cash in later, ladies and gentlemen, your new WWE Champion - Seth Rollins. 

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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.