Written by Bill Bodkin, Michael SD & a number of guest contributors
Just hours before the WWE 2015 Royal Rumble begins, the Pop-Break staff and numerous contributors speculate on the winners and losers of tonight’s show…
Pre-Show: New Day vs. Adam Rose, Cesaro & Tyson Kidd
Bill Bodkin: The New Day and their impossibly illogical gimmick somehow steal a victory when one of the New Day, probably Kofi, pins Adam Rose who will undoubtedly be distracted by the returning Bunny…although supposedly Justin Gabriel just quit, so who knows who’ll be under the hood.
Winner: The New Day
Michael D: . It is a shame because there are six really, really talented guys here, but there are way too many matches and the Rumble needs at least an hour-and-a-half, so this will be a 10-minute spot-fest. I would like to see Kidd/Rose/Cesaro win, but I hate the Adam Rose gimmick and they aren’t going to bury two teams this fast.
Winner: The New Day
The New Age Outlaws vs. The Ascension
Bill: This is going to be a sleeper match up, if the WWE allows it. The Outlaws looked good in their brief in-ring appearance on RAW and if the WWE doesn’t want to continue burying The Ascension then these two can have a really fun match. I think the Ascension wins here, but it wouldn’t shock me if they get buried further and further.
Winner: The Ascension
Michael D: The last time the Outlaws got in the ring, they held the Tag Team Championships, and for a lot longer than people thought. If you watched RAW, you saw the Ascension get murdered and decapitated by a JBL lariat. When a guy on commentary is that vocal about hating someone, then gets in the ring and mauls them, you know the future is bleak.
Winner: The New Age Outlaws
Paige & Natalya vs. The Bellas
Bill: The actual good wrestlers, not the cover girls should win this match, but alas “Fearless Nikki” and “Brie Mode” will win. Why? Because they’re The Bellas.
Winner: Team You Can Look But You Can’t Touch aka The Bellas
Michael D: Sorry. Don’t care. Moving on.
Winner: Paige & Natalya
The Usos vs. Miz & Mizdow
Bill: The Usos went from being jobbers to the team that never, ever loses. I think that ends here as Miz & Mizdow win the titles and this builds to a ‘Mania feud. Of course, they could lose and it leads to a Miz vs. Mizdown feud for ‘Mania..or at least the Mania pre-show.
Winner: Miz & Mizdow
Michael D: I see Usos losing, however the real intrigue will see Mizdow once again claiming the titles for Team Direct-to-DVD. I expect Miz to finally snap, cause the team to lose the titles a week or two later.
Winner: Miz & Mizdow
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar
Bill: This’ll be a fun match, but we know who’s taking the pin here — Seth Rollins. This way Super Cena remains strong and can one day exact his revenge on Brock.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Michael D: I really went back and forth way too much on this. I thought at first Brock would lose to set up some sort of celebrity match at WrestleMania, but then again, what better than to have a celebrity-status guy like Lesnar defend the title against someone we would never have considered. That being said, a month ago I would have never thought WWE would put anyone besides Cena or Orton in a ring with Lesnar, and now we have Seth Rollins in a believable scenario. As much as I want to see Rollins win here, it just is not happening and there has been no hype at all about Cena clinching Ric Flair’s record-number of title wins.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
The Royal Rumble Match
Bill: I don’t care what logic tells me, Roman Reigns is not going to win this. I’m predicting Daniel Bryan as the big winner. The storyline is so easily built for an amazing Wrestlemania match. Brock holds the title that Bryan never lost. Bryan is now the ultimate underdog. PRINT MONEY.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Michael D: Originally I thought WWE would pull a swerve of a Dolph Ziggler win. Although Rollins in the ring with Lesnar is believable, I have a hard time seeing WWE putting Ziggler in a ring with Brock. That being said, someone WWE could put in the ring is Roman Reigns. Except a Reigns Rumble win would earn the same result as last year’s debacle, with Batista being booed out of the building. What happened? WWE finally caved and re-wrote the script to include the guy they wanted to see… Daniel Bryan. This is the ultimate David and Goliath story.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Nick Porcaro – Will win: Roman Reigns. We all know he’s getting the rocket-propelled push: he’s front and center on the WM31 magazine cover, CM Punk said as much in that infamous interview, and last but not least, Vince McMahon is said to be personally writing Reigns’ promos. (Surely that explains why they’ve been so awkward as of late. Who the hell says “Sufferin’ succotash” anymore?)
Should win: Daniel Bryan, without question. The American Dragon. Everyone’s favorite underdog. Sure, he got his incredible WrestleMania moment last year, but it would never have happened without the unavoidable fan interference that marked Royal Rumble all the way up until he was booked to face Triple H in a shot at the main event slot. Bryan’s subsequent injuries cut short what could have been a legendary championship run, and only his absence in last year’s Rumble could get a crowd to boo perennial babyface Rey Mysterio. And with Bryan’s promise of a realistic match the likes of which we’ve never seen in a WWE ring, the prospect of a Bryan-Lesnar main event has fans drooling. Give him a legitimate push this year, WWE Creative, and set right what once very nearly went wrong.
Steve Miller – This is the most unpredictable and disorganized promotion in the history of the Royal Rumble. The focus of the event has been on the WWE Championship and the misguided and disheartening decision to make it into a Triple Threat match. But, this is what happens when the McMahons continue to make themselves the focus of the product and not the real wrestlers/entertainers themselves. Their decision-making is clouding anything with the Rumble.
That being said, there are two choices to win the annual 30 man, over-the-top contest: Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns. It will be Bryan if the McMahon-Levesque crew want to appease the fans who want an underdog to emerge triumphant at Wrestlemania. It will be Reigns if Vince’s big man mindset wins out. The wild card in this decision is whether Lesnar has the belt after Sunday’s match. His contract is up soon and he will get the main event if he chooses to sign up for another year. If he doesn’t, Cena will win the match with the possibility that Rollins will cash in his Money in the Bank.
Predictions: Reigns wins the Rumble. Lesnar wins the WWE Championship Match. Reigns wins at Wrestlemania in the Semi-Final. Sting will wrestle HHH at Wrestlemania and lose once again giving Vince the chance to lord his business victory over Ted Turner’s wrasslin’ company WCW.
Evi Dworkis: Looking at WWE.com… R-Truth? No. Fandango? Get the f*** out of here. Why even bother listing them? Why don’t they just list JBL or Heath Slater while you’re at it? I’m sure my husband would crap himself if Wade Barrett or Titus O’Neal won, but in which lifetime would that happen? As much as I would like to see Luke Harper as an unexpected winner or Damien Sandow get some hard-earned recognition, this one will likely go to the guy who will probably win, Roman Reigns. We knew last year Batista would win, and this year it seems sadly obvious Roman Reigns will win. Reigns vs. Brock at WrestleMania. Hard to see, and will probably be hard to watch.
Kenny Pete – Daniel Bryan should win the Royal Rumble to then take on Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania because it would be Awesome & do big business across a wide ranging audience. Roman Reigns will win the Royal Rumble and wrestle Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania because Reigns is the chosen one who the company is counting on to be the bearded golden goose for a future full of sloppy superman punches & not so great mic work. Sleeper pick. CESARO.
Naftali Rosenberg – It’s Daniel Bryan. I think his exclusion from last years Rumble as well as his forced hand-over of the WWE title fuel his drive to win. Bryan should be able to lay low and his recovery time may have him refreshed enough to go the distance, which he may have to do as I expect some Authority shenanigans.
Anthony Toto – Once upon a time, I rented every Royal Rumble circa late 80s – early 2000s from my local video store since it’s my all-time favorite wrestling event. For the record, I also rented plenty of World War 3’s for my fellow WCW fans out there. Outside of the deceased King of the Ring, few WWE events create an even level playing field for a majority of the roster. That’s why wrestling fans gravitate towards this event – any of our favorite wrester’s could potentially win.
Last year, I walked away from the Royal Rumble in such disgust – I’m taking a level of anger right up there with the Montreal Screwjob, The Fingerpoke of Doom, and CM Punk’s revelations in the Colt Cabana podcast. Daniel Bryan earned his opportunity to win last year’s Royal Rumble and witnessing that crowd’s disappointment at such a premier event – it took away from the purity of watching wrestling. The WWE consistently churns out a mediocre product – at best – and still managed to ruin something special like the Royal Rumble.
Flash forward; the WWE redeemed itself by giving Daniel Bryan his well-deserved Wrestlemania Moment. Unfortunately, injuries derailed the most popular figure in wrestling since The Rock or Stone Cold. I’m reading Royal Rumble predictions from different outlets saying things like, ‘Could WWE trust Daniel Bryan to stay healthy? Should WWE still give Daniel Bryan a main event level push?’ To this I say – give me a break! Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold broke their necks yet came back to headline main events and hold titles.
In terms of in-ring product, one could only imagine the potential ceiling of ‘This Is Awesome’ between someone like Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar. Especially if Lesnar utilizes his full wrestling skillset, we’re talking about a potential ‘greatest headlining match ever.’ If anyone watches the ‘American Dragon’ era of Daniel Bryan, both these men could bring legitimate MMA maneuvers into the WWE ring. Having just watched Wrestle Kingdom 9 with fellow writer Nick Porcaro, this sort of approach has the potential to change the direction of WWE. Take into account the talent level in NXT – we’re on the cusps of a wrestling boom. If someone unproven like Roman Reigns wins, we’ll just have another ‘superman’ as the face of WWE. If the ultimate ‘David vs. Goliath’ battle between Bryan and Lesnar is allowed to blossom, the effects will create widespread appeal and could positively alter the future of the entire product. Say no to WWE’s brand of sports entertainment and say ‘YES!’ to quality wrestling!
Marty Strazynski – I believe Reigns wins the Rumble – and I hear you groan…
But maybe not. Earlier in the night, I see Rollins winning the triple threat because of a Heyman double-cross on Lesnar or a Money in the Bank cash-in. At which point we have 2 former shield members going head to head at Wrestlemania 31. But we’ve seen that you say… Ambrose crazy’s his way (it’s a verb) into the main event by sheer force of will. Shield reunion Wrestlemania 31 main event.
Brian Solomon – I’m going with the easy pick of Roman Reigns. I Rollins winning the title tonight, and that would set up a bold Mania main event, of Rollins vs. Reigns. Which is great given their Shield background.
John Lister – While, there are more actual contenders to win the Rumble this year as opposed to previous ones recently, I’m picking Roman Reigns. I don’t see them giving Danielson a repeat WM performance. They’ve been prepping Reigns to be there new golden boy for awhile now and nothing would put him over more than beating Brock Lesnar. However, if Rollins sneaks in and wins the title, I can see them having Ambrose take it, but if I had to choose one, going with Reigns. I see Bryan Danielson being the iron man lasting more than anyone else and either Wyatt or Rusev being the last man eliminated. Wade Barrett will depart the Rumble prematurely due to injury.
Ronn Blitzer – Dolph Ziggler. Announcers have been pushing him as reaching the next level, he’s feuding with the authority. I see him pulling a 1995 HBK and using the rumble to propel him to the mania main event.
Roy Angers – It’s one of the surprise entrants this year, although it is way damn too predictable. We saw all the surprise entrants on RAW. Idiots. Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, X-Pac, and even Ron Simmons. We won’t get JBL, because he had his turn last year, and lasted all of two minutes. Seems like everyone from the announce team gets a turn, so this year Booker T gets his turn to make a complete ass of himself. God, I hate him. I hate WWE, why must they torture us. Besides, it will be a surprise entrant this year, and it won’t be Randy Orton because that will go over as well as Batista coming back. If you haven’t figured it out by now, it is CM Punk. Don’t you read the internet! Every time Punk says he doing something with UFC or golf, it just means he’s one step closer to being back in the ring. He never left WWE, this whole thing has been a swerve from the start, and you all fell for it.
Michael Seidenfeld: I’m picking Daniel Bryan as the winner of this years Royal Rumble.
No one but Cena comes anywhere near the pop that Bryan gets, and everyone still remembers the disappointment of last years number 30, Rey Mysterio who got showered in a rain of boo’s.
Jennifer Amato – I predict Roman Reigns – because, despite everyone else claiming that they are, I think he is the new face of the WWE. Roman Reigns is what is best for business.
Bobman Williams – I foresee the final four superstars left in the Royal Rumble being Reigns, Bryan, Rusev and a returning Randy Orton, with a triumphant “YES!” man outlasting them all. (It’s just too soon for Reigns)
Mike Brown – For me, my heart wants Daniel Bryan to win for two reasons 1.) I selfishly want to see Bryan/Brock for the title. It’s the ultimate underdog story plus I honestly think it would be a great match. 2.) Bryan has a built in story with him returning from injury and taking back the title he never lost. Having said that, my gut is telling me Roman Reigns is going to win because WWE wants to rush him to the main event scene, even though….you know….suffering succotash/beanstalk promos. But who knows, this is the first rumble in a while where there are a few options for a winner opposed to a cut and dry “He’s the guy” winner.
Julio Sanchez – There is a guy who has been off television for too long, and I will tell you, the WWE is about to slap everyone across the face. WWE is probably still mad at the fans for rejecting him last year, so this year we get him again whether we like him or not. He might have taken the spot we wanted Bryan to have last year, but this year he will take it all. It’s REY MYSTERIO.
Christian Wagner – While there are lots of possibilities and the Internet predicting Roman Reigns as the victor, I have Randy Orton as the surprise entrant and winner for this year. Philly is going to eat him alive.
Devon Holaway – The Ascension beat NAO handedly. They issue an open challenge. Firework shoots towards the stage. Bubba Ray and D-Von hit the ring and make quick work of the Ascension.
Barry Berkowitzenstien – Oy, let me tell you. This Brock Lesnar, what a meshugana! He comes to the ring and has the chutzpah to bore us all to death. I’ll tell you, if not for Paul Heyman, and let me tell you something, he should be given the title of Rabbi, because, and I’ll tell you, his words carry more weight than anything this Mr. Lesnar can do in the ring. There is one man, and one man only who can take the WWE Championship from this behema, and that man is Batista. Would you look at this guy! Let me tell you, Batista, there’s a guy right there. He’s a guy who can get the job done, and I can tell you that.