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Fight Booth Countdown: Who Wins the Royal Rumble?

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Bryan-bell-665x385Sunday, January 25th, 2015 – The Royal Rumble will be upon us. There will officially be 30 superstars in the Rumble match, but only a select few have any chance at a victory. In the spirit of WWE Countdown on the WWE Network, we count down the Top 10 superstars most likely to win the 2015 Royal Rumble.

10. Dean Ambrose
The Lunatic Fringe has the chops to take the ball and run with it, if necessary, so his chances of winning may not seem that outlandish. However, given the recent space between Dean and the main event angles, it’s a long-shot he’ll be the last one standing. The fact he’s on this list at all should be a compliment to his abilities and character development. Ambrose could easily fall under the “break glass in case of emergency” category for WWE, in the event of an injury or unforeseen last-minute change. Not impossible, but unlikely.

9. Batista
What would the biggest troll-job in the history of WWE? That’s right, a repeat victory for The Animal. Dave is off playing a Bond villain, so he probably won’t even be at the Rumble. This entry is simply for fantasy booking entertainment, so we can wonder what comes after Boo-tista and Blue-tista. Forget the victory, and pretend Batista has the time to make a surprise cameo on January 25th. Can you imagine the suspense if he and Daniel Bryan were the last two standing in that ring?

8. Bray Wyatt
He’s rumored to be in line for a “big Wrestlemania moment”, but what else is new? He’s already wrestled the company’s biggest star at Wrestlemania freakin’ 30, so what else is there? Undertaker isn’t around, and likely won’t be. Maybe, just maybe, his Wrestlemania moment will be a title match after his improbably Rumble victory. Or maybe The Authority will send him after the “painted goof” Sting. Either way, Wyatt makes the short list of superstars with even a remote shot at winning the Rumble.

7. Rusev
Sounds crazy at first, doesn’t it? Maybe we should pump the breaks, and consider this a real option. John Cena has been the long rumored wrench in Rusev’s domination, and Cena might just be the champion heading into Wrestlemania. This possibility is littered with holes, beginning with the most obvious: there’s no way Rusev would defeat Cena at a Wrestlemania for the belt. Not yet, anyway. Impossible. In theory, it could be a throwback to Iron Sheik/Hulk Hogan feuds of the past, but would need a ton of work to get there. Probable? No. Possible? Sure, and that’s why Rusev makes the list.

6. The Rock
Want to get nuts? Let’s get nuts. It’s not like Vince McMahon to give us a match we’ve seen a million times before under the notion that it’s a “big draw”, right? Nahhhh. Cena could be champion, and Rock vs. Cena XIXIV has Vince’s version of “big draw” written all over it. The internet might just break. CM Punk chants might be resurrected. We want Divas!… J-B-L!…. Y-2-J!….

5. Dolph Ziggler
Now we’ve turned the corner into actual possibilities. As usual, any thought on Ziggler with the word “victory” in it is a long shot, so he stands on the outside of those with a real shot. Dolph had an incredible run in 2014, especially at the tail end. We don’t need to re-watch Survivor Series to remember his significance and performance at that event. Dolph is over; so, very over. He will have the crowd behind him at the Rumble. It would be electric if he emerges at the end with a decent shot of winning. Something exists in all of Ziggler’s potential Wrestlemania matchups: Ziggler vs. Rollins, Ziggler vs. Lesnar, and even Ziggler vs. Cena. They could all work on some level; just don’t hold your breath too long waiting for it.

4. Randy Orton
Boring on paper, unless it takes us to Lesnar vs. Orton. Believe it or not, we’ve never seen that before. The safer prediction is that Orton will have a monster “RKO Outta Nowhere” spot during the Rumble, since that went viral on an insane level. Orton vs. Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania could happen, and might actually carry enough weight to main event the card. It’s a real possibility.

3. Seth Rollins
Superstars in a title match at the Royal Rumble PPV usually are not in the Rumble match itself. But this is Seth Rollins, The Authority’s golden boy, and future of the WWE. Stephanie and Triple H already inserted him into the main event, despite him already holding the Money in the Bank briefcase; why wouldn’t they stack the deck with one more card? There is an avenue for Seth to get into the Rumble, and if he’s in it, he’s got as good a chance as any to win it. Rollins vs. Cena or Rollins vs. Lesnar are probably going to happen at some point anyway…

2. Roman Reigns
We’re already starting to turn on him, aren’t we? Someone clearly being positioned as the next John Cena is going to be a tough pill to swallow. The rumors are out there: Reigns takes down Lesnar at Wrestlemania. Reigns faces Cena in a symbolic passing of the torch title match. Before the #1 entry on the list was back in the picture, Reigns would have been the clear favorite to win. The company is clearly behind him, whether we think he’s ready or not. If you’re not part of the Roman Empire, you might want to strap in because Roman Reigns could be main eventing Wrestlemania 31.

1. Daniel Bryan
The story comes pre-loaded. The audience already cares. Being excluded from last year’s Rumble match adds fuel to Bryan’s inclusion this year. Bryan vs. Lesnar would be epic. Hell, so would Bryan vs. Cena for the championship. You ever want to tease a heel turn for either of them? That would be the feud to do it in. Regardless of what WWE had planned for Bryan’s previous championship run, it was cut short due to injury. There is still a middle and an end to that story, and we never got to see it. Does Daniel Bryan have the best chance at winning the Royal Rumble? I’m blanking on an answer that makes sense…

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