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Four men who could win the Royal Rumble and why

The WWE Raw Supershow starring John Cena, Chris

The WWE Raw Supershow starring John Cena, Chris Jericho, and Randy Orton will be June 18, 21012 at 8:15 p.m. (Credit: WWE, Inc.)

The Royal Rumble is just six days away. And as much as I’m looking forward to The Rock getting his first world title shot in a decade when he takes on CM Punk, I’m equally looking forward to the 30-man Royal Rumble match.

With the stipulation that the Rumble winner gets a world title shot at WrestleMania, for years it was nearly a given who would come out victorious. But now with two world title—and one of them frequently being defended in the opening match—the field is fairly open.

Here’s a look at four of the more likely Rumble winners.

John Cena

All signs are pointing to a Rock vs. Cena WrestleMania rematch—this time with the WWE title on the line following The Rock’s defeat of CM Punk this Sunday. However, considering the yet-unsettled grudge between the two big stars, it might seem odd that Cena would need to win the Rumble in order to get a rematch. WWE may be looking at it as a way to get around all the hype about last year’s WrestleMania main event being “once in a lifetime.”

Ryback

“The Big Hungry” has cooled considerably since bulldozing his way into WWE main event scene last fall and breaking through as a top star. The problem has been that Ryback needed to be booked as unstoppable, but had to be stopped in his quest for the WWE title if bookers were going to stick to their plan of having Punk hold on to the title through The Rumble. This may be a way of getting Ryback’s push back on track. The prospects for a Ryback world title match at WrestleMania aren’t that clear, but it could involve him challenging for the Smackdown version of the title, especially if it returns to The Big Show’s enormous waist this Sunday.

Sheamus

WWE has been serious about elevating Sheamus into a top tier star since he won the Rumble last year. But the Celtic Warrior has had to fight for space at the top of the cards along with Cena, Punk, Ryback, and others. By giving him back-to-back wins, WWE would be putting Sheamus in the company of such greats Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin. Not a bad way to kick start a renewed main event push. Again, a Mania title match isn’t obvious, but Sheamus could take on Alberto Del Rio in babyface match with international appeal, or look to settle his score with The Big Show.

Randy Orton

Considering how uninspired Orton has looked over the last year, this may look like a real long shot. But I’m guessing that Orton will undergo some major changes in the coming months that might make a WrestleMania world title match far more plausible. The fact is, Orton is miscast as a babyface, and it has to be just a matter of time before he returns to his sadistic ways. If that happens, a newly heel Orton challenging a newly babyface Alberto Del Rio for the world title could have some real heat to it.

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