Re: WWE: The Evolution Of Greed
~WWE Royal Rumble News, Notes and Spoilers~
With the Royal Rumble match being one of the most anticipated matches of the WWE calendar, many potential winners have been put forward to the creative team, but as always the final decision will lie with Vince McMahon himself. However, several names have gained favour backstage to emerge victorious, none more so than the name of Bobby Lashley. The current ECW Champion has been on a mega push for the last six months or so, and he could be set to see his push come to fruition with a main event match at Wrestlemania. However, in recent months crowds at WWE live events haven't been responding particularly favourably to Lashley, with boos painfully audible during recent episodes of Raw. While a split crowd has never stopped Vince pushing John Cena to the WWE Championship in the past, a similar push for Lashley may not be considered, especially with Cena still the top dog on Raw.
Another name strongly being considered is that of Shawn Michaels. With the start of his slow burning feud with Triple H in recent weeks, Michaels is being considered as a Rumble winner, possibly setting up a Michaels/Triple H main event at Wrestlemania. That of would mean Triple H becoming WWE Champion at some point between now and Wrestlemania, but the feud could still be elevated to championship status. The Game himself has also been looking to use his influence backstage to push himself to the main event, with a win tonight for Triple H a strong possibility.
The two favourites over on Smackdown so far are The Undertaker and Mr. Kennedy. Tonight appears set to be a huge night in particular for Kennedy, with he being considered for one of the marquee matches at 'Mania 23. Even if he doesn't win, expect a big performance from Kennedy tonight, and for him to work his way into title contention come Wrestlemania time. Also expected to leave the Rumble looking strong is MVP, although his absence from TV over the last month means a win tonight is very unlikely. Although shown as a favourite on TV, there is very little chance of The Deadman winning tonight, with creative feeling the mere presence of his legendary 'Wrestlemania Streak' enough to carry a marquee feud come 'Mania 23.
Speaking of The Undertaker and Wrestlemania 23, his opponent is still to be determined. So far there are no plans to start his 'Mania feud tonight, with creative feeling waiting until No Way Out in three weeks time a more likely place for the feud to start.
One final note regarding the Royal Rumble match is the possibility of a first happening during the match tonight. With tonight being the 20th anniversary of the match, one thought has been to have the Number 30 entrant finally win. That would place Edge in position to win, with many feeling his fantastic work with John Cena over the last year worthy of a Rumble victory. Edge's current Rated-RKO teammate Randy Orton is also an outside shot to win, with Orton looking to break back into the main event after not being near a heavyweight championship since last year's Wrestlemania where he lost to Rey Mysterio in a triple threat match also featuring Kurt Angle.
In the WWE Championship match, Rob Van Dam is being heavily leaned on to carry John Cena to a great match. Van Dam it seems is very much back in favour with management after being demoted due to his drugs burst last summer. It appears all is forgiven now, and Van Dam is set to once again be involved in the championship picture. A win for Van Dam is being strongly considered, especially since it appears Cena is set to meet Vince McMahon in some sort of fashion at 'Mania. It could be that Vince and Cena clash over a title feud, although putting the strap on RVD tonight through some sort of screw job by Vince is one idea being tossed around by creative.
Elsewhere on Raw, Kenny Dykstra looks set to take the Intercontinental Championship from Jeff Hardy tonight. Ever since the departure of his fellow Spirit Squad members, Dykstra has been elevated due to his association with Edge and Randy Orton. The concussion angle that took place on Monday night is set to be used in one of two ways. The concussion will either be used as an excuse for Jeff's defeat tonight, or to give Jeff a heroic victory, setting up a rematch, most likely to take place in eight days time during the Raw 'Night Of Champions' three hour special. Either way, expect Dykstra to pick up the strap soon, although tonight way still be considered too early for the youngster.
Over on Smackdown, anything other than a Batista victory tonight would be a huge surprise. Although considered a great worker and a valuable member of the roster, the veteran Finlay is not being considered for a World Heavyweight Championship run any time soon. However, a solid performance from Finlay tonight could see him gain a solid spot on the 'Mania undercard, with Finlay being touted as an early option to face The Undertaker.
There haven't been too many rumours regarding the United States Championship match other than it is the heavy favourite to open the show. Test has been on a strong push lately, and it would be no surprise to see him head into 'Mania as a heel US Champ, especially if Batista retains tonight. However, the safe bet is for Benoit to hold onto his title.
As of right now, there are no plans for any special appearances tonight. One thought was to include Bryan Danielson someway on the show, however that idea was nixed in favour of saving his debut for an upcoming episode of Smackdown. The speculation of who Mr. McMahon was talking to on the phone last Monday night is to this point a strongly guarded secret, with nothing put pure speculation with regards to the identity of the mystery caller.
And that's the final post from me before the show is posted. I'm aiming for Sunday night, but it may be some time later in the week. Anyway, here's the prediction template for anyone who fancies making a last minute prediction.
Royal Rumble Match
Bobby Lashley, Brian Kendrick, Carlito, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, CM Punk, Edge, Gregory Helms, Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro, Kane, King Booker, Lance Cade, Matt Hardy, Mr. Kennedy, Montel Vontavious Porter, Paul London, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Sabu, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, The Miz, The Sandman, The Undertaker, Tommy Dreamer, Trevor Murdoch, Triple H, Umaga
World Heavyweight Championship Match
Batista vs. Finlay
WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam
Intercontinental Championship Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Kenny Dykstra
United States Championship Match
Chris Benoit vs. Test
Predict the match order.
How many championships will change hands?
Which superstar will remain in the Royal Rumble Match the longest?
Which superstar will spend the shortest amount of time in the Royal Rumble Match?
Name the final four superstars in the Royal Rumble Match.
Which superstars will enter the Royal Rumble match as entrants 1 and 2?
Which superstar will make the most eliminations in the Royal Rumble Match?
Which superstar will be the first eliminated from the Royal Rumble Match?
Which superstar will be the last eliminated from the Royal Rumble Match?
How long will the Royal Rumble Match last?
Will there be any surprise appearances tonight?