Good post, and I agree with all of it. I don't think Ryback winning is a strong possibility though. Ryback's popularity seems completely unplanned, and we all know WWE's track record in terms of capitalizing on unexpected popularity. They're like 0 for 100.
I look forward to the Orton/Sheamus match though. I still like Orton, and Sheamus has grown on me ever since the Big Show fued started. He really can put on legit PPV main event quality matches in a classic pro wrestling kind of way.
From posts on here Ryback seems to be the favorite to win it, and I'm one of the few it seems that would want that to happen. I think Ryback's a strong possibility to win it, but I don't think he's 100% going to win it like some people seem to think on this forum. Guys like Cena, Orton or Sheamus could easily win it again, but I'd like to think WWE have more sense than that. As I said in my post, guys like Sheamus, Orton and Cena, don't need that a Rumble win, and they won't get a rub of it, so in my eyes it seems pointless to give them that win. Whereas a guy like Ryback could greatly benefit from that win, an a Rumble win for Ryback could be the steps in creating a new star, and with WWE these days being so short of stars, it makes sense for Ryback to get that win, but of course this is WWE we're talking about so you can never be sure about anything. But aside from the chance of repeat winners like Orton, Sheamus or Cena winning it, is there anyone stronger than Ryback to win it from a kayfabe standpoint? He's had a great year, beaten the majority of the roster and has been in two back-to-back WWE Title matches, and not to mention he's over like hell. And I get your point about WWE not capitalizing on unexpected popularity, guys like Zack Ryder and Daniel Bryan come to mind, but it seems obvious that WWE are more high on Ryback then they were Ryder or Bryan, and Ryback only lost those title matches against Punk so it can be Punk/Rock at the Rumble. And if The Rock wasn't around, who knows, Ryback might of been WWE Champion right now. And Ryback certainly blew up popularity wise, but I don't think it was unexpected, he just got over early than WWE probably intended and they went with it. The whole point of those months of squash matches he competed in was to establish him and get him familiar with the crowd, and WWE probably love how over Ryback is now, unlike someone like Zack Ryder where they didn't really care about his overness, nor did they capitalize on it. So for everything I've said above, I think they will capitalize on Ryback, and I think he's a very strong candidate to win the Rumble in my opinion. But we'll have to wait and see come Rumble time.
Orton/Sheamus with a freshly turned Heel Orton could be the best feud on Smackdown for months, just because it's something new and fresh, unlike all the Sheamus/Del Rio and Sheamus/Big Show matches. And they're both good workers so the matches should be decent. So because of that, I'm slightly interested by a potential feud between the two, despite not being a fan of either guy.