The Royal Rumble a variation of the traditional Battle Royal professional wrestling match. A total of 30 competitors, two WWE Superstars start in the ring; every 90 seconds thereafter another Superstar enters. A Superstar is eliminated when they're thrown over the top rope and both feet touch the ground. The last remaining Superstar of the 30 is guaranteed a championship match at WrestleMania. The winner has the choice of challenging either the current World Heavyweight Champion or WWE Champion.
This week we will be profiling some of the contestants in the Royal Rumble match, and look at the ramifications if they win.
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 251 lbs.
From: West Newbury, MA
Championships Reigns: WWE Champion (x10), World Heavyweight Champion (x2), United States Champion (x3), WWE Tag Team Champion (x2 – 1 w/David Otunga, 1 w/The Miz), World Tag Team Champion (x2 – 1 w/ Shawn Michaels, 1 w/ Batista)
The almost ravenous admirers and detractors alike are the reason John Cena remains a draw. There are those who love to see him win while others cheer for his punishing defeat. Any match Cena competes in becomes compelling by default, but there aren't many scenarios left for him.
What if Cena wins the Royal Rumble Match again?
The bull-strong grappler from Massachusetts has held the WWE Championship a record 10 times. Given his widespread popularity and global commercial visibility, he will likely win it again at some point. Leaving the Rumble match victorious could set this in motion.
His bout with The Rock was supposed to be "once in a lifetime"; he's battled CM Punk, Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Alberto Del Rio in every way possible. If Ziggler goes into WrestleMania as the reigning World Heavyweight Champion, given their recent encounters, Cena winning the Rumble and challenging him would make sense.
Height: 6' 5"
From: Lucerne, Switzerland
Championships Reigns: United States Champion
The cool and collected Antonio Cesaro has been making the most of the "big push" pro wrestling speculators have been alluding to. With an increase in appearances on RAW Cesaro continues to showcase his much-hyped strength, and, as of late, the agility and innovations which made him a draw pre-WWE.
But what if he wins the Royal Rumble Match?
Cesaro, with his physical attributes, athleticism, and high in-ring IQ, would be a surprising but believable victor. Surely WWE's younger or more casual followers may scratch their heads after seeing him win the 30-man over-the-top-rope match. Pro wrestling purists, though, may peak at the prospect of Cesaro likely challenging the reigning World Heavyweight Champion.
As WWE works to build and establish new main event Superstars, Cesaro winning in front of a sold-out US Airways Center would be one heck of an introduction to main event status. Imagine how entertaining these title matches would be: Cesaro VS Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro VS Sheamus, or Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler!
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 246 lbs
From: Preston, England
Championships Reigns: Intercontinental Champion (x2)
England-native grappler Wade Barrett reminds some of the professional wrestlers of the golden area. A mammoth brute with a stiffer, physically-punishing in-ring style, the former Nexus leader's pounding strikes look every bit of painful. No opponent seems unbeatable when facing the towering big man.
But what if he wins the Royal Rumble Match?
There are those who would argue had it not been for an injury in early 2012, Wade Barrett may already have at least one world title reign to his credit. Since returning he's experienced a "barrage" of momentum, winning the Rumble would kick Barrett's forward progress into overdrive.
Given the current state of WWE, him challenging the WWE Champion is doubtful. The reigning World Heavyweight Champion would likely find himself across the ring from Wade; it would be fitting if that opponent was somehow Randy Orton. He and Barrett engaged in one of the more memorable feuds in recent memory, adding the title would greatly intensify it!
Past Royal Rumble Winners: Jim Duggan (1988), Big John Studd ('89), Hulk Hogan ('90, '91), Ric Flair ('92), Yokozuna ('93), Bret Hart/Lex Luger ('94), Shawn Michaels ('95, '96), Steve Austin ('97, '98), Mr. McMahon ('99), The Rock (2000), Steve Austin ('01), Triple H ('02), Brock Lesnar ('03), Chris Benoit ('04), Batista ('05), Rey Mysterio ('06), The Undertaker ('07), John Cena ('08), Randy Orton ('09), Edge ('10), Alberto Del Rio ('11), Sheamus ('12)
Mr. Joe Walker - an award-winning entertainment and news journalist published thousands of times regionally, nationally, internationally, and online - loves professional wrestling. Follow him on Twitter @mrjoewalker.
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