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One of the big things that WWE talks about when it comes to the Royal Rumble is that anybody can win it. 30 men can enter, and it doesn't matter if you are a jobber like Heath Slater, a returning legend like Jim Duggan or a former world champion like John Cena, in theory all have a chance at "realizing their dreams" and going on to main event Wrestlemania.
But let's be serious, although 30 men can enter the Royal Rumble, realistically only a handful of wrestlers have an actual chance at winning the thing. Yoshi Tatsu is not going to enter at number 14 and be the last man standing. With that in mind, I have decided on creating betting odds for the Royal Rumble. I assume there is a place online that you can actually bet on the Rumble, but I would advise against betting on a predetermined series of events. These are simply for fun and to stir up conversation.
250-1: The Field
The Field encompasses everyone that isn't going to get odds below. The Field will consist of about 20 random wrestlers, some will be mid-carders, and some will be surprise entrants and what-not. The reason the odds are so low is that there has never really been a "surprise" Royal Rumble winner. Some returning stars, like John Cena and Edge have won the rumble, but it was hardly surprising to see them end up winning the whole thing. The biggest surprise in Royal Rumble history has probably been either Rey Mysterio or Alberto Del Rio, and even those didn't really seem like huge upsets.
Sheamus is likely to return to WWE action at the Royal Rumble, and with a victory already under his belt, he has a reasonable chance at making it to the end. The issue with Sheamus is that there is only one world title shot now available because the two world titles have been unified. Sheamus was a consistent contender for the WHC, but he hasn't really reached the point that he could challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania. It is likely that Sheamus will make his return, gain a few eliminations and eventually be eliminated. WWE will probably want to build him back up a little bit before he is ready to move into the main-event picture.
40:1- John Cena
Cena will already be wrestling for the unified title against Randy Orton at the Royal Rumble, but that does not mean that he also can't be in the Royal Rumble. Back in 2012, Randy Orton lost his WWE Championship match against The Miz, then went on to be in the Royal Rumble and nearly won the match. If anyone is going to be booked into a world title match and into winning the Royal Rumble one the same night, it is going to be John Cena. Also, Cena being screwed out of the championship and then winning the Rumble to regain his title shot would be a possible storyline to set up the main-event for Wrestlemania.
30:1- Chris Jericho
This one makes sense as long as Jericho comes back for the Royal Rumble. Jericho was the first ever person to unify the titles, so it is a no-brainer that eventually he should face the WWE WHC. Jericho is easily popular enough to be a part of the main-event of Wrestlemania, and after all the jobbing to younger guys he has done, he deserves a reward like this. Jericho vs Randy Orton would be a very interesting feud as well.
25:1- CM Punk
Punk's chances saw a big upgrade when Daniel Bryan was diagnosed with a concussion. If Bryan cannot go, and Cena is written out of the title picture, Punk becomes the best babyface to challenge for the WWE WHC. Right now it is looking like Punk is going to end up in a match against Triple H, and a week ago his chances of winning the Rumble wouldn't be nearly as high. But Bryan's concussion, depending on how quickly he can recover, might throw a huge wrench into the plans for Wrestlemania, and what looks definite right now could easily change by next Sunday. Punk has never won the Royal Rumble, nor has he main-evented Wrestlemania before, all despite being either the WWE's most popular or second most popular wrestle for most of the last several years.
20:1- Randy Orton
Even more abstract than Cena possibly winning the match is Randy Orton, the current WWE WHC, winning the Royal Rumble. Orton losing the title fair and square to Cena, and then slithering back into the Royal Rumble and winning the match to challenge for the title at Wrestlemania is a pretty unique way to get to the main-event of Wrestlemania. Orton's chances basically come down to what WWE wants to do with the WWE WHC at Wrestlemania. If they want it to be Randy Orton vs John Cena, then this is the way I think they will do it, if they want to go away from Orton then he probably won't even be in the match.
The returning Batista is one of the most decorated wrestlers of the last 10 years, and he has been the one to be rumored to win the match on Sunday. It will be Batista's first wrestling match in nearly four years, so it would come as a little bit of a surprise if he were to actually win the match. On the other hand, Batista has a long history with both Randy Orton and Triple H, so it makes sense to launch him into a feud with both of them, especially in the main-event at Wrestlemania. Batista would probably be the favorite if it wasn't for the fact that he hasn't been a part of WWE for such a long time, and it seems unrealistic that they would put him directly into the biggest spot in the company. The Rock did that, but Batista is not nearly as popular or marketable as The Rock.
5:1- Daniel Bryan
Bryan looked destined to be locked into a feud with Bray Wyatt, going at least through Wrestlemania, but Monday's events have changed all of that. Bryan is clearly the most popular wrestler WWE has, and his recent close-but-no-cigar feud with Randy Orton transitions nicely into a main-event for Wrestlemania. Bryan is as popular as ever, and the time is ripe for the picking for him to become the number one face in WWE, at least for a little while. Bryan's recent concussion might make a difference, but pro wrestling is different than regular sports in that Bryan could still appear and his opponents could specifically not work on anything with his head. Bryan could easily come in at number 30, work 5 safe minutes and win the Royal Rumble with no complications. Bryan is undisputedly a deserving winner, and his victory would probably be the most well-received Royal Rumble victory since at least Chris Benoit's win in the 2004 Rumble.