The Royal Rumble is 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. We profiled John Cena, Antonio Cesaro and Wade Barrett earlier this week, you can check that out at this link. We then profiled Ryback, The Miz and Dolph Ziggler, you can read the article by clicking here.
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 235 lbs.
From: St. Louis, MO
Championships Reigns: WWE Champion (x6), World Heavyweight Champion (x3), Intercontinental Champion, World Tag Team Champion (w/ Edge)
Making Randy Orton angry won't cause him to morph into a giant green rage monster, the results, though, may result in his opponents complete physical destruction nonetheless. The St. Louis-naïve "Viper" famously strikes suddenly with his RKO finishing maneuver; the setup, however, is far more calculated and deliberately methodical. A multi-time world champion, Orton is always a threat to any titleholder.
But what if he wins the Royal Rumble Match again?
In the annual 30-man over-the-top-rope clash Orton is definitely a competitor who won't go easily. Any attempt to hoist him from the ring may result in someone being quickly flattened face first, then viciously tossed from the ring.
Orton has prior violent history with every current world title holder and nearly all top contenders. He and CM Punk already have one classic WrestleMania duel under their belt, so imagine their intensity with the WWE title on the line! And who wouldn't want to watch the now veteran Orton go one-on-one with "The Great One" Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson!
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 267 lbs.
From: Dublin, Ireland
Championships Reigns: WWE Champion (x2), World Heavyweight Champion, United States Champion
The Road to WrestleMania is a pathway to memorable moments. After winning the 2012 Royal Rumble, Sheamus' journey led to an 18-seconds-long 'Mania bout culminating with him claiming the World Heavyweight Championship from then titleholder Daniel Bryan. While considered an embarrassing moment for his opponent, did the "Celtic Warrior" truly shine on the biggest stage of them all? Some may agree he didn't.
But what if he wins the Royal Rumble Match again?
Sheamus found himself in some hard-hitting, often-times brutal title defenses following last year's WrestleMania; those, though, won't erase the quality of his championship victory from history. The characteristics that have defined his career were not utilized. Landing only his signature Brogue Kick finishing maneuver to secure the win, the only move executed in the entire match, made this barbaric workhorse appear as a one trick pony.
Winning the Rumble for a second straight time could set the stage for Sheamus to attain a more flattering benchmark!
Weight: 212 lbs
From: Ghana, West Africa
Championships Reigns: Intercontinental Champion (x4); United States Champion (x2); WWE Tag Team Champion (x2 – 1 with R-Truth, 1 with Evan Bourne); World Tag Team Champion (with CM Punk)
Professional wrestling fans were hearing it well-before and ever since his debut on WWE television: Kofi Kingston is impressive. Cat-like agility and breathtaking leaping ability has made Kingston a mainstay in highlight packages. Do you recall how he staved off elimination from Royal Rumble 2012 by landing outside the ring on his hands, walking to the ring steps in full handstand? That image is sure to live on!
But what if he wins the Royal Rumble Match?
It is likely a large number of both fans and critics longing to witness Kofi compete for a major championship. Winning the Rumble would provide this opportunity. While his move set has not evolved much in recent memory, a lengthy match with an elite opponent could be just the creative challenge he needs to evolve.
Kingston challenging CM Punk (if he is still the reigning WWE champion) would set the stage for a compelling in-ring showcase! Kofi targeting someone like Del Rio, or Orton (there's lots of history there) or maybe even Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship could also be intriguing!
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.