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The John Report: WWE Royal Rumble 2015 Preview

Posted By: John Canton on Jan 24, 2015

The John Report: WWE Royal Rumble 2015 Preview

TJR/Melo Man

The 2015 Royal Rumble takes place this Sunday night in Philadelphia as the road to WrestleMania 31 truly begins.

It's a weird lineup. There's only one title on the line despite the fact that there are four titles that could be defended on the show. There are no one on one matches on the show either. There are four tag matches counting the Kickoff Show. That just seems so random.

To WWE's credit, they have done a good job in building up both the WWE Title and Royal Rumble matches. The build for the WWE Title match wasn't that great, but it received a boost on Monday when Brock Lesnar became a wrecking machine again.

The Rumble is a big sell by itself just because of its name. Daniel Bryan's return has really boosted it because people want him to win. There are some other good contenders with Roman Reigns going in as the favorite. Plus, there are the surprises that people love talking about. It's just a fun match that we like to enjoy since it only happens once per year.

The match order isn't the order that I necessarily think will happen on the show. It's just a format to use for this preview.

(Note: All match graphics are from WWE.com)


Kickoff Show: The New Day vs. Cesaro, Tyson Kidd & Adam Rose

This should be a really good match just because most of the guys in the match are good to great in the ring and then there's Adam Rose, who bores the hell out of me. It is advertised as an elimination match, so hopefully they just get rid of Rose early and let Cesaro & Kidd (let's call them The Swinging Cats) do the work against The New Day. The tag moves that Cesaro & Kidd are doing already are awesome. I'm looking forward to them working with The Usos a lot later this year. If Rose went away for good I wouldn't miss him. I'll just leave it at that.

I think The New Day should be considered a bit of a flop at this point, but it's also really early in their run as a trio so fans should be a little bit more patient with them. It still feels like they are doing this ridiculously over the top gimmick because it's going to lead to them turning on the fans for not liking them although maybe that's just what I want it to be because WWE really needs more heels right now.

In terms of the winners, it will probably be The New Day. While I hope that Cesaro & Kidd have a great run as a team, this is being done as a trios match to put that three man group over. Since it's on the Kickoff Show, which is one hour long, they might get 15 minutes for the match and that's a good thing if that happens.

Winners: The New Day


New Age Outlaws vs. The Ascension

I think it's pretty silly that the New Age Outlaws are wrestling on a PPV in 2015 after going away at WM30 last year, but they both work for WWE so it isn't a surprise. All of The Ascension's promos ripping on older teams were done to build up to that moment on Raw where they got their asses kicked and apparently to set up this match. The way The Ascension has been booked in their first month on the main roster has been disappointing, but it's early. Hopefully it gets better.

This one should be easy to book. The Outlaws have no business winning a match like this. It needs to be short and needs to a dominant win by The Ascension. Put them over strong and end it in five minutes or less. Anything more than that is too much.

Winners: The Ascension


Paige & Natalya vs. The Bella Twins

This one should have been a triple threat with Paige and Natalya challenging Nikki for the Divas Title. It seems like Nikki's lost matches to both women to earn them a title shot, but instead we get a tag match. A divas tag match isn't that appealing because quite frankly a match like this should be on television while PPVs should have title matches. For whatever reason, WWE decided to hold off on a title match.

Any time a champion is in a tag match on a PPV it's usually because that person is going to get pinned to set up a title match down the road. In this case, it's probably going to be Paige pinning Nikki because WWE is trying to re-establish Paige as a top babyface diva. Don't forget that AJ Lee should be back in the near future too. Maybe all of this is going to lead to Nikki defending the Divas Title against Paige, AJ Lee and possibly Natalya to make it a Fatal Fourway at WrestleMania. I'm not sure. I just think the faces get the win here.

Winners: Paige and Natalya


Tag Team Titles: The Usos vs. The Miz & Damien Mizdow

This is the biggest lock on the show because it's obvious that The Miz and Damien Mizdow are going to end their run as a duo in the near future. They dropped the titles on Raw a few weeks ago so that they could do this angle with the split possibly happening at the Rumble. It needs to happen soon because there's really not much more they can do with this angle.

The smart thing to do would be to have Mizdow accidentally mess up, which causes Miz to get mad at him and blame Mizdow for the loss. Then during the Rumble match they can have a moment where Mizdow shows he wants to be his own man and tosses Miz out for a big moment. No matter what happens with them, The Usos win here.

Winners: The Usos


WWE Title: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins

This is a tough call because I want Rollins to win either by winning the match or cashing in the briefcase, but I really have my doubts. A few weeks ago when it was just Lesnar vs. Cena I would have definitely picked Lesnar to win. However, after seeing how he was booked on Raw where he went after everyone and even looked almost like a babyface, I'm not sure if he's going to carry the WWE Title into WrestleMania. Since he is probably leaving WWE right after WM, they might just have him lose here.

Right now I'm leaning towards Cena winning by pinning Rollins, which is why I think they added Rollins to the match. I think it was a case where they originally wanted Lesnar to win, then figured it would be dumb to have him hold the title for so long if he was just going to leave post WM31 so rather than have Cena beat Lesnar for the title, they can add Rollins to the match and Cena will pin him. That way Lesnar can say he didn't get beat and still lost while either staying heel or going face depending on whoever he faces at WrestleMania. He could justify the face turn by attacking Heyman saying that he didn't want to be in a triple threat where he could lose without being pinned. That could set up Lesnar vs. Rollins for WM31.

I expect a very good match here. Rollins is one of the best in-ring performers in WWE that has built up some great chemistry with Cena. We don't know how he'll do against Lesnar, but most likely he'll do an incredible job of selling Brock's power moves. There will probably be a lot of nearfalls like there are in most triple threat matches.

Since the undercard is so weak I think this will be a 20-25 minute match. They will have plenty of time. It also wouldn't surprise me if this was the last match on the show although I would prefer it if the Rumble match went on last.

I'm going with Cena for the win by pinning Rollins and then he'll go on to WrestleMania to defend the WWE Title against the babyface opponent. Cena didn't main event last year. You think he's going to be out of the WrestleMania main event two years in a row? I don't.

Winner and New WWE Champion: John Cena


30-Man Royal Rumble Match

(Listed Participants on WWE.com as of Friday 9pmET: Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, Rusev, Bad News Barrett, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Goldust, Stardust, Big Show, Kane, The Miz, Damien Mizdow, R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, Fandango, Luke Harper. That's 17 names. There are 13 more.)

This is what I wrote in my live review after last year's Royal Rumble: "You can pencil in Roman Reigns as the 2015 Royal Rumble winner right now."

As I sit here one year later on the brink of the 2015 Royal Rumble, my pick is still Roman Reigns. Don't get me wrong. I want Daniel Bryan to win. I think he should win. However, I think WWE's goal for the last year has been to make Reigns look strong all the time. He has been built up with big wins and shows no signs of stopping.

Here are some other thoughts bullet point style on this match:

- I think Dean Ambrose is going to be one of the first two guys in there and last a long time. Him or Ziggler, but they've put Ziggler in that spot before. That's why I think it will be Ambrose.

- The Dudley Boys are rumored to be on the show. I'm all for it. It would be smart if they were entered back to back in the match so they could do some spots together. The Philly crowd would love it. If they're not in the Rumble then perhaps they'll be used to go after The Ascension earlier in the show.

- Randy Orton will be the biggest surprise entrant and I think he'll last near the end. Bo Dallas will also be in, but that's not big of a deal because he was booked so poorly. I think Sheamus is possible as a surprise entrant too. He's probably going to turn heel soon, so perhaps they will do it during this match.

- Dolph Ziggler needs a big showing although I think whatever momentum he had in the past isn't there right now. Too much bad booking has hurt him. He may last the longest in the match or near the longest just because he's one of the best in-ring performers in WWE.

- Bray Wyatt is a big wildcard for the match. They've done a poor job of utilizing him in the last couple of weeks, yet he's one of the biggest names. He won't win, but will do well.

- Big Show and Kane are valuable in the sense that they are veteran heels that will be a big deal for a babyface to eliminate. Show will probably get eliminated by Reigns near the end. I think Kane will get tossed out by Ziggler.

- Rusev is going to look great in the match. I think he's going to toss out the most guys, which will be around seven people. Put him in there about midway through and have him last near the end.

- Daniel Bryan will get the biggest ovation. There are a lot of ways that things can go for him, but I see him getting screwed out of it somehow. I mentioned Sheamus going heel earlier. Perhaps Bryan will eliminate him, then Sheamus can go back in the ring, cheap shot Bryan and toss him out. The next night they can say Sheamus is in The Authority and that sets up a WM31 match between them that was rumored for last year. It's not what most of us want for Bryan, but I don't see him winning here.

- Reigns will win, but WWE has to protect him. I think he'll enter in the final third of the match so #22 or something like that. The two guys in the final three with him should be heels like Big Show and Rusev. That way the fans aren't going to hate Reigns if he's against a boring old guy like Show or a foreign heel like Rusev.

I'm reminded of the old Ric Flair catchphrase: "To be the man, you've got to beat the man." John Cena has been the man in WWE for a decade. That's why he will be the man that Roman Reigns will beat for the WWE Title at WrestleMania 31. Is it the best decision? Probably not, but that's where I think it's going. While I'm not a Reigns or Cena hater, I'd love to be wrong on that prediction.

If it was up to me the WrestleMania 31 main event would Brock Lesnar losing the WWE Title to Daniel Bryan. If not that then Seth Rollins losing the WWE Title to Daniel Bryan. Sadly, I don't get a say in the matter. I think it's going to be Cena against Reigns.

Wrestler That Lasts The Longest: Dean Ambrose (He stole Fandango's number on Smackdown without him knowing. Still going to keep him as my pick.)

Most Eliminations: Rusev

Winner: Roman Reigns


Final Thoughts

It's a two match show. I think WWE has done a great job of hyping those two matches, but the rest of the card is disappointing. If those last two matches are great then that's all people are going to remember. If they find a way to disappoint then there are going to be negative feelings towards it. I get the sense that a lot of people are going to be angry if Daniel Bryan doesn't win just like last year. I guess we'll find out Sunday night.

I'll be writing about the Royal Rumble live on TJRWrestling.com at 8pmET and I'll post it on here on Monday morning. I'll probably watch the Kickoff Show too because I like the guys in that match. You can read my thoughts live or check it out after the show.

Enjoy the Royal Rumble. Thanks for reading.

John Canton - mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling.com on Facebook

Tags: #thejohnreport #wwe #royalrumble

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