Introducing...the man who drew No. 1!
Synonymous with the words "It is now time for the Royal Rumble Match," legendary WWE ring announcer Howard Finkel is no stranger to the event. This week, WWE.com caught up with "The Fink" to get his picks for the 19th annual edition of the Rumble.
Ashley vs. Mickie James with Trish Stratus as the special guest referee
Howard's Pick: Mickie James
"This match will be interesting. I think Mickie has an agenda, and she may feel she still needs to prove herself to Trish. Will she be wrestling for herself, or wrestling to in fact prove something more to Trish? She's shown she can get it done in there, and Ashley's inexperience in the ring is certainly a factor as well. But, one has to wonder if Trish will call it down the middle. Personally, I think she will."
JBL vs. The Boogeyman
Howard's Pick: JBL
"How do you prepare for this match, and better yet, how do you predict it? No one has any idea what the Boogeyman is going to do, and I don't know what kind of strategy JBL can have. You have to expect the unexpected. JBL is a known quantity, and for that reason alone, I have to go with JBL. JBL says he's a Wrestling God, and if he truly believes that, he'll find a way to pull it out. He's a shrewd individual."
John Cena vs. Edge for the WWE Championship
Howard's Pick: Cena
"Edge played his trump card at New Year's Revolution, and he hit the Royal Flush, but he has to go back to that card game this Sunday without his ace in the hole. Can he do it straight up? I don't think so. Cena is missing something that it very important to him, and he's very determined. I think Cena is going to pull it out in a close match."
Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship
Howard's Pick: Angle
"I think Kurt should emerge victorious. It was a shocking moment when he won the gold in Philly, and it's going to be very tough to get it away from him. Still, you can't sell Mark Henry short, he is the World's Strongest Man. There may be something we've yet to see out of him. He may surprise some people, but I don't think it'll be enough."
The Royal Rumble Match
Howard's Pick: Triple H
"The Royal Rumble is my favorite WWE event next to WrestleMania, but it's almost impossible to pick a winner based on many factors. We still don't know a few of the participants, and of course we won't know what number each man draws until Sunday. If I have to make a pick, I'll go with Triple H. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. He is truly The Game, and no matter what number he draws, he will adjust. Theoretically, the higher the number you draw the better your chances. Granted, guys like Benoit, HBK and Flair have gone the distance before, but it's still a longshot. When the dust settles, I think Triple H will be a force no matter what number he draws. He wants to be the champion again, and he's been there before. It's all about the game, and how you play it."