Who needs to win the Royal Rumble Match?
One of WWE’s biggest and most anticipated events of the year, the Royal Rumble, makes an epic return to pay-per-view on Sunday, Jan. 27. ( HOW TO ORDER) In addition to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s first WWE Championship opportunity in more than 10 years, US Airways Center in Phoenix will host the famous 30-man Royal Rumble Match.
Few — if any — contests in WWE history have so consistently launched Superstars into the upper stratosphere of sports-entertainment. With the winner of the massive over-the-top-rope battle royal receiving a guaranteed WrestleMania main event title match for either the WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship, the prizes don’t get any sweeter and the stakes don’t get any higher.
The incredible achievement of a Rumble victory is a career highlight for anyone and everyone, as the only three Superstars to have officially entered the 2013 match can attest.
John Cena, Randy Orton and Sheamus — winners of the 2008, 2009 and 2012 Royal Rumble Matches, respectively — were the first three competitors to throw their hats in the ring for the Jan. 27 battle. Although they each already have a huge over-the-top-rope victory under their belt, all three would greatly benefit from a repeat Rumble win in 2013. ( WATCH FULL 2008 ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH)
But between Cena, Orton and Sheamus, who needs a second Royal Rumble Match triumph the most? ( VOTE) WWE.com takes a look at each of the three celebrated Superstars and their statuses heading into the Royal Rumble.
On the Dec. 31 episode of Raw, John Cena did not mince words when he surprisingly agreed with Dolph Ziggler’s taunts and insults about 2012 being an “off-year” for WWE’s biggest star. “There’s no way I can say that 2012 was a banner year for me,” the 12-time World Champion freely admitted.
Despite many impressive accomplishments in 2012, the Cenation leader acknowledged to the WWE Universe that he would have to begin 2013 with a fresh start to live up to his lofty standards. The iconic Superstar then shared his New Year’s resolution: To become WWE Champion again. “I don’t care if I have to beat [Dolph Ziggler], Big E Langston, Ryback, CM Punk, Big Show or The Rock himself. In 2013, I will be the WWE Champion!” Cena declared to the roar of the WWE Universe.
Those, unsurprisingly, sound like the words of a proud former 10-time WWE Champion who hasn’t held the title in more than 15 months. Since there is no better time or place for a Superstar to interject himself in the World Title hunt than the Royal Rumble Match, Cena must bring his A-game on Jan. 27.
If John Cena wants to declare “The Champ is here!” again in the coming year and redeem himself for a less than stellar 2012, he needs to take the first steps at the Royal Rumble. But he’s not the only one …
Every member of the WWE Universe knows that Randy Orton doesn’t play games.
After a vicious attack from The Shield put him out of action with a separated shoulder, The Viper triumphantly returned on the Dec. 31 episode of Raw to get some vengeance on Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
But Orton was apparently just warming up for 2013. On the Jan. 4 SmackDown, the nine-time World Champion kicked off the best show on Friday night with an announcement: “Since tonight is the first SmackDown of 2013, and it seems to be the ‘in’ thing to declare your New Year’s resolution, I’m going to make this short and sweet: I want to be World Heavyweight Champion.”
It’s understandable that WWE’s Apex Predator would want to regain his spot atop the WWE summit. After all, not only is he a three-time World Heavyweight Champion, but he was (and still is) the youngest Superstar to hold the title, at just 24. His having not held a World Championship for more than a year surely weighs heavily. Orton needs to win the Royal Rumble Match to reestablish that he is at the top of the WWE food chain and that he is indeed WWE’s Apex Predator.
The serpentine Superstar explained this by saying that SmackDown would again be “his” show, but Orton was interrupted by Sheamus, who had an announcement of his own to make …
Interrupting The Viper’s SmackDown address, Sheamus stated, “2013 is a new year and more than anything, I too want to be the World Heavyweight Champion. So I want to declare it to the world that I will be in the 2013 Royal Rumble Match.”
As the winner of the 2012 Royal Rumble Match, it’s not surprising that Sheamus will enter the 2013 contest to try and join “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels as the only winners of multiple Royal Rumble Matches.
In addition to securing a place in the history books, a second Royal Rumble Match victory would put The Celtic Warrior on the same track that he rode to such success last year. Using his guaranteed title match to defeat Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds at WrestleMania XXVIII, Sheamus went on to an incredible 200-plus-day title reign, garnering a spot as one of SmackDown’s biggest Superstars. Sheamus arguably had as good a 2012 as any Superstar.
But a second Royal Rumble Match win would solidify that spot at the top for good, a fact which has not been lost on the brawling Irishman, who knows as well as anyone what the over-the-top-rope contest can do for a Superstar’s career.
On Jan. 27, John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus and 27 other hungry Superstars will locks horns in the incomparable Royal Rumble Match. But who do you think needs to win the most? VOTE to make your voice heard and tune in when the Royal Rumble returns to pay-per-view!