"This Sunday, at the Royal Rumble... it's gonna be the end of the world as you know it." - Chris Jericho, last Monday night on Raw
WWE has been promoting the Royal Rumble as the most unpredictable match of the year, but I’m going to try anyway, because this is Hurry up the Cakes, where we (I) attempt to do the impossible.
Here are the Hurry up the Cakes picks to win the 2012 Royal Rumble, with the odds in Resorts World Manila Vegas format:
In interviews during his vacation Fozzy World Tour, Jericho would say that he only wanted to come back to the WWE if he were to do something he (or anyone else) hadn’t already done before. And that he most certainly did—in all his creepy viral video, non-promo-promo, sparkly jacket glory. And he made us wait three weeks before he spoke that delightfully ominous statement quoted above.
Meanwhile, the IWC and the TWC were getting wet (with perspiration) in anticipation for a match between the “Best Wrestler in the World” CM Punk, and the formerly-self-proclaimed “Best in the World at What He Does” Chris Jericho.
Surely this is something Jericho himself would’ve wanted upon his return. Right? Right?
Hurry up the Cakes odds – 2:1
He constantly dominates in Goldberg-esque fashion, he gets the biggest pops every week for anyone who isn’t named Randy Orton, and all the kids love him: all ingredients to what WWE traditionally wants in a WrestleMania main event babyface. He ran roughshod over the entire SmackDown roster since he was drafted, but came nowhere near the World Championship. And recently, he’s been “vowing to win the Royal Rumble”, the same way nearly everyone who has ever won the Rumble ever has.
I smell a new Irish Spring World Champion come WrestleMania time.
Also, wouldn’t it be cool if the SmackDown main event for WrestleMania is Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan, when the same match for the US Title was bumped off of the card last year? What a difference a year makes, indeed.
Hurry up the Cakes odds – 2:1
Orton made his return to WWE TV this past Friday on SmackDown. I suspect they had him return before the Rumble because if he was a surprise return at the Rumble itself (which, conveniently, will be held in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri), there would be no way for him NOT to win. His entrance pop would overshadow any audience reaction for the night, and the crowd would boo the soul out of whoever would win, if Orton were to be eliminated.
Having him return early would eliminate the Pavlovian “surprise pop”, leaving him with just a “hometown pop”, which would be more manageable if he were to lose.
That being said, Randy Orton still is Randy Orton, The Wrestler Who Wins (™). And the Rumble is going to be held in his hometown. Everyone seemed to be high on him and his work this past year, and the (not-that-)“smart” fans are less sick of him than they are of Cena. Moreover, World Champ Daniel Bryan did go on record to say that his dream opponent for WrestleMania is Mr. RKO himself.
Perhaps we’ll see RKO back on top in the main event of WrestleMania, to the detriment of everyone who has seen him on top in the main event of every single event for the past 8 years.
Hurry up the Cakes odds: 3:1
Whenever WWE announces number one entrants beforehand, it’s usually a good guy whom the audience should want to overcome the insane 29-man strong obstacle placed before them (see: Shawn Michaels 1996, Steve Austin 1998/1999/2001, Chris Benoit 2004).
This year it’s The Miz, the pudgy, bullying, media darling.
Miz should get points for having the Rumble story built around him this year, but it’s unlikely they’ll have him win—CM Punk vs. Miz isn’t that much a marquee match on a big card, but especially on WrestleMania.
Hurry up the Cakes odds – 5:1
Barrett and his Barrage have been on a roll this past year, almost simultaneously with Sheamus’ heavy-handed babyface push. But two heel Royal Rumble winners in a row just doesn’t sound like WWE’s style (Shawn Michaels 1995 doesn’t count—he was pushing tweener-babyface by then).
The only way this can happen is if Orton somehow wins the Championship between now and WrestleMania, and they have the blowoff match to their long feud. I’d like to remain optimistic, however, that WWE would like to have something new in the main event of the most important card of the year.
Hurry up the Cakes odds: 7:1