Even John Laurinaitis could win the Royal Rumble tonight! Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
As Geno Mrosko covered a few days ago, everyone has figured out that Randy Orton and Chris Jericho are the two men who are most likely to win the Royal Rumble tonight. No-one else would make sense as a victor, which is really an indictment on the WWE creative team who should have crafted storylines where fans believed that the result was not a foregone conclusion and at least a few other wrestlers could plausibly be in the World title mix at WrestleMania. Vince McMahon hates the dirtsheets leaking his booking plans and savvy fans working out major finishes, so there will be the temptation to go with an out-of-the-box winner that will swerve everyone, even if it isn't logical and may be a let down.
This isn't mere speculation on my part, as Dave Meltzer on last night's Wrestling Observer Radio show confirmed that WWE has come up with such an alternative scenario that would be "absolutely horrible, but it wouldn't shock me if they do it", playing into the idea that anyone is eligible for the Royal Rumble (even John Laurinaitis or one of the World champions, as a random stab in the dark of who this could involve). Dave went on to say that:
It would be a finish that would surprise people and it would be a finish that does tell a story, but in the end it would be a terrible finish to build to WrestleMania, because it won't build to WrestleMania or won't build anything new to WrestleMania, put it that way.
The second guessing of the originally chosen Rumble winner is starting to become an annual tradition, as last year WWE batted the idea around at the last minute that comedy jobber Santino Marella would win the event to put over that anyone can win the Royal Rumble, but when push came to shove cooler heads prevailed and Alberto Del Rio as expected still won.
In a few other final notes from the Observer website, don't expect Mark Henry to win the World Heavyweight title in his Triple Threat Cage match with Daniel Bryan and Big Show. Not only is he genuinely hurt with a hyperextended knee, he has been depushed ever since picking up his initial nagging groin injury for his longstanding reputation that "he can't play hurt". WWE management may have been upset that he didn't gut his way through the house show schedule, only working TV tapings for the last couple of months.
Meanwhile, Road Warrior Animal won't be in the match, as originally scheduled. They couldn't agree to money terms and it looks like he may have been replaced by the cheaper Nick "Eugene" Dinsmore, who tweeted earlier today that:
Guess who is packing for a flight and the Royal Rumble is tomorrow????
Dinsmore being in the Rumble would be a real surprise as he recently worked the first set of tapings for TNA's / Jeff Jarrett's Indian Ring Ka King promotion. You can see a video of Dinsmore's Ring Ka King debut after the jump.