WWE 'Royal Rumble 2013': Predictions and Preview

How will this latest PPV event play out? We've got staff predictions for each and every match on the WWE "Royal Rumble 2013" card for tomorrow night, Sunday, 01-27-13, right here!

WWE's prestigious Royal Rumble 2013 event is back tomorrow night (Sun., Jan. 27), on pay-per-view (PPV) from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ. The Pre-Show will stream live on WWE.com, YouTube.com/WWE and Facebook.com/WWE at 7:30 ET/4:30 PT, and for the first time ever, it will be available for viewing inside WWE Active!

Sunday night's show features all your favorite WWE Superstars; including The Rock, CM Punk, Antonio Cesaro, The Miz, Tag Team action, and of course the classic Royal Rumble Match!

Luckily for you Cagesiders, our CSS staff of learned wrestling blowhards is faithfully here for you, yet again, in order to help you all figure out just how this latest PPV event is gonna play out.

We've got staff predictions for each and every match on the WWE Royal Rumble 2013 card coming up next!

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WWE Royal Rumble 2013 Match Card:

  • U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz (Pre-Show)
  • World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show (Last Man Standing Match)
  • WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars
  • WWE Champion CM Punk vs. The Rock
  • 30-Man Royal Rumble Match

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CSS STAFF PREDICTIONS:

Pre Show: U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz

The General: With Miz getting the ringing endorsement from Ric Flair and his starting to use the Figure Four and all the rest of it, it makes sense to really get behind that and push him with it. Giving him the United States championship would do the trick but Cesaro is doing great where he's at, so I'll say he retains. Pick: Antonio Cesaro

Keith Harris: Even though Miz has recently been repackaged as the latest Nature Boy Jr. and could do with a big title win to put the exclamation mark on that legendary endorsement, why waste it when Ric Flair won't be there and on YouTube? So Antonio Cesaro retains again. Pick: Antonio Cesaro

Jesse Holland: Dear WWE: Fuck you! I know you're giving The Miz the United States strap and it irks me to no end. Antonio Cesaro, in a more compact program, has followed CM Punk's lead and made his championship reign about the title. Go figure! This was a throwaway belt but Aksana's ex-boyfriend has made it mean something. So why take it off him? Because they're pushing The Ms. down our throats in advance of his Marine shtick and if they are willing to desecrate the memory of Ric Flair by pillaging his legendary moves, then what chance does the U.S. title have? At least it will free up Cesaro to move on to a bigger and better belt. Pick: The Miz

June M. Williams: Right now Cesaro is on fire and even though The Miz has a movie and all that, I don't think it is his time just yet to knock out the US Champ. Pick: Antonio Cesaro

C. J. Bradford: I don't want to say this, but it looks like Cesaro's reign might be coming to an end tonight. The Miz's face turn may be painful to watch, but it looks like this is the way it's going to be. A loss from "The Awesome One" would make zero sense. Pick: The Miz

Sean Rueter: Quick search for the release date of The Marine 3...yeah, Miz probably isn't hitting the promotional circuit until next month, so they can keep Antonio strong for a few more weeks and still send him on a movie & 'Mania junket with the belt. That way the current champ will only have to be directionless for a couple of shows before he gets put into a Money in the Bank match at the Granddaddy of Them All. Pick: Antonio Cesaro

joliemadchen: Ric Flair may have passed down the Figure Four to the Miz, but he has a long ways to go before he's ready to attempt another title run. It seems WWE wants to build Miz up as an all-American threat to Cesaro's reign, so I predict he gets the strap slightly before the release of The Marine 3. Pick: Antonio Cesaro

Rex Ivanovic: America can be a better nation and Antonio Cesaro is going to be the one to lead us there with the United States Championship around his waste. Pick: Antonio Cesaro

Hollywood Wallace: I think Cesaro's newfound respect for America (but not Americans) will give him the edge here. Also, Miz might hurt himself applying a figure 4. Pick: Antonio Cesaro

World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show (Last Man Standing Match)

The General: I wouldn't put it past WWE to book Big Show to get the title back here but the last time Del Rio was given a title, he was hardly allowed the chance to build something on it. There can't be panic this time and with so much else going on that will drive business even if Del Rio fails as champion, there's no need to rush anything. Pick: Del Rio

Keith Harris: It's clear that WWE has made the decision to do everything they can to turn Del Rio into a Latino hero and an ethnic draw. Even though the heavy-handed approach doesn't seem to be clicking so far, it's too soon for Vince McMahon to have a change of heart. When the boss decides to go all in with somebody, he doesn't give up that easily. Way too soon for a title switch here. Pick: Del Rio

Jesse Holland: I believe that Alberto del Rio won the belt for no other reason than to see how the fans would react. If they rejected him as a babyface champ, no worries, Big Show can clean his clock at the Rumble and it's back to business as usual. Unfortunately for the "World's Largest Athlete," the WWE "Universe" has embraced the "Mexican Aristocrat" and there's no reason to strip him of the title. Big Show, who's revitalized his character with a renewed zest and vigor, will get in the majority of the offense and look strong -- as he should -- but when the music stops, the belt stays where it is. Pick: Del Rio

June M. Williams: De acuerdo con mi tema en estos puestos de adorar a los héroes latinos en pro de la lucha libre, estoy convencido de que ADR se salen de esta pelea como el último hombre. Adios Big Show. Pick: Alberto Del Rio

C. J. Bradford: Del Rio has turned into a shockingly great face, and The Big Show is never one to not do the job. What happens with the World Heavyweight Championship long turn is yet to be determined, but I do believe that "The Mexican Aristocrat" walks out of Phoenix, Arz. With the strap around his waist. Pick: Alberto Del Rio

Sean Rueter: I think this is the safest bet on the card, and I'm mostly just curious as to how they'll book it. The Smackdown match where the title changed hands had a number of really inventive spots, and I hope they can come up with some fresh ones here. There's a temptation to predict some hot shotting of the WHC, especially with the blue briefcase still in play, but I think Del Rio has earned a decent run and Show is going to be money in his current incarnation, with or without the strap. Pick: Alberto Del Rio

joliemadchen: In my mind at least, Alberto's stock has gone way up since his face turn. The fans actually care about him, and his character feels less like an act. WWE must realize that they have a good thing on their hands, and even if they don't, it wouldn't make any sense to hotshot the title back over to Big Show so soon after he lost it. My pick: Alberto Del Rio

Rex Ivanovic: Del Rio turning face was the greatest thing that could have happened to him. The turn was excuted well and his feud with Big Show has been aces. All good things must come to an end however and Del Rio will retain here and move on to the next challenge. Pick: Alberto Del Rio

Hollywood Wallace: Big show brings A LOT to the table, but I think Del Rio's recent good vibes will carry over and give him a second huge win over Show. Pick: Alberto Del Rio

WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars

The General: I keep waiting for the inevitable break up of Kane and Daniel Bryan and I'm going to predict that it starts here. They'll lose the belts to Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes, who could really do something with them, and it will lead to a match between the two at WrestleMania 29. Pick: Team Rhodes Scholars

Keith Harris: There's still a lot of steam in Kane & Daniel Bryan as a comedy duo, but they don't need the titles any longer, whereas The Rhodes Scholars, an act with significant upside, could do with them, otherwise they'll just be treading water past WrestleMania. As The Shield can't interfere in the WWE title match, I can see them taking out their frustrations on Team Hell No and costing them their tag team belts. Pick: Team Rhodes Scholars

Jesse Holland: Team Hell No has been great and I can't remember the last time we had a tag team with legitimate credibility as, you know, an actual TEAM. That said, I feel like their gimmick has peaked and the only way to keep this program on an upward trajectory is to have them cough up the titles. Aside from giving Kane and Daniel Bryan something new to argue about (and perhaps putting them back into therapy), it elevates Team Rhodes Scholars, who have excellent chemistry and deliver as the heels you love to hate. The belts are likely to change hands through nefarious means, but all that matters is they change hands. You're welcome! Pick: Team Rhodes Scholars

June M. Williams: As much as I adore the big lug of Kane and the adorkable D-Bry on their own and as a team, I am sad to admit there is very little chance of them retaining here. It just makes sense for Team Rhodes Scholars to walk away victorious for oh so many reasons that even #WWELogic cannot defy. Pick: Team Rhodes Scholars

C. J. Bradford: Kane and Daniel Bryan have had a hell of a run - heh - but I think now is the time it comes to an end. Team Rhodes Scholars will bring glory back to the tag team division, and that road starts tonight. Pick: Team Rhodes Scholars

Sean Rueter: I thought they were teasing Kane and Bryan's break-up a few weeks back, but then we've had the anger management love-fest the last two weeks and now I'm torn. I wouldn't be shocked to see WWE get greedy and run the team into the ground; I also wouldn't be shocked to see a split now. Rhodes and Sandow are definitely ready for the next level, but I don't think there's a reputable challenger out there for them other than Hell No. Splitting the difference, I'll say that this is Doc Shelby's boys last hurrah and their break-up starts in the Rumble itself. Rhodes Scholars run will wait another month. Pick: Hell No

joliemadchen: As I mentioned in my match preview, this rivalry has been idling in neutral for a while (partly due to Cody's injury), and it just feels like the right time to pull the trigger on the inevitable title change. It'll be interesting to see whether WWE will decide to keep Kane and Daniel Bryan together after they drop the titles. Pick: Team Rhodes Scholars

Rex Ivanovic: Kane and Daniel Bryan are two of the best things going in WWE right now and they will continue to be so after the Royal Rumble. I don't think we will see the breakup of Hell No until EC, so I think they will retain here. Pick: Hell No

Hollywood Wallace: Bryan and Kane are probably patting themselves on the back for graduating from anger management, but you can't really graduate from mental issues, only manage them. I sense a relapse. Pick: The Rhodes Scholars

WWE Champion CM Punk vs. The Rock

The General: The idea of CM Punk keeping the WWE championship is an appealing one but think of how much more press and attention WWE can get if Rock is lugging the WWE title around with him while promoting movies. If he's agreed to do that, there's no reason not to put the belt on him. I can see an argument to waiting until Elimination Chamber just to try to maximize buys on that show, but he'll be wrestling there either way. A title defense should sell just as well as a title chase. Pick: The Rock

Keith Harris: Does CM Punk really need an extra 21 days as champion? Or would the gold strap be better round The Rock, while he's doing the media circuit for his latest movie Snitch, which will be released before the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. I know Vince McMahon is a fickle and volatile creative beast, but he hasn't lost his marbles yet to pass up on that exposure for the WWE title just yet. Pick: The Rock

Jesse Holland: While it's sad to see CM Punk surrender the belt in the midst of what has to be the best run of his career, he really doesn't have anything to complain about. Sporting the strap for over a year in the John Cena era? That's saying something. And turning over the title will give him an excuse to start a faction with The Shield and take his heel persona even father. Considering how brilliant he's been on the mic up until this point, that's just fine by me. And the good news is, Rocky won't have it for very long. Maybe we can have another Punk/Cena feud in the wake of WrestleMania? Pick: The Rock

June M. Williams: It is time for Punk's streak to end. It would have been cool to have a streak vs. streak match at WM 29 but I just don't think it is in the cards for our Second City Saint. As much as I hate to say it, as I am not a Dawyne Johnson or Rock fan all that much... Pick: The Rock

C. J. Bradford: If The Rock is planning on staying in the main event in any legitimate way, he needs a win here. No shenanigans, no run ins, no shmoz finish that overshadows the greatness of this feud. Whatever WWE wants to do from this point out, it all has to start with The Rock as WWE Champion. Pick: The Rock

Sean Rueter: Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy - I'm excited for this! The build has been epic. Punk should be fully recovered from his knee surgery. Rock hopefully learned from his last Main Event and will be prepared with better cardio, and I have more faith in Punk to be able to work with him in the event he does gas. There may or may not be run-ins. Either outcome makes sense. Elimination Chamber gives them a way to adapt either outcome to still hit their beats for the WrestleMania story they want to tell. I still have to pick someone? Jeez...I'm gonna say, they know they have something special here and it's worth stringing out as long as they can while still getting their money matches set for 'Mania. Pick: CM Punk

joliemadchen: The inconvenient logistics of a part-time WWE champion aside, WWE has built The Rock's assured victory up for too long now to let him lose. Punk's long reign is an impressive achievement, but there's nowhere else for his streak storyline to go now. This is a good opportunity to end it with a bang. Pick: The Rock

Rex Ivanovic: CM Punk has had a big resurgence the past few weeks with The Rock as his foil. Ideally, they would continue the program through to Mania, but they are determined to do Rock-Cena II. Pick: The Rock

Hollywood Wallace: CM Punk has made his bones the past 6 months keeping his belt using any means necessary. I will give him enough credit to this that he will take this once in a lifetime opportunity to take on one of the all time greats seriously and will not utilize his customary shortcuts. That being the case, i think he'll fall short to a Rock that has "clanging and banging" at 4am everyday dreaming of his chance to get even. Pick: Rock

30-Man Royal Rumble Match

The General:

Royal Rumble winner: Unlike years past, there are quite a few choices WWE could go with here that would make a great deal of sense. Sheamus repeating, Randy Orton getting back into his groove as a main eventer, Antonio Cesaro getting a big push, the same for Wade Barrett, and, of course, John Cena setting up his WrestleMania rematch against The Rock. WWE has a track record of changing its mind at the last minute in response to predictability but this time the powers that be will stick to their guns and Cena will be the guy pointing at the WrestleMania banner when all is said and done. Pick: John Cena

Last Eliminated: With Cena winning, it makes sense to have Dolph Ziggler be the last guy to go out. This would be a somewhat fitting blow off to their feud while building Ziggler up in a big way, thanks to his lasting long enough to even be in a position like this. He's going to be cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase soon and he needs momentum. This would be a perfect way to start him on that. Pick: Dolph Ziggler

Iron Man: If Dolph is starting at number one or two, and will be the last eliminated, that makes him the Iron Man of this match. He's perfect for the job, too. He can bump for all the monsters who come in but always manage to survive them before Cena ultimately throws him out. It works out well. Pick: Dolph Ziggler

Quickest Out: One of the 3MB geeks is going to earn this dubious distinction because they've been built up that way. Cocky and overconfident, I'm betting each one of them gets eliminated quickly but Jinder Mahal will be the guy tossed the fastest. I can imagine a scenario where he comes hauling ass into the ring, stops once he gets in to start wailing away at an air guitar before charging a wrestler and getting dumped when said wrestler moves out of the way and uses Mahal's momentum to send him over the top. Pick: Jinder Mahal

Keith Harris:

Royal Rumble Winner: On paper, this is the deepest Royal Rumble in quite some time, with plenty of potential winners to choose from, rising stars that should be spotlighted and returning faces that can still go. However, the end of Monday Night Raw made clear that this battle royal is one man against the world. Mr. No Sweat himself, John Cena. Even though he's coming off cutting perhaps his dorkiest promo in history and if he wasn't such an established star you'd second guess giving him the big win, this isn't the year to be playing games with the WrestleMania hype. No, it's the time to "Keep it simple, stupid!". All the hardcore fans know the main event of WrestleMania 29 will be Rock vs. Cena II and any deviations from that direction will merely be a pointless waste of time, so you might as well set the match in stone ten weeks early and attempt to create the aura of the biggest rematch in wrestling history. So go do it, WWE. Pick: Cena

Last Eliminated: I think WWE will use this spot to increase the simmering tension between Sheamus and Randy Orton to a boiling point, by having them be the last two men in the ring with Cena, but the question is which one will toss the other out of the ring from behind while he's otherwise preoccupied? I'm going with Sheamus to be the last man eliminated, getting one over on The Viper, as, after all, we're constantly reminded it's every man for himself in the Royal Rumble and it'll also allow them to tease a future dream match between the current top two babyfaces in the company. Pick: Sheamus

Iron Man: Well, WWE made this pick a no-brainer, didn't they? Dolph Ziggler comes in first and will be one of the last to leave. Depending on how long the Rumble is booked for, he may even break the record, despite obviously falling short of winning the event. Pick: Ziggler

Quickest Out: The obvious choice would be a member of 3MB, but maybe WWE will book them to all be in the ring together, before a monster comes in to toss them all out in one go. So who's shit out of luck lately? Um, Zack Ryder, I'm guessing it still sucks to be him. Pick: Ryder

Most Eliminations: If The Shield counted as one person, then this would be a more difficult decision. As they don't, the only question is how many of my esteemed colleagues used this as an opportunity for a lame Feed Him More joke. Pick: Ryback

Jesse Holland: Unfortunately, the Royal Rumble shares a symbiotic relationship with the main event between The Rock and CM Punk. I think crafty Cagesider "Adamtation" summed it up best: "Cena wins the Rumble... Rock beats Punk... Cena comes out post-match and points to the WrestleManiasign... Staring contest... Fade to black..." I, like a majority of pro wrestling fans, are certain that Rocky is only feuding with Punk so that he can win the title and let Cena pin him for it atWrestleMania. Not only does the "Dr. of Thuganomics" need to get the belt back around his waist, he needs to avenge last year's loss at the "Granddaddy of them all." The bottom line? It's John Cena's world, we just complain about it. Winner: John Cena

June M. Williams: Gonna keep this simple for ya, "This looks like a job for... dah dah dah da-da-daaaah... SuperCena!!!" Not cause I want Cena to win, but because everyone will do the job for him, as per usual:Winner: Cena Last Eliminated: Ziggles Iron Man: Ziggles Quickest Out: Mahal Most Eliminations: Cena

C. J. Bradford: I have no clue exactly what will happen, other than this should be a wicked fun match to watch. But because this is the predictions post I will say this; I predict things will be coming up roses for John Cena-- Rumble Winner: John Cena Last Eliminated: Dolph Ziggler Iron Man: John Cena Quickest Out: Yoshi Tatsu Most Eliminations: John Cena

Sean Rueter: After a few years of attempting to surprise us with the Rumble winner, 2013 is obvious. Cena wins. And is probably the Iron Man, unless Dolph is. Either way, Ziggler is last eliminated. Ryback has the most eliminations, including getting rid of a hoss or two to build his rep back up. We all complain a lot about the outcome but have a ton of praise for the match overall. Pick: John Cena

joliemadchen: Last year, most of us would have bet our eyeteeth that Jericho or Orton was going to win the Rumble, and a pale Irishman who loves to fight had us all eating crow. A win for Cena here would build him up well and logically for a return match with The Rock at Wrestlemania. Anything can happen, and for my own enjoyment, I hope that something else does, but Cena is the obvious choice here. Pick: John Cena

Rex Ivanovic: The best match in all of pro wrestling provides us with the answer to "How do we set up Rock-Cena II?". Anything other than a Cena victory would be a massive swerve. Cena will achieve victory when he tosses Ryback over the ropes for the final elimination. Sheamus is going to put in a good showing with the most eliminations and Daniel Bryan will be the Iron Man. Pick: John Cena

Hollywood Wallace: Hell hath no fury like a motivated John Cena. Pick: John Cena

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Those are our picks and predictions, Cagesiders. What are yours?

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