WWE Royal Rumble match preview: The 30 man over the top rope battle royal

WWE

Previewing the Royal Rumble match that will take place at the pay-per-view (PPV) of the same name tonight (Sun. Jan. 27, 2013) at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

The 30-man over the top rope battle royal:

Royal Rumble match

The annual 30-man over the top rope battle royal is back for the 26th time in what is undoubtedly the most highly anticipated match of the year.

The Road to the Royal Rumble

The same as it has been every year: Wrestlers reveal they will enter the match, oftentimes pointing at the WrestleMania banner in whatever arena they happen to be working at the time of their announcement, and declare they plan on winning the WWE or world heavyweight championship at "The Grand Daddy of Them All." Easy Peasy.

This year, we've had 18 confirmed entrants by the day of the event, which is a pretty good number that leaves plenty of room for the usual surprises and big returns. All the big names are in, like John Cena, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Wade Barrett, The Miz, Antonio Cesaro, Ryback, Daniel Bryan, Kane. Plenty of main event talent there and in that respect this is likely one of the deepest Rumbles in some time.

Any one of those wrestlers could win, though it's largely expected the most obvious choice is the one WWE will make. We shall see.

What's at stake?

Everything. The winner of this match receives a title shot at WrestleMania against the champion of his choosing, be that the WWE champion or the world heavyweight champion. That means whomever wins will be challenging CM Punk, The Rock, Alberto Del Rio, Big Show, or Dolph Ziggler.

Don't forget about that Money in the Bank briefcase, y'all.

With plans seemingly in place for John Cena vs. The Rock part deux, and Rock challenging Punk for the title earlier (or maybe later) in the evening, it makes sense for Mr. Fruity Pebbles to set up a second date with "The Great One" here. Maximum exposure for the biggest angle and all that.

Don't underestimate WWE wanting to swerve you, though, as they did last year. That might mean Sheamus repeating his victory from 2012 or Randy Orton catapulting back into the main event scene in a really big way.

There's a lot on the line and that's what makes this so exciting.

_________________________________________

Ladies and sirs, this is the big one. Enjoy it tonight. I know I will.

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