WWE Royal Rumble 2014: Last-minute predictions for the pay-per-view

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for 2K/AP Images)

If WrestleMania is wrestling’s Super Bowl, then the Royal Rumble is the AFC and NFC Championship Games.

Although the WWE promotes SummerSlam as its second-biggest event of the calendar year, the Royal Rumble really is the second-most exciting pay-per-view of the year.

It signifies the beginning of WrestleMania season and showcases one of the best gimmick matches ever created, the Royal Rumble match.

This year is the 27th edition of the event and possesses a lot of intrigue. Since there is no clear-cut main event for WrestleMania like last year, the Royal Rumble has a lot of possible outcomes attached to it — and that not is not limited to the Royal Rumble match.

Every match on the card will seemingly have some implications moving forward. Without further adieu, here are my predictions for the 2014 Royal Rumble pay-per-view.

Main Event (?): Royal Rumble match

With John Cena and Randy Orton vying for WWE World Heavyweight Championship, there’s no guarantee that the Royal Rumble match will close the show. It didn’t last year, but that was for obvious reasons (The Rock).

Going into this year’s Royal Rumble, there are two clear-cut favorites to win the match, in my opinion: Batista and CM Punk.

As much as I could make a case for the both of them to win, I can make opposing arguments as to why they won’t. For Batista, his return has been hyped up to the point that it would almost seem silly for him not to win the match — all of this hoopla just for him to lose?

But that has happened before. Chris Jericho had a much-hyped return in 2012, only to be the last man eliminated in the Royal Rumble. Batista winning is very possible, but it almost seems too obvious.

For CM Punk, the reason why I see him winning is because he’s slated to be the first entrant. The WWE didn’t make it a point to put him in the first spot for nothing. It’s to add to the story of him surviving in the match. If anything, making him No. 1 only made him an even bigger favorite in my eyes. There’s a story to be told there.

The reason why he may not win is because the Authority, or someone connected to it, could very easily screw him. This would be done to further the possible story between him and Triple H.

This leads me to my dark horse: Daniel Bryan. As of this writing, Bryan has not been announced as an official entrant, but that doesn’t mean he won’t eventually be in the match come Sunday night.

With that said, I have to use a bit of a cop-out here. I have to make two predictions. One based on whether Bryan is in the match and one based on if he is not.

If he is in the match, I believe he’s going to win. If he isn’t, then I have to go with Batista.

Predictions: If Daniel Bryan is in the match: Daniel Bryan. If Daniel Bryan is not in the match: Batista.

Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena – WWE World Heavyweight Championship

This one is a tough call and I believe the outcome of this match and the Royal Rumble will go hand in hand in some way.

On one end, Orton needs the victory so he could be a more credible champion. Add on to that the way he’s been booked to look like cowardly champion, it would more than likely mean he would get the win here.

On the other end, I can’t imagine WWE choosing Orton to carry its one top title into WrestleMania over Cena. Cena is undoubtedly a bigger draw, but the company let The Miz walk into WrestleMania with the WWE title so I guess anything could happen.

I could easily see it going both ways, which is what makes this match such a toss up in my eyes.

But I have to choose one and that one will be Orton. Orton makes more sense right now given how the storylines have gone over the past couple of months.

It just makes more sense for him to continue his heel run as champion until WrestleMania where could finally lose it.

Prediction: Randy Orton RETAINS the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt

The outcome of this will hinge on whether Bryan is in the Royal Rumble match. If Bryan really isn’t in the Royal Rumble, then he will win this match.

If he is in the Royal Rumble, then he will lose this match. He won’t lose it clean, but he will lose so that Wyatt can get some type of momentum back after being decimated by Bryan inside the steel cage a couple of weeks ago.

The reason why Bryan will lose is because he would go on to win the Royal Rumble, which instantly makes him look strong again. That way everybody wins.

For the sake of my prediction, Bryan will eventually enter the Royal Rumble, but will lose to Wyatt.

Prediction: Bray Wyatt

Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show

Plain and simple: Brock Lesnar didn’t come back to lose to Big Show. Period. Lose to the top guy in Cena? That’s one thing. Lose once to one of the main decision makers in Triple H? That’s another thing. But to lose to Big Show is a completely different thing that has absolutely nothing to do with the other two and is not happening.

Now getting to Lesnar pinning Big Show could surprisingly entertain some people. What the two will lack in a technical masterpiece they will make up for in destruction and aggression.

Nobody wants to see two behemoths like Lesnar and Big Show chain wrestle. We want to see them fight. That’s what we’ll get Sunday night. And then Lesnar will pin Big Show.

Prediction: Brock Lesnar defeats Big Show

Pre-show match: The Brotherhood (Cody Rhodes & Goldust) (c) vs. New Age Outlaws – WWE Tag Team Championships

Although I believe there are better (by better I mean younger) teams to take the titles off Rhodes and Goldust, I have to go with the Outlaws here. The only reason is because this and the Royal Rumble match is where we could see dissention among the brothers, which would eventually lead to a one-on-one encounter between them at WrestleMania.

In order to set that up, a team needs to benefit from it. Just so happens that team appears to be the New Age Outlaws.

Prediction: New Age Outlaws WIN the WWE Tag Team Championships.