The "Road to Wrestlemania" begins on January 25 as the Royal Rumble PPV kicks off the WWE calendar. Every year, 30 superstars compete in the main event and the one left in the ring wins the Rumble match and earns a guaranteed shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania a few months later.

There will no doubt be surprise entrants, returning faces and shock exits but I am going to focus on five wrestlers that have a good chance of winning the Royal Rumble 2015.


5. Rusev

We first saw Rusev on the main roster at last year's Royal Rumble when he was the third entrant eliminated. It was an impressive debut as he displayed strength and agility and it took four superstars to throw him over the top rope. Since then he has had a remarkable 2014, defeating several established wrestlers and playing the controversial Russia v USA heel role well.

His success with Lana at his side seems set to continue as he has currently not been pinned or submitted and is the United States Champion. The writers will surely build this character and provide bigger and better matches meaning his eventual defeat must be to one of the major superstars. This could even happen at Wrestlemania.


For now, Rusev is in the middle of a rivalry with Ryback. Whether the two have a title match at this PPV or not, they are both likely to be involved in the Rumble itself. If WWE do decide to end Rusev's own streak at Wrestlemania, or even give him the title, then the Bulgarian is in with a chance of winning the Rumble to set this up.

However, with Rusev currently holding the US title this scenario is less likely and I expect patriotic rivalries with Ryback and other highly thought of faces to be the next step for him.

4. Randy Orton

Randy has been out of action since early November after Seth Rollins delivered a Curb Stomp onto the steel steps. In the real world, Orton has been filming Condemned 2. As filming usually takes 6-8 weeks, the Viper may be ready to return as a surprise Royal Rumble entrant.

With The Authority back in power, Orton will direct his anger towards the likes of Rollins, Kane, Big Show and Triple H (if the veteran competes).

Whether he will be used as a weapon to eliminate some Authority members or to actually win and fight Lesnar/Cena/Rollins at Wrestlemania remains to be seen, but Orton is an established superstar who is a favourite with management so can't be ruled out.

3. Daniel Bryan

Another superstar set to make his return at the Royal Rumble is Daniel Bryan, after announcing his injury comeback on Raw a couple of weeks ago.


This was a huge relief to the WWE Universe as we were unsure whether he would wrestle again.

Winning the Royal Rumble would make an incredible comeback story - something WWE historically loves. Bryan also has the pedigree and popularity to headline Wrestlemania again, probably against Lesnar or Rollins.

When Bryan left in May, he was feuding with The Authority - in particular Triple H. Like Orton, "Goatface" may be simply used to take out their members, most likely Triple H if Sting doesn't make another return.


The fact Bryan's comeback has already been announced suggests that he won't be given the victory, probably the correct decision as it would be a blow to superstars who have carried the mantle in his absence.

2. Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler had an outstanding end to 2014. This reached its peak when he effectively single-handedly defeated Team Authority at Survivor Series with a little help from Sting. Dolph has been a fans favourite for some time thanks to numerous show-stealing matches and a great personality. Finally he seems to be getting the push he deserves from the powers-that-be.

Ziggler, along with Ryback and Erick Rowan, was 'fired' at the end of the last Raw episode. But historically these sacking have never lasted long and the superstars involved are far too important to the WWE for things to be different this time. The "Show Off" will feature at the next PPV, maybe in a rematch for the recently-lost Intercontinental Championship with Bad News Barrett but definitely in the Rumble itself.

The fact that the writers have taken the title off him frees up Ziggler to be in contention for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and therefore is a prime candidate to win the Rumble. It will please most fans who have been waited for a long time to see one of the most gifted wrestlers compete for the main prize.

1. Roman Reigns

Many people have speculated that this will be the year that Roman Reigns wins the Royal Rumble and then the title at Wrestlemania 31. After breaking Kane's records for the most eliminations at last year's contest, who can blame them?

Reigns won the Slammy for the Superstar of 2014 and has the public backing, physique and personality to be a success. There is no doubt he will be involved in a title match in the near future.

Since returning from a hernia operation a month ago, Reigns has been fighting with Big Show but this won't be a long term rivalry. Also, although he has had run-ins with The Authority in the past, the fact he missed Survivor Series gives him enough distance that he need not be heavily involved with the inevitable feud that breaks out during the Rumble. It frees him up for the victory and the opportunity to headline Wrestlemania against Lesnar or Rollins. This is why Reigns remains the favourite in my opinion.

Whoever wins, this is set up to be one of the most hotly-anticipated PPVs in a long time. I just hope the WWE get it right - as outlined above, they have many chances to.

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