Tomorrow marks one of the WWE's biggest pay-per-views, the Royal Rumble. And in a time where classics are a thing of the past, wrestling fans can still hold on to the historic over the top 30-man battle royal.
So you want to watch the ppv, but don't have $40 to pay to see it, no problem. There are several bars in the Charleston area that will carry the WWE PPV.
Halligan's: For $7 you can watch a local wrestling promotion, Old School Championship Wrestling, put on a solid show. Afterwards you can stick around and enjoy the ppv while socializing with some of the wrestlers that plan to hang around for the excitement.
George's Sports Bar: This is a favorite for many wrestling fans as George's has hosted ppv's in the Charleston area for some time. Great food, reasonable prices and a ruckus atmosphere. Cover is typically $10.
Now that you know where to go, now it's time to get you in the know on the show.
For many years the main event Rumble match has had a rather predictable outcome. Occassionally there will be some surprises sprung within the hour, but this year is a toss up.
But before you get to an hour packed with bodies being tossed across the arena, there are several (usually meaningless) matches that hope to quench your appetite for excitement until the first two Royal Rumble entrants lock horns.
Christian (c) vs. Ezekiel Jackson - ECW Championship
With only a few superstars to feud with on ECW Christian sets to do battle with Ezekiel Jackson, who has up to a few weeks has played second fiddle to William Regal and the true Captain Charisma, Ivan Drago...err Vladimir Koslov. Don't expect much out of this one, although I'd like to see the further develop of Ezekiel Jackson. He's a man-beast.
The ECW title has only defended twice at the Royal Rumble, don't look for that trend to change in 2010. Although Jackson wont go down as quick as Regal hs in the past, Christian will fight off outside interference from Evil Regal and crew to defend his precious ECW title.
The Undertaker (c) vs. Rey Mysterio - World Heavyweight Championship
Wrestling fans seem to be an uproar and filled with excitement as the biggest little man called out the Deadman this past Friday on Smackdown!. But the bout between The Undertaker has many more twists and turns than the normal world title bout as Batista seems to slither in every time these two step into the ring.
And if things weren't complicated enough, HBK wants to ensure Taker makes it to Wrestlemania...and he's after the streak, not the title.
I wouldn't put money on a clean finish in this one. Luckily for Undertaker, there have only been a handful of world titles lost at the Rumble due to the over the top slug-fest being the true attraction.
Although there would be added intrigue if there was both the Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak and a title on the line, since HBK held a world title in over 7 years, but that would be a waste of a title match. The streak is big enough on its own. The Undertaker's got to drop the belt somewhere between now and Mania, and despite getting nearly crippled by Batista on Smackdown! Rey Mysterio's never looked strong as he went face to face with his nightmare.
Prediction: Rey Mysterio
Michelle McCool (c) vs. Mickie James - WWE Women's Championship
Former Divas Search contestant and former Diva stalker meet up in what should be one of the most highly anticipated women's championship bouts in Royal Rumble history. A bit much? Okay. After what seems like eternity, Mickie James will finally get her will be rewarded for taking countless low blows about not being anorexic.
After a rookie year chasing the most successful Diva in WWE history, Mickie James has been crowned the Women's champ every single year. And after what may been her hardest year politically, Mickie James will be awarded more than just a new country music contract.
Prediction: Mickie James
Sheamus (c) vs. Randy Orton - WWE Championship
Heel versus heel. The viper looks to regain his belt against the Casper the Ghost. This will be a real test for Sheamus, as with the exception of a tables match where a strong wresting bout is not needed, he has yet to face any real competition. Unless you count multiple squash matches with Evan Bourne and Chavo Guerrero.
But Vince McMahon didn't spend the last couple of months trying to build Sheamus into the WWE's version of Goldberg for him to get bitten so soon. In fact, all the fans that have been crying for a Legacy split may just get your wish. Or at least you'll get to see the harvest from the seeds that have been planted so many months ago.
Let's see Ted DiBiase fight Randy Orton at Mania already. But if fans recent demand for an E&C reunion is any type of example, the previously stated ending will be nothing more than a fantasy.
Either way, the Celtic Warrior retains. Will a Triple H versus Sheamus match be in the works for the "Granddaddy of them All"?
If the 2010 Royal Rumble ads are any indicator of who will walk away with a first-class trip to a Arizona, and a shot at their choice of world champion, everyone believes they are the one. Unfortunately 29 members of the WWE roster, they will have to find their own way to Mania.
Looking back at the history of the Royal Rumble, Randy Orton better pray he gets into the Rumble if he's unable to upend Sheamus earlier in the night. Why? Because every wrestler that has won the Royal Rumble more than once, did so in back to back years. And with Orton winning the Rumble last year, it doesn't look good for him to repeat if he doesn't win this year.
This year there were no Royal Rumble qualifiers as we saw in year's past, that's a good thing. Because despite everyone usually battling for that number 30 spot, the number 27 spot has produced more Royal Rumble winners than any other spot.
Another factor to look into is that the only other time the Royal Rumble was held in Atlanta, Triple H won. Could history repeat itself? The seeds were planted this past Monday when Triple H help toss out favorites Big Show, HBK and Superman aka John Cena. Plus, that would set up his rumored battle with Sheamus.
But what about John Cena? The man "who will not lose" has only won this prestigious event once, in what was one of the most surprising entrees in Royal Rumble history. But once again, Cena's name has been linked to a showdown with The Rock, so I'd count him out. Dwayne Johnson has been softening his stance on wrestling lately, stating he'd like to guest host Raw as recent as Thursday on ESPN. Plus, he is once again promoting his latest movie as The Rock. Coincidence? Probably. But we can hope.
And when it comes to Royal Rumbles, you can expect the unexpected. Who will be the surprise entrant in this year's Rumble? Last year was Rob Van Dam, and it looks like Booker T has already been ruled out after weeks of talk that he would return.
Could we see the WWE return of "The Enigma" Jeff Hardy after a short appearance in TNA? There has been a lot of talk that the WWE wants him back despite his legal issues since seeing him on Spike TV, but it isn't clear whether he's free to go or if he's willing to be subjected to the WWE's schedule and rules.
Ken Anderson is said to be on a per appearance basis, if Hardy shares something similar you can't rule him out for the event. There are six slots that haven been publicly assigned. Anything can happen.
And if Jeff Hardy doesn't want to fill a slot, maybe Edge will re-appear. He might pull a John Cena and return much earlier than expected. It always seems that wrestlers magically heal in half the time that normal people do with the same circumstance. And how "Ultimate Opportunistic" would it be of Edge to show up and win at the Rumble?
Who won't win? Kane. The "Big Red Machine" has thrown out the most bodies in Royal Rumble history without a win, including the most tosses in one Rumble, so you expect him to do a lot of damage tonight. You can also expect him not to win.
Look for William Regal and Santino Marella to battle it out for the fastest exit in Royal Rumble history. Both have a history of quick losses, Regal has lost ECW and Intercontinental title matches in the fastest times ever, and the shortest Rumble appearance currently belongs to Santino with 1.9 seconds.
So with all that said, who will win. That's hard to say without knowing all the entrants. But going with the 24 that we do know, I'm going with the hottest heal in the business right now, CM Punk.
CM Punk usually shines when we least expect it, or maybe just when we don't want him to. He's seems to be starting a new Straight-Edge faction, and how appropriate would it be for him to regain his belt so that he can influence more wrestlers. I'd like to see him recruit more than C-leel wrestlers. As discussed on Hit The Ropes Radio, Matt Hardy would be a great candidate as he already has a straight-edge like appeal.
And why not team up with the man who hates his brother. It's easy heat and he can easily be put over as the better brother since he's living the straight and narrow life.
Prediction: CM Punk
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