As long as I can remember, the Rumble has been my favorite gimmick match in WWE. Overall, the Rumble is probably my second favorite gimmick match in pro wrestling. My absolute favorite would have to be the War Games, as I have great memories of watching those classic contests as a kid.
There is a lot of speculation already as to who will walk away as the 2014 Royal Rumble winner. At first, The Shield's Roman Reigns seemed to be a lock. There was also some guesses that favored Daniel Bryan, as some feel he'll be in the title picture at WrestleMania XXX, and as everyone knows, the winner of the Royal Rumble receives a WWE Championship shot. Now that Batista is coming back, coincidentally enough on the "go-home" edition of RAW the week of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, many are favoring him to win it all.
If I were a betting man, I would probably say Batista is the favorite to win it. However, that's what many are probably thinking, and in those situations, WWE tends to go a different direction as to not "go with the obvious." Often times things are obvious because they make the most sense, and are probably the most logical option, but in WWE, they put a lot of stock in the surprise effect in wrestling. They crave the big pop and having fans "not seeing it coming." Personally, I think that's jackass dumb, because a good idea is a good idea, and it shouldn't matter if some people see it coming or not. If it's a good idea, then go with it regardless of what people are or are not expecting.
Keeping in mind that the winner of the Royal Rumble receives an automatic WWE Championship match, I would have to say that the winner of the Royal Rumble can be narrowed down a bit. John Cena is in the main event that evening against Randy Orton, so we can rule him out right off the bat. Brock Lesnar is rumored to feud with The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX, so we can probably rule him out as well.
Who should be in the WWE Championship picture after the Rumble? If WWE wants to shoot Roman Reigns to the moon, having him win the Rumble and then following that up with a WWE Championship victory is probably a pretty good way of achieving that goal. Personally, I hope WWE goes that direction. It's no secret that I think Reigns has Superstar potential, and it's no secret that WWE does as well. It's also being reported that WWE has plans "bigger than we would think" for Reigns in the Rumble this year, so maybe he's still the best bet.
Another scenario would be to give Daniel Bryan the nod. I've mentioned in the past that maybe the reason WWE never gave Bryan the big title win while he was headlining pay-per-view after pay-per-view for the last several months, was because they were holding that off until WrestleMania XXX. Bryan wins the Royal Rumble, advances to WrestleMania XXX and wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on that show. He has his "big moment" on the biggest stage possible. I'm sure that's just wishful thinking on my part, but that would be a hell of a way to solidify his status as a main event player.
By process of elimination, I've narrowed my list down to two: Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan. Since we're basically fantasy booking at this point, I submit the following: give The Undertaker his requested opponent, Daniel Bryan, at WrestleMania XXX. That would be a great match, and hell, if the "Dead Man" wants it, at this point in his career, with so few matches left in his career, let him work with whoever he wants. Since Bryan is out of the picture under that scenario, that leaves Reigns. Roman Reigns wins the Royal Rumble, eliminating his fellow Shield members in the process. This gives him his next two pay-per-view opponents, and he slaughters them on his road to WrestleMania XXX, where whoever walks in as WWE Champion is just holding the title until the big boy of The Shield comes to take it.
January 26, 2014, the day that Roman Reigns officially begins his quest as a singles Superstar in WWE. I'm calling it now, mark my words! If it doesn't happen, I'll make sure to write an editorial about how wrong I was. Hold...