Matt O’Brien writes and maintains the Wrestleview.com poll every two weeks

This past Sunday was the twenty-fifth annual Royal Rumble event. One of WWE’s big four shows of the year, the Rumble is a favorite among many wrestling fans. The rumble match itself always delivers some of the more memorable moments in wrestling each year. In the most recent Wrestleview poll, readers were asked who they thought would win the 2012 Royal Rumble. The results are as follows:

Who will win the 2012 Royal Rumble?

Chris Jericho 29.2% (1,941 votes)
Sheamus 17.64% (1,173 votes)
Randy Orton 8.59% (571 votes)
Other 7.31% (486 votes)
Wade Barrett 7.19% (478 votes)
Kane 6.68% (444 votes)
Brodus Clay 6.23% (414 votes)
The Miz 6.02% (400 votes)
Cody Rhodes 5.81% (386 votes)
Zack Ryder 5.34% (355 votes)

Total votes cast: 6,648

The beginning of the voting saw Sheamus take the lead and hold steady for a few days, before being overtaken by Jericho. The last week of the poll saw Jericho’s tally grow. That could be attributed to the promo he gave on Raw a week before the show. He promised the end of the world as we knew it. Many believed it would be the beginning of his road to a WrestleMania title match. If this week’s Raw is any indication, Jericho may end up in a title match at WrestleMania just yet.

Sheamus still came in strong with over seventeen percent of the votes. Fans got it right when it came down to the final two. Sheamus was built as a favorite for weeks leading up to the show, putting him in the favorite’s category with a few others. Now with the win under his belt, the next few months will be very interesting. The main event for WrestleMania is set in stone. Triple H vs. Undertaker seems like a foregone conclusion. The unpredictability aspect of the build for WrestleMania lies in whom Sheamus will challenge. Will CM Punk still be champion come Mania? He still has to make it through Elimination Chamber. The same can be said for Daniel Bryan, who seems to get lucky with every title defense. Although, seeing Sheamus demolish Bryan would make for an entertaining match. There is also the possibility of Mark Henry, Big Show or even Randy Orton picking up the World Championship in the next few weeks. The focus will be on John Cena and The Rock, but Sheamus is the one to watch.

Coming in at a distant third was the hometown hero Randy Orton. The Apex Predator has been out of the title picture for a several months. A Rumble win would have easily slid him into hunt again. While he did come close, he did not pick up the win. His feud with Wade Barrett, who came in fifth, will continue, and seemed to drive Barrett as another Rumble favorite. It would not have surprised anyone to see the final two men standing be Barrett and Orton.

Fans voting for Other left comments looking for a John Cena or Undertaker win. The Undertaker has returned in the past at the Rumble. In fact, the number thirty spot seemed to tease that it could have been him. Christian was another name mentioned as his return is imminent. John Cena is always a favorite, but this is one year where a win in the rumble match just didn’t seem to make sense. He already has his match for WrestleMania, and The Rock will not be going into the show as champion. However, his opponent on Sunday night, Kane, did manage to pick up 444 votes. Unfortunately, Kane ended up not participating in the match.

The remaining votes were split between Brodus Clay, Miz, Cody Rhodes and Zack Ryder. Clay finally debuted earlier in January to the surprise of many. Instead of a bully of a big man, Clay is dancing maniac who has lit a spark with the crowd. He is getting more and more popular every week. In a year where the Rumble is wide open, Clay could have taken the prize and danced his way to the WrestleMania stage.

The Miz was stuck with the number one entry, leaving fans to believe he could have been the first guy since 2006 to go the distance and take the win. Like Orton, Miz has been out of the title picture for a while, except for his involvement in the TLC main event in December. Also like Orton, the Rumble would have been the perfect vehicle to take him back to the hunt.

There are those fans bank on as future stars. They are hard to predict, but there are still those with fans rallying around them. Cody Rhodes is one of those stars. He had a great 2011 and even feuded with Randy Orton. A win at the Royal Rumble would have put the rocket on his back to take him to the big stage. The same can be said for fan favorite Zack Ryder.

Thanks to all those who participated. Be sure to vote in the current Wrestleview poll asking your rating on the John Cena-Kane program!

Matt O’Brien
Columnist, Wrestleview.com
mattman5436@yahoo.com