Presuming the Rumble is the last match, Ziggler enters as 1 or 2 and quickly realizes he's got a long way to go for a chance HE ALREADY HAS. So he exits the Rumble voluntarily (through the ropes, not over) and cashes in the MITB on a weary SmackDown champ. He gets the title then goes back to the Rumble because, hey, if he wins, there's no match at Mania.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Punk vs. Rock: Punk via Lesnar-ference. They've obviously gone out of their way to say the Shield can't interfere, but they haven't said anything about anyone else getting involved. Plus, as a WM ticketholder, I'd rather see Rock-Lesnar than Lesnar-HHH.
Rumble: Ziggler wins after surviving a Final Four including Sheamus, Cena and Fandango (what happened to that guy?). You can get to Rock/Cena II some other way. I hope.
Del Rio vs Big Show: Del Rio wins as Big Show heads towards a WM showdown with Ryback.
Hell No vs. Rhodes Scholars: Rhodes Scholars
Cesaro vs Miz: Cesaro, who continues his roll all the way to WM where he faces the All-American American Jack Swagger.
Cesaro/Miz: Cesaro should win. He's the hot heel who is wowing audiences. So of course the WWE will give the title to the insufferable Miz, probably with that crappy figure 4 in 'honor' of Flair. I just hope it's a good match but with Coral's bitch, I highly doubt it. Can you tell I'm down on the Miz?
Del Rio/Big Show: I like Del Rio as a babyface. I just don't see him as a long term champion. A tired Del Rio wins but is left open to an attack by Ziggler who finally cashes in and becomes the new champion. Could be a fun match to watch, I like the chemistry between Del Rio and Big Show.
Hell No/Rhodes Scholars: The Scholars win via the old 'Bret Hart runs into Owen Hart' shenanigans, sowing the seeds for the inevitable Hell No breakup and Wrestlemania match. Should be a fun match to watch, I've grown on both of these teams a lot recently.
Divas match: Everyone is picking Kaitlyn to win. If the WWE wanted to draw any real interest into the division, they would debut Sara Del Rey to crush her as a new, mysterious monster diva like they did when Beth Phoenix destroyed Candice Michelle several years ago. But I doubt they really care, so I'll go with the flow and say Kaitlyn wins over, oh let's go Alicia Fox.
CM Punk/Rock: The hardest pick, IMO. My heart says Rock doesn't need the title (though unlike most everyone else, I'm tired of Punk's reign and "Please boo me, I'm bad" desperation in his behavior). My head says he has to win it if the Rock/Cena WM title shot is going to happen. But after more thinking, my head agrees with others that Punk retains via interference from Brock Lensar, setting up an 'unwinnable' Elimination Chamber for Punk as he goes against Rock, Lensar, and Ryback among others. I think the real money match at WM would be Rock/Lensar and I think for that to happen, it needs to start with Brock costing the Rock the title.
So where does that John Cena, you ask?
Rumble: Right before Ziggler starts the match, his celebration of winning the title gets rudely interrupted by Vickie who makes him defend his belt *during* the rumble. Meaning whomever eliminates Ziggler gets the title. So Ziggler holds on to dear life throughout the whole rumble, sort of like Ric Flair in 1992. He lasts to the very end, during which Ryback goes nuts ala Disel and takes out at least a half dozen participants. The final four goes IMO: Ryback, Wade Barrett, Ziggler, and John Cena. Ziggler almost wins thanks to help from AJ and Big E, but Cena... *sighs*... 'overcomes the odds' and defeats Ziggler to become champion yet again. I really hope I'm wrong but that ending is already giving me a headache.
All that said, I like this card. Every match looks to be solid, save for the Divas (and I'm not sure if they're actually having one). I just hope the writers don't go the predictable results because I think there are a lot of interesting possibilities to go into Wrestlemania with as far as matches go. No need to lock it into Rock/Cena so early.
Cesaro retains Del Rio retains Rhodes Scholars win the title Kaitlyn retains Rock becomes 8-time WWE Champion Cena wins the Rumble (Final 4: Cena, Ziggler, Sheamus, Ryback. Ziggler sneaks up from behind to eliminate Ryback and gets tossed immediately by Cena)
Forbes disagrees with Time: Vince McMahon is the Heavyweight Champion of Branding. http://blogs.forbes.com/sportsmoney/2010/02/vince-mcmahon-heavyweight-champion-of-branding/?boxes=financechannelforbes I love that old Dick Ebersol quote.