'WWE Royal Rumble' predictions: Who's going to 'Wrestlemania XXX'?

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It's time for what is literally WWE's biggest annual match, the "Royal Rumble." To determine who will headline "Wrestlemania XXX," 30 men will enter the ring but only one can win.

The "Royal Rumble" is the official beginning of the road to "Wrestlemania," with most of the matched having implications going forward. With that in mind, let's take a look at the card and the likely winners.

'Royal Rumble'

The obvious, and easy, answer is Batista. He returned on the last episode of "RAW" before the "Rumble," and immediately mixed it up with current WWE World Heavyweight Champion  Randy Orton. Batista is a big star who is about to shoot to the moon with the release of "Guardians of the Galaxy," so expect him to win the "Rumble" and main event WWE's biggest show of the year.

The fun of the match is going to be the special appearances. Many names are being floated as possible returning superstars, including Kevin Nash, Chris Jericho, Sheamus and even Snitsky for some reason. It would also be a good time for Rob Van Dam to come back. 

Also expect CM Punk, entering the ring first, to go the distance. Chances are anyone in the match who has some kind of tie to Triple H will be there specifically to eliminate him, as the slow build to their "Wrestlemania" match continues.

Prediction: Batista

John Cena vs. Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

This is being billed as a normal match, after their TLC bout last month. Still, count on Orton walking out with his title via nefarious means. Building toward Orton vs. Batista at "Wrestlemania" is an easy sell due to the history they have as former friends in Evolution. Additionally, any match they put John Cena in is going to stand out on the show because he's got that popularity. John Cena doesn't need the championship and after holding it recently, it doesn't need him.

Prediction: Randy Orton

Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar

Over the past few weeks, Brock Lesnar has been made to look weak at the hands of Big Show, so chances are he'll have a dominant win at the "Rumble." Lesnar could use the momentum heading toward "Wrestlemania" and Big Show has looked so strong in the buildup that a loss doesn't really hurt him.

Prediction: Brock Lesnar

Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt

If Bray Wyatt wins this match, the crowd might burn the arena down. Daniel Bryan is more popular than anyone in the company and deserves a win to propel him back up the card where he belongs. He may not have a main event match at "Wrestlemania," but a win here will put him on the road to be challenging for the title after the big show.

Prediction: Daniel Bryan

New Age Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust for the WWE Tag Team Championships

This should be a fun nostalgia match on the kickoff show. The Outlaws' run since old school "RAW" has been entertaining to watch, but they are past the point of being champions. Cody Rhodes and Goldust have been on fire since winning the titles and should continue that until "Wrestlemania," at least. WWE finally has a great tag team division and they need to be careful to take care of it.

Prediction: Cody Rhodes and Goldust

The "WWE Royal Rumble" is live on pay per view Sunday (Jan. 26) at 8 p.m. ET.
Photo/Video credit: WWE