With 30 participants every year — many of them unannounced before the event — the Royal Rumble Match is always one of the hardest matches to predict. John Cena, who finally returned to WWE television as part of Monday Night Raw, has been involved in every Royal Rumble event since 2003. He may have one of the most successful records in Rumble history.

Cena will be the first subject in a series of "Royal Rumble Résumé" articles in which we take a look at some of the biggest names in WWE, how they have fared at the Rumble in the past, and then make predictions for how they will do this year.

For each WWE Superstar, we will take a look at both their experience in the Rumble Match and in other matches at the Rumble PPV.

John Cena's single matches at Royal Rumble

Of Cena's thirteen appearances at the annual January show, six times he's been involved in matches outside of the 30-man battle royal. For the last two years, Cena challenged for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble, and both times he came up short. In 2012, he wrestled to a double count-out in a singles match against Kane. In 2006 and 2007, Cena left the Rumble with the WWE Championship, and left with the World Heavyweight Championship in 2009. 

Cena bats about .500 when he's at the Royal Rumble but not in the Rumble Match itself. But how has Cena fared in the actual Rumble match?

Royal Rumble Match entry number

Cena has been in a total of seven Royal Rumble matches. A lot of guys make their mark in the Royal Rumble Match by entering early and staying in until the end. Cena has never entered the match earlier than #19, and has been number #25 or later three times. On average, Cena enters at #23, which seems like a very real possibility this year.

Length of stay and elimination order

While he lasted less than eight minutes in 2004, Cena averages just under twenty minutes per Rumble Match — a pretty impressive fact when you realize the match is generally two thirds of the way over before he even joins.

His longest stint was in 2011 when the match was extended to 40 wrestlers, and he lasted nearly 35 minutes. And Cena usually lasts until the end is in sight, even when he isn't the last man standing. In his first Rumble, he was the 22nd man eliminated overall — his worst finish ever. In five of his seven appearances, Cena was one of the final five competitors. Don't be surprised to see him near the end this year as he tries to score his third Royal Rumble Match victory.

Eliminator / eliminated

Cena averages three eliminations per Rumble. His best year was 2011 when he eliminated 6.5 competitors. His first two appearances, he failed to eliminate anyone at all. Of the 21 eliminations he's had, there has only been one WWE Superstar to be eliminated by Cena more than once: Heath Slater suffered that fate in 2011 and 2013. And it always takes someone impressive to take out Cena.

All five of the men that have done so are current or future WWE Hall of Fame members: The Undertaker (2003), The Big Show (2004), Batista (2005), Edge (2010), and The Miz (2011).

In 2008 and 2013, John Cena won the Royal Rumble Match and went on to headline WrestleMania.

Predictions

Based on his Royal Rumble Résumé, we can expect good things from John Cena at the WWE Royal Rumble 2016. He's likely to enter fairly late in the match, probably somewhere in the early- or mid-20s.

He'll probably be in the match for about 20 minutes, eliminating some lower-run talent along the way (maybe The Ascension, Bo Dallas and R-Truth), ending up in at least the final four. While my money is on Cena tying Steve Austin's record of three Rumble wins. If Cena is eliminated, look for it to come from someone like Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton or Sheamus.

Royal Rumble 2016 will air live on the WWE Network on January 17.

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