Usually, "wrestling momentum" works in the exact opposite way that "actual momentum" does. If you win a match or "stand tall" (good posture if very important in wrestling I guess) on the last Raw before your match at a Pay-Per-View, you are almost certainly going to lose that match.
That holds true for every PPV, except for the Royal Rumble. I would never have guessed it, but take a look at the past ten Rumble winners and what they were up to six days (or less, if they were on SmackDown) before the event.
2013 WINNER: JOHN CENA
This might've been one of the most telegraphed Rumble wins in history.
John Cena and The Rock were slated to shoehorn two Lifetimes into a single Lifetime and have a rematch for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. The week before the Royal Rumble, Rocky swore to God that he'd beat CM Punk for the title (and we all went "oh okay so he's going to beat CM Punk for the title). On the same show, John Cena swore to his God (each and every one of us whether we love him or hate him the WWE Universe) that he'd win the Royal Rumble:
So, he didn't win a match or anything, and the show closed with a bunch of wrestlers parading into the ring to be all "no, I'll win the Royal Rumble" - "no, I broke the dam" and Raw ended in a brawl with no clear winner or Tall Stander. BUT, John Cena screamed in his screamiest voice that he would win, and he won.
CHRIS JERICHO SHEAMUS
Everybody had picked Jericho as the Rumble winner leading up to the 2012 Royal Rumble, so much so that Vince McMahon went "DAMMIT INTERNET WHO DO YOU THINK YOU AREEEGGRHGHG" and immediately scribbled out Jericho's name on the script and replaced it with a glossy Sheamus 8x10.
Sheamus looked strong in a win against
Jobber Jinder Mahal on the last Raw before the PPV. Sheamus then screamed about winning the Royal Rumble match, and guess what, he won.
2011 WINNER: ALBERTO DEL RIO
Before winning the Biggest Royal Rumble In History (40 men, 23 of them were either in the Corre or the New Nexus), Del Rio was making Mark Henry TAP OUT:
Even though it was Kool-Aid Man Mark Henry and not the Mark Henry that charged for air, ADR forcing the World's Strongest Man to tap out is a good way to gain Actual Momentum.
That's three out of three Rumble winners who looked good coming out of the last Raw before the PPV. But, what happens if you're not on the go-home show?
2010 WINNER: EDGE
Well, uh, I guess you win the Rumble too.
Edge took time off before the 2010 Royal Rumble to grow a beard recover from an injury, so he wasn't on the Raw before the Rumble. Instead, he was the most recent guy to store-up months of WWE 2K14 finishers in order to return and immediately win.
2009 WINNER: RANDY ORTON
Hm, I think I remember Orton going into the Royal Rumble strong… what did he do again? Did he win a match or something? I can't remember. Oh, that's right, HE DID THIS:
In addition to turning Vince McMahon's entire brain into a bruise, Orton also won a six-man Over The Top Rope challenge. I'm not too sure what else he could've done to look better going into the Rumble, short of sodomizing the Tag Team Champions.
2008 WINNER: JOHN CENA
I'm pretty sure John Cena wasn't even supposed to be healthy for WrestleMania, and yet he recovered faster than John Cena in a John Cena match to return and win the 2008 Royal Rumble (without a sweet beard, though).
2007 WINNER: THE UNDERTAKER
Undertaker's Royal Rumble go-home moment came on SmackDown and it was the most literal "I'm going to win the Royal Rumble" moment, aside from John Cena's literally literal "I'm going to win the Royal Rumble" moment:
Taker shows up and throws everybody over the top rope and poses to end the show. Sometimes Michael Cole screams "COULD THIS BE WHAT IT'LL BE LIKE AT (insert PPV here) KING?!?!" at the end of go-home Raws. This time it was just what it was like.
2006 WINNER: REY MYSTERIO
Mysterio looked strong coming out of the final SmackDown before the Royal Rumble:
Oh… uh. HUH. IT'S THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULE, OKAY?!
2005 WINNER: BATISTA
AH, now this is more like it:
Batista beats the Tag Team Champions, La Resistance in a handicap match to qualify for the Rumble by spinebustering one onto the other. Then he proceeds to stick the Quebec flag up Sylvan Grenier's ass.
Yep. It happened. Batista went into the Rumble by sodomizing the Tag Team Champions.
2004 WINNER: NO RUMBLE THIS YEAR NOPE
Sooooooooo that about does it. Wrestling Momentum becomes Actual Momentum on the final Raws and SmackDowns prior to the Royal Rumble.
Some things to look for tonight in predicting Sunday's Rumble winner: anyone who stands tall, wins a match or penetrates an opponent with a provincial flag.