Your (still) way too early predictions for this year’s WWE Royal Rumble
The Royal Rumble is now less than two weeks away. It’s WWE’s mile marker that signifies ‘the road to Wrestlemania’ has begun.
Anticipation is the theme of every Royal Rumble. It’s literally built into the match. Starting with two Superstars, there is a new entrant to the match every 90 seconds until 30 competitors have entered. As a fan, you almost never know who is coming down to the ring next. It could be a Superstar you see on television every week, it may be a blast from the past. With so many elements to WWE and the product having an immense amount of talent both on the main rosters and in NXT, this years Rumble in San Antonio’s Alamodome is guaranteed to be a wild one.
Texas itself plays home to a number of today’s talent as well as alumni. San Antonio is home to none other than ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels. While Michaels has made it abundantly clear that he is retired from the ring, everyone would be remise to think HBK wouldn’t be tempted to tune up the band for some ‘Sweet Chin Music’ and win the Rumble right in his back yard. The Undertaker whom resides in Austin, TX is already a confirmed entrant as he announced as much on WWE RAW just this past week. Stone Cold Steve Austin is also a Texas native that can’t be ruled out. If not in the Rumble, then maybe something along the lines of his Wrestlemania appearance this past year in Dallas
The card for this event is STACKED. Lets take a look at potential outcomes:
WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens takes on Roman Reigns (with Chris Jericho suspended above the ring in a shark cage, that’s not a typo) for the WWE Universal Championship. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho have been incredible since being paired together. With both of them now having titles (Jericho with the United States Championship) it would seem at first glance that Jericho is content but, Jercicho is an entrant to the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania would be a great way to cap off the JeriKO partnership. I think Owens continues his reign.
WWE Champion AJ Styles defends his strap against John Cena. The two have delivered absolute classic matches their last few times out. John Cena is on a mission to prove he still has it. AJ Styles has had exceptional work both on the mic and in the ring since holding the title (really since being in WWE). This match could go either way. ‘Big Match John’ as Cena has become to be known, certainly has a knack for winning the big bouts. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Cena awaits the winner of the Royal Rumble.
Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair defends her title against Bayley. While this is a feud that could see itself all the way to Wrestlemania, Sasha Banks has been a little overly supportive of Bayley in recent weeks. Don’t be surprised if Banks makes a move that either incidentally costs Bayley the match or intentionally puts her back in the title picture. All that said, Charlotte is undefeated defending her title at Pay Per Views. Charlotte stays on her throne.
The Cruiserweight’s will see action when Rich Swann takes on Neville for his Cruiserweight Championship. Neville has been on a tear since returning to television a few weeks ago. The time off and the new attitude seems to have revitalized his character. I like Neville to be the new champion here.
The Royal Rumble is the most unpredictable event of the year but, let’s take a look at 5 potential winners.
- The Miz
This one is truly a wild card but let me talk you off the ledge for just a moment. The Miz has been nothing short of the best talker on Smackdown Live. His wife, Maryse, has helped freshen his character and add heat to his act. The Miz has been an exceptional heel, delivering in and out of the ring, and deserves big things at Wrestlemania. While it would take some finesse should AJ Styles retain his title, it could set up for a Wrestlemania 27 rematch with John Cena.
- Baron Corbin
A winner of the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, Corbin has a strong case to prevail. He’s been making his way through the Smackdown Live roster in recent weeks and as noted above, John Cena could be walking out champion setting Corbin up as one of the stronger heels on the roster.
- Chris Jericho.
While Jericho and Owens have been amazing together, a Chris Jericho turn wouldn’t be out of the question as even with Jericho being ‘heel’, fans have really taken to ‘The List of Jericho’. It would be a great build to Wrestlemania.
- Brock Lesnar
While most everyone will expect Goldberg and Lesnar to feud at Wrestlemania (including myself) things change all the time in WWE. Quickly. Abruptly. Unexpectedly. Goldberg could still find his way into the Wrestlemania main event with Lesnar much the way Daniel Bryan found himself into the main event of Wrestlemania 30.
1 The Undertaker
He’s likely to be one of the last 3 entrants to the match. It takes place in his home state. John Cena has a title match. The stars could align for Taker to win the Rumble and be staring down Cena at Wrestlemania in what would be a legendary main event.
So there it is. Things will almost certainly change between now and the time the stage is set but one things for sure when this one is over, San Antonio will always remember the Rumble.