Arguably, this Sunday is the second most important day on the WWE calendar: The Royal Rumble. This will be the 33rd edition of the Men’s and 3rd for the women. Unlike last year’s show, this year’s is more difficult to prognosticate the winners… and that’s a good thing. It doesn’t interpret into having a better show but makes for a more intriguing presentation. Especially if you are someone (like me) that likes to see an upset or something unpredictable occurring.
During the hype, and perhaps on Smackdown Live Friday Night, we will hear from Michael Cole or Vic Joseph on how Kane leads all-time participants with 44 Royal Rumble eliminations (43 as Kane and 1 as Dr. Isaac Yankem). That he and Big Show will both be in this year’s Rumble and are huge threats to win (even though neither one has, nor will this year). We will also be reminded that Roman Reigns has the most eliminations in a single match with 12. The viewer next will be shown a shot of Rey Mysterio winning the 2006 Rumble and being in the Ring over 1 hour. Typical stuff I know, but WWE loves to try and sell us how the underdogs (especially those over 40) have legitimate shots at winning that guaranteed WrestleMania title match.
What do I think will happen? Well, let’s look at the ladies’ match first. I would start off by saying how little build-up and fanfare the women’s match has this year. Other than Charlotte Flair, has any television time been dedicated to help sell this match? Not much.
I think we will see the return of Naomi, Nia Jax, Ruby Riott, and possibly Ember Moon. I could see NXT champion Rhea Ripley making an appearance in this year’s Rumble as well. Some legends will be making a come back. Possibly Michelle McCool or 2019 Hall of Fame inductee Torrie Wilson. Every Rumble has that nostalgia moment or two when two former adversaries face off against each other (remember Mickie James and Trish from 2 years ago!). I don’t think Trish will be in this year’s Rumble since she had a Summer Slam match just a few months ago.
Now to the brass tax. I will say the last 4 in will be Sasha Banks, Shayna Baszler, Charlotte Flair, and Nia Jax. The thought of Ronda Rousey coming back occurred to me, but if that happened she would have to win. I haven’t heard any rumblings of that (see what I did there), so I don’t think that is in the cards. Ronda vs. Becky would make a good ‘Mania’ match and also the possibility of a 4 horsewomen feud vs. Ronda and Co. However, I would think that would be saved for a year when the title is not involved. Becky is going to beat Asuka, which would mean she would presumably be defending the Raw women’s title at WrestleMania 36. I am going with Sasha Banks as the winner. I think Bayley turns face between now and April 5 and they go with Banks vs. Bayley.
Odds are the men’s rumble match will close the show. Paul Heyman has already informed us that his client Brock Lesnar will be the first participant in the 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble. By the 15 minute mark, Brock will be on Vinnie Mac’s plane on his way back to Saskatchewan. Who throws him out? Who comes out at #2? The second part of that is a bit cloudy. However, I will say Keith Lee is the one to eliminate Brock. Keith has been hot since Survivor Series and this would propel his credentials even higher. Brock’s WrestleMania opponent will possibly enter at #2 or have a spot with him in the match.
Who will the surprise entrants be? Likely a duo or trio from NXT like NXT Champion Adam Cole, Tomasso Ciampa, or the aforementioned Keith Lee. The talent pool from outside of WWE is not like it used to be with the incarnation of AEW and the resurgence of NWA. I predict one Mr. John Felix Anthony Cena, Jr. will be in this year’s Royal Rumble. Until today I was going to say Edge, but the more I thought about it, I don’t know that will happen. Houston’s own Booker T (5x) will also be in this year’s Rumble. Heck, we may even get a spinarooni!
We will see our usual ha ha moment with someone like Hornswoggle showing up and providing a little mid-match humor. Roman Reigns or Randy Orton will show up around 19 or 20 and throw out 3-4 jobbers in one sequence. I think those are pretty safe bets. I am going with Roman Reigns, AJ Styles, Drew McIntyre, and Braun Strowman as the final 4. Last year we had Andrade, Ziggler, and Braun as the last 3 sent to the floor. WWE likes to switch it up a bit, so other than Braun, I think we get a fresh quartet. I think Roman wins and goes on to face the Fiend at WrestleMania 36, but I don’t say that with a lot of confidence. I could also see Kevin Owens or Randy Orton making a deep run (possibly a 30-40 minute showing) in this year’s match. Kevin is a potential dance partner for Brock at Mania and is someone he hasn’t faced yet (at least that I don’t recall).
Either way, I hope it is an entertaining show and all my fellow wrestling fans enjoy it. Thank you for reading, and may the good guys and bad guys get exactly what they deserve.
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