Let’s get ready to rumble! Royal Rumble that is.
It is that time of year for, what I believe to be, the best pay-per-view that World Wrestling Entertainment has. It is the most unpredictable event in wrestling. Here is where the feuds begin as attention turns to WrestleMania. Some things are predictable, but as a whole, no one knows what is going to happen until it happens. Even Vincent Kennedy McMahon may change his mind at the last second.
The Rumble is taking place Jan. 28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I will leave it at that. I know that the Rumble was predetermined before what happened in Philly on Sunday, but now it fits that a WWE event is in Philly.
Now, in the world of WWE, things move fast. I’m writing this on Tuesday before SmackDown, so anything could happen tonight. Dolph Ziggler might return and confront Bobby Roode on being the United States champion and challenge him tonight at the Rumble, or return at The Royal Rumble and challenge Roode for the title, or return and eliminate Roode from the Royal Rumble Match.
There will be no women’s championship matches, due to there not being enough women on the roster, nor a cruiserweight championship as of right now.
Tag Team Championships
With the Raw Tag Team Championship, it will be the champions of Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan versus Sheamus and Cesaro, formally known as The Bar. The Bar are using their rematch clause after losing the titles to Rollin and Jordan a few weeks back on an episode of Raw.
I would like to see The Bar reclaim the titles back, but for story purposes, I see Rollins and Jordan retain as Jordan tries to fit in with Rollins and Roman Reigns as their fellow Shield member Dean Ambrose is out with injury. I can also see this story build until Ambrose returns and causes conflict between Shield members, especially with Rollins and Ambrose being a tag team before his injury.
Over on the blue brand, Jimmy and Jey Uso will defend the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin in a two of three Falls Match. I hope this feud ends soon. If the Usos retain, I believe it will. If Gable and Benjamin win, I can see it go either way. I like the Usos, but they have been champions for a long time so I would be okay with a title change. And we are going to need a title change since no other title will change.
The WWE Championship sees the champion AJ Styles defend his title in a Handicap Match against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. If Owens and Zayn win, they will be co-champions. This is some of the best work I have seen from Owens and Zayn in some time, especially Zayn now that he turned heel. Styles is going to win. I just don’t know how the ending of the match will happen. This match is just a puzzle piece to the mini-feud general manager Danial Bryan and commissioner Shane McMahon have going on. Someone is going to get involved and it could potentially be a stepping stone to WrestleMania.
The Universal Championship sees a Triple Threat Match with the reigning, defending, Universal champion, Brock Lesnar versus Kane versus Braun Strowman. This match doesn’t seem all too great besides getting to see Lesnar and Strowman in the ring. Kane’s time is coming to an end. Expect Kane to take the pinfall as Lesnar retains and keeps Strowman looking strong.
Women’s Royal Rumble
This year’s Royal Rumble will see the first Women’s Royal Rumble Match. This is to help push the Women’s Revolution. We have seen the women enter the rumble in the past, but this is the very first Women’s Royal Rumble Match. The rules will be the same as the men’s. There will be 30 entrants and two will start and more will come down to the ring as time advances. You are eliminated when you go over the top rope and both feet hit the ground. Last one standing goes to WrestleMania with a guaranteed title opportunity. This is why there will be no women title matches.
There are 18 entrants as of right now, leaving room for NXT call-ups, surprise returns and debuts. I think Asuka or surprise entrant Ronda Rousey could potentially win. That seems too obvious, so I don’t know what WWE might do. Please WWE, no matter what happens, no Stephanie McMahon.
Men’s Royal Rumble
The Men’s Royal Rumble Match currently has 13 entrants. There won’t be as many surprise entrants as there are much more male than female superstars. There could be a surprise former Impact Wrestling superstar Ethan Carter III (abbreviated EC3), who was known as Derrick Bateman in his few years down in NXT.
I go back and forth on who I want to win this year. I would like Shinsuke Nakamura to win and have a match with Styles at WrestleMania. Finn Balor would be another good one. But with rumors of Reigns facing Lesnar and winning the Universal title, I just do not see it. I don’t want John Cena to win. He’s won it before. Yes, he is a 16-time world champion and number 17 would be a world record, and that would be big at WrestleMania, but the rumble is made for building up someone and starting a storyline with them. That moment can come at another time for Cena, and I just can’t see it here.