WWE Royal Rumble Predictions

Articles, Recommendations

I talk a lot of shit about the WWE. More often than not, I find their style of wrestling boring and their storytelling horrendous. Especially given the much higher level of both from their competition like AEW and NJPW. However, one thing that simply can’t be touched is the ability of WWE to put on one hell of a show when they’re actually motivated. This Sunday, January 31st, they’ll air their second most anticipated pay per view of the year, The Royal Rumble. There are two rumble matches on the card, men’s and women’s. Each rumble match has 30 entrants and the only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the top rope and have both feet touch the ground. Last person standing in the ring wins and is given a shot at any title of their choosing on the biggest stage in the profession, Westlemania. It promises to be an event full of surprises given that the official match card is incomplete and only half of the Rumble entrants have been named. I’m pumped, I’ve got a little bourbon at my side, and some Sun Ra playing in the background, so here are my predictions.

Sasha Banks (c) vs Carmella – Smackdown Women’s Championship

Sasha has been on fire recently. Winning the title from Bailey and having good matches with every challenger who comes her way. Not to mention her recent show-stealing guest appearance on Disney’s “The Mandolorian” (I’m currently proposing to Disney a stand-alone series starring Sasha’s character, but no answer to my emails yet, fingers crossed). Carmella is a transitional challenger, the WWE will stick with Sasha and work towards building a story for Wrestlemania. I expect this to be a fun match, but ultimately unsurprising. Winner: Sasha Banks

Drew McIntyre (c) vs Goldberg – WWE Championship 

Before you ask, yes, that Goldberg. The 54 year old semi-retired wrestler that even non-fans have probably heard of. He appeared larger than life on my tube tv in the mid-90s, but for the love of everything, NO. The WWE has a bad habit of falling back on older talent when they have no other ideas, and this screams of them just aiming for quick profits. Drew McIntyre, on the other hand, has been carrying the company on his back throughout the most uncertain time in the company’s recent history. To take the title off of him and give it to a part-timer would be a massive slap in the face. Winner: Drew McIntyre 

Roman Reigns (c) vs Kevin Owens – Universal Championship

A couple years ago, Roman Reigns may have been the most hated wrestler on the roster. That was due more to bad booking than to Roman himself, but since his comeback from leukemia (in real life) and a masterful heel turn, he’s been the most engaging and must-see talent in the locker room. He’s a sociopath. A man who claims to be motivated by his love for family, but, in reality, is only driven by his desire to be the “head of the table.” Seeing any slight as blatant disrespect, he’ll brutalize anyone, even friends and family, to send a message. This will be the last match in his blood feud with Kevin Owens. Winner: Roman Reigns

Women’s Royal Rumble

Fewer than half of the entrants have been announced, which leaves a lot of room for surprise appearances. Like previous years, quite a few of those positions will be filled by wrestlers from NXT (WWE’s developmental brand). We could expect to see appearances from Shotzi Blackheart and Candice LaRae, but look for former NXT women’s champion Rhea Ripley to make a huge splash. We’ll also see appearances from several wrestlers long since retired. Look for Trish Stratus, Lita, Torrie Wilson, and Victoria. Recent booking suggests that Bianca Belair will continue her rise to main event status by making her presence felt. She’s finally been getting the push to the top that she most definitely deserves. A Wrestlemania title match between her and Sasha Banks would be pure money. Winner: Bianca Belair

Men’s Royal Rumble

As with the women’s rumble, only half of the male entrants have been announced. We’ll most assuredly see a few Hall of Famers to give the fans a pop. The main question is if Edge will make his return after a torn tricep took him out of action back in May. Brock Lesnar hasn’t been on WWE TV since losing the Universal title to Drew McIntyre, him winning could set up a rematch at Wrestlemania. The rumble would be the perfect place for CM Punk to make his long awaited return, but with no fans in attendance due to Covid, I imagine they’ll save such a massive return for next year. Be on the lookout for Shinsuke Nakamura to have a huge showing and possibly even winning the whole thing. However, my money is on Daniel Bryan. He seems to be nearing the end of his time in the ring and one last Wreslemania main event send off against Roman Reigns would put a cap on an amazing career. Winner: Daniel Bryan