I have a special relationship with the Royal Rumble event. Last year’s show made me so mad that I started this blog. It was so poorly done that I spent the next month bitching about it to anyone who would listen, and I knew I needed a new outlet before my girlfriend started actively avoiding me. I had been talking about a wrestling blog for a while, and the Royal Rumble match was the final impetus to get me started.
Last year’s match was bad. Really bad. It had one goal, and that was to make Roman Reigns look strong. It failed on that goal, and failed spectacularly. This year, they are doubling down, putting every odd possible against Reigns. Will Reigns go from #1 to win, only the third person to do so? Will Reigns break his own record of 12 eliminations? Will Reigns break the record for longest time in the Rumble? Will every record and award to to Roman Reigns in the bleak hope that we cheer for him? I hope, for the WWE’s sake, that the answer to all this is ‘No.’We can’t look at the Royal Rumble without considering the card for Wrestlemania. It seems to me that there are three matches locked up. We’ll have the Undertaker match, the Lesnar match, then HHH vs Roman Reigns. Popular opinion is that either Roman or HHH wins the Rumble, and go on to Wrestlemania. But! I don’t think any of those three matches needs the WWE Title. In my extremely humble opinion, the belt should be put on someone else, a surprise, someone who has never been champion before. Then, you can claim four main events at Mania. Let Roman and HHH have their match outside the title structure.
A quick look at the rest of the card. The undercard is pretty stacked actually. All the matches look good. I’m predicting Becky Lynch, The New Day, Alberto Del Rio, and Dean Ambrose to win their matches. The Last Man Standing match between Kevin Owens and Ambrose in particular could be great. The Royal Rumble event has a pretty great history of hardcore matches, with HHH vs Cactus Jack and Cena vs Umaga standing out in particular. I’m hopeful that this match can live up to those.
Now, the Royal Rumble match itself. My predictions are going to be based on several assumptions. There’s so many variables, but here are a few things I think going in. I have to believe the WWE will not be blatantly predictable for the fourth year in a row. I’m assuming HHH will not be in the Rumble, but will be involved, and that AJ Styles makes his debut. I’m assuming Daniel Bryan will be a big return. With all that being said, I’m predicting a final four of Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar, AJ Styles, and Daniel Bryan.
Roman Reigns will be eliminated by distraction of HHH earlier in the match, setting up the excitement of a guaranteed new champion. Lesnar will not win, and whoever eliminates him will be his opponent at Mania. AJ will not win because WWE would not have the balls, but he will last a long time and have a strong showing. Daniel Bryan will not win, and might never win the title again after burning the WWE twice with injuries. Therefore your winner, and NEW WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION is going to be Bray Wyatt.
I know that’s a lot of fantasy booking. But like I said earlier, I have to believe that WWE will not be super predictable for the fourth year in a row. First it was Cena winning for the inevitable Rock vs Cena II that no one wanted. Then it was Batista when the audience was rabid for Daniel Bryan. Then it was Reigns in one of the worst Rumbles in history. If Reigns wins again, I don’t know that I will have anything left to say about how predictable the product has become. Many people are predicting a HHH win, and while that would at least be different, do we really want a Royal Rumble winner who’s prime was 15 years ago?
WWE has an amazing chance to make someone a star tonight. I’ll be watching, at the edge of my seat, hoping against hope that they don’t screw this up.