It’s that time of the year again – “The Road To Wrestlemania” begins with the Royal Rumble. This will be the 30th instalment of the Rumble and is probably the most unpredictable one yet. The Royal Rumble takes place on Sunday, January 29th with a special start time of 7pm ET. For UK folks like me, this means that the Rumble starts at midnight. In this article I will give my predictions for the show, which on paper looks really, really great.
I am not going to give my predictions for the kick-off matches, so here is the first main card match:
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Rich Swann (c) vs. Neville
Neville shook up the Cruiserweight division when he returned from an injury. He has been doing a fantastic job as the heel in the division and I feel that he deserves to defeat Swann for the championship. I would love it if Neville beat Swann in a Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena (Summmerslam ’14) style. While it is possible that they would want to extend the reign of Swann until Fastlane or Wrestlemania, I feel like we will see the title change hands, because Neville as the champion will make the division much more interesting.
PREDICTION: Neville def. Rich Swann – Becomes the new Cruiserweight Champion.
WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Charlotte (c) vs. Bayley
I expected a lot more of that feud. Charlotte has improved so much in 2016, especially promo-wise, but I am not invested in that feud at all. Bayley hasn’t been booked good as well and some of her promos were cringe-worthy. I was a big Bayley fan in NXT (still am), but they made me don’t care about her at all. We are probably going to see a very good match, considering who is involved, but I don’t believe that we will see a title change, because Charlotte should continue her PPV streak.
PREDICTION: Charlotte def. Bayley and retains.
WWE Championship Match
AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena
This is the match I am most hyped about. AJ Styles has been on fire, and I love the new John Cena. The build-up has been fantastic and I can’t wait to see the video package. On top of it all, I expect them to top their Summerslam match, which was one of my favourite matches last year. Now for the question: “Should John Cena tie the record?” – Yes, he should. But not now. AJ Styles needs to retain and enter Wrestlemania as champion. He deserves to defend his title on the biggest stage of them all. John Cena should tie the record, and he will.. but I believe that this historical moment should happen at Wrestlemania. I was saddened, when I heard Undertaker – Cena plans were off, but the hope dies last. Still, John Cena must put Styles over again, which would result in a great storyline. He will eventually get his win over Styles, that is without a doubt.
PREDICTION: AJ Styles def. John Cena and retains the WWE Championship.
WWE Universal Championship Match
Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns
I just don’t care about that match and no, my reason is not: “Roman Reigns sucks and he can’t wrestle”. I don’t care about that match because we have seen it so many times during the last couple of months. It seemed like every single week it was either Jericho vs. Reigns, or Owens vs. Reigns. Or Owens and Jericho vs. Reigns…We have seen that matchup so many times, which is the main reason I am not so invested in that match. This time we have a stipulation – Jericho in a shark cage, suspended above the ring. Meh. And it’s not like they have great chemistry while working together.
I think that WWE wants Owens vs. Jericho to happen at Wrestlemania, which is why they dropped the US belt off Reigns. I guess that we are going to see Roman overcoming the odds.. again. Which means he will be heading into Wrestlemania as the champion. Well, I don’t want to see that (especially against The Undertaker or Braun), but I think this is the direction they are going with. Other than that, I am sad that Owens had (has) such a bad reign, because he is such a good wrestler – both promo and in-ring wise. Also, him and Jericho were hilarious.
PREDICTION: Roman Reigns def. Owens and becomes the new Universal Champion. (BOOO)
30-Man Royal Rumble Match
And here we go…(read that in Mike Goldberg’s voice). This pick is extremely hard. This is one of the most unpredictable Rumble’s (if not the most) and is certainly filled with a lot of star power – The Undertaker, Goldberg, Lesnar. There has been talks of Finn Bálor returning, Samoa Joe debuting and even Kenny Omega appearing. There could also be some exciting angle in the works. (See what I did there?)
So, one possible winner is Braun Strowman – he has been pushed as this undefeated monster. I don’t want this to happen, because the guy still needs to improve and well, the main event is going to be boring. Why? Because he can’t wrestle a good 20+ minute match. This is big possibility though, especially if Roman wins the belt earlier that night. It’s going to be a catastrophe, so let’s hope this does not happen.
Another possible winner is The Undertaker – he will face a RAW Superstar, which is why they retconned the whole “my blood is blue” thing, when The Undertaker made his return on Smackdown. Well he doesn’t have many options, which leads me to believe that they want to have a Reigns vs. Taker match. (if Reigns wins the title earlier that night). That match will yet again be a catastrophe, unless Reigns turns heel. But otherwise it’s a suicide for obvious reasons.
There is a chance that Brock Lesnar wins, but Goldberg needs to win the title at Fastlane (where he is wrestling as per Meltzer from WON). That would make their final (probably) match for the championship, and will also be the main event. I say, give the Rumble win to a full-time guy, because those two guys don’t need the main event, as well as a championship on the line.
WrestleKingdom 11 had one of the greatest main event matches ever. WWE should want to have a great wrestling match in the main event like WrestleKingdom. They certainly have the talent to make it happen..Sami Zayn is my dark horse. He has been built as an underdog, plus the Braun program didn’t really have a satisfying outcome. Well, you can have Sami eliminate Braun to win the Rumble – how great could that be? Sami is a great wrestler and a great underdog. He is also beloved by the fans. (unlike Roman).
There are a lot more choices and more possibilites, which is great. Samoa Joe, The Miz, Ambrose, Rusev – all of them have a chance. But my prediction is that a certain superstar will make his comeback.
PREDICTION: Finn Bálor to win the Rumble/ Goes on to face Reigns for a championship rematch at Wrestlemania.
These are my predictions. What are yours?