It’s official. The road to Wrestlemania has begun, as the Royal Rumble will take place this Sunday. With one of the most star-studded Rumble fields in history, this year will prove to be one for the ages. Here are my picks for the Royal Rumble PPV.
Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
This feud hasn’t been given much time to develop at all. Up until last Mondays RAW, Nia has been squashing Sasha on virtually every occasion. Expect this match to go to Nia, as Sasha will likely end this feud at Fastlane. This will set up a Mania match for Sasha against a bigger name such as Paige Van Zant of UFC fame.
The Club vs. Cesaro/Sheamus(C)
The Club have been used horribly during their time in WWE. However, this feud has actually been quite good. This will likely not be the last time these two face off for the titles. With a stipulation of two referees in the match, expect a finish where both refs count three at the same time. There will no clear-cut winner, and this feud will head into Fastlane.
Naomi, Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, Natalya
This is Smackdown’s way of getting all their top women on the PPV. I don’t really expect much from this match, but it will plant the seeds for three potential feuds heading into Elimination Chamber. As with most women’s matches involving Nikki Bella, expect her to get the win for her team. Although, seeing Mickie James and Becky square off would make up for that.
Neville vs. Rich Swann(C)
The cruiserweight division got a jolt with the return of Neville. The WWE views him as the top cruiserweight on the roster. I believe Neville wins this match by disqualification, meaning Swann regains his title. Expect to see these two continue their feud on RAW and 205 Live for the foreseeable future.
Bayley vs. Charlotte(C)
I don’t think anybody expects Bayley to win at the Rumble. With all the talk of Charlotte’s undefeated PPV streak, it wouldn’t seem right for her to lose at any point before Wrestlemania. Bayley will eventually win the title, but not at Rumble.
Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens(C)
Nobody wants to see Roman Reigns as WWE Universal Champion. However, we all know how much Vince McMahon loves Reigns. With Jericho suspended above the ring, we can expect a clean finish. I’ve got Reigns winning the belt, freeing up Owens for a match against Jericho at Mania.
A.J. Styles(C) vs. John Cena
We all know Cena is going to break Flair’s record. I’m confident that Styles will win at the Rumble. I’m also confident that Cena will win at Elimination Chamber. WWE has a great thing going with Styles. Let’s just give him one more month with the championship.
Royal Rumble Match
We know three things are certain to happen at this year’s Royal Rumble
1. Braun Stroman will eliminate the most superstars.
2. Brock Lesnar and Goldberg will eliminate each other
3. Tye Dillinger will make his main roster debut at number 10.
As for the winner, that’s not as easy to call. Some are saying Stroman will win to set up a feud with Roman Reigns. Others believe Undertaker wins to have a championship match with John Cena at Mania. However, I’m going to throw a curveball and say Baron Corbin wins the Royal Rumble. He’s the next great heel in the WWE. If, and when, Cena wins the belt, Corbin would greatly benefit from a match with someone on the level of Cena.
These are just my predictions for Royal Rumble PPV. I’d be curious to know what yours are.
Oh, and if Tye Dillinger doesn’t debut at number 10……WE RIOT!
Follow Daniel James Gentile on twitter @dgentleman9288