As we approach the official “Road to WrestleMania” with the annual Royal Rumble match. Sarah gives her predictions as to who could win the crowd favourite match and go on to WrestleMania.
I love the Royal Rumble match. When January swings around, I always get excited, not just because it’s a new year, a time for fresh starts and whatnot. The real reason I get excited is because I know the Royal Rumble is close by! This is one gimmick pay-per-view that has stood against the test of time and it will never lose its appeal.
Unpredictability about the entrants is one of the most appealing factors unless you’ve announced on WWE TV that you shall be taking part in the hope of scoring that golden ticket to the biggest stage of them all. There’s a chance of debuts, returns from past favourites and match ups that you wouldn’t normally get to see on a week-to-week basis on television.
The one thing I do love about the rumble is when the winner could be several people. With that, I can see a variety of people emerging victorious this year. Here are my 5 picks to win the Royal Rumbles.
Kevin Owens (Raw)
Since his impactful return to RAW Kevin Owens has become the top babyface in his current rivalry with Seth Rollins and the AOP.
Right now, he is over with the crowd more than ever before. Owens has also proved time and time again why he is a main event player. KO has held every singles title that was available to him in the WWE, except for the WWE championship.
Current champion Brock Lesnar will be looking for that big-time match. Perhaps 2020 is the year of the Prizefighter?
Roman Reigns (Smackdown)
A couple of years ago, people would have been loathing at the idea of Roman Reigns winning another Royal Rumble, let alone main eventing WrestleMania once again.
It has happened before with HBK and Stone Cold Steve Austin both winning the Rumble on more than one occasion.
No reason why the main face of Friday Night Smackdown, can’t go on to face The Fiend at WrestleMania, given the Fiend (Bray Wyatt) is still champion.
Drew McIntyre (Raw)
No, I’m not biased toward the Scottish guy.
Drew has come on leaps and bounds since making his return to the company in 2017, quickly becoming the NXT champion in his TakeOver in-ring debut match for the black & gold brand.
As well as dominating the main roster. It does make you wonder why he has only captured tag team titles since his main roster return. There’s no secret that Vince loves McIntyre’s look and in-ring ability.
As of late, he is getting a big push on Raw. He was “the chosen one” a decade ago, no reason why he shouldn’t be propelled to the main event when WrestleMania goes to Tampa in April.
The Miz (Smackdown)
This pick may come as a bit out there.
Lately, the current Universal champion “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt has been stirring up some trouble. One of his later victims after taking out Daniel Bryan briefly, was his long term rival, The Miz.
Winning the Royal Rumble will give him that opportunity to finish what he started with Bray Wyatt. Unless his recent issues with The New Day stop him in his tracks.
Tomasso Ciampa (NXT)
Don’t tell me an NXT guy can’t win the Royal Rumble.
NXT proved they are the third brand of WWE and not the “rookies” people often claim them to be. The black & gold brand emerged victorious at the 2019 Survivor Series.
For the first time, Raw, Smackdown and NXT were pitted against each other in the bid for brand supremacy, instead of just the red and blue brands. There has been much speculation about having an NXT title defended at WrestleMania.
There is no harm in having that happen. Ciampa is one of the best performers that WWE have at their disposal. It would also be a fantastic way to keep the momentum going from Survivor Series.
Charlotte Flair (Raw)
This woman is probably one of the odds on favourite to win this year’s, Royal Rumble.
Her credentials speak for themselves. 10x women’s champion, a successful reign as NXT women’s champion, as well as being the final Divas champion before the belt was retired at WrestleMania 32. On the last Raw of 2019, she announced she was going to be in the Rumble.
This will be the third rumble that the women have had. Charlotte fell short to Becky Lynch last year and is without a doubt, the strongest women WWE have on their roster.
Easy choice if you want a superstar who is familiar with main eventing a Pay-per-view.
Sasha Banks (Smackdown)
Sasha was a hard one to justify to myself.
I just have a gut feeling that Banks will be involved in the title picture come ‘Mania rolls around. She has been known to turn on best friend Bayley in the past. This could easily happen again.
We haven’t seen baby face Sasha in a very long time. But everything can change in 2020, it could be the season of reinvention of “The Boss”. On the other hand, we know Sasha and Bayley have incredible in-ring chemistry – their matches in NXT speak for themselves.
WWE can go in a safe direction and have the two lesser talked about Horsewomen take that main event spot at the “Grandest Stage of Them All”.
Carmella/Alexa Bliss (Smackdown)
It was hard to choose between these two women so I’m going to state a case for them both.
Both former Smackdown Women’s champions, both are a former Miss Money in the Bank and both are considered to be the top baby-faces on Smackdown right now.
Carmella disappeared from TV after her partnership with R-Truth ended with the 24/7 title being exclusive to Raw and she was drafted to Smackdown. That was up until recently had her return to TV, and with that, a series of wins.
Alexa has returned from injury spectacularly. It’s been a long time since we have seen Bliss as the good guy on TV, so this would be a nice change in direction for her. Sparkles? With fan favourite Bayley turning heel earlier this year, Smackdown is lacking that top babyface of the division. Both of which these women could easily fill that spot.
Ronda Rousey (Raw)
Yes, we haven’t seen Ronda since her loss in the main event of WrestleMania 35.
While she has been featured on E! Network’s Total Divas, Rousey has made it very clear that she is currently done with WWE until after she can settle down and become a mother. Plans could change.
It’s no secret that Ronda brought a fresh aspect to the Raw women’s division. She brought fresh eyes, and with that, lots of exposure. Due to her unfinished business with “The Man” Becky Lynch in more way than one, it is very likely we could see a monumental return of the “Rowdy One”.
We are still to see that one on one match that we were deprived of at Survivor Series after all…
Shayna Baszler (NXT)
I said this when justifying Tomasso Ciampa, why can’t someone from NXT win the Royal Rumble?
Shayna has undoubtedly been one of the most successful women in NXT. She was a record-breaking 2x NXT women’s champion, and she was also victorious when the three champions from Raw, Smackdown and NXT were the main event match at Survivor Series.
Shayna has a victory over Smackdown women’s champion, Bayley, but never pinned or submitted Becky in that match. This could open a window for Shayna to try her hand at Becky. Lynch has held onto the Raw women’s title since WrestleMania 35 and truth be told, besides Charlotte and Asuka, there is a lack of believable challengers for the title.
The Queen of Spades is also famous as being part of the “Four Horsewomen of MMA” along with former champion, Ronda Rousey. If Rousey doesn’t make a return this year, Shayna can be the one to try and avenge her friend’s title loss.
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