But Should He Be?
You may never have thought too much about the concept, but did you know that you can actually bet on the outcome of wrestling matches!?
Lots of different sportsbooks offer odds for the biggest PPVs, with monthly fare from the WWE and increasingly AEW open for bettors to have their say. The reason we mention it is because we know that a lot of you like to look into your shiny crystal balls and predict what the next few months and years hold for the major franchises’ biggest stars.
We may be a good way shy of the big day yet, but already some sportsbooks are posting their prices for the Royal Rumble in 2021 – check out the betting odds at Paddy Power as one example. They have listed their favorites to win the classic main event, and while there are a couple of standout names in the women’s version it’s in the men’s where the betting intrigue really starts – eight superstars are priced at odds of +1200 or shorter, which means the bookies don’t really know how things are going to shape up ahead of the January extravaganza.
And so we thought we’d take a look at the main contenders and rate their chances.
Roman Reigns (+600)
Given his battles with Leukaemia, it’s not a huge shock that Roman Reigns is off our screens for the time being.
He will be pressed into action in time for the Rumble, if it is safe for him to do so, and he will be lined up for another headline run in 2021.
Reigns has pitched the idea of a Wrestlemania 37 bout with his cousin The Rock, which would right the wrongs of his sub-par clash with The Undertaker at 35. If they can agree terms on that then would Reigns head to the March spectacular as champion?
Daniel Bryan (+1000)
Bryan, and his sparring partner AJ Styles, have been battling it out for the Intercontinental Championship of late, and so it would take an almighty shift in storytelling for him to suddenly become a major player again.
We know he has the wrestling chops to put on a masterclass on the biggest stage of them all, and of course he will enjoy the support of the Yes! Movement.
But does Daniel Bryan secure PPV buys, does he put bums on seats and does he help to battle falling WWE Network sales? That, rather than in-ring prowess, remains McMahon’s chief consideration.
Despite his veteran status, Edge has been given a huge push of late with his ‘Greatest Match’ angle against Randy Orton at Backlash.
The Rated R Superstar did the business as he always had, but you do wonder how much gas he has left in the tank given that he has already retired once.
Headlining Wrestlemania would be an extraordinary swansong for his career, but you suspect concerns about his physical condition might just preclude Edge from entering the Royal Rumble equation.
Bray Wyatt (+1200)
For a man of many personas, Bray Wyatt is currently undergoing an identity crisis.
His run as the ‘Fiend’ was warmly received but kind of ran out of steam, and on a recent episode of Smackdown he gave everyone a bit of a shock by returning to his cult leader gimmick, targeting former Wyatt Family member Braun Strowman.
How will the next few months play out for Bray? Rumors suggest he will undergo a Mick Foley-style ‘multiple personalities’ overhaul, switching from the Fiend and back again at will.
It’s an interesting narrative, and might be one that pushes him back into the main event picture in time for the Rumble…
Keith Lee (+1200)
What a curveball it would be if Keith Lee won the Royal Rumble next year.
The big man is being held back with NXT for now, but a move to the main roster seems inevitable – it’s just how quickly he climbs the ladder after that.
We know McMahon loves his monster clashes, so we would anticipate Lee battling Braun Strowman or even Bobby Lashley at Wrestlemania next year.
That, presumably, would count Lee out from winning the Royal Rumble.
Kevin Owens (+1200)
It seems increasingly as though KO is being shielded from the main event equation, which is strange given his billing as the new Stone Cold Steve Austin just a few months ago.
Owens isn’t really a Vince McMahon guy – certainly aesthetically, anyway – and his ‘anti-hero’ persona may not be strong enough to attract fair weather fans to buy Wrestlemania, which is kind of the McMahon modus operandi.
So there you have it – the Royal Rumble picture is as clear as, erm, mud! Maybe hold on to your betting slips until the big build begins.