WITH THE FIRST EVER WOMEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE LOOMING THE FIELD IS WIDE OPEN FOR WHO WILL MAKE HISTORY BY BECOMING THE INAUGURAL WINNER. WITH THAT IN MIND, LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT WHO I HAVE DEEMED THE TOP 10 CONTENDERS TO WIN THE WOMEN’S RUMBLE!
Natty is coming off a brief run with the SmackDown Women’s Title and her matches with Charlotte are always fantastic. With WWE’s ever increasing interest in having the women shine on PPV, another Natalya vs. Charlotte match would be an almost guarantee to deliver a solid, well worked match that could hold its own amongst the rest of the WrestleMania 34 card. Plus, it never felt like the Natalya/Charlotte feud from the end of last year ever really concluded. The title rematch was interrupted by the Riott Squad and that was sort of it. So, with more left on the table, it’s conceivable that WWE could go back to this feud for Mania, and The Rumble may be the way to get there.
9. Nikki Bella
The Men’s Rumble match has been known for surprise entrants (especially over the past 10 years or so) and I suspect the Women’s Rumble will be the same. With a roster of women that, while talented, falls short of 30, I expect we’ll see at least a few “names from the past” in this historic event. The one that seems most likely to not only be in the Rumble but actually have a shot at winning is Nikki Bella. Nikki’s status with WWE in terms of being an active wrestler is vague. Some reports said she retired at WrestleMania 33, while nothing official was ever announced. She’s been busy with outside project for nearly a year, but I doubt very seriously that we’ve seen Nikki in the ring for the last time. WWE loves their surprises and having Nikki win the Rumble and go on to a title match at Mania would be a big one… though maybe not the biggest possible surprise (more on that later).
The first ever Ms. Money in the Bank has been quietly sitting on her championship opportunity for the better part of a year now. It would seem a safe bet that the first woman to ever cash-in would win the title in order to put the concept over. But, perhaps Carmella does something that no previous MITB winner has ever done, win the title while still holding on to the briefcase. With Carmella already making history winning the first Women’s MITB Ladder match, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine WWE pulling the trigger on her again and having her walk out of Philly as the first ever Women’s Rumble winner. Plus, it would create an interesting build to Mania, knowing that even if she loses the title match at the Show of Shows, she’d have an “insurance policy” in the form of the briefcase. It’s a longshot (which is why she’s number 8) but not an impossible scenario (which is why she made the list!).
Bailey has been stuck in a rut on Raw for quite some time, but her popularity among the WWE Universe is still pretty solid. WWE might want to use the Rumble as an opportunity to rejuvenate Bailey’s character by having her win the Rumble match. WWE loves their “inspirational moments” and Bailey’s plucky attitude and cheerful demeanor would provide for an inspirational win in the Rumble match. It would be a bit out of left field for Bailey to win, but as a dark horse she’s a good pick, because you should never underestimate WWE’s desire to have those inspirational moments.
6. Sasha Banks
Sasha might be ranked higher on this list in many people’s minds and they might be right. The only reason Banks comes in at 6 here is because of the strengths I see in the women listed above her, not because of any lack of strengths in Sasha herself. I could definitely see Banks winning as she has maintained an “internet darling” type support from the fans and has been a multiple-time champion with solid Mania experience. Her impressive resume makes her a serious contender to winning the match, with her only downfall being the lack of attention she’s been getting of late on Raw in regards to the title picture. But in fairness, most of the attention on Raw’s women’s division of late has focused on Absolution, which Banks has been prominently involved in. She could easily make a mockery of my rating system here by winning as the number 6 contender.
5. Becky Lynch
This pick may surprise some, but with Becky being written off television with an injury until recently, her momentum from her return coupled with her ever constant backing from the fans puts Lynch in a prime spot to possibly win the Rumble match. Plus, if we look ahead to Mania, a Lynch vs. Flair match for the title seems like an awesome match up, and one that seems somewhat fresh, with the two having only one televised match with each other in over a year and a half (a match that Becky won, by the way). If the winner comes from SmackDown, in my opinion it’s either going to be Lynch or…
4. Ruby Riott
Yes, if the winner is a woman from SmackDown, I think it’s more likely to be newcomer Ruby Riott than anyone else currently on the Blue Brand. Riott has been positioned strongly since making her way onto SmackDown and with Liv Morgan and Sara Dobson by her side, the build from the Rumble to Mania for a match against Charlotte could make for an excellent program. Winning the Rumble match would instantly give Riott credibility in said program and help make her into a force to be reckoned with. If WWE is looking to pull the trigger on Riott, this is the time to do it.
3. Nia Jax
In interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I am a huge mark for Nia Jax. I think she has the potential to be the biggest star in the Women’s division for many years to come. Her power, athletic ability, size, and overall “presence” that has been on display on Raw for the past couple of years puts her as an obvious and credible contender to winning this match. In fact, having her destroy multiple women in one night is perfect for her and would be a natural fit for her character. Plus, with all of the storytelling being done recently with Nia and Alexa Bliss being best friends, I could easily see the two of them facing off in a “Mega Powers Explode” sort of way come WrestleMania 34. And what better way to set that match up then to have Jax win the inaugural event? Nia Jax has to be a huge favorite for this match.
Yes, that’s right, Asuka is number 2, not number 1, on this list (fight the urge to skip ahead). Asuka has been booked in a way that I have never seen anyone booked, male or female, in WWE history. WWE usually doesn’t do undefeated streaks often and when they do, they usually fizzle out without it leading to much. Even the mighty Goldberg was pinned clean in WWE before winning the World Title in 2003. So Asuka being undefeated for over 800 days in WWE is something pretty special. Having her defeat “29 other” women in one match would seem like a likely next step for the Empress of Tomorrow. No one on either brand has a bigger chance of winning this first ever Women’s Rumble match.
But wait, Asuka is number 2…
How is that possible?
If no one else on either brand has a bigger chance…
1. Ronda Rousey
Save your groans for someone who cares. Whether you like it or not, the facts point to this being a real possibility. Fact 1: Ronda Rousey is at the Performance Center training to get into the ring. That’s been confirmed by WWE. The fact that this was confirmed shortly before the Rumble is likely not a coincidence. Fact 2: WWE wants Rousey to be in a high profile match at Mania (like, say, a title match). Fact 3: The quickest way to get her into a title match and also give her a strong build in her first ever match is to have her win the Rumble. Fact 4: As stated before, WWE loves their surprises. They also love mainstream media attention. Rousey winning the Rumble checks both of those boxes. Do you really need any more convincing? I’d be more surprised if Rousey DIDN’T win this match. Even with Asuka involved. Asuka, by the way, has lost a battle royal on NXT television in the past and it didn’t derail her momentum or affect her undefeated streak. Also, I imagine Asuka will be in the Raw title match at Mania regardless of the Rumble. I think WWE wants Rousey and Flair to go at it at Mania (remember, I said Ruby Riott had the best chance of anyone “CURRENTLY on the Blue Brand.” Yay, semantics!) and winning the Rumble sets that up perfectly.
Well, there you have it. Time will tell if I’m right or just a complete idiot on the internet. Be sure to yell at me on Twitter (@THExWilliam) if you disagree with me… or if you agree. And of course, until next time, stay positive.