Royal Rumble as a concept is a wildly unpredictable night to write a preview for.
There are 60 potential wrestlers who are able to win 2 matches, and the card for Wrestlemania is something that is entirely determined out of who wins on this night. Within saying this though when looking at the bookies odds, fantasy booking, who is available to be surprise entrances and finally who is actually confirmed to appear in the match itself, it becomes easier to predict. One of the best nights of the calendar year for WWE; Royal Rumble in and of itself is a PPV many of us remember for years after it happened. In the spirit of this, the following article will lay out every match going into tomorrow’s PPV and who I as a writer predict to win across the night.
WWE United States Championship: Andrade vs Humberto Carrillo
As stated within my WWE TLC review, this match was one of the best on that show (and it was on the kickoff show). I think WWE see stock within both wrestlers and due to this will allow them to give an intense fast paced Lucha style match to open up the main part of the PPV. This will be a match that will be a sleeper classic and despite obviously not being as important as anything else on the card, the two wrestlers will demonstrate that they belong in the upper echelons of WWE.
Humberto Carillo is my pick of choice, but not to win the title. Andrade will slam Carillo’s head into the concrete floor as he has to many others on Raw and due to this will retain his championship. I think it’ll be a token win for Carillo leading into a potential triple threat match with Rey Mysterio coming into Wrestlemania, this will allow the three highflyers to participate in a ladder match, leading for the show to have something truly special. Rey Mysterio will run out at the end of the beat down and chase off Andrade before cradling Humberto Carillo.
If I was to give a run time for this match, I will be thinking something along the lines of between 10 – 15 minutes, leaving enough time for both talents to display their moveset but not to over extend due to the ending being of a DQ nature.
Prediction: Humberto Carillo, by DQ
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs Lacey Evans
For most improved talent of 2019, Lacey Evans stands above and beyond most wrestlers. She started off her time on main roster walking to the ring and waving, not even getting involved with anything physical for months. Towards the end of the year, she was wrestling as the first woman to be in a match at Saudi Arabia and working programs with Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins (the two main champions at Raw at the time). Due to this I see WWE rewarding her and giving her the championship to take into Wrestlemania.
Bayley does better as a snivelling whiny heel anyway, as when she snapped and broke the Bayley buddies, it was a time where most fans took notice of her for the first time in months. A vengeful and relentless Bayley going into Wrestlemania against the newly christened face of Smackdown in Lacey Evans would make for a fun encounter between both wrestlers. With Sasha Banks intimidating Lacey’s daughter on Smackdown a few weeks ago, the Sassy Southern Bell has much more to fight for than just a championship. This will be personal and she will be trying to take down Bayley for everything her and Sasha have done to her.
This will be a fun match, around 15 minutes or so, and will be of middling quality. It will be the worst match on the night, but compared to all the other bouts on the card, that’s not saying a lot. Plus it will most likely be the only title change of the night.
Prediction: Lacey Evans
Shorty G vs Sheamus
Bearing in mind this is Sheamus’s first televised match since last April and he’s against Shorty G of all people this is a dead set result. Sheamus has beaten Shorty G twice in House Show matches and as a gimmick Chad Gable deserves far better than being handed on a plate to Sheamus.
This match will likely be over in the space of 3 minutes, a brogue kick will come swift and quickly and Sheamus will leave this conquering and looking strong going into the Royal Rumble. This is a nothing match really and will most likely be forgotten by the time the PPV has ended.
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Roman Reigns vs King Corbin
This is a match that doesn’t seem to end and with the involvement of Dolph Ziggler and The Revival it’ll look to continue forwards. This will be a sloppy match in a similar manner to the TLC match and will likely run for around 30 minutes. Roman will end up fighting security guards, he will spear Corbin through a couple barricades and will put him through a few announce tables, the usual spiel.
This match will most likely have Roman looking convincing at the end of the match, looking prepared and pumped to enter the Royal Rumble. Corbin will leave being helped to the back by The Revival and Ziggler, hopefully putting an end to this feud. Reigns would look like a strong person to pick winning the Rumble at this point and due to this fans will be left with the impression that he will win.
If you like hard hitting but very formulaic wrestling this will be a match for you, but for storyline progression and incredible moves this match will likely lack.
Prediction: Roman Reigns
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs Asuka
It’s hard to believe that Becky has been champion for nearly a year at this point in time. Winning it at an intense triple threat match at last year’s Wrestlemania it only makes sense for her to carry into this year as the momentum for her has not died at all. For most champions a sense of staleness does come but with Lynch something about her makes her feel like she will carry the division forever.
Bearing in mind that Asuka is currently one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions having her go into Wrestlemania with both a tag and singles would make the event confusing. Apart from this, it reduces the amount of championships being defended, for the biggest event of the calendar year, fans would want to see as many title matches as humanly possible.
This is a chance for Becky to right the loss she suffered at last year’s Royal Rumble event with a convincing win over Asuka, this match would need to be back and forth but ultimately I see Asuka tapping out to Becky’s Disarmher. The match would go for about 30 minutes and so and will feature some incredible back and forth women’s wrestling. This will likely be the match of the night (outside the two Rumble matches) and will be a classic for female wrestling going into the new decade.
Prediction: Becky Lynch
WWE Universal Championship, Strap Match: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs Daniel Bryan
To say Daniel Bryan will fall short to The Fiend is perhaps not giving the fairytale ending many wish to see in the WWE Universe, but it is one that will increase Bray’s stock massively going into Wrestlemania. A strap match would allow Bryan to be strapped to Bray too meaning that he has nowhere to go from The Fiend’s brutal attacks.
This match will likely see Bray Wyatt destroy Daniel Bryan from the moment the bell rings with Daniel Bryan having brief but very fleeting comebacks throughout the course of the assault. The red light will shine as Bray decimates Bryan and drags him to all four corners, Bryan will attempt to fight back but will most likely be in vain. Ultimately Bray will win and look extremely strong going into Wrestlemania.
Ending this match does not necessarily mean that this is the end of the feud as it will likely continue for many months after Royal Rumble but for the time being The Fiend will look unstoppable and indestructible. Bryan will give him his toughest challenge yet, but it will still not be enough.
Prediction: The Fiend
Women’s Royal Rumble
Ronda has not been seen in a wrestling match since the ending of Wrestlemania, now it feels an amazing time for her to return. Facing down the conquering Becky Lynch to conclude Wrestlemania in a one on one match, seems the best way forward and allowing her to seem truly indestructible would be a big way forward. She will likely enter the match around the number 27 mark, as she will not want to be spoiled until the end of the match. It is mad saying that someone who hasn’t wrestled for the company in 9 months will win one of the most important matches of the year but truthfully it makes sense.
Ronda has never ruled out a WWE return, and fans would welcome her back in with excitement and a fresh start. No match on Wrestlemania would equal the power of Ronda vs Becky and to prove women headlining Wrestlemania was not a one and done event, the two in a singles match would carry on that tradition. Becky is being pushed as the main woman in the company but Ronda could stand equally next to her as one of the best within WWE.
Prediction: Ronda Rousey
Men’s Royal Rumble
Bare with me here, CM Punk claims he will never wrestle for WWE again. He also claimed he would never have anything to do with WWE again. Backstage has had him on and he’s appeared on there as an incredible talent. There’s three spots left in this Royal Rumble and it’ll likely be wrestlers from Brock Lesnar’s past. In truth the three surprises will likely be Cain Velasquez, Conor McGregor and CM Punk.
Now I know those three are huge wrestlers to say will appear in any match but to make the start of the new decade this will likely be special. HHH has said he is prepared to do what’s best for business, CM Punk has avoided the question with Renee Young on Backstage and the internet isn’t talking about it at all. If you look at Sky Bet too, CM Punk is the third most likely person to win behind Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre (two obvious picks) and therefore something or someone is hinting that this is likely.
It will be the biggest moment in years. I also don’t see him wasting time to get involved in the match too, coming in at number three, only after Cain Velasquez and Brock Lesnar. Royal Rumble 2020 seems to be the biggest PPV of the year, and if this happens, it might end up being the biggest PPV of the decade.
Prediction: CM Punk
For an official look at the Royal Rumble, we have made an updated post with the matches and bettings odds here: