Are you ready? I said, ARE YOU READY? It’s Royal Rumble time as this Saturday, January 28th, emanating live from San Antonio, TX at the legendary Alamodome, the official road to Wrestlemania begins! If this past Monday’s 30th year Anniversary Show of Monday Night Raw is any indication backed by the jam-packed show featuring legends such as The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle and DX (D’Generation X) amongst others, we are in for quite the treat. On paper, this year’s card may leave something to be desired, but star power is there as is the potential like in years past for surprises and returns. This year’s card isn’t as stacked as from years past, but the quality of the roster compared to one year ago, is considerably better.
As far as the match card for Saturday, there are some quality programs set to either culminate or extend to the Elimination Chamber and possibly beyond:
- Men’s Royal Rumble Match
- Women’s Royal Rumble Match
- WWE Universal Title Fight: Roman Reigns © vs. Kevin Owens
- WWE Raw Women’s Title Fight: Bianca Belair © vs. Alexa Bliss
- Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match: Bray Wyatt vs. LA Knight
I had the good fortune of discussing the Royal Rumble including predictions on winners and potential dark horses with Producer of the Ringer Wrestling and Host of Wednesday Worldwide, Brian H. Waters, who had this to say about the outcome of the Rumble:
“I feel like for the Men’s side of things, Cody Rhodes is the guy”. As for the Women’s Rumble and possible dark horse winners, “I have to go with Rhea Ripley who is killing it right now. I could see Becky Lynch or even Bayley winning it though” he added. As for how Waters saw the outcomes of the other matches scheduled, “Bray Wyatt and LA Knight will be interesting, but I definitely see Bray Wyatt winning”. Bianca Belair will defend her Raw Women’s title against twisted Miss Bliss herself, Alexa Bliss. “I can see Alexa Bliss taking it here. A title change wouldn’t be a bad thing”. Moments later however, Wright switch his pick to Bianca Belair, factoring in the Elimination Chamber taking place in February not to mention different challengers for Belair to work with such as Asuka upon her return, potentially Naomi who is rumored to be returning at some point, and the matchup everyone is anticipating which could occur at Wrestlemania if stars align against Rhea Ripley. Bliss would most likely get lost in the shuffle given her character change and there being so many heels on Raw.
As for my predictions for this year’s Royal Rumble, I feel that the Men’s Rumble will come down to three stars. Those stars are Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Sami Zayn who is super over right now and a returning Cody Rhodes. Lets face it, the engine is clearly behind him given his vignettes hyping up his return the last several weeks. It kind of brings to mind once upon a time when Triple H was on the shelf due to tearing his quad and eight months later, returning on Monday Night Raw in the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden to an astronomical pop.
The same could occur for Rhodes who is the safe pick as far as who should face Roman Reigns in the main event of Wrestlemania. As for the Women’s side of things, Rhea Ripley is the pick for me because big picture her heading into Mania against Bianca Belair is one of the biggest Women’s matches that can be made and the most logical. Keep an eye on the potential of Bayley and Becky Lynch winning and the possibility of Belair losing her title to eventually set up a match versus Charlotte Flair for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
For the Lights Out Match pitting Bray Wyatt against LA Knight, Wyatt is the only choice here in a match that could be Wyatt’s version of the Casket Match made famous by the Undertaker. As for Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens, Reigns goes over here to continue his 800+ day reign of dominance as Universal Champion.
Speaking of Roman Reigns, rumors have been swirling for months that one of the all-time greats who just so happens to be a member of his family, in that of the Most Electrifying Man in All of Sports Entertainment, The Rock could be making his highly anticipated return to confront Reigns setting up an epic match between the two at the show of shows, Wrestlemania. If that were to unfold it would set up arguably one of the greatest matches in history if you smell what I’m cookin’!