It’s that time of the year again! The ‘Road to WrestleMania’ begins this Sunday with WWE’s first pay-per-view of the year, The Royal Rumble. This match card has changed quite a bit since it’s original announcement, with one person from each Rumble match being removed due to injury, and two matches being cancelled, each due to their own “unique circumstances”.
At this time, with only 6 matches remaining on the card, let’s make some predictions!
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match
I was afraid a week or so ago that this match was also going to be cancelled after one half of the Smackdown tag team champions, Jey Uso, was arrested for driving under the influence. However, it seems WWE is sweeping that incident under the rug for now. Regardless, I do believe Jey’s arrest will have implications on this match.
As much as I disagree with the decision, I believe Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin will capture the gold this Sunday.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match
Plain and simple, it makes zero sense for ‘The Bar’ to win this match. They have lost to ‘Titus Worldwide’ two weeks in a row, the first coming 100% clean, seemingly commencing their burial. Plus, tag champs Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan seem to be starting a feud with the ‘Bálor Club’. I think this match will be a great one for sure, but they’ve made the outcome rather predictable, so my pick is Rollins & Jordan.
Handicap Match for the WWE Championship
I’m very excited for this match, and I can see a couple of different ways it could play out. The one I’m going to stick with is this: A Kevin Owens injury was set up at the end of Smackdown Live this past week and we will see this haunt him on Sunday. Owens will be taken out of the match early by re-injuring his ankle, leaving Sami Zayn to fend for himself for the remainder of the match.
Zayn will end up upsetting AJ Styles to capture his first World Championship. Owens will still refer to themselves as “co-champs”, even though Zayn will believe he did all the work. This will lead to a Mania match between the two for the one and only WWE Champion. So my pick for this match is Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens.
Triple Threat Match for the Universal Championship
This match is another unfortunate case of many people seemingly already knowing who is going to win. As much as my heart is telling me that it’s Braun Strowman’s time, my head is telling me to pick Brock Lesnar. However, I think the end to this match will be more interesting than some believe it will be. Back at Survivor Series of last year, at the end of the evening, we saw Braun Strowman get up in Triple H’s face after Strowman was unimpressed by Hunter’s late match shenanigans.
The night after, on Raw, Strowman decimated Triple H, and we haven’t seen anything between the two since. My guess is that Strowman will be gaining momentum towards finishing the match, when suddenly Triple H either attacks him from behind or his music hits. Either way, this will lead to Brock Lesnar picking up the win and retaining his title. This will also begin the build to a potential WrestleMania match between Hunter and Strowman.
Women’s Royal Rumble Match
Expect a lot of surprise entrants during this match. With the entire WWE women’s roster consisting of only 17 women, I’m very excited to see who will grace us with their unexpected presence. My original pick for this match was going to be former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey, however a couple days ago, she publically said that she will NOT be at the Royal Rumble event.
We’ve heard something like this before, with the Hardy’s for example, Jeff Hardy said the day before WrestleMania last year that the two of them would not be signing with WWE anytime soon. Well, we all know what happened next. So I’m still holding out hope on Rousey.
If she debuts, Ronda Rousey is my pick for this match. If she does not debut, then my pick will go to Asuka. My big surprise pick for this match is Kharma. I’ve been waiting so long for her to return and I would mark out so hard if she does!
Men’s Royal Rumble Match
This is what this whole evening is leading to! Who will get the incredible opportunity to main event WrestleMania and truly make a name for themselves on the grandest stage of them all… It’s Roman Reigns… Roman Reigns is going to win this match.
Whether you like it or not.
By: Patrick Gallagher