My birthday is this Sunday and I haven’t made any plans to go out for celebration. But that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned because along with the new episode of Liv & Maddie (that’s my guilty pleasure show, I think I’ve made that clear), I get the pleasure of tuning into one of WWE’s most exciting yearly PPVs, the 29th annual Royal Rumble. But you know, even though this event is titled “Royal Rumble”, this looks so much like a Night of Champions card given that literally every championship currently on the WWE main roster is set to be defended. Not only that, but a championship is on the line in EVERY match on the card, including the Rumble match itself. For the first time since my birthyear of 1992 when Ric Flair went to distance, the WWE Championship is on the line; however, unlike the 1992 Rumble where the 30 participants fought over a vacant strap, the champion (Roman Reigns) is headed into the match with the intention of surviving with his gold intact. Will he overcome what WWE wants to convince us are odds or will Roman once again find himself chasing the title rather than holding it after the dust settles and the lava has consumed 29 other Superstars? And what about the rest of the card, which is admittedly promising despite basically being Rematch City? Well, let’s take a look at the Forecast and find out!
Royal Rumble Qualifier
Darren Young & Damien Sandows vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Ascension vs. Mark Henry & Jack Swagger
OK, Hearing that this match was gonna happen almost convinced me that I may have dandruff build-up because it sure left me scratching my head. You see, The Dudley Boyz and The Ascension are actual tag teams at the very least; I have no idea where the other two teams in this match came from. Last I checked, Darren Young already has a tag team partner; sure, that tag team partner is currently pre-occupied feuding with Stardust for no well-explained reason, but they never officially broke up again to my knowledge. But I guess I can’t complain too hard because at least Damien Sandow has a match. The combination of Jack Swagger and Mark Henry is even more puzzling. Sure, they’ve both embodied and defended Americana at some point in their WWE careers, but other than that (and a shared fondness for singlets), what do these two have in common?
Who I Want to Win: The Dudley Boyz; other than Damien Sandow, I don’t really care much to see any of the other teams appear in the Rumble. Especially not the Ascension; looking at their bad luck, they’ll probably some way to break Santino’s “shortest appearance” record.
Who Will Win: The Dudley Boyz; this shouldn’t even be a question. Unless they wanna give Mark Henry one final Rumble appearance, I don’t see anyone but Bubba and D-Von winning.
Tag Team Match
WWE Tag Team Championship
The New Day (C) vs. The Usos
The mystery behind The Uso’s Slammy Award win continues; yes, at the WWE Slammy Awards last December, Jimmy and Jey snagged the Tag Team of the Year award despite one of them being out for half the calendar year and the TV highlight for the other one was a stand-up gig on Total Divas. Nothing against them, but The Uso’s 2015 was so weak that even Taylor Swift‘s cats contended for that award more than they did. Then, we have who myself and many others deem the REAL Tag Team of the Year, The New Day, who were not as positive about their loses as they’d care to admit despite how much they may wanna convince us otherwise; I also imagine they can’t be happy about having to face the Usos again since The Usos are kind the default “always in the title picture” team in the division. Maybe one more loss will legitimately place them in the back of the lin…oh, who am I kidding.
Who I Want to Win: The New Day! Do it for Francesca! She would want you to head into WrestleMania as the Tag Team Champions, boys!
Who Will Win: Probably the Usos; they already stole New Day’s hard-earned Slammys, so I could see their titles being their next target.
United States Championship
Alberto Del Rio (C) vs. Kalisto
What a breakthrough rise Kalisto is having right now. Yes, after his friend and tag team partner Sin Cara of Botchamania fame once again bent one of his soaked-cardboard limbs to hell, Kalisto began to really shine in singles competition against some very tough adversaries. He soon found himself challenging Alberto Del Rio for the United States Championship on RAW; to the surprise of many, Kalisto would defeat Del Rio and claim his first singles title reign in the company. Then the very next day (or three days later in TV-land), to the surprise of everyone, Kalisto dropped the title back to Del Rio, making you wonder why they gave it to him in the first place if he wasn’t gonna have it for even a 24-hour real-time period. Now Kalisto gets his rematch; sadly, WWE isn’t exactly sending him into the PPV with much steam.
Who I Want to Win: Kalisto; that one-day title reign was inexcusable. Give it back to him, let’s try this again, and let’s do it right.
Who Will Win: Alberto Del Rio; and I know this guy is a talented wrestler, but oh boy, is he a boring champion (in WWE, at least). Too bad he will retain.
WWE Women’s Championship
Charlotte (C) vs. Becky Lynch
You know what, complain about how WWE handles the Divas Division all you want – they totally deserve it most of the time – but give credit where it is due, they seem to actually know what they’re doing with Becky Lynch right now. For months, we complained about how WWE booked her as the Robin to Charlotte’s Batman; she was the sidekick in funny clothing. (She’s a lot wittier than Robin at least.) But luckily, patience is a virtue – we should remember that more often – and after being betrayed by everyone she trusted, often being cheated out of victories, and being a just plain lovable cinnamon roll (thank you, Urban Dictionary), Becky has officially gotten over with the fanbase and it’s a lot easier to care to see her take the title off the woman who wasted no time transforming into the chip off the old block, Charlotte.
Who I Want to Win: Becky Lynch! Go win that title, Bex! We believe in you!
Who Will Win: Charlotte; the dirtiest daughter in the game will trump out poor Becky and it’s gonna be heartbreaking.
Last Man Standing Match
Dean Ambrose (C) vs. Kevin Owens
Once upon a time, Jon Moxley and Kevin Steen and were Indy wrestling standouts who both exuded personality, toughness, and unpredictability. They were both soon signed to the WWE and became stars of their developmental promotions as Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens respectively. They both debuted on the main roster in explosive fashion in 2012 and 2015, and have continued to make names for themselves from there. Two more similarities they share: neither of them wrestles in normal ring gear and they have a mutual dislike for one another, going back to late year when Ambrose won the Intercontinental Championship at TLC. Since then, the two have brawled on numerous occasions and the decision was made to let them both go wild in a match that encourages such chaotic behavior: a Last Man Standing Match!
Who I Want to Win: Dean Ambrose; I know he won’t revert back to any of that CZW craziness cause that is FAR from PG, but I know Ambrose can go to war and win.
Who Will Win: Dean Ambrose; I’d say it’s too soon to end his reign, but given Kalisto’s U.S. Title reign, that doesn’t matter to WWE. But I’m still going with Ambrose.
Royal Rumble Match
Roman Reigns and 29 Other Men vs. Each Other
So, the Roman Reigns experiment is still on. After Plan A (Operation: John Cena 2.0) failed spectacularly, Vince and company resorted to Plan B for their latest attempt: Operation: Steve Austin 2.0. Sadly, Roman is still lacking the charisma that Cena and Austin both possessed that added to their identities, but the story is actually kind of working. Roman has been hearing more cheers lately and it seems like some fans have come around to him during his battles with Vince and The Authority. But the storyline requires Roman to be challenged physically at every turn, and that’s why the McMahons have forced him to defend his title IN the Royal Rumble match while entering at #1. And seeing as he’ll have to go through stables, veterans, an animal, a possibly rumored authority figure, and free agents, it’s gonna be a LONG night for Roman Reigns in Orlando.
Who I Want to Win: Kofi Kingston; yeah, I said it! Not only could we use a black WWE Champion for once, but Kofi deserves his due for his evolution as a performer over the years, not just in-ring but also on the mic with his New Day brothers. A dazzling survival spot won’t cut it this year (though I’d still love to see one); no, he needs to bring World Title gold home to the New Day…..but realistically, I realize this will not happen, because…
Who Will Win: Roman Reigns. In the battle of One vs. All, “One” will win. The only way he won’t will be if Triple H enters as rumored or Brock Lesnar comes out on top. Yes, the outcome of the Rumble is truly predictable, but hopefully the match itself is fine. Let’s pray it is, y’all!
Do you agree with the forecast? Who do you see winning at the Royal Rumble? Who are you rooting for to win? Tag me on Twitter @FearlessRiOT and let me know or leave a comment below. Then check out Royal Rumble on the WWE Network this Sunday to see which predictions come true. Hope you all enjoy the show!