Royal Rumble Alex B's Royal...Rumbling

alexb

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Even though Wrestlemania is considered the grandest stage of them all and arguably the biggest WWE event of the year, there’s a hefty chunk of fans that would argue the Royal Rumble event being their favorite PPV instead. As far as I’m concerned, it’s really a close call but whether first or second choice, there is little doubt this is one of the most exciting times of the year and one that I certainly look forward to, even if the build this time around was kind of lackluster.

That being said, let’s have a go at this year’s card, shall we?


First off, my understanding is we are looking at a two hour kick off show, just like WWE likes to do with the “Big 4” PPV’s anyway which in my opinion translates to overkill. To be perfectly honest, I ain’t going to be tuning in for it but will catch the highlights instead.

Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the United States Championship

How ironic is it that this time last year Nakamura was winning the Royal Rumble match itself only to see him being part of the preshow a year later? Talk about a change of momentum…

Aside from that, the fact we didn’t even get to see Rusev for the past couple of weeks (unless I missed something) pretty much tells you all you need to know about the status of the US championship whilst Nakamura’s constant “fading” also speaks volumes. Simply put, I don’t see any reason for the title to change hands so Rusev to retain.


Fatal 4-way for the Cruiserweight Championship


To be perfectly honest, I haven’t watched 205 live in a very long time so needless to say I don’t really care about this. All I am going to say is that for the most part, whenever they tag these types of matches as “the odds are stacked against the champion”, the champion usually retains so I’m guessing Buddy Murphy retains.



On to the main show, I should first point out that card placement will be the key factor in order to try and predict certain things. For example, it’s a given fact that they will try to spread out the two Rumble matches themselves in order to prevent the fans from “burning out” if, say, they were to have them take place back to back.

Secondly, I think this time around it will be back to the men’s rumble match taking the main event spot after the women had that honor last year for obvious reasons. I also don’t think they will open with the woman’s rumble match so moving forward, I’m going to try and predict the order of each match as well:



The Bar vs. Miz and Shane McMahon for the SD Tag Team Championship

In my view, this seems perfect for a hot opener, more so being I feel there will be a title change as well. The Bar have had a long enough run to begin with, whilst I also believe it makes sense from a story line perspective to have Miz and Shane capture the gold. If indeed the plan eventually is for Miz to turn on Shane and them facing off at Wrestlemania, it only makes sense they win the tag straps here, have a short run and perhaps drop them about a month before Mania (Fastlane, Cockblock or whatever the PPV name prior to Mania), cause the decent and set up the match.


Asuka vs. Becky Lynch for the SD Women’s Championship


As noted above, match placement is a key factor and the way I see things, this match HAS to happen here and most importantly before the Woman’s Royal Rumble match only for the simple reason it ties in with what I think should happen afterwards.

Now, while I understand Becky is white hot and you don’t want her having to lose, Asuka should retain. She doesn’t necessarily have to win but at the end of the day, Asuka should be walking out of Chase Field still Smackdown Woman’s Champion so my theory is a somewhat dusty finish that both keeps Asuka champion whilst at the same time protecting Becky Lynch. I don’t think Ronda will be interfering (they played that card already at TLC), nor do I see Charlotte getting involved, but I wouldn’t count out on Nia Jax doing so, eventually costing Becky the match. Either that, or maybe Asuka sneaks in some iffy move to win; like, sort of cheating but not really type of thing.

Either way, I think the idea should be that Asuka should retain….


Woman’s Royal Rumble Match


...so Becky Lynch can then insert herself in the rumble match, eventually winning it to then challenge Ronda Rousey at Wrestlemania. This story line basically rights itself and has been pretty much brewing for quite some time now. Have a frustrated Becky enter the Rumble, have it come down to her and Nia Jax and have Becky get her revenge for her face being broken during that invasion angle prior to Survivor Series on RAW. Becky eliminating Nia to win the Rumble would definitely make for a good moment (let alone it would tie a loose end) whilst being the easiest way for the Man to challenge Ronda, don’t you think?

On the flipside, there’s a second scenario I could possibly see. Long story short, take everything mentioned above up until the point that Becky eliminates Nia, only this time it’s not the final elimination. In this scenario, it would be the second to last elimination, thus all boiling down to Becky and Charlotte. Who wins in this case, you might ask?

Keeping in mind that Charlotte did not participate in last year’s first ever Woman’s Royal Rumble, many believe WWE may want to give her the big moment here. We all know they love Charlotte backstage so, makes sense, right?

Well, what if…both won? What if WWE decided to recreate the Lex Luger/Bret Hart moment from back in the day with both eliminating each other and both hitting the floor at the same time? Granted, this is more of an extreme scenario, however it could tie in the events that took place at TLC between Charlotte and Ronda alongside the story line between Becky and Ronda. To be perfectly honest, I’d much rather see Becky versus Ronda one on one but if they were to go with a triple threat including Charlotte, I guess I’d be okay with it as well.

Lastly, if I were to go with a third option, a dark horse if you will, I’d be looking at Ember Moon, a gal I feel has been underutilized ever since she got called up to the main roster. As we all know, the Rumble can be used to really make or break someone and in this case, if WWE were to use this match for a hard push to a newer face, I think Ember Moon is a great candidate. Come to think of it, she could then challenge Asuka for Mania and give us another classic like those during their respective time at NXT.

As a side note, I would love for Victoria to be one of the surprise entrants this year, someone we didn’t get to see last year. I do remember a report some few months ago talking about Victoria not being allowed to go backstage when she attempted to do so but unless there’s some bad blood we are not aware of, I’d really like to see here make an appearance.


AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship

Keeping this short, I see no reason why Daniel Bryan doesn’t retain his title here. He’s been basically on fire with this new character and I can’t see why you’d mess with something that doesn’t need to be fixed.

As for AJ, they can easily protect him with an iffy finish (back to the balls perhaps?) plus I’m fairly confident he’s counting down his days on the blue brand. Oh, wait, no, I’m not implying he’s going to leave for AEW (that’s just ridiculous) but more so basing this on the very well known fact that Vince wants AJ Styles on RAW…



Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks for the RAW Woman’s Championship

They say payback is a bitch so if Charlotte or Becky were to interfere here and cost Ronda the match, it wouldn’t come as a surprise, however whether it’s Ronda vs. Becky at Mania or Ronda vs. Becky vs. Charlotte in a triple threat, the title has to be on the line so I find it hard to see any other outcome other than Ronda retaining against Sasha Banks.


Just to throw this out there, I feel that the end game should be Becky Lynch headlining Wrestlemania (with or without Charlotte) and beat Ronda Rousey. I think Becky will then win, move to RAW, thus helping the transition of Ronda moving over to Smackdown, something that FOX pretty much…demands to happen.



Brock Lesnar vs. Fin Balor for the WWE Universal Championship

First question that comes to mind, will we see the paint? In other words, will Balor come out as the Demon or will he show up as regular, smiley Balor?

Well, the Demon versus the Beast could do wonders from a marketing perspective (not to mention the believability of the matter) however I think that if that were to be the case, they’d be all over it already. Granted, they could still do it (despite Balor basically shutting down the idea in a recent interview) but I am going to assume it won’t happen.

Now, generally speaking this should be an easy call (even a lock) and perhaps the outcome will indeed be what most are predicting, thus Brock retaining. However, for whatever reason, I’m feeling kind of funky about this one. I don’t know, there’s just something about this story line that has got me thinking, especially with Vince somewhat involved and this “I don’t believe in you” angle.


And then, there’s this minor detail. For the most part, when it comes to the go home shows prior to a PPV that Brock will participate, one of Paul Heymann’s usual go to catch phrases while promoting the match and talking about how his client, Brrrrock Lllllesnar will win is “this isn’t a prediction, it’s a spoiler”. However, if you noticed, he didn’t use this line this time around. Granted, it’s a minor thing and perhaps a case in which maybe he didn’t want to sound repetitive but then again, could it be a tell for things to come?

Furthermore, up until a few months ago, Fin Balor was…just there on RAW whereas lately they’ve booked him strong and have had him winning week in, week out. This, of course, could mean nothing and just a case of Brock’s opponent needing to look strong but what if...?

On the other hamd, looking at this long term, Brock retaining and holding the title till Mania makes more sense and more of a Vince thing to do but if the idea is to really give the fans what they want, I would not be surprised whatsoever if a title change occurred. However, I’m going to stick with Brock Lesnar to retain.

I guess the one and only thing keeping me from predicting Fin Balor to win here is all those times Seth Rollins took a stab against Brock Lesnar in various promos, almost teasing the eventual match up. And when they tease shit, they don’t do it for the sake of doing it so…



Men’s Royal Rumble Match

…that is why I’m sensing Seth Rollins will be your 2019 Royal Rumble winner, thus setting up a match at Mania with Brock Lesnar.

I’m sure I am not the only one that has come to this conclusion and I certainly ain’t discovering America all of a sudden. The thing is, given what we’ve seen all these months, it’s what makes the most sense and though predictable, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I could even go as far as to say that I can picture Seth slaying the beast at Mania, holding the title and then talking about how “this is (also) for Roman”.


As far as surprises are concerned and despite the various reports out there, I don’t see the Rock showing up, neither Batista. Undertaker could be an idea if they would want to use the Rumble as a way to set up Taker’s next match at Mania, then again I feel they’d be advertising him already, more so given the fact of the low ticket sales. Kane? Meh, maybe…

A more realistic option would be Bray Wyatt whilst I could also see the number 30 spot being freed up for someone else other than R-Truth, simply because R-Truth will enter the…woman’s rumble instead. Perhaps Wyatt at number 30?


All in all and regardless of the outcome of each match, this should be a good show. It's the freakin Royal Rumble aftr all, how could they go wrong, right? Right?
 

SWL

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Well, what if…both won? What if WWE decided to recreate the Lex Luger/Bret Hart moment from back in the day with both eliminating each other and both hitting the floor at the same time?
that's actually pretty sick, I didn't think of that. I guess it would be hard for them to ignore solutions to that problem. In 2005 they just restarted it on the spot and another (kayfabe-)solution would be to have them face off in a PPV match before Mania to decide the #1 contender there. Other than that, it would totally make for a unique build and I wouldn't be against it at all.

I just recently looked at the card and I must say they did a really good job here. Every match is fresh and has me interested, except for maybe Rusev/Nakamura but that's on the preshow so it's whatever. I'm always looking forward to the Rumble, but this year the undercard's fairly strong as well
 
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Mr. Roman Empire

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I think Charlotte and Becky have that double elimination moment or Becky defeats Asuka and Charlotte wins the RR and somehow gets to challege for both titles in a triple threat and whoever wins get to defend both titles on each brand and becomes the CHAMP CHAMP (Kind of like UFC where theres been a champion in 2 different weight classes.)

But somehow its Becky vs Charlotte vs Ronda at Wrestlemania in the main event. I mean at this point it has to be.
 

alexb

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or Becky defeats Asuka and Charlotte wins the RR and somehow gets to challege for both titles in a triple threat and whoever wins get to defend both titles on each brand and becomes the CHAMP CHAMP
Personally speaking, this is actually a pretty neat idea, however I don't think WWE would go for it. If indeed they decide to go with the triple threat with both titles on the line, I feel a more realistic approach is them unifying the two belts, thus one woman's champion for both brands, where the respective champion would be floating between both brands, depending of course on the contender.

This was my initial idea anyway since the brand split and, who knows, with the woman's tag team championship soon to be a reality, perhaps they could consider the unification option once again. If they were to do so, this spot at Mania would be the time and place for it, more so with these three specific ladies...
 

Mr. Roman Empire

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Personally speaking, this is actually a pretty neat idea, however I don't think WWE would go for it. If indeed they decide to go with the triple threat with both titles on the line, I feel a more realistic approach is them unifying the two belts, thus one woman's champion for both brands, where the respective champion would be floating between both brands, depending of course on the contender.

This was my initial idea anyway since the brand split and, who knows, with the woman's tag team championship soon to be a reality, perhaps they could consider the unification option once again. If they were to do so, this spot at Mania would be the time and place for it, more so with these three specific ladies...
A unification could work now that there is is going to be tag titles. I suppose they could put the tag division on one show and the singles division on another until they build their roster up enough to where they could have 4 titles (2 on each brand)
 

Snowman

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As I'm looking over this...

-For the women they've obviously got a Daniel Bryan situation on their hands. I... Struggle to say WWE "has" to do anything, but in the interest in a good show... Becky vs Ronda has to be the Wrestlemania main event... but I don't expect it to happen.

If that is the plan, I wonder how bad it would be to bite the bullet on this one? If they let a surprise to go after Asuka's title? I'd love to see Kairi Sane win. Or Ember Moon, you can even carry on their unfinished, underrated NXT feud... But that brings up memories of 2014.

Or they can just unify the titles. Becky wins a stellar match here, then challenges Ronda at WM. Asuka would get more out of this one-month title reign than almost anyone else, and Asuka vs Charlotte at WM for the #1 contendership could work? Hmmmm...

Card structure is also interesting here. If the Rumble goes on first you almost guarantee Becky won't be in it which... might make it easier? I guess?

-Gosh, I'd love for WWE to pull the ultimate troll job with the men. If R-Truth jumps into the Women's rumble, eliminates Carmella in some kind of comedy spot and gets punished by being pulled from the men's rumble later... just for a recovered Roman Reigns to pull an 08 Cena, come out at #30, win the Rumble and go on to challenge Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania for the championship... And it would actually work this time, because for the first time since the original Shield something happened to get Roman Reigns over. It would be everything we hated about Roman the last few years thrown in our faces and it would... actually probably be the best outcome (largely because if Roman's recovering well from cancer, that trumps all)

But really, behind him... Random Batista return because... what's terrible is good again? Rock? Cena? Well John Cena vs Daniel Bryan at Wresltemania does sound like an interesting title match... I feel like there's no good answer to win the Rumble. In the "new era" I hate to be naming stars from the past, and while I LOVE the idea of Seth Rollins winning and curbstomping Lesnar back into the USADA drug testing pool and winning the Rumble... who's he going to face the next month? Drew Mcintyre? Heel Braun Strowman? Lashley?... Ambrose again? Yeah within a couple of months he'll come back down to where he is now... Mcintyre would probably get more out of this as an up and coming star, but WWE doesn't have any babyfaces... He'll face Lesnar at Wrestlamania (which sounds interesting, I think? But what would the build be?) then Rollins after that then... maybe Strowman? In an unintentional double turn?

I'm confused. And the answers are probably obviously staring me in the face but lol
 

Mr. Roman Empire

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As I'm looking over this...

-For the women they've obviously got a Daniel Bryan situation on their hands. I... Struggle to say WWE "has" to do anything, but in the interest in a good show... Becky vs Ronda has to be the Wrestlemania main event... but I don't expect it to happen.

If that is the plan, I wonder how bad it would be to bite the bullet on this one? If they let a surprise to go after Asuka's title? I'd love to see Kairi Sane win. Or Ember Moon, you can even carry on their unfinished, underrated NXT feud... But that brings up memories of 2014.

Or they can just unify the titles. Becky wins a stellar match here, then challenges Ronda at WM. Asuka would get more out of this one-month title reign than almost anyone else, and Asuka vs Charlotte at WM for the #1 contendership could work? Hmmmm...

Card structure is also interesting here. If the Rumble goes on first you almost guarantee Becky won't be in it which... might make it easier? I guess?

-Gosh, I'd love for WWE to pull the ultimate troll job with the men. If R-Truth jumps into the Women's rumble, eliminates Carmella in some kind of comedy spot and gets punished by being pulled from the men's rumble later... just for a recovered Roman Reigns to pull an 08 Cena, come out at #30, win the Rumble and go on to challenge Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania for the championship... And it would actually work this time, because for the first time since the original Shield something happened to get Roman Reigns over. It would be everything we hated about Roman the last few years thrown in our faces and it would... actually probably be the best outcome (largely because if Roman's recovering well from cancer, that trumps all)

But really, behind him... Random Batista return because... what's terrible is good again? Rock? Cena? Well John Cena vs Daniel Bryan at Wresltemania does sound like an interesting title match... I feel like there's no good answer to win the Rumble. In the "new era" I hate to be naming stars from the past, and while I LOVE the idea of Seth Rollins winning and curbstomping Lesnar back into the USADA drug testing pool and winning the Rumble... who's he going to face the next month? Drew Mcintyre? Heel Braun Strowman? Lashley?... Ambrose again? Yeah within a couple of months he'll come back down to where he is now... Mcintyre would probably get more out of this as an up and coming star, but WWE doesn't have any babyfaces... He'll face Lesnar at Wrestlamania (which sounds interesting, I think? But what would the build be?) then Rollins after that then... maybe Strowman? In an unintentional double turn?

I'm confused. And the answers are probably obviously staring me in the face but lol
If Roman was a surprise 30 and won then it would literally be a full transformation of him becoming the most over baby face that Vince dreams of. From him getting bood out the building 4 years ago (even with The Rock) to everyone popping hard for his return and beating the cancer
 
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alexb

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In the "new era" I hate to be naming stars from the past, and while I LOVE the idea of Seth Rollins winning and curbstomping Lesnar back into the USADA drug testing pool and winning the Rumble... who's he going to face the next month? Drew Mcintyre? Heel Braun Strowman? Lashley?... Ambrose again? Yeah within a couple of months he'll come back down to where he is now... Mcintyre would probably get more out of this as an up and coming star, but WWE doesn't have any babyfaces... He'll face Lesnar at Wrestlamania (which sounds interesting, I think? But what would the build be?) then Rollins after that then... maybe Strowman? In an unintentional double turn?

I'm confused. And the answers are probably obviously staring me in the face but lol
Well, assuming Seth Rollins does win the Royal Rumble and then goes on to defeat Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania, one scenario I can think of is he then moves to Smackdown.

Granted, there’s also the “Monday Night Rollins” concept we should probably be considering (thought not mentioned on a regular basis, should he become champion it could easily become a “thing” again) but on the other hand, if Vince is indeed keen on bringing AJ Styles over to RAW, I feel Seth Rollins would be a good return for Smackdown. The catch, of course, is that he’d be taking the Universal championship with him, then again they could easily work out either a trade or just have Daniel Bryan drafted to RAW. Come to think of it, this would furthermore open the door for Brock Lesnar to also move to Smackdown, something I am sure would work just fine in regards to the deal already made with FOX.

In this case, Seth Rollins would have several new faces to compete with, Andrade, Rey Mysterio or Samoe Joe to name a few off the top of my head.
 
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