Now, what a lot of people who don’t know me outside of this and my nerdvana blog don’t know is that I am a HUGE WWE fan. I’ve been in love with the promotion and professional wrestling since I was about ten years old, even going to live events, my first being a high school graduation gift of going to Wrestle Mania 23 in my hometown of Detroit. I also mentioned WWE earlier with Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair being the first two women to compete in a Hell in A Cell match.
But of course, as a wrestling fan, one of my favorite events is the kickoff event of Wrestle Mania season, the Royal Rumble. A tournament unlike any other, where thirty men enter one ring and battle to decide who will go on to headline Wrestle Mania. This year, because of it being in the famous Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas, I decided to cover the event, in particular, the Rumble itself.
We are going to take some big guesses to not only see who will win the event, but who will be in the Rumble, what storylines will develop out of this, and more importantly, which brand will main event Mania.
But before we get to picking a winner, lets look at who has currently announced they will be in the Rumble.
2. Brock Lesnar
3 – 5. The New Day
6. Chris Jericho
7. Braun Strowman
8. Baron Corbin
10. Dean Ambrose
11. The Miz
12. Dolph Ziggler
15. Bray Wyatt
16. Randy Orton
17. Luke Harper
18. Big Show
19. Sami Zayn
20. Big Cass
22. Mojo Rawley
Now normally, we don’t have that many people announced for the rumble, but it leaves eight spots open for either a new signee, legends, or even a return. With that said, here are some of the no- brainers that will be in the Rumble.
2. Triple H
3. The Loser of the WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
4. The Loser of the WWE Universal Title Match
Now thats four spots taken, and it makes the most sense that the loser of that title matches goes into the Rumble, it’s almost tradition. But that still leaves four open spots. Here is who I think will make the Rumble:
Did you really think I wasn’t going to mention “The Cleaner” as a surprise entrant into the Rumble? It has been the hottest topic of debate in the wrestling world, as many are wondering and speculating if the Bullet Club member will join WWE or if he will resign with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Now while Kenny has put on his twitter account that all signs are pointing towards him coming back to NJPW, the possibility of him being at the Rumble are still possible. Think about it in this sense, WWE posted a video of various superstars, Raw and Smackdown, asking them who they would love to see in the Royal Rumble. The video featured Luke Gallows, Karl Andersson and Seth Rollins, who they would like to see in the Rumble. Now while Gallows and Andersson mentioned current Bullet Club member Tama Tonga (cousin to the Rock and Roman Reigns), Seth mentioned Omega, and that his deal with NJPW was ending. The video was mysteriously taken down the same day and posted again, but the Seth Rollins and The Club portion of the video was cut. Hmm…. seems fishy don’t it? If Omega does appear, I would put him on Raw. I’ll explain later.
There is no doubt in my mind that the King of Strong Style will make his main roster debut at the Rumble. Most people would say that if he has the NXT championship belt after Saturday’s NXT Takeover: San Antonio match versus Bobby Roode, there is no reason for him to be in the Rumble. False. There are two reasons I believe he needs to be in the Rumble. The first is that NXT needs to be involved in the rumble to not only build up the excitement of the rumble, but also to further promote NXT by saying the champion of NXT can eliminate main roster stars like a Baron Corbin or a Dolph Ziggler. While NXT is doing great with its current roster, it is going to need to pump excitement into it once Nakamura, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode move up.
The second reason it should happen is because Nakamura can’t grow anymore in NXT. Nakamura has been in NXT for three months shy of a full year, and in that time, has had five legendary matches that were better than main card matches. It would be a dis-service to his career if he wasn’t apart of the main roster going into Mania, and I hope that Triple H and Vince McMahon can see that. If he does premier, he should go immediately to Smackdown. I’ll explain later why.
Since losing the title to Shinsuke Nakamura on December 3rd in Japan, the Samoan Submission Specialist has not been since on NXT. This to me points that he is definitely going to make his main roster debut at the Rumble, and while it might be to promote him to the main roster, I sincerely believe it will be to challenge for a world title immediately. Joe, like Aj Styles and a few others, is too hot of a star to midcard him against a young buck. If, and when, Joe debuts at the Rumble, watch it knowing he will be in the later card of the upcoming Wrestle Mania.
Yes, I have the demon king returning at the Rumble. Not only do I have him returning this Sunday, I have him winning the entire thing. It is not a secret that ratings for Raw spiked when Finn was on the show and since his injury at last year’s SummerSlam, Raw has fallen behind Smackdown. Now the reason I believe Finn will be at Rumble is for two reasons: his injury wasn’t as bad as previously thought. If this injury happened in October, then I would say his return would be at Mania, but since it was at SummerSlam, he has enough time to get surgery and heal up. It is also worth noting that this week (the week of January 24th) Balor will be tested to see if they want to push him to compete. I’m willing to bet he will and he will win the Rumble, and stay on Raw.
Now this is in case the Omega deal doesn’t go through, but I don’t care how WWE figures out a way to make this work, but if Pete Dunne isn’t in the Rumble, they might as well cancel any plans to do a UK show on the network. If you havent seen this guy in the UK Tournament that happened earlier this month (and why havent you?), then this dude is a bona fide star for WWE. He has the charisma and the kind of style in the ring that will be perfect for the rumble. I think Dunne will be in the Rumble for two reasons: One to prop up the UK roster and two, to either start a feud with the U.S. Champ or the Intercontinental Champion, neither which are bad options. Could you imagine Dunne vs. Jericho or Ambrose in a brawl type of setting? Oh lord.
The Final Four
This normally is the biggest part of the rumble, because the beginning is not as exciting as the ending. To me, if I’m reading the tea leaves right, the final four will be The UnderTaker, Roman Reigns, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn. This makes the most sense because I think Taker and Reigns may feud for Mania. But I also have the sneaking suspicion that Vince will want to repeat the ending of the 2007 Rumble, this time with Finn Balor going up against UnderTaker. Not only would it cement Finn Balor’s career, but it would be in a way Finn winning another title by eliminating UnderTaker. They could also fold this by having Finn cause Reigns to eliminate Undertake as well.
Matches Coming out of the Rumble
Lesnar v. Goldberg 3: I think that not only will these two get their own spot in the Rumble but I would not be surprised if during the Rumble, Goldberg is tangling it up with someone in the match, the buzzer goes off, Lesnar comes out and the ring is cleared for these two to go at it. Expect the loser of the Rumble tango to be Goldberg to keep the rivalry going, and for it to be settled at Mania.
HHH vs. Rollins: Now this was setup on the last Raw before the Rumble, in which case HHH cost Rollins his spot in the Rumble. Here is exactly what I expect to happen: Rollins music will hit, then stop, then HHH’s music will hit with him coming out. Then before the final four, Rollins will sneak into the ring, Pedigree Trips and throw him out, setting up a match at Mania.
Reigns vs. Samoa Joe: While I would love a Taker vs Reigns feud, I think the logical feud for Reigns is against Samoa Joe. Reigns was loved when he wasn’t apart of the title picture and I think that for the current moment, it needs to be that way until you turn him heel. Joe gives him that opportunity to be a pure slugfest and someone he can work with well. You could also do this by having Joe cost Reigns the title in his match against Owens.
Nakamura vs. Styles: I think WWE will do this slowly by having AJ Styles win the title in Elimination Chamber, yes I have him losing to Cena at Rumble so they can get past this stupid will-he, wont-he title crap, and Stlyes going right into a match against Nakamura. Like I said before, Nakamura is a main event quality guy, so he needs to be seen as such.
Finn Balor vs Kevin Owens, and a Heel Turn: This match has happened twice but on the main stage, it would be so amazing to see. Now the reason I put Heel Turn in the title is because I think Sami will turn heel and fight for the title AFTER mania. Imagine this: Sami goes into the Rumble as the 1st entrant, gets to the final two, only to be eliminated by Finn. Finn wins the title and Sami turns on him saying the title should have been his, and that Finn stole his moment. Not only would it have two great stars up against each other, but it would be the third or possibly fourth time two former NXT champs have faced each other.
Omega vs Everybody: I don’t care who it is, I want Omega in WWE!
Well those are my thoughts on the Rumble, who do you think will win? Who do you think will debut? Leave your comments and thoughts below and let’s get ready to RUMBLE!!!! Sorry, I always wanted to do that.