Did we do one of these last year? I’m too lazy to google.
Anyway, every year fans spend the month of January wondering which deserving superstar will get tossed unceremoniously over the top rope during the single most fun match (in theory) of the year, and every year fans watch in grim resignation as whatever flavor of the month Vince has a semi-stiffy for wins the thing and goes on to
main-event mid-card WrestleMania while the guy he’s got a perpetual, years-long, raging-boner for closes Mania (Lesnar, or Goldberg…who is just discount Lesnar), thus rendering the Royal Rumble winner and thus the Royal Rumble more and more pointless every year.
Aaaaaanyway, let’s not SO OF COURSE this thing just yet; let’s instead look at the roster and examine who the top contenders are to win the Royal Rumble match this year.
THE MEN’S RUMBLE
Every year there’s one superstar that just feels like the perfect shoo-in to win the big match. That doesn’t mean they will; in fact, more often than not it means they won’t because “putting smiles on people’s faces” doesn’t mean giving the people what they want, it means giving the people what they don’t want because they weren’t expecting that…or something. Well, I got news for you, Vince. You’ve been giving us what we didn’t want for so long, we no longer expect what we want, so giving us what we want would be the ultimate swerve. Let’s try that for the next decade, how about that?
Daniel Bryan has accomplished almost everything one could in pro wrestling. He’s been a tag team, Intercontinental, and a World Champion. He’s carried the top championship in the company both as a heel and as a babyface, being the most popular on the roster in both roles, main-evented WrestleMania, winning not one but two titles in the process, and come back from presumed career-ending injury to win the title all over again. Unless they bring back King of the Ring there’s nothing left for him to do…other than win the Royal Rumble. With lots of rumors buzzing that Daniel Bryan is looking to wind down his full-time career, a match vs Roman Reigns at WrestleMania feels like the perfect way for him to go out.
You can insert any number of guys here, beyond Sheamus. There’s Goldberg, of course, but also Bobby Lashley. Is Braun Strowman healed up? He’d be another one. Basically what we don’t need is some big hoss for Drew McIntyre to wrestle in a sluggish, boring, “main-event style” (WWE-code for boring) match, and then beat like it’s 1986.
He’s been relaxing at home for the duration of the Covid crisis, but Vince is desperate and flush with spending money. A rematch from last year’s WrestleMania might be fun, but even more intriguing would be a Brock vs Roman match, with Heyman in the middle. Honestly, it’s such a money idea I’d hate to see it wasted in a no-crowd environment. Then again, who knows when we’ll ever have arenas full of fans again. By the time we do, we might already be back to cheesy babyface Roman Reigns. It may be better to strike while the iron is hot.
THE WOMEN’S RUMBLE
Consider this the feather in her cap. Bayley has been so wonderful the past couple of years since her shocking heel turn that a Royal Rumble win and a big stage match with Sasha Banks just feels right for her. You just know the vignettes that the WWE production team could edit together would be money. It just feels like Bayley’s time and I’d love for it to come down to her and Charlotte with the golden girl getting the toss so the ex-Hugger could stand tall.
And speaking of…
I’m already preparing myself for it.
Obviously, I’d love to put Becky Lynch here, but I wouldn’t want to rush her. And the wild card of Rhonda Rousey is always a possibility, but as with Lesnar, I’d hate to see her big return wasted in front of a couple of thousand TV screens surrounding half the ring.
With those options set aside, it’d be quite the something for Trish to appear somewhere in the middle-to-late section of the Rumble, seemingly just to get a legend’s pop, only to hang around and hang around until, shockingly, she’s in the final four, then the final three, then the final two and then…gets the win and a date with the wrestler she’s said she always wanted to work with (Sasha Banks). Trish is arguably the most important and popular Diva of the latter-part of the Attitude Era, and I have no doubt Sasha’s
frenetic on offense/ragdoll on defense” style could mesh well with her athleticism. It wouldn’t be the best option, necessarily, but it would be the most shocking…and might end up surprising us at Mania too.
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Those are my names to watch for this year.
Who are you looking at as a potential winner?
Let us know in the comments below!