This Sunday will see most WWE fans favourite event take place. The 30 man over the top spectacle that is the Royal Rumble. Far from its humble beginnings when Jim Duggan won, the Rumble has taken on a more important position as the years went on. It has become the event to set the tone for the creative vision of Wrestlemania. Probably since Lex Luger and Bret Hart famously tied the event before Wrestlemania 10, the winner has gone on to receive a huge push in the Rumble with a guaranteed spot in the main event of Wrestlemania. It has added another layer of prestige to the event but in this fan-fuelled era, it has also posed many problems for the company. Let’s look over some of the possible winners and permutations if they win.
The Favourites – Goldberg, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker
One of these three could very well win. The fact that all three appeared in the ring together on RAW, however, changes this up to me. The Rumble is all about putting pairings together for Wrestlemania. Three into two doesn’t go and they wouldn’t dare put the three in a triple threat match no matter how much sense it might make. That means we will get a rubber match between Goldberg and Lesnar, leaving the only possible winner from this group as the Phenom. Will the WWE allow the Undertaker to main event Wrestlemania one more time and end his career as a champion? It is the fairytale ending, but since when have they given us what they want.
Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Triple H
None of these men as of the time of writing have officially confirmed for the Rumble but you would expect there to be the chance of at least one being in the event. Reigns, simply cannot be allowed to win. 2015, he created the most negative fan response I can remember as he somehow won against all the odds. The smart thing to do would be to have him beat Kevin Owens and take no part in the showpiece event, leaving the winner as the one to beat him at Wrestlemania. Seth Rollins and Triple H are destined to tangle at the main event, but there could be some build up here. Whether Triple H costs him the Rumble or eliminates him by being in it are both options. But I hope a winner doesn’t come from this bunch.
Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin, Rusev, Big Show
The big men. One of them will have a run in this Rumble and the smart money is on Strowman. He has been pushed as the next big monster. No doubt they will eliminate close to 10 other competitors, but will the WWE universe accept any of them as the overall winner. I doubt it. I also doubt their main event credentials at the moment. Big Show is scheduled for Shaquille O’Neill at Wrestlemania, whereas the others are going to be filler in some event. It would be interesting to see a true big man win the Rumble as it is accurate, but it is unlikely.
I’m lumping all the rest into this group. They will carry the Rumble and if lucky set themselves up for a decent feud. Randy Orton, Luke Harper, Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler, The New Day, Cesaro and Sheamus, Zayn and The Miz. Should all last around 10-20 minutes and some of them will be in the final five. What they are really there for is elimination fodder. Goldberg, Lesnar and Taker will demolish most of them as soon as they enter and despite carrying the Rumble for the duration they won’t win.
I’d imagine there are around 8 special entrants that will only be revealed on the night. Last year the best surprise was AJ Styles, this year we may get the three standouts from the recent UK tournament or Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode from NXT and if real miracles happen Kenny Omega. If Kenny Omega appears, it will top AJ Styles as Omega is currently the top performing wrestler in the world. It is highly unlikely but if they told him he was booked to win it, then who knows.
All will be revealed on Sunday