Royal Rumble Preview
This Sunday night the 33rd annual Royal Rumble comes to you from Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. One of the biggest WWE PPV events of the year where we are sure to have some big time surprises and possibly even some major returns. This time of year is always exciting for WWE as we are officially in WrestleMania season and only a little over two months away from the biggest show of the year. The Royal Rumble always kicks off WrestleMania season as the winners from both the men's and women's rumble matches will be crowned the number one contenders for WrestleMania!
On top of the two Rumble matches we have three championship matches and two other matches announced so far. We still have one more episode of Smackdown Live to finish the build up for the Royal Rumble PPV so, we are sure to have a few more matches and more participants enter into the Rumble matches. Here is how the match card looks for this Sunday's event...
Sheamus vs Shorty G-
Sheamus made his return a few weeks back and started a feud with Shorty G...Kind of a disappointing return for someone who has a lot of main event potential. I feel like his return could've been saved for the Rumble match and it would have gone over better. But hey, I don't write the scripts or storylines for WWE. Nonetheless, this match will probably be quick and might even end up on the kickoff show which wouldn't be the worst thing to happen. I've got Sheamus to win this one and hopefully it'll be the end of the feud. Prediction: Sheamus wins
Roman Reigns vs King Corbin(Falls Count Anywhere Match)-
The only good thing about this match and I mean ONLY good thing is that its a falls count anywhere. Other than that I am tired of seeing these two have matches over and over and over again. I feel like this feud has been going on for like 8 months and it just needs to end at this point. Hopefully, we get some cool spots in this match but I don't expect anything too crazy because both of these guys are in the rumble match later in the night. Reigns is a strong candidate to win the Royal Rumble match so, I am going to pick Corbin to beat him in this match but it won't be a clean finish. Prediction: King Corbin wins
Smackdown Women's Championship: Bayley(c) vs Lacey Evans-
Since turning heel a few months back Bayley has been one of the more entertaining parts of Smackdown every week. Lacey Evans is going to be a tough challenge for the Champion as they have built her up over the last few weeks to be a legit contender. I for one am not too intrigued by this feud mainly because I am not a huge Lacey Evans fan. Everything about this feud just feels lackluster and I don't see Lacey taking the title from Bayley.
Prediction: Bayley wins
Raw Women's Championship: Becky Lynch(c) vs Askua-
While the Smackdown Women's championship match doesn't have much excitement too it, Raw's Women's Championship match is the most interesting match of the night. Becky Lynch has never beat Asuka. A rematch a full year in the making where Becky looks to finally get the monkey off her back and beat Asuka once and for all. Asuka has beaten Lynch on a few occasions, but Sunday it will finally be Becky's turn to pick up the win and keep hold of the Raw Women's Championship. Prediction:Becky Lynch wins
Universal Championship: "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt(c) vs Daniel Bryan(Strap Match)-
The Fiend has been the best thing about WWE program since it's debut over the summer. There really hasn't been much to look forward to on WWE programming but every week The Fiend or Bray Wyatt give us something that makes it worth watching. Add in the fact that Daniel Bryan has been awesome as well and this match should be a great one. Bryan plays the underdog role so well and he is determined to end the title reign of The Fiend. My only worry about this match is that it is a strap match....I can't think of a time in WWE history where a strap match has actually been all that good. Hopefully, these two can figure out a way to make it more entertaining than previous strap matches but we will have to wait and see. Prediction: The Fiend Bray Wyatt wins.
Women's Royal Rumble Match-
We still have one more episode of Smackdown Live to get through before the Rumble so we are going to get some more participants announced on Friday night but as of this writing the confirmed participants are: Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross, and Sarah Logan. That leaves us with 26 open spots for the Women's match which actually makes it more interesting in my opinion. I like the idea of not announcing a lot of the participants because that leaves more room for shock value. Whether it is someone we see every week on tv or not its not as fun knowing who is coming out when the clock strikes 0. My guess is we are going to have a few of the ladies from NXT show up along with some returning veterans who will make one night returns. My hope for the women's rumble is that we get either the return of Paige or Ronda Rousey. While I feel like neither of them is going to happen, I'm keeping my hopes up. Prediction: Shayna Baszler wins
Men's Royal Rumble Match-
An interesting twist to this year's men's Royal Rumble match as the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar will enter at number one and try to outlast 29 other men. Again, we still have an episode of Smackdown Live left but here are the confirmed participants so far...Brock Lesnar, AJ Styles, Roman Reigns, King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Otis, Tucker, Erick Rowan, Elias, Ricochet, Rusev, Bobby Lashley, Alister Black, Buddy Murphy, Braun Strowman, Shinsuke Nakamura, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, Randy Orton.
That Leaves us with only 8 spots for unknown superstars at this point. My guess is we have maybe 3 or 4 NXT guys, 3 legends and 1 major surprise return. There are two people that have been rumored to be returning. One is Edge, which at this point if he has been cleared to wrestle again I would say he is an absolute lock to make his return. The second guy is a guy who recently made his return to WWE TV in CM Punk. As much as everyone wants to see it I still find it very hard to believe that we will hear Punk's music hit Sunday night. Don't get me wrong the place would go insane and just about everyone would lose their mind and I really hope it happens but I'm not getting my hopes up.
One of the more interesting things that could happen would see Brock Lesnar starting at one and going on to win the whole thing. It would be so dumb but it would also be such a WWE move for them to do something like that. This is the last thing I want to see happen and it would be pretty disappointing if it does.
Prediction: A returning Edge or CM Punk wins or someone from NXT.
Hopefully, we get a great show on Sunday night as it is usually one of the most entertaining events of the year. It is a very important time for WWE as the Wrestlemania season will officially be upon us and it tends to be when everyone is at their very best. If the Royal Rumble falls short of expectations, it will be even less enticing to turn on WWE programming every week. Make sure you tune in on Sunday starting at 7pm on the WWE network!! Also, stay up to date with everything here at Ginger Thread as we will have a recap of the Rumble on Monday along with a new episode of The Ginger Thread Podcast!