When 30 Male and Female Wrestlers are meant to square off in one of the most iconic matches of WWE, the Royal Rumble, predicting a winner is almost impossible. But the Steelchair team nevertheless decided to play the game. The Road to WrestleMania is officially opening this Sunday night. Who will have the chance to be awarded a match against the Universal or WWE Champion, for the men, and the Red or Blue Women’s Champion at WrestleMania 34? Like Michael Cole said a few years ago, will we have another “Miracle on Bourbon Street” with an underdog prevailing at Rumble and winning in New Orleans, as Mania is coming back to The Big Easy? Here’s what the team thinks will happen.
Alex Richards’ Predictions
The SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships are set to change hands as we have the full heel turn of Gable and Benjamin. The RAW Tag Team titles should also change hands as The Bar look to take advantage of the brewing tension between Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins. The WWE Championship match is almost unpredictable. I am expecting AJ Styles to hold the title until WrestleMania so I’m sure he will find a way to win here. Braun Strowman has looked strong going into the Universal Championship match against Kane and Brock Lesnar. By WWE logic that means he’s losing. Brock Lesnar is unbeaten in title matches at the Royal Rumble and will walk away as champion here. The first-ever women’s rumble is Asuka’s to win. Unless one Ronda Rousey has anything to say about it. The brand split opens up options for the Men’s Rumble. John Cena and Roman Reigns are sure to be among the favourites but I expect The Artist known as Shinsuke Nakamura to win and go to WrestleMania for a highly anticipated showdown with AJ Styles.
Women’s Rumble – Becky Lynch
RAW Tag titles – Rollins & Jordan
SmackDown Live Tag Team Titles – Benjamin and Gable (2-0)
Universal title – Lesnar ( goes missing in the match and comes back to win)
WWE title – AJ Styles (With help from Shane)
Men’s Rumble – Finn Balor
Let’s talk Ronda Rousey. Have her in the (women’s) main event of WrestleMania, sure. Mania is the place where wrestling meets the mainstream, after all. But her winning the Rumble? It feels wrong. The first-ever Women’s Rumble is a symbol of WWE making up for decades of trivialising and delegitimizing their women’s locker room. It is a celebration of the history of the division and its underrated performers. For WWE to have someone come in from another sport to win this momentous match feels counterproductive to that goal. To say we don’t value your hard work, dedication, years of training and refinement over this person’s celebrity, is contrary to their “Women’s Revolution” mantra. Is she a pioneering women’s athlete? Yes, but so are all the other 29 entries. Is she responsible for helping to legitimise women in sport? Sure, but that is a movement that started a long time before she started and will probably be ongoing long after Rousey slips out of relevancy and into legend status (if she hasn’t already). Will Rousey make WWE seem less of a joke in the eyes of the MMA fans? Nope, it will just make Rousey seem more like one. Also, if WWE think the second or third smarkiest crowd of the year is going to get behind their new mainstream darling if they monster push her over all the athletes they’ve spent the last twelve months getting invested in, then I want the number of their dealer. That dude must sell some premium shit. In conclusion, I predict Ronda Rousey will win the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble match. And I don’t want her to.
Kieron Liley’s Predictions
Women’s Rumble – Paige
RAW Tag titles – The Bar
SmackDown Live Tag Titles – Benjamin and Gable (2-0)
Universal title – Lesnar
WWE title – AJ Styles
Men’s Rumble – The Miz
In the pre-show Dolph Ziggler makes a surprise comeback but Bobby Roode retains. Gallows and Anderson defeat The Revival and TJP, Gulak and Gallagher prevail. Because of Jason Jordan injury, The Bar becomes a 4-time RAW Tag Team Champion. Chad Gable will become a 2-time and Shelton Benjamin a 3-time Tag Team Champion by defeating the Usos by 2 falls to 1. The Universal Championship match will be a destructive bout, but I don’t expect Brock Lesnar to lose the title. WWE has never had co-Champions in its long history and it could be a great surprise to see Zayn and Owens win. Shane O’Mac and Daniel Bryan will probably be the keys of the match. My mind sees Styles retaining, but my heart is with Zayn and Owens.
As for Royal Rumble matches surprise entrants, why not Ethan Carter III, Ricochet, Ronda Rousey or Candice LeRae. As for the winners, Asuka and Becky Lynch have my vote. On the Men side, Nakamura or Balor would be great winners but whether Roman Reigns will be the chosen one or The Taker will start his Ultimate Ride.