The Royal Rumble is the second biggest show of the year for WWE. It is the official start to WrestleMania Season. WWE kicked off the new year with their first annual Day One Pay Per View. We saw the beginning of the MarMiz-Edge/Beth feud, a fantastic Becky Lynch/Liv Morgan show-stealer, and Brock Lesnar crowned WWE Heavyweight Champion. Day One set the stage for the Royal Rumble.
In the ensuing week, WWE made a completely out-of-character move and announced the Women’s Rumble match participants. The proverbial fourth wall was broken. WWE stepped through the forbidden door!
Women’s Rumble Match
The current IMPACT Knockouts Champion, Mickie James, has been named a Women’s Rumble participant. WWE has never showcased another company’s champion in any manner. Nor have they mentioned another company by name on television. Other legends such as Michelle McCool and Lita have been announced as well. Kelly Kelly and Summer Rae are also making their way back to participate.
One of the more intriguing participants was named Charlotte Flair. Flair is the current Smackdown Women’s champion. It’s telling that Flair does not have a current feud for the PPV. The Queen has been notoriously difficult.
Liv Morgan has captured the hearts of the WWE Universe. She has been on the cusp of winning the Raw Women’s Championship on a few occasions. Barely falling short to the savvy veteran Becky Lynch has only built her credibility for a Rumble win. Bianca Belair has positioned herself as a potential Rumble winner as well. One of the front runners, Sasha Banks, will miss the PPV with a foot injury.
My prediction for the Women’s Rumble is a dark horse candidate. The popular pick would be Bianca or Liv. To piss off the IWC (Internet Wrestling Community), Vince could have Charlotte walk out the Rumble winner. But it will be a returning Bayley. Ding Dong! Hello!
Bayley has been missing from action for almost a year with a knee injury. While still active on social media, Bayley has not been on television. This sets up the perfect return and in. Bayley could eliminate Liv from the match to attract nuclear heat for the win. Bayley could then go on to pick which champion to face. We could get Bayley/ Charlotte or Bayley/Becky as the main event match at WrestleMania.
Brock Lesnar Vs. Bobby Lashley
Brock Lesnar walked out of WWE Day One as WWE Champion. The very next night, Lesnar was on Raw with his advocate Paul Heyman at his side once more. Lesnar had managed to cleanly pin the WWE Champion Big E the night before. As a result, a rematch between Big E, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and Bobby Lashley took place to determine Brock’s Rumble opponent. Bobby Lashley emerged victorious to set the clash of the titans-esque match.
Lashley recently had a solid reign as champion and could be primed for his second run as WWE Champion. WWE seems to have booked themselves into a corner after Lesnar winning the WWE Championship in the middle of his feud with Roman Reigns.
Bobby Lashley seems like the only current, full-time man to legitimately take the title off Lesnar. He matches up with Lesnar in all the physical measurables. The only issue is getting the title off Lesnar onto Lashley without a wonky finish. They can’t afford to make Lesnar look weak while colliding with Roman Reigns. Using MVP or the Hurt Business to assist Lashley makes his winless impactful. The only logical outcome is Bobby Lashley heading to Mania as champ.
Prediction: Bobby Lashley
The Grit Couple Vs. The It Couple
WWE Day One set the stage for the seemingly yearly WrestleMania season mixed tag team match. Edge and the Miz had a stellar war of words on the mic with sparse physical interaction in the weeks leading to Day One. With his wife Maryse by his side, Miz tried every trick in the book to score a victory over Edge. Beth Phoenix made her presence known and chased Maryse away to even the odds. Edge hit the spear for the win.
This opened up the perfect opportunity the next night on Raw. The Ultimate Opportunist, Edge, managed to goad The Miz into a mixed tag match relatively easily. The Miz and Maryse manage to pull the win off and set up the rubber match for Edge and Miz at WrestleMania.
Prediction: Miz and Maryse
Men’s Rumble Match
Johnny Knoxville, via video, announced himself as the first entrant in the men’s Rumble match. Hopefully, this is nothing more than a publicity stunt. The men’s Rumble match will most likely headline the Royal Rumble again this year. This match used to catapult men on the cusp of greatness into the next level of WWE stardom. Edge got his Rumble moment with the 2021 win. Edge will not be in the Rumble match this year unless he is needed for depth purposes.
The announcements for the men’s match have been underwhelming so far. Drew McIntyre and Shinsuke Nakamura are expected to miss the match with injuries. At some point, I expect Seth Rollins, Big E, and Kevin Owens to be added to the match. This is always the time of year we hear about surprise entrants for the men’s Rumble. I will go out on a limb.
Moose, the IMPACT Champion, makes a surprise entrance in the men’s rumble. Moose has flirted with WWE to sign with the company on a few occasions. This is how they can continue the forbidden door theme and cause waves in the wrestling community. I believe Moose will have a solid showing and look strong in the match. We will see him go toe to toe with dream opponents in WWE. While I doubt he wins, it gives the impression that WWE is willing to play nicely with other companies.
Another guy making noticeable waves on Raw is Austin Theory. After a solid run with The WAY, led by Johnny Gargano, Theory has been strapped to a rocket since being drafted to Raw in October. Theory has been in the elite position of appearing on weekly television with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. Theory is in line for a push. Just not now.
Coming off his loss earlier in the night, Brock Lesnar enters at number 30. Because he lost his WWE Championship, Lesnar goes insane in the ring and cleans house. He is setting up his WrestleMania match with Roman Reigns.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar