By RJ Marceau
The Royal Rumble is 5 days away and to say I am excited is an understatement. The WWE the past few years especially in the 2014 and 2015 installments of the Royal Rumble have been overly predictable with Batista and Roman Reigns winning. This year with the match being for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and Roman Reigns entering #1, there is a 96.7% chance that there will be a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. In the WWE, those odds mean nothing but with the star power and the McMahons stacking the odds against Roman Reigns I believe a new champion will emerge on Sunday. Here are my Top 3 favorites to win and 1 dark horse.
Even before last night's Raw I had a feeling that Bray Wyatt would win the Royal Rumble. The Wyatt Family hadn’t gotten involved with The McMahons, “One vs. All” match last week and hadn’t got physical with Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar till last night. Wyatt has the number advantage with Harper, Rowan and Strowman in the Royal Rumble match. I predicted it would come down to Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman as this year’s Final Four. Roman and Brock eliminate Strowman.
After eliminating Strowman, Brock and Roman are both leaning against the ropes to eliminate each other when Strowman grabs their arms and Wyatt tosses them over the top. Wyatt vs. Lesnar at WrestleMania 32 has been rumored so seeing them for the title over Reigns vs. HHH for the championship. At Fastlane, Reigns vs. Lesnar in a #1 contenders match and have HHH screw Reigns to setup Lesnar vs. Wyatt at WrestleMania 32. It isn’t a predictable route but since the WWE has been predictable for the past two years they may go with the swerve that fans have been wanting for.
Before last night no one was able to get the upper hand over the beast incarnate. Lesnar has to be the perennial favorite going into the Royal Rumble and why shouldn’t he be? No one has pinned Brock Lesnar in over two years. Lesnar took out The New Day, The League of Nations and other heels last week on Raw and F5’d Roman Reigns.
If Lesnar wins I won't be mad even though it is predictable like most recent Royal Rumble winners. Lesnar winning would be better than HHH or Roman Reigns. The only issue I have is we have already had Lesnar as a part time WWE champion and the WWE needs to make new stars rather than relying on Brock Lesnar and John Cena to carry the product.
A Surprise Entrant (Finn Balor or AJ Styles)
Neither of these men are confirmed for the Royal Rumble but I think if both guys or either of them are in the Rumble they have a better chance then anyone else. I don’t think HHH or Reigns will win. Sheamus, Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho are other possible winners but I don’t see the WWE putting the title on any of these men.
Balor could be HHH’s new guy especially with him being in charge of NXT and Balor being the face of NXT. A swerve is needed since the WWE always falls back on the same few guys to carry the company. Balor can work as a heel and eventually blossom into the company’s next breakout babyface.
Dark Horse: Kevin Owens
This pick would be considered a top 3 prediction for me but with Owens being involved in the Last Man Standing Match I don’t think he will be in the Royal Rumble match. If they open the show with this match they could have Owens and Ambrose in the match.
If Owens is involved maybe they have Reigns win and is about to celebrate and says, “Wait, there’s one more person.” Owens comes through the crowd and throws Reigns over the top rope. Owens wins the belt and eventually feuds with Lesnar at WrestleMania 32.
The WWE always goes with the predictable route but with the turmoil from the last two years the WWE may go with a swerve. If it fails then they can change the titles on Raw, SmackDown or Fastlane. Either way I am excited for the Royal Rumble and can’t wait to see what happens.