One vs. All: Previewing WWE’s Royal Rumble PPV
This Sunday, WWE has a very interesting opportunity on their hands. In a very fascinating development, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon has laid down the gauntlet for WWE Champion Roman Reigns. Quoting Reigns’ “One vs. All” mantra, Mr. McMahon announced Roman Reigns will defend his title inside the Royal Rumble match at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
This is the first time a world title as been defended in the Royal Rumble match. The last time something like this happened was when Ric Flair won the vacant WWE Title at the 1992 Rumble. This is a true outside-the-box moment for the company, which makes things very exciting. There are many opportunities that can arise from this. Rumors, free agent signings and potential guest appearances highlight the endless news cycle that is heating up to the PPV leading up to WrestleMania 32.
Who will walk out WWE Champion? Let’s start with the rest of the card, and end with a bang.
WWE Tag Team Championship
The New Day (c) vs. The Usos
Somehow, The New Day, the best thing WWE has to offer today, did not win the Slammy Award for Tag Team of the Year. While the Usos were injured throughout 2015, they have been a very entertaining team over the years. The New Day just recently mourned the loss of their beloved trombone Francesca (yes you read that right), and are looking to avenge their lost love. Like I said, they are awesome! All signs lead to The New Day retaining and make it to WrestleMania in one piece. Hopefully, a new trombone will join them. As always, New…Day Rocks!
Winner: The New Day
WWE Women’s (Diva’s) Championship
Charlotte (c) (With Ric Flair) vs. Becky Lynch
It has been a long time coming, but this might be the true start of the “Diva Revolution”. Becky Lynch may be the best babyface (good guy) on the entire WWE roster. This feud has been made to be a serious fight between two competent female WRESTLERS. Both women have proved they can create great matches, beginning in their NXT days. With Ric Flair in the corner of his daughter, I expect some shenanigans, but that shouldn’t stop the match from being a potential classic. The champ will retain, and she’ll do it… with some Flair. Woo!
WWE United States Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Kalisto
The third encounter between these two for the title might be the last. As a result of an injury to his tag team partner Sin Cara, Kalisto has had an opportunity to show how much talent he really has. Del Rio has been floundering since his return to the company, but has continued to hold onto the U.S. Title within his League of Nations stable. Both of these men have traded the title back and forth with one another, and this match could be better than its predecessors. After a short first reign, I see Kalisto gaining momentum before WrestleMania and winning the belt back.
WWE United States Championship – Last Man Standing Match
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kevin Owens
The two hardest-hitting male wrestlers in the company are working their tails off to make their feud a memorable one. Owens and Ambrose claim to be prize fighters, hate one another and want the Intercontinental Title more than the other. This feud is making the title feel important, while also entertaining the fans. Owens has shown more of an edge since losing the title, revealing a side fans haven’t seen in a while. While somewhat predicable, Ambrose has become a crowd favorite, loves to compete in fights and maybe even starting one. I guarantee this will be a very hard hitting fight that will make up for the lack of blood (PG rating everyone) with its intensity. I see the “Lunatic Fringe” retaining after a war with Mr. Owens.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Royal Rumble Match for the WWE Title
It is very rare when the company has the power of unpredictability on its side. Last year, the news of Roman Reigns winning the Rumble was known for quite a while. With recent injuries to Seth Rollins, John Cena, Randy Orton and others, plans have been re-written over and over again. With the addition of Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar, this could truly be an exciting Royal Rumble match. The latter of the two should be a big favorite, and I can’t wait to see if someone gets eliminated by entering Suplex City. Bray Wyatt has been booked very strong lately, but given his track record, I look at this Rumble as his 2010 CM Punk moment. Let’s not forget that Roman Reigns was picked to start the Rumble at number one. If he was to win, fans might not know how to react, as some are still against the champion, while others remain loyal to him. His dominant history in the Rumble proves he has what it takes.
Let’s talk about the rumor that has created a buzz for the company. There have been murmurs that WWE has signed “The Phenomenal” A.J. Styles to a mega deal, and he should be at the event. They have also reportedly signed a number of members from New Japan Pro Wrestling, but Styles will most likely be the first of them to grace a WWE ring. While I don’t see him winning, the former Bullet Club member and TNA, NWA and IWGP champion will make a huge splash with the company. If WWE does not put him in the Royal Rumble after months of teasing, the fans may riot. A signing of a wrestler of his caliber is huge, and WWE should strike while the iron is hot.
Let’s not forget about Daniel Bryan. The leader of the “Yes Movement”, Bryan returned from injury to win the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania 31. He was then put back on the shelf with a concussion. It is being rumored that Bryan has been cleared by doctors to wrestle, minus WWE’s doctor. Recently, a UCLA doctor cleared him to return this week, making his return a possibility. The fans would explode if he came back on Sunday. Seeing their favorite underdog come back after unfortunate circumstances held him down is what is best for business.
Will a member of the NXT roster step up and compete? From Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn and the NXT Champion Finn Balor, there are cornucopias of talent that can be added to the Royal Rumble.
Then there is the wildcard in all of this: Triple H. In 1999, Vince McMahon screwed Stone Cold Steve Austin out of a Rumble win and won the match himself. That added another story to the epic rivalry between the Texas Rattlesnake and the chairman. Now, it appears that Triple H will return to rekindle his feud with Reigns. Triple H is actually the current favorite to win the title which is very interesting. While I don’t think he will win it (I have to have hope), he could screw Roman out of the title, thus building up to their expected encounter at WrestleMania inside AT&T Stadium.
Normally, this would be easy, but WWE has put me in a tough situation. In this case, I am fine if I am wrong. I want to be entertained, as should any fan seeing this event unfold. The safe bet would be seeing Roman Reigns winning for the second year in a row. I can see Roman increase his hold of the WWE Title, with a lot of shenanigans involved.
Winner: Roman Reigns.
I’ll be talking about the event via Twitter, so follow me for all updates and opinions. You can also tweet your opinions to me. The road to WrestleMania 32 will officially begin after this Sunday. To borrow a line from the legendary Michael Buffer, “Let’s get ready to rumble!” It will truly be a night to remember.
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