The Royal Rumble has always been my favorite WWE pay-per-view. You can bet some surprise Superstars from RAW and Smackdown’s past to make an appearance in the 30-man special match. It’s also the start of the Road to Wrestlemania as the winners of the Men’s and Women’s Royal Rumble will challenge whoever is their respective top champion during the Showcase of the Immortals.
However, the Royal Rumble is more than just the titular match. There are other little matches littered throughout the show. So, as we’re a few days away from the event itself, I’d like to make my predictions on what’s going to happen during the show and, ultimately, who’ll be main eventing Wrestlemania later this year. So, let’s get to it!
Bray Wyatt vs LA Knight in a Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match
This is a feud which seems to have cobbled together but, for some reason, I’ve been strangely enamored by it. It’s mostly because I have no idea what’s going to happen here! I don’t even know who the face or the heel of the feud is here! Add to that all of the mysteriousness surrounding what Uncle Howdy is and how he’ll figure into the match, it’s going to be difficult to be 100% with what the WWE has planned for this match and what’s going to happen afterwards.
I will be going mostly with my gut here since, whenever I try to figure out who’s going to win between the two, my head starts to hurt. The only clue I can get regarding who’s coming out on top is the match stipulation. It’s going to be a Pitch Black match sponsored by Mountain Dew. Even that’s not much of a hint because I have no idea what the rules are for a Pitch Black match since this will the first time the WWE will be doing one!
I’ll just go with my fantasy booking brain in saying LA Knight will win via disqualification. LA Knight will have control but Uncle Howdy will appear at ringside but not interfere. This will lead to Bray Wyatt going ballistic and beat down on LA Knight hard. The officials will try to restrain Wyatt but, possessed by some otherworldly strength, starts beating on the official as well, leading to the DQ. Then again, this is only if a Pitch Black match can end in DQ. So I could be totally wrong here. Like I said, I have no idea what’s going to happen here.
Bianca Belair vs Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Championship
Like Bray Wyatt vs. LA Knight, this feud seems to just have sprouted up from nowhere. However, I am a little bit more intrigued by this because of Alexa Bliss’ link to Uncle Howdy and, in turn, Bray Wyatt. I’m kind of impressed the WWE would connect both of them together again after what happened with them before. If it seems I’m not focusing on the RAW Women’s Championship, that’s because I do think this will be a non-factor and this was booked for the Royal Rumble just to move the Alexa Bliss and Uncle Howdy narrative along.
However, despite this coming off as something put together at the last minute, which it is, by the way, I do think this will be the shocker of the night as something in my gut tells me Alexa Bliss will be walking away with the RAW Women’s Championship. I can see Uncle Howdy pulling double duty here and make his presence felt here also. Unlike with the Bray Wyatt and LA Knight match, though, it’ll all work out for Alexa Bliss for her match.
I’m not exactly sure how things will go about, however. My best guess is Alexa Bliss’ old split personality will come out during the match while both women are seemingly out of it. Then the lights go out and Uncle Howdy appears to sort of give Bliss some supernatural strength, making her go ballistic and get the pinfall victory to become the RAW Women’s Championship. This will also lay the groundwork for a rematch between the two either at Elimination Chamber or even Wrestlemania.
Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship
Didn’t we see Roman Reigns defend his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Kevin Owens before? Yes, we did. Several times, in fact. Each and every time this happened, Roman Reigns came out on top. Then again, before Roman Reigns became the Tribal Chief and the Head of the Table, it was Kevin Owens who would get the better of his foe. So, is it possible for Kevin Owens to beat Roman Reigns and become the NEW Undisputed WWE Universal Champion at this year’s Royal Rumble?
Nope. Not going to happen.
As of this moment, it just isn’t the right time for Roman Reigns to drop the title to anyone else. He’s built up too much good heat as the biggest heel in the WWE. Add that his ongoing storyline with Sami Zayn and the Bloodline, it just doesn’t make sense for Kevin Owens to take out Roman Reigns. If he was going to lose the title, it would have to be at Wrestlemania as it would be the culmination of a long and winding storyline involving Sami Zayn.
The 30-Woman Royal Rumble
Now, my predictions for the Royal Rumbles will be a little different as I won’t just speculate who the winners are going to be. I’m also going to try to predict some of the surprise entrants as well. For the Women’s Royal Rumble, I can see Naomi making her grand re-debut at the Royal Rumble to a surprising loud pop. I’m also predicting Beth Phoenix making an appearance as she does have a pick with Rhea Ripley, who’s definitely going to participate in the match. This might lead to a match between them down the line, which I would be so happy to see.
Regarding who the winner is going to be, I actually don’t have a clear picture who the WWE would pick at this time. I would want it to be someone I like, such as Becky Lynch. I also wouldn’t be mad if they gave it to a heel like Bayley for once. The odds of a heel becoming the last man/woman standing is highly unlikely because, historically speaking, good guys are the ones who win the Royal Rumble. According to my research, the only baddie to win the 30-person over-the-top-rope match is Mr. McMahon! Then again, this is the Women’s Royal Rumble and probably won’t close out the show. So it is possible a heel can win as it won’t end the Royal Rumble in a downer.
So, who’s going to win the 2023 Women’s Royal Rumble? Well, my heart says either Becky Lynch or Bayley as they deserve to be featured at Wrestlemania, taking on Bianca Belair for the RAW Women’s Title. It’s also a strong possibility they’ll have Rhea Ripley make it all the way. My brain disagrees and is predicting it’ll be *sigh* Ronda Rousey. Ronda Rousey is the more logical choice as she lost her Smackdown Women’s Championship to Charlotte a few weeks ago. This gives her the opportunity to have her “revenge match” at Wrestlemania and get her belt back. If the WWE is smart and I’m hoping they are, they’ll go with Becky Lynch, Bayley or Rhea Ripley. Unfortunately, they’ll probably play it dumb and go with Rousey as she’s the more recognizable name.
The 30-Man Royal Rumble
So, like with the Women’s Royal Rumble, I’ll go through my picks on the surprise entrants for the Men’s event. Unlike most fans, I don’t think The Rock will make an appearance. If he did, it wouldn’t make sense for him to lose and not go after his cousin, Roman Reigns. Besides, after that, what’s going to happen? The Rock beats Roman Reigns for the title at Wrestlemania? I wouldn’t like that! However, I do see John Cena making a shocking return but ultimately won’t win because of Sami Zayn. Zayn will be featured heavily in the Royal Rumble, trying to weed out potential dangers to Reigns’s opponent at Wrestlemania. There will come a point when it’ll be Sami Zayn with a Bloodline member, probably Sola Sikoa, in the ring and Zayn will be ordered to throw himself over the top rope. Sami Zayn will refuse and they’ll forcefully try throw him out. This’ll kickstart Zayn rebellion against the Bloodline. It’s a great storyline but they all have to end at some point!
This doesn’t answer who’s going to win it all, though. It does seem as if the WWE just might pull the trigger and have Sami Zayn win it all, giving him that Kofi-Mania run all the way to Wrestlemania. However, I just don’t see it happening. Sami Zayn won’t be going after Roman Reigns but he’ll go after The Usos with Kevin Owens at his side. So, who’s going to win? It’ll be the returning Cody Rhodes!
I’m not entirely sure if Cody Rhodes is going to be healthy enough to compete at the Royal Rumble. We all know about his torn pectoral muscle because we all saw him wrestle against Seth Rollins in a freaking steel cage match during Hell in a Cell. That was around 6 months ago. I did some research and it does seem like a torn pectoral muscle can heal in 6 months. Counting down the months from Hell in a Cell, which was in June, the Royal Rumble would take place 7 months after that show. That would be enough time for Cody Rhodes to be in fighting shape in time for the event. Besides, with all of the Cody Rhodes vignettes the WWE has been showing recently, wouldn’t you expect him to show up at the Royal Rumble? So, my prediction is Cody Rhodes to win the Royal Rumble and headline Wrestlemania against Roman Reigns.
What do you think is going to happen at this year’s Royal Rumble? Let me know in the comments section below!