One of the most exciting pay-per-views of the year takes place next month at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where Brock Lesnar defends his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena at the Royal Rumble.
So far that’s the only singles match which has been announced for the event whilst Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan are the only confirmed superstars for the 30-man Royal Rumble match.
For the best part of a year it’s been widely speculated that Roman Reigns is set to win the Royal Rumble in January and go on to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in March at WrestleMania XXXI. But over the last week or so a number of reports have suggested that the WWE may pull the plug with Reigns’ huge push and opt for Dean Ambrose.
Whatever happens, it will all be revealed at the Royal Rumble. If Reigns is in fact the last man standing then it’s clear the WWE are believing in him and if it’s somebody else then the likelihood is Reigns won’t be the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania and his spot will be handed to someone else.
That being said, here are my picks for who will be the final five superstars in the Royal Rumble match and battle it out for a spot in the WrestleMania main event.
I still believe Roman Reigns will have another impressive Royal Rumble after breaking the record for most eliminations last year. Whether he actually wins will be the huge question mark heading into the event and on one side that’s a good thing. In recent years the Rumble has lost a sense of unpredictability and in 2014 especially it wasn’t really surprising when Batista won.
I think it’ll be great if the WWE were to pull out with a swerve and have somebody else win it but I think everyone still expects Reigns to walk out the victor so a spot in the final five is probably a guarantee for The Juggernaut. It’ll be interesting to see whether Reigns breaks another record and can top the record he set earlier this year; but I think if Reigns is to do something special in the Rumble and remain until the final five or win it – he needs to be an early entrant and put a good night’s shift in the match.
There is nobody more hard working on the main roster than Dolph Ziggler and I expect to see his hard work reflect in the Royal Rumble match. There was talk of Ziggler also being in with a shout of winning the Royal Rumble if the WWE do go against Roman Reigns so all eyes will also be on the Intercontinental Champion. I do expect Ziggler to be one of the few superstars who pulls double duty at the Rumble and if he does drop the Intercontinental Championship then perhaps a Rumble victory would be a possibility.
I believe that like Reigns, Ziggler should be one of the early entrants, one of the underdog superstars who manages to compete for a long period of time and eliminate a number of superstars and then – potentially – does the impossible and wins the Rumble against all odds.
Daniel Bryan will finally make his long-awaited return to in-ring action at the Royal Rumble and it’s not clear whether he’s 100% ready to compete which is why a return in the Royal Rumble is perfect for him because he won’t have that high a workload compared to him competing in a fast-paced match for 20 minutes or so. Bryan wouldn’t return at the Royal Rumble just for the sake of it, now that he’s back he has to be considered one of the favourites to walk out of Philadelphia with another WrestleMania main event awaiting him.
The likes of Jim Ross have called for Daniel Bryan to take on Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXXI for the WWE Word Heavyweight Championship, if that is to happen then Lesnar would need to defeat Lesnar and avoid a rumoured Seth Rollins cash-in attempt whilst Bryan would need to reign supreme in the Royal Rumble. Right now there are a number of plans and ideas which is great to see that it won’t be as obvious, and I believe Bryan is a strong favourite to win, if not then a final five or even a final two spot is pretty much a guarantee, as eliminating Bryan to win the Rumble would be a huge feat for the winner.
Randy Orton made his return in a dark segment at the close of Monday Night Raw and it’s unclear who his first feud could be against. If he does return on TV next week then there is a possibility he could finally get his hands on Seth Rollins at the Royal Rumble which means Orton and Rollins could also pull double duty and an early elimination for Orton wouldn’t be beneficial at all heading into WrestleMania.
I feel that Orton needs to be taken as a serious threat in the Rumble and the way to do that is eliminate some big-name stars and the commentators needs to make him out to be a favourite to win so when he does eventually get eliminated, it’s a huge deal for the superstar to eliminate him and Orton will still look strong.
I don’t think Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt will face off again at the Royal Rumble and Ambrose definitely needs to be included in the Royal Rumble. It would be pointless for the WWE to put Ambrose in another feud before the event and his next feud should begin at the Rumble or the following night, depending on how he does in the Royal Rumble match. He’s also seen as a favourite to take Reigns’ spot if the WWE go against it so the two dark horses in this match already are Ambrose and Ziggler.
I believe Ambrose is guaranteed a spot in the final five, he’ll be the most entertaining and will probably be the superstar who looks like he’ll get eliminated a number of times but will survive, so he’ll bring the most entertainment in this match and aside from Kofi he’ll probably be the most innovative. The fans will love the idea of having Ambrose win, especially if a mouth-watering clash with Brock Lesnar awaits at WrestleMania.
With Bray Wyatt, I believe he doesn’t need to be in this match. If his feud with Ambrose is over then Wyatt’s feud needs to begin after the Royal Rumble event especially if the WWE are building towards a match with The Undertaker and Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania XXXI. An elimination in the Rumble won’t make him look strong and that’s what the WWE are keeping wary of right now.
The other big name in this is Seth Rollins, Rollins should be in a singles match and there’s a chance he could be in the Royal Rumble. He’ll probably be the superstars the fans are always looking at the stage for, he might last towards the end in the Royal Rumble and there’s a chance he’ll cash-in as well, if he does cash-in then maybe he won’t be needed in the Royal Rumble.
WWE fans – who do you think will be the final five competitors in the Royal Rumble match? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.