WWE Royal Rumble is all set to take place tonight (Sat., Jan. 28, 2022) from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. It begins at 7:00 pm ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main course at 8 pm ET on Peacock in the U.S., WWE Network everywhere else, or your local cable pay-per-view provider.
Luckily for you Cagesiders, our staff of learned wrestling blowhards is here to help figure out just how the event is going to play out with predictions for each match on the card.
Let’s get to it.
WWE ROYAL RUMBLE PREDICTIONS
Women’s Royal Rumble match
Geno Mrosko: To my eyes, there is only one choice here and I see zero reason to do anything else. Pick: Rhea Ripley
Sean Rueter: All the money’s on the Nightmare, but a Hall of Famer’s overdue to return for some revenge. Beth Phoenix eliminating Rhea from the Rumble everyone thinks she’s winning is a good way to start that payback plan. Then we use this as a way to get The EST opposite the last Horsewoman she needs to fell, and the Charlotte Flair face character still feels too fragile to risk backlash against yet, so… Pick: Bianca Belair
Kyle Decker: Feels like Rhea Ripley is a shoo-in here. They’re building her up big time, she’s living up to the moment, and has to be the clear favorite. She also slots up with both current women’s champions. When Belair won the Rumble, she and Ripley had quite the fight at the end. But I’d pit Rhea against Charlotte to get her win back from WrestleMania: Pandemic years back. Pick: Rhea Ripley
Claire Elizabeth: I’m feeling a little pessimistic about the state of things again lately, so I’m gonna go down the roster page and pick the person I’m least interested in seeing get a Rumble win… Aha, Lacey Evans, sure why not? This push is the one that’s really for real, she wins the Rumble, loses to Charlotte at Mania, I get a chance to kvetch about how I want her back in crinolines again, boom. Pick: Lacey Evans
Cain A. Knight: It’s hard to find anybody besides Rhea Ripley who is a viable winner here. Pick: Rhea Ripley
Marcus Benjamin: A friend of mine has a rather interesting prediction here so I’m going to let him speak for himself since I like it and it’s a lot better than what I had in mind: Naomi returns, wins, and joins the Bloodline. Pick: Naomi
Men’s Royal Rumble match
Geno Mrosko: I know it makes a lot of sense for Cody Rhodes to win this match — apparently his merch is also starting to sell really well too — but I’ve been sold on the idea of Sami Zayn winning and headlining WrestleMania against Roman Reigns. The story has just been too damn good, and there is just too much potential to tell an even greater story by having Zayn win this match. So, to hell with it, I’m going with my heart. Pick: Sami Zayn
Sean Rueter: Sure, all the signs are that it isn’t happening. But what if that’s just what they want us to think? Smell what I’m cooking here? Pick: The Rock
Kyle Decker: If I were picking with my heart, I’d pick Sami Zayn. His path the last year pretty much dictates he should be the man facing the Head of the Table at WrestleMania. And while it’s not as exciting for a guy who has a total of 3 matches the last year win it, the Prodigal Son Comes Home story does make sense. They can do a thing about family vs. family and all that jazz. I don’t love it, but they can sell me on it if done right. Pick: Cody Rhodes
Claire Elizabeth: The grandson of a plumber, the American Nightmare, yes he derails Sami’s momentum but here’s the thing: I like Sami’s story a lot better if he’s loyal to the Bloodline until the end. Yes yes it’s probably a better wrestling story if there’s a split and a feud but damnit Sami and Jey as brothers-by-choice is good and pure and wholesome and I don’t ever want to see Zayn on the other side of the ring from an Anoa’i for as long as I live. Pick: Cody Rhodes
Cain A. Knight: The winner of the Royal Rumble match will be either Cody Rhodes, Sami Zayn, or a surprise legend who can main event WrestleMania. That sentence would have sounded like pure lunacy one year ago. My heart says Sami but my brain says Cody. The fans love Sami almost like he’s Daniel Bryan circa 2014-2015, so there is potential for this to backfire on Rhodes if WWE isn’t careful about how they book it. Pick: Cody Rhodes
Marcus Benjamin: Kyle spun a story so good revolving around Sami Zayn winning this thing. I wish it were true and I might find myself disappointed if it doesn’t happen. BUT, sometimes the obvious pick is the right pick and Cody is the obvious one since that always felt like the plan. Avenging the family, finishing Dusty’s legacy, putting more luster on the Rhodes’ family name. I mean, it’s all there. Plus the idea of Cody’s dynastic family vs. Roman Reigns’ kinda writes itself. I want Sami but I just talked myself into happiness with a Cody W. Pick: Cody Rhodes
WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owens
Geno Mrosko: They never specified this being for only one of Roman’s two belts, which would have been about the only way I would have given KO a shot at winning here. Pick: Roman Reigns
Sean Rueter: Hey KO? Remember that time when you beat Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble to keep your Universal title? There was an AEW guy locked in a cage above the ring, and old Girthy McBigPants did a run in? Wanna say it was about six years ago? Hold those memories close. Pick: Roman Reigns
Kyle Decker: There’s no way Roman drops the belts two months out from WrestleMania. Pick: Roman Reigns
Claire Elizabeth: Sorry Kev, it ain’t happening. Best you can hope for is a DQ win from Sami trying to prove his loyalty and bungling it, but I ain’t even picking for that. Pick: Roman Reigns
Cain A. Knight: Just like two years ago, they will have a great match but the outcome is never in doubt. Pick: Roman Reigns
Marcus Benjamin: I mean, c’mon. KO will come close but that only counts in horseshoes and that other thing. Pick: Roman Reigns
Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
Geno Mrosko: I will say it feels at least possible they do a title change here but Triple H has shown that, if nothing else, he doesn’t love playing hot potato with any of the belts. Pick: Bianca Belair
Sean Rueter: What if Uncle Howdy is actually Angelo Dawkins, tired of being viewed as Street Profits “other guy”? That’s probably as likely as Bianca losing here, but I just can’t bring myself to pick favorites in all the singles matches on this show. Pick: Alexa Bliss
Kyle Decker: I could see a switch here to freshen things up. Bianca’s reign has been more than solid, but it’s also getting a bit boring. Even if she wins, hopefully they find a way to drum up some excitement for her Mania match. I think she wins, but I wouldn’t be completely shocked if she didn’t. Pick: Bianca Belair
Claire Elizabeth: God bless Alexa because she really is trying to hold this character together with duct tape and bailing wire at this point but no way do we see a title change here. Pick: Bianca Belair
Cain A. Knight: Bianca Belair has beaten everyone for nearly two years. I don’t think WWE gave her all those wins just to have her drop championship gold in a Uncle Howdy adjacent storyline. Pick: Bianca Belair
Marcus Benjamin: Derailing Bianca here makes no sense. And as much as the internet loves Alexa, she doesn’t have much juice right now even though I love her work. It’s time for this Uncle Howdy thing to either end or hit the next gear, so taking Bianca’s title is the least of her issues. Pick: Bianca Belair
Pitch Black Match: Bray Wyatt vs. LA Knight
Geno Mrosko: Look, it’s a Bray Wyatt match with a gimmick no one understands, it’s entirely possible Uncle Howdy shows up, smoke fills the arena, and everyone, crowd included, just disappears completely. Somehow Michael Cole would still be there to promo for the next match. Pick: LA Knight
Sean Rueter: LA Knight’s reward for his great work in this program is thousands of people on the internet falling in love with him two decades into his career. He’s not winning this match. Pick: Bray Wyatt
Kyle Decker: Wyatt may win the match, but LA Knight has really been the winner in this so far. Yeah! Pick: Bray Wyatt
Claire Elizabeth: My key prediction here is that Bray Wyatt will turn to face the camera at some point and tell us all that our souls have been aligned in the perfection of his darkness and boom “look under your seat” BOOM oh wow a case of Mountain Dew Pitch Black under my chair in my apartment wow how did he do that he’s a wizard for real oooh spooky oh dang LA Knight is using the distraction to get the snapmare dri— REVERSED TO SISTER ABIGAIL! IT’S OVER! Pick: Bray Wyatt
Cain A. Knight: Bray Wyatt has been back in WWE for over three months and somehow this is his first televised match. And it’s about Mountain Dew. That’s a hell of a contract that he negotiated. Pick: Bray Wyatt
Marcus Benjamin: It’s gotta be Bray. LA Knight might be HIM…no, scratch that. LA Knight is so thoroughly HIM, his name is now Himothy Knight. But Bray needs this win and some furthering of this Uncle Howdy shenanigan. Pick: Bray Wyatt.
That’s how we see the card playing out.
Originally posted at: Read More