Mark: Howdy all! It’s January and you know what that means right? Nope, not worry about the over-indulgence of Xmas, but the WWE Royal Rumble is right around the corner! Now I know you’re expecting my dry wit here with my intro, but I’m going to surprise you. If you’ve already read my Five Possible Rumble Surprises, then you know what I’m about to say…I LOVE THE RUMBLE! It’s my fave PPV of the year. Yeah, it may not go our way sometimes – hey DB – but the excitement from the anticipation is what makes it for me. So let’s start the excitement now and get into this preview! Yeehaw!…. I know, I heard it. I won’t be using that phrase anymore. Promise.
Marc: If you haven’t checked out Mark’s Five Possible Royal Rumble Surprise Entrants feel free to do so here. Yes, he loves the Rumble, in fact, he adores it. As much as Banoffee Pie, we haven’t quite established that. I’ve never quite eaten it myself despite being given the recipe. I’ll make it, trust me. As soon as I have a cheat week! This year’s edition is an interesting group of matches. From the Raw Women’s Championship match to a match that clearly may be one of the most anticipated matches of the night. The Roman Reigns/King Corbin matchup! Who wouldn’t want to see a match have another culminating blowoff matchup after four months of build only to believe it had a resolution only to not be resolved? We’re guessing by the collective group of hands in readers’ pockets that’s a hard no?
Falls Count Anywhere
Roman Reigns vs King Corbin
Mark: So let me get this right. The match they had at TLC (click here for mine and Marc’s comments on that match, ugh!) was for naught? Ah man, C’MON! I’m sure I speak for quite a few of the fanbase when I say enough is enough. Put a pin in this feud and move the eff on, please. PLEASE?!? Yes, Corbin is a total ass. Yes, Reigns is sticking up for himself (ahhhhh bless). Now Reigns can get his win back, look strong and go onto the Rumble match itself while Corbin can look for his next dog food drive-by victim.
Marc: Personally, I don’t think Mark should mince words. After reading his thoughts on this match, he’s clearly beating around the bush. Come out and say what you’re thinking Blake! Alright, fine he’s likely echoing the sentiments shared early in that the feud has run its course. In fact, the feud ran, walked, drove and crawled its course more times than it collectively could have attempted. With this match matchup, the hopes, wishes and possibly desires of fans around the world will be achieved with a winner. The question is how does this setup both men leading to WrestleMania.
Raw Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch (c) vs Asuka
Mark: I’m loving the backstory to this feud. The Man just can’t beat Asuka. And in that sentence, we find out exactly the result of this match. Becky will go over in a hard-fought match. I have all my fingers crossed that WWE officials will let Asuka loose. Let her go back to her Japanese roots, bring back the crazy evil maniacal Asuka. That will bring out the best of Becky and give us fans a bloody great match! Will we get that? Probably not, but we do love wishful thinking peeps!
Marc: Much like Mark, this has been a fun feud isn’t it? Whether the match came out of circumstance since Kairi Sane could likely be injured or not, the narrative is still the same. Some have argued about the Becky character and whether or not it has grown stagnant a bit. That isn’t necessarily something we here may feel. New challenges bring new life to the character. She has faced Bayley, Charlotte, and Sasha. With little in the way of built-up singles challengers on Raw, this seemed like the next best bet. Also, Mark tends to not only cross fingers but toes when he wants things to happen. Wise advice, mate!
WWE Universal Championship
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs Daniel Bryan
Mark: I love Daniel Bryan for a multitude of reasons. His heart and desire are one of the main reasons. Even when he had to retire, he kept fighting for his dream. And on Rumble night, he’ll be fighting to stop his nightmare. Bray has been in Daniel’s head for months now and as Marc says below, this is make or break time for D Bry. And even as much as I want Bryan to win, he won’t. The Fiend is plowing through his opponents and he will do the same here. Rumor is that it could be Wyatt versus Lesnar at Mania. And he’ll need to be strong for Lesnar to beat (I joke, sorta). But as I said, it’s make or break time for Bryan. You can expect a down and dirty exciting brawl folks.
Marc: What is likely the final match between them is sure to be the most brutal of them all. With Bryan challenging The Fiend to a strap match fans can be assured that both men will likely be whipped pretty heavily. What one does tend to wonder is whether or the type of strap used is a thick leather strap that is used or something jagged that would tear in the flesh. Between both Wyatt and Bryan, we know that the concept of someone being a changed person will certainly play itself out here. The Fiend likely isn’t losing this match but to see a reinvented Daniel Bryan go down swinging could still make for an entertaining contest.
SmackDown Women’s Championship
Bayley (c) vs Lacey Evans
Mark: So soccer mom Bayley is taking on military mom Lacey? Interesting. You can see Uncle Vince sees division heading talent in Lacey, but I can’t see her walking away with the title here. Sasha Banks will get involved and instigate some kind of blood feud with Evans all the way to Mania. All the while Bayley just looks on, waiting for a credible opponent. Pretty much the same as us really. Since Rousey left, the women’s division has been meh at best. Oh and talking of the Rowdy one, check out the Women’s Rumble match preview below 😉
Marc: After the events of the January 17th edition of Smackdown, the stage was set. When Evans knocked out Bayley, it is was certain that they were going to move into the direction of a championship match between the two. Both women had been teasing a match for some time with Evans and Sasha Banks being in the midst of a feud with one another. While it isn’t likely that Evans is the one to dethrone Bayley for the championship it certainly isn’t a bad match either. Many tend to question or have an issue with Evans’s performance in the ring, but that isn’t necessarily the case as she is still developing.
Women’s 2020 Royal Rumble Match
Mark: Ronda Rousey…Yup, I went there. The Rowdy One will return, win the whole damn match and call out Becky Lynch for a rematch. I mean, what other logical option do you have for a choice of a winner? Sasha turning on Bayley? Possible but their story still has legs. Lacey Evans? Again possible but way too early in her career in my opinion. Shayna Baszler? Nattie? Lita?… You all see where I’m going with this. No other option. Now watch as I get it totally wrong on the night 🙂
Marc: It’s usually tough to call when you have thirty people all claiming for the top spot. In this particular matchup, we have the likes of former champions such as Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks likely to be threats near the end of this match. However, how does the rest of the match shape up? Could this be the night we see a surprise or two? Will it be a night of a returning talent or possibly someone from NXT or NXT UK be the one to come away as the winner? Whomever it is, it will have to try and top last year’s WrestleMania and that could be very much a challenge.
Shorty G vs Sheamus
Mark: Go Shorty, it’s your birthday. And as for your present, you’re being fed to Sheamus. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. I worry for Chad, I really do. Sheamus has been out for a looong time and I imagine he has more than a ton of pent up aggression to take out on the Shorty One. So all I’m saying is, get the stretcher ready. Gable will get some offense in, he’s too good not to. But his offense will be technical submission-based. And not enough to dent the returning Irishman. I could go on about how misused Chad has and been, but that’s for another time. Right now, as Marc says below, Sheamus is going over in a big strong way.
Marc: In a match that seemingly came out of nowhere, the returning Celtic Warrior returned by Brogue Kicking Shorty G. His return was almost identical to when he came back sporting a mohawk and did the same thing to Daniel Bryan. While he was headed in a different direction transitioning from face to heel, he was a returning heel that fans believed would have been a face. The truth was he didn’t actually turn at all but rather gave us the impression that he was turning. It will be a competitive match no doubt, however, Sheamus returning the likeliness of him losing doesn’t seem possible.
WWE United States Championship Match
Andrade (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo
Mark: A late addition to the match card, this is a welcome surprise. I’ve heard a lot about how these two have had fantastic matches in Mexico, and I’m expecting that to continue on the biggest stage that either man has been on. This will be more than a lucha exhibition. The US title is on the line. Carrillo will come in all guns blazing, while Andrade will have extra help in his corner. The x-factor in this match…Zelina Vega. There’s no denying that she will get involved in one way or another, it’s whether Carrillo can weather the storm is the question. If he can…he will have the biggest opportunity to grab his first WWE championship. But I’m calling that he won’t. The odds are against him, and he’s not seasoned enough. But it will happen one day soon though. Humberto is too good not too.
Marc: When it appeared that it was to spell the end of Rey Mysterio, he arrived. With a mask on and a quick reveal, Humberto Carrillo showed himself to be the one to stop Andrade. As a quick battle ensued between the two at the conclusion of the Ladder match between Andrade and Mysterio, the stage was set. Carrillo’s return also meant he would challenge Andrade for the WWE United States Championship. A potential championship win says a great deal about how prominent Latin talent has become to the company’s mid-card title picture. This feud is exciting to see and both men will likely have the most exciting match from bell to bell of the night.
Men’s 2020 Royal Rumble Match
Mark: This year’s men’s WWE Royal Rumble match could go one of many many different ways. You have Brock at one going all the way and taking the night off at Mania. You have Rollins and his stable protecting him. Cain Velasquez eliminating Brock and winning, making their match at Mania. You could have a surprise entrant winning it. Could it be Edge, John Cena or even CM Punk entering and winning? But my pick goes to the Big Dog (ugh!)who will then call out Bray Wyatt. They haven’t crossed paths yet over on Smackdown, and the reason why? Saving it for Mania. Is it what I want? Nope. But the end result could make for a great WrestleMania moment.
Marc: An interesting point was brought up about the first entrant. While they receive all the attention, the second entrant is like the forgotten stepchild. Both face each other first and yet the first entry garners all the attention. This year, however, all the attention surrounds WWE Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar. It almost seems as though the winner will challenge Brock or rather the person that eliminates Brock will end up being whom he feuds with going into WrestleMania. It isn’t likely that Brock will win as it doesn’t really help to establish any feuds moving into Mania season.