The WWE Royal Rumble Premium Live Event is one of the most fun shows of the year, every year. 30 men and 30 women battle in their respective matches until one is left standing and gets the opportunity to headline WrestleMania. But, with the historic WrestleMania 40 looming in April, this is one of the most important and unpredictable Royal Rumbles of all-time. The stakes are at an all-time high, but the winner is at an all-time unknown.
WWE Royal Rumble Rules
The rules are simple. Two competitors enter the match to kick things off. Every minute or so, a new competitor enters the ring until all 30 participants are in the match. The only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the top rope with both feet hitting the floor. Your favorite superstar may come in early, and have to endure a grueling hour plus long match, or they may come in late and be so lucky to get an easier ride. Plus, you may see a few unexpected surprises along the way. Regardless, fans sit in anticipation counting down the 10 second mark until the next competitor enters to the surprise of everyone. That’s part of what makes the match so fun and so special, you just don’t know who’s coming out next. Yet, sometimes, it’s inevitable that a specific person will win that year. That is until now. In recent years, it’s been pretty clear who’s winning the WWE Royal Rumble in the weeks leading up to the match, but this year, that’s not the case.
Women’s WWE Royal Rumble
We start by taking a look at the Women’s Royal Rumble match. As of now, we know Bayley, Nia Jax, Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair, Maxxine Dupri and Ivy Nile have officially been confirmed for the match. That leaves 24 unknown competitors going into Saturday’s bout. At first glance, we could have a two-time winner this year, as Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair have won in previous years. Both ladies are shoe-in’s to do it again, especially with Becky’s ever-growing rivalry with Women’s World Champion, Rhea Ripley. Rhea even said on RAW that she hopes Becky does win, so then she could whoop her ass at WrestleMania 40. But, Bianca Belair is no slouch. Bianca Belair has the ability and stamina to outlast every woman in that match, even if she enters early. After all, she is the EST! Bianca has slowly been creeping into the SmackDown championship scene as her everlasting feud with Damage CTRL looms, especially the champion, IYO SKY. But, it feels like Bianca has been a bit directionless lately. Yet, a Rumble win could boost her right back on track.
Nia Jax has come back to WWE earlier this year and dominated everyone in her path thus far. She beat Becky Lynch in singles action, and has shown her dominance over the champion in Rhea Ripley. Being the biggest and most monstrous competitor in the match, she could toss ladies out with ease and take the crown to WrestleMania. Then, there’s Bayley. Bayley is the last of the ‘4-horsewomen’ to really get a monumental showcase at WrestleMania. In fact, she’s the only one of the 4-horsewomen to never have a singles match at WrestleMania. Could this year finally be the time? On SmackDown, Dakota Kai continues to tell her Damage CTRL partner Bayley that they’ll make sure she wins the Rumble. But, with other Damage CTRL member IYO SKY as champion, does this cause issues between the group if Bayley were to win? It seems the group is slowly pushing away from Bayley, but could she flip the script and steal the title from Sky on the grandest stage of them all? There’s a few potential shoe-ins to win this years Women’s Rumble match, plus, there’s always the possibility of a surprise, or someone new winning the match. Is Charlotte’s injury as bad as they made it seem? Could she be back for the Rumble? Could Mercedes Monè swerve the entire wrestling world and make her way back to WWE? This 2024 WWE Royal Rumble lineup feels wide open as far as a winner goes and the unpredictability is very exciting!
Men’s WWE Royal Rumble
The Men’s Royal Rumble is much of the same. At first glance, it seems like there’s two very sure fire winners. But, that isn’t exactly the case. As of now, Cody Rhodes, CM Punk, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre, Gunther, Chad Gable, Otis, Akira Tozawa, Kofi Kingston and Damien Priest have officially been confirmed for the match. That leaves 19 unknown competitors for the men’s bout. Immediately, fans are battling over two possible winners and that’s CM Punk and Cody Rhodes. Cody Rhodes won the Rumble match last year, and is looking to be only the second man to win it back to back, after Stone Cold did it in the 90’s. Now, Cody Rhodes won last year, but didn’t win in the main event of WrestleMania against Roman Reigns. Cody has been struggling to ‘Finish The Story’, but he’s still determined to make his dream a reality. And, it seemed like he would. It was almost a sure fire thing that Cody was going to do it. Then, Survivor Series 2023 happened and CM Punk returned to WWE. Now, with Punk’s name thrown into the hat, he’s made it very clear that this is his redemption arc. Ten years after leaving WWE right after the 2014 Royal Rumble, he’s back to enter the match he should’ve won 10 years ago, and finally main event WrestleMania. In 2013-2014, it seemed like CM Punk was primed to main event WrestleMania. He was the biggest star in the company, WWE Champion, but it didn’t happen. It was taken away. But, just like Cody Rhodes, he wants to finish his story and finally get that main event on the grandest stage.
CM Punk or Cody Rhodes? Well, what about the current Intercontinental Champion, Gunther? Gunther almost went the whole way last year as he lasted all the way until the final two, but was eliminated by Cody Rhodes himself. Gunther has redemption on his mind, and it’s aimed at Cody. Plus, on the go-home Monday Night RAW, Gunther made it very clear that he wants to win, and if he does, he’s going right after the World Champion, Seth Rollins. Gunther has called his shot, let’s see if he can make it. With his impressive run last year, could he top it and finally win in 2024? As mentioned in the women’s, there’s always a possibility of surprises, and there’s no bigger surprise than a possible legend making his return. And no, I’m not talking about Hulk Hogan, who teased that he may be in on a promotional video. I highly doubt Hulk Hogan would ever show his face in a match again. But, his former rival may. That man is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
The Rock returned on WWE’s Day 1 edition of RAW to kick off the new year. He talked his smack, and gave a beat down to Jinder Mahal. He had his fun. But, it was a quick quip on the mic that left the fans on the edge of their seat. The Rock made mention asking the crowd if he should ‘sit at the head of the table’, which is a clear reference to his cousin and WWE Universal Champion; Roman Reigns. The Rock and Roman Reigns are cousins, family, part of that Samoan Bloodline. But, it feels like they’ve been on a collision course for years that’s due to explode at any moment. For years, both men have been making subtle hints at possibly facing each other. Even celebrities like Jimmy Fallon asking Roman Reigns if he’d ever fight his cousin, to which he liked the idea of the battle. Now, with the biggest WrestleMania on the horizon, the 40th anniversary of WWE’s biggest show ever, it seems like there’s only one giant match that could headline such a huge show and that’s family vs. family, the past vs. the present, The Rock vs. Roman Reigns. How does that happen? Well, The Rock could show up this Saturday and make a surprise return to win the WWE Royal Rumble and get the match that feels like years in the making.
With the potential of those four, plus other surprises such as the possibility of Andrade El Idolo making a return after leaving AEW, possible NXT call-ups or a dark horse win like Drew McIntyre or Damien Priest, the men’s Royal Rumble is just as unpredictable as the women’s. This year feels like the Royal Rumble of old, where truly anyone could win and fans are on the edge of their seat waiting to see who it’ll be. The anticipation is at an all time high and the countdown is on. Who’s going to headline WrestleMania 40? We find out this Saturday, January 27th live on Peacock at 8PM ET at the WWE Royal Rumble. The road to WrestleMania begins NOW!
From: Brady Alexander