Tradition. Tonight, one of the year’s biggest traditions in the world of wrestling takes place. Since 1988 the Royal Rumble event has kept fans on the edge of their seat. It is an event like no other in the world of wrestling. Two guys start in the ring, and every 90 seconds a new wrestler will enter. The last man standing after all 30 participants have entered will be declared the winner. The winners of the Royal Rumble are guys you would want to start a company around, except Jim Duggan. Name such as Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair to a name a few. The last couple of years the Rumble match itself has kind of taken a bad turn. I am still not sure what to say about 2014 because it was not as bad as people thought. They wanted Daniel Bryan and he was not in the match so the crowd decided to crap all over it when Batista won. Last year on the other hand, a little different. I had no problem with Roman Reigns, but I had problems with the way the match was presented. Damn Big Show. 2016 seems to have a different stigma than the last three Rumbles in the fact that it is not as predictable as before, plus the title is up for grabs. But more on that later. Ladies and Gents, this is our preview for the Rumble event. Let’s see how many this year I am able to get right.
Tag Team Championship Match
If there is one thing that has been constant over the past few months, one of the most entertaining groups on television has been The New Day. Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, and Big E jelled together right from the beginning and each week are vital part of the show. All three guys are great in ring workers, and great on the microphone. It is no wonder that they have been the Tag Champs as long as they have. One team that wants to take the titles away, The Usos. The Usos, also great in the ring and on the mic. If there is one thing about this feud that is an understatement is that you know you are going to get a fun match with some hijinks and some dancing. The Usos are one of the best teams on the main roster, but I just do not see them pulling the belts off The New Day. Through the Power of Positivity, The New Day wins the match, dedicating the win to Franchesca. (The Trombone of Xavier Woods that was maliciously destroyed by Chris Jericho. I refer to it as the day the music died.)
First off, I hate this look of this belt. It looks like something that should be on display at the Butterfly Palace in Branson. Now, that I have got that off my chest, there is a very special moment that could happen here. The only member of The 4 Horsewomen of NXT, Becky Lynch could win her first championship. Sasha, Bayley, and Charlotte have all tasted the success of having gold in the company. Becky has been on fire in recent weeks, and honestly, I see this actually going her way tonight. Becky Lynch walks out with the championship and we all get to see a very emotional moment with the Divas. On an unrelated note, my Mania prediction for this belt is a triple threat with Sasha in the mix.
The US Championship
The third time is the charm for Kalisto. I think WWE is looking for a star to capture the Hispanic audience and Kalisto is the guy. There is something about him that does come across like Rey Mysterio but more likeable. I am not sure if that makes any sense whatsoever, but I think you may understand. Kalisto and Alberto Del Rio have had some amazing matches over the past few weeks. I do not expect this match to be any different at all. These two have the capability to steal the show. Kalisto gets the belt, and starts a new path as a singles wrestler.
The IC Championship
The Royal Rumble event has served for some of the most brutal matches in wrestling history. The 99 Event comes to mind first. The Rock hitting Mankind in the head constantly as Mick Foley’s children sit ring side to watch. This moment is shown in the documentary, Beyond the Mat. The match is as brutal as any WWE Match could get. Well that is until 2000 when Triple H and Foley had a street fight that ended with barbwire and thumbtacks. 2004 with HBK and HHH in a last man standing match and 07 with Cena and Umaga. The Rumble event is no stranger in hosting some of the most violent matches. Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens are going to be part of the history above as the two men battle over the IC Title in a Last Man Standing Match. Both of these guys are loved by the fans and this is where I believe that we see Dean hold on, in what will be a match of the year candidate. This match will be brutal and will go all over the Amway Arena as it should. These two will hold nothing back. I am picking Dean here only for the build to Mania. And we will get into that more next Sunday.
The Royal Rumble Match
As I said in the beginning, this year’s Rumble is different than previous Rumbles. First, the world title has not been up for grabs in a Rumble since 1992. A little different circumstances since the belt was vacated in 92. Roman will be defending his WWE Title against 29 other guys. The next thing, we have not seen an authority figure want to keep someone from winning this bad since, the 99 Rumble. The second worst Rumble in history. And this scares me as a fan. As of now, with the exception of someone chasing a chicken, this Rumble is sort of mirroring the 99 Royal Rumble Match. The WWE Champion is number 1, and the last guy to win at Number 1 was Chris Benoit, aka He Who Should Not Be Named. Stack the deck against the champion. Sort of feeling 99 esque but then there is the feeling of what 1992 felt like for the belt and honestly anyone can win. So with Roman starting #1 who is the guy at #2? And this is where the questions start for me. If this does mimic 99, #2 would be Triple H. Not the worst thing, but very predictable and see this year a curve ball being thrown into the Rumble. Let me go back to a Rumble Start that intrigues me, 2003. HBK and Jericho start 1 and 2. Jericho eliminates HBK making him the first one out. If Roman Reigns is the first man eliminated, I honestly could see the entire arena in shock. There will be cheers, and there will be boos. But it would be shocking….which is something the Rumble has been missing the last couple of years. Honestly, going into this thing it really is Roman and Brock Lesnar VS the Field. And who do you take? I am taking the field. I do believe someone else other than those two walk out of this event champion. And then there is the AJ Styles factor. Does he debut, and could he win it? If you are not familiar with AJ Styles, look up TNA Unbreakable 2005 and watch the main event. Speaking of debuts, what about a star from NXT? Balor Club anyone? Samoa Joe? Baron Corbin? Sami Zayn? This is honestly the first year, where I have been scratching my head as to who actually wins. Daniel Bryan’s name has been popping up this week along with a host of others who could return to the ring. At this point it is anyone’s guess as to who wins. I am going to pick someone who has not been announced. I just don’t see them going the traditional route here. Plus, there is plenty of time before Mania to set a main event. The Mania 6 main event was not set until February.
The one thing that I do know is that I will be watching just like the kid who was watching in 92. The Road to Mania begins tonight and I am ready.