Well, the ending of RAW certainly changed a handful of thoughts heading into the Royal Rumble season. In case you missed it, Vince McMahon told Roman Reigns that he would defend the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, in the Royal Rumble match.
I still am unsure about how I feel about this idea. On one hand, I think the WWE Title being defended in the Rumble match is a unique idea if done right. The 92 Rumble, the one and only Rumble match where it was done before, is my favorite Rumble of all time. Of course, the commentary of Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan help that ranking, but even without it the story that plays out is great. Plus it helped Ric Flair get over huge in the WWE at the time.
But the problem is that the story of this Rumble is going to be Roman Reigns, win or lose. That will make it tough for anyone new to get over by winning this match. And that makes me fearful that once again, Wrestlemania is going to be centered around stars of the past rather than stars of the now and future. And it pretty much goes against all of my Wrestlemania predictions I made a week ago. When you once again sleep walk through booking stars in the non-Mania months you have to rely on the stars of the past to sell out your biggest show. That’s a damn shame.
So with that in mind, what exactly are the odds for wrestlers entering the Rumble? I’m here to take a look at those.
Roman Reigns: 5:1
To me, Reigns is still the favorite to win this match. And that could be bad for his development. Over the past month, Reigns has done a complete 180 as a character. He was booked like a badass at TLC and then winning the WWE Title on RAW were great booking decisions. Vince McMahon has done wonders for the development of Reigns character. But having Reigns win the Rumble for the second year in a row could be bad for all of that development. Fans want to cheer new stars winning the Rumble. Reigns winning again makes the story all about him and does not allow the fans to do that. But taking the Title off Reigns this soon after winning it doesn’t make sense. To me, that makes Reigns the favorite to win as of this writing.
Brock Lesnar: 7:1
Lesnar needs a big match for Wrestlemania season. The problem is, no one can really think of one at the moment. So why not put him in the WWE Title picture again? Heyman said at the Slammys that no one was man enough to challenge his client. That’s why I thought it had to be a face to challenge Lesnar at Mania. But with the WWE Title around Lesnar’s waist, that means anyone can challenge Lesnar going into Mania. You could do Reigns/Lesnar again for the Title, but I wouldn’t. The Rumble is obviously a match tailor made for Lesnar’s character. And if you don’t want him to win, whoever you have eliminate him sets up his Wrestlemania match.
The Undertaker: 9:1
I almost made Undertaker number two in the odds here. This stipulation almost sets things up perfectly for one last Undertaker Title run. Taker isn’t around full time, but he has been wrestling more this year. And there have been rumors around for awhile now that Wrestlemania 32 could be Taker’s last. And with everything Undertaker has done throughout his career, I can’t say I would be totally opposed to this. If we are picking someone out of the old guard to win this Rumble, I’d want this over Lesnar, Cena, Triple H, Rock etc. Undertaker wins the WWE Title and the person that beats him at Wrestlemania not only wins the Title, but possibly beats Undertaker during his last match. It’s a pretty compelling story to tell.
John Cena: 10:1
John Cena has 15 World Title wins to his name. Whether you like it or not, he is going to pass Ric Flair’s 16 time World Title reigns. So why not have him tie Ric Flair’s number by having him win the Title the same way Ric Flair won his first WWF Title. When Vince McMahon panics, he always goes back to John Cena. Like it or not, that is the way Vince thinks. If you ask me John Cena is going to have one of two matches at Wrestlemania: Against the Undertaker or for the WWE Championship. If Taker wins the Rumble, it could be both. If Cena wins the Title at the Rumble I don’t see the Cena/Taker match happening. It just wouldn’t make sense for Taker chasing the Title going into Mania, at least for me.
Triple H: 15:1
I personally hope that Triple H is smart enough to know that putting the WWE Title on him would be a bad business decision. No one wants to see Roman Reigns chasing the Title again going into Wrestlemania, especially against Triple H. He’s a man who doesn’t need and no one wants to see win it. But you also know that Triple H probably still wants one more shot at the spotlight. If Reigns doesn’t retain the Title in this match, we are probably getting Reigns/HHH at Mania. I have no problem with that match, as long as it isn’t for the WWE Title.
Kevin Owens: 20:1
The way he has been booked the last few weeks, I’m still of the mind set that Kevin Owens is being set up for a big match at Wrestlemania. I could have seen him winning the Rumble and facing Roman Reigns at Mania. Then you could prop the card up with big matches while also continuing to build Owens up in the weeks leading to Mania. Now? I would be surprised to see Owens win the Title in this spot. I think he will definitely win the WWE Title at some point this year, but now the Rumble seems like a long shot.
Bray Wyatt: 20:1
I considered putting Bray higher than Kevin Owens on this list, but I think they should have similar odds here. Why? Because both men would be in similar situations if they won the Rumble. And while Bray has been in bigger matches than Owens at Wrestlemania, I think Owens has passed him in terms of potential star power. If you are ever going to pull the trigger on Bray, this might be the time. But would people buy him as a real WWE Champion? Or just a temporary place holder until someone beats him for it at Wrestlemania?
The Rock: 30:1
His movie schedule probably won’t permit it, but imagine a heel Rock costing Reigns the Title and the two facing off at Wrestlemania? That might be the only way I’d find Reigns chasing the Title going into Wrestlemania acceptable. Plus, do you know how hard it would be to get the audience to boo The Rock and cheer Roman Reigns?
AJ Styles: 40:1
There is no way in hell this is happening. BUT, AJ Styles may be the best wrestler in the world over the last two years. He’s wrestled at big shows for New Japan and I don’t think he would be intimidated by a large audience at Wrestlemania.
Seth Rollins: 50:1
I truly do believe the man is injured. However, he has really fallen off the grid since his appearance at the Slammy Awards. He is usually active on Twitter, but he hasn’t tweeted anything in about three weeks. Maybe the WWE found out Rollins isn’t as hurt as he was, and they plan on pulling a John Cena at the Rumble this year?
Big Show: 50:1
Here’s your sleeper pick folks. HAVE YOU SEEN THE SIZE OF THIS MAN??? HOW WILL ANYONE THROW HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE??? I can’t believe more people aren’t taking Big Show as a serious threat.
So who is your favorite to win the Royal Rumble?
Until Next Time,
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