The Writers’ Room is a new feature at Cageside Seats where we take you into the CSS staff Slack channel for a look at our answers to interesting, pressing or weird wrestling questions.
For the inaugural edition, we’re discussing the most interesting options to win the Royal Rumble (men’s and or women’s). Not who will win or even who should win, but who would make for the most interesting winner.
Henry T. Casey: ...Aleister Black
Kyle Decker: Honestly, and maybe it’s because I just watched NXT, but Matt Riddle. Love the idea of a relatively unknown coming in and just winning the right to fight for the top prize at the biggest show of the year. MMA guy vs. MMA guy. Riddle vs. Lesnar. Book it.
Henry T. Casey: I mean, that’s what I want more than ANYTHING ELSE.
Rev. Claire Elizabeth: I’m totally copping this at least in part from I think IVP on Twitter but if I had the book and wanted to tell the most intriguing story, I go Kofi. The longtime WWE vet who’s never won the big one, Woods and E outwardly supportive but you can play with cracks in their solidarity for storytelling juice on the way (maybe have all three be in the Chamber with Kofi defending the shot, that kinda thing), maybe they’re split on who he should challenge even
Kingston/Bryan at ‘Mania, bang, instant classic and either a gold watch reign or (more likely) just the kinda performance you can put on your tombstone
Henry T. Casey: I fantasy booked that a while ago in a blog post.
Kyle Decker: As for the women, I’m going to say Becky Lynch as champion. That would set up some sweet title vs. title action, which is not something WWE does often. They play stuff safe. But it’d be a surprise that she’s even in it since she just won the title hours prior in probably a grueling match. And then the pop when her music hits to the title vs. title aspect of ‘Mania. Becky isn’t an interesting choice here (though an awesome one anyway) but as champion would really spice things up.
Brent Brookhouse: I have this weird thing where I don’t really want to see Kurt Angle wrestle anymore, but I found the McIntyre match so compelling in the old school “great who just doesn’t have it at that level anymore” approach that there’s a part of me that really wants one last Angle/Lesnar ride. Angle spending months grappling with his wrestling “mortality.” Knowing he’s heading for his old rival and a man who is still a dominant force while his is basically a duct taped together body. Of course, the problem is the match actually having to happen and ... yuck.
Henry T. Casey: So, i’m biased because I just listened to the interview, but my second pick would be Mustafa Ali.
That’s an all time underdog match, Ali vs. Lesnar.
Sean Rueter: On the men’s side, I’ll say Samoa Joe. He checks both the “something different” and “overdue shot for a legend” boxes. He’s faced all the potential opponents for both belts, but Joe getting to talk his shit under the brightest lights in the business is something I need. Plus, he may be not be mid-aughts Joe any more, but he’s not Angle, either.
Brent Brookhouse: I’m also realizing my Angle idea is basically me writing a wrestling version of a western, so that’s a thing.
Sean Rueter: I’m entirely okay with watching Logan as a WrestleMania program.
Well, maybe not the necessary ending.
Cain A. Knight: I think the most interesting option is someone not currently in WWE like CM Punk, Chris Jericho, or Kenny Omega.
But if I’m keeping this within the realm of superstars actually on the WWE roster, I think Jey Uso would be the most interesting winner for the men’s Rumble. There would be so many unanswered questions if Jey Uso won it. Why did they give it to a tag team wrestler? Jey isn’t even the Uso who currently has a storyline, so why did he get the spot over Jimmy? Would this change the rules so that the Rumble winner can challenge for any belt they want, including tag titles? If so, is this all a ploy to get Shane McMahon into the main event of WrestleMania defending the SmackDown tag team titles? Or is Jey Uso simply going to get his first ever high profile singles match in a WrestleMania main event against Brock Lesnar or Daniel Bryan? It would be fascinating to see everyone trying to fill the blanks.
Henry T. Casey: Can Shane and Miz co-win the rumble?
Sean Rueter: I’m stumped on the women’s side, because I’m so focused on the Ronda/Becky/Horsewomen story I can’t think of another angle which interests me - not that one doesn’t exist, of course, but I’ve got tunnel vision.
It’s similar to some of the men’s side stuff, but I’d be down with Mickie James getting a “one last run” arc leading to a match with Asuka.
Brent Brookhouse: She doesn’t fit in at all really with the clear main event direction for the women, but give me a completely random Nikki Cross win.
Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Hell with it, Aja Kong. She’d not only be a wild outsider choice that’d hit the “Wait what?” factor, but AEW are supposedly interested in using her and Vince swooping in and giving her a bigtime ‘Mania spot would be fun for the whole Wrestling Wars 2K19 of it all.
Things quickly devolved into thousands of words of debate over the merits of Bayley... which may lead us to our next visit to The Writers’ Room.