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Aleister Black and Becky Lynch should win the 2019 Royal Rumbles

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So, on this, the eve of the first landmark rest-stop on the road to WrestleMania 35, it’s time for me to make my pitches for the 2019 Royal Rumble winners.

My criterion for my picks:

  • Performers must be publicly signed to WWE
  • Maximum return on investment
  • Best Royal Rumble PPV possible
  • A great challenger for a current champ

Men’s Rumble: Aleister Black

There is no better WrestleMania 35 Universal Championship contender than the hard-kicking man from Amsterdam, the Dutch destroyer, Aleister Black. I’ll get to why him shortly, but here are why I’m dismissing the other challengers.

Seth Rollins is already a made man. They’re building him up for Lesnar, sure, by spending 2018 displaying Crossfit Jesus’ epic endurance (remember that one gauntlet match?) and wrestling Bobby Lashley (to get him comfortable with bigger dudes), but Seth Rollins is an established commodity. We know him, we value him, and a win over Lesnar won’t change his place in fans eyes by that much.

Drew McIntyre could be a perfect match. He’s got it all, from the build to the charisma and the workrate. A huge win like this would fully cement the returning Scot. The only issue? Bryan and Lesnar are both heels, and turning Drew face just doesn’t make sense right now.

Finn Bálor is my personal runner-up. Needs to be re-cemented as a top guy, is a face ready to challenge a heel, the only problem is he’d have to enter the Rumble after losing his title shot, and I don’t want to play the same story out for both Rumbles (SPOILER ALERT).

So, why Aleister Black? No matter if you know him by the name Tommy, Tommy, Tommy Fucking End or his current incarnation, you’re already salivating by the time you’ve pictured him tearing into Lesnar. And sure, I feel the same way about Matt Riddle, but something tells me Riddle’s going to spend 2019 in the Performance Center, getting the finishing touches that Triple H wants done, before running the “Retire Brock Lesnar” story that Riddle’s pitched for years.

But Aleister Black vs Lesnar is perfect for reasons other than the match. The act of strapping the hugest rocket possible onto an up-and-comer, combined with the shock value of his debut, would give the Rumble even more importance. From the second his fantastic entrance starts, fans would know they’re witnessing history.

And on top of it all? Black’s gotten better and better on the mic lately (you’re watching NXT, right?) and he can be a perfect foil to Paul Heyman, scaring the bejeezus out of Lesnar’s hyper-confident confidant.

Women’s Rumble: Becky Lynch

Do I really need to explain why this is the right call? Skimming through the rosters of NXT and WWE, you’ll look at a ton of names that will disappoint the audience at Phoenix. Because these are the die-hards who go to ‘Mania. These are the fans who are only thinking about The Man Becky Lynch.

Yes, that’s right, we’re in Daniel Bryan before WrestleMania 30 territory. Even though Becky’s got a match already, and even though she’s not announced for the Rumble, you know this audience will pop huge for The Man, and fall flat (or possibly boo) anyone else.

Yes, Charlotte’s a front-runner, but ... how do you plan to make it a triple threat with Becky, whose WrestleMania 35 match can’t not include Ronda Rousey.

Maybe you have Becky and Charlotte fall on the ground at the same time, and the crowd will be happy and split and tear itself apart in joy and rage? To be honest, Charlotte vs Asuka II, with Asuka getting her WM Win back? That’s a lot more interesting.

But there’s nobody out there but Becky Lynch that should win the Women’s Rumble. Sorry, that’s what WWE’s done to its roster, by spending all of its push capital getting Ronda to the top and having Becky right next to her.

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