The Men’s Royal Rumble match
The Road to WrestleMania 35 finally begins tonight (Sun., Jan. 27, 2019) from Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
30 men will spend an hour holding each other against the ropes, hiding under the ring to avoid detection, and spamming finishing moves just before being eliminated. It’s the annual over-the-top-rope battle royal with timed intervals that determines which superstar gets to point at the WrestleMania sign and (probably) lose against Brock Lesnar on the grandest stage of them all. Rumor has it that the winner also gets an all expenses paid trip to next year’s Royal Rumble pre-show.
Here are the 20 superstars currently listed as competitors in this match according to WWE’s web site:
- John Cena
- Randy Orton
- Dean Ambrose
- Seth Rollins
- Samoa Joe
- Drew McIntyre
- Rey Mysterio
- Xavier Woods
- Kofi Kingston
- Big E
- Jinder Mahal
- Jeff Hardy
- Bobby Lashley
- Titus O’Neil
- Baron Corbin
- Apollo Crews
- Mustafa Ali
The favorites to win include Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, and Braun Strowman. Strowman isn’t even officially a member of the match yet, but there are still 10 available spots so he’ll probably find his way into the match. These three men are the most viable threats to Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship.
On the SmackDown side, Samoa Joe has been positioned as a force to be reckoned with, and Randy Orton is also in the mix. The problem with this duo is that neither one represents a compelling choice to challenge for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. Samoa Joe failed to win the WWE Championship way too many times in 2018, so it’s hard to see him receiving this kind of push. Orton has won the Royal Rumble match twice in the past, including as recently as 2017, so it would be maddening for WWE to fall back on him yet again. Joe and Orton have been presented as the two biggest threats from SmackDown, yet their chances of winning don’t quite measure up to the Raw trio mentioned above.
The next tier of superstars listed above who can’t be completely ruled out as potential winners include Dean Ambrose, Rey Mysterio, Andrade, and John Cena. Cena would normally be a favorite to win, but he was allegedly never planned to be in this match at all despite WWE’s misleading advertising.
It would be completely shocking for any other superstar listed above (from 9th to 20th) to walk out of this match victorious. R-Truth theoretically has the biggest advantage because he is entering at number 30 due to winning Mixed Match Challenge Season 2, but he’ll probably screw it up and accidentally enter the women’s match at that spot instead. It would be cool as hell for Mustafa Ali or Kofi Kingston to win this thing, but that just doesn’t seem plausible in a world controlled by Vince McMahon.
The unnamed 10 entrants are more likely to win than the rest of that list. Besides Strowman, these unnamed superstars could include some part-timers or legends like Kurt Angle, Undertaker, Goldberg, or The Rock. Who knows what surprises are planned, but one thing is for sure, the part-time stars always have a decent chance to secure a high profile match at WrestleMania. In addition to legends and part-timers, we may see a few surprise NXT entrants as well, such as Aleister Black or Velveteen Dream.
This is one of the most anticipated matches of the year. So sit back, count down the clock every 90 seconds, complain on the internet when Mustafa Ali is eliminated, complain even harder on the internet if Randy Orton wins, and keep it right here at Cageside Seats to see who prevails in the Men’s Royal Rumble match!
Who will win the 2019 Men’s Royal Rumble Match?
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