It’s one thing to predict the winners and losers at Royal Rumble, but how about taking a guess at the match order for the event?
Royal Rumble takes place tonight (Jan. 29) from The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Missouri, with the main card beginning at 8 pm ET on Peacock.
WWE has announced six different segments for the main card of this event. Here is my subjective view of how important each of these six segments rank, ordered from most important to least important.
- Men’s Royal Rumble match
- Women’s Royal Rumble match
- Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley
- Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
- Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz & Maryse
- Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop
Like most Royal Rumble events, the final match of the night will likely be one of the titular gimmick matches. However, there’s at least a tiny chance that Brock Lesnar or Roman Reigns can headline the card if WWE has a big angle planned for the finish of their respective bouts.
I’m going to play it safe and stick with a Rumble match in the main event. But the harder question is, will the men or women’s match close out the night? The men have an inherent advantage by default. The inaugural women’s Royal Rumble was the main event in 2018, but that’s the only time they received the headlining spot over the men.
I think the answer hinges on Ronda Rousey. If she is in the building and planned to win the women’s Rumble, then her match will be the main event. Otherwise, the men’s Royal Rumble match will be the main event. I believe Rousey will be pointing at that WrestleMania sign at the end of the night, so I’m going with the women’s Rumble match for the main event.
Two Royal Rumble matches
This will be the fifth year with two different Royal Rumble matches on the card. These matches run for 50+ minutes and make for a card that is different from any other on the calendar.
The 2018 main card included 6 total matches. The Rumbles were placed as the 3rd and 6th matches of the night.
The 2019 main card included 7 total matches. The Rumbles were placed as the 4th and 7th matches of the night.
The 2020 main card included 6 total matches. The Rumbles were placed as the 2nd and 6th matches of the night.
The 2021 main card included 5 total matches (excluding 24/7 title shenanigans). The Rumbles were placed as the 3rd and 5th matches of the night.
WWE has yet to open a card with one of these matches, and I don’t that will happen this year either. Given that I have the women’s Rumble in the main event, I think the most logical thing to do is to split the card into two equal halves by placing then men’s Rumble match in Segment 3.
That gives me the following card:
Segment 3: Men’s Royal Rumble match
Segment 6: Women’s Royal Rumble match
Whichever match lands in Segment 4 is screwed, having to follow up a 50+ minute Rumble match. That’s where I’m putting Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop, since it’s the least important match of the night.
I do think we could see Lesnar, Edge, and/or Miz pulling double duty in the men’s Royal Rumble match. In the case of Lesnar, I expect he will be a surprise entrant and win the men’s Rumble. In the case of Edge, he won last year’s match and it would be strange for him to not enter this year’s match just because he’s busy feuding with a mid-card guy. So I’m going to put Brock and Edge in the first two matches of the night, it’s just a matter of which one opens the card. I think Brock goes first, just to increase the amount of time that lapses until we see him again in the men’s Royal Rumble.
Either way, that leaves Reigns and Rollins for Segment 5.
So here is my final prediction for the match order at Royal Rumble, along with guesses on the bell-to-bell match times:
Segment 1: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley (7 minutes)
Segment 2: Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz & Maryse (15)
Segment 3: Men’s Royal Rumble match (57)
Segment 4: Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop (9)
Segment 5: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins (20)
Segment 6: Women’s Royal Rumble match (54)
That’s my prediction for the match order at Royal Rumble. What’s yours?