WWE Royal Rumble is all set to take place tonight (Sat., Jan. 27, 2024) from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. It begins at 7:00 pm ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main course at 8 pm ET on Peacock in the U.S., WWE Network everywhere else, or your local cable pay-per-view provider.
Luckily for you Cagesiders, our staff of learned wrestling blowhards is here to help figure out just how the event is going to play out with predictions for each match on the card.
Let’s get to it.
WWE ROYAL RUMBLE PREDICTIONS
Men’s Royal Rumble
Geno Mrosko: An already hugely compelling Rumble was made even more interesting over the span of two segments on Monday Night Raw this past week. GUNTHER, CM Punk, and Cody Rhodes are all legitimate options here, and it’s going to be an absolute blast to have all three cross paths. Hell, I wouldn’t hate if they were the first three in and the last three out. I also don’t think there’s a wrong answer on a winner. You could argue for any of the three and I think I’d buy in. What a wonderful problem to have. I do think they’re going to continue setting up roadblocks for Cody to overcome and this will fit in with the story of Punk being the bigger star coming back to take the spot of the more deserving guy that will eventually give us the heel turn. Pick: CM Punk
Sean Rueter: Punk will probably win. The expertly executed combo of a great segment on Monday & a great working of the sheets on Wednesday have me on board with the possibility of Gunther being the last man in the ring. But I’ll take a flier on Triple H rearranging all his plans so he can reward the person doing the best character work in the company these days. Pick: Drew McIntyre
Kyle Decker: They’ve been asking about Cody going back to back a lot, but I don’t think that happens. I think CM Punk is the clear winner to set up the match with Rollins in the main event of Night One of WrestleMania. I’ve seen the rumors that it may not be Punk in that spot, but I have trouble believing that giving that’s always been a dream of his and you strike while you can with him - as in before injuries or before he becomes too much hassle. (As for Cody, I think he earns a Night Two spot at Elimination Chamber, and the Rock isn’t on this years card.) Pick: CM Punk
Claire Elizabeth: The obvious thing is usually the right one in pro wrestling, and the Royal Rumble is no different. Conquering hero CM Punk rides his way to the Royal Rumble victory that should have been his way back in 2012, and Cody Rhodes picks up the pieces and moves to SmackDown to refocus on his quest to finish his story by defeating Roman Reigns for the title his sainted father never won. And frankly, if Cody does win again I’ll be worried they’re giving him back-to-back Rumble wins as an accolade to make up for not beating Roman at Mania. Pick: CM Punk
Cain A. Knight: When CM Punk walked out of WWE 10 years ago, I joked that he finally realized the best way to main event WrestleMania was to leave WWE for several years and return as a part-timer to win the Royal Rumble. Little did I know that it wasn’t actually a joke. Pick: CM Punk
Marcus Benjamin: I’d love to go against the grain and be the rebel I usually am, but going with the consensus here just makes too much sense. CM Punk leaving for 10 years then winning the Rumble is a hell of a story. And it’s one WWE will probably tell beautifully. Pick: CM Punk
Women’s Royal Rumble
Geno Mrosko: They’ve really only singled out a couple of women as potentials, barring a big surprise (and to their credit they’ve actually stopped announcing every damn participant like we wanted). Nia Jax vs. Rhea Ripley could be fun but I don’t think it’s a WrestleMania match. Bayley doesn’t make much sense there either, at least not right now. Bianca Belair is great but they’ve already been building someone else, with teases dating back a long time. They might as well just pull the trigger on it. Pick: Becky Lynch
Sean Rueter: The Man wants to wrestle in an Elimination Chamber match, and she’ll take that path Down Under en route to Rhea Ripley. Make it up to the Role Model for WrestleMania 37 and punch her ticket to what will end up being a Damage CTRL-fracturing match for the WWE Women’s title at WrestleMania 40. Pick: Bayley
Kyle Decker: On the Raw side, it’s either Becky or Nia Jax. But Becky’s done it (not that should couldn’t go back to back) and Nia would feel like a let down (not that heels usually aren’t). However I think that given we’ve heard nothing of Sasha Banks going anywhere lately, especially AEW, I’m saying she returns here. If she returns here, she should win the Rumble to challenge Iyo Shirai and really test Bayley’s relationship with Damage CTRL - who have two women that Bayley & Sasha took out together. It’s a bit of a dark horse to go with someone not on the roster, but why not. Pick: Sasha Banks
Claire Elizabeth: I mean I suppose we could swerve here and set up IYO SKY’s opponent but that story feels smaller whereas Lynch/Ripley is one of your tentpole marquee matches this year. Keep it simple, keep it save. Pick: Becky Lynch
Cain A. Knight: Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley has been an obvious WrestleMania match for a long time. The fact that Becky lost a match on Raw to Nia Jax and was then tossed over the top rope by her this week is an even bigger giveaway that things will finally go The Man’s way when she becomes a two-time Royal Rumble winner. Pick: Becky Lynch
Marcus Benjamin: This is Becky’s Rumble. She’s got the main story, she’s got the biggest target on her back, and an incredible story for a match with Rhea Ripley. Becky needs the match with Rhea and Rhea needs it too. Let it happen, don’t overthink it. Pick: Becky Lynch
WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles vs. LA Knight
Geno Mrosko: There is a zero percent chance of a title change here, which I don’t really mind because I still greatly enjoy The Bloodline and Roman Reigns’ work, and it actually kind of makes a multi-man match work better because of the threat Reigns could lose without being pinned. They haven’t done nearly enough to hammer on that point as a potential threat to him but that could be due to having much bigger matchups hovering just over the horizon. Pick: Roman Reigns
Sean Rueter: Should be fun, but all the suspense comes from whether or not we smell what a certain TKO Board member is cookin’ afterwards. Pick: Roman Reigns
Kyle Decker: I wish this were one on one Randy vs. Roman. LA Knight would be more fun in the Rumble I think. Pick: Roman Reigns
Claire Elizabeth: Low-key as much as I’m pulling for Cody to finish the story, I’d be totally happy to see Roman Reigns’ beat noted racist Hulk Hogan’s record. What wouldn’t make me happy is a left-turn swerve change in a well-booked but ultimately filler four-way. Which is good news for me, because there’s no way Roman’s losing here. (Although y’know what I’d be here for a real spicy Bloodline no contest brawl finish, which as we all know, is always a valid finish in any match regardless of whether or not there’s countouts or disqualifications). Pick: Roman Reigns
Cain A. Knight: This should just be a singles match between Reigns and Orton, but I guess it’s a bigger priority for WWE to protect Orton instead of Styles or Knight. Anyway, there’s no way in hell that Roman’s reign is ending in a four-way match. Pick: Roman Reigns
Marcus Benjamin: I don’t know how I feel here. I know Roman wins. I know why Roman wins. But I want something different. These are predictions though, which don’t always reflect what we want to happen. So, yeah, Roman wins. And, to Claire’s point, if he beats Hogan’s record, then I’ll forgive this. It sucks to suck, brother. Pick: Roman Reigns.
United States Championship: Logan Paul (c) vs. Kevin Owens
Geno Mrosko: They’re going to surprise us with a match that does way more than it probably needs to, and it may even steal the show. The title, however, will go home with the man who walks in with it. Pick: Logan Paul
Sean Rueter: This is the prediction equivalent of me screaming “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” at my screen during this match tonight, but I’m making it anyway. Pick: Kevin Owens
Kyle Decker: This should be fun, but I don’t see a change here. I think the plan remains Megastar vs. Megastar at WrestleMania. Pick: Logan Paul
Claire Elizabeth: As much as it pains me, my man Kevin Owens is going into this with a target painted on the injured hand he’s not allowed to wear a cast on, and Logan just signed a new contract and is intimating that he might have to get at it full-time, so... Pick: Logan Paul
Cain A. Knight: Kevin Owens isn’t beating a YouTuber. Pick: Logan Paul
Marcus Benjamin: So we’re just all making boring picks this weekend. Pick: Logan Paul
That’s how we see the card playing out.