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Predicting the match order at Royal Rumble 2024

It’s one thing to predict the winners and losers at Royal Rumble 2024, but how about taking a guess at the match order for the event?

Royal Rumble takes place tonight (Sat., Jan. 27) from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, with the main card starting at 8:00 pm ET, live on Peacock and the WWE Network. You may also be able to watch on pay-per-view (PPV) if your cable provider is carrying the event.

WWE has announced four different segments for the main card of this event. Here is my subjective view of how important each of these four segments rank, ordered from most important to least important.

  1. Men’s Royal Rumble
  2. Women’s Royal Rumble
  3. Reigns vs. Orton vs. Knight vs. Styles
  4. Logan Paul vs. Kevin Owens

Main event

When Roman Reigns wrestles on WWE’s premium live events, it’s almost a certainty that he will be in the main event. The last time he did not compete in that spot was nearly two years ago at Elimination Chamber 2022 when he fought Bill Goldberg. Goldberg can barely wrestle a five minute match, so it made sense to keep him out of the main event.

The Royal Rumble is another event where it generally makes sense to keep Roman out of the main event. The titular Rumble matches are the big draw and only happen on this one night; that’s why a men or women’s Rumble match ends up in the main event spot the overwhelming majority of the time.

Even so, Reigns bucked that trend last year. His WWE Universal championship defense against Kevin Owens closed out Royal Rumble 2023, primarily because WWE had a hot post-match angle planned with Sami Zayn leaving The Bloodline.

Things are different this year, because there isn’t a hot Sami Zayn angle to keep Roman in the main event over both Rumble matches. The Tribal Chief is defending the championship in a four-way match against Randy Orton, LA Knight, and AJ Styles. It’s a match that feels like a placeholder for Roman while he waits for an actual threat to his championship run at WrestleMania 40.

That threat could very well end up being Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Roman’s best bet for being in the main event tonight is if a potential face-to-face confrontation with The Rock is planned for after his match. However, if The Rock is in the building, then WWE could actually have him enter the Royal Rumble match and win it in the main event of the show.

So, at least for this one night, it makes sense for Roman Reigns to not be in the main event. The men’s Royal Rumble match should close out the night, whether it’s CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, R-Truth, or The Rock who end up winning the whole thing.

Everything else

The Royal Rumble card only has four matches scheduled as of this writing.

There’s a chance that WWE will begin the night with one of the title matches, but that would mean moving the Royal Rumble matches closer together on the card. I think it makes more sense to bookend the show with both Rumble matches. Therefore the women’s Royal Rumble match should be the first match of the night. It would likely require the surprise return of Sasha Banks for the women’s match to possibly overtake the men’s for the main event spot.

That leaves Roman and Logan Paul’s title defenses for the middle of the card. I’ll put Logan in Segment 2 and Roman in Segment 3, because the more important belt should go later, and so that Roman doesn’t have to immediately follow a Rumble match.

Finalized card

So here is my final prediction for the match order at Royal Rumble 2024, along with guesses on the bell-to-bell match times:

Segment 1: Women’s Royal Rumble (59 minutes)
Segment 2: Logan Paul vs. Kevin Owens (14)
Segment 3: Reigns vs. Orton vs. Knight vs. Styles (18)
Segment 4: Men’s Royal Rumble (57)

That’s my prediction for the match order at Royal Rumble. What’s yours?

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