Brian Damage, Jamie Lithgow & Craig Wilson
Tonight is the Royal Rumble with the winner of the Battle Royal leaving with the WWE title. Elsewhere, Charlotte defends her title against Becky Lynch, The New Day put their gold on the line against The Usos, Kevin Owen challenges Dean Ambrose for the IC title and Alberto Del Rio is vying to retain the US title against Kalisto. Today the team share their thoughts and predictions on the show.
Pre-Show: Darren Young and Damien Sandow vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley) vs. The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) vs. Mark Henry and Jack Swagger with the two winners getting a Rumble spot.
Brian: Ugh, this seems like such a clusterf@*k! I gotta go with the Dudley Boyz here as they are the only ones relatively relevant in the WWE right now.
Winners: The Dudleys
Jamie: Damien Sandow?! And why’s Darren Young teaming with him and not Titus O’ Neil? Anyway, this looks shit and I can only assume The Dudleys will win.
Winners: The Dudley Boyz
Craig: Well I certainly like the gimmick here. It makes the idea that being in the Rumble is a prized spot. Should be a fun throwaway match here. Certainly two random combinations here too. Winners? Oh I don’t know.
Winners: The Dudley Boyz.
IC Title match: Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing match
Brian: Could be the show stealing match of the night. I’m going to go with Kevin Owens regaining the IC title here.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Jamie: This match – unfortunately – was doing nothing for me until I found out it was a Last Man Standing Match. I am now looking forward to it, and it should be awesome. As it’s fairly easy for a babyface to lose a match of this type and not look bad I’m going for a heel victory.
Winner, and new IC Champ: Kevin Owens
Craig: For me Kevin Owens is one of the most entertaining guys on the roster and Dean Ambrose can be exactly the same way. Throw in their brawling, hard-hitting offences and we have the makings of a very decent match indeed. As a fun of lengthy title reigns I hope that Ambrose retains but more than that I hope that the programme between the two continues.
U.S. Title match: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Kalisto
Brian: I would love to see Kalisto get a title victory here but I think the WWE has plans for him and Sin Cara (When he returns from his injuries) to go after the tag team titles.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Jamie: By virtue of the fact that Kalisto has already had his upset win over Del Rio I’m saying that ADR holds onto the gold here. I assume he’ll get some help along the way, thus Kalisto should still look relatively strong in defeat.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Craig: I was certainly surprised with Kalisto winning the US title, a fun like ‘anything can happen on Raw’ type thing – long overdue. Do I see him as a viable long term champion? Nah. Whilst Alberto Del Rio hadn’t hit the heights many hoped on his return, I see him retaining here.
Divas Title match: Charlotte (c) vs. Becky Lynch
Brian: Let’s see, Charlotte has continually beat Becky Lynch and has gotten the upper hand. With that said, logic dictates that Becky is in line for a win.
Winner: Becky Lynch (New Divas champ)
Jamie: Logic dictates that Becky should win here, but I just can’t see her as Divas Champion and Charlotte not at the moment. I think Becky will finally beat Charlotte here, but won’t bag the title until further down the line, possibly in a gimmick match.
Winner: Becky Lynch but Charlotte retains.
Craig: I’m with Jamie entirely here. I think Becky Lynch wins here but doesn’t leave with the gold.
Winner: Becky but Charlotte keeps the gold.
Tag Title match: New Day (c) vs. The Usos
Brian: I originally was going to pick the Usos to win and that very well might happen. I just think New Day is going to remain champions going into Wrestlemania.
Winners: New Day
Jamie: In order to keep the momentum of this feud rolling I think The Usos need to win the titles. Otherwise The New Day will have vanquished another enemy and would require a new feud.
Winners, and new Tag Champs: The Usos
Craig: Torn on this one. I see where Jamie’s coming from on vanquishing every opponent but that’s because the New Day are one of the best things the WWE has going at the moment. Who will end the reign? I certainly don’t know but I just can’t see it ending yet.
Winner: New Day
Royal Rumble match with the WWE Title on the line
Brian: The obvious choice is to pick Roman Reigns coming out on top to help solidify his top spot. I think though, that doing so might be more harmful than helpful. Fans might crap all over that finish. So I’ll go out on a limb and predict something different.
Winner: Bray Wyatt (New WWE champion)
Jamie: Anyone but Roman Reigns! Here’s my theory; WWE aren’t that stupid. The experience of the last two Rumbles should tell them what to expect in terms of fan response. Usually they don’t care about fan reaction and just force feed us Roman Reigns regardless, but this is the Rumble. Loads of casual fans love the Rumble and WWE don’t want to be sending them mixed messages. So, as the Rumble appears to be all about Reigns, my prediction is that it won’t be. I think Triple H returns and takes him out of the equation before we get to the sharp end of the Rumble match – he might even enter at number 2. This would further their feud and create the excitement of a guaranteed new champion during the Rumble match. Who will be that new champion? Well, I agree with Brian…
Winner, and new WWE Champion: Bray Wyatt
Craig: It’s got to be either Roman Reigns or Trips here, eh? I’d be disappointed with either scenario but can’t help but feel that the WWE has backed themselves into a corner. We’re definitely going to see Reigns vs. Triple H at WrestleMania so I hope it’s to do with Trips costing Reigns rather than anything else but, realistically, I expect it’s Trips that wins and become WWE champion again.
Winner, and new WWE Champion: Triple H.
Brian: This card always excites me and I feel the same this year.
Jamie: I really like that all titles are on the line, which is certainly a selling point. Granted that’s the case at most PPVs, but every match is a title match and one is the Royal Rumble. No piss breaks on this show. Assuming WWE offer up something more imaginative than ‘Roman Reigns wins against all the odds’ then I’m quietly optimistic. But hey, even if the Rumble sucks the undercard still looks really good.
Craig: I, too, am looking forward to this one. It’s an event that more often than not delivers and this is a pretty strong card and I imagine we’ve a couple of surprises in store too.