WWE looks to kick off 2019 with their Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Taking place at Chase Field in Phoneix, Arizona (home of the Diamondbacks), this should be a great event. On top of the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches, we will also be seeing seven title matches with intriguing storylines in each of them.
With nine matches total including two matches on the pre-show, here are my predictions for the Royal Rumble PPV.
United States Championship – Rusev (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (pre-show)
Finally, Rusev gets his chance. After constant months of popularity, he won the United States Championship late last year against Shinsuke Nakamura on an episode of SmackDown. It is just a shame we have to see it on the pre-show.
Nonetheless, I do not see the title switch hands so early in his title reign. The US title seems to have lost its value for quite some time and giving a nice long run with it to a babyface like Rusev is just what the title needs. Look for Rusev to retain here and both will go on to different feuds heading into WrestleMania season.
Prediction: Rusev retains the United States Championship
Cruiserweight Championship – Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Kalisto vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami (pre-show)
It seems that WWE does not get it. The 205 Live brand has been putting on great matches and they always seem to put their matches on the pre-show.
Buddy Murphy has quietly been having a nice run on the brand and will look to do so in this fatal-four-way match. Each of these competitors will have their chance to shine here, but Murphy should hold onto the title for a little bit longer to keep his momentum going forward.
Prediction: Buddy Murphy retains the Cruiserweight Championship
SmackDown Tag Team Championship – The Bar (c) vs. The Miz & Shane McMahon
Since winning the WWE World Cup and teaming with The Miz, the writing on the wall looks that they will win the tag titles, go on a little run and eventually break up and feud heading into WrestleMania 35.
It is nothing against The Bar here but their reign as SmackDown Tag Team Championships has been nothing to write home about. Even though the SmackDown tag division is stacked and many of those teams should be in the title picture, it is a good story here with McMahon and Miz. The question remains after if they win is, how long will their title reign last?
Prediction: The Miz and Shane McMahon win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Raw Women’s Championship – Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks has done a great job keeping this brief feud interesting. If the plan is for Rousey to hold onto the belt until WrestleMania, then I do not the title switching hands.
There is no doubt that this will be a good match, given that they are both incredible workers.
Prediction: Ronda Rousey retains the Raw Women’s Championship
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Asuka (c) vs. Becky Lynch
WWE botched Asuka’s early WWE run with constant PPV loses but got it right when she won the SmackDown Women’s Championship at the TLC PPV late last year.
As much as I am a fan of Becky Lynch, I do not see her winning here. But, I have a good reason why that might be the case. I’ll explain later.
Prediction: Asuka retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship
Universal Championship – Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Finn Bálor
Originally set for Braun Strowman to take on Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, plans switched to Finn Bálor taking on Lesnar due to Strowman not being medically cleared in time for the event.
Last year I kept thinking Lesnar would drop the belt every time he defended and well that simply has not happened. I talked about the Universal Championship in a previous post on how its first few years in the company has been nothing spectacular. As much as I want Bálor to win, WWE is gonna keep the belt on Lesnar and have him drop it at WrestleMania, hopefully.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar retains the Universal Championship
WWE Championship – Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles
I for one love heel Daniel Bryan. Talking about going vegan and bashing the fans because of how they treat the environment is straight up entertaining. He has only had the belt for a few months now but this edge to his character is just getting started so WWE should be smart and keep it on him for a little bit longer.
The match itself I think will be great as Bryan and AJ Styles are some of the best workers in the WWE. But Bryan should retain here.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan retains the WWE Championship
The 2019 Women’s Royal Rumble match
Only in its second year, the Women’s Royal Rumble already looks better on paper than last year and the buildup has been a lot better for it. The heavy favorite is Charlotte Flair but other superstars like Bayley, Nia Jax and Natalya to name a few will have their moments in the match.
My prediction for the winner is someone who could be a surprise entrant. Fans have been wanting to see Ronda Rousey take on Becky Lynch at WrestleMania and with both on separate brands, what better way to start that feud that having Lynch come in as a surprise entrant. Whether that is from attacking someone before coming in the match and just entering at #29 (Carmella earned the #30 spot but I do not see Lynch taking her out for the spot) the crowd reaction will be insane. A perfect opportunity for WWE to build something amazing. “The Man” Becky Lynch Rumble victory would be a good booking decision here.
Prediction: Becky Lynch wins the 2019 Women’s Royal Rumble
The 2019 Men’s Royal Rumble match
The best part of the Royal Rumble is that you have a handful of guys that can win the match and also see some surprise entrances to get a quick pop from the crowd.
Simply put, Seth Rollins had one of the best 2018s a superstar could have in the WWE. Having him win and face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship is a money match for WWE and something fans will get excited about. It may be an obvious choice and WWE could swerve us with a surprise winner but that could be a big risk depending on who they go with. Rollins win, challenges Lesnar, an easy choice here.
Prediction: Seth Rollins wins the 2019 Men’s Royal Rumble
The Royal Rumble will always be a fan favorite in the WWE Universe and the 2019 PPV looks to be a good one. The two Rumble matches, as well as the four main title matches (Smackdown & Raw Women’s, WWE and Universal Championship), should be great to watch. Even though the said title matches may be predictable, the superstars in the match will put on a show and start off 2019 on a high note for WWE.