This Sunday Saturday! is the 2022 WWE Royal Rumble, and the company seems to be fixin' to shake things up a little. Maybe we'll see some exciting things for a change....
Well all signs point to the third Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar meeting at a WrestleMania (Jeezus H.), so this Rumble lineup looks a might different than I'm sure the company planned on a month ago. But the good news is there are two big title matches that should both be entertaining, and it leaves the men's Rumble match a bit less predictable than it probably would've been. But before we get to the fun stuff, let's look at some of the undercard drivel....
RAW Women's Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop
Becky is keeping busy with another babyface no one buys as a legitimate threat, and thus no one wants to boo Becky, and thus her segments are devoid of real heat. Can we cut our losses with this heel turn experiment already? Actually what with the rumors abound the last few days that may just happen. But more on that later. Becky isn't losing here.
Pick: Becky retains
Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz & Maryse
Christ, we're still doing this dumbass mixed feud? What a difference a year makes, huh? Edge went from running the table in the 2021 Rumble and headlining WrestleMania to attempting to answer AEW's Punk-MJF feud to attempting to answer the WWF's Dusty/Sapphire-Savage/Sherri feud. This is weak sauce and I don't care about it in the slightest.
Pick: Edge & Beth
Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
Alright now for the real card. Roman vs. Seth would be a lot more exciting if they weren't both heels and if Seth weren't a last resort to make up for Drew McIntyre being injured and no one else on Smackdown being a credible challenger in the least. But these two always have good matches together so there's that. I suppose there's a chance Seth unseats Roman but I can't see the company booking either Roman or Brock to lose before their inevitable collision at 'Mania.
Pick: Roman retains
WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley
This is actually a fresh matchup for which people have been clamoring for years, and as long as Paul Heyman doesn't book it to be yet another boring-ass finisher-fest it should be a lot of fun. But the way they book Brock's matches has made me dread them a lot of the time. Sometimes it's great (AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan), sometimes it sucks (Goldberg, Drew McIntyre). I hope Lashley is presented as just as much of a monster as Brock so we get something special. But Brock's gotta be retaining I think.
Pick: Brock retains
Women's Royal Rumble
Man is this field weak. Such is life when you cut dozens of good talents with no backup plan. Of the 21 names announced so far there are three viable winners - Rhea Ripley, Charlotte Flair and Bianca Belair. But about those rumors.... Apparently WWE is trying really hard to get Ronda Rousey to return for 'Mania season. If that's the case and she shows up here, she's a lock to win the whole thing. Which means Becky vs. Ronda at WrestleMania. Now I'm torn about that prospect because while it's a match we've been waiting three years to see, this 'Mania was supposed to feature Bianca getting revenge for that SummerSlam debacle. Pushing that off is just going to further weaken Bianca as a new star. Once again WWE is forsaking the future for a quick payday, and they wonder why no one gets over aside from the four or five people they protect. Anywho, this Rumble is pretty easy to predict. If Ronda is in it, Ronda's winning. If not, Bianca's winning.
Pick: Ronda if she shows, otherwise Bianca
Men's Royal Rumble
Also a pretty thin field with 22 announced names so far and only two or three potential winners. From where I sit there's Big E.....and that's really about it, barring any surprise entrants. You could give Kevin Owens or AJ Styles or Damian Priest an outside chance - Owens because he just re-signed for a heap of cash, AJ because the company loves him and he's only been in one World Title match at 'Mania (plus there was that allegedly leaked run sheet), and Priest because he's been so well-protected. And then there are former champs like Kofi and Orton and Sheamus, but none of them are doing anything close to the top of the card these days. I imagine Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura (who hasn't defended his Intercontinental Title on PPV since he won it, for fuck's sake), and a few others will be added on Friday. Oh, and Johnny Knoxville is in it. Another fucking movie tie-in. For joy. Drew is still injured as far as I know, so he's probably out. Betting odds websites are giving Roman and Brock strong odds for some reason even though they're both champions and neither is favored to lose their singles matches. But I'll go with the logical choice here and pick Big E. There could be a big surprise who steals it, but I'd say the company owes Big E for Kofi-ing him at Day 1.
Pick: Big E
Solid Rumble lineup, and I like the fact that it's on a Saturday this year. Having to go right to bed after the show so I can get up for work on Monday is for the birds. Hopefully the company delivers a fun outing.
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