Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders
For the 1st time in the 29 Year history of the Royal Rumble, the WWE Champion must defend the title in the Royal Rumble match. Unlike 1992 when the title was vacated before the Rumble after the Hogan-Undertaker program, Roman Reigns is the defending champion but after getting in the Authority & later Mr. McMahon way, he has been ordered to defend the title in the Royal Rumble Match. We also have 4 other title match & a pre-show match to see who’s in the Rumble in our preview below. The Royal Rumble Starts 8pm EST/4pm PST on WWE Network or PPV with the Pre-Show starting at 7pm.
ROYAL RUMBLE QUALIFIER(Pre-Show Match): Winners get spot in Royal Rumble Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Dudley Boyz vs. The Ascension vs. Jack Swagger & Mark Henry vs. Damien Sandow and Darren Young
On January 20, a Fatal Four Way tag team match between Darren Young & Damien Sandow, The Dudley Boyz, The Ascension, and Mark Henry & Jack Swagger was scheduled for the Royal Rumble pre-show, with the winning team getting two spots in the Royal Rumble match later in the night.
Prediction- 2 of these four tag teams in this Fatal Four Way has been throw together, so i think one of the 2 tag teams that have been together have a better chance of winning. I see the Dudley Boyz winning this match to get in the Royal Rumble Match.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
LAST MAN STANDING MATCH
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kevin Owens
At TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Dean Ambrose defeated Kevin Owens to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. In the following weeks, there were various altercations between Ambrose and Owens, including slamming each other through tables. On the January 7, 2016 episode of SmackDown, Ambrose and Owens fought to a double countout for the Intercontinental Championship. On the January 14 episode of SmackDown, Ambrose challenged Owens to a Last Man Standing match for the Intercontinental Championship at the Royal Rumble, which Owens accepted.
Prediction- Two of the best workers in the business gets back in the ring in the IC Title Last Man Standing Match. Both will make each other look good, but I have Ambrose reaching the count of 10 before Owens.
WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Kalisto
On the January 7, 2016 episode of SmackDown, John Cena introduced Kalisto as an opponent for United States Champion Alberto Del Rio. After Kalisto won the match, he was granted a title match on the January 11 episode of Raw; Kalisto defeated Del Rio to win the WWE United States Championship, but lost the title back to Del Rio the following night on SmackDown. Subsequently, another title match between the two was scheduled for the Royal Rumble.
Prediction- Sadly I think because of John Cena injury this conflict has been quick & forced I think. I think Kalisto has staying power, but Del Rio will keep the US Title for now.
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
New Day (c) vs. The Usos
On the January 11 episode of Raw, The Usos defeated The New Day. On the January 18 episode of Raw, it was announced that The New Day would defend the title against The Usos.
Prediction- The 2 best Tag Teams in the WWE will due battle, but thats not saying much in the Division. I could see a non decisive finish having New Day keeping the title for now but playing Hot Potato later with it soon between the 2 teams.
WWE DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP
Charlotte (c) (w/ Ric Flair) vs. Becky Lynch
On the January 4 episode of Raw, Becky Lynch defeated Divas Champion Charlotte in a non-title match, but was attacked by Charlotte after the match. On the January 7, 2016, episode of SmackDown, Charlotte, with the help of her father Ric Flair, defeated Lynch to retain the championship. Subsequently, Lynch challenged Charlotte for another title match at the Royal Rumble; though Charlotte was unwilling to grant Lynch another title opportunity, Lynch goaded Ric Flair to accept the challenge on his daughter’s behalf.
Prediction- This should be a stipulation on this match but it is not as I see Charlotte retaining in another good match between the former friends.
ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH for the WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Tradtionally, the winner of the 30-man Royal Rumble match was awarded a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania. However, as a culmination of his attempts to deprive WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns of the championship, Vince McMahon decided on the January 4, 2016 episode of Raw that Reigns would defend his title in the match. This is the first time that the reigning champion will defend the title in the match, and the second time the title was on the line in the Rumble itself, with the last time being the 1992 event. On the December 28 episode of Raw, Big Show became the first wrestler to announce his participation in the Royal Rumble match. Early in January, Curtis Axel, Ryback, The Wyatt Family, Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, Stardust and Sheamus were added to the match. On the January 11 episode of Raw, Stephanie McMahon announced that Brock Lesnar will compete in the match in spite of Lesnar’s advocate Paul Heyman arguing that Lesnar should bypass the match and face the winner at WrestleMania 32. During the January 18, 2016 episode of Raw, a rigged lottery assigned the #1 spot to Reigns, meaning that he will be the first contestant to enter the match. On January 20th in an interview on WWE.com with Michael Cole; Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods all told Cole they will enter the Royal Rumble match.
Prediction- Thing ain’t look good at all for the WWE Champion Roman Reigns, but I do see him having a great showing but Reigns ain’t leaving Orlando with the title. I see either Triple H screwing Reigns & winning or Sheamus winning. Also expect The Wyatt Family & Brock Lensar to get it on plus Jericho with his next Dance partner.
1. Roman Reigns (c)
2. Brock Lesnar
3. Chris Jericho
5. Bray Wyatt
6. Braun Strowman
7. Luke Harper
8. Erick Rowan
9. The Big Show
10. Dolph Ziggler
13. Curtis Axel
14. Big E
15. Kofi Kingston
16. Xavier Woods
18. Titus O’Neil
Due to the Snowstorm on the East Coast their will be no Review show on this one folks but the Flex Zone podcast will have a recap of the event we will post.
Hopefully unlike the last 2 Royal Rumble, this one will be book a whole lot better & set up some rivalries going into both Fastlane & WrestleMania 32, with the roster being limited with stars John Cena, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, along with Sting being out for injury the Rumble still can be interesting & do the job of springboarding into WrestleMania Season. Hopefully this is a Royal Rumble to enjoy.