“The Road to WrestleMania” officially begins this Sunday, live from Houston, as one of the biggest events of the year goes down. The Royal Rumble has by all accounts become a favorite for every wrestling fan far and wide as the surprises, unexpectedness, and overall fun of the event continue to be a mainstay in professional wrestling. Since the addition of the women’s Royal Rumble in 2018, the event seems to carry even more excitement than before as not one, but two WrestleMania matches are decided at the event. Last year was unlike any other, as the Rumble took place from Arizona and occurred on a baseball field, giving it a unique look that many loved and two winners to actually celebrate.
Can WWE do the same and send fans home happy? Sure. Their talent field is bigger than ever. But plans are plans and we will begin to see what those WrestleMania plans are as soon as Sunday with two challengers for top titles being decided. It has not been said if the winner of the Royal Rumble matches can select their championship. While that remains to be seen, rumors and more pour in as the big event draws nearer. Instead of going on, let’s take a peek at what’s to come Sunday with the preview.
Shorty G vs Sheamus
There are certain matches you expect to be made for such a big event and then there are some that surprise you. That match happens to be this one. Shorty G, or as we like to say, Chad Gable, will go one-on-one with the returning Sheamus. This will be “The Celtic Warrior” back in action for the first time since April 2019. Gable will have a lot of people picking against him on Sunday and rightfully so. But let’s not overlook how good the former Olympian truly is inside the square circle.
Despite being Shorty G now, Gable was one win away from being the King of the Ring and was becoming a fan favorite before this whole “Rise Over Size” garbage came into fruition. A win for Gable would be the biggest of his career as Sheamus is a four-time world champion. Too bad it seems Sheamus is starting a new warpath for himself.
Roman Reigns vs King Corbin
Falls Count Anywhere Match
We have seen two wrestlers compete before a Royal Rumble and then proceed to enter the big match afterward. But this is different. Roman Reigns and King Corbin were among the first to enter themselves into the men’s Royal Rumble match. But that will not be all as a Falls Count Anywhere match will put both these men through hell before even entering the Royal Rumble to try and win it. That is new and different for anyone. Reigns and Corbin have been in a rivalry for what seems to be forever. Fans would think this is it, win or lose for either one. But then there is the factor as to if one wins, what happens if the other goes on to win the Royal Rumble match. What a grudge that would be.
It’s difficult to not expect The Usos, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode to all get involved in this one as these two will brawl until someone walks out a winner. Hopefully, this is it when it’s all said and done between Reigns and Corbin. Will “The Big Dog” or the King walk out as the winner? Hard to believe it won’t be Roman Reigns after all of this as he has been looking for this revenge forever.
United States Championship Match
Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) (c) vs Humberto Carrillo
Andrade and Humberto Carrillo will finally come to blows. Even if the match seems to be added last second, it could very well be the match that steals the show. Andrade won the United States Championship a month ago from Rey Mysterio and has left him behind in terms of challengers. After beating him in the ladder match on Raw this past Monday, it seemed Andrade wanted to put him out of commission as well. The reason that did not happen was because of the returning Carrillo. We had not seen the young upstart since Andrade laid him out with a Hammerlock DDT on the pavement over a month ago. Now it only seems right that Carrillo returns and gets retribution by taking the title that Andrade holds near, the United States Championship.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
Bayley (c) vs Lacey Evans
The SmackDown Women’s Championship has been Bayley‘s for 107 days as of Sunday. She has been under her new persona for that long and she now is attempting to keep that going by defeating Lacey Evans. Evans has become the American-made woman that many believed she would develop into in due time. She has had no problem backing down from Bayley or Sasha Banks in order to stand up for her daughter. She earned this opportunity by defeating Bayley last Friday. If you pin the champion, you earn the shot to get the championship. “The Sassy Southern Belle” has had championship matches in the past and has come up short continuously. Maybe this is the time the true lady of the WWE rises to the top and dethrones Bayley.
If Sasha Banks is out there and supporting her friend, however, the result could be favoring Bayley immensely. Evans will need to find a backup plan if this is the case, or she may suffer defeat in a title match yet again.
Raw Women’s Championship Match
Becky Lynch (c) vs Asuka
Name a match that has received a better build-up on this card than this bout right here. The Raw Women’s Championship is the focus for one woman, while the other is looking to redeem herself and prove in her heart that she is the best. Of course, that woman is the champion, Becky Lynch. The same woman who won the women’s Royal Rumble last year. But that isn’t what she remembers from last year’s event. It is instead the match she had with Asuka for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Instead of walking out that night as champion, she tapped out to Asuka in the middle of the ring. That story was never remembered until one year later.
“The Man” has brought to attention that she is not going to re-sign with the company until she establishes herself as the best in her mind. Even if that is the point, Asuka has kept her head in the game and wants to become “Asuka 2 Belts”. The result has a lot to decipher as fans look into the future. Kairi Sane is more than likely to be by the side of her co-tag team champion, Asuka. A factor that could help get Asuka a win. Can Becky Lynch show the world that the top spot truly is hers? Or will Asuka defeat her for the second year in a row on her way to taking absolutely everything from “The Man”? After the greatness of last year’s match, this one shall be fantastic.
Universal Championship Strap Match
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan is the only man to suffer defeat to “The Fiend” and come out on the other side as a better person. At least in his eyes. But it is interesting, as “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt has had a power in him to change people on his way to becoming the Universal Champion. Bryan is the only opponent to this point that wants to stop “The Fiend” from running. Maybe that is due to the fact that he came out as the best version possible. Or maybe it’s because “The Fiend” is afraid of what Daniel Bryan has become once again. “The YES Movement” is something that made Bryan the most popular wrestler in wrestling and with that back behind him, anything is possible again.
Bray Wyatt notices that this version of Bryan can be the one to take away from him what he has been chasing since returning in April of last year. The Universal Championship. With the first strap match in years set to occur, who knows how this one will go. They will be connected with neither one able to run. Bryan wanted this. “The Fiend” may fear it. Fans are looking past Bryan already when it comes to Wyatt defending his championship. Second-guessing themselves is considerably possible on Sunday if Bryan can get the fans behind him again and use that to win.
2020 Women’s Royal Rumble Match
Charlotte Flair. Sarah Logan. Nikki Cross. Alexa Bliss. Natalya. Just five women have been announced for the 2020 women’s Royal Rumble match. A rather low amount considering 30 women will enter the ring on Sunday to earn their shot at WrestleMania. If we are going to think of who may fill out the full 30, we can look to the first and second women’s Rumbles to figure it out. The first had a mix of legends and NXT superstars fill the spots along with the main roster. 2019 saw almost all NXT and main roster fill in. Guessing NXT will have a big factor in this match is easy if you view the betting odds, meaning the winner could come from anywhere.
But looking at the five women announced currently, Charlotte Flair has to be the favorite. Flair has done everything in her career except to win a women’s Royal Rumble. She made it to the final two last year before being eliminated by Becky Lynch. Believing the 10-time women’s champion will be at the end once again is not difficult and actually expected. Sarah Logan is an interesting case as she was the final elimination in the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal last year after many believed she had won. She has had no problem showing her rage recently and with nothing to lose, she could shock the world with a great showing. Going off what we know and odds that we’ve seen, this women’s Royal Rumble is prepared to be must-see once again.
2020 Men’s Royal Rumble Match
1988 was the birth of the Royal Rumble and we now enter into 2020 with another opportunity to headline WrestleMania on the line. The 2020 men’s Royal Rumble is a who’s who of the current landscape of the WWE. It is also unique as the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar has entered himself into the match. But not just entered but sits at the number one spot to do something he has yet to do in his treasured career. He has an interesting task ahead of him, as 29 other men have a shot at proving why they are worthy of a WWE Championship match. Along with the fact that they are trying to submit their spot at WrestleMania. It really does feel like this is a Royal Rumble match with two separate opportunities. Anger “The Beast” and win the Royal Rumble.
Numbers do matter and the one that matters this coming Sunday is 25. 25 total participants have established themselves as hopeful Royal Rumble winners. Among that 25 is the reigning Royal Rumble winner, “The Monday Night Messiah, Seth Rollins. Rollins entered himself on Monday and will have his disciple and tag team partner Buddy Murphy by him to aid him. Other contenders that people will want to keep a note of are of course Roman Reigns, two-time winner Randy Orton, AJ Styles, the undefeated Aleister Black, Cain Velasquez, and the uberly determined Drew McIntyre. All of these names are just the beginning of possible winners who can walk out as the 2020 men’s Royal Rumble winner on Sunday night.
Most importantly to all fans is that five spots remain open. That allows five possible surprises to add to the match and launch fans into happiness depending who’s music hits when the clock counts down to zero. The Royal Rumble match remains one of the most exciting in wrestling and we are now so close to history being made once again.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. We provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. WWE fan? Check out the WWE Network to fulfill all of your WWE needs and watch the Royal Rumble live at 7 p.m. EST on Sunday.