Last year’s Royal Rumble event saw one of the worst Rumble mid-cards of all time featuring the likes of The Ascension versus The New Age Outlaws, The Usos versus Miz and Sandow and The Bella’s against Paige and Natalya – they were all, without fault, awful. The only saver was the triple threat match for the WWE world heavyweight championship as the main event was booed because Roman reign’s win.
This year’s Rumble card is shaping up better and doesn’t look like it’ll be dominated by pointless tag team matches. In short, the 2016 edition of Royal Rumble will be path breaking for WWE. WWE has lined up an interesting card for the show and here is the full match card analysis and predictions.
Kick-off match: Darren Young and Damien Sandow vs. the Dudley Boyz vs. the Ascension vs. Mark Henry and Jack Swagger
The pre-show matches are not considered as a big thing in a pay per view and this one is no exception. The only important thing about the match is the stipulation that is the winning team will be in the Royal Rumble match. Mark Henry was in the Rumble match previously but now is removed considering his involvement in the match. The possibility is that the legendary team of the Dudley Boyz will be the winner and will be present in the championship 30 men main event match.
Prediction: The Dudley Boyz wins
Tag Team championship: The New Day vs. The Usos
There’s nothing new in the tag team match up this year. We have seen Usos vs. New Day many times before. Anything other than The New Day retaining would be awful for their momentum and given they should be a vital part of WrestleMania this year. The Usos are rather stale at this stage despite their energy and buzz and need some fresh energy heading into Wrestlemania which is pretty unlikely. Expect this to be a pretty standard affair to eat up some of the three-hour cards.
Prediction: The New Day wins
United States championship: Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto
An interesting decision was made by the creative when they decided to take the title away from Del Rio and it was even better when it wa snatched further from Kalisto to set up a rubber match at Royal Rumble which is set to end the rivalry. The dream scenario is Kalisto has to regain the United States championship and hold it for a while, defending it regularly and maybe even holding a few open challenges. But, Del Rio is still favorite, considering Kalisto’s dream moment would not happen for a second time in a row and he is likely to retain the title.
Prediction: Del Rio retains
Divas championship: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
The only match up in the Royal Rumble to fill up the Divas card is the championship match between the two former besties. Going by their performances in previous encounters these should turn out to be an instant classic. Charlotte and Becky have done a brilliant job constructing this feud. Ric Flair should involve at one point of the match up but that will not probably stop from cementing the top babyface as the new Divas champion.
Prediction: Becky Lynch wins
Last man standing match for Intercontinental championship: Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens
Undoubtedly this encounter will stand out as show stealer of the night. These two know how to put on a fight, especially with weapons, and this should tear the house to the ground. They will be limited due to WWE’s PG policies, but still, this match will be a treat for the fans. The WWE Universe is not going to complain about the winner. Both are popular among the fans, but from a booking point of view, Ambrose should win this one. He is the one who should head to Wrestlemania with the title on his shoulder.
Royal Rumble match: for the WWE World heavyweight championship
This is the most unpredictable match of the night to guess. All that can be said is that we will see a new champion crowning at the night considering every odd is standing against Reigns and there is the least chance of retaining his title. The most likely thing is that Triple H enters the Royal Rumble and wins the championship for the 14th time and thereby delivering the sweetest revenge for Reigns. This will set up the match between them at Wrestlemania.
Though considering Reigns’ tremendous ability to fight against the odds, we can’t count out his possibility of wins. But there is a list of potential winners apart from Triple H too. The list includes Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt, Chris Jericho and even some surprise entrants like AJ Styles or Daniel Bryan. But the most likely prediction is to give Hunter the belt once again and book Brock Lesnar for a Wrestlemania rivalry with the Wyatts.
Prediction: A new champion (Triple H or a surprise entrant)