Your Average 2016 Royal Rumble Preview & Predictions
Let’s get right to it – the Royal Rumble and the official starting point of the Road to WrestleMania is this Sunday. Is the WWE going to give us a worthwhile show after mailing in the last two years? Let’s hope so. Here are the matches and my predictions.
Kickoff Match – Fatal Fourway Tag Team Match: The Dudley Boyz vs. The Ascension vs. Jack Swagger and Mark Henry vs. Darren Young and Damien Sandow
There’s really not that much to say about this match, except if you want to see exactly what is wrong with the tag team division, look at these teams. Two of them aren’t even teams, they’re just two guys thrown together so they can get on a pay per view. Darren Young and Damien Sandow may one day go down as the saddest tag team of all time, and I don’t even have words to describe Mark Henry and Jack Swagger. Since all 8 of these guys aren’t going anywhere, I’m going to go rogue. There’s been backstage talk of a Bubba Ray singles push, so why not have the Dudleyz advance and have Bubba eliminate Devon. Then we skip the inevitable Bubba/Devon singles matches and just have Devon go away forever. I’m not excited about that at all, but it’s better than literally any other outcomes of this match.
Prediction: Dudley Boyz.
Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day (c) vs. The Usos
The New Day are arguably my favorite thing about the WWE right now, but Jesus Christ, how many times can we watch them fight The Uso’s? This relates to the incredible lack of depth in the tag team division, but for the love of all that is holy, please build up another tag team. They’ve fought in singles and tag matches for what feels like forever, and while they’re always good, it’s almost getting impossible to enjoy them. Why not bring back the PTP or bring up Enzo & Cass to inject a little life into things? The outcome of this match is an afterthought for me, as whoever wins should immediately get into a new feud so the tag team titles mean something come WrestleMania. With that said, ain’t no way I’m picking against the New Day.
Prediction: New. Day Rocks.
Divas Championship Match: Charlotte (c) vs. Becky Lynch
Full disclosure: Becky Lynch is my favorite Diva right now. The Charlotte/Becky feud is sneakily the best feud in WWE, and it’s because WWE finally let Charlotte be a Flair. Ric Flair is not a lovable old man dad. He is the dirtiest player in the game, a limousine riding, jet flying, insane human being. You can’t have Charlotte come in and tell everyone she’s better than them and give her a finisher called ‘natural selection’ and expect people to root for her as a baby face. She’s GENTEICALLY SUPERIOR. Who can relate to that? No one, which makes her a great heel. Bring in Becky Lynch, this weird, hard working arm breaker, and you have the perfect feud. Ric Flair cheating his ass off on the outside is a nice touch, and gives Charlotte a mouth piece. Charlotte looks and act like the toughest WWE Diva, but she also doesn’t mind taking shortcuts to keep her title. Becky wants to become the WWE Divas champion more than anything, but you can tell there’s a part of her that’s upset that her former friend is now an evil monster. While Owens/ Ambrose has the chance to tear the house down, I think this will be the best wrestled match on the show.
Prediction: Charlotte retains via old man interference.
United States Championship Match: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Kalisto
This feud was booked so wonderfully at the beginning, and now it’s gone to shit. Kalisto beat Del Rio in a non title match on Smackdown, which earned him a title match on Raw. Kalisto won (!) and the crowd went nuts and it seemed the WWE was finally ready to do something with the second coming of Rey Mysterio. And then he lost the title a night later. WWE’s obsession with having guys fight each other night after night, week after week and sometimes month after month is single handedly the worst thing they do. Del Rio and Kalisto’s styles compliment each other so well that their matches should always be great, but this is going to be their fourth televised match in the span of two weeks. Del Rio doesn’t need a title at this stage to be deemed important, but a long reign for Kalisto against quality opponents would do wonders right now.
Last Man Standing Match for the Intercontinental Championship: Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kevin Owens
This should be the match of the night for a few reasons. Firstly, because its Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose. Secondly, the last man standing match gives them some leeway to be crazy, and few people do crazy better than Ambrose and Owens. I just complained about WWE having guys face each other too frequently, and while they’ve done that for Owens and Ambrose, these guys are just too interesting for me to ever hate this matchup. I do hope this is the last match they have for awhile and whoever wins starts a new feud going into WrestleMania. That’s what the Rumble should really be out. Usually the Rumble gives us the #1 contender for WrestleMania, so why not just have it be a reset button for every title? Whoever wins gets a fresh new feud you have over two months to build. I’m not saying wrestling booking is easy, but it’s also not rocket science. These guys should beat the crap out of each other and it’ll be a lot of fun to watch. I’m hoping for more of a tight, physical match rather than a bunch of wacky spots like Ambrose matches of the past. I don’t want any holograms showing up or Ambrose trying to hit Owens with a plugged in TV.
Prediction: Kevin Owens
Royal Rumble Match
I already outlined my thoughts on the Rumble match itself, but for the sake of picking a winner, I’m going to go with HHH. It’s the obvious and least fun option, and I hope WWE surprises me by having someone else win and HHH return on Raw. If HHH’s music hits at #30, at least we can say we told ourselves so.