The Royal Rumble match is almost here and the speculation of returns and debuts are always so high this time of year.
It’s WWE’s first pay-per-view of the year so we can definitely expect some drama to come.
Heading into this year there is already drama as something has to give – we either get a new champion or Roman Reigns becomes a back-to-back Royal Rumble winner. If he did, he would be the first man to do it since Stone Cold Steve Austin.
But what other possibilities are there? Well;
AJ Styles could debut
The speculation is high with this one, and even WWE have dropped occasional hints with social media posts or The Authority saying on Raw that the winner of the Royal Rumble “could be someone the WWE Universe hasn’t seen before”.
Although I’m pretty sure many of the WWE Universe have seen AJ Styles, it would seem that perhaps that’s who they were referring to.
Personally I would love to see AJ Styles join WWE as he’s been a favourite of mine from way back when I was watching him for Ring of Honour.
Daniel Bryan returns
Now, I personally don’t hold much hope for this one, but nevertheless I would love to see it happen. Bryan is currently the fifth favourite to win the Rumble according to Sky Sports, but many fans would simply like to see him return to in-ring action.
Perhaps an angle similar to Austin’s heel turn run – where he joins The Authority in an attempt to help his career due to the injuries sustained by fighting against them all those years. That’s probably fantasy and many fans would simply be happy to see Bryan return.
Dean Ambrose heel turn
Thinking of a clear front runner to win the Rumble this year is a difficult enough task. Normally it’s quite obvious, especially in recent years, but not so much this time around. If you had five guesses, chances are you’d include Dean Ambrose in those.
Ambrose is a good versatile member of the roster who seems to be able to generate an interest in every and any angle he’s placed. Whether that be a feud with the Wyatts, where you have deja vu with every boring repetitive promo Wyatt cuts, or an angle involving him and the WWE Championship, Ambrose always seems to make his programme interesting. He has that ability, so what better way to kick off the road to Wrestlemania than to have him turn on best friend and former Shield brother Reigns to set up a feud between the two?
The likelihood of this happening isn’t great, and we’ll talk about the main reason why, but basically it doesn’t seem like WWE will be going with a Reigns v Ambrose angle just yet. So although we may have face Ambrose for a little while longer, if they are to turn him heel anytime soon then Rumble seems like the perfect time and place.
The Wyatt family reign supreme
The Wyatt family ended Raw standing tall over current champion Roman Reigns and the beast Brock Lesnar, showing signs that they may well leave the Rumble with the gold.
They claim the apocalypse is coming – but if Bray becomes champion then the apocalypse may well be upon WWE with more and more disgruntled fans.
I’ll be honest – I like Wyatt. He’s a brilliant in-ring competitor and his mic work is fantastic but his promos are getting rather boring now and seems like the same regurgitated stuff over and over and over again. So, without a slight character change or angle to promos, a championship run for Wyatt could be awful for business.
Perhaps an alternative angle would be to have Braun Strowman as Wyatt’s muscle, eliminating several people before turning on Wyatt himself to set up a feud between the eater of worlds and the black sheep.
Triple H wins the rumble and becomes a 14-time champion
Currently the bookies’ favourite, according to Sky Bet, Triple H has been written off WWE main roster television since he was attacked by Reigns at TLC last December. Many feel revenge is on The Game’s agenda and he will enter the Rumble to avenge the beating Reigns gave him, ending the former Shield man’s WWE title reign early and securing his 14th win.
If Reigns’ reign ends on Sunday it will be to an elimination from the king of kings – do I think we’ll get a repeat of 1999 where The Authority wins the Rumble? It’s a possibility, especially with Vince McMahon bringing it up on Raw this past week. It would seem that they are teasing the possibility. However, HHH v Reigns is a feud that doesn’t need the title to be interesting so it would be a waste for it to be involved. Give it to someone else and create more interest elsewhere on the roster.
Triple H winning the Rumble? Strong possibility. Best thing to do? Not in my opinion.