An eventful decade has just come to its epic conclusion.
And throughout that 10-year lifespan is a collection of standout Royal Rumble winners that went on to achieve a major victory at WrestleMania. Sheamus (2012), John Cena (2013), Randy Orton (2017), plus Becky Lynch & Seth Rollins (2019) defied the 30-person odds put against them and came out of the Royal Rumble matchup standing tall. Now in 2020, the Royal Rumble PPV will be even crazier and exciting than ever before. The up and coming superstars from WWE’s third brand NXT will get a more prominent role at this year’s show (similar to their presence at the 2019 Survivor Series event) in both the Men’s and Women’s Royal Rumble matches.
Chances are high that someone from the black and yellow brand could walk away as a Royal Rumble victor for the first time ever. Before January 26 arrives, let’s break down the entire match card for the 2020 Royal Rumble PPV.
Andrade (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo (WWE United States Championship)
Predictions & Winner: WWE’s top three luchadores have been involved in the United States title picture for quite some time now. Rey Mysterio captured the belt from AJ Styles, then Andrade defeated Rey for it in front of a shocked Madison Square Garden crowd at a house show. Ever since then, Andrade and Rey have reignited their feud with the title now firmly put in the middle of it all. After Andrade got a major win over Rey during a recent Raw ladder match for the title, Humberto Carrillo made his comeback and made it clear that he wanted revenge on the man that injured him weeks prior.
Even though Andrade just got his hands on the title, I think we’re in for a shock title win here. The storyline makes the most sense for it to go down – Andrade’s obviously not a hundred percent, plus it seems like the US Championship can change hands at the tip of a dime nowadays. I think Carrillo’s injury at the hands of Andrade and his return both lead to a moment where Carrillo surprises everyone by getting the ultimate revenge on his latest rival. And the best way to do that is by catching Andrade off guard with an out of nowhere pin and capturing the US Championship. Afterward, Rey Mysterio will get added to this high-flying feud and make things even more interesting.
Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Ay you know what? Babyface Lacey Evans is actually way more interesting. Her heel run while on Raw wasn’t outright horrible, but she’s infinitely more interesting now that she’s on the do-gooder side of the fence. Over the past couple weeks, she’s gotten embroiled in a feud with the Blue Brand’s top heels – Sasha Banks and her title holding best friend, Bayley. Lacey recently notched a very important victory in her win column over the SmackDown Women’s Champion in a non-title match, which means she’s now getting the title shot she deserves.
Bayley’s been running strong as the resident queen of Friday Night SmackDown for a while now. I think she’s being prepped to hold onto the belt for a long run that should only end at a major event. The Royal Rumble certainly falls into that category of special events, but I think it’s far too early for Bayley to drop it right now. This will be another solid showcase for Lacey’s newfound role as a babyface, but Sasha’s interference will end up being the X-Factor within this match that helps Bayley retain her title.
Shorty G vs. Sheamus
Predictions & Winner: Man, I feel so bad for Chad Gable (I refuse to call him Shorty G). The man continually put in great in-ring performances alongside Jason Jordan during their run as American Alpha, his partnership with Shelton Benjamin, and his short stint within the Cruiserweight Division. He cut off his wavy hair, copped a generic haircut, and was forced to throw on some basketball shorts in order to adopt a super corny gimmick that’s doing him no favors. The cringe-worthy catchphrase he adopted and the lame promos he’s been forced to deliver for this gimmick change are painful to watch. But Gable is still amazing in the ring, so at least everyone still gets to watch him work like the great he is.
Gable is in a solid place on Friday Night SmackDown, which made him the perfect foil for the returning Sheamus. Sheamus went back to his old look and is returning to his role as a monster in the singles division. I’m actually looking forward to this match since Sheamus has always had great bouts with technical wrestlers such as Daniel Bryan, an individual Gable has a lot of comparisons with. A freshly returning Sheamus would look weird taking a major L during a PPV comeback, which is why I think he’s definitely going over Gable here.
Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin (Falls Count Anywhere Match)
Predictions & Winner: And here we have the feud no one asked for, but is still ongoing as I type this. Weeks of lame attempts at humor from King Corbin have turned this whole storyline into a cringe-worthy dud. Even though their TLC match was surprisingly decent and the inclusion of The Usos has added some much-needed fire to it, this Roman Reigns vs. King Corban beef still isn’t grabbing much positive attention. Both men are continuing their war with a Royal Rumble 2020 grudge match that’s reminiscent of Brock Lesnar and Big Show’s match from the 2003 Royal Rumble event.
Corbin’s actually gotten the better of Reigns more times than I originally thought he would, which makes it pretty clear that WWE is trying everything in their power to make Corbin a bigger star thanks to his attachment to Reigns. With so much personal victories from the heel, you’d think it’d make sense for Corbin to finally get his comeuppance here. But I just don’t see that happening – I think Corbin’s going to get another PPV win over Reigns here. But here’s the kicker – once Corbin and Reigns end up in the Royal Rumble match later on in the night, Reigns will get his revenge by being the man to fling the king right over the top rope. With that prediction in mind, I think this feud will continue (yay…).
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka (WWE Raw Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: The Women’s Championship match that’s been a whole year in the making. And this time, it’s being contested for the Raw Women’s Championship. At the 2019 Royal Rumble, Asuka stopped “The Man” dead in her tracks by submitting her and walking away with the SmackDown Women’s Championship. That moment gave rise to some celebration, but WWE’s mishandling of Asuka and her title reign brought plenty of expected disappointment down the line. As Becky Lynch rose to new heights of superstardom, captured championship gold and main evented WrestleMania 35, Asuka was left to compete in bottom-tier bouts that were truly unbecoming of her true potential.
It seemed like WWE all but forgot about Asuka being the only one to get a clean win over Lynch during her ascension as “The Man.” But they suddenly remembered the unresolved issues between the two and kicked their feud back into gear at TLC 2019. After failing to capture the Women’s Tag Team Championship with Charlotte against Asuka and Kairi Sane in a TLC match, Lynch has now made it her mission to take down Asuka and right the wrongs committed against her at last year’s Royal Rumble. And that’s exactly what I think is going to happen here – Lynch and Asuka will fight tooth and nail for the title, but Lynch will be the one that finally gets her well-earned revenge by making Asuka submit. It’s only right that “The Man” finally overcomes her biggest threat to date before she looks on towards her WrestleMania 36 challenger.
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (Strap Match for the WWE Universal Championship)
Predictions & Winner: “The Fiend” has done an unspeakable act to Daniel Bryan that caused him to increase his levels of violence and intensity – he cut his gorgeous hair. After committing such a heinous action, Bray Wyatt has forced Daniel to embrace his retro clean-shaven appearance and tap into his younger days as a ruthless submission machine. After Bray Wyatt quickly put away The Miz at last year’s TLC, Daniel surprisingly emerged as a more youthful version of himself and destroyed the insane children’s show host. Daniel then earned the right to face “The Fiend” for the Universal Championship once again by besting both The Miz and King Corban, which means we’re in for another war over WWE’s blue belt.
While I can’t see this match eclipsing the one we saw between both men at the 2014 Royal Rumble, I’m sure it will still be worth a watch. Just take a look back at their Survivor Series 2019 clash to see just how good Daniel can be when he’s pitted against the nigh-unstoppable force that is “The Fiend.” And that match was only 10-minutes long!
I’m imagining that this bout will get even more time and possibly see Daniel get in more damage on the creepy Universal Champion this time around. But sadly, I just can’t see “The Fiend” relinquishing his stranglehold on SmackDown’s title just yet. He’ll take down Daniel once more and possibly go all the way to WrestleMania 36 with the belt still around his waist. And honestly, that’s the event where I could finally see him being beaten for the coveted Universal Championship.
Women’s Royal Rumble (30-Woman Royal Rumble Match for a Women’s Championship Match at WrestleMania 36)
Predictions & Winner: There’s a target on the backs of Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley. Because whoever wins here is most likely to cash in their title shot at WrestleMania 36 against either of those two women. I get the feeling that this year’s victor is going to be someone who will remain unannounced right up until the night of the event.
This year’s Women’s Royal Rumble 2020 winner is going to leave a lot of jaws on the floor and a ton of shocked facial expressions in the crowd. The top three candidates for this mind-blowing moment are a freshly healed Nia Jax, a returning Ronda Rousey, and NXT’s own Shayna Baszler. The most logical pick for me here has to be Baszler since it makes the most storyline sense – Baszler got assaulted by Becky after her big Survivor Series 2019 win, which left their cross-brand feud in an unfinished state. In order to exact revenge and face Becky one-on-one on the biggest stage of ’em all, Baszler will be the one to emerge victorious during this Women’s Royal Rumble.
Men’s Royal Rumble (30-Man Royal Rumble Match for a World Championship Match at WrestleMania 36)
Predictions & Winner: And now we’re finally going to take a look at the reason we’re all here – the 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble match. There’s a ton of top contenders competing in this year’s battle royal, but the strongest one that immediately comes to mind is the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. What’s even crazier about his inclusion in this year’s match is the fact that he’s entering at #1.
While it would be pretty awesome to see him go all the way and end up in the Final Four, we all know Brock hates working for more than 15-minutes. So here’s how his elimination will go down – he’ll come out first, get the crowd all riled up, then be forced to face down entrant #2 – his old nemesis, Cain Velasquez. After a brief tussle, Cain will throw Brock over the top rope and shock the world. In a fit of rage, Cain will accidentally eliminate himself while in pursuit of the WWE Champion. And this will no doubt lead to the next match in their (unwanted) championship feud.
The rest of the field for this match looks quite strong – entrants such as Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, and Roman Reigns stand the best chance of winning. Remember earlier how I predicted that Roman will be the one staring up at the lights during his match with King Corbin on the same card? Well, his inclusion here will play the part of a redemption arc. Once Corbin rears his ugly head again, Roman will get his revenge by throwing him over the top rope. And once we reach the final moments of this bout, Roman will then go on to make one last elimination and win the whole thing. It seems like the only one who can take out “The Fiend” is Roman, but he’ll probably have to defend his WrestleMania 36 title shot against Corbin first. Once that’s’ done, Roman’s going straight to WrestleMania!