Now that we’ve moved on from the worst year of all time, it’s time for wrestling fans to look forward to something that will lift their spirits.
WWE will attempt to put a smile on everyone’s faces (as Stephanie McMahon usually proclaims) with its first major PPV of 2021. That event will be the Royal Rumble, which will be the debut presentation of the big battle royal spectacular within the ThunderDome. 30 men and 30 women will fight for a championship opportunity in their respective Royal Rumble matches. And as always, the winners of both multi-person bouts will slot themselves into one of WrestleMania 37’s premier title bouts. Who will walk away from this show with a major championship around their waist? And who will emerge as their penciled-in opponent at ‘Mania 37?
Check out our predictions for all the announced matches for the 2021 Royal Rumble show below.
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Carmella (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: I got the shock of my life when I came away thoroughly impressed after Sasha Banks vs. Carmella came to a close at TLC 2020. Carmella’s usually lackluster once the bell rings, but she showed up with a gimmick change that seemingly results in her delivering as an in-ring performer from now on. Color me excited for this rematch! The current SmackDown Women’s Champion got tested the first time this bout took place and I’m sure Carmella will go even harder for this next go-round. But Banks is clearly set for greatness at WrestleMania 37, so it’s pretty evident that Carmella will fall in defeat once again.
Asuka and Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: Ugh…this again? When this match took place at last year’s TLC, I didn’t care for it. The (unsurprising) surprise that came with Charlotte Flair showing up as the replacement for Lana sucked, plus the match itself was meh. Now, this rematch has some drama attached to it. But what’s funny about that added element is the fact that the issues tied to this bout aren’t even between the competitors themselves – it actually comes from outside forces. Asuka’s mostly been dealing with crazy Alexa Bliss lately, Charlotte’s pissed at Lacey Evans because she’s been mingling with her dad, and Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax are competing among each other since they’re both hoping to win the Women’s Royal Rumble.
I think this match is going to unfold via an overabundance of shenanigans. Evans is going to come out midway through it with Ric Flair on her arm, which will cause Charlotte to trip up and end up on the receiving end of a beatdown by the challengers. At some point, Lady Flair will escape Baszler & Jax’s wrath and get the hot tag to Asuka. Asuka will then proceed to go to town on her foes as expected. But Evans’ will get even more involved at some point and end up giving her enemy’s enemies the advantage. This moment will ultimately result in Baszler and Jax getting the belts back. And once the Women’s Royal Rumble match finally gets underway, I’m sure we’ll see all the women involved in all this madness hash out their problems once more.
Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) (c) vs. Kevin Owens (Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Universal Championship)
Predictions & Winner: AH HA! So it turns out that the whole Adam Pearce deal was nothing more than a red herring. Since Pearce has some backstage stroke from a kayfabe standpoint, it makes a lot of sense for him to use his power to make some changes to this match. And that he did! Instead of keeping himself in this major championship bout, Pearce ejected himself due to “injury” and named a worthy replacement – Kevin Owens. Now it’s time for the man that’s been screwed countless times and brutalized by Roman Reigns & Jey Uso for weeks on end to get his revenge. And this time, we’re going from a TLC match to a Last Man Standing contest. Seeing as how these two delivered bangers at the 2017 Royal Rumble and last month’s TLC, I know they’ll give us another quality PPV matchup to enjoy.
So you’d be forgiven for thinking that now’s the time for Owens to finally deliver Reigns’ comeuppance. It makes all the sense in the world for that result to come to fruition, but I think we all know how this match is going to end. Owens will put forth a gargantuan effort as he tries to claim SmackDown’s top prize. But sadly, it just won’t come to pass. I think we’re going to get quite the shocker when it comes to who’ll interfere in this match. When all the chips are down for Reigns and it looks as if Owens is on the cusp of victory, a returning Jimmy Uso will finally join his cousin’s tribal regime and turn the tide in his favor. Jey Uso’s probably going to be a bit busy due to his Royal Rumble match duties, so his twin will most likely step in to fulfill his role. Reigns will win once more and continue his “reign” of terror over on the Blue Brand.
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Goldberg (WWE Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Yawn…I’m not the only one tired of watching ‘Oldberg these days, right? I was all in on the big guy when he initially came back to lock up with Brock Lesnar. I even got a kick out of watching him destroy Dolph Ziggler (live, I might add) at SummerSlam 2019. But his abysmal performances against The Undertaker, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, and Braun Strowman have dropped his stock immensely in my eyes. Hearing the rumors about him coming back to face Roman Reigns at this year’s WrestleMania to make up for last year’s canceled matchup filled me with dread. I’m glad it’s not happening now, but I’m none too pleased about learning that Goldberg is getting a WWE Championship title shot instead.
There’s no way Goldberg is winning here, folks. He’s only being put in this spot since he’s still a marquee attraction in Vince McMahon’s eyes. Drew McIntyre is experiencing his best run in the company thus far and it makes sense for him to build his credibility to monumental levels by defeating a big-time legend. I can already see how this match is going to unfold – the bell rings, Goldberg lands a Spear then tries to go for a Jackhammer. McIntyre proceeds to flip over his opponent’s back, hits the ropes, and clocks him with a Claymore Kick. The champ pins Goldberg, but he kicks out. Drew goes for another Claymore Kick, but he gets blasted with another Spear. Goldberg then attempts to land one final Spear but runs headfirst into a final Claymore Kick. McIntyre retains, earns Goldberg’s respect, and moves past this undesirable feud that no one even asked for.
Women’s Royal Rumble Match (30-Woman Royal Rumble Match for a Women’s Championship Match at WrestleMania 37)
Predictions & Winner: The ladies are back at it again! 30 women will once again fight for the right to emerge on top and go on to WrestleMania to vie for one of three women’s championships. Taking a look at the announced lineup of ladies thus far reveals some possible winners, such as Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Alexa Bliss, and Bianca Belair. As far as unannounced names go, my gut is telling me NXT’s Rhea Ripley will finally get called up to the main roster and debut during this high stakes battle royal. I think most of the surprises that will appear during this match will emerge from the yellow and black brand, which should lend a lot more excitement to this bout’s proceedings.
Since we got a Raw winner last year, I think one of the ladies from SmackDown will come out as the victor this year. I’m putting all my chips on a win for Bianca Belair. She’s been steadily building her main roster credibility over the last couple of months and has been placed in a more prominent position all the while. The best women’s match to book at WrestleMania 37 is obviously Sasha Banks defending the belt against Belair, right? Exactly! It makes too much sense not to happen (knowing WWE though, they would totally divert from a logical winner and go in a whole other direction). Belair’s mega push will kick in extra hard here and I think she’ll prove to be the perfect opponent for “The Boss.”
Men’s Royal Rumble Match (30-Man Royal Rumble Match for a World Championship Match at WrestleMania 37)
Predictions & Winner: And now we’re here for the men’s portion of the Royal Rumble extravaganza! At one point, everyone and their grandmother figured Big E was in line to win this match and go on to WrestleMania to defeat Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. But after the New Day representative defeated Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship last year, it became obvious to me that WWE is going to play the long game with Big E and let him enjoy a long title reign before he steps up to the “Tribal Chief.” So now the winner for this year’s Men’s Royal Rumble is super unpredictable. The field is especially strong this year, so it’s completely up in the air in regards to who will ultimately prevail.
The top candidates for this match are as follows – Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Edge. Bryan makes the most sense since he’s the perfect opponent for Reigns on the biggest stage of them all. Plus it’d be awesome to witness Bryan win his very first Royal Rumble after being denied by the match itself on previous occasions. As for Orton, I get the feeling that a certain “Fiend” will make his return here and prevent his latest foe from a certain victory. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship at ‘Mania 37 sounds awesome, but I just don’t see that happening until much later on. The thought of Goldberg shockingly winning and reprising the match he was supposed to have with Reigns at last year’s ‘Mania scares me half to death. But I think WWE will do right by Bryan and give him the win this time around. Bryan vs. Reigns is ‘Mania worthy material, wouldn’t you say?