The 2016 WWE Royal Rumble match will have the WWE championship on the line. The twist opens up some interesting possibilities as we head towards WrestleMania 32. Let’s take a look at the possible winners with my own twist…Vegas style!
The challenger for the WWE world championship at WrestleMania will not be decided by the Rumble this year. Instead, Reigns will put his title on the line and have to theoretically fight off 29 others to retain it. The twist makes the predicted Reigns vs. Triple H match at WrestleMania a lot more plausible and shakes up a match that has been fairly predictable in recent years.
Of course things could change from now until the Rumble in terms of injuries, card placement, and even champions. We all think we know what the WWE has planned for the Rumble and WrestleMania, but what if we are all wrong? Let’s take a look and see what the match looks like on the Vegas sportsbooks.
Roman Reigns – The stipulation is nice but at the end of the day I don’t think anyone is expecting a title change here. Reigns is just starting what appears to be the Roman Reigns era as WWE champion and with John Cena down for a while, I don’t think there is any way that they weaken their top babyface. I think the WrestleMania 32 headliner is fairly clear at this point and I can’t imagine any creative twist changing that.
I will throw in this caveat. I have seen several predictions that have Reigns being eliminated by the winner to win the match. How about Reigns is number one or two and is jumped on the way to the ring by Hunter. Reigns is beaten so badly that he is rolled into the ring and after a valiant fight, is eliminated by two-three other guys as the first one eliminated. Now you have a wide open Rumble with a new champion being crowned at the end. I don’t see this going down but I think it would immediately propel the match into one of the most dramatic in Rumble history.
Odds: 1 to 8
Brock Lesnar – If there is one creative twist that could change the predictable Mania main-event between Triple H and Roman Reigns it is Brock Lesnar. There has already been a tease for a Brock vs. Roman WrestleMania rematch after this past Monday Night RAW. The only factor that favors a Lesnar win here is that there are no other logical Lesnar matches on the books for Dallas. I don’t think it happens but a Lesnar win here wouldn’t completely surprise me.
Odds: 2 to 1
Triple H – I have already mentioned the predictable main-event for 32 and that is Reigns vs. Triple H. How do they get there? In my mind this Rumble is set up strictly to get to that match without having Hunter win the Rumble. Quite frankly there is no other reason for this match than avoiding a Hunter Rumble win. My hunch is that he doesn’t win and waits until Reigns wins to jump him and lay him out, but a Hunter win isn’t completely out of the question.
Odds: 2 to 1
Sheamus – Do I think that Sheamus has any real shot of headlining WrestleMania 32 as world champion? Of course not. Do I think that Sheamus could get a screwy win with some help from the Authority and drop the belt back to Reigns at Fastlane? No but it is completely possible. Sheamus is in a weird spot. He is finally elevated to one of the top heels and with a depleted roster, it would be in the company’s best interest to keep him strong. Does it come at the expense of the Rumble? I doubt it but it’s plausible.
Odds: 8 to 1
The Undertaker – Here is the other twist that could throw WrestleMania into a tailspin. What about the Undertaker winning? It deviates away from the Authority vs. Roman angle…unless Undertaker is a hired henchman of the Authority? I am probably playing a little too cute with fantasy booking here but I wouldn’t entirely rule it out.
Odds: 10 to 1
Bray Wyatt – Believe me, I don’t want to see Bray Wyatt as WWE champion. I think that ship has sailed. However, they have kept Wyatt strong for a while now and he always said “Anyone but Roman.” It is interesting that they have separated Wyatt from the Authority and other heels in recent weeks. The company could still go with HHH vs. Reigns and a Wyatt championship defense against Brock or someone else. That said, I highly doubt it.
Dean Ambrose – We have been waiting months for an Ambrose heel turn and feud with Roman Reigns. Unfortunately the company shifted gears and appears to be far off of that course. Ambrose turning on Reigns and joining the Authority to win the Rumble would be a great storyline, I just don’t see it happening in 2016.
Odds: 20 to 1
A.J. Styles – What better way to debut a new star? All reports indicate that the company has big plans for A.J. Styles. Styles would immediately become a top guy and fill a spot that is void right now due to injuries. Putting the belt on Styles on night one would be an incredibly gutsy call and this company isn’t known for getting too gutsy during WrestleMania season.
Odds 20 to 1
Kevin Owens – I suppose if there is one longshot on the current roster that could plausibly win the title it’d be Owens. Owens appears slated for mid-card to upper mid-card these days which would keep him out of the main-event picture. I think there is money in an Owens-Reigns feud for the title down the line, but that time is not now.
Odds: 25 to 1
Seth Rollins – Here is an absurd idea. Rollins comes back unexpectedly as #29 at the Rumble and wins the match and the title with help from the Authority. The narrative for WrestleMania 32 is easy. Rollins never lost the belt in the ring nor was Reigns ever pinned for the title. All of the sudden the WWE has an undisputed WWE world championship match in the WrestleMania main-event. I love the idea but the chances of Rollins being able to physically pull this off after tearing up his knees would make this a 50-1 miracle.
Odds: 50 to 1