The Royal Rumble is here and it comes with a twist in 2016. Vince McMahon has ordered Roman Reigns to put his WWE world title on the line against 29 other competitors in the Royal Rumble main-event.
I have always been a fan of the Royal Rumble. I enjoy the fast paced action and twists that come along with the environment. Unfortunately “50-50 Booking” has turned the Rumble into something more like a B-show Battle Royal. Injuries have taken John Cena, Seth Rollins, and Randy Orton out of the match, making it more watered down than ever.
Will the road to WrestleMania 32 be determined on Sunday night by the Rumble winner or will it be just another detour on the road? Let’s break down the main-event and a couple of key matches to find out.
30-Man Royal Rumble for the WWE World Championship
We don’t know a lot about this match at this point in time. What we do know is that the WWE world title will be on the line. We know that Reigns will be the first participant in the Rumble. We know that the only person that has a legitimate shot of winning the Rumble is Brock Lesnar. The rest is anyone’s guess.
So how do I see this playing out? I see two scenarios, one being highly likely and the other being questionable but highly unlikely. Here they are.
The questionable scenario is the one I think would be the most fun, yet will probably not happen. Roman Reigns and one of the members of the League of Nations start out 1 and 2. Triple H jumps Roman as he walks down to the ring. Triple H lays a massive beating on Reigns. During the next few minutes two other L.O.N. members enter the Rumble. By the time Hunter finishes, he rolls a beaten Reigns inside of the ring. Reigns valiantly fights, but a beaten Reigns is no match against three L.O.N. members. Reigns is eliminated first which immediately creates an exciting drama around the Rumble as fans know they will see a brand new WWE champion.
Brock Lesnar winds up winning the Rumble and the championship. This also marks a subtle heel turn for Lesnar, although he is not with the Authority. The finish sets up Reigns vs. Triple H at Fastlane and Reigns vs. Lesnar 2 in a rematch for the WWE world championship at Mania. It’s not completely unlikely but I doubt this is how it plays out. Although you can’t tell me the Rumble would be a lot more special knowing that you’d see a new champion at the start.
The more likely scenario is Reigns fighting through 29 other guys and winning the Rumble. Bray Wyatt or whomever is programmed with Brock at Mania eliminates Lesnar in the Rumble. Reigns celebrates his big win and is jumped by Triple H. Hunter takes advantage of a beaten and tired Reigns who just fought off 29 other guys and leaves him lying after a massive beating. Reigns retains the title and goes on to WrestleMania to seek his revenge.
Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental title in a Last Man Standing Match
The new intercontinental champion will defend the title against former champion Kevin Owens in what has the potential to be an outstanding match. Thus far they have had some real good matches but almost seems as if they are saving something which makes sense given they are booked in a Last Man Standing Match on one of the biggest events of the year.
I look at the roster right now and you have a very uneven balance between top heels and top faces. Roman Reigns needs a top heel to feud with after his Triple H program and that guy is Owens. Could it be Wyatt? I doubt it as that would require Wyatt defeating Lesnar. The logical choice is Owens and thus Owens needs a big win here. I look for Owens to retain the title in some kind of screwy finish to become the last man standing and new I-C champ.
Full WWE Royal Rumble 2016 card and matches…
Pre-show: Darren Young and Damien Sandow vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Ascension vs. Mark Henry and Jack Swagger…Winning team enters the Rumble
The New Day (c) vs. The Usos for the Tag Team Championship
Charlotte (with Ric Flair) (c) vs. Becky Lynch for the Divas Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Kalisto for the United States Championship
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Championship in a Last Man Standing match
Roman Reigns (c) defends the WWE world championship in the Royal Rumble