19/04/2024

Picture: WWE

WWE Royal Rumble will take place this Sunday at 12pm AEDT and will be emanating from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. It will be the first Premium Live Event to stream on Binge, after a major multi-year partnership was announced in September and will be headlined by the two annual Royal Rumble matches.

The Royal Rumble kickstarts the road to WrestleMania 39, which has broken WWE’s all-time gate record for a WrestleMania. The winners of the respective battle royals will earn world title opportunities for the event in Hollywood.

Cody Rhodes is slated to return during the men’s Royal Rumble match after tearing his pectoral muscle in June, while other names like The Rock, Naomi and Chelsea Green could make appearances throughout the show.

Roman Reigns will also be defending his Undisputed Universal Championship against Kevin Owens, renewing a highly hostile rivalry from two years ago and could be the scene of Sami Zayn’s “final test” after a controversial Tribal Court on Raw.

Bray Wyatt is set to compete in his first televised bout since returning to WWE last October, as he will meet LA Knight in a Mountain Dew pitch-black match.

Finally, Bianca Belair and Alexa Bliss will collide in a rematch from January 3 for the Raw Women’s Championship.

Below is The Inner Sanctum‘s predictions on how both Royal Rumble matches will unfold.

2022 Royal Rumble winners, Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar (Picture: WWE)

Theo Dimou

Men’s Royal Rumble:
Winner – Cody Rhodes
Last eliminated – Seth Rollins
First two entrants – Finn Balor and Sheamus
Last entrant – Sami Zayn
Surprise entrant – Matt Cardona
Most eliminations – Drew McIntyre
Iron man – Finn Balor

Women’s Royal Rumble:
Winner – Rhea Ripley
Last eliminated – Beth Phoenix
First two entrants – Liv Morgan and Sonya Deville
Last entrant – Beth Phoenix
Surprise entrant – Naomi
Most eliminations – Rhea Ripley
Iron woman – Bayley

Though Cody Rhodes winning the men’s Royal Rumble may be too predictable, it seems to be the direction WWE is heading towards unless The Rock is involved. There is also a case for Sami Zayn to win the rumble after what happened on Raw, but he will likely meet Roman Reigns at Elimination Chamber before challenging The Usos alongside Kevin Owens at WrestleMania.

Rhea Ripley is the perfect candidate to defeat Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship, as she has played a vital role on Monday Night Raw with her involvement in The Judgment Day. Her confidence is at an all-time high and WWE need to strike with the Eradicator while the iron is hot.

Naomi could be on her way back to WWE and the Royal Rumble would be a great way to reintroduce her to the company. She does loom as an alternative option to Ripley winning the women’s battle royal, having history with Charlotte Flair and previously putting on notable matches against the Queen.

Picture: WWE

Brandon Patane

Men’s Royal Rumble:
Winner – Sami Zayn
Last eliminated – Cody Rhodes
First two entrants – Austin Theory and Seth Rollins
Last entrant – Sami Zayn
Surprise entrant – Ilja Dragunov
Most eliminations – Gunther
Iron man – Seth Rollins

Women’s Royal Rumble:
Winner – Asuka
Last eliminated – Rhea Ripley
First two entrants – Becky Lynch and Liv Morgan
Last entrant – Asuka
Surprise entrant – Chelsea Green
Most eliminations – Raquel Rodriguez
Iron woman – Becky Lynch

The momentum that Sami Zayn has gained in the last 9 months should not be put to waste by the WWE. A clash with Roman Reigns would be the perfect end to the story, and the ending which many fans would be most happy with.

In addition, Cody Rhodes may benefit much more from rebuilding his momentum from last year by being placed in other high-profile feuds over the next few months, rather than being thrust straight into the title picture like many were expecting prior to his injury. 

Asuka may look like a left-field pick at first glance, however she is arguably still the best that the women’s roster has to offer. She won’t be far away from a return, having not appeared on television since mid-December.

A second career Rumble win with a new gimmick to accompany it (potentially the return of pre-WWE character ‘Kana’ which she has teased recently) could make for a fresh change in the top tier of the women’s division.

Picture: @WWEAsuka/Twitter

Ethan Lee Chalk

Men’s Royal Rumble:
Winner – Sami Zayn
Last eliminated – Kevin Owens
First two entrants – Ricochet and Finn Balor
Last entrant – Cody Rhodes
Surprise entrant – Ted DiBiase Jr and John Cena (Imagine if MJF showed up)
Most eliminations – Omos
Iron man – Seth Rollins

Women’s Royal Rumble:
Winner – Rhea Ripley
Last eliminated – Becky Lynch
First two entrants – Liv Morgan and Asuka
Last entrant – Dana Brooke
Surprise entrant – Eve Torres and Naomi
Most eliminations – Bayley
Iron woman – Liv Morgan

The Royal Rumble is bound to deliver surprises especially when it comes to returning superstars. With the announcement of Cody Rhodes’ return not being kept secret, it proposes a bigger surprise is in the works to shock the crowd.

For the women’s Royal Rumble, Naomi is expected to return while Eve Torres will produce a shock reaction having not been seen on WWE television since 2013.

Despite Cody Rhodes being the obvious choice to win the Royal Rumble, Sami Zayn has built up momentum in the past few months. Recently there has been animosity shown between him and the other members of The Bloodline and a win will provide him with the perfect storyline heading into WrestleMania.

For the women’s Royal Rumble, there are many superstars who could walk away with the win. However, Rhea Ripley earns my prediction.

A member of The Judgment Day, she has been portrayed as unstoppable and a force to be reckoned with. A match between her and Bianca Belair will throwback to the NXT glory days and can easily produce a five-star classic at WrestleMania.

Picture: WWE

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Thomas Grattan

Men’s Royal Rumble:
Winner – Cody Rhodes
Last eliminated – Sami Zayn
First two entrants – Ricochet and Matt Riddle
Last entrant – Austin Theory
Surprise entrant – Carlito
Most eliminations – Braun Strowman
Iron man – Ricochet

Women’s Royal Rumble:
Winner – Naomi
Last eliminated – Sonya Deville
First two entrants – Liv Morgan and Iyo Sky
Last entrant – Ronda Rousey
Surprise entrant – Lita
Most eliminations – Shayna Baszler
Iron woman – Rhea Ripley

Two returning stars winning their respective rumbles would be a huge shock to the fans in attendance, and give both Naomi and Cody Rhodes huge momentum heading into their respective WrestleMania title matches.

With Naomi rumored to be making her return to WWE after a hiatus, a Royal Rumble victory would be the perfect way to start her second run with the company. Meanwhile, Cody Rhodes was white-hot on his return to WWE before a serious injury and it would be huge for his stock to win his first Royal Rumble after nine months away.

Picture: WWE

Giacomo Bruno

Men’s Royal Rumble:
Winner – Cody Rhodes
Last eliminated – Sami Zayn
First two entrants – Kevin Owens and Sheamus
Last entrant – Drew McIntyre
Surprise entrant – The Rock
Most eliminations – Omos
Iron man – Kevin Owens

Women’s Royal Rumble:
Winner – Rhea Ripley
Last eliminated – Shayna Baszler
First two entrants – Alexa Bliss and Sonya Deville
Last entrant – Bayley
Surprise entrant – Trish Stratus
Most eliminations – Rhea Ripley
Iron woman – Asuka

Having been on the shelf for several months due to injury, Cody Rhodes looks destined to pick up from where he left off and starts with winning the Royal Rumble. Despite not being in action since mid 2022, Rhodes comes into the Rumble a favourite to book a ticket to WrestleMania.

Meanwhile in the women’s division, Ripley having shown signs of promise since coming to the main roster, 2023 looks to be the year it all comes together and that starts by winning the Rumble.

Picture: WWE

Lewis Moss

Men’s Royal Rumble:
Winner – Cody Rhodes
Last eliminated – Seth Rollins
First two entrants – Finn Balor and Ricochet
Last entrant – Cody Rhodes
Surprise entrant – Zack Ryder/Matt Cardona
Most eliminations – Sheamus
Iron man – Sami Zayn

Women’s Royal Rumble:
Winner – Rhea Ripley
Last eliminated – Bayley
First two entrants – Liv Morgan and Iyo Sky
Last entrant – Shayna Baszler
Surprise entrant – Lita
Most eliminations – Rhea Ripley
Iron woman – Liv Morgan

For this Royal Rumble, I think that Cody Rhodes is going to return with a bang by winning the men’s Royal Rumble and his feud with Seth Rollins will be reignited with a tense face-off between the two. Throughout the match, Sami Zayn will last a long time and might accidentally eliminate one of the Bloodline members if any of them were to enter the rumble, this may heat up the storyline of Zayn’s inevitable departure from the group.

For the women’s rumble, Rhea Ripley is the clear favourite and I feel she will win the rumble and go on to dethrone Bianca Belair at WrestleMania to end her historic reign as Raw Women’s Champion.

Picture: WWE

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