The Royal Rumble is always one of the most complex matches of the year as WWE attempts to balance interweaving 30 Superstars together in a crossover of brands, feuds, pushes and stories over the course of an hour.
While there is always an expectation that anything can happen, the writers have taken to several tropes that seem to apply to almost every Rumble in some fashion or another every year.
This goes beyond the standard hype for returning legends, surprise entrants and who will outlast the competition, and it expands into smaller details, such as WWE's tendency to book babyfaces in the No. 14 spot—only three heels in the past 13 years.
This writer is a big fan of keeping track of Royal Rumble statistics and spots, so let's dive into some of the more overlooked aspects of the Rumble and give some predictions of how these tropes might play out for the 2019 matches on Sunday.
The Diesel Spot
In 1994, Diesel entered at No. 7 and eliminated everyone still left in the ring, as well as the next three entrants, cleaning house and allowing the match to basically reset at No. 11, Randy Savage.
This method of having someone come to the ring, take out a bunch of people and go back to square one has become a somewhat regular thing, so much so that it was referred to as "The Diesel Spot" on a recent episode of Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard.
Kane, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and others have had this honor over the years, and in 2019, that distinction could go to someone like Drew McIntyre or Lars Sullivan, as those two will surely be dominant and booked well.
Becky Lynch may also do this if she enters the women's Royal Rumble late enough and can take out a good chunk of the competition as John Cena did in 2008.
The 'Still in the Game' Spot
When Michaels kept himself from being eliminated with only one foot on the floor in 1995, he started a trend of wacky saves.
John Morrison upped the ante in 2011 by latching on to the security barricade, and Kofi Kingston has done a multitude of shocking saves since 2012 to the point that it's become his signature role in the match.
Last year, Naomi took inspiration from those before her and took her own spin on the concept.
As they have been confirmed as entrants, we can expect Kingston and Naomi to keep the tradition going on Sunday if only to survive for a further few seconds, as they are typically eliminated almost immediately after the stunt.
The Action Stops
So much is going on during a Royal Rumble that once in a while it's nice to have a break amid the frenzy.
WWE has done this in a variety of ways, with some of the most common angles being when two big stars stare each other down or when an entrant with a target on their back comes out, such as Austin in 1998.
One of the more fun examples was in the 2000 Royal Rumble when Too Cool got together to dance a bit, only for Rikishi to take out Grand Master Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty.
This year, we know R-Truth and Carmella are the final entrants at No. 30 in their respective Rumbles, and it's likely at least one of them will cause an interruption when they emerge by getting people to dance.
Tag Teams in Turmoil
From the start, the Royal Rumble has been a case of every Superstar for themselves. Tag teams often work together, with stables such as Legacy and Nexus dominating the competition, but teammates do come to blows quite frequently.
Ax and Smash of Demolition were the first two entrants in 1989, but their clash doesn't hold a candle to how Team Hell No's friendship took a hit when Kane and Daniel Bryan eliminated each other in 2013.
Sometimes, it's intentional, such as Roman Reigns taking out his Shield brothers in 2014; other times, it's an accident, as when The Hardy Boyz both fell out of the ring in 2001.
Plenty of teams could fall victim to this conundrum in 2019, but Mandy Rose's selfishness around Survivor Series could be a spoiler to her taking out best friend Sonya Deville, either on purpose or unintentionally.
It wouldn't be a shock if The IIconics accidentally took each other out, as Billie Kay and Peyton Royce are on the more comedic side and could stand out among the sea of competitors by being klutzes.
Tamina and Nia Jax may turn on each other in an attempt to take out the other biggest woman in the match, and there's no telling if the Sanity members will attack each other out of their lust for chaos.
Going the Distance
Statistically, most winners come from the stretch of entries marked No. 21 to No. 30, although there have still been seven winners from the first 10 spots. This year, we might get the eighth.
As she was a champion last year, this will be Charlotte Flair's first Royal Rumble match.
Given Ric Flair's legendary performance in the 1992 event, there is a good chance WWE pays homage to that by having The Queen also enter at No. 3 like her father, particularly if she's scheduled to win.
Even if Flair isn't victorious, history has shown that the first three spots are responsible for 20 out of 33 Superstars who lasted the longest. If she comes out at that number, she could be the Iron Woman this year and may even surpass Sasha Banks' time of almost 55 minutes in 2018.
Quicker Than a Hiccup
Sadly, not everyone can have a good showing. Just as there's always an Iron Man and Iron Woman by default, there must also be a Superstar who is eliminated the fastest.
Santino Marella set the embarrassing overall record for this in 2009 by lasting only one measly second.
This year, any number of enhancement jobbers could fall victim to humiliation, but if one person stands out among the pack, it's Curt Hawkins, who has carved himself in the history books with the longest losing streak of the modern era, if not ever.
The Big Threat
The bigger someone is, the harder they fall and the more difficult it is to eliminate them. However, that also paints a giant target on their back for multiple Superstars to gang up on them.
Super heavyweights such as Big Show, Mabel, Mark Henry and One Man Gang have all fallen victim to five or more people teaming up to flip them out of the ring.
Last year, it took six women to eliminate Nia Jax, so don't be surprised if something similar happens this year, as she's still the biggest entrant in the women's Royal Rumble.
As far as the men's match goes, WWE can put over Sullivan by giving him this spot to help offset his loss by making sure he looks strong. Other big men who could fill the berth are Killian Dain, a returning Big Show or maybe even Strowman, if he enters the match.
While it does happen now and then, wrestlers rarely eliminate themselves, so it's understood that when they get tossed out by someone else, they can hold a grudge against them for wrecking a title shot at WrestleMania.
Many times, the Royal Rumble has sparked feuds in which wrestlers have become bitter toward whoever took them out of the match, attacking them in retaliation.
One of the most famous examples of this was Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice from 1992, leading to their WrestleMania VIII match.
This year, watch out for Sullivan. Whoever takes him out of this match—be it Cena or even Strowman—is likely to receive a lot of pain from The Freak in retaliation.
If you have any predictions on how WWE will do these tropes this year, tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.