Updated WWE Royal Rumble 2019 Match Card, Odds and Predictions After Go-Home Raw
The NFL's year may be coming to a close as Super Bowl 53 approaches, but The Road to WrestleMania 35 kicks off Sunday with the annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
This is always one of the most anticipated events of the year, and WWE has stacked the card with some great matches.
In addition to the Royal Rumble contests, the company has booked seven title bouts. Here is a rundown of the card, according to WWE.com:
- Men's Royal Rumble
- Women's Royal Rumble
- Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor (Universal Championship)
- Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship)
- Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks (Raw Women's Championship)
- Asuka vs. Becky Lynch (SmackDown Women's Championship)
- The Bar vs. The Miz and Shane McMahon (SmackDown Tag Team Championships)
- Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (U.S. Championship)
- Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto vs. Hideo Itami (Cruiserweight Championship)
Before we attempt to make some predictions, let's go through the odds for each match as listed on OddsShark.com.
Men's Royal Rumble
Not only do some people bet on the winner of the Rumble match, but there are also a few other things people will be laying money on in this bout. Here are the favorites to make it to the final four:
- Seth Rollins (-1000)
- Finn Balor (-400)
- Drew McIntyre (-350)
- R-Truth (+150)
It's interesting to see Finn Balor's name in the mix since he is scheduled to challenge Brock Lesnar for the universal title, not compete in the Rumble. Here are the favorites for the outright winner:
- Seth Rollins (+175)
- Drew McIntyre (+400)
- Braun Strowman (+400)
- John Cena (+600)
Michael Cole announced John Cena was injured on Raw, so that could change how these odds look later in the week. The other two betting props relate to most eliminations and longest time in the match.
It's no surprise to see Rollins favored to last the longest at (+200), but it's a little surprising that Andrade (+350) and Mustafa Ali (+500) are trailing close behind.
Drew McIntyre (+125) and Braun Strowman (+250) are the favorites to get the most eliminations, with Samoa Joe trailing in a distant third at (+1000).
Women's Royal Rumble
The women's Rumble match doesn't have any betting props listed for lasting the longest or most eliminations as of this writing, but the favorites listed are interesting, to say the least.
Charlotte Flair (-200) is favored to win, but Becky Lynch (+150) is named as the second favorite, which is odd considering she is already challenging Asuka for the SmackDown women's title and not scheduled to compete in the Battle Royal.
It's also interesting to see Raw women's champion Ronda Rousey (+2000) down as the fifth favorite in a tie with her Four Horsewomen teammate, Shayna Baszler.
Following her announcement that she would be returning to action in the Rumble match, Alexa Bliss (+1600) shot up the list to become the third favorite.
The Rest of the Card
Other than the cruiserweight and U.S title matches, every bout on the card has a clear favorite, especially when it comes to the Raw women's title match.
Ronda Rousey (-1500) is heavily favored to retain over Sasha Banks (+575) despite The Boss technically handing Rowdy her first loss in a tag team match on Monday's Raw.
Asuka (-190) is slightly favored over Lynch (+140) to make the SmackDown Women's Championship a closer race, which might be why The Man is also listed as a potential Rumble winner should she come up short in this bout.
As for the WWE and Universal Championship matches, the odds are exactly the same for the champs and challengers.
Brock Lesnar (-350) is the favorite to retain over Finn Balor (+225), and Daniel Bryan (-350) is favored to defeat AJ Styles (+225).
Royal Rumble Match Predictions
The Royal Rumble is one of the most entertaining matches of the year, but it has become much more predictable in recent years.
With WWE promising to make changes for the better in 2019, management might decide to throw us a couple of curveballs and pick two winners who will shock and delight the crowd.
The question is: Does WWE pick a newcomer to elevate or an established veteran who has worked hard to earn a shot at glory in one of the main events at WrestleMania?
When it comes to the men's Rumble, Seth Rollins is a safe bet, but Drew McIntyre is the one who would get the most out of a victory. He has worked hard to prove he is a better wrestler than people remember from his first WWE run, and based on recent matches, he has succeeded in that goal.
As for the women's Rumble match, giving a relative newcomer a huge push with a surprising win is what needs to happen, and nobody is positioned better than Ruby Riott.
She is a great wrestler who has had some outstanding matches against Raw's top stars. Giving her the win, possibly with some help from Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan, would be a welcome surprise.
Predictions: McIntyre and Riott win their respective Royal Rumble matches.
The Midcard Matches
The easiest match to predict on the card is the SmackDown tag title bout. The Miz and Shane McMahon are going to win the tag titles. The storyline can only lead in that direction before their eventual breakup and feud.
Rusev only just won the U.S. title from Shinsuke Nakamura on December 25, so the odds of him dropping it back to The Artist are slim at this point.
When it comes to the Cruiserweight Championship, Buddy Murphy is a safe bet, but not a total lock to win. He has been performing at a higher level than most Raw and SmackDown Superstars in recent months, so there may be plans to move him to a different brand like Mustafa Ali.
If that is the idea, the most likely candidate to win the belt would be Hideo Itami. He has yet to hold a title in WWE and is long overdue for a push on 205 Live.
Predictions: The Miz and McMahon win the tag titles, Rusev retains the U.S. title and Murphy retains the cruiserweight title.
The Main Events
The last two weeks have seen major changes to the Universal Championship match with Braun Strowman being replaced by Finn Balor.
The former universal champion not only picked up a win over John Cena to earn this title shot, but he also managed to look like a real threat to Brock Lesnar's reign during their interactions on Raw.
If WWE is actually devoted to making changes the fans want, Balor winning the belt from Lesnar would be a big step in the right direction, especially if it happens without any shenanigans outside the ring.
Sasha Banks and Ronda Rousey have built up a strong feud in a short amount of time, but if you think The Boss is handing Rowdy her first loss in a singles match, you need to think again. If she loses anytime soon, it's going to be at WrestleMania.
Over on the blue brand, Daniel Bryan and Asuka retaining their titles is the likeliest scenario. Both of their matches are going to be great, but they won't end with any gold changing hands.
Predictions: Balor wins the title from Lesnar, while Rousey, Asuka and Bryan retain their championships.
What are your predictions for the 2019 Royal Rumble?