WWE Royal Rumble 2019: Ranking Most Likely Men's, Women's Battle Royal Winners

Aaron Bower@@aaronbowerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2019

WWE Royal Rumble 2019: Ranking Most Likely Men's, Women's Battle Royal Winners

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Such is the depth of talent WWE has on its roster heading into 2019 that calling the winners of the men's and women's 2019 Royal Rumble matches on Sunday is an unsurprisingly tough ask.

    Across both matches, there at least five or six candidates who have the credentials, ability and pulling power to go all the way and punch their ticket to WrestleMania 35 on April 7.

    However, some of the leading names in the mix are well worth keeping an eye on going into the WWE pay-per-view this weekend.

    Here's a look at the three most likely male and female stars to win their respective Rumble matches.

Women's Rumble, No. 3: Carmella

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    It's been an interesting year for Carmella.

    Twelve months ago, The Princess of Staten Island was on the fringes of the SmackDown main event scene, before finally cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase she won in 2017 and eventually becoming champion of the women's division on April 10.

    She may have lost that title since then and slipped down the division somewhat, but WWE has still done its best to keep her relevant, albeit via an unconventional partnership with R-Truth.

    After the duo won the latest season of Mixed Match Challenge, Carmella locked herself in for the No. 30 spot at this year's Rumble match.

    With that, plus her popularity still appearing to be strong with both fans and the company alike, it's impossible to rule her out of the running for victory at this year's Rumble.

Women's Rumble, No. 2: Ruby Riott

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    If you're looking for a strong outsider to shock everyone at this year's Royal Rumble, look no further than Ruby Riott in the women's match.

    Riott has been slowly building momentum and establishing herself as a key part of the Raw women's division in recent weeks, and she looks well-positioned to build on that on Sunday.

    Whether she wins is another matter, but expect Riott to put in a strong display nonetheless and set herself up for an encouraging run into WrestleMania season.

    The leader of The Riott Squad is arguably Raw's strongest pick for the women's Rumble, at a time when other big names from Monday nights such as Sasha Banks and Ronda Rousey are in the red brand's championship match.

    WWE has never been afraid to push a new talent into the main event scene around the time of the Rumble. Riott is as good a pick as any.

Women's Rumble, No. 1: Charlotte Flair

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    There's only one clear favorite for this year's women's Royal Rumble match.

    With unfinished business against Ronda Rousey, Asuka and Becky Lynch, the possibilities would be endless for Charlotte Flair leading into WrestleMania if she wins on Sunday.

    On the one hand, winning the Rumble could lead to Flair trading brands and tackling Rousey for the Raw Women's Championship, dependent on whether the former UFC star beats Sasha Banks at this weekend's pay-per-view.

    However, she could also find herself competing with either Asuka or Lynch for the SmackDown Women's Championship.

    WWE is blessed with an abundance of top female talent right now, but nothing seems to make smart booking sense as much as Flair being the last one standing at the Rumble.

Men's Rumble, No. 3: Andrade

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    Nobody's stock seems to be rising faster in WWE than Andrade's right now.

    The Mexican has been on a real tear lately, and he again pulled out all the stops during his match with Rey Mysterio on Tuesday night's go-home edition of SmackDown Live.

    The non-finish of that bout could suggest the duo are set to continue their rivalry post-Rumble, but it's impossible to completely rule out Andrade out of a victory on Sunday.

    WWE clearly has big plans for the former NXT champion, and he appears destined for a huge 2019.

    Handing him a golden ticket to WrestleMania via a win in this weekend's Royal Rumble would be the ideal way to kick off a huge push.

Men's Rumble, No. 2: Drew McIntyre

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    Drew McIntyre is destined for big things in WWE, and the Royal Rumble could be the starting point for that.

    The victor of the 2019 men's Royal Rumble match may well depend on who leaves the pay-per-view with the Universal Championship. If Finn Balor upsets the odds and wins the title from Brock Lesnar, it increases the possibility of a heel wrestler from Raw winning the men's Battle Royal.

    And who better than The Scottish Psychopath?

    Since splitting from Dolph Ziggler, McIntyre's stock has steadily risen, and the Rumble looks to have arrived at the perfect time for him.

    A world title run is definitely in his future, possibly as early as this year. The Rumble could be a career-defining night for the Scot, even if there is one guy who stands a slightly better chance.

Men's Rumble, No. 1: Seth Rollins

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    It feels like Seth Rollins has been building toward this year's Royal Rumble match for months now.

    He has consistently been one of WWE's best in-ring performers for months, with his matches on Raw arguably the most must-see segment every week.

    Not only that, but Rollins is also undeniably popular as a babyface, something that would have seemed unlikely when he was on top of the company as the handpicked face of The Authority a few years ago.

    So all the stars look as though they're aligning for The Architect to come good on his promise this weekend and emerge victorious in the men's Rumble match.

    That would likely set up a showdown with Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania, but the beauty of Rollins is that if Finn Balor wins, he is just as capable of having an unmissable, electrifying feud with the Irishman for the title.

    Rollins is the standout candidate for the men's Royal Rumble.