Bleacher Report's WWE Staff Predictions for Royal Rumble 2020

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2020

Bleacher Report's WWE Staff Predictions for Royal Rumble 2020

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Royal Rumble is WWE's first major pay-per-view of the calendar year, and the promotion uses it as a way to set up the biggest matches at WrestleMania.

    This year's event will be a little different, as WWE champion Brock Lesnar has chosen to enter the Rumble match at No. 1. If he wins, we have no idea what will happen; if he loses, whoever wins will likely challenge him for the title at the Showcase of the Immortals.

    Here is a full rundown of Sunday's show, according to WWE.com:

    • Men's Royal Rumble
    • Women's Royal Rumble
    • Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan (Universal Championship, strap match)
    • Bayley vs. Lacey Evans (SmackDown Women's Championship)
    • Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
    • Becky Lynch vs. Asuka (Raw Women's Championship) 
    • Sheamus vs. Chad Gable
    • Andrade vs. Humberto Carrillo (United States Championship)

    Let's see how the Bleacher Report staff members think everything will go down Sunday. Here's a look at our lineup of contributors:

Chris Mueller

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    Men's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you were given full booking power, who would you have win the men's Royal Rumble match? 

    Drew McIntyre. He has been ready for the main event scene but has been forced to wait because of WWE's obsession with having Brock Lesnar hold a top title. He has everything you could ask for in a top talent and the crowd has started to notice. He has worked his butt off and deserves to be rewarded.

                                   

    Women's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you could pick one woman from NXT to propel to the main roster with a Royal Rumble win, who would it be and why?

    Mia Yim. She is a unique talent who can bring something completely new to Raw or SmackDown. She is a skilled wrestler who can deliver a convincing promo as a heel or babyface. Frankly, she could have skipped NXT and gone right to the main roster when WWE signed her.

                                  

    Andrade vs. Humberto Carrillo

    Q: If Andrade is still the U.S. Champion by WrestleMania 36, who would you like to see him face?

    Aleister Black will probably be in a good position to challenge for a midcard title by WrestleMania and would make a great opponent for Andrade. Their rivalry in NXT was great and they can bring that same energy to a new feud.

Anthony Mango

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    Men's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you were given full booking power, who would you have win the Royal Rumble match? 

    Kevin Owens or Drew McIntyre with an edge to KO. WWE should look on the regular roster for someone Lesnar can put over, and right now, those are the two most believable babyface acts who could really be made with a win over The Beast Incarnate. I do not, under any circumstances, want Cain Velasquez or some other gimmick for nothing but media coverage to fight Lesnar at WrestleMania 36.

                                     

    Women's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you could pick one woman from NXT to propel to the main roster with a Royal Rumble win, who would it be and why?

    The easy answer is Shayna Baszler, as she fits the best in this current climate. To have her win the match and go on to fight Becky Lynch at WrestleMania just makes too much sense to go with anyone else. She's done everything she can do in NXT. It's time for her to move on.

                                     

    Worlds Collide

    Q: If you could call up anyone from Saturday's NXT event to the main roster, who would it be and why? 

    At the moment, I wouldn't bring any of them over to Raw or SmackDown. They're all serving a better purpose on NXT or NXT UK as bigger fish in smaller ponds. However, eventually, Rhea Ripley will definitely need to go to Raw and be a big star there.

    She's young, though, and there's more than enough time for her. Everyone else runs the risk of not being utilized as well on the main roster in comparison, even though folks like Adam Cole, Mia Yim, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa are phenomenal.

Donny Wood

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    Men's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you were given full booking power, who would you have win the Royal Rumble match?

    Aleister Black. In addition to being one of the unique Superstars on the main roster, he has also been one of the hottest wrestlers in the business, racking up an impressive winning streak and beating top-tier talent along the way. With the chance to fight either Brock Lesnar or Bray Wyatt, he would be the most interesting winner of the 2020 Royal Rumble.

                                       

    Women's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you could pick one woman from NXT to propel to the main roster with a Royal Rumble win, who would it be and why?

    Shayna Baszler. After winning the NXT Women's Championship twice during her run with the developmental brand, it's time to show the world what the MMA veteran can do inside the ring. With the perfect chance to legitimize her to a crowd that may not know much about her run with NXT, winning the Royal Rumble would instantly acclimate the WWE Universe.

                                   

    Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan

    Q: Would losing the universal title do anything to hurt Wyatt's character or is he unique enough not to need a belt to be special?

    While Wyatt doesn't necessarily need the Universal Championship, losing it on the Road to WrestleMania would hurt his credibility as more casual fans begin tuning in. The only way The Fiend should be losing the title at Royal Rumble would be due to interference from someone who sets up a feud for WrestleMania, such as The Undertaker.

Erik Beaston

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    Men's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you were given full booking power, who would you have win the Royal Rumble match? 

    Drew McIntyre. The Scottish Psychopath has been building momentum and connecting with audiences this past month and is credible enough to take down Lesnar at WrestleMania. He has been a member of the WWE roster—interrupted, of course—for 13 years and has yet to receive a single world title opportunity.

    That is a story that writes itself and one that could capture the attention of fans heading into the biggest show of the year.

                                 

    Women's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you could pick one woman from NXT to propel to the main roster with a Royal Rumble win, who would it be and why?

    Shayna Baszler. It's the most obvious answer but she's the most obvious choice to make the jump to the main roster and build on her success in NXT. The Queen of Spades is ready now, something that cannot be said for everyone in NXT, despite the incredible depth on that brand's roster.

                              

    Bayley vs. Lacey Evans

    Q: How do you think WWE has handled Evans' face turn and do you think she is better as a heroine or villainess?

    Evans' turn may have come from out of nowhere but she is clearly a better babyface than heel, mostly because the incarnation of her character is the closest thing to the real Lacey. She is a military veteran, a proud mom and a no-nonsense badass with a flair for the classy. It works.

Jeff J

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    Men's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you were given full booking power, who would you have win the Royal Rumble match? 

    I would book Roman Reigns to win. Now is as good a time as any to set him up to dethrone The Fiend. When he won the Rumble in Philly, fans booed him out of the building. Now, with fans firmly behind him, it's the perfect opportunity to right the wrongs of the past and give him a proper title run. It took Herculean restraint for me to book him over Drew McIntyre, but they can figure it out on Raw. 

                                   

    Women's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you could pick one woman from NXT to propel to the main roster with a Royal Rumble win, who would it be and why?

    Shayna Baszler. She dominated NXT, beat Becky Lynch and Bayley at Survivor Series, and until her loss to Rhea Ripley, was unmatched. This is the perfect way for her to arrive on the main roster and call her shot at one of the champs.

                               

    Sheamus vs. Chad Gable

    Q: Is Sheamus better off as an individual competitor or should WWE reunite The Bar? 

    I think Sheamus can flourish either way, but The Bar did have a certain chemistry. Cesaro and Sheamus were fierce competitors who linked up to create an interesting group. Unfortunately, Cesaro in the Sami Zayn stable has better potential than in The Bar to give him mainstream appeal. So unless Sheamus joins Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro, keep him as a singles competitor.

Graham Matthews

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    Men's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you were given full booking power, who would you have win the Royal Rumble match?

    Drew McIntyre is a popular choice and rightfully so, but if WWE wants to make a star out of someone from the get-go, Keith Lee is the guy to go with. As CM Punk mentioned on WWE Backstage, his strong Survivor Series showing already feels like ages ago. WWE needs to capitalize on his hot momentum as soon as possible and a surprise Rumble victory would accomplish that.

                                 

    Women’s Royal Rumble

    Q: If you could pick one woman from NXT to propel to the main roster with a Royal Rumble win, who would it be and why?

    Shayna Baszler would have to be the most obvious and logical choice. After all, she has history with Becky Lynch from Survivor Series season and even owns a victory over her in Triple Threat action. She recently wrapped up her run as NXT Women's champion and a match against The Man for the Raw Women's Championship would be WrestleMania-worthy.

                            

    Becky Lynch vs. Asuka

    Q: While Asuka has been chasing the Raw women's title, the women's tag titles have been ignored. Is there a duo you think could make the tag belts matter? Who is it and why would they be the right choice?

    I believe The Kabuki Warriors are the best possible people to be holding those titles right now. Although the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship has been an afterthought in Asuka's feud with Lynch, it has felt far more important with Asuka and Kairi Sane than it has since it was created a year ago.

    Once Asuka vs. Lynch is over, The Kabuki Warriors can go back to defending the belts on a more regular basis.

Kevin Berge

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    Men's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you were given full booking power, who would you have win the Royal Rumble match? 

    The Rumble win needs to build to a huge WrestleMania moment, so it is not just a singular moment. However, a win for Drew McIntyre would be perfect. He has been on a roll lately in his new babyface role and feels like the only legitimate roster talent that can take down Brock Lesnar.

    The Scottish Psychopath has been a star since he came back to WWE, but he has not gotten a chance. This would be his crowning moment, and he is perfectly suited to have a fun sprint with The Beast Incarnate at 'Mania.

                                   

    Women's Royal Rumble

    Q: If you could pick one woman from NXT to propel to the main roster with a Royal Rumble win, who would it be and why?

    Io Shirai is the easy and right answer. She is the best wrestler in NXT while also still waiting for a real chance to thrive. If she won the Royal Rumble, she could go after Becky Lynch immediately and establish herself as a major threat.

    Given her match quality with everyone, she and The Man would put on a WrestleMania classic. The Genius of the Sky is too perfect for this role. However, given the volatile role Asuka and Sane have had on the main roster, it is hard to believe it would end as well as it should.

                                 

    Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin

    Q: There seem to be dissenting opinions about Corbin among fans. What is your opinion of him as a performer and wrestler, and do you think he is judged unfairly by the WWE Universe?

    I think he's fine. While he has been wildly overexposed, he is a solid mic worker and decent in-ring performer. He is unfairly judged often, though it makes sense. The King has been far too involved with major angles that were built to be overbearing.

    His feud with Reigns has been the worst part of SmackDown, but that isn't on either performer as much as the storytelling. He wants fans to hate him, so he's doing his job even if it's too much.

Predictions

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    All respondents' predictions will be represented by their initials next to their choices.

    • Bray Wyatt (AM, DW, EB, JJ, GM, KB, CM) vs. Daniel Bryan
    • Bayley (AM, EB, JJ, GM) vs. Lacey Evans (DW, KB, CM)
    • Roman Reigns (AM, EB, JJ, GM, KB, CM) vs. King Corbin (DW)
    • Becky Lynch (AM, DW, EB, JJ, GM, KB, CM) vs. Asuka
    • Sheamus (AM, DW, EB, JJ, GM, KB, CM) vs. Chad Gable
    • Andrade (AM, DW, EB, JJ, GM, KB, CM) vs. Humberto Carrillo

                                 

    Men's Royal Rumble

    • AM: Cain Velasquez
    • DW: Roman Reigns
    • EB: Roman Reigns
    • JJ: Drew McIntyre
    • GM: Cain Velasquez
    • KB: Roman Reigns
    • CM: Drew McIntyre

                                 

    Women's Royal Rumble

    • AM: Shayna Baszler
    • DW: Ronda Rousey
    • EB: Sasha Banks
    • JJ: Shayna Baszler
    • GM: Shayna Baszler
    • KB: Shayna Baszler
    • CM: Ronda Rousey

Our Favorite Royal Rumble

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    Q: What is your personal favorite Royal Rumble match of all time?

    AM: 2007 is perhaps the most fundamentally well-structured. It checks off pretty much all the tropes and has perhaps the most satisfying final four and final two of all time. But I also have a certain fondness for 1992, 1994, 1997, 2001, and, oddly enough, the Greatest Royal Rumble. Don't make me choose.

    DW: 1988. I love old-school wrestling and the booking of this match was incredible. From the battle between tag team partners to open the bout to the cadre of legends in the ring at any one time, the first 30-man version of the Battle Royal set the tone for the joy we find in the Royal Rumble every year.

    EB: Trips to Blockbuster video for the 1994 Royal Rumble were staples of my childhood. I was, and still am, a huge Bret Hart fan and the double dose of his epic falling out with Owen and his controversial Rumble win with Lex Luger helped make that show one of my favorites. There have been better Rumble matches, and ones I’ve probably favored from a quality standpoint, but 1994 is a treasure chest of childhood nostalgia.

    JJ: 2008 because I was in the building at MSG, John Cena made his surprise return as he just had neck surgery months earlier and no one expected it, that was the apex of the "Cena Sucks" era, and he appeared in MSG to complete shock, awe, bewilderment and adulation. The roof blew off MSG before we realized "Wait, this is Cena, we're supposed to...boo?" That's when I knew Cena was the best.

    GM: The 2018 installment is undoubtedly my favorite, largely because I was in attendance (you never forget your first Rumble) and also because it was an absolute blast from start to finish. It was filled with fun surprises, the storytelling was incredibly well done, and everything served a purpose. Those final few minutes were fantastic and Shinsuke Nakamura pulling out the victory was the cherry on top.

    KB: I will always have a soft spot for 2005 because it was the Rumble that got me into wrestling. The Eddie Guerrero opening was great. Edge and Rey Mysterio had an incredible run. The core was the final stretch with Cena and Batista. Both were established as huge stars by the end. Vince McMahon blew out his quads restarting their match, and no one ever looked back.

    CM: Rumble 1995 was the event when I realized Shawn Michaels was going to be the biggest star in wrestling. His last-second save before eliminating The British Bulldog to claim victory made him an even bigger heel than he already was. It was a great match with an awesome story of the first two to enter being the final two in the ring. 


    What are your predictions for the 2020 Royal Rumble and what is your favorite Rumble match of all time?