The WWE WrestleMania 37 Storylines to Emerge from 2021 Royal Rumble

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2021

The WWE WrestleMania 37 Storylines to Emerge from 2021 Royal Rumble

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Part of what makes WWE's Royal Rumble pay-per-view is the wealth of storyline possibilities that emerge from it.

    Over the years, fans have gotten their first taste of the feuds, matchups and stories that will drive the product leading into WrestleMania, creating excitement and buzz for WWE's television presentations that simply do not exist the rest of the year.

    This year's show will be no different.

    Sunday's extravaganza will leave fans with a clear idea of what they can expect for the biggest event of the year. Some will be enthused, others not, but all will be buzzing about the spectacular they just witnessed.

    In preparation for Sunday's festivities, enjoy these storylines that will begin at the Rumble and pave the way for what is to come at The Showcase of the Immortals.

Daniel Bryan's Journey Back to YES-leMania

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    The seeds have been planted for Daniel Bryan's return to the top of the WWE mountain in time for WrestleMania.

    There was the losing streak that included matches against Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro and consequent self-doubt. There was the acknowledgement that he's not sure how many WrestleMania moments he has left in him and that the only dream he has left is to win the Royal Rumble and headline the biggest show of the year.

    AJ Styles scoffed and mocked his appearance, insinuating that Bryan was playing general manager again and that he had one foot out the door.

    All of this adds up to Bryan proving himself right, and everyone else wrong, by overcoming the odds and standing across the ring from Roman Reigns on wrestling's grandest stage.

    Bryan will win the Rumble and focus his attention on winning the universal title, a championship he has not held over the course of his Hall of Fame-worthy career. Bryan, the people's champion, eyeing up corporate champion Roman Reigns is a story that writes itself and one that played out all the way back in 2015 when Reigns was en route to his first WrestleMania main event.

    On Friday's Talking Smack, Bryan accused Reigns of being a passionless wrestler. He recalled the Rumble match six years ago when the fans in Philadelphia booed Roman out of the building because they wanted Bryan, who was in the match for maybe five minutes, to win.

    The leader of the YES! Movement has already started putting in the work for their rivalry. Why go there if that is not the direction in which things are heading?

    We are getting Bryan vs. Reigns on the biggest stage the sport has to offer, finally, beginning Sunday.

Edge's Phenomenal WrestleMania Showdown

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    Edge returned at last year's Royal Rumble in one of the most emotional and unforgettable moments in the event's illustrious history. He delivered a series of spears after entering the ring, one of which turned AJ Styles inside out and injured his shoulder. It essentially cost Styles the opportunity headline WrestleMania and could serve as the groundwork for a rivalry between the celebrated in-ring performers.

    With it appearing obvious that Edge is no longer slated to face Randy Orton in the third of their showdowns, The Rated R Superstar needs a new opponent. Styles, conversely, has no clear path to WrestleMania but has remained a prominent part of Raw in recent months.

    Referring to himself as "the gatekeeper of Raw" on Monday, what better way for him to put that label to the test than by squaring off with the Hall of Famer at WrestleMania?

    Their paths will likely cross Sunday night, and with Omos at ringside, booking a scenario in which Styles ruins Edge's dreams of a triumphant return to the squared circle will not be that difficult.

    The story writes itself from there, particularly since Styles went on record with Alex McCarthy of TalkSport with his desire for a match with Edge. "I'm telling you, I want Edge," he said. "I got some payback to get from the Royal Rumble. I got some payback to get from that spear. So it's time to get some payback!"

    Who knows what twists and turns the story would take, but one thing is for certain: the resulting match will be straight fire.

The Miz Does NOT Cash In, Setting Him Up for WrestleMania Season Teases

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    Monday on Raw, The Miz and John Morrison made it clear that the plan calls for The Hollywood A-Lister to wait until after Drew McIntyre and Goldberg have beaten the hell out of each other in the WWE Championship match and pick up the pieces, cashing in Money in the Bank to win the gold.

    That will not happen.

    Instead, Miz will hold on to his prized possession, and his storyline leading into the biggest show of the year will feature several teases and cash-in attempts. Him holding the briefcase will loom over every show between now and then, leading right up to the moment he finally cashes in, perhaps at WrestleMania or even the night after.

    Will McIntyre or Goldberg have to constantly look over his shoulder? How about Roman Reigns?

    The answer to both will be "yes" because WWE will create intrigue and suspense around The Miz, something it has failed to do miserably for the past five or so years.

Rhea Ripley's Redemption, WrestleMania Rematch vs. Charlotte Flair

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    WrestleMania 36 should have been the biggest, most magical night in the young career of Rhea Ripley.

    The Australian entered that show as the NXT women's champion, the first to defend that title at The Showcase of the Immortals. The woman across the ring from here? The most celebrated female performer in WWE, Charlotte Flair.

    Expectations of a Ripley win and rocket-ship push to the top of the industry were high. Instead, though, she tapped out to The Queen, losing her title and starting a downward spiral that included more losses than victories and culminating in a Last Woman Standing defeat at the hands of Raquel Gonzalez that likely doubled as her departure from NXT.

    Sunday's Royal Rumble will represent her shot at redemption.

    Ripley will enter the match and come face-to-face with the woman who kicked off her professional frustrations. She will target The Queen and eliminate her from the match, reigniting a rivalry that will conclude on The Grandest Stage of Them All, with Ripley getting back her win and kicking off her main-roster run with momentum on her side.

    Perhaps she will win the Raw Women's Championship in the process if Charlotte can beat lame-duck champion Asuka, who has been inexplicably cast aside over the past month in favor of shinier toys.