Final WWE Royal Rumble 2022 Picks: Lesnar vs. Lashley, Reigns vs. Rollins, More

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2022

Final WWE Royal Rumble 2022 Picks: Lesnar vs. Lashley, Reigns vs. Rollins, More

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    Arguably WWE's biggest pay-per-view of the year behind WrestleMania, the 2022 Royal Rumble is almost here and will be kicking off at 6 p.m. ET Saturday, with the main card getting underway at 7 p.m.

    This is always one of the most fun and engaging shows of the year for its titular matches, which will see 30 men and 30 women battling for a chance to win gold at The Show of Shows.

    With three world titles on the line as well, this pay-per-view will do the heaviest lifting to shape The Road to WrestleMania, making it a must-see show.

    The clock is ticking for the start of the event and the countdown of the entrants, so let's run down one last round of picks for who will win at this year's Royal Rumble.

Mixed Tag Team Match: Edge and Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz and Maryse

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    The it-couple of Maryse and The Miz have their work cut out against the grit-couple of Edge and Beth Phoenix in a rare mixed tag team match.

    The last time The A-Lister and his wife teamed up, they came up short against John Cena and Nikki Bella at WrestleMania 33. In all likelihood, the same thing will happen here.

    The Miz and his Mrs. have shown plenty signs of not being able to get on the same page, while Edge and Phoenix have remained a united front from the start with no issues.

    A win for The Rated-R Superstar and The Glamazon is also the feel-good finish for this feud. It's highly unlikely WWE's goal for this was to put over The Miz and Maryse and upset the audience.

    While the heels will have their moments of being in control, there's no way they end up with the pinfall. This is all about Edge and Phoenix celebrating in the ring together.


    Prediction: Edge and Phoenix win.

Raw Women's Championship Match: Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop

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    The only bout that matches the predictability of the mixed tag team bout is the battle for the Raw Women's Championship.

    WWE is heading toward WrestleMania 38. There is zero chance the responsibility of such a big match will be taken off Becky Lynch's shoulders and placed on Doudrop.

    That's not to say the Scot isn't talented. She should have won the NXT UK Women's Championship long ago. But this iteration of her character isn't working and is certainly nowhere near the same level as Big Time Becks.

    Applause goes to WWE for booking something outside the norm with this heel vs. heel match, but no matter who would be up against Lynch, they would all be meeting the same fate.

    Lynch is holding her title until WrestleMania at least.


    Prediction: Lynch retains.

Men's Royal Rumble Match

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    The men's Royal Rumble winner for this year is entirely dependent on what WWE wants to do with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns at WrestleMania.

    Clearly, that match is happening, but the path to get there has so many possible detours that it makes it impossible to predict Saturday's outcome without knowing one of the missing elements.

    Option A is that Reigns or Lesnar drops their championship at this weekend's pay-per-view and then wins the men's Rumble for the right to challenge the other at WrestleMania on April 2-3.

    Option B, though, is that one of those two drop their titles at this show, but WWE plans to have them earn their No. 1 contender's spot in another match down the line. That would free up someone else to win the men's Rumble to challenge Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins or whoever is the new champion.

    It could also be a title-for-title contest, although that would render the Royal Rumble pointless, as it means one of those two must win.

    Ignoring the scenarios where Lesnar or Reigns enters, the top contender to win and face Rollins is Kevin Owens considering how much attention has been given to those two recently.

    If Lashley is the new WWE champion, Big E probably stands the best chance, but that's much less likely to happen for reasons that will be further expanded on.


    Prediction: 75 percent bet on Reigns or Lesnar winning, with an edge toward The Tribal Chief. The remaining 25 percent goes to Owens.

WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley

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    Brock Lesnar is on fire. His character has been refreshed by this babyface turn, and he looks to be having as much fun as the fans are with it.

    Much of this feud with Reigns has been about Lesnar wanting to fight the universal champion rather than the other way around. If The Beast Incarnate chooses to stay out of The Tribal Chief's business, those two won't have any conflicts.

    It's unlikely Reigns will go out of his way to interfere here and cost Lesnar the match out of spite, and it's even harder to picture WWE wanting The Beast to lose the title just to put it back on Lashley heading into WrestleMania like last year.

    Big E could win the men's Rumble to fight The All Mighty, but that's a repeat with little buzz.

    It's not out of the realm of possibility that Lesnar loses the WWE title, but it's a risky bet.


    Prediction: Lesnar retains.

Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins

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    Roman Reigns' Universal Championship run is in more jeopardy than at any time since he captured it at SummerSlam 2020, but not just because of his challenger.

    Seth Rollins has proved himself more than capable of winning a world title several times before, but the bigger threat is Lesnar's potential interference.

    Since The Tribal Chief turned down the title-for-title challenge and he has now surpassed The Beast's run as the longest serving universal champion, look for Lesnar to get involved to screw over Reigns.

    That would be a means for the titleholder to drop the belt while still looking strong, as he can say he only lost because it was unfair odds. Then, Reigns will either win the men's Rumble or Elimination Chamber match to earn a shot at Lesnar and win the WWE Championship at WrestleMania.

    In the meantime, Rollins will do exactly what he said. He'll change the Universal Championship's strap back to red and take it to Raw, while Lesnar will head to SmackDown with the WWE title.


    Prediction: Rollins wins.

Women's Royal Rumble Match

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    With so few female names on the roster and even fewer viable contenders among them, the only thing that makes sense here is for Bianca Belair to win the women's Rumble match again.

    Although The EST of WWE has already had multiple attempts to regain her title from Becky Lynch, the creative team almost seems to revel in repeating matches.

    As great as Belair and Lynch are, this will feel very much "been there, done that" based on former's Royal Rumble win and path to gold last year, as well as her matches with Big Time Becks in recent months.

    It's Belair or something completely unpredictable.

    No one else on Raw is ready to fight Lynch. Rhea Ripley has no momentum, Liv Morgan's failed enough times recently and Alexa Bliss is busy with her therapy angle.

    Meanwhile, Flair has even less options on SmackDown. The only way someone wins to challenge her is if Sasha Banks or Bayley returns from injury, but their timetable of stepping back in the ring is unknown.

    The Queen could win and pick her own opponent, but that feels demeaning to her challenger for not being able to earn the title shot on their own.

    Short of Ronda Rousey returning—in which case, she will assuredly win—Belair is the backup option, if not really WWE's top choice.


    Prediction: Belair wins.


    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.