Johnny Knoxville in the Final 4 and More Bold Predictions for WWE Royal Rumble

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2022

Johnny Knoxville in the Final 4 and More Bold Predictions for WWE Royal Rumble

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    Few nights are as special on the WWE calendar as the Royal Rumble, and the 2022 edition has plenty of mystery behind it. No one knows who will win the big matches, and the WrestleMania 38 card is entirely uncertain.

    This leaves real opportunity for some bold and unpredictable moments. WWE wants to make The Grandest Stage of Them All bigger than it has ever been and will be looking to get as many people as possible talking about the show months in advance.

    Given this unpredictability, bold predictions are plentiful for Saturday's Rumble. Returning talent such as Lita and The Bella Twins will compete in the women's Rumble match, while Johnny Knoxville of Jackass fame will compete in the men's contest.

    Universal champion Roman Reigns will fight a man who came up with him in WWE, Seth "Freakin" Rollins, and Brock Lesnar will face Bobby Lashley for the first time with the WWE Championship on the line.

    These matches and many more can absolutely surprise. The following are bold predictions that feel just likely enough to happen.

Bianca Belair Will Break Her Own Record for Longest Time in Rumble but Won't Win

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    In 2021, Bianca Belair broke the record for longest time in the women's Royal Rumble match on her way to a victory. At 56 minutes and 52 seconds, there is still plenty of opportunity to break that record in a longer contest.

    The EST of WWE has stamina few wrestlers can match, either male or female. She is an incredible athlete who can do just about anything in the ring. The company will have a tough time not featuring her in every women's Rumble until the day she retires.

    She is the odds-on favorite to win the women's Rumble match, according to BetOnline. However, WWE has rarely booked a consecutive winner.

    While Belair is one of WWE's brightest stars, it is hard to say whether she is a big enough name to join the likes of Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in winning successive Rumble matches.

    WWE has been careful in deciding who wins the women's Rumble contest since the first in 2018, choosing between the biggest stars in the business, including Becky Lynch and Asuka.

    Given the company's history, it feels more likely Charlotte Flair would be the first repeat winner. If she is healthy, Bayley would make sense to win her first along with Alexa Bliss, Rhea Ripley or Liv Morgan.

    If Ronda Rousey made a shock return, she would overtake Belair as the favorite before Saturday night. All this is to say that Belair could win, but it is more likely she will fall just short.

Lita Will Be Only Legend Standing in Women's Final 4

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    While fans might dispute the legitimacy of some returning names for the women's Royal Rumble, Lita is one figure who cannot be doubted. One of the most popular female wrestlers in company history, she is a four-time women's champion and a WWE Hall of Famer.

    If the 46-year-old legend can still perform at a high level, she has a chance to hang with the best in the business. The Bella Twins, Summer Rae, Michelle McCool and Kelly Kelly have also been announced to return, but none have the momentum of The Extreme Diva.

    Before there was the Women's Evolution, Lita was main-eventing WWE shows with Trish Stratus. Recently, she laid out Charlotte Flair on SmackDown, setting the stage for a potential title bout down the line.

    At the very least, this would be the perfect opportunity for Lita to stand alongside the best in the modern era. Many owe their careers to her work.

    She likely won't win, but it's not completely out of the question.

Brock Lesnar Will Defeat Bobby Lashley in Less Than 5 Minutes

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    Brock Lesnar has often been known to work efficiently, making the most of limited minutes. While his battle with Bobby Lashley is a money match with serious potential, he has a clear destination: Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 38.

    Even at Day 1, The Beast Incarnate only needed eight minutes to defeat four of the best wrestlers on Raw. The All Mighty was in that group.

    Lashley is a dangerous competitor for most opponents, but he lost recently to Goldberg, who is a much lower-priority opponent in comparison to Lesnar.

    Rushing this match will upset many fans, but WWE has never been afraid to do that, especially when it comes to The Beast. He is one of the company's most protected performers.

    The build would indicate this is a true main event classic waiting to happen. However, with multiple lengthy matches expected for Saturday, this is the most obvious one to get cut short.

Seth 'Freakin' Rollins Will End Roman Reigns' Record-Breaking Run

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    Roman Reigns has broken the modern-day record for number of days as a world champion. Come Saturday, he will have been the WWE universal champion for 517 days. So it's about time for a change.

    Either Reigns or Brock Lesnar will likely leave the Royal Rumble without a world title since the two are widely expected to face each other at WrestleMania 38. But it's more likely the long-time champion will lose than the man who is newly crowned.

    Seth "Freakin" Rollins is one of WWE's most reliable performers. He is a four-time world champion, which feels like a low number given how long the company has been putting everything behind him.

    He has had The Head of the Table's number every time they have wrestled. While Reigns is the best he has ever been, The Visionary is also doing some of his best work. Arguably, he had better matches in 2021 than his former Shield teammate.

    This win would make sense, switching the Universal Championship to Raw as Brock Lesnar is likely to be on SmackDown more than the red brand as WWE champion.

    While the odds are against Rollins, this does seem like one of the most logical surprise results of Saturday's Rumble.

Johnny Knoxville Will End Sami Zayn Iron Man Run and Make Final 4

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    Johnny Knoxville has fully committed to his role as a celebrity performer in the men's Royal Rumble. As a talent who has made his career on the back of some wild stunts, the men's Rumble match will be a chance for him to make a surprise impact.

    He and Sami Zayn have been challenging each other since the Jackass star first announced his entry in the Rumble on New Year's Day. It only makes sense that they would get in each other's way.

    Knoxville will not last long in the match, but Zayn has a chance to run for a while. He has been built as tactician who will do anything to win, and he will use all of his tricks to stay the course for as long as possible.

    That can allow Knoxville to arrive late and eliminate him on his way to one of the most unexpected final-four appearances in recent memory.

    Fans have shown love recently for the 50-year-old actor and comedian despite his status as an outsider. It could be a rare celebrity moment that the WWE Universe accepts as long as he doesn't win the whole event.

Roman Reigns Will Win Men's Rumble After Surprise No. 30 Entry

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    The men's Rumble match has no obvious winner at the moment. Big E is a favorite, according to BetOnline, but his recent booking has not bred confidence in that position.

    If the champions are Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar by the time the men's Battle Royal begins, the easiest bet would be for Roman Reigns to enter and continue a remarkable two years by adding a second Rumble win to his resume.

    One of the worst reactions The Tribal Chief has received in WWE was his first win in the men's match in 2015. But he has earned the respect and admiration of the WWE Universe with his steady work, and this could be another accolade to add to an incredible run.

    Reigns' presentation would perfectly suit the surprise entry as the final Superstar in the men's Rumble. The air in the room would change, and it would give WWE an opportunity to put The Head of the Table against someone who can get a substantial rub from working with him in the final two.

    This booking would likely not sit well with everyone, but Reigns is the kind of massive star who could sell this moment.