The B/R Wrestling Staff Predictions for 2022 WWE Royal Rumble Match Card

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2022

The B/R Wrestling Staff Predictions for 2022 WWE Royal Rumble Match Card

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    Credit: WWE.com

    It's Royal Rumble weekend and that means WWE is officially on the Road to WrestleMania.

    Whoever wins the men's and women's Rumble matches will go on to headline WrestleMania 38 against the champions of their choice. 

    Here is the card for Sunday's show, according to WWE.com:

    • Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship)
    • Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley (WWE Championship)
    • Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop (Raw Women's Championship)
    • The Miz and Maryse vs. Edge and Beth Phoenix
    • Men's Royal Rumble match
    • Women's Royal Rumble match

    Here's our lineup of contributors:

Kevin Berge

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    Q: Do you see Kevin Owens playing a role in the outcome of the Universal Championship match? If so, what would it be?

    I don't expect Owens to play a role in the finish. Seth Rollins will be going into it as the fan favorite, and it would make sense for him to win clean if he is going to claim the title.

    Meanwhile, KO is likely to be more focused on the men's Rumble match. He has an outside chance to win, which I think goes up if The Visionary defeats Roman Reigns on his own.

             

    Q: Taking logic and booking out of the equation, who would you be happiest to see win the men's Rumble and why?

    Few moments are more prestigious than winning the Royal Rumble. While not everyone has been able to become a lasting star after a victory in the men's match, the victory sticks. It changes careers.

    Since Mustafa Ali will eventually be on his way out, the veteran who stands out as needing that true boost is Cesaro.

    The Swiss Superman has earned a spotlight that WWE refuses to give him while earning the respect and admiration of his fellow performers. He won't win it, but he should.

               

    Q: If you were betting $1,000 on the women's Rumble, who would you pick to win and why?

    I can't shake the feeling that Ronda Rousey is coming back to WWE and will be fighting Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 38. Recent rumors have circulated quickly, and the company will want to make a huge splash upon her return.

    While I'd prefer Bianca Belair to repeat or a fresh winner like Rhea Ripley or Liv Morgan, it's hard to bet against The Baddesst Woman on the Planet if she is making a surprise return to the ring on Saturday.

Jeff J

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    Q: If Lesnar and Reigns both retain, do you think WWE will merge the titles at WrestleMania after teasing a unification?

    No, because it makes more sense to have two champions headline both nights of 'Mania on April 2-3.

    Unless they plan to eschew their network loyalties and eliminate the brand split (which, for myriad reasons, won't happen), it doesn't benefit the roster to have one champion now. The money is in two world champs. And if the titles do merge, it will be a temporary move.

              

    Q: Taking logic and booking out of the equation, who would you be happiest to see win the men's Rumble and why?

    Kofi Kingston, because he's had so many Rumble moments and has won nearly every other match. A Rumble win would further build on his legacy. Plus it would be dope to see a Kofimania 2 run.

                   

    Q: If you were betting $1,000 on the women's Rumble, who would you pick to win and why?

    Bianca Belair. She is a top-five wrestler pound for pound in the world, a guaranteed WrestleMania star, and she would tell a compelling story in her quest to dethrone Lynch and right the wrong of losing her title at SummerSlam.

    I think she gets a 'Mania main event spot regardless, but making her a two-time women's Rumble winner and eventual champ would solidify her status as the present and future of the women's division.

Donald Wood

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    Q: If you were booking this PPV, who would win the WWE Championship match and why?

    Bobby Lashley. As someone who saw the improvements he has made since he and MVP originally joined forces in Impact Wrestling, he is arguably the most underutilized talent in all of wrestling.

    Even as a former champion, the 45-year-old is doing his best work right now and would be cemented as an all-time great with a marquee win over Lesnar.

    WWE desperately needs more top draws, and Lashley beating The Beast Incarnate would give WWE another name that could transcend the sport.

          

    Q: Taking logic and booking out of the equation, who would you be happiest to see win the men's Rumble and why?

    Big E. The way WWE Creative forced him to take the pinfall loss to Lesnar at Day 1 was atrocious booking. As one of the most popular members of the main roster, the New Day powerhouse was just getting started with his run as world champion when the company cut him off at the knees.

    To make it up to him, WWE should book Big E to walk out of the 2022 Royal Rumble as the No. 1 contender at WrestleMania.

           

    Q: If you were betting $1,000 on the women's Rumble, who would you pick to win and why?

    Belair. After being decimated in seconds by Becky Lynch and losing her title, the path to redemption from the very start looked to go through the Royal Rumble before culminating at WrestleMania.

    While the 32-year-old phenom has not been booked well on TV, she has been put in tops spots in key moments and WWE has shown immense trust in her talents.

    What better way to return Belair to championship prominence than by letting her win the women's Rumble match and booking her to challenge Big Time Becks at the company's biggest show of the year?

Erik Beaston

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    Q: Is now the right time to take the universal title off of Reigns? If so, is Rollins the right guy to do it?

    Now is the time to do it if WWE really doesn't want to do a champion vs. champion main event at WrestleMania. Rollins is the right guy, especially if the company is looking to turn him babyface, as has been hinted at recently.

    Some will argue this is the perfect opportunity to make a new star. But with no one ready for that role, The Visionary is the next best option.

    Rollins has credibility and has built up equity with the audience. He will be a fine champion beyond Reigns, who will look to dethrone Lesnar at WrestleMania 38 and stand tall to close out the show. Just like WWE wants.

            

    Q: Taking logic and booking out of the equation, who would you be happiest to see win the men's Rumble and why?

    Probably Big E. The guy had the significance of his title reign diminished the week after he won the gold and never really recovered.

    Always treated like an afterthought and a secondary champion, he really earned and deserved more than he got from the creative team. A win would mean WWE is invested in firmly establishing him as a top star in the company.

            

    Q: If you were betting $1,000 on the women's Rumble, who would you pick to win and why?

    Bayley. WWE loves delivering surprises in these matches and the returning former SmackDown women's champion would certainly qualify.

    She is one of the original Four Horsewomen of NXT, will have a huge fan following upon her return and would be the perfect foil for either Becky Lynch or Charlotte Flair, both of whom she holds victories over.

    With no other clear-cut favorite to win the women's match, Bayley feels as likely as anyone else at this point.

Anthony Mango

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    Q: If Lynch wins the Raw women's title match, who would be the ideal Royal Rumble winner to challenge her at WrestleMania and why?

    Ideally, WWE would have set up Ripley to be the next challenger, but she has absolutely no momentum on her side.

    At this point, the one and only choice is Belair. Despite how they've already had multiple matches together and it would just repeat last year's Royal Rumble and Road to WrestleMania, anyone else would feel lesser.

    The EST is the top and most credible babyface on Raw right now by far. Short of signing someone new to the company, WWE has failed to build anyone else up in the past year who could fit the bill.

           

    Q: Taking logic and booking out of the equation, who would you be happiest to see win the men's Rumble and why?

    Keith Lee. He should have been built up to be a top contender by this time, rather than released. If WWE is hell-bent on doing Lesnar vs. Reigns again, I'd have The Beast drop the belt to Bobby Lashley, then Lee surprises everyone with a return, wins it and beats The All Mighty for the belt at WrestleMania.

    He's too good to have amounted to so little over such a short time. If that's still too outside the box, I'd love to see AJ Styles win to cross that off his list of achievements.

             

    Q: If you were betting $1,000 on the women's Rumble, who would you pick to win and why?

    Belair. She's tried and true. Sure, someone like Bayley could return and win it to challenge Charlotte Flair, or Raquel Gonzalez could make the leap to the main roster through the women's match, but WWE has spent the past year focusing intensely on only a handful of talent.

    That means its philosophy is very much that the small amount of "top stars" are the only ones who matter, and Belair is one of them.

    WWE probably thinks her winning the women's Rumble and the title for the second time at WrestleMania will redeem the quick loss at SummerSlam and wants to tell that story for the next three months.

Graham Matthews

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    Q: On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you for Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz & Maryse?

    I think it sells itself on paper as two of WWE's biggest couples facing off, so the lackluster build hasn't bothered me terribly.

    Everyone has played their roles well, and I expect it to be a fun match (especially with it being the first time Edge and Phoenix have teamed up), so it's probably a 6 or 7 for me.

    The predictable finish hurts my level of excitement a bit, but Edge and Phoenix winning is the only outcome that makes sense.

           

    Q: Taking logic and booking out of the equation, who would you be happiest to see win the men's Rumble and why?

    One of these years, I'd love to see WWE go with someone completely unexpected to win either Rumble. We got that to an extent with Drew McIntyre in 2020, but even then, he was considered a favorite to win.

    This year, Styles isn't a favorite because he's been so deemphasized over the last year or so. Seeing him win his first Rumble and go on to challenge for a top title at WrestleMania would be a pleasant surprise.

            

    Q: If you were betting $1,000 on the women's Rumble, who would you pick to win and why?

    If I were a betting man (which I'm not), I'd go with Belair as this year's women's Royal Rumble winner.

    I know fans always want fresh faces to win, but hear me out: We haven't had a back-to-back winner since "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in the late 1990s, it would be a first for the women and there's no one better to do it than The EST of WWE.

    It fits her character perfectly, and Belair finally getting her win back over Lynch at WrestleMania 38 is what needs to happen.

Chris Mueller

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    Q: Taking logic and booking out of the equation, who would you be happiest to see win the men's Rumble and why?

    If we are going based solely on what we want, I say give it to Big E and get him back into the hunt for the WWE Championship.

    The way his reign ended was unfortunate, but Vince McMahon and Co. should not give up on him as a main event act yet. The crowd loves him, he was popping up everywhere outside of WWE during his reign, and he is a great ambassador for the company. 

               

    Q: If you were betting $1,000 on the women's Rumble, who would you pick to win and why?

    I think the safest bet in this match might be Bayley if she ends up returning. WWE is not going to wait long to put her back in the title picture, so if she is ready, this is the right time to pull the trigger.

    If she doesn't return, I could easily see WWE going with Belair for a back-to-back win. She has been getting better with each performance, so she is even more prepared to be the champion than she was when she won it last year. 

           

    Q: Is Doudrop ready to be the top woman on Raw?

    From an in-ring perspective, she is absolutely ready. The problem is she doesn't come across as a top star on the mic yet. There is an uncertainty to her promos that she needs to get rid of before she gets that big push. 

Predictions

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

    • Lesnar (JJ, DW, EB, KB, AM) vs. Lashley (GM, CM)
    • Reigns (GM, DW, CM) vs. Rollins (JJ, AM, EB, KB)
    • Lynch (JJ, DW, AM, EB, KB, GM, CM) vs. Doudrop
    • The Miz and Maryse vs. Edge and Phoenix (JJ, DW, AM, EB, KB, GM, CM)
    • Men's Royal Rumble: McIntyre (DW), Owens (AM), Lesnar (GM), Reigns (JJ, EB, KB), Styles (CM)
    • Women's Royal Rumble: Morgan (EB), Rousey (KB), Belair (JJ, GM, AM, DW, CM)
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