Pre-show: Fatal Four Way Rumble Qualifier Match: Damien Sandow & Darren Young vs. Jack Swagger & Mark Henry vs. The Ascension vs. The Dudley Boys
Michael: This is a complete waste. It is irrelevant who wins this match because none of these people are serious contenders, unless WWE’s creative staff goes loony toons on us and Darren Young is heading to WrestleMania. Someone has to win, and my pick is Jack Swagger and Mark Henry only because I believe Henry’s career is winding down and he deserves to be in one more Rumble.
Bill: The Dudley Boys score the win. I originally would’ve said Swagger & Henry but since they pulled Henry from the original line-up, I an’t see them putting them back in. So yes, The Dudleys will 3D their way into The Rumble.
John: Damien Sandow & Darren Young vs. Jack Swagger & Mark Henry vs. The Ascension vs. The Dudley Boys – Does this really matter? I know it’s the dark match, but I can’t think of a more insignificant dark match for a PPV before. The obvious prediction is whoever wins this won’t last long in the Rumble. I’ll go with Swagger and Henry so someone can look good eliminating Henry during the Rumble.
Evi: I gotta go with Sandow and Young on this one because it’ll be nice to see how he wrestles when he’s being himself and not actually imitating anybody.
Intercontinental Championship Last Man Standing Match
Michael: Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose (c) – I really do not care who wins, because this match, if given the right amount of time, will probably be a show-stealer. Ambrose and Owens have killed it every time they have a match, and this should be no different. The only catch is Owens, as of late has been a lot of talk and no walk. I worry there are too many heels on the roster and Owens will not catch a break. A loss for Owens could make him look weak, but on the other hand, Ambrose as a mid-tier champion guarantees us a lot of title matches which will be entertaining. This is a tough call, but I am going with Dean Ambrose to retain.
Bill: This is a tough call, but no matter it’s going to be an awesome match. I think Owens should win this one, but I think he’s going to move onto bigger and better things. So Ambrose wins this one.
John: Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose (c) – Will be a lot of fun. With any luck, Owens will have an opportunity to shine because he has already begun to bore me and I feel I’m not the only one. The whiny, egotistical heel thing does not work for him and the creative team needs to do a better job with him. That being said, I feel Ambrose will successfully retain
Evi: This is a tough choice, but Crazy always wins over snarky fat guy.
United States Championship Match
Michael: Kalisto vs. Alberto del Rio (c) – Nice to see Kalisto get a singles championship, not so nice to see him lose it one freaking day later. We will get a good match, but Del Rio will retain. Kalisto is great and all, but WWE is not ready to make him the new Rey Mysterio just yet. He will, but maybe in a year or two.
Bill: The Big K should get the win here because they need to build him as up as the next Rey Mysterio Jr. because he has the talent and charisma to do so. However, I think they keep the belt on ADR in what will be a competitive as hell match.
John: Kalisto vs. Alberto del Rio (c) – What has turned to a fun little rivalry will come to an end tonight. Don’t know how long Sin Cara will be sidelined, but I have a feeling he’ll have a titleless partner when he returns. They are desperately attempting to build up this half-ass faction “League of Nations,” and you can’t do that with its best member jobbing a title away to a cruiserweight. Of course, you can’t take a faction too seriously when your leader is a mediocre mid-carder like Sheamus as your leader, but that’s a gripe for another day.
Evi: Hmm. Tough choice again. One of them wears a máscara, and the other ones wears mascara (not really but he’s vain enough to try it). I’ll go with del Rio because I don’t think they’re going to have the belt change hands just yet.
Divas Championship Match
Michael: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (c) – It should surprise no one if this match is also show-stealing material. Becky Lynch has been damn near fantastic on the mic lately. Charlotte always owns the ring, but as of late her mic skills seem to be shaky, maybe real-life nerves? Having daddy Ric by her side does not hurt, but might take away some of the momentum Charlotte should have on her own. Becky will win, but somehow Charlotte will keep the title, in order to drop it to Sasha Banks at WrestleMania.
Bill: Charlotte keeps the belt here, because they NEED to build a match between her and Sasha Banks title match for Wrestlemania.
John: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (c) – Should ramp up the Divas division, which now has a decent amount of talent but the writing has almost wasted it away. Does that title turn the holder to heel? Is it “The Precious?” Should be a great match, unfortunately Becky will just be fodder for Charlotte as she heads to WM to eventually lose that belt to Sasha.
Evi: Charlotte will keep the championship, because Daddy Flair interferes and assists with the win.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Michael: The Usos vs. The New Day (c) – It’s a New Day, yes it is. Usos have become the new Hardy Boyz. Spot, spot, rest hold, spotty spot spot, fly, crash, and get rolled up when it looks like they will win. The New Day will avenge the loss of their beloved trombone, or Xavier will unveil her repaired brass.
Bill: The Usos killed The New Day’s trombone, so damn it they deserve the win! Also, The Usos will probably get the straps at Mania anyway.
John: The Usos vs. The New Day (c) – I do have to say the title matches should all be solid matches tonight. What they also have in common is that all champions will retain. The Usos had their title runs and they are a great team but The New Day should retain unless if they are handed the title so they may transition it over to The Wyatts very soon.
Evi: New Day! They’re on fire right now. Maybe we’ll be lucky and they’ll find a new instrument to play at ringside. RIP Francesca.
Royal Rumble Match
Michael: Good grief Charlie Brown. It is almost is if we are back in the early 2000’s where Jericho, Lesnar and the rumored HHH entry are the top picks to win. Add in the hype is all on Roman Reigns until The Wyatt Family arrived and beat the holy hell out of all of them. I did not expect RAW to close with Bray Wyatt standing over Brock Lesnar. Let’s face it, the Rumble, as always is chock full of mid-carders, jobbers, and the occasional announcer. WWE released less than half of the entrants, which either means WWE realizes fans don’t care at this point because there is no chance Headbanger Mosh or Hardcore Holly will win the Royal Rumble.
John: The Royal Rumble match will either amaze everyone to no end or be another cluster**** as it has been in recent history. The Royal Rumble has always been my favorite PPV but the last few years, the match has left much to be desired. I hope it surprises me (and to its credit, I don’t know who will win this year) and turns out to be a long, enduring competition especially with the title being on the line. Not sure why the WWE page is so outdated with the participants currently in the match. Both Sheamus and Curtis Axel are listed, but their factions have already announced being participants as well. The page says 13 knows when there are actually 19 (not listed are Barrett but he may get injured on his way to entering, Rusev, Del Rio, Slater, Bo Dallas, and Adam Rose). Add the dark match winners and we’ll know 21 of the entrants before it begins.
The #2 guy out –
Michael: Dean Ambrose. Sure, they could pull out one of the Social Outcasts or throw in Fandango or Tyler Breeze for an early elimination, but I think we will see Ambrose and Reigns work together eliminating said jobbers until some heavy hitters like Kevin Owens, Big Show, or a Wyatt show up.
Bill: Wanna shock the world? Have AJ Styles come out and blow the roof off the joint. It’ll probably be Heath Slater so Roman gets the quick elim.
John: One of the Social Outcasts, like Rose. Perfect fodder for Reigns. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if 2-5 are The Social Outcasts and Reigns takes them out while they are all in together.
The #30 guy out –
Michael: Randy Orton. It will be like when Cena returned at the Rumble in 2008. Pain was shared by all and rejoiced by teenagers, this will be the same.
John: Big Show. With his advance age and size, he can’t last long but they still want him to be a threat to win.
Evi: Randy Orton
The Three surprise entrants –
Michael: This was hard, every time I thought of someone, I remembered said person was dead. Amongst the living, I would like to see Rob Van Dam, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan. The latter will come out, eliminate one guy, then get eliminated himself as WWE trolls the fans into tears.
Bill: AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, and Hulk Hogan (he lives in Orlando)
John: Booker T, Samoa Joe, and The Rock.
Evi: Orton (coming back from injury), Mick Foley as Mankind, Santino!!
Who will win –
Michael: It would be way too obvious if Roman Reigns went all the way. It would be too obvious if Brock Lesnar won the Rumble. But the past few years, WWE has been just that, obvious. There has been talk of Triple H showing up to win it, setting up Reigns/HHH at WrestleMania, where Reigns then captures his second championship. As much as I don’t want that, this seems more likely as WWE is going with the stick-to-the-script attitude rather than making the Rumble fun like it used to be. You know, when we actually were not sure who would win.
Bill: Triple H. Roman Reigns will make it to the end of the match, and then get screwed out of the title, probably by Triple H which will cause either Triple H or Brock Lesnar to win the match.
John: I honestly don’t know. I’m seeing all these rumors that HHH is returning and winning The Rumble. As poor as WWE has been, this will be the worst case of nepotism since Will Smith got Jaden the lead role in After Earth. I can’t fathom Reigns surviving the entire the entire thing. I know they want him to be the next Cena, but that’s beyond comprehension. Brock is too obvious. He is so unstoppable, him winning would be too obvious. Part of me believes it’ll be a surprise entrant that we won’t see coming, but I honestly can’t decide. If I’m correct with The Rock, I can see him holding the belt one more time so his cousin can take it back come WM.
Evi: I really don’t know, but it certainly is not going to be Roman Reigns. Maybe Wade Barrett! Haha j/k (sorry Mike). Let’s go with Kofi. He’s been doing all these crazy tricks to stay in the Rumble a little bit longer, maybe this year it’ll finally pay off.
Who do you want to win –
Bill: It’ll never happen, but I want Kevin Owens to win The Rumble, and take the title. He deserves it, and it’ll definitely turn the WWE on its ear.
John: I really want Bray Wyatt to win. His time has come and if nothing is done with it soon, it will be gone. He has three big men for his faction, something Vince loves, he captivates the crowd and while he’s a heel, he captivates the audience. When you consider the other heels currently in WWE (Lesnar doesn’t count), he’s the only that deserves to be main eventing until they start turning some of the faces. Note, I’m saying knowing there is no realistic chance of Jericho winning so I’m not including him on who I want to win.
Michael: I’m proud of John for acknowledging Jericho has just about the same chance of winning as R-Truth. I admit defeat, as I know Wade Barrett has much of a shot as The Brooklyn Brawler. Since I live in a dream-world, I want Dean Ambrose to take it. I have some strange hope that we get Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose at WrestleMania, but we know it won’t happen. There is a better chance of T.L. Hopper making a surprise appearance.
Evi: Rufus “Pancake” Paterson, er, I mean, Titus O’Neil. Come on, Kofi will never win. At least give it to a guy who WWE might take seriously one day.