It’s that time of year again. On January 29th, WWE’s Royal Rumble will take place from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. There, 30 wrestling superstars will get into a ring and duke it out until only one man is left standing.
Outside of Wrestlemania, this is WWE’s biggest and most popular event. Two men start the proceedings with another pro-wrestler entering every two minutes. The only way you can eliminate a wrestler is by throwing them over the top rope with both feet touching the floor. The winner of the event is the last wrestler remaining after all others have been eliminated.
The fun part of the event is when the clocks start counting down from ten and fans start getting excited about who could be entering the ring next. This is where a lot of storylines begin leading up to Wrestlemania.
This year the Rumble match is stacked with a lot of big names and of course, there will also be a few surprises. As per usual, the winner of Rumble gets a title shot and will be one of the headliners at Wrestlemania 33 in Orlando, Florida on April 2nd. A lot of hardcore fans or “smarks” as they’re called, usually have ideas of who could possibly win. However, the WWE has been known throw a wrench in the storylines to keep fans on their toes.
Due to the Rumble taking up usually an hour of TV time, there are fewer singles matches than your prototypical WWE event. That said, this year there are some great matches in store. Kevin Owens looks to defend his Universal Title against Roman Reigns, and AJ Styles will be defending his SmackDown World Championship against John Cena.
This year’s Royal Rumble is tough to call, but there are a few guys who could win based on rumored matches that could take place leading up to Mania. Below we put together some odds on who will win, who will last the longest, who will eliminate the most wrestlers, and what kind of surprises will be in store.
Keep in mind that along with our odds, the card is subject to change based on new rumors and storyline shifts between now and the event. Call this the odds of Jericho…”Drink it in Maaaaaann!”
Odds on Winning Royal Rumble
Outside of the entrants who’ve already been announced, it’s not entirely clear who will be participating. Like mentioned, part of the surprise is when the clock starts to countdown from ten, where fans wait with baited breath to see who the next entrant will be.
The winner will receive a world championship match at WrestleMania 33 for either Raw’s WWE Universal Championship or SmackDown’s WWE Championship. There has been some talk that if Owens retains his Universal Championship at Rumble, Chris Jericho’s chance of winning increases, setting up a match between the two best friends at Wrestlemania 33.
Braun Strowman is our early favorite because the WWE would love to push the big man to main event status. If Roman Reigns beat Owens for the Universal title, Strowman becomes the instant favorite to win Royal Rumble, thus setting up a match at Mania.
Bill Goldberg has an outside chance, but I suspect the storyline between him and Brock Lesnar will continue. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Goldberg eliminate Lesnar or this could also set up a double elimination. Regardless, here are the early odds of who could win this year’s, Royal Rumble.
- Braun Strowman: 4/1
- Chris Jericho: 17/3
- Bill Goldberg: 9/1
- The Undertaker: 9/1
- Baron Corbin: 10/1
- Brock Lesnar: 10/1
- Seth Rollins: 19/1
- The Miz: 19/1
- Dean Ambrose: 25/1
- Samoa Joe: 25/1
- Finn Balor: 25/1
- Randy Orton: 50/1
- Sami Zayn: 100/1
- Bray Wyatt: 100/1
Odds on Surprise Royal Rumble Entrants
The WWE loves surprises and every year at Rumble, there is always speculation about who it could be. In the past, we’ve seen great moments and huge props for the likes of Jericho, Diesel, Goldust and even Edge, who all returned from long layoffs. Will we see something similar this year?
Rumors are circulating Samoa Joe, who is the former NXT champ, has finished his run in WWE’s development promotion, and could make his long-awaited debut on the big show. Tye Dillinger, who also wrestles in NXT, has been rumored to appear at Royal Rumble in the number ten position thanks to his “perfect 10” gimmick.
Triple H will most likely enter the Rumble as there are supposed plans he will be in a program with Seth Rollins leading up to Mania. So it makes perfect sense to start that rivalry now. Finn Balor is also a possibility considering there are multiple sources saying he is close to being cleared to return to the ring after a devastating shoulder injury.
Lastly, another legend who deserves a few minutes in the Rumble is Jake “The Snake” Roberts. After getting his life back on track, the 61-year-old has repeatedly asked the WWE to give him a proper farewell in the ring. In the documentary The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, it’s evident Jake has a dream of being a Royal Rumble entrant, and it would be great to see the WWE make it happen.
Odds on who could make a surprise entrance:
- Samoa Joe: 1/1
- Triple H: 2/1
- Tye Dillinger (Number 10 spot): 3/1
- Finn Balor (Returns from injury): 4/1
- Kurt Angle: 4/1
- Shelton Benjamin: 4/1
- Shinsuke Nakamura: 5/1
- Hideo Itami: 10/1
- Shawn Michaels: 10/1
- DDP: 10/1
- Kevin Nash: 11/1
- Shaquille ONeal: 12/1
- Rey Mysterio: 12/1
- Tamina: 12/1
- Nia Jax:12/1
- Jake “The Snake” Roberts: 15/1
- Batista: 15/1
- Rob Van Dam: 20/1
- JBL: 20/1
- Rikishi: 20/1
- Bob Backlund: 20/1
- Carlito: 25/1
- Jim Duggan: 30/1
- Bobby Roode: 35/1
- Austin Aries: 35/1
- Bubba Ray Dudley: 35/1
- Kenny Omega: 40/1
- Jeff Hardy: 40/1
- Matt Hardy: 40/1
- Wade Barrett: 50/1
- Christian: 50/1
- Ryback: 50/1
- Conor McGregor: 100/1
- CM Punk: 100/1
- Ronda Rousey: 100/1
- Cody Rhodes: 150/1
- Scott Steiner: 150/1
- Hulk Hogan: 150/1
Odds on Most Eliminations:
- Braun Strowman: 3/1
- Goldberg: 4/1
- Baron Corbin: 17/3
- Brock Lesnar: 17/3
- Seth Rollins: 9/1
- Big Cass: 15/1
- Chris Jericho: 19/1
- Samoa Joe: 50/1
- Rusev: 100/1
- Undertaker: 150/1
Odds on Who Will Last the Longest:
- Chris Jericho: 4/1
- Seth Rollins: 4/1
- Goldberg: 17/3
- Braun Strowman: 17/3
- Baron Corbin: 9/1
- Big Cass: 9/1
- Brock Lesnar: 19/1
- Dean Ambrose: 50/1
- Randy Orton: 50/1
- Kofi Kingston: 100/1
Odds on Who Wins Individual Matches
Kevin Owens (c): 13/7 vs. Roman Reigns: 7/13
Owens has been one of the best things to happen to the WWE in years. The stuff he’s doing with Jericho right now is a hit with fans.
He’s been the champ for just over five months, but the man who might take the title from him is Reigns. For whatever reason, WWE creative love Reigns and they continue to push him as a babyface even when the fans can’t stand him.
Hanging above the ring in this match will be a crash cage called the Shark Tank and inside this cage will be Owen’s best friend Jericho to stop him from interfering. In what should be a long and hard match, look for Reigns to win the title. It pains me to write that, but because Reigns just lost his U.S. title to Jericho, I can see Reigns winning the prestigious Universal title, and going into a match with Strowman at Wrestlemania 33.
I’d love to see Owens retain the strap and set up a break-up feud with Jericho. But maybe Y2J does something that costs Owens the victory and the break-up begins. Jericho will be most likely leaving after Wrestlemania to tour with Fozzy, so a big time match with Owens seems to be in the cards.
Winner: Roman Reigns
AJ Styles (c): 3/2 vs. John Cena: 2/3
This has all the makings to be the match of the year. Both men are incredible workers and have some great chemistry in the ring. Last year at Summerslam, their match was a 23-minute classic, so I’m looking forward to what they can do at this year’s Royal Rumble. Cena is 0-2 vs. Styles and although he is on a semi-part time schedule, I see him being a big focal point going into Wrestlemania 33.
As much as I would like to see Styles retain his SmackDown World Championship belt, something tells me the WWE gives the win to their golden boy in Cena. There have been some people speculating that Cena will meet Undertaker at Wrestlemania 33 and although he doesn’t necessarily need a title to make that match happen, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a title change happen.
In what will be a grueling and exciting matchup, I see Cena finally defeating Styles and becoming the champ.
Winner: John Cena
Charlotte Flair (c): 1/4 vs. Bayley: 4/1
The WWE really needs to do something with the women’s division. Don’t get me wrong, they have come a long way, but the feud between Charlotte and Sascha Banks got pretty ridiculous with the constant title changes. I’m getting tired of Charlotte and the same promos she cuts week after week. Bayley isn’t much better. Her cutesy, hugging, underdog gimmick is growing old fast, and for the love of God keep her off the mic. This is an easy match to call because it’s Flair, and she doesn’t lose on pay-per-views.
I’m sure there will be some good moments in this match, I just think we need to start seeing some of the other women participate.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
Rich Swann (c): 2/3 vs. Neville: 3/2
I’m really digging Neville much more than Swann. The cruiserweight division has been hit and miss, and with the multiple title changes that have happened, they really haven’t found their groove yet. As much as I would like to see Neville win the title, I don’t think it will happen, as they want to have a longer reigning champ in this division. I think eventually Neville will get the title, but it won’t be at Royal Rumble. I’m taking Swann to retain.
Winner: Rich Swann
Feature Photo Credit: By Megan Elice Meadows