Sports – Films – Reviews – Life Stories – Video Games It's all here on The Rif Files.
The road to WrestleMania officially kicks off tonight with the Royal Rumble. This year’s Rumble is unique as Roman Reigns will be defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the Rumble match itself. That’s never been done before. In 1992, Ric Flair won the WWE title in the Rumble match but the difference being that there wasn’t anyone actually defending the title going into that match since the title was vacant.
The rest of the card looks promising. Kevin Owens & Dean Ambrose in a last man standing match has a lot of potential and Kalisto v Del Rio has that special something about it.
It’s been heavily rumoured that AJ Styles will make his long awaited debut in the WWE as a mystery participant in the Rumble match. Check out our tie breaker questions to find out what we think about that.
This is a prediction contest where we all compete for points. I won it last year, for the fourth year running; will I make it five in a row? Of course I will!
Winners qualify for the Royal Rumble match
Darren Young & Damien Sandow vs. The Ascension vs. The Dudley Boys vs. Mark Henry & Jack Swagger
RIF: The Dudley Boys
Joe: The Dudley Boys
Michael: The Dudley Boys
Dan: The Dudley Boys
The like the idea behind this match. It’s an old school trick to give the kick off show some value and a reason to watch. But let’s be honest, none of these guys have a chance in hell of winning the Rumble and because of that I can imagine the crowd to be silent for this one. Out of the four teams, The Dudleys are the only ones with any real star-power. None of the other competitors have appeared on TV on a regular basis.
WWE United States Championship
Alberto Del Rio © vs. Kalisto
RIF: Alberto Del Rio
Joe: Alberto Del Rio
Michael: Alberto Del Rio
Dan: Alberto Del Rio
This is the fourth match between the two in three weeks. They’ve been decent, but it’s going to be difficult to top them. I don’t like how Kalisto’s reign as champion only lasted a day. Why put the title on him if they’re going to take it back off him? I hate the idea of that. They could of have Kalisto win by DQ and then lose the title at the Rumble.
WWE Divas Championship
Charlotte © vs. Becky Lynch
Joe: Becky Lynch
I’ll give credit to WWE for making Lynch look sympathetic but also remain cool. Last year, as part of my Rif Rasslin Awards, I made Lynch the runner up for poorly used diva and I still stand by that. They’ve really got behind. Her performances in the ring and on the stick have been outstanding. She’s really drove home her disappointment on Charlotte’s actions and her anger is believable.
I’m going with Charlotte to defend her title in a cheap manner. There can be a spot where Lynch is on the verge of winning only for Flair to distract her and Charlotte hits a spear on her and follow up with the figure eight.
Charlotte is someone who’s really divided opinion amongst the fans, but like her or not, having her as the heel Divas champion is the best thing for the division right now.
WWE Tag Team Championship
The New Day © vs. The Usos
RIF: The New Day
Joe: The New Day
Michael: The New Day
Dan: The New Day
I don’t think the build-up has been there for this match. The work in the ring will make up for the lack of story I reckon. The quality is there because both teams always deliver the goods. Give them 15 minutes to open the show and to really have a classic tag match. There’s no reason to take the titles away from New Day, they should really be holding them until after WrestleMania as there isn’t a team on the main roster right now to dethrone them. Maybe after ‘Mania there will be a call up from NXT and we can have either the American Alphas or Enzo & Cass to win the gold off the New Day.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Last Man Standing match
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose ©
RIF: Dean Ambrose
Joe: Dean Ambrose
Michael: Kevin Owens
Dan: Kevin Owens
Early contender for match of the year? I think so. This needs to be an attitude era style brawl with a load of weapons beings used and both guys adopting a hard hitting style. Let them fight all around the arena, let them fight backstage, even. This is the kind of fight which helps make the Intercontinental title look like a valuable prize.
I’m leaning towards a Dean Ambrose victory. I feel that WWE took the title away from Owens as a way to push him up the card and to have a major spot on the card at WrestleMania. A match against Undertaker, maybe?
All in all, this is a match that I’m excited for. It’s going to be competitive and damn physical with Ambrose getting a close victory.
Oh yeah, please don’t have Ambrose tie Owens’ legs together with duck tape. That would just suck!
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Royal Rumble match
RIF: Roman Reigns
Joe: Triple H
Michael: Bray Wyatt
Dan: Brock Lesnar
Having the title on the line is different. Doesn’t mean I like the idea of it. I always believe that the Royal Rumble should be about making a new star and setting up the main event of WrestleMania. From a storyline perspective, it really puts the pressure on Reigns, who within this narrative is meant to be the hero.
Reigns is the future of the WWE, whether you like him or not. He’s the guy WWE has picked for the top spot and are willing to do whatever it takes to make him look strong and this is the kind of match which can make him look strong. The danger of doing that is that he’s been shoved down our throats and it could cause a backlash with the fans. They need to be smart about how they book him. If it were up to me I would have him eliminate around four or five people from the entire match. Let someone like Kevin Owens get the most eliminations. Reigns is my pick to win the match, and the title. If he does lose, that would give him three title reigns in five months. It’s far better to present him as a strong champion that doesn’t lose the title.
Name the final four (1pt per correct answer)
RIF: Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt & Kevin Owens
Joe: Roman Reigns, Triple H, Brock Lesnar & Bray Wyatt
Michael: Roman Reigns, Triple H, Brock Lesnar & Daniel Bryan
Dan: Roman Reigns, Triple H, Sheamus & Dean Ambrose
Shot in the dark. Reigns is pretty much a lock to make it to the final two, let alone the final four. I guess you could say the same about Brock, too. I feel this year’s Rumble needs to make a new star, it needs to make someone other than Reigns look strong, and that is why I’ve gone with Kevin Owens to make it to the final four. You could have him not only enter as #2 but have him eliminate the most people in the match. Bray Wyatt is added to really plant the seeds for his much rumoured match against Brock at WrestleMania.
Will AJ Styles appear in the Royal Rumble match?
WWE.com have release various articles talking about how dangerous the Bullet Club is and how accomplished of a wrestler AJ Style is, so why put him in a match where he has no chance of winning? That doesn’t mean he can’t appear in another capacity at the show.
Who will be the 1st person eliminated from the Royal Rumble?
RIF: Curtis Axel
Joe: Xavier Woods
Michael: Curtis Axel
Dan: Curtis Axel
It’s pretty obvious it’s going to be Axel. They could have him come out, cutting a promo about how he’s been in the Rumble for a year, only to be eliminated in a matter of seconds. Xavier Woods is another contender. It’ll be a good comedy segment that he can pull off without hurting the value of the New Day.
What’s your predictions for the Royal Rumble? Feel free to like, share or comment as it really does help the site out. Feel free to share your predictions in the comments below and I hope to see you again for my random thoughts on the Royal Rumble.
Thanks for reading.
See ya later!