WWE Royal Rumble 2016: Thoughts and Predictions

The 2016 Royal Rumble takes place tomorrow night and the WWE has its work cut out for them. The PPV is matched up against the NFC Championship game and I am sure this will affect the live viewership. And although people can now just watch the PPV on demand on their own time because of the WWE Network, the WWE still needs to put out a good show that will get people talking. And while they have done some things that build intrigue into the event, I still have to see it all before I believe it. They have had many of chances before this to shake things up but have really failed to do so. But now is the time. A large number of veteran stars are injured and will be for the foreseeable future. If they want to succeed and build more stars for the future, the Royal Rumble is where they need to begin because that means that Wrestlemania is right around the corner! And they were hoping to make this the biggest and best Wrestlemania ever!

1. Pre-show: Fatal Four-way tag team match in which the winning team qualifies for the Royal Rumble match

The Dudley Boyz vs. The Ascension vs. Darren Young & Damien Sandow vs. Mark Henry & Jack Swagger

Seriously? Who put this match together? It is a mashup of strangeness that I just can’t figure out. Young and Titus O’Neil have apparently split and now Young is paired with Sandow who the WWE obviously has NOTHING for. Henry and Swagger are teaming. The Ascension has been a bomb since debuting as The Road Warriors adjace. And The Dudley Boyz are there because they have nothing else to do and probably just want to work. Let’s be honest. They have done everything there is to do in the wrestling business and are now just filling in spots. But, I still think they have the best chance to win.

Winner: The Dudley Boyz

2. Singles match for the WWE United States championship 

Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio (C)

Kalisto’s popularity soared after his spectacular move at the TLC PPV. Then, his tag team partner Sin Cara got injured. That left Kalisto alone to wrestle in singles matches. So what did the WWE do? Give him a United States title shot on Raw and he actually won! But then he immediately lost it that same week on Smackdown and ADR has the belt back around his waist. So am I to believe they would actually have Kalisto win it again? I don’t think so. I think they are just hoping he can excite the crowds once again.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

3. Tag Team match for the WWE Tag Team championship

The Usos vs. The New Day (C)

The New Day are one of the best things happening in WWE today, if not THE best. They are funny but still manage to have people boo them when they are in the ring. The Usos have been a fan favorite for a while and work well with The New Day. But I personally do not like The Usos much. They are a little cartoonish for me and therefore I will pick with my heart.

Winner: The New Day

4. Singles match for the WWE Divas championship

Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (C)

Charlotte began her title reign as a fan favorite. But she slowly built up a heel persona with her father, Ric Flair, that has gone over pretty good. Becky is a great wrestler but I didn’t see her having a title opportunity so soon. Then again, with injuries mounting up for the woman too, they needed Becky. And she has definitely delivered. And she will be my upset pick of the card.

Winner: Becky Lynch

5. Last Man Standing match for the WWE Intercontinental championship 

Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose (C)

These two have been in a feud for a little while now and it has been pretty entertaining. Owens is one of the best young talents in WWE right now and is poised to be a World Heavyweight champion in the near future. Ambrose is also very talented but his ring routines are a little, no,completely, stale. But I do believe he will keep his title as Owens looks to be headed for something big at Wrestlemania. And I am not sure what the future holds for Ambrose.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

6. Royal Rumble match for the World Heavyweight Championship

A wrinkle was thrown into this year’s Royal Rumble match as the World Heavyweight champion, Roman Reigns, was forced by Vince McMahon to defend his title in the match. This is only the second time that the title is up for grabs in the match and the first time someone has to defend it in the rumble. But will Roman survive and keep his title going in at number 1? I hope not. It’s not because I don’t like him. I definitely think he has improved. But if he does retain the belt, it will all seem TOO staged. Sure, we all know how wrestling works, but that would be too much for most fans. So, that leaves us with a new champion. Will it be Brock Lesnar? Triple H? Chris Jericho? A member of the League of Nations? I don’t believe. Will it be a surprise entrant like the rumored AJ Styles? Or the always returning WWE Legends? Nope. How about Kevin Owens? I said that he will probably be elevated for Wrestlemania but I don’t think he needs to win this match. Nope. I am going with a man who has teetered on rising to the next level. Someone who could have been in the main events many times over if WWE had not had him lose seemingly every big match he has been in. Some one to feud with Reigns and maybe even hold the championship into Wrestlemania. My pick is…

Winner: Bray Wyatt

Daryl Karpinski, Jr.