WWE's Royal Rumble pay-per-view event is a cornerstone of professional wrestling.
The legendary over-the-top rope-battle-royale is one of the company's most exciting events. Not only does it reveal WWE's plans for Wrestlemania, but the Royal Rumble often marks the return of a superstar who has been out of action.
The match also features cameos from retired legends looking to pop the crowd and superstars from WWE's exciting third brand, NXT.
Over 30 years after its inception, the Royal Rumble remains a must-see match and pay-per-view event. The appeal doubled with the addition of a women's Royal Rumble match in 2018. The melee provides the often overlooked women superstars the same shot at wrestling immortality as it does for their male counterparts.
Some Rumble winners shocked fans while some were predictable and even infuriating. This year's matches are up for grabs more than ever before.
Here is a look at our favorites to win this year's men's and women's Royal Rumble matches.
Daniel Bryan is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. His technical wizardry as a professional wrestler and his resilience after battling his way back from forced early retirement sets him apart from his peers. His second act reminded fans how brilliant he is as a character, as well.
Bryan says that his current run with the company will likely be his last. He and his wife, retired WWE superstar, Brie Bella, have two children together. They've made it clear that they'd rather stay home than take bumps on the road at this point in their lives.
A win for Bryan at this year's Rumble will be a nice send-off and would rectify WWE not giving him the W in 2014 at the height of his popularity.
Much like Bryan, A.J. Styles says he will not renew his contract with the company after it expires. Despite being 43-years-old, Styles is one of the industry's best in-ring performers. However, the 20-year veteran wants to walk away from wrestling while he can still do so.
A.J. isn't involved in a major feud at the moment. Styles' pairing with the gargantuan Omos has its bright spots, but a separation won't hurt A.J. 's standings as a top star. A full-face turn and Royal Rumble victory will give Styles direction and make better use of his time before he calls it quits.
The internet wrestling community let out a collective groan when word spread that Vince McMahon took a liking to Keith Lee. McMahon is known for his fleeting interest in rising superstars in the company. One moment he's ready to push them to the moon, only for them to soon be moved down the card and rarely seen on television.
Lee's is another victim of Vince's trademark start-stop booking. One week he's competing in the main event on Raw for the WWE Championship. The next week he's in a forgettable tag team match used to kill time. If he wins on Sunday, it would highlight that Vince is still a fan. A win of this magnitude would set up a long-awaited championship win at Wrestlemania.
Edge's 2011 retirement rocked the professional wrestling world. The man born Adam Copeland walked away from his lifelong love while he was at the top of his game. But his return at 2020's Royal Rumble gave fans and Edge the closure they both desperately needed.
Edge's Rumble performance led to a pair of decent matches with frenemy Randy Orton. Unfortunately, an injury to his triceps sidelined him in June. Now that he's medically cleared to wrestle, Edge has the chance to join the short but prestigious list of multiple Rumble match winners.
If he's the last man standing on Sunday, it would be another milestone in his triumphant comeback.
Whether you love him or hate him, Brock Lesnar brings attention to WWE. Fans detest his ability to receive the main event payday whenever he feels compelled to show up. Still, his presence and involvement in WWE's product garners views from casual fans and brings the promotion mainstream attention.Lesnar's last WWE appearance was Wrestlemania after he dropped his championship to Drew McIntyre. A surprise entry in Sunday's match will put Lesnar and Drew on a collision course to reclaim what he lost a year ago.
It's no secret how high WWE is on Bianca Belair. She is one of the more protected superstars, and rightfully so. Her charisma and freakish athletic ability make her first in line to become the new face of WWE's women's division.
Belair's trajectory is a result of her impressive showing in last year's women's rumble. She lasted over a half-hour and eliminated eight women in the process. A much-deserved win sets the stage for a Wrestlemania dream match with Sasha Banks.
Bayley's heel turn in 2019 got off to a shaky start. She didn't appear comfortable playing an emotionless heel instead of the smiling hugger that kids loved. Fast forward to today, and Bayley is as entertaining as she's ever been since her main roster call-up.
Bayley's reinvention as an obnoxious loudmouth with a chip on her shoulder makes her shoo-in to win the Rumble. Knocking off the other women in the company will legitimize her new persona even more.
Lacey Evans is a superstar who would have greatly benefited from more time in NXT. Her sloppiness in the ring is a constant source of criticism. But her inexperience doesn't prohibit the company from featuring her in storylines with the top men and women superstars.
The likelihood of Evans winning the Royal Rumble will unquestionably annoy fans. However, Vince sees her as the next big thing and will risk angering die-hard fans to make sure he gets what he wants. A win for the Marines veteran would put her career on a different level.
Alexa Bliss is a consistent performer. Her abilities on the mic and in the ring haven't slipped since coming to the main roster in 2016. Her multiple title reigns make Bliss one of the most decorated women on the current roster.
Her transformation into The Fiend Bray Wyatt's twisted playmate has Bliss performing at a level that only she can reach. Her current booking as an indestructible barbie doll from hell is a top angle on Monday Night Raw. Becoming a Royal Rumble winner would add to the list of her accolades and validate her as WWE's top star.
Another potential return in Sunday's match, Naomi's support from the WWE Universe remains unwavering. Hashtags like #NaomiDeserveBetter represents how fans feel about the underutilization of the former Funkadactyl.
Much like last year's Royal Rumble, a Naomi return would receive a resounding reception. This time she needs to win it all and finally get the recognition and respect she has earned. Seeing Naomi point to the Wrestlemania sign after outlasting the other women in the match will be a feel-good moment that fans will never forget.
Any other superstars you think could win on Sunday?
Follow Us on Twitter @Popdust and let us know with the hashtag #ListedByDeascent!
- Brodie Lee and 7 Other Tragic Deaths in Professional Wrestling ... ›
- COVID-19's Impact On Professional Wrestling - Popdust ›
- 6 of The Undertaker's Greatest Opponents - Popdust ›