The road to WrestleMania 32 unofficially begins on Sunday night in Orlando with the 2016 Royal Rumble. History will be made at the pay-per-view when the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is defended in the Royal Rumble match for the first time ever.
WWE has stacked the odds against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns, making him the No.1 entrant in the battle royal. He is among the favorites to win the match, and it should be interesting to see how the event plays out. In each of the last two years, the PPV ended as the fans booed the babyface winners, Reigns and Batista.
Fans were upset when Daniel Bryan didn’t win the Royal Rumble in 2014 and 2015, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be in the match this year. He hasn’t had a match since April, and Bryan still isn’t cleared to wrestle because of issues with concussions. John Cena will also miss the match after undergoing shoulder surgery that will likely keep him off the WrestleMania 32 card.
Below are predictions for the five matches on the card for Royal Rumble 2016.
30-Man Royal Rumble (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match)
Roman Reigns, Triple H and Brock Lesnar seem to be the only wrestlers with a realistic chance to win the Rumble, and Lesnar might even be a longshot at this point. Reigns and Triple H are all but guaranteed to have a match in the near future, and it’s looking like they could face off in the WrestleMania 32 main event with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line. Triple H hasn’t appeared on “Monday Night Raw” since Reigns attacked him at TLC, and there’s a good chance he’ll win the Rumble as a surprise entrant, setting up the title match in Dallas.
Prediction: Triple H
Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens (Intercontinental Championship Last Man Standing Match)
It wouldn’t be shocking to see Owens win the title, but WWE might have big WrestleMania plans for him and he doesn’t need the belt. Look for Ambrose to keep the belt until WrestleMania 32, where he could have a match with Chris Jericho for the IC Title.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose
The New Day vs. The Usos (Tag Team Championship Match)
The New Day remains one of the best parts of "Raw” every week, and there’s little reason for them to lose the championship. WWE could put the belts on The Usos just so there is one title change on the card, but it isn’t likely.
Prediction: The New Day
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto (United States Championship Match)
If WWE wanted to put the title on Kalisto, they would have let him keep the belt after he won it on “Raw” last week. Instead, Del Rio won the championship back on SmackDown, and he should remain the champ at the Royal Rumble.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch (Divas Championship Match)
WWE is likely building towards a match between Charlotte and Sasha Banks at WrestleMania 32, meaning Becky won’t win the title. Charlotte should win with Ric Flair’s help at ringside.