Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 May 2019

Seth Rollins prevails as Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch repeat 1994 Hart/Luger finish: WWE Royal Rumble predictions

Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan, Ronda Rousey and Asuka all retain their titles as Shane McMahon and The Miz win tag gold

Seth Rollins will win the men's Royal Rumble on Sunday. Image courtesy of WWE
Seth Rollins will win the men's Royal Rumble on Sunday. Image courtesy of WWE

Ahead of Sunday's WWE Royal Rumble network special, which is being held at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, here is a rundown on the card and what to watch for.

The show is available on the WWE Network, which can be be watched via OSN Sports, with the action starting from 3am UAE time on Monday morning.

Seth Rollins to win the men's Royal Rumble

This feels like the most obvious choice. Rollins has been built up as the main babyface on Raw in recent months and putting him on a collision course with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 35 seems a natural fit.

Rollins has already had a couple of digs at Lesnar, the pair have history, and winning not just for himself, but for the absent Roman Reigns, ticks a lot of boxes.

Drew McIntyre, Samoa Joe and Randy Orton are all potential threats. Orton, if Styles wins his WWE World Heavyweight title match, is a very believable winner.

But this is Rollins's night. He has momentum and the WWE show faith in him.

Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair to both win the women's Royal Rumble

A very tough one to call as Becky Lynch could be a late addition to the second staging of the Rumble, and she almost certainly will be as she isn't regaining the SmackDown Women's title.

Both Lynch and Charlotte Flair appear to be on a collision course to face Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women's title at WrestleMania.

So, how do both get there? There is still events such as the Elimination Chamber to come and one of them could be added later on to a title match-up.

I think they do a repeat of the men's 1994 Rumble finish, where Bret Hart and Lex Luger went over the top rope together and were co-winners.

Lynch and Flair are the last two and both go over together and both earn a title shot with Rousey.

It might not be satisfying that either woman does not win on her own but it adds to the narrative of the two women getting in each other's way in their quest to take out Rousey.

Brock Lesnar retains the WWE Universal Championship against Finn Balor

If Vince McMahon and WWE needed any reminder of just how over Balor is then his pop in England earlier this month at NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool highlighted it in noisy and spectacular fashion.

Balor won on that night but he is not winning here. He is going to get the next best result which is Lesnar bumping and selling for him, something he doesn't do for everyone.

Lesnar retains, Balor reminds everyone how under utilised he is on the Raw brand and we are left to wonder how and where he will fit in to the Road to WrestleMania.

Daniel Bryan retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against AJ Styles

This is an interesting set-up given that Bryan has already beaten Styles once, cleanly, since he took the title off him.

Styles could conceivably win it back here, but it feels as if there is still a lot of mileage in Bryan as champion in his new heel persona.

Bryan retains, possibly with outside interference from Orton to start his mooted WrestleMania match-up with Styles.

Ronda Rousey retains the WWE Raw Women's Championship against Sasha Banks

Banks is in a similar spot to Balor in the men's title match. She is not dethroning Rousey and her job is to get a good match out of the champion.

Rousey is going to WrestleMania still undefeated and this should be a fun match, with Banks having a fair bit of offence and even teasing the heel side to her character.

But Rousey wins and Banks can prepare to try and become a tag champion with Bayley.

Asuka retains the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship against Becky Lynch via disqualification

Now WWE have kind of booked themselves in a corner here. If Lynch wins how do they get her facing Rousey? How do they have her lose to Asuka without losing face? How do they have Asuka win, if there is interference, without making her look like a paper champion?

Not an ideal scenario, at least not for Asuka, but Nia Jax interferes to attack Lynch in vengeance for being punched at TLC, and this sets up Lynch forcing her way into the Rumble.

Shane McMahon and The Miz win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against Sheamus and Cesaro

The one title change on the show. The Miz to be the hero here and inspire himself and McMahon to an unlikely victory.

Sheamus and Cesaro are so good they can eat a loss and not be hurt by it.

Plus, they may well have the belts back sooner rather then later as Miz and McMahon feels like an inevitable split waiting to happen.

Who will be the heel or face is too early to call but this will be a short title reign for Sunday's victors.

Rusev to retain the United States Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura

Rusev only just won the title from his opponent so he is not dropping it here.

This is likely to be a short match with both men doing double duty by being in the Royal Rumble too.

Buddy Murphy to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in a fatal four-way against Kalisto, Akira Tozawa and Hideo Itami

This should be fun and have plenty of entertainment and spots. But Murphy has been terrific as champion so far and there is absolutely no need for him to drop the strap here. This likely sets the seeds for a longer feud with Itami.

Updated: January 25, 2019 06:02 PM

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