WWE Royal Rumble Predictions

Royal Rumble logo
Royal Rumble

WWE kicks off their first pay-per-view weekend of 2019 and begin the road to WrestleMania 35, as they present their always highly-anticipated WWE Royal Rumble event on Sunday evening.

Following Saturday night’s NXT TakeOver: Phoenix 2019 special at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, WWE will hold their annual Royal Rumble show at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. The show will feature the Men’s and Women’s Royal Rumble matches, multiple world championship bouts and more.

In the co-main events of the evening, Brock Lesnar will defend his WWE Universal Championship against the first man to ever hold the title, Finn Balor, while Daniel Bryan will put his WWE Championship on-the-line against former champion A.J. Styles. Also on the card is Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks for the RAW Women’s Championship, Asuka vs. Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women’s Championship and The Bar vs. Shane McMahon & The Miz for the SmackDown Tag-Team Championships.

In Kickoff Show matches on the live pre-show on the WWE Network, Buddy Murphy will defend his WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Hideo Itami, Akira Tozawa and Kalisto in a Fatal-4-Way, while Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura will do battle with the WWE United States Championship up for grabs.

SEScoops.com writers Andrew Ravens, Ian Carey and Jeff Moss have prepared their predictions for each of the matches scheduled for Sunday’s big event. Without further adieu, here are the SEScoops.com staff predictions for WWE Royal Rumble 2019.

Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE U.S. Title)

Andrew Ravens: This is a real pick em here as either guy can win this match and title. Yes, Rusev just won the title last month but there wasn’t much build-up to that title change, and with it being on Christmas night when it aired, WWE could’ve done it to send the fans home happy on a holiday. Since then, WWE hasn’t done much with either guy. I have Nakamura regaining the strap back as Lana gets involved. (Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura)

Ian Carey: What a difference a year makes. Nakamura won last year’s Rumble, leading many to believe he was finally to become the main eventer everyone was hoping he would be positioned as. Now, a year later, he’s challenging for the US title he just lost on the Royal Rumble pre-show. Not only that, he’s probably going to lose. (Prediction: Rusev)

Jeff Moss: Also in the “too good for us all” category is Rusev. Dear, sweet, handsome Rusev. He should be a contender for the WWE Championship, but it’s still nice to see him getting some gold. I can’t see him losing it back to Shinsuke here, even though (allegedly) Shinsuke Nakamura still works for WWE. Wouldn’t it be fun to see HIM vs Brock Lesnar for the Universal strap? Anyways, enough fantasy booking, Rusev wins and the few people in attendance for the kickoff show rejoice. (Prediction: Rusev)


Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto vs. Hideo Itami (WWE Cruiserweight Title)

Andrew: This should be one heck of a contest with a ton of great action that could be one of the better matches of the night. Although there are other contenders in this match, other than Itami, there’s no one that stands out as a threat. I think Murphy steals one to retain the title. (Prediction: Buddy Murphy)

Ian: Sunday is the night Hideo Itami wins his first championship in WWE since signing with the company in 2014. Itami is someone who, for whatever reason, has not reached his potential in the company. That could change if he wins the cruiserweight title on Sunday. The match being on the pre-show doesn’t lend well to a title change but that’s still what I think happens here. (Prediction: Hideo Itami)

Jeff: This match is too good for kickoff. It’s too good for all of us. This is going to be a high-flying barnburner, but since we aren’t taking the cruiserweight division seriously yet (and why would they? It’s not like they have time to fill on RAW or anything) not many people are going to get to see it. If the powers that be want to move to a more story-driven 205 Live, then it’d be cool to put the belt on Hideo Itami. It freshens things up, and Murphy/Itami leading up to WrestleMania would be fantastic! (Prediction: Hideo Itami)


The Bar vs. The Miz & Shane McMahon (SmackDown Tag Titles)

Andrew: This will be an interesting match and not for the match quality but rather the finish of the match with the outcome. Yes, The Bar should retain the straps here, but it’s the story that WWE wants to tell. Do they do the turn of McMahon on Miz or vise versa or do they continue them being partners with them winning the titles? I have Shane and Miz having a brief title run. (Prediction: Shane McMahon & The Miz)

Ian: I don’t want this to happen but Shane and the Miz are going to win the tag titles on Sunday. Their tag team has to be going somewhere otherwise why is Shane doing it? It seems likely they win the tag belts and then break into a rivalry sometime between now and WrestleMania. (Prediction: Shane McMahon & The Miz)

Jeff: Can we swap this with one of the kickoff matches, please? (Sigh), all right, fine. When Shane won the coveted and totally not made up title of BEST WRESTLER IN THE WORLD at an event no one wants to admit happened, we were told “hold on, it’s going to play into a larger heel story.” I don’t know what happened between now and then, but it still literally feels like Shane said “Dad, can I have that?” And Vince said “Which one are you again? Paul, is it?” So, it wouldn’t surprise me if the tag belts changed hands here. But seriously, if ever there was a match made for the Kickoff show… (Prediction: The Miz & Shane McMahon)


Asuka vs. Becky Lynch (SmackDown Women’s Title)

Andrew: Although Becky Lynch is the hottest star in the entire company right now, I don’t see her winning the title back just after a month after dropping it. The way that WWE does the finish and how to protect Lynch will be the true story of this match. Obviously, Lynch will have a clear plan going into WrestleMania, but for Asuka, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. (Prediction: Asuka)

Ian: This is the one match where they could play around with things a bit. Somebody, I.E. Ronda or Charlotte, could cost Lynch the match here, causing her to go after Rousey and the Raw title. More likely, however, is that Lynch and Rousey each win their respective title matches, Flair wins the Rumble, and somehow we have a triple threat between them at WrestleMania. (Prediction: Becky Lynch)

Jeff: Oddly enough, both Women’s Title matches on this show centers around the rumored departure of Ronda Rousey after WrestleMania. It affects this match, because if Becky is going to unseat Ronda at WrestleMania and send her off into the sunset, then she probably won’t win here. It’d be a strange move to unify the Women’s titles at this juncture. That said, an Auska/Charlotte Flair re-match at WrestleMania would also be pretty darn good, so I’m going to lay my bets on Auska retaining here. Perhaps Ronda interferes? Maybe her Horsewomen show up? Lots of possibilities! (Prediction: Auska)


Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks (RAW Women’s Title)

Andrew: Obviously, Rousey is going to retain her title here, and for good reason as though Banks will give her the best match thus far in her WWE career if given enough time, Banks has been pushed as a quick challenger and not someone that WWE has built up over time in recent memory. A fun match but Rousey gets it done. (Prediction: Ronda Rousey)

Ian: Sasha Banks fans are likely not holding onto too much hope that she’ll win the title here. They likely are just hoping Banks does something to get herself noticed in the division. Tucked away in an on-again off-again friendship and tag-team with Bayley, it feels that Banks has gotten lost in the shuffle when really she should be in the mix at the top of the women’s wrestling pecking order. Rousey takes this match, however. (Prediction: Ronda Rousey)

Jeff: Like in the SmackDown Women’s Championships match, if Ronda/Becky is the money match for WrestleMania (spoiler: It is) then Ronda holds onto the belt here. What I’d really like to see though is a longer, more competitive match and if there’s anyone who can pull that out of Rousey, it’s Sasha Banks. I want this match to end with everyone saying “Ronda still has the title, but MAN! I forgot how GOOD Sasha Banks is!!” Because frankly, she really, really is that good. (Prediction: Ronda Rousey)


2019 Women’s Royal Rumble Match

Andrew: There are some other names in this match that no doubt have the potential to win it but to me, one name sticks out, and that’s Charlotte Flair. There have been rumors about her being involved in the WrestleMania 35 main event. I believe this and thus, Flair puts on a classic performance to add to her legacy. (Prediction: Charlotte Flair)

Ian: There is only one woman in this match who could possibly headline WrestleMania and her name is Charlotte Flair. There are 3 women in WWE above everyone else right now, Lynch, Flair and Rousey. With Rousey and Lynch each having other matches on the show, they likely aren’t in the Royal Rumble match itself, despite a few spots being open. It’s either Flair wins, Alexa Bliss pulls off an upset, or one of Lynch or Rousey makes a surprise appearance in the Rumble and wins it. My money is on Flair, however. (Prediction: Charlotte Flair)

Jeff: This one’s a tough pick. There are a number of women on both RAW and Smackdown who are ready to take that next step and bring their careers up a notch. However, With Charlotte Flair in the mix, it’s hard not to immediately lean that way. WWE loves to bait ‘n switch us with stuff like that though, so Ember Moon, Nia Jax or even a previously unannounced participant could walk away with the win. My heart would grow three sizes if Ruby Riott was the winner, but I don’t think they are ready to pull the spotlight trigger on her yet. (Prediction: Charlotte Flair)


2019 Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Andrew: There are a lot of big names featured in this match ranging from Samoa Joe, Drew McIntyre, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and John Cena. The name that sticks out to me is Seth Rollins, and he’s been rumored to take on Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. I think there’s fire where there is smoke then that’s something to consider and have Rollins getting it done. (Prediction: Seth Rollins)

Ian: I’m taking Seth Rollins to enter in at an early position and go all the way through the pack. It feels as though Seth has been the MVP of Raw this year and the last remaining babyface to get a shot at Brock at WrestleMania. Whether he’s able to go to WrestleMania and win the Universal Championship is another question entirely. Samoa Joe and Bobby Lashley I could consider dark horse contenders. (Prediction: Seth Rollins)

Jeff: My literal favourite match of the year! So much potential! So many surprises! So much fun! That said, if I had to bear down and pick a winner, it would be: The Repo Man. Always The Repo Man. If he’s not in the match this year though, Seth Rollins is the logical choice. Not only has he been the best worker on RAW for the better part of a year, he’s the best suited to Main Event Wrestlemania. With that said though, ruling our Drew McIntyre would be a mistake and my sleeper favourite is Samoa Joe. But Rollins is the clearest bet. (Prediction: Seth Rollins)


Daniel Bryan vs. A.J. Styles (WWE Title)

Andrew: Daniel Bryan wins and retains his title. This should be the blow-off match between these two stars and the best match thus far between them. AJ Styles who decided that he wanted to drop the title, according to reports. Secondly, Bryan just won the title two months ago. (Prediction: Daniel Bryan)

Ian: Unless AJ Styles has signed a contract extension we aren’t aware of, I don’t see him winning back the WWE Championship anytime soon. Styles signed a 3-year deal with WWE in 2016, although it is currently not known when his end date is or if an extension has been agreed to. WWE seems committed to heel Bryan as champion, I don’t see them changing course on Sunday. (Prediction: Daniel Bryan)

Jeff: “The New” Daniel Bryan should never not be WWE Champion. Sure, we love him as a scrappy vegan babyface, but as an obnoxious, condescending and not entirely incorrect heel, he’s a freakin’ gem. The theme of this year’s Royal Rumble seems to be reminding people how good the performers we’ve become accustomed to can be. AJ Styles is the poster boy for this, as his runs and feuds this year have been pretty forgettable. Give this one 20-30 minutes and just let these guys GO. Bryan retains in the end, but man, it could be so much FUN to watch! (Prediction: Daniel Bryan)


Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor (WWE Universal Title)

Andrew: Outside of big fans of Finn Balor, I don’t know who is giving him a chance against Brock Lesnar. Yes, this has the potential to be a fun match due to the dynamic of these stars. I just don’t see Balor getting it done here as much as fun it would be. Lesnar moves on with the strap. (Prediction: Brock Lesnar)

Ian: There is a part of me who wants to suggest Finn Balor is exactly who WWE should be pushing right now but that part of me is drowned out by the understanding that Vince doesn’t see him as large enough to beat his big monster. This match will likely go similar to AJ Styles’ match against Lesnar from Survivor Series 2017, the challenger will somehow make the crowd believe he has a chance, only to ultimately lose in the end. (Prediction: Brock Lesnar)

Jeff: It’ll be a spectacle. It’ll be brutally violent. It’ll be 10 minutes, tops. But at the end of the night, you’re Universal Champion will still be Brock Lesnar. Lesnar is going to hold that belt until the last possible minute his contract allows. Even then, he might just sign a new one and keep rolling with it if UFC doesn’t get their ducks in a row. Finn needs to have a good showing here to remind everyone just what he is capable of. I expect that he’ll get in some good offence on an “unexpecting” Lesnar and come away looking good. Lesnar will then suplex him into oblivion and that’ll be that. After all, Brock doesn’t mind doing that as long as he gets paid. (Prediction: Brock Lesnar)


What do the experts think is going to happen on Sunday? Check out the official WWE Royal Rumble betting odds. What do you think of the above WWE Royal Rumble predictions? Let us know by sounding off in the Comments section below, and make sure to join us here at SEScoops.com on Sunday evening for live play-by-play results coverage of the show!