NZPWI Roundtable: WWE Royal Rumble 2019

The Road to WrestleMania 35 begins at WWE Royal Rumble!

Champions will be decided, and contenders will emerge as the WWE Superstars descend on Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, for the first pay-per-view event of the year.

Brock Lesnar defends the Universal Championship against the first man – or will that be Demon? – to hold the title, Finn Balor. Daniel Bryan battles AJ Styles with the WWE Championship, and an entire ideology, on the line.

Who will start the Road to WrestleMania with a win? Join the NZPWI Roundtable as we break down the card for WWE Royal Rumble 2019.

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30-Man Royal Rumble Match:
Andrade vs. Apollo vs. Baron Corbin vs. Big E vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Elias vs. Jinder Mahal vs. John Cena vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Mustafa Ali vs. R-Truth (30) vs. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins vs. Titus O’Neil vs. Xavier Woods vs. ???

Grady Hooker (100% accurate at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix):
I can’t look past my man Drew McIntyre. Loved him before and still love him now—the man to beat Brock Lesnar!
Winner: Drew McIntyre

Richard: (80% accurate at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix)
Rumbles are so hard to pick because there are so many variables. That said, I would be thrilled to see Drew McIntyre win.
Winner: Drew McIntyre

Steve McCleary (60% accurate at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix):
Titus. Ha! No, it’s time to burn it down.
Winner: Seth Rollins

David Dunn:
There’s a lot of discussion around the Raw Superstars in this match, but I think SmackDown has some equally dangerous contenders. Especially an angry Samoan Submission Machine.
Winner: Samoa Joe

Sammy G (40% accurate at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix):
The road to WrestleMania starts now! I have two picks for the Rumble, one representative from each brand, but I’ll go with…
Winner: R-Truth

 

30-Woman Royal Rumble Match:
Alex Bliss vs. Alicia Fox vs. Bayley vs. Billie Kay vs. Carmella (30) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Dana Brooke vs. Ember Moon vs. Lacey Evans vs. Lana vs. Liv Morgan vs. Mandy Rose vs. Mickie James vs. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Nia Jax vs. Nikki Cross vs. Peyton Royce vs. Ruby Riott vs. Sarah Logan vs. Sonya Deville vs. Tamina vs. Zelina Vega vs. ???

Grady:
Becky loses earlier, joins the Rumble, double finish with Charlotte, triple threat at WrestleMania. Change my mind.
Winners: Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair

Richard:
There are really only a couple of things in Charlotte’s career that she hasn’t accomplished, and winning a Rumble is one of them. I expect that to change this year.
Winner: Charlotte Flair

Steve:
I smell shenanigans costing her the earlier match, and my instincts tell me that The Man will come around.
Winner: Becky Lynch

David:
Of everyone announced for the 30-Woman Royal Rumble, there’s one Superstar whose accomplishments stand out above the rest. Why not add a Royal Rumble win to that lengthy list?
Winner: Charlotte Flair

Sam:
With a lot of names showing up for the Battle Royal at Evolution, it would be great to see a legend return to shake up the women’s division! Natalya is also quite high on my list of potential winners.
Winner: Natalya

 

Universal Championship:
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Finn Balor

Grady:
Finn is great and all, and the match should be as good as the Daniel Bryan one… but the outcome will also be the same.
Winner: Brock Lesnar

Richard:
Finn will put up one hell of a fight but I feel The Beast will still be a bit too much for the Balor Club leader.
Winner: Brock Lesnar

Steve:
I’d love Finn to take it, but we’ve all seen Brock take out another small man whose last name started with B as well.
Winner: Brock Lesnar

David:
I’d love to see Finn Balor regain the Universal Championship, I really would, but I’ve seen what Brock Lesnar did to AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan – Superstars of similar stature to Balor – when they tried to slay The Beast.
Winner: Brock Lesnar

Sam:
I mentioned Balor as The Demon in Gimme Five at the start of the weekend. If he brings that persona to the Rumble, I feel like Brock will have a major fight on his hands! I’m backing Balor to pick up the win.
Winner: Finn Balor

 

WWE Championship:
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles

Grady:
AJ was at the top for long enough, it’s Bryan’s turn to show the WWE Universe just how fickle they are.
Winner: Daniel Bryan

Richard:
Hopefully, the ending to this is less controversial than the first title match they had. That said, I feel the result will be the same.
Winner: Daniel Bryan

Steve:
Daniel Bryan, the planet’s champion, fights for all of us. And we reward him by being fickle. No more! Thank you for showing people the error of their ways, especially that consumerist redneck.
Winner: Daniel Bryan

David:
Daniel Bryan could be in the best form of his career—and that’s saying something when he’s won the world title in the WrestleMania main event. “The New” Daniel Bryan knows who he is, and that’s the WWE Champion.
Winner: Daniel Bryan

Sam:
I’m like a kid in a candy store for this one! Both are evenly matched participants, equally worthy to hold the title AJ’s recent “awakening” from Mr McMahon may not have had the desired effect going into this match, so I’m going with D-Bry to retain this time.
Winner: Daniel Bryan

 

Raw Women’s Championship:
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Sasha Banks

Grady:
Rousey is on a collision course with Charlotte, Becky, or maybe even both. I don’t see Banks taking the belt here, but she will put up a good fight to show she belongs with gold… just not this gold.
Winner: Ronda Rousey

Richard:
The Boss is nothing compared to the Baddest Woman on the Planet.
Winner: Ronda Rousey

Steve:
This is gonna be great. But I don’t think Banks has been granted enough time to scout the champion.
Winner: Ronda Rousey

David:
Sasha Banks told NZPWI she’d be watching a lot of tapes to see what Ronda Rousey can do in the lead-up to Royal Rumble. If anyone can find some weakness in the champ, I’m sure it’s a student of the game like The Boss.
Winner: Sasha Banks

Sam:
Ronda’s entanglement with WWE’s Four Horsewomen continues, and I’m totally invested. I fully expect these two to put on a great match! (Is that the sound of hooves I hear rumbling in the background?)
Winner: Ronda Rousey

 

SmackDown Women’s Championship:
Asuka (c) vs. Becky Lynch

Grady:
Charlotte has shown she doesn’t mind interfering and I think she will play a factor in Becky’s loss—thus opening up Asuka for another woman in the lead up to WrestleMania with Fastlane and Elimination Chamber.
Winner: Asuka

Richard:
The Man is coming for that title. I expect to see The Man win here.
Winner: Becky Lynch

Steve:
Another tremendous match-up. Something’s going to go wrong though, I can feel it. Most likely more jealousy from Charlotte or Rousey.
Winner: Asuka

David:
Becky Lynch would still be SmackDown Women’s Champion if it wasn’t for Ronda Rousey. With Ronda, Charlotte, and anyone else with an issue with Lynch focussed on themselves for the night, Becky should find a way to regain her title.
Winner: Becky Lynch

Sam:
Considering the way Asuka won at TLC, and the history of Charlotte and Becky, I’m a little surprised they didn’t make this a cage match to ensure a true one-on-one/no interference encounter. With nothing to keep other people out, I think Asuka leaves with her title. (Those rumbling hooves are getting louder, I swear!)
Winner: Asuka

 

SmackDown Tag Team Championship:
The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus) (c) vs. The Miz & Sheamus

Grady:
How can you not take the co-Best in the World?
Winners: The Miz & Shane McMahon

Richard:
This still seems a bit ridiculous to me but, hey, let’s play devil’s advocate.
Winners: The Miz & Shane McMahon

Steve:
I am so confused. This nepotism has to stop! If we let this go, what next—Maryse and Steph become the women’s tag champs? Just say no.
Winners: The Bar

David:
There’s a lot less tape of The Miz and Shane McMahon to study than there is of The Bar, but Cesaro and Sheamus have years of experience in tag team competition, and there’s no workaround for that.
Winner: The Bar

Sam:
I’m really torn by this one. Sheamus and Cesaro have been pretty dominant champions, and I will be happy to see them retain. The same can be said if the team of “MizMahon” walk away with the belts. I’m going with the latter scenario.
Winners: The Miz & Shane McMahon

 

Royal Rumble 2019 Picks Summary:

30-Man Royal Rumble Match:
Drew McIntyre: 2 (40%)
R-Truth: 1 (20%)
Samoa Joe: 1 (20%)
Seth Rollins: 1 (20%)

30-Woman Royal Rumble Match:
Charlotte Flair: 2.5 (50%)
Becky Lynch: 1.5 (30%)
Natalya: 1 (20%)

Universal Championship:
Brock Lesnar: 4 (80%)
Finn Balor: 1 (20%)

WWE Championship:
AJ Styles: 0 (0%)
Daniel Bryan: 5 (100%)

Raw Women’s Championship:
Ronda Rousey: 4 (80%)
Sasha Banks: 1 (20%)

SmackDown Women’s Championship:
Asuka: 3 (60%)
Becky Lynch: 2 (40%)

SmackDown Tag Team Championship:
The Bar: 2 (40%)
The Miz & Shane McMahon: 3 (60%)

 

WWE Royal Rumble 2019
Monday, January 29
1pm NZDT (Royal Rumble Kickoff from 11am)
Sky Arena & WWE Network