Posted January 23rd, 2016 by jshannon

Crystal Ball: Royal Rumble 2016

Jay Shannon draws upon all his predictive skills to pick the winners and losers of an upcoming major wrestling event.

Welcome to the first stop on the “Road to Wrestlemania”. This year, WWE has thrown a whole new spin into the Rumble match. Roman Reigns has to defend against all 29 of the others in the Rumble match. It seems almost impossible for Roman to survive, but I’ll get to that in a moment. The undercard is pretty solid, as well. Let’s get right into it…

Damien Sandow and Darren Young vs The Dudley Boyz vs The Ascension vs Mark Henry and Jack Swagger


There are a couple of established teams and a couple of rookie pairings in this one. Thankfully, Damien finally got rid of being a Macho Man reboot. My natural tendency would be to go with the Dudley Boyz, due to their success and time together as a team. I know the Ascension are this generation’s Bushwackers. They are reasonably fun to watch but unlikely that they will ever hold tag gold. Mark and Jack are both excellent but Mark is ready to retire (according to numerous rumors). I’m going to go off the deep end and pick Sandow and Young to pick up the surprise win. They will probably take out The Ascension, so the other two teams won’t have their reputations soiled.

Predicted Winners: Sandow and Young
Predicted Grade: 2.5 out of a possible 5

The New Day vs The Usos
World Tag Team Title Match


IF a title were going to change hands at the Rumble, this would be the one that I would pick. However, the Usos are dealing with some injuries. I think New Day will survive this one, only to fall, soon, to one of the teams coming up from NXT…probably the Vaudevillians.

Predicted Winners: The New Day
Predicted Grade: 3.0

Charlotte (w/Ric Flair) vs Becky Lynch
Divas Title Match


Becky is extremely talented. She should be the women’s champion. Unfortunately, she will be battling two opponents, on Sunday (Charlotte and Ric). Charlotte is quickly moving towards becoming as sneaky and underhanded as her daddy ever was. Charlotte will most likely pull some seriously questionable tactics to cheat her way to retaining her Butterfly Belt.

Predicted Winner: Charlotte
Predicted Grade: 2.0

Alberto Del Rio vs Kalisto
United States Title Match


Kalisto is definitely the NEW Rey Mysterio. His defeat of Del Rio was beyond shocking. Mind you, Kalisto dropped the belt only 1 day later (3 if you go by air dates). I expect Del Rio to end the Cinderella story of the masked man. It won’t be an easy win but the 2nd generation star will very likely overcome the much-smaller Kalisto.

Predicted Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Predicted Grade: 3.0

Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens
Last Man Standing Match for the Intercontinental Title


I hate Last Man Standing matches. They always end up with some dumb ending (look at Matt Hardy vs Ethan Carter III). It seems almost impossible that either man would not be able to get to his feet. This one is going to be brutal and possibly bloody. I ran this one past my little crew of wrestling buddies and Maggie gave the best response. “Dean is just way too wild to be held down…ever.” Ok, so my cute little friend is a major Dean fan and would never consider him losing but she has a point. Owens is one tough hombre. He defeated John Cena on his first match. He has taken down some of the best but he has struggled against the Lunatic Fringe. Dean may pull some silly stunt to keep Kevin down but he will retain. Dean should ask John Cena where they store the duct tape (bonus points if you get that reference). Smile.

Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
Predicted Grade: 3.5

The Royal Rumble Match


This match should be a lot of fun. The rumors that I hear are that several NXT stars, including the newest member, Austin Aries, might be involved. Everyone is expecting Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns to be the ultimate battle within the battle. That will be great but I’m thinking Brock gets dumped out…by Bray Wyatt. That would set up a great feud between those two. One rumor that I heard was that Triple H would make a surprise return and unseat Roman. I don’t think it will happen. I do think Triple H will battle Roman, at Wrestlemania, but with HHH as the challenger to the crown. Despite incredible odds, I expect Roman to defy the McMahons and win the war.

Predicted Winner: Roman Reigns
Predicted Grade: 4.5

In Conclusion:

WWE always brings out the best at this opening PPV of the season. I just watched the 40-man Rumble from a few years back and was still impressed with how well it was presented. I’m thinking this one could definitely be one of the better Rumbles. I will be right here at my little laptop for all the action on WWENetwork.com.


–Jay Shannon

Comments are closed.