WWE Royal Rumble 2016 – Preview and Predictions

Promotion: WWE

Event: Royal Rumble

Date: January 24, 2016

Venue: Amway Center – Orlando, Florida

With a compelling build for the Divas championship match, a just about guaranteed awesome Last Man Standing match, and an interesting main event, the 2016 Royal Rumble event has the potential of not only being a good show, but to be the best show they’ve put on in months.

THE PANEL

We Write Wrestling Staff

Ryan Davis: Ryan is the founder of Kings of Wrestling Empire and We Write Wrestling. He runs the day-to-day operations on kowempire.wordpress.com, both the KOW and WWW Twitter accounts, and is the Total Divas reviewer for this website.

Ryan Davis’ Work on We Write Wrestling | Ryan Davis on Twitter

Dylan Osborn: Dylan Osborn is one of the staples for KOW Empire and has shifted his focus on We Write Wrestling as its reviewer for the independent wrestling scene in the United Kingdom.

Dylan Osborn’s Work on We Write Wrestling | Dylan Osborn on Twitter

Tacc Brown: Tacc has been a pro-wrestling fan for over 25 years. From Coventry, UK, he watches WWE along with NXT, Progress, ROH, PWG, Lucha Underground, NJPW and as much local independent stuff as he can get to. His all time favorite wrestlers are Eddie Guerrero and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Tacc Brown’s Work on We Write Wrestling | Tacc Brown on Twitter

Barry Hess: We Write Wrestling Editor, Columnist and Smackdown Reviewer

Barry Hess’ Work on We Write Wrestling | Barry Hess on Twitter

Richard Harris: An original from the early days of KOW Empire, Richard has recently joined the We Write Wrestling staff as a columnist.

Richard Harris on Twitter

Tee Link: Born and raised in Arkansas. Wrestling has always been a thing that has mattered to him ever since he watched “Flyin'” Brian Pillman jump off of the top rope when he was about five years old. Link is also the Monday Night Raw reviewer for the website.

Tee Link’s Work on We Write Wrestling | Tee Link on Twitter


Special Guest Panelists

We Write Wrestling is pleased to be joined by 3 guest panelists for this preview article.

Sealia Bloom: Talking Sheet Divas correspondent. Total Divas aficionado. Budding women’s wrestling guru. On Talking Sheet I deliver a ladies point of view as well as fire off verbal missiles offering a unique blend of commentary that spices up even the most boring of wrestling talk.

Sealia Bloom on Twitter

Dubya: A teen who loves some great promos and awesome matches. Just an average smark teen person. He’s also a member of the Kings of Wrestling Empire staff and hosts the “Smarky Podcast” on the website.

Dubya on Twitter

ZBestInTheWorld: Former host of “Make An Impact” and “That’s What I Call Lucha”, long time supporter and friend of KOW Industries.

ZBestInTheWorld on Twitter


 

WWE Tag Team Championship

The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and/or Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso)

Ryan Davis: This has potential to be a really good match. Most people disregard New Day’s in-ring performances as their promos outshine them, but New Day has good matches. The Usos have never really been my thing, but I understand why people like them. They’re no slouches in the ring either so these two teams have the chance to put on a great match.

Prediction: The New Day

Dylan Osborn: Well the tag team division has been one of the few highlights in WWE as of late with great matches coming from The Dudleyz, The Wyatts, The New Day, Lucha Dragons and The Usos. The New Day are still the best act in WWE right now and they have to keep their run going until at least WrestleMania. The match itself will be fine, both teams being very talented, but I have to go with The New Day retaining.

Prediction: The New Day

Tacc Brown: I love the New Day at the minute. They are being themselfs and that comes across in their promo work aswell as their in ring work. However, they are a standout part of a pretty messy tag division at the minute. There are more tag teams competing right now than I can recall in recent memory but other than new day, nobody is really standing out. The Usos are solid enough but have felt a little stale recently. Should be a solid match but not expecting a show stealer.

Prediction: The New Day

Barry Hess: The chemistry between these two groups has proven to be very good as of late. With Sin Cara out of action, halting any advancement of The Lucha Dragons, and the Dudley Boys preoccupied with The Wyatt Family; the Usos are the only real contenders for the tag titles right now. Forcing the Usos to remain on the chase makes the most sense here, given the way both teams have been booked.

Prediction: The New Day

Sealia Bloom: Although I feel slightly more open to the whole ” New Day ” gimmick ( Mind you-only because they provide a sense of entertainment and cross the limits of ridiculous that forces acknowledgment) I have a soft spot for the Usos. New day has been a constant contributor whereas the Usos have had some down time. I find the Usos refreshing. Not to mention, ill take the face paint and weird compression socks over the Dildo horns and munchkin shoes.

Prediction: The Usos

Dubya: This match will be a decent match but personally, nothing will change for these competitors. The New Day will remain over as ever and The Usos will keep getting more stale.

Prediction: The New Day

Richard Harris: Since The New day have been on the losing end recently it only makes sense for them to get their revenge at this PPV by beating the Usos….unless Chris Jericho gets involved which may be more likely and more stupid I might add. This match doesn’t need Chris Jericho. I love him but his time is winding down……..also Rooty Tooty Booty isn’t funny. It’s stupid

Prediction: The New Day

ZBestInTheWorld: Gotta go with New Day on this one. The New Day have no business losing those titles yet, not to the Usos at least. Some people say this title run has dragged on and lost its fire, but those that think that are probably just tired of seeing the New Day face either the Lucha Dragons or the Usos. New Day has been the most consistently entertaining acts on the main roster. Taking the belts off of them in favor of the Usos just wouldn’t make any sense. The only way New Day should drop the belts is to an NXT tag team that gets pulled up.

Prediction: The New Day

Tee Link: This is a match that we’ve seen quite a few times now, but it doesn’t feel stale just yet. Even with whispers from small corners of the internet wrestling community that the New Day’s schtick is wearing off, they’re still one of the most entertaining parts of WWE program. The Usos haven’t showed much of a reason why they might make better champions.

Prediction: The New Day


 

WWE Divas Championship

Charlotte (c) (with Ric Flair) vs. Becky Lynch

Dylan Osborn: A decent storyline between these two, much better than the tasteless crap they pulled with Paige, then making Paige FACE *deskpalm* I like how Ric says “3rd times a charm” which almost alludes to Becky winning. I feel Becky should win this match, so then her and Sasha can have a match at Mania and have Becky drop the belt there. The match will be good, these two gel well together and have had 2 good TV matches, this one should be no different.

Prediction: Becky Lynch

Tacc Brown: Heel Charlotte is excellent, although i could do without the ever more worrying Rick Flair by her side, He has helped elevate the story to this point. The build for this match has been well paced and they are making Lynch look a viable contender for the Divas title along the way. I don’t think the story ends anywhere but WrestleMania though so another Nature Boy engineered screw finish on this one I suspect.

Prediction: Charlotte

Barry Hess: A real argument can be made that Becky Lynch is the best pure babyface on the current roster heading into the Rumble. Since dropping the ‘goofy sidekick’ aspect of her character she has made a real connection with the audience. Charlotte’s heel turn has also helped her character a great deal, setting up a confrontation that could really go either way and make sense.

Prediction: Becky Lynch

Sealia Bloom: I like Charlotte more as a heel. And although one expects all the dirty plays when being an effective heel I wish Rick Flair had less to do with it. I want to see Becky do something more solid however, it would be extremely predictable if she were to win the title against Charlotte. Not to mention if she did, she would only possess it for a short while as it is not likely or believable that she could successfully keep the title whence the target is on her back. I would like to see Becky with the title but not yet. I think her time will come when more ladies are added to the main roster.

Prediction: Charlotte

Dubya: Where do I begin? This feud for me has been a flop. All the segments haven’t been too exciting (other than the one from this past Monday.) I don’t think anyone cares too much about any of this. I think they’re aware of that. So I think they’ll start something fresh with a new champ.

Prediction: Becky Lynch

Richard Harris: It only took about 7 months of hell before WWE finally figured out how to book the divas right. Now Charlotte is a cocky, bratty heel with Ric Flair as her manager which is a nice touch. And Becky Lynch is a babyface that’s over with the fans. Hopefully these women go out there and tear the house down. I think because of what Becky said to Flair on Monday, he’s gonna find a way to screw her over at the Rumble so Charlotte can pick up the win

Prediction: Charlotte

ZBestInTheWorld: It took a bit, but I’m actually invested in this feud. Personally, I’d like to see Ric with someone like a Dolph Ziggler, someone who can be a star but needs something fresh, but I’ve liked what he’s done here with Charlotte. He’s brought out both her inner Flair, and her inner heel; its just added more to the feud. People were already behind Becky Lynch before, but now that we’ve actually established the faces and heels (and Paige is out of the picture), it makes it easier for the casual fan to get behind Becky. If WWE wants to stick with there tradition of not pulling the trigger when they need to, Charlotte’s retaining. But, if WWE wants to step away from WWE logic and use actual smart booking for a sec, Becky should walk away with the title. She’s on fire, and this would shift things up in the women’s division a bit.

Prediction: Becky Lynch

Tee Link: In just the span of a month Charlotte has gone from Becky Lynch’s best and only ally to a full blown heel. This is really the only Divas storyline going on right now so it seems unlikely it ends at the Rumble.

Prediction: Becky Lynch


 

WWE United States Championship

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Kalisto

Ryan Davis: Alberto Del Rio’s run has been pretty disappointing and underwhelming and you can’t find many that will disagree with me on that. We heard reports that WWE was looking for the next Mexican star and was interested in bringing back Del Rio. Then he showed up and won the title and that’s about all he’s done. However, has WWE changed their mind? Could this be a match that WWE’s put a lot of thought into? What if they’ve now set their sights on Kalisto to be their star? I wouldn’t be against it. It only seems logical to have Kalisto win here because of what we saw a week ago.

Prediction: Kalisto

Dylan Osborn: Bit of hot potato with the title but some very good small vs big guy dynamic, Kalisto has been over as f*ck since TLC. Although there’s not much in terms of story, these two have had some good matches and I feel Sunday won’t be any different. I feel Del Rio needs this win more to establish some legitimacy to LON, who have been dwindling since TLC.

Prediction: Alberto Del Rio

Tacc Brown: With the back and forth booking of the title between these two I think we could be in for a good match here. Kalisto is great to watch. He has hit every bar WWE have set for him and they will have noticed the pop Kalisto got when he took the title from Del Rio this week. I think they will want that again on the PPV. There will be some interference from Del Rio’s international cohorts but I think, or atleast hope Kalisto can overcome the odds again and cement his place as the new high flying underdog of the WWE.

Prediction: Kalisto

Barry Hess: The final outcome of this match is potentially tied into the booking of the Rumble match itself, making it among the more difficult to predict. If Alberto Del Rio has been identified as a credible heel-threat to either Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar, it’s possible he wins the Rumble-meaning he no longer needs the US title. If his character is not going to be involved in the larger main-event picture as we move toward WrestleMania it makes little sense to take the only title owned by The League of Nations away from the struggling faction. On the flip side, Kalisto’s character development has been steady since making the transition to a singles competitor. That said, his ultimate underdog persona would take a significant hit with a second consecutive loss in a title match. If the plan is to create a new singles star, Kalisto must be booked strong on such an important show.

Prediction: Alberto Del Rio

Sealia Bloom: I honestly don’t have anything solid or of value to say here except that 1) I like watching them both in the ring 2) Kalisto is so small and cute like a little bundle of masked energy 3) Its slightly possible that due to Del Rio’s unexplainable “Glistening” that he could blind Kalisto into submission…. 🙂

Prediction: Kalisto

Dubya: The back and forth battle these two men have had has been random but, really good. Their matches are good, along with the storytelling behind it. A young Kalisto wants to make a name for himself and to do that he needs to win titles. The first one being, the U.S. Title. I don’t dig the hot potato with the belt but, if ADR drops it to him it should make for an interesting future.

Prediction: Kalisto

Richard Harris: I seriously don’t get why WWE gave Kalisto the US title only to drop it 24 hours later. But I guess it was just a way to make sure he gets his revenge at this PPV….which is dumb. If you ask me THIS should’ve been the time to officially give him the title instead of letting him hold it for just one night. Most likely Kalisto’s winning either way

Prediction: Kalisto

ZBestInTheWorld: Don’t have much to say about this match. I know its gonna be a great one, but I think its a mistake that Kalisto isnt walking into this as the champion. I get that maybe they want it to be a bigger moment so they put it on a PPV, but if that’s the case, why have him win it on Raw in the first place? Just another case of WWE’s 50/50 booking. People say title changes never happen on Raw anymore, Kalisto wins the title. People say nothing of importance ever happens on Smackdown, Kalisto loses the title. My personal grievances aside, this should be a great entertaining match

Prediction: Kalisto

Tee Link: The US title match is a hard one to call. Kalisto took the title off of del Rio for about 24 hours earlier in the month. Perhaps the higher ups were just testing out the idea of putting gold on the young luchador. Either way it feels like the League of Nations should keep a little bit of gold.

Prediction: Alberto Del Rio


 

WWE Intercontinental Championship

Last Man Standing Match – Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kevin Owens

Ryan Davis: I’m hyped. This match was MADE for these two and both men are excellent at what they do and even when given a standard singles match last month at TLC, they did a good job, so adding this stipulation for this match will make it all the better. I really dig this new side, this desperate side of Kevin Owens. With a championship, he is a madman with a plan, but without a championship he is just a madman and that is very intriguing to me.

Prediction: Dean Ambrose

Dylan Osborn: A rivalry everyone expected after the Survivor Series tournament, so far it’s been good, with Owens being more of a badass. These two should have a fantastic match, possibly match of the night, but with the stipulations, I feel we’re going to get super Ambrose booking. But the fans wont mind because Dean Ambrose. Hopefully Owens can win back the title, but if Dean is going to win, at least don’t book him too over the top or superman like, please, double standard fans are the worst.

Prediction: Kevin Owens

Tacc Brown: As a match that has two of my current favorite talents on the main WWE roster, in one of my favorite types of match, I’m expecting great things from this one. I think there will be more interference in this one, most likely from Wade Barrett and most likely will result in a win for Owens. Ambrose is excellent and even better when he’s chasing a title. So a win for Owens would make for a great build to Mania for these two.

Prediction: Kevin Owens

Barry Hess: Not since Razor Ramon vs. Jeff Jarrett at Royal Rumble 95 has there been such anticipation for an Intercontinental title defense at a Royal Rumble event…ok, but seriously, these two talented performers were born to work together. Expect chaos-galore in this one. Kevin Owens is currently a prize fighter without a prize, prime real estate for his character to inhabit. Few performers can pull off the role of a chaser while remaining a heel, Owens is just the man for the job!

Prediction: Dean Ambrose

Sealia Bloom: I have a weird crush on Kevin Owens and his anger/ asshole gimmick. I do enjoy watching Dean wrestle but I have to admit that the facial expressions he makes hurt my own face when I watch him in Promo mode. Annd…. Really?? the guy wrestles in JEANS… no one has questions about that? I would suspect when administering the majority of moves one needs a bit of … ummm “Breathing room”..

– Just saying Side Bar: I would like to point out that beside Finn Balor, Kevin Owens is my favorite character to play with on 2K16. 🙂

Prediction: Kevin Owens

Dubya: Possibly the most interesting match of the night(if the rumble sucks.) Ambrose and Owens have been building this up to the point where EVERYONE is interested to see who wins. The awesome stipulation adds even more suspense! Can we see either of these men down for 10 seconds? Neither of these guys would be too hurt from a loss here but, I have a feeling Owens will be moving on to bigger and better things.

Prediction: Dean Ambrose

Richard Harris: This is hands down my favorite feud in WWE right now. The build to this match has been pretty good with Kevin Owens returning to the psychotic heel who does whatever he wants without fear, and Ambrose is finally given something to do as well. A last man standing match fits Kevin Owens’ badass persona, and Dean Ambrose’s lunatic gimmick so this is the perfect match for them to fight in. Due to the way Owens has been built as a monster in these past couple of weeks the logical thing would be for WWE to give him the title here……but WWE is not logical.

Prediction: Kevin Owens

ZBestInTheWorld: Dean Ambrose is probably my favorite guy on the roster right now and introducing him to a weapon usually turns into something great. This isn’t going to be an average wrestling match. You’ve got the crazy and violent Dean Ambrose, vs the aggressive, take-shit-from-no-one Kevin Owens. I’m assuming this match is going to end in a crazy big spot, rather than some kind of wonky, duct tape contraption. As much as I love seeing Dean sell death, he looks great with the title, and definitely needs it right now. As much as we hate how WWE’s booked him, Owens will be fine. Dean has recently been booked as the sidekick of Samoan John Cena, and needs to get away from that.

Prediction: Dean Ambrose

Tee Link: Unstable, eccentric and unhinged are all terms often used to describe Dean Ambrose throughout his singles run. Another side that he’s shown is his low-key craftiness. That’s what you need to win a last man standing match these days. We’re sure to see the ten count come on another creative bit of cunning.

Prediction: Dean Ambrose


 

WWE World Heavyweight Championship

30-Man Royal Rumble Match

Ryan Davis: Sure people can hate on this all they want, I don’t care, I’m extremely excited for this match. It’s one of those rare times when even though I know it’s WWE, I believe they will actually pull the trick out of the hat and bring us something great. I’m just excited, I want all of you to forget about terrible booking and stuff because at the end of the day, it’s just wrestling man and it’s supposed to be fun. If you can’t get excited for a 30 man rumble where it’s almost nonstop chaos for about an hour, I don’t know what to tell you. I won’t say stop watching wrestling, but stop watching WWE, I understand the anger, but it’d be better to relieve yourself of it if it makes you angry.

Prediction: Roman Reigns

Dylan Osborn: Am I the only one getting annoyed saying this is the first time ever the main title will be defended on the Royal Rumble match itself? I guess technically back then it was the world title and now it’s the world heavyweight title, but still. Outside of that, with major hints of AJ Styles coming to WWE, with Steph even saying “Maybe someone you’ve never seen before” and interviews and videos of AJ. I’m going out there and saying Styles will win the Rumble in similar fashion to him becoming NJPW Champion on his debut. Outside of that, it will be either Brock or Roman walking out as champion.

Prediction: AJ Styles

Tacc Brown: This is always a tough one to predict, even more so with the current lack of what WWE consider top tier talent. I think we will see atleast 3 or 4 NXT faces including Sami Zayn, Finn Balor and possibly Baron Corbin. AJ Styles seems to be nailed on to appear aswell and a couple of WWE Legends should always be in the mix. But who is going to win one of the most important Rumbles of all time and go home with the gold? My pick is Triple H. I think Hunter holding the title will help to elevate Roman Reigns the most if they then build to a show down at Mania. I think Lesnar will appear around the midway mark and clean house but someone, who will almost 100% be his eventual opponent at the showcase of the immortals, will screw him out of the win. There’s a good argument for some others to win but taking into account how WWE like to book the Rumble this is the outcome I expect.

Prediction: Triple H

Barry Hess: 30 men, one WWE title…well maybe 31, probably 31, ok Triple H will most definitely be Number 31! Though its all but a given that Triple H will finally make his return to extract revenge on Roman Reigns (just like the true babyface his character is always booked to be, oh wait) I don’t see Hunter walking out of the Rumble with the title. If Reigns is going to be the supreme hero Vince McMahon is determined to make him, than the character requires a definitive WrestleMania moment-making it unlikely he wins the Rumble and enters WrestleMania as a champion rather than a challenger. That leaves Chris Jericho, Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt as the only remaining credible winners (based solely on current story progression). Of those choices Lesnar makes the most sense. Historically surprise entrants (oh hi AJ Styles, welcome to WWE Land!) are not booked in a position to win the Rumble, but of all years, this is the year that could be a possibility as well.

Prediction: Brock Lesnar

Sealia Bloom: This Question is over whelming as throughout the past three weeks all I have heard is peoples predictions that range anywhere from totally reasonable to what I would consider unreasonable. Clearly, you, my peers know more than me about how all this works. I’m just going to say Roman. It could be Brock, it could be Hunter, it could be one of the 29 entrants .. heck it could even be ( So I have heard) someone from NXT or a Main roster underdog. Who knows…. In Regards to WWE it seems “we THINK we know” most times but then… then they flip the switch. Lastly , Obvi I am going to choose Roman since I’m pretty sure should we meet I can charm him into having my babies… and yes I will totally steal him away from his wife.(Sorry “wife” I’m sure your cool and all but.. your man is delicious- totally not personal).

Prediction: Roman Reigns

Dubya: The main event, THE ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH. It getd uniqueness points because it is the first ever defense of the WWE title in a royal rumble. Flair won a vacant title so there was no defense, just similar to this is all. Anyways, there is so many possibilities for the outcome. I keep hearing more and more talk about Styles debuting at the Rumble. At one point it was just a rumor but, the past couple days has been blowing up with speculation. A big one being the fact that Styles said if there was a spot open in the rumble he would be there. He could be leading us on but who knows. Then there always is the one that most likely is going to happen. Where HHH comes back, screws Reigns, and wins the title. I don’t understand why people want this but, it’s all about taste. I personally don’t want the main event to be Trips vs Reigns. The good thing that may come out of this is someone feuding with Lesnar. Let’s say Trips wins the rumble then at Fastlane it’s Roman vs Lesnar for the #1 contendership of the title. Then let’s say Wyatt interferes and Roman wins in some fashion. Bing bang boom, Lesnar is mad at Wyatt then we have a feud for mania. It’s just speculation. As for my guess to win this match, I’ll play it safe.

Prediction: Triple H

Richard Harris: Roman Reigns should not win this match. And I’m not saying that just to be on the hate bandwagon. I’m saying that because WWE would be blowing their lid too soon. I expect Roman Reigns to have a big moment this year and that should be at Wrestlemania against Triple H. Have Triple H win the Royal Rumble and the WWE title so he can put Reigns over at Wrestlemania, and then the IWC can cry about how HHH never puts people over and how Roman Reigns sucks. That way everybody wins But this is WWE. Everyone knows what they’re going to do. Reigns is winning against 30 people at the Royal Rumble and it will make NO sense at all. They’ll waste their big moment at the Rumble leaving them stranded for Wrestlemania 32

Prediction: Roman Reigns

ZBestInTheWorld: Really don’t have much to say about this match. Another consequence of WWE’s 50/50 booking: lack of believable winners for the Rumble. Who has a legitimate chance of winning this? Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and THE GAME UGGGHHHHHHH! TRIPLE H UGGGGHHHH!!! My only true hope for this match is that a certain Phenomenal One makes an appearance during this Rumble, and maybe one or two people get pulled up from NXT, even if it’s just for the Rumble.

Prediction: Roman Reigns

Tee Link: It’s hard to ignore all the rumors and speculations as to who will be the winner of this year’s Royal Rumble match and walk away with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. So the match has to be looked at through that lense of what has played out in the last few weeks. Roman Reigns is being set up as the number one entrant to prove his motto, “one versus all”, to quiet all his critics, and perhaps make up for last year when even in victory he was booed out of the building. The only problem with that plan is that there is also a Beast waiting to enter and destroyed whoever stands between him and his title.

Prediction: Brock Lesnar


 

So there you have it, our predictions for WWE Royal Rumble 2016! Let us know your’s in the comments down below!

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3 thoughts on “WWE Royal Rumble 2016 – Preview and Predictions

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