Men’s Royal Rumble Match

(Announced at time of writing: Daniel Bryan, Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Otis, The Miz, Jey Uso, Cesaro, Jeff Hardy, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Shinsuke Nakamura, Big E, John Morrison, Sheamus, Mustafa Ali, Edge + 13 TBC)

I love the Royal Rumble. Seriously. It’s my favourite match of my favourite show of the year and even a *bad* Rumble still has it’s moments of joy (although WWE really tried to disprove that theory the year that they had Kane and Big Show just single handed eliminating everyone). And from a gambling perspective, it’s an absolute goldmine.

You can’t get odds on “will be in the Rumble” sadly, but I’m assuming that the remaining 13 will feature Riddle, Braun Strowman, perhaps The Fiend? Could be an interesting time to return Aleister Black too (if he’s ever coming back). The Hurt Business are also oddly missing from the list too. It’s also always good for an NXT appearance: Karrion Kross & Damien Priest seem absolute locks for it.

But what you CAN get odds on (beyond the obvious “who is going to win the Royal Rumble”) are a range of options from “final 4”, to “Most Eliminations”, “Iron Man” and “Shortest Stay”. Here’s where some smart money goes on each:

Final Four: One of the shortest odds here is Edge at 6/4, but as you’re essentially doubling your money, it’s a good shout. With his return from injury, it’s very unlikely The Rated R Superstar will be doing Iron Man duties, but he’s been a regular in the final four over the years. Can’t see him winning the thing, but whoever eliminates him will get boost and could well play into the finale. Jay White interestingly is 17/2 but that first of all means he *is* in it, but even if he is, it doesn’t mean he’d have to win or even come close to make an impact (see AJ Styles).

Most Eliminations: Keith Lee is the favourite here at 4/1 but the long odds for a favourite suggest that this is a pretty open field. Unless someone is going “beginning to end” ala. HBK then you’re really looking for the biggest dog in the fight. Keith Lee is a good shout for this. I’d avoid the 2nd favourite – Braun Strowman – simply because (and ironically because) he’s the record holder for a single Rumble. Big E is a good shout at 10/1… but for an outside bet? Bray Wyatt is 16/1. The Fiend is big enough, but *if* he is in The Rumble then some trademark wackiness could well lead to multiple eliminations.

Iron Man: Daniel Bryan is 11/2 and is a good shout here for this. Putting a proper session in feels very Bryan-esque and is worth a few quid here. As is the favourite for this – Shinsuke Nakamura – is a good shout. Again – IF he is in it, Jay White could be bet; you’ll get odds of as much as 50/1 for The Switchblade to be the Iron Man. But that means he’d have to enter which I’m unconvinced about.

Shortest Stay: The shortest odds I find for this are Sami Zayn at 7/1. This is because the bookies are thinking “who would work well with a comedy quick elimination?” which Zayn would. But all sorts of people have had quick elminatons and it leads to some surprisingly long odds. Miz (33/1) Ricochet (33/1) Cesaro (50/1) are all worth a bet… but throw a couple of quid on Randy Orton at 66/1 too.

So who wins? There’s a rumour going around at time of writing for a “scary” finish and my gut says that means The Fiend with some proper Wyatt related bollocks. At 14/1 it’s not a bad bet either. But in these sad times, I’m going to be optimistic and back the favourite. Go on Daniel Bryan. Bring it home.

Prediction: Daniel Bryan

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

(Announced at time of writing: Nia Jax, Charlotte Flair, Bianca Belair, Bayley, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Peyton Royce, Alexa Bliss, Shayna Baszler, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Tamina + 18 TBC)

Let’s predict this one the same way as the mens: “Final 4”, “Most Eliminations”, “Iron Man”, “Shortest Stay” and importantly – who is gonna win.

Final Four: The bookies are very much backing that the Women’s rumble is far more of a ‘certainty’ than the Men’s… and the money is loaded against Bianca Belair winning it all. She’s 6/4 to win the thing, and an incredibly short 1/16 to make the final four. The bookies seem very confident that the final four will consist of Belair, Bliss, Ripley, Charlotte and Bayley. Ripley is the longest odds here of these at 5/4 so could be worth a bet. But I’d back Nia Jax at 13/2 which seem very good odds for someone I expect to be near the end.

Most Eliminations: Rhea Ripley, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler all seem good bets here at 5/1, 6/1 and 8/1 respectively. In fact, back all three with equal bets and you’re looking at a decent return for something that’s looking pretty likely.

Iron Man: Bianca Belair is 5/1. Get your money on this. Nothing else to say. This is a *great* bet.

Shortest Stay: The ‘favourite’ for this isn’t who I’d originally guessed (I’d thought Lana who is 10/1) but rather Billie Kay who – when you think about it – feels very right. She’s 3/1 here which are still decent odds. It’s a harder one to guarantee, I think it could be worth a punt.

So… who wins? With odds so short, it’s going to be Belair or Bliss. I think Belair goes Ironwoman, but Bliss wins through Fiend related nonsense

Prediction: Alexa Bliss

WWE Universal Title – Last Man Standing

Roman Reigns © vs Kevin Owens

Oof. Given the stips, I’m hoping that this is fun. The Big Dawg is on great form and a last man standing match is an environment which Owens tends to thrive in.

The result isn’t really in question – Roman is winning this and almost certainly by Usoference (could be either of them) and I’m expecting a big slice of violence to finish it – certainly enough to rule Owens out of a Rumble entrance (presumably) later in the evening.

With Roman as the dominant champion, the likely scenario sees whoever wins the Rumble going on to challenge Reigns (over McIntyre or Goldberg) which further plays into the idea of Bryan winning it). It’ll be interesting to see where Owens goes afterwards. Roman is 1/10 to win here though, so keep your money away from it.

Prediction: Roman Reigns Wins

WWE Title

Drew McIntyre © vs Goldberg

Oh Lordy. This’ll end well.

History says you never bet against Goldberg and the fact he’s only 9/4 to win here shows that the Bookies are aware of this; regardless of how little sense it would make for Goldberg to win.

I mean… they’re not going to have Bill beat Drew. Are they? Are they??

No. Probably not. As I’ve done before, let’s keep this prediction as long and detailed as a Goldberg match itself. Drew wins. Give him Keith Lee at Mania.

(EDIT: Balls. Miz has got the case hasn’t he? If the Men’s Rumble is on BEFORE this match, then a Miz cash-in is a LOT more likely)

Prediction: Drew McIntyre Wins

WWE Women’s Tag Title

Asuka & Charlotte Flair © vs Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler

This is the only match I can’t find odds for (yet) so it’s a bit harder to give any real gambling advice. But I will say this… “Wacky Mismatched Tag Team Partners who can’t get along and one of them is a single’s champion also” is a story that has been told before – and usually we need a story beat of them losing the tag titles.

I think that happens here; Baszler and Jax regain the tag belts causing the rift between Charlotte and Asuka which eventually leads to a match between the two at Mania (it’s another reason why I’m not backing Flair to win the Rumble – she doesn’t need it to get a title shot if she’s in this story with Asuka). It would actually be a nice thing if – so angered by the loss – Asuka plays a role in Charlotte getting eliminated from the Rumble.

Maybe it goes on for another month and they drop the belts to someone else, but who? It feels like a good point to start the feud – hopefully it can carry through to Mania.

Prediction: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler Win

Those are our predictions. What are yours? Please leave them in the comments below!