Tonight, The Minute Maid Park in Houston hosts the thirty-third Royal Rumble. WWE has officially set the card with both the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championship on the line.
This year, WWE will host the third women’s Royal Rumble match in the history of the promotion. As the two years prior, the 30 participants will include women from NXT as well as the main roster. The ring will be stacked with amazing talent; all vying for a chance to challenge the champion of their choice at WrestleMania 36.
The staff of Bell to Belles have picked their predictions for all three women’s matches.
Becky Lynch vs. Asuka
Phil Lindsey: I think Asuka should win. There’s plenty of material here to keep this feud going until WrestleMania and I would love to see that. With that said, this is “The Man” we’re talking about. She’s the biggest female superstar on the roster. It feels like this is all meant to give Lynch her win to set up her next big feud. So, Becky Lynch will retain.
Lauren Founds: The storytelling for this match between Asuka and Becky has been tremendous. Asuka is dynamite as a heel. She is doing her best work, in my opinion, since she came up to the main roster. I have high hopes that this will be the match of the night but there will NOT be a title change. Becky will retain the championship and potentially lose at WrestleMania.
Dean Buckley: Becky will win and Becky should win. The way Becky and Asuka’s history was subtly drawn on in the build towards this match proves that a definitive victory is not enough to end a truly great feud forever. We shouldn’t worry about this feud ending too soon, we should worry about getting too much of a good thing all at once. I call it a win for Becky, with a possible run-in by my prediction for her WrestleMania opponent: Shayna Baszler. Becky’s been going around saying Asuka is the only woman who’s ever had number, but as Shayna likes to brag, she beat Becky and Bayley at the same time at Survivor Series. You know the Queen of Spades wants a crack at the Raw Women’s Championship.
Chris Jeter: Boy, did WWE pick an interesting time to have Lynch lose all of her self-doubts as to whether she can beat Asuka in favor of delivering some cool one-liners as the challenger’s expense. Was she neuralized by the Men in Black and told by the agents that she wasn’t worried about Asuka and should no-sell her like a 90s action hero? That’s the only thing that makes sense to me.
Anyway, this match should be as good as their encounter from last year. While an Asuka win would be a pleasant surprise, it’s hard to believe that WWE would go into WrestleMania season with one of their biggest stars on the outside looking in on the top matches for that show. So, I expect to see “The Man” collect her final debt with the Dis-Arm-Her, which won’t hurt Asuka since she’s a heel.
Bayley vs. Lacey Evans
Phil Lindsey: Lacey Evans will eventually be a champion but I don’t think she has the fan support WWE wants her to have just yet. It’s too soon for her to get her big win as a face and Bayley could really use a win. I also think it’s more advantageous for her to retain heading into WrestleMania season. There are many more possibilities for Bayley as opposed to Evans because there are less strong heels on SmackDown. Bayley will retain and WWE will dedicate the next few months to finding her challenger for Mania season.
If Bayley doesn’t retain, I wouldn’t mind seeing her and Sasha challenge for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania.
Lauren Founds: As much as I would love to see that championship around Lacey’s waist, I don’t think it’s time. Lacey has certainly proved her worth as a headliner against the likes of Becky Lynch and now Sasha and Bayley, but she will have to wait a little longer to be a champion.
I expect Bayley to retain and the long-awaited feud between Bayley and The Boss to begin and culminate with a match in Tampa at this year’s WrestleMania with Banks dethroning the former Hugger.
Dean Buckley: Bayley will retain and Bayley should retain. I’ve enjoyed Bayley’s reign as a miserable heel champ way more than I anticipated and I’m just not ready for it to end. Sure, it’s produced more great character moments than great matches, but that may just mean that Bayley’s reign-defining match is just over the horizon. Obviously, many of us are hoping for Sasha vs Bayley at WrestleMania. If that’s the case, I hope Bayley vs Lacey is a narrow win for Bayley, to add fuel to the fire of her growing paranoia about Sasha when Sasha very likely wins the Royal Rumble. Sasha reassuring Bayley she won’t cash in on her, Bayley unable to trust her best friend, especially when she just came so close to losing her title, and that was to Lacey Evans of all people. It’ll be great if WWE plays it that way, so, now that I’m thinking about it, they probably won’t.
Chris Jeter: Given how invested WWE seems to be in Evans—though it doesn’t show in her character development, which falls short of qualifying as one-dimensional—there’s a small chance that they put the title on her. But even factoring that in, this feels like a B-Plot to keep Bayley occupied until it’s time to reheat the feud with Sasha Banks. So expect the champion to bump around and make Evans look good, but ultimately retain her championship.
2020 Women’s Royal Rumble match
Phil Lindsey: This is tough. My personal favorite to win is Sasha Banks. However, I think the recent women’s battle royal on NXT foreshadowed Shayna Baszler’s win. She dominated the match, racking up the most eliminations, even though she lost. That looked like a warm-up for her victory this weekend.
Also, WWE has given us two happy endings in a row. This feels like the year where a heel like Baszler could come in and rain on everyone’s parade.
Naomi and Nia Jax will more than likely be among the surprise entrants and I think we will see more legends than we did last year. Charlotte will be the Iron Woman of this year’s match and possibly beat Michelle McCool’s record for most eliminations. Honestly, she needs something to propel her to the front of the pack again. She will more than likely be one of the final four, as well.
Lauren Founds: The odds are stacked in the favor of former NXT Champion, Shayna Baszler, winning this year’s Royal Rumble. Her time in NXT is over, and I foresee her outlasting 29 other women and going after Becky Lynch’s Raw Women’s Championship.
I think the big surprises of this year’s rumble will be the return of Nia Jax and Ruby Riott who have been recovering from surgery for the majority of 2019. I would love to see Sonya Deville become the Iron Woman of the match, but it is more likely to be Charlotte, Jax or perhaps someone from NXT.
Dean Buckley: The safe bet is Sasha Banks to win, with Shayna Baszler in a close second. I don’t think either of them necessarily needs a win to get their WrestleMania match, so it’s possible neither of them wins and one teased feud (Baszler vs Lynch, probably) gets WrestleMania while the other is delayed until SummerSlam (Sasha vs Bayley, probably). There are lots of potential surprise returns that could lead to potential surprise victories. Ronda Rousey, Nia Jax, and Ruby Riott are on a lot of radars: two of them, to a greater or lesser extent, have unfinished business with Lynch. But if you ask me what’s in my heart, then I have to admit I’m pulling for Mickie James to win the Royal Rumble. I think she and Bayley could bring the house down at WrestleMania, and Mickie could even possibly be the one to dethrone Bayley for one final historic reign as women’s champion before she retires. Honestly, there’s not a lot of people I’d be sad to see win the Royal Rumble this year.
Chris Jeter: Depending on who you think will be in the Rumble, there are four realistic winners this year: Charlotte Flair (she hasn’t won one yet and WWE would love to tack that on to her list of accolades), Sasha Banks (the makeup of the SmackDown roster points to a WrestleMania match between her and Bayley), Ronda Rousey (because this seems like the spot for her to return with WrestleMania looming), and Shayna Baszler (WWE planted the seeds for a Baszler/Lynch match at Survivor Series and it seems like her time in NXT is over). Of those four, Baszler seems like the safest and most obvious choice, so I’ll pick her.
Who do you think will win this year’s women’s Royal Rumble match?
Leave a comment below and check back with Bell to Belles for updates following the event.