The Royal Rumble isn't WWE's biggest show of the year, but it may be the most fun. On Sunday's show there'll be two Rumble matches, one for the men and one for the women, with title shots at WrestleMania on the line. Unlike some past years, there are no obvious winners -- which makes for a more exciting Rumble.
Who can toss Brock Lesnar over the top ropes? That's the story of this year's Royal Rumble. Lesnar, the current WWE Champion, will be entering the men's Royal Rumble at No. 1. (The Royal Rumble is a 30-person battle royale, where two wrestlers start and a new one is added every 90 seconds. You're eliminated by being thrown over the top rope.) That's strange, because Lesnar is a world champion and the whole point of entering the Rumble is to earn a shot at a world championship. Perhaps he wants to win in order to get WrestleMania off? Or maybe he wants to challenge for SmackDown's Universal Championship and become a dual champion?
More likely, he's being set up to kill a bunch of people and be eliminated in spectacular fashion by someone. Who that person will be is a mystery.
Elsewhere, Becky Lynch defends her Raw Women's Championship against Asuka. Asuka tapped Lynch out at this very event last year, and Lynch wants her win back. It's one to look forward to. The Universal Championship is also on the line, with Daniel Bryan shooting for the gold in a strap match against Bray Wyatt. Strap match plus Bray Wyatt isn't the most promising calculus, but if anyone can make this good it's Bryan.
Royal Rumble 2020 takes place in Houston, Texas, on Sunday, Jan. 26. The main card starts at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET. If you're a WWE Network subscriber -- at $9.99 per month, but free for one month for new subscribers -- you can watch it live for free. Otherwise you'll need to contact your local cable provider and pay a separate fee to watch. The two-hour Kickoff Show starts at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET on WWE's YouTube channel and the WWE Network.
Viewers in the UK will have to stay up late, as the show starts there at midnight Monday GMT (10 p.m. Sunday kickoff). For Australians, Survivor Series starts at 11 a.m. AEDT time (9 a.m. kickoff) on Monday.
- Men's Royal Rumble.
- Women's Royal Rumble.
- Raw Women's Championship match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka.
- Universal Championship strap match: "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan.
- Falls Count Everywhere match: Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin.
- SmackDown Women's Championship match: Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans.
- United States Championship match: Andrade (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo.
- Kickoff Show match: Sheamus vs. Shorty G.
Roman Reigns will win the Rumble: Reigns is a safe bet to win almost any high-profile match he's in (), but that's not why I'm predicting this. The spotlight is on Brock Lesnar, but he's unlikely to win. I foresee him eliminating probably a dozen or so wrestlers, and mauling a dozen more, before being eliminated. It'll be a huge boost for whoever that person is -- and that person will end up challenging for Lesnar's WWE Championship at WrestleMania. That takes care of the Raw world championship for 'Mania. That leaves SmackDown's Universal Championship, which Reigns, after winning the Rumble, will challenge for.
Bray Wyatt retains the Universal Championship: Which brings us to The Fiend. Wyatt has been built up as an unbeatable monster. As much as I would like to see Daniel Bryan topple him at the Rumble, WrestleMania is where the unbeatable are beaten.
A surprise entrant will win the Women's Royal Rumble: Lynch is the centerpiece of the women's division, so she needs a big WrestleMania match. She'll almost certainly beat Asuka to retain her gold, so Asuka's out as an opponent. Charlotte Flair is always a possibility, but Flair and Lynch have wrestled a million times already -- so that rematch is best left for next year's show. WWE needs to make an opponent for The Man, and the best way to do that is for her to win the Rumble. My head says Shayna Baszler, since, but my heart says Ronda Rousey.
How to watch: WWE Network app
You can start (or restart) a subscription to the WWE Network here:
The monthly price is $9.99 (US) or £9.99 (UK). New subscribers get a free month, and you can cancel anytime.
The event should also be available as a one-off pay-per-view purchase on many cable and satellite TV systems.