The Best, Worst and Most Likely 2023 WWE Royal Rumble Match Winners
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With Survivor Series done, WWE is officially at the end of its pay-per-view schedule for 2022, and that means we have two months before the next big show on January 28, the Royal Rumble.
This event kicks off WrestleMania season and puts one man and one woman on the path to main-eventing The Show of Shows against whoever holds the top championship in their division.
Winning the Rumble can take a Superstar from midcard act to main event talent in one night, but it has also frequently been used to reheat a top name who has cooled off and needs a boost.
Whenever this PPV comes around, speculation about who will win runs rampant. Everyone tends to have three opinions when it comes to this: They have the person they want to win, the person they think will win and the person they feel should be kept as far away from the winner’s circle as possible.
Let’s look at who fits the bill in each category this year.
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When Bayley made her surprise return at SummerSlam on July 30, it seemed like she was being put on the fast track to success right away.
She was given a new group with Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky, and those two have already won the women’s tag team titles on two occasions. But when it comes to The Role Model, success has been slower to come.
Damage CTRL feel like they have lost most of their contests, and that trend continued in the WarGames match from Saturday. Bayley needs a big win to get herself back on track, and nothing would work better than having her outlast 29 others to win the women’s Royal Rumble match.
Despite her lack of victories in recent months, the former Hugger is still a huge star in the eyes of the fans. She always gets a big reaction, and she has demonstrated the ability to control a crowd on numerous occasions. She’s a pro in every sense of the word.
Even as a heel, her win would likely receive a big pop from those in attendance because everyone recognizes how good she is and how hard she has worked for both herself and the women’s division as a whole.
Bayley is a very giving performer, so it’s time WWE gave back to her.
Worst: Dana Brooke
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The WWE women’s division might be one of the best collections of talented performers in the world, but there is always going to be at least one Superstar who isn’t being positioned for success.
Right now, that person is Dana Brooke.
While the former 24/7 champion has gotten a lot of screen time in 2022, it has always been as part of a comedy segment or a quick match. She’s never been used as a workhorse the way somebody like Asuka or Becky Lynch has.
The 34-year-old has continued to improve with each passing year, but WWE has never put a lot of time and effort into making her feel like a top talent. That’s not her fault. That is just how she has been booked.
If Brooke were to suddenly be thrust into the spotlight with a Rumble win, it would confuse a lot of fans. It might get people talking, but a lot of it would be for the wrong reasons.
Most Likely: Becky Lynch
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Lynch made her return to WWE programming on Friday’s SmackDown, and she picked up her first win the following night at Survivor Series in the women’s WarGames match.
One of the other women on the team with her was Bianca Belair, the current holder of the Raw Women’s Championship. Even though they were working together and seemed friendly, The Man definitely has her eye on the prize.
During the post-show press conference, Lynch was asked what she wanted to accomplish on the Road to WrestleMania. Her answer was simple: She wants to be the first woman to win the Royal Rumble twice.
With the way she has been booked, it seems like WWE probably has that in mind for her. Not only has she been treated like a big deal, but the fans have also shown her nothing but love since her return.
Lynch is a proven star who has already shown she can steal the show alongside The EST of WWE. Reigniting that feud with both women working as babyfaces would bring a new dynamic to their story and make the outcome slightly less predictable.
Best: Sami Zayn
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WWE has so many different people worth pushing that picking just one name to be the best choice to win the men’s Royal Rumble is always difficult, but one man stands out as having the most interesting possible story as a result of winning.
That man is Sami Zayn.
For the past several months, The Bloodline have dominated the WWE roster. Roman Reigns has been one of the most successful champions in decades, and The Usos have cemented themselves as one of the top WWE tag teams of all time with their epic reign.
The addition of Solo Sikoa has added some new blood to the group, but Zayn has continually been the most interesting person in this ongoing storyline.
Watching him get everyone to laugh on a weekly basis has been a lot of fun, but the reason he is the best choice to win the Rumble is that the most satisfying conclusion to his story would be for him to be the one who finally takes down The Tribal Chief.
Zayn’s work in Saturday’s WarGames match finally seemed to earn him permanent residency in The Bloodline, but the way Reigns was staring at him as the show went off the air caused a lot of people to speculate whether his time in the group is coming to an end.
If The Bloodline did kick him out, Zayn would instantly earn the sympathy of the WWE Universe. If management is smart, it will use that to propel him into the main event scene as a babyface.
Just picture it. If Zayn was exiled from The Bloodline, win the men’s Rumble and successfully take the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship from one of the longest-reigning champions of all time, the crowd would go wild.
It would be an iconic moment that would live forever in the minds of those who saw it live.
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There are a lot of people on the WWE roster who wouldn’t make much sense to book as the winner of the men’s Royal Rumble for various reasons.
Some people aren’t ready for that kind of responsibility yet, and one man who needs more work before being considered for a spot like that is Omos.
The Nigerian Giant is the kind of Superstar who would have already won a world title in past eras based solely on his size, but that is not how the business works anymore. Being a giant isn’t enough to draw money in 2022.
Omos has shown improvement since he first arrived on the scene, but he still has a long way to go. If WWE puts the time and effort into building him up, his time will come eventually.
Most Likely: Kevin Owens
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Coming out of Survivor Series, the person with the most logical storyline leading to a showdown with Roman Reigns is Kevin Owens.
His history with The Tribal Chief and The Bloodline is well documented, but he is also a good pick to dethrone the group leader because he is one of the most liked Superstars on the roster.
The Prizefighter might not be as flashy as Seth Rollins, as muscular as Bobby Lashley or as agile as Ricochet, but he has something special that most wrestlers can only dream of: A genuine connection with the audience.
Owens is a relatable guy. Whenever he speaks, whether it’s as a heel or a babyface, he makes you care about what he is saying. And most of the time, it’s hard to disagree with what he says. He has an everyman quality that you can’t teach.
Booking KO to win the men’s Rumble and main-event WrestleMania 39 against Reigns would be a surefire hit with the WWE Universe. The promos would be great, but the final showdown on The Grandest Stage of Them All would be even better.