One of the premier wrestling events of the year is finally here: the Royal Rumble. This is the second-most-popular wrestling event of the year, with WrestleMania being No. 1.
The first-ever Royal Rumble match happened in 1988, with “Hacksaw" Jim Duggan being the inaugural winner. The first Women’s Royal Rumble took place in 2018, with Asuka being the first woman to win.
The two headlining matches are obviously both Men’s and Women’s Royal Rumble matches. The winner of each match gets a championship match at WrestleMania against the champion of their choosing.
With a new regime in charge for the first time, this will be a Royal Rumble that will be talked about for a long time. So let’s dive right into our WWE picks for the Royal Rumble.
When is the WWE Royal Rumble?
The 2023 Royal Rumble will take place on Saturday, Jan. 28. This is the second-straight year the Royal Rumble is being held on a Saturday.
Where is WWE Royal Rumble taking place?
The Royal Rumble will take place in San Antonio, Texas, at the Alamodome. This is the third time the Royal Rumble will be taking place at the Alamodome and the sixth time in Texas.
Royal Rumble Contest Picks Pool 2023
DraftKings Sportsbook offers a Men’s Royal Rumble Pool where you can participate for free. It’s one entry per person with prizes that can be won totaling $25,000. First place will win $1,000.
- See the full details for the WWE DraftKings Royal Rumble pool.
- Click to see our pool picks below.
- Sign up for DraftKings: .
- Read more about this operator in Anthony Cervino’s DraftKings Sportsbook review.
Royal Rumble Match Card
Royal Rumble Card: Saturday, Jan. 28
- Men’s Royal Rumble Match
- Women’s Royal Rumble Match
- Roman Reigns (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Kevin Owens — Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match
- Bianca Belair (c) vs. Alexa Bliss — WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match
- Bray Wyatt vs. L.A. Knight — Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match
Royal Rumble Match Predictions
Men’s Royal Rumble Match
As of Wednesday, the following 15 superstars have been named entrants in the Men’s Royal Rumble match: Kofi Kingston, Santos Escobar, Ricochet, Austin Theory, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Baron Corbin, Rey Mysterio, Gunther, Cody Rhodes, Omos, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Braun Strowman, and Karrion Kross.
The only one to have qualified via a match was Ricochet when he defeated Top Dolla, while the rest were just announced in the match. The biggest surprise is Rhodes announcing his return at the Rumble, as everyone expected his comeback from pectoral surgery to be a surprise.
Since he was announced so far in advance, that makes me feel like something is afoot. If Rhodes wasn’t announced and came out as a surprise, he surely would’ve been locked in as the winner.
But now, with him expected to be in the match, WWE could be setting up someone else to win the Rumble: The Rock.
This has been two years in the making, but it’s almost set in stone that The Rock and Roman Reigns will go head-to-head as a top WrestleMania prediction. So, how would he get there?
By winning the Royal Rumble, of course.
He did it once before in 2000, so The Rock can certainly do it again. But is this the route they’ll go?
The Rock will probably enter the match in the late 20s, go on a spree, and make it to the final four. However, The Bloodline will get involved and cause him to get eliminated because The Rock would have disrespected the “Tribal Chief" in some way during the lead-up.
With The Rock gone, the only right choice to win will be Rhodes, as he has set his sights on the World Championship since returning to WWE. (Maybe we’ll still see The Rock vs Roman in the other night’s main event in Los Angeles.)
- MATCH PREDICTION: Cody Rhodes Wins Royal Rumble
Women’s Royal Rumble Match
As of Jan. 25, the following seven superstars have been named entrants in the Women’s Royal Rumble match: Liv Morgan, Candice LeRae, Rhea Ripley, Raquel Rodriguez, Shayna Baszler, Zelina Vega, and Emma.
Unlike the Men’s Royal Rumble match, the Women’s Royal Rumble match will feature more surprise entrants, and fewer superstars announced leading up to the Royal Rumble. In comparison, last year’s match had 15 entrants not on RAW or SmackDown, while the men’s match only had four.
It’s very early to tell who will come out on top, given how wide open it is. However, if I had to pick someone to come out on top, I’d go with Ripley.
- MATCH PREDICTION: Rhea Ripley Wins Royal Rumble
Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens - Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match
This match has been in the works for months, and now we finally get it at the first major PPV of the year. But this is much more than just Reigns defending his titles against Kevin Owens. This is also set further to propel the Sami Zayn-Bloodline storyline.
Ever since KO’s return at Survivor Series WarGames, it was pretty much expected he would eventually challenge Reigns for the titles. Zayn kept betraying his friend again and again, each time becoming harder.
Owens even got John Cena to be his tag partner to beat Reigns and Zayn in a tag match.
Zayn was put on trial by Reigns in the “Tribal Court" but was found not guilty. He even filled in for an injured Jimmy Uso to help Jey Uso retain the Undisputed Tag Team titles this past Monday.
The match is going to bring the house down. We know Reigns and Owens can put on an incredible match, and the storytelling is at an all-time high for this one.
Reigns will obviously come out on top, but Owens will keep everyone on the edge of their seat.
- MATCH PREDICTION: Roman Reigns retains over Kevin Owens
Bianca Belair vs Alexa Bliss - RAW Women’s Championship Match
This is another match where the storyline extends further than just being about the championship. Bianca Belair and Alexa Bliss had teamed up and helped each other when it came to Bayley & Damage CTRL.
However, after Bliss earned her title shot, she turned on Belair and attacked her.
Bliss would continue to get into Belair’s head in the coming weeks, attacking her during a sit-down interview and getting herself disqualified in a match against the champ. So, what could have possibly caused this change in Bliss?
The return of Bray Wyatt and the looming Uncle Howdy.
There have been rumors that Bliss would join Wyatt in the Firefly Funhouse, which she eventually did under the trance of “The Fiend." She then turned on Wyatt and relied on her demonic doll, Lilly.
Bliss then broke away from that and returned back to normal.
Uncle Howdy will play a part in this match, causing Bliss to turn to the dark side, but it will also lead to her downfall. Belair is one of, if not the top superstars in the women’s division.
She’ll take the victory and retain her title, but not before some weird supernatural shenanigans.
- MATCH PREDICTION: Bianca Belair retains over Alexa Bliss
Bray Wyatt vs LA Knight - Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match
Since his return to WWE, Bray Wyatt has tried to be a better man. However, the darkness that once was continues to haunt him.
This whole feud started because a mystery person attacked LA Knight numerous times backstage. Knight thought it was Wyatt, but Wyatt claimed it wasn’t him and was, instead, Uncle Howdy.
Knight didn’t believe him and challenged him to a match at Royal Rumble.
Knight and Wyatt continued to go back and forth, with Wyatt slowly returning to his old self while being haunted by Uncle Howdy. Wyatt has even returned to the Firefly Funhouse, so The Fiend has to be lurking somewhere.
This match being a Pitch Black match almost guarantees an appearance from Uncle Howdy and possibly even The Fiend. In Wyatt’s first televised match since returning, he has to come out with the victory.
- MATCH PREDICTION: Bray Wyatt defeats LA Knight
WWE Betting Promo & Pick Pool
DraftKings Pool Predictions
Here are the questions and options for the WWE Royal Rumble DraftKings Pool. My predictions are in bold:
- Will Entrants No. 1 and No. 2 be from the same brand? • Same Brand or Different Brands
- When will the No. 1 entrant be eliminated? • Before No. 4 is revealed or Between No. 4 and No. 17’s reveal or Between No. 18 and No. 30’s reveal or No. 1 is the winner
- Who will enter first? • Omos or Braun Strowman
- Who will enter first? • Gunther or Ricochet
- Who will have more eliminations? • Austin Theory or Bobby Lashley
- Who, if anyone, will interfere in the Rumble? • Paul Heyman or Scarlett or MVP or JBL
- Who will have the most eliminations? • Austin Theory or Bobby Lashley or Cody Rhodes or Omos
- If Omos is eliminated, how many people will be involved in removing him from the ring? • Fewer than 7 or 7 or more
- Will an eliminated participant re-enter the ring? • Yes or No
- Will any participants wrestle while outside of the ring? • Yes or No
- Which scenario will play out? • Dominik Mysterio eliminates Rey Mysterio or Rey Mysterio eliminates Dominik Mysterio or Neither Mysterio is involved in each other’s elimination
- Will anyone have more than 7 individual eliminations in the Royal Rumble? • Yes or No
- How many eliminations will be made by current free agents? • Three or more or Two or Fewer
- Will Roman Reigns or Kevin Owens participate in the Rumble? • Yes or No
- How many superstars will be in the ring at one time? • 7 or fewer or 8 or more
- Will number 30 be a member or: • RAW or SmackDown or NXT or Free Agent
- Will Cody Rhodes be the 30th entrant into the Rumble? • Yes or No
- Of these two, who will be the last one standing? • Cody Rhodes or Seth “Freakin" Rollins
- Will the match be won by a former Rumble winner? • Yes or No
- Which entrant will win the Rumble? • 1-17 or 18-25 or 26-28 or 29-30