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Handicapping Sunday’s 2021 WWE Royal Rumble Card

Sunday is a day that wrestling fans have been waiting for, as tonight the WWE will present their annual “Royal Rumble” PPV, an event that will highlight basically every major male and female on the companies roster.

The event is highlighted by a pair of battle royales, one for the men and one for the ladies, with the prizes for both being a match for a championship at WrestleMania in April.

While the Rumble matches are the highlight of the show, there are other matches that deserve to be talked about.

The show will stream live on the WWE Network beginning at 7 p.m. ET following a one-hour kickoff show beginning at 6 p.m.

Here’s a look at the show and some of the potential outcomes for the event in Tampa.

Women’s Tag Team Championship — Asuka & Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler:

These four ladies have what it takes to pull off a really solid match. The problem is there’s a good chance that with the current Lacey Evans/Charlotte Flair storyline that there will be some sort of interference that will cost the champs their title.

Winners and New Champions: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler

SmackDown Women’s Championship — Sasha Banks (c) vs. Carmella:

The company has spent plenty of time building up Carmella as a classic women’s heel since her return to the company awhile back, and now she gets another shot at Banks and the SmackDown Women’s title. With currently little to no direction for either women’s title at Mania, nothing would be a surprise here. We’ll go with the upset and allowing this feud to continue with Mania getting closer.

Winner and New Champion: Carmella

WWE Championship — Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Goldberg:

I don’t have the faintest idea with the WWE’s fascination with Goldberg, and why about this time it feels like every year they dust him off and start putting him in championship matches. If it was Chris Jericho, The Rock or Shawn Michaels I would get it, but it’s not like Goldberg can deliver these five-star gems that people spend years talking about. McIntyre will have to put his big boy pants on, as he’ll have to carry this match in order for it to be remembered at all.

Winner and Still Champion: Drew McIntyre

Universal Championship — Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owens (Last Man Standing):

Reigns has done an excellent job since his return to the company taking on the role of a heel champion with Paul Heyman as his ‘advocate.’ While there were rumors of getting The Rock involved in a feud with Reigns once his feud with Owens was over, it now appears like that’s not going to happen, and he’ll have to find a new challenger for Mania. There’s no reason to give Owens the title here, and while this will be a solid match, the outcome of a Reigns win is an easy one to predict.

Winner and Still Champion: Roman Reigns

Women’s Royal Rumble – Current Participants: Nia Jax, Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Bianca Belair, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Peyton Royce, Shayna Baszler, Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Tamina, Natalya + 17 TBA

Expect plenty of the “TBA” ladies to be legends of the past, like Lita, Alicia Fox, Mickie James, Beth Phoenix and so forth. The rumor for awhile is that this match is going to be won by Bianca Belair, who has been getting more and more of a push. Belair against Banks or Carmella at Mania could make for a solid SmackDown Women’s title match. If Beliar isn’t the choice, the company could go back to Bayley or possibly a big upset like a Mandy Rose, but this match feels like it’s got Belair winning all over it.

Winner: Bianca Belair

Men’s Royal Rumble – Participants: Edge, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, Mustafa Ali, Jeff Hardy, Cesaro, Otis, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sheamus, AJ Styles, Jey Uso, John Morrison, The Miz, Bobby Lashley, Daniel Bryan, Big E, Randy Orton, Braun Strowman + 12 TBA

Daniel Bryan is the pick by many to finally win a Royal Rumble, about 5-6 years after he really deserved to win it. With his career winding down it’s likely a reward to give him a win here, even if he then loses at Mania to Reigns. If he’s not the choice, there’s a chance for a surprise with the most talked about one being the return of Brock Lesnar, which would be a great swerve. Braun Strowman is another possibility, but in the end, I think you have to go with Bryan, who has been the favorite for about the last two months to win this match.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

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  1. I don’t get wrestling’s obsession with running 50 year old men out there to keep pretending like they are 30. It’s not just Goldberg though. They do the same thing with the Undertaker, and did the same with Hogan, Flair, etc. I don’t want to watch grandfathers wrestle. Put them in the booth as commentators or let them be managers, but for Pete’s sake stay out of spandex.

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