With Royal Rumble season in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about who could win this year’s event for both the men’s and women’s matches. 2022 was a very weird year for the WWE with backstage drama and a change of leadership at one point, but since HHH has taken over the creative aspect of the company has been a lot stronger. We have had returns, long intertwining storylines and some of the most talked-about moments in professional wrestling. Are you feeling Ucey?
So now let’s take a look at the 10 wrestlers I think could win the Royal Rumble 2023.
#10. Shayna Baszler Needs To Step Into The Spotlight
Shayna Baszler should have won the Royal Rumble back in 2020 but that didn’t happen and she didn’t get the championship that year either. Make 2023 the year of the Queen of Spades. Baszler is one of the best women’s wrestlers to transition from MMA to professional wrestling, there is no comparison, Marina Shafir is a close second followed in third by Tay Mello or even Sonya Deville. You take your pick on that one, there are probably even more that I haven’t mentioned, the point is Shayna is one of the most high-profile ones to do it and she has excelled.
The hardest thing for me as a huge fan of her in-ring work and character has been seeing her play second fiddle to everyone else. My original idea was for her to win and turn her back on Ronda Rousy, challenging for the SmackDown Women’s Championship and winning at WrestleMania. That plan won’t come to fruition unfortunately but seeing her face off against Charlotte Flair or Bianca Belair would be just as great. If she doesn’t win the Royal Rumble this year, maybe we could still get a special singles match between Baszler and Rousy. It’s just an idea.
#9. Kevin Owens Has One Thing On His Mind, The Destruction Of Roman Reigns
Maybe an outside bet but Kevin Owens has been at the forefront as of late when it comes to Reigns and his championship reign. He has been very heavily involved in this storyline, especially when it comes to Sami Zayn and Reign’s suspicions of him. Obviously, he has a championship match against Roman Reigns on the night of the Royal Rumble but that doesn’t mean he can’t be in the match, depending on when his bout against Reigns is on the card. It wouldn’t be the first time he has done this. This is also all assuming that he doesn’t beat Roman on the night.
Kevin Owens has been a fan favourite to win the Royal Rumble match over the last few years but he hasn’t been able to quite get there. As disappointing as this is he did get to main event last year’s WrestleMania in a surprise match against ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. Owens has done it all in WWE but he hasn’t won the Rumble, will 2023 be his year? Depending on how the night goes, he might just do it.
#8. Naomi Making A Return To Win The Rumble Would Be A Huge Surprise
Now hear me out, a returning Naomi getting a huge win at the Rumble and going to WrestleMania to face off against Bianca Belair would be incredible. People have been calling for a female member of The Bloodline for a long time now and the obvious choice is Naomi, being a part of the family through her real-life marriage to Jimmy Uso.
She hasn’t been seen on WWE TV since leaving the company alongside Sasha Banks in protest over the way the Women’s Tag Team Division and Championships had been treated. She has always known her worth and has been thriving outside of the company ever since. Naomi is sporting a new look as of late, edgier and more high fashion, you can see these images on her Instagram profile. A new member of The Bloodline returning at the Royal Rumble and going on to win would be an added layer to one of the best storylines of the last few years in WWE.
#7. Jey Uso Might Be The Man To Destroy The Bloodline
It all started with Jey Uso so maybe it will end with him when it comes to The Bloodline. Back in 2020, Jey Uso got his first singles championship match against his cousin Roman Reigns at Clash of Champions and a rematch at Hell In A Cell, this would be the start of The Bloodline storyline, Jey was the man to bring it to Reigns in a different way to any opponent before. Jimmy would soon return from injury the following May, creating a deeper and more heartwrenching story between the brothers facilitated by The Trible Cheif.
Jey may have acknowledged him and been his right-hand man for the last two years, but who else could stab his cousin in the back better than him? Reigns has become suspicious of Sami Zayn and his loyalties but maybe he should be looking closer to home, Jey knows Reigns better than anyone at this point and that’s why his winning the Royal Rumble this year might be a little out of left field but could also mark the downfall of The Bloodline moving forward.
#6. Bayley Might Become The Third Horsewomen To Win the Royal Rumble
Bayley has been on a mission to get that RAW Women’s Championship and an easy way to do that is by winning the Royal Rumble. Her return to WWE after almost a year away due to injury was highly anticipated and the addition of Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai by her side was a welcome shakeup for the RAW Women’s Division. She has faced Bianca Belair on multiple occasions for the RAW Women’s Championship but has been unsuccessful, but there is another championship up for grabs.
And after everything she has been through against Bianca maybe her focus should shift to the SmackDown Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair. The two have had an on-again-off-again feud over the years, with the two facing one another in the opening match of the 2017 Royal Rumble. This could be the third phase of their journey together, with both older, wiser and even more dominant and ruthless versions of themselves. Could this be Bayley’s moment to win the Royal Rumble and go on to defeat The Queen? I think it just might be.
#5. Seth Rollins Is the Only Man Roman Reigns Can’t Beat
Who better to win the Royal Rumble and go to WrestleMania and possibly dethrone Roman Reigns than his former SHIELD brother, Seth Rollins? Out of everyone that Reigfns has faced during his long championship reign there is still only one man he has been unable to defeat and that man is one of my picks to win the Men’s Royal Rumble match.
Rollins didn’t win the championship at last year’s Royal Rumble, due to the fact that a title can not change hands via disqualification. Seth was in full villain mode at the time, coming into the match in full SHIELD gear and music, it was magical, but if Rollins wins the Rumble then he needs to face and beat The Trible Chief without any of those head games or gimmicks. He isn’t an outsider but the buzz around him winning isn’t as loud as it was six months ago.
#4. Iyo Sky Could Be The Dark Horse And Bring Stardom To The Rumble
Iyo Sky is an incredible talent, if you haven’t seen her work in NXT or Stardom find it now, you won’t be disappointed. Bayley is the obvious choice out of Damage CTRL to win this year’s Royal Rumble and she does appear on this list, but let’s take a moment to talk about Iyo Sky and why she might be a great yet also unconventional choice.
The former Io Shirai is a living legend of the Joshi scene, for those who don’t know Joshi is just the Japanese word for Women. It isn’t a style of wrestling like some people think, but it is a highly competitive wrestling scene in Japan that produces some of the best wrestling in the world year in and year out.
Maybe I’m biased when it comes to Iyo Sky, cause her look and style is something I personally love in wrestling, but the Royal Rumble is meant to establish new stars. They have done it before with Becky Lynch, Asuka, Bianca Belair, Steve Austin and Batista, to name a few. So having Iyo Sky come out of nowhere and win the whole thing might be the most exciting and unexpected outcome.
If she does win, which would really put a cat amongst the pigeons among the members of Damage CTRL, creating a new and interesting dynamic, what would it mean for the rest of the division? And who would she pick to face? Presuming that if the Elimination Chamber does happen, and no belts change hands her choices would be Bianca Belair and Charlotte Flair. In all honestly, it doesn’t matter who she picks as the genies of the sky would put on a fantastic match against either champion.
#3. Sami Zayn Winning The Royal Rumble Would Top Off His Fantastic Year
What a year Sami Zayn has had, will this be his moment of glory? In the last month, fans of WWE and Sami Zayn have been in a frenzy as to whether the Honorary Uce will go all the way and win this year’s Royal Rumble, he definitely deserves it. What can even be said about this mans year in wrestling, he started 2022 with a feud against Jackass’s Johnny Knoxville leading to one of the silliest and most entertaining matches in WrestleMania history before getting in bed with The Bloodline.
We are nine months into this storyline, a storyline that wasn’t meant to last this long but that is the power and talent of a performer like Sami Zayn. he has spent so much time winning the trust of The Bloodline but now it seems that the head of the table Roman Reigns is rejecting him in the coldest way. In saying that he has won the trust of both Jimmy and Jey Uso, who consider him family despite what Reigns, Solo Sakoa and Paul Hayman might think. Zayn has been a fan favourite for this entire WWE career and should be rewarded for his efforts by winning the Royal Rumble.
Now wouldn’t that be Ucey?
#2. Rhea Ripley Might Become The Women’s Division’s Nightmare Come To Life
Rhea Ripley has had another phenomenal year, going from being lost in the shuffle, yet still heavily featured, to being the shining star of the Judgment Day faction. From her manipulation of the young Domanic Mysterio to being very vocal about her desire to fight the men, just like Chyna before her, maybe it’s her time to take hold of the WWE Women’s Divison. Ripley has come close on many occasions and it’s about time that she wins one of the hardest and best matches of the year.
If she does win, as many fans believe, I am hoping she will choose Charlotte over Bianca. I know it would make a lot more sense for her to pick Bianca, they have history, they are both on RAW and that is also where Judgment Day are, but Charlotte Flair is also a tempting prospect. They have so much history, Ripley has struggled to beat Flair on many occasions, but this is a new Ripley with a darker more sinister edge, this version of her could beat Flair for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
#1. Cody Rhodes: The American Nightmare Is The Front Runner To Win The Men’s Royal Rumble Match
Cody Rhodes has been a fan favourite to win the Royal Rumble since his debut at last year’s WrestleMania where he faced off against Seth Rollins in one of the best matches of 2022. The men’s rumble definitely has more options, storyline-wise, when it comes to who could win, but for a long time it has felt like the American Nightmare might be the only man to topple the Trible Chief.
Roman Reigns has gone through every competitor that has been put before him, and yet he hasn’t faced Cody. They do have some history, from the SHIELD‘s early days, and since leaving and then returning Cody has faced both Jon Moxley [fka Dean Ambrose] and Seth Rollins, so it only makes sense that he should go after Reigns. The problem is even if he does win, and as much as the fans want that, while he has been out the Sami Zayn story has taken on a life of its own and might be the better option at this point. Whatever happens, the Royal Rumble this year should be a great one.