While it has not yet been confirmed, rumours this weekend suggested that we will finally get to see the first ever women’s Royal Rumble match at next year’s event. The women’s division has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and following last year’s Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, this seems like the next logical step.
Recent NXT call-ups also suggest that this is the case, with the company padding out the female roster a couple of months before the event takes place. One thing the company will be desperate to avoid doing, though, is botching such a historic moment in the same way that they did Carmella’s victory back in June. There are plenty of viable candidates to win the Rumble match, it is now just a case of them choosing the right one, and booking it correctly. Let’s take a look at five of those candidates.
Paige has been one of the most talked about WWE superstars of 2017, which is quite the achievement considering she has only stepped foot inside a WWE ring once this calendar year. The superstar’s shenanigans outside the ring have made her notorious, and while the WWE is often quick to distance themselves from such controversial stars, it is worth remembering that not only is Paige incredibly over, she is also the subject of an upcoming movie directed by none other than Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
Paige is also an incredibly talented in-ring performer and she is great on the microphone, which makes her a fairly reliable bet heading into Mania season. She also now has her new little stable to help her out, and having them back Paige all the way through to a Wrestlemania title victory would be a nice way of giving those women a nice little rub through their initial 6 months with the company.
At the time of writing, Asuka seems like the most obvious choice to win the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble bout. The Empress of Tomorrow has arrived in the company to a lot of hype, and while many fans feel she is not being booked appropriately, she was just the sole survivor in the women’s Survivor Series tag-match, which is surely an indication that the company has big plans for her.
It seems inevitable right now that Asuka will pick up the belt at some point in the near future, and it would make sense to crown her as the unstoppable champion of the women’s division on the grandest stage of them all. Booking this would also be easy- all you would need to do is have Asuka get down to the final four with a group of heels, only to overcome the odds and march on to a match with Alexa Bliss in New Orleans.
This one might seem like an outside choice but the WWE do love a feel-good story from time to time. Lynch was Smackdown’s first ever Women’s champion but since dropping the belt she has not been able to establish herself as a contender again, despite being stupidly over with the crowd.
Lynch was written off TV on last week’s Smackdown to allow her time to go and shoot The Marine 6 with Shawn Michaels and The Miz and the company do love a good comeback story. While it is unknown how long Lynch will out be filming for, there is a very real possibility that the company will want her back for this match-up.
It seems like a dead-cert that Ronda Rousey, one way or another, will be competing at this year’s Wrestlemania. The former UFC champion will be a massive draw for the company and Vince and Co will likely do whatever she requests in the build-up to the bout.
While it is not set in stone, it looks as though Rousey will be involved in a match with Charlotte Flair at Mania and with Charlotte currently riding high as the Smackdown Women’s Champion, it seems a safe bet that a match between the pair would be for that belt. Giving Rousey the Rumble victory guarantees that match-up.
Allowing Rousey to win the match, however, would no doubt cause some controversy. The company screwed up the first ever Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match when they let James Elsworth climb the ladder and retrieve the case, and giving the Rumble victory to Rousey could envoke the wrath of the fans in attendance and the IWC. Rousey is undeniably a star, but denying an actual female performer such a historic moment for a part-timer could provoke scenes reminiscent of Batista’s 2014 Rumble victory.
To say the WWE’s booking of Nia Jax has been inconsistent, would be an understatement. Jax has, for the most part, been booked to look like an absolute monster but then, out of the blue, she will just lose a match stupidly to someone like Sasha or Bayley. Now, I have no issue with Sasha or Bayley going over, but the finishes always make Nia look stupid and damager her credibility somehow.
While Jax should definitely be considered an outsider to win this match, the WWE spent a long time teasing Jax Vs Bliss a few months back, and they could easily reignite that fire with the correct build leading to Mania. Jax has also improved a lot as a performer in the last 12 months, and fans would likely welcome this decision.
She seems destined to just take the Kane role in this match: being brought in just to reduce the numbers in the ring, but a Jax victory would be a very pleasant surprise come January.