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411’s WWE Royal Rumble 2024 Preview

January 27, 2024 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE Royal Rumble, Roman Reigns Image Credit: WWE

Hello 411 guys, gals, enbies, and everyone else! Welcome to 411’s WWE Royal Rumble 2024 preview! I’m Jeremy Thomas and tonight WWE kicks off the Road to WrestleMania in a year where there is a lot of speculation around how that road will play out. This is perhaps the most intriguing start of WrestleMania season in recent memory as so much is uncertain between possible debuts, competing stories and much more. And yet, it’s also a card that currently has only four matches booked. Last year’s Rumble had five matches and I would expect at least one more to be added after I am done writing this, but for now let’s get right into the matches we have, shall we?

WWE United States Championship Match
Logan Paul vs. Kevin Owens

Image Credit: WWE

Logan Paul has held the WWE United States Championship since Crown Jewel in November, and he’s finally set to defend it at the Royal Rumble. I actually don’t mind this; it fits Paul’s heel character well, and while we always want to see titles defended regularly, this has actually likely done more for the title than most recent reigns. Having a tournament to crown the #1 contender meant that even if it wasn’t being defended the title had a spotlight, something I’m always happy to see. That spotlight is now on Kevin Owens, who has some history with Paul that’s led into a decent little feud heading into the Rumble.

We know Paul goes all out for his WWE matches, and he’s going to be in there with a guy who can easily hold up his end in Owens, so the in-ring action will be great. The storyline of the match will likely be built around Owens’ injured hand, which is a decent foundation to go on. So clearly the match should be pretty solid to perhaps great. As to who will win, this seems like an easy pick to have Paul come out victorious. WWE will want Paul back for WrestleMania, and keeping the US Championship on him assures that. And while I’m always a fan of Owens getting big wins, he absolutely doesn’t need the US Championship. Expect to see Paul win this match through some evil methods and head to ‘Mania with his reign intact.

WINNER: Logan Paul (STILL WWE United States Champion)

Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match
Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles vs. LA Knight

Image Credit: WWE

In a lot of ways, this is the easiest pick of the show. Look, does anyone NOT expect Reigns to leave the Rumble with his almost four-year title reign intact? I don’t think so. The notion of Reigns losing to anyone before WrestleMania seems preposterous — which, of course, doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen if WWE has an idea. Look, maybe Rock appears at the Rumble and costs Reigns the title, saying he only wants Reigns at ‘Mania so they can prove who the Head of the Table really is? (It’s not like Rock vs. Reigns needs the title.) Maybe it’s Randy Orton who picks up the win and it sets up a Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton match at WrestleMania, where Cody not only tries to finish the story of winning the big belt but also finish the Legacy story. There’s real storytelling potential there, it’s a swerve few people would expect and it sets the stage for Rock vs. Reigns without needing to have a title in the situation.

All that said, do I think it’s going to happen? Not especially. I like that story and I would not be completely surprised if they did it, but it’s far more likely that Reigns makes it to WrestleMania. And with absolute respect to LA Knight and AJ Styles, I don’t see either of them as the guy who beats Reigns for the title and moves onto WrestleMania at this time. Now, this will obviously be a great match; all four men are incredibly skilled in the ring. We’ll have twists and turns, and the Bloodline will get involved. I could see Rock coming out to fight the Bloodline off but Reigns still managing to retain. An overbooked finish is an extreme possibility. Regardless if how it plays out, I am skeptical of anything but Reigns picking up the win here.

WINNER: Roman Reigns (STILL Undisputed WWE Universal Champion)

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

Image Credit: WWE

On one hand, it’s rather hard to pick a women’s Royal Rumble match winner because we have only six announced competitors as of my writing this — three of which are not viable winners. All respect to Ivy Nile, Maxxine Dupri and Nia Jax, but no. On the other hand, it’s actually pretty easy to narrow down. There are a few big surprises that could appear and haven’t been announced — Jade Cargill, Naomi, and maybe Racquel Rodriguez if she’s ready to return — but beyond an outside chance of Cargill, I don’t see them as likely to win the match as debuting will be big enough for them. (I am assuming Mercedes Mone is not appearing, and y’all should too.) Frankly, as of right now this is a three-woman match — and really, two-woman is probably closer to the truth. Bianca Belair is always a threat to win, but we’ve seen Bianca vs. IYO SKY a couple of times over the past year and I don’t see a lot of ready-built story for Bianca vs. Rhea Ripley the same way I do another challenger. WWE has strongly hinted at Becky Lynch vs. Ripley at WrestleMania, while SKY seems likely destined to face Bayley as the Damage CTRL feud has been set up for a little while now.

The question is, does Lynch earn her title match at the Rumble or does Bayley? This is where it could absolutely go either way. If we assume there will be an Elimination Chamber match to determine the other WrestleMania match (a fair assumption to make, I think), either woman could earn that match in the chamber. Bayley could end up inserting herself in the Chamber which sets up being turned on by her stablemates, or Lynch could win that match in a more storyline-reliant set-up. If the booking were up to me, I would have Bayley go on to win the Chamber while Lynch wins the Rumble, as Lynch vs. Ripley doesn’t have as much storyline already in place and could use the extra time. (It also lets Lynch pick Ripley, leaving Bayley with no other option than to seek a title match against Bayley). But it’s not up to me, and this is predicting where WWE will go. And while my head says WWE will probably want Bayley to win as she hasn’t won the Rumble yet and it sets up the potential babyface run, I do think the booking logic that WWE prefers slightly leans to Lynch. I could well be wrong — hell, maybe Cargill wins the whole thing in her debut — but that’s the limb I’m going way out on.

WINNER: Becky Lynch

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Image Credit: WWE

The men’s Rumble match has the most speculation around it, for some fairly obvious reasons. There are a number of viable winners here, far more than in the women’s Rumble — in part because of how many people have been announced for it, but also because of the situation around Seth Rollins’ knee injury. Cody Rhodes is ready to finish his story, but you also have the prospect of CM Punk winning and going on to challenge Rollins (or someone else if Rollins is out) for the World Heavyweight Title, finally getting his WrestleMania main event. If WWE needs to pull a switch with Rollins and that title, Gunther and Drew McIntyre are also potential challengers, as they could have Punk win the title at Elimination Chamber and defend it against either of them or even Cody if Rock vs. Reigns is the WrestleMania play. Of course, we also (at the time of this writing) have 19 names left to be revealed so a big surprise win could happen such as Rock or (FAR less likely now considering recent news stories) Brock Lesnar. (For the record, Okada is unlikely as even if he goes to WWE, he is still under contract to New Japan until the end of the month and would have to be approved by NJPW to appear. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but it’s probably not happening.)

If I had to put money on the situation, I would guess that if WWE thought Rollins wasn’t going to be ready in time for April they would have pulled the title switch or vacated it already in order to begin the storyline for the WrestleMania match. So I am going into this assuming that Rollins will be defending the title at ‘Mania. If that’s the case, I think that McIntyre is unlikely because we’ve seen that match already. Gunther vs. Rollins was teased on Raw, but Gunther would probably need to drop the Intercontinental Title because I think that champion vs. champion enthusiasm is a little dampened in the Reigns era. That brings us to Cody or Punk, which really is what it should probably come down to. If Cody is going to ultimately challenge Reigns, I like the idea of him earning his match at Elimination Chamber after the heartbreak of not winning the Rumble; it’s the kind of underdog, come from-behind-story that WWE has always loved to tell for WrestleMania moments. So while this year of ALL years anything could happen, my guess is that it’s Punk pointing at the WrestleMania sign when the PPV comes to a close. But again, I would not be surprised if pretty much anything happens on Saturday night.


And that’s all we have for the 2024 WWE Royal Rumble as of now! Again, I would not be shocked to see another match added after tonight — or maybe they don’t. Either way, it should be a fun show (and a fucking WILD post-show presser, recent news items considered). Thank you as always for reading and remember that we will have live coverage of the show courtesy of Scott Slimmer right here on 411mania.com. I’ll see you all later as I have to run, but before we do, MJF wanted a moment to respond to all the people who think he’s making a surprise debut at the Rumble…

Image Courtesy of AEW

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WWE Royal Rumble, Jeremy Thomas