By Mike “Sarge” Riley, 98.5 The Sports Hub
BOSTON (CBS) — The road to Wrestlemania begins this Sunday at the Royal Rumble. The traditional over-the-top 30-man battle royale is the main event, with the winner fighting either the WWE Champion (Smackdown) or Universal Champion (Raw) at Wrestlemania. This is the 20-year anniversary of the Rumble being at the Alamadome when Stone Cold Steve Austin won controversially and Shawn Michaels beat Sycho Sid for the WWE Championship.
It’s back in San Antonio, and there is some big star-power at this year’s event featuring Goldberg, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker!
Sarge’s Royal Rumble Predictions
WWE RAW Women’s Championship
Cruiserweight Champion Charlotte vs. Bayley. Charlotte will continue her undefeated streak as a Women’s champion on pay-per-views. Here’s my shocker: Sasha Banks will interfere, and turns heel to cost Bayley the championship, setting up a bunch of possibilities going into Wrestlemania.
Sarge Says: Charlotte (via DQ)
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
Tag-team Champions Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson: Good for Gallows & Anderson being legends in Japan as tag-team champions, but they haven’t won the gold yet in WWE. That streak ends Sunday; they’ve earned it and will carry them into Wrestlemania.
Sarge Says: Gallows & Anderson
WWE Heavyweight Championship (Smackdown)
AJ Styles (C) vs. John Cena. We all know that John Cena is one World Championship title away from tying Ric Flar (16) for most all-time. Wouldn’t it make sense for Cena to win Sunday, lose next month and then get it back at Wrestlemania where he would break the record?
Sarge Says: John Cena
WWE Universal Championship (Raw) – No Disqualification!
Kevin Owens (C) vs. Roman Reigns w/ Chris Jericho in a shark cage above the ring: This has been a fun angle that’s built up into this pay per view. Jericho will somehow break out of the cage and ruin his best friend Owens’ chances of retaining, which will eventually set up a rivalry going into Wrestlemania. Reigns takes the gold, much to the dismay of fans.
Sarge Says: Roman Reigns
WWE Royal Rumble Match
One of the most exciting matches of the year, and there are only 21 confirmed entrants as of Friday afternoon. That means there is room for nine more.
Big market tease Alert! Listen to the podcast I had with Jimmy Stewart and Justin Barrasso for my surprise entrant:
Ironically enough, the Undertaker won the Royal Rumble in San Antonio back in 2007. Ten years later, he does it again, as he enters at No. 27 and goes to fight Reigns for the Universal title at Wrestlemania. There is a reason why the Undertaker has been moved to Raw from Smackdown to go up against Reigns at Mania.
Sarge Says: The Undertaker
Don’t forget The Royal Rumble pre-show starts at 5pm with a couple of matches before. The Playoffs begin Sunday as the road to Wrestlemania begins in the Lone Star state!
And that’s the bottom line… because Sarge said so!
Mike “Sarge” Riley can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ News Radio 1030AM. Find him on Twitter @Sarge985.