The 2024 WWE Royal Rumble is just around the corner, taking place this coming Saturday, January 27th. With multiple blockbuster returns and debuts potentially on tap, this year’s 30-men and 30-women over-the-top-rope battles have wrestling fans buzzing with excitement and speculation.
Surprise Entrants Set to Shake Up Rumble Matches
As is tradition every year, the Royal Rumble matches themselves are shrouded in mystery, with WWE keeping the official list of entrants under wraps. This allows for surprise legend returns and NXT call ups that fans never see coming. According to WWE’s latest top 25 surprise Rumble entrants list, this year’s matches are sure to include some shocking unannounced appearances.
Topping the list of surprises is Hall of Famer Edge, who made a miracle return from career-ending neck surgery to win the 2010 Rumble. Other stunning comeback stories on the list include John Cena (2008), Triple H (2002), and Chris Jericho (2013). WhileEdge has been under contract since 2020, the others would truly shock the world if they showed up this Saturday.
Some potential NXT surprises fans could see are former champions Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. Their main roster debuts feel imminent, and doing so by winning the Rumble match would immediately establish them as top stars on Raw or Smackdown.
But the debut that has the wrestling world holding their collective breath is that of Steen Generico, the current NXT Champion who asked for his release from his contract last month after creative differences with management. He would fit right in with the chaotic Rumble match, but time will tell if he and WWE can smooth things over for a surprise #30 entry spot.
Controversial Decisions Put Spotlight on Creative Team
Speaking of creative differences, one story that has put WWE’s creative direction under scrutiny headed into Wrestlemania season is the apparent burial of franchise star Edge off TV. Despite his triumphant return from retirement and consistently excellent work over the past two years, Edge has been left off the last two weeks of television without explanation.
Many fans on social media hypothesize that with ratings down, Vince McMahon himself axed planned programs for Edge in favor of pushing younger talent he sees as having more longevity. If true, this would be a controversial move by the boss, as Edge remains one of the company’s most popular performers. His name value likely would have drawn plenty of extra viewers to Royal Rumble season.
Rumors now swirl that Edge could make one more miracle comeback at the Rumble itself after McMahon has a last minute change of heart. But if he remains off the show through Wrestlemania, one has to seriously question the decision making process of McMahon and Bruce Prichard.
Women’s Division Influx Creates Most Unpredictable Women’s Rumble Ever
While controversy swirls around the men’s Rumble match, the women’s match features nothing but exciting possibilities. The female roster has expanded drastically in recent months, meaning nearly the entire division will collide to make history this Saturday.
Overall, 17 names have already been confirmed for the 30-woman melee:
Raw Women’s Champion Asuka
SmackDown Women’s Champion Sonya Deville
This leaves 13 spots open for surprises. Leaks from wrestling news sites indicate that several former stars will return after absences. At the top of that list is Becky Lynch, arguably the company’s most popular woman wrestler. She just gave birth to her second child six months ago and would ignite the crowd coming in at number 30.
Other planned alumni comebacks include Naomi, who walked out last summer alongside Sasha Banks over booking issues, and Ronda Rousey, who took time off after Wrestlemania last April.
And that’s not even mentioning the possibility of currently injured wrestlers like Bayley and Asuka coming back early from torn ACLs or standout NXT stars like Roxanne Perez and Cora Jade getting the call up.
No matter what combinations materialize, this will undoubtedly be the most unpredictable and exciting Women’s Rumble match ever. The winner could face either Champion at Wrestlemania, and nearly every entrant has a viable path to victory.
Men’s Rumble Favorite Far From Clear
Turning attention to the men’s Rumble, the list of favorites feels longer than ever. And that’s largely due to the dangerously thin roster heading toward the company’s biggest event in Hollywood.
Here’s a full rundown of betting odds for the Men’s Rumble winner, according to top sports books:
As you can see, no name jumps out as an obvious victor to challenge for either World Championship at Wrestlemania. Let’s break down cases for and against the top contenders:
Roman Reigns – Usually a lock this time of year, health concerns after a brutal Bloodline implosion could divert Reigns from his Rumble plans. But winning after entering 1st or 2nd would establish him as the company’s ultimate final boss headed into ‘Mania.
Cody Rhodes – Came tantalizingly close to glory in epic title clashes with Reigns last fall. A Rumble win could grant Rhodes the stipulation he needs to finally pry the belts away. Concerns remain about the stability of his injured shoulder though.
Sami Zayn – Has caught fire with fans after splitting from The Bloodline. But plans seem set for a Wrestlemania match with Kevin Owens. Don’t count out Rumble tricks by The Master Strategist however.
Seth Rollins – Just won the US title, which could free him up to challenge Reigns or Rhodes for a world title at Mania. The Visionary has thrived in Rumble matches historically.
Bobby Lashley – Seems to have unfinished business with both champion Reigns and Rhodes. A destroyer like Lashley wrecking shop from the early spots would certainly make a statement headed into April.
Gunther – The dominant Intercontinental Champion and his Imperium faction have lacked direction since Survivor Series. A Rumble win followed by Gunther challenging Reigns or Rhodes for a unification match could be WWE’s long term plan.
And the list continues with other formidable names like Sheamus, McIntyre, Kross and Strowman. Hell, even perennial upper midcarders like Elias, Baron Corbin and Kofi Kingston have punched above their weight class to deliver shock wins.
The bottom line is that the Men’s Royal Rumble field is wide open this year, which should deliver a thrilling finale to close the show.
All Signs Point to Record Viewership
Given the immense hype and unpredictability surrounding both marquee matches, multiple industry insiders report that this could be the most watched Royal Rumble PLE ever.
WWE recently signed a blockbuster deal with NBC Universal to air all PLE events exclusively on the Peacock streaming service. Their coffers bursting with new TV money seems to have spurred the creative team to pull out all the stops creatively.
And fans have taken notice. Trending metrics on social media point to the Rumble garnering significantly more buzz than recent years. The potential surprises have the wrestling world hooked.
Many unforgettable moments are sure to transpire this Saturday night. And multiple new stars will be made when the clock strikes zero and a Superstar stands victorious, punching their ticket to the Showcase of the Immortals.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.