Leave it to the WWE to take the most exciting pay-per-view – I’m sorry, Premium Live Event – of the year and mess with my favourite part. The Royal Rumble is the most talked about and anticipated event of the year. That is in large part due to the element of surprise. Everyone and their mother speculate as to who’s gonna be in the event, from everyone’s favorite legends to independent stars on the verge of signing a big-time deal. More importantly, your spot in the Rumble itself is massively important, as the later you enter, the better your odds of winning become.
So back to my original question: WHY SCREW IT UP? The WWE has gone ahead and announced 21 of the 30 women’s spots at the time I’m writing this. Sure, that leaves nine surprises, but why not leave us with 30 surprises and make the whole night a smashing success? Yes, the Bellas’ return is a big deal, but wouldn’t that have been a huge pop if it was a surprise? Imagine Impact Knockouts Champion Mickie James showing up unannounced. That would have sent shockwaves throughout wrestling as the WWE has been very anti-Forbidden Door. The WWE already has the Peacock money and their subscription count, and I find it hard to believe that the Royal Rumble is struggling to sell tickets as it’s one of the biggest shows of the year. It just seems like an off move to cut one of your Rumble matches off at the knees.
It’s not all bad, though. In fact, it gives me a fun opportunity to power rank the current list of participants for the 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble. I will be ranking them simply in terms of who I think has the best shot to win the Royal Rumble and go on to headline WrestleMania in Dallas.
21. Summer Rae
Glad to see Summer back, as I didn’t hate her time in WWE as much as others might have. That said, I can’t imagine any scenario in which she wins the Royal Rumble.
Sure, there’s no one meaner than Tamina and she will have a solid showing, eliminating four or five opponents in impressive fashion. Ultimately, though, she’s destined for a quick elimination.
19. Dana Brooke
Your 24/7 champion will, in all likelihood, pass that title around like a hot potato mid-Rumble and we will see her focus more on that and less on headlining Mania.
18. Kelly Kelly
Here, we have another legend making an appearance which is always a good time, but mainly because of the SURPRISE of it. She would have gotten a decent pop, but now you’ve tarnished her moment.
What has the WWE done during her main roster run that would make you think she’s primed for a Rumble win? I’ll wait. That said, Shotzi would be a great candidate for “let’s do something completely bonkers” which I’d love to see happen because the WWE could use some new faces at the top of the card.
16. Brie Bella
Stoked to have the Bellas back wrestling. This is the moment I was talking about that they took away from us. The excitement of Brie coming down the ramp first would be exciting but then…….
15. Nikki Bella
….Nikki Bella returns to the ring after three-plus years away because of neck issues…that’s a massive pop that Royal Rumble crowds eat up. They ultimately will still get a nice reaction but it just isn’t the same as the surprise. As far as their showing in the Rumble, I see this as a vehicle to set up a women’s tag team match at Mania to face Zelina and Carmella.
One-half of the tag team champions and one of the most under-appreciated wrestlers in the world will translate to a quick rumble exit. That’s not all bad: as I predicted above, she’s on a crash course for The Bellas and Mania and that’s going to be a fun match.
13. Queen Zelina
Just like Carmella, I think this whole thing is a vehicle to get the Bellas in a tag team title match as they have pushed for it since the day the titles were announced. Again, that isn’t a bad spot to be in for either Carmella or Zelina as the Bellas are very popular in the mainstream and it will bring a ton of new eyes to women’s wrestling. It just doesn’t bode well in my Royal Rumble rankings.
12. Michelle McCool
Another legend who gets a solid pop at the Rumble that is now lost due to announcing ahead of time. Michelle is very good at reminding the WWE that she exists on social media every time they tweet about women’s wrestling, so ultimately I’m sure that’s why she always gets a spot. I’m kidding, of course, but she’d be a bit further down for me if it wasn’t for the tag teams listed above. Honestly, I’m going to look pretty silly if that tag match doesn’t happen. I’m basing a lot of this list around those four women. I can hear Michelle now: “Um, this is my ranking on your list, talk about me!” My bad Michelle, my bad.
Naomi should be easily a front-runner every year for the Rumble but sadly only the IWC believes that to be the case. While I find the storyline with Sonya DeVille to be interesting, I feel they are going to use the Rumble to steal her spot or have Sonya cost her during her “Kofi Spot”.
10. Shayna Baszler
Admittedly this is probably too high for Shayna, as they haven’t done much with her since the tag team run with Nia Jax. That said, I’m a Shayna stan and think she needs to be pushed to the mooooon.
The BOAT may go for the record for most eliminations, which would be nine. Belair and Baszler hold the record with eight. Unfortunately, she’s more likely to break Santino’s record for fastest eliminated.
The record-holder for the fastest win in wrestling is all Aliyah has to her name. So I won’t be shocked if she does nothing other than eliminating Natalya, because why would we want to build a new star by having a killer Rumble match? Hell, I’m calling it now: Nattie and Aliyah eliminate each other.
7. Nikki A.S.H.
One easy way to get the crowd going is to have your almost superhero make a bit of a run in the Rumble. Ultimately Rhea will eliminate her, continuing their feud, which seems to be a theme for this women’s Rumble. When you slash your roster down significantly, this is what it becomes.
6. Mickie James
I fully expect Mickie to have a solid showing in the Rumble as the Forbidden Door entry. The Impact Knockouts champion is a living legend in the sport and has done so much for women’s wrestling, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s in the final four spots. The WWE needs to do right by her, especially after the garbage bag incident last year. A great Rumble showing would certainly be a classy move.
5. Liv Morgan
Liv is arguably one of the most loved wrestlers by the IWC going today. She’s on her best run as a singles competitor as she just had a killer match at Day 1 against Becky Lynch. I’m not sure what’s holding the WWE back from just pulling the trigger on Morgan but here’s another chance to do so by having her win the Rumble. Too bad she will probably come up short once again.
4. Rhea Ripley
This time last year, Rhea was one of the favorites to win the Royal Rumble. So here’s another opportunity to re-establish Ripley as a main event player and the dominant force we all know she can be.
How cool is it to have Lita back? I’m stoked to see her back doing her thing and it seems like she’s in for the Mania run so hopefully, this isn’t the only spot we see her in until then. It’s very easy for me to see them give her the Edge type run of last year if she’s game for it.
2. Charlotte Flair
The Charlotte Effect is always in play in big-time spots. She’s the safest and easiest option for the WWE to run with, especially during WrestleMania season. There’s a reason she’s an all-time great.
1. Bianca Belair
The WWE should absolutely make her a back-to-back Rumble winner and without a doubt put her on the map. Belair is the perfect option if the WWE decides to think beyond the Four Horsewomen.
Where did I get it right? Where am I dead wrong? Let me know in the comments section. Obviously, there are nine spots still up in the air so keep that in mind. I’m calling it now, if Bayley returns, she is winning the whole damn thing!
No matter who wins or returns, it’s the most anticipated time of the year. Rumble season is always a good time, at least I hope it will be, even if the WWE decided the Women’s Rumble didn’t need the mystery. Let’s all hope they come up with something cool for the last nine spots and interject that mystery and intrigue into the 2022 women’s Royal Rumble match.