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The Royal Rumble pay-per-view is finally in the books. After a month of anticipation for the event, it ended just a few hours before. It is during this show we start getting a glimpse of what all matches we might see at WrestleMania 35.
As noted, only two title changes happened at the Royal Rumble, when Shinsuke Nakamura regained the United States Championship by defeating Rusev and The Bar lost their SmackDown Tag Team Titles to the newly formed team of The Miz and Shane McMahon.
All the rest of the titles were retained by the respective champions, also, Becky Lynch who lost against Asuka for the SmackDown Women’s Title later returned and won the women’s Rumble match by last eliminating Charlotte Flair, as for the men’s Rumble Match; Seth Rollins punched his ticket to WrestleMania by last eliminating Braun Strowman.
Now out of this event, WWE teased some of the WrestleMania matches we might see, so here are five matches for The Show of Shows after the Royal Rumble pay-per-view…
Already, Dean Ambrose was rumored to face an NXT Call-Up at WrestleMania this year. The match was expected to be against the new debutant, EC3, who has been advertised as one of the new faces arriving to the main roster soon.
The feud was expected to begin during the men’s Royal Rumble match, but EC3 didn’t enter the match and some other rumors started floating around that his first feud might be against Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley instead of Ambrose.
In the men’s Rumble match, Dean Ambrose was eliminated by Aleister Black who is another NXT Call-Up and was used as one of the surprise entrants in the battle royale match. It is possible WWE might have switched Ambrose opponent for WrestleMania 35.
Black lost his NXT Title rematch against Champion Tommaso Ciampa, one night before at NXT Takeover: Phoenix. Mostly his run in NXT has been completed since he has been on the brand for a long time and deserves to be pushed to the main roster now.
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In one of the most shocking twists of the night, Shinsuke Nakamura once again regained the United States Title by defeating Rusev on the pre-show of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Rusev won the title just last month on his 33rd birthday on Christmas edition of SmackDown Live.
It was a disappointing moment for the fans who have been supporting The Bulgarian Brute for a major push in the company. Maybe WWE has bigger plans for Rusev going further and that was the reason to pull the title from his waist.
Anyway, later on when Nakamura entered the Royal Rumble match which he won last year, another shocking moment happened when Mustafa Ali eliminated the King Of Strong Style from the Rumble match. As it was really unexpected to see a new member of the SmackDown roster taking out one of the former Rumble winners.
Mustafa Ali has got a huge push from WWE before when he pinned WWE Champion Daniel Bryan in a tag team match last month on SmackDown. It seems WWE is really interested in the former 205 Live star and could push him to one of the major matches at WrestleMania.
Nakamura facing Ali for United States Title at WrestleMania would be a great option as not only the match would be interesting to watch but the outcome will also be unpredictable. As for Rusev, he can have his rematch against Nakamura in between the next two pay-per-views and then could move into some other feud.
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It is very rare that a rumor exactly comes true in WWE, but in this case, it was exactly true. It was rumored that Lynch would lose her SmackDown Women’s Title Match at Royal Rumble and then, later on, will participate in the women’s Royal Rumble and win it.
Exactly the same thing happened at the event, after an incredible opening match of the night against SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka, where she made Lynch tap-out to the Asuka Lock. Lynch returned in the Royal Rumble match by replacing an injured Lana and last eliminated Charlotte Flair to win the match.
Now she will definitely not challenge Asuka since she was defeated by her in the same event. So the only option left his Ronda Rousey who has been her rumored opponent for WrestleMania, and they have also taken shots on each other on various occasions.
Even Charlotte Flair has been rumored to be involved in this feud to possibly make it a triple threat match at WrestleMania. Now, whether she is part of this feud or not needs to be seen but one thing is for sure Rousey will face Lynch for Raw Women’ Title at ‘Mania 35.
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Another rumored match for WrestleMania could be true, as Seth Rollins is expected to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania this year. Rollins won the men’s Royal Rumble match by last eliminating Braun Strowman whereas, Lesnar retained his Universal Title against Finn Balor.
Three superstars were heavily favoured to win the men’s Royal Rumble match Seth Rollins, Strowman and McIntyre. The Scottish Psychopath was eliminated earlier in the night by Ziggler, as for The Monster Among Men who was stripped from his chance to face Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble and later on who replaced an injured John Cena in Royal Rumble match was last eliminated by the winner Seth “Freakin” Rollins.
Now Rollins can also choose WWE Champion Daniel Bryan which will be a WrestleMania caliber match, but he will most likely choose The Beast so that he can bring back the Universal Championship full-time on Raw.
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#2 Roman Reigns WWE Return
Roman Reigns will return as the top Babyface WWE’s always wanted him to be.
There were whispered hopes that Roman Reigns might return to WWE at Royal Rumble last night (Sun, Jan. 27) in Phoenix, and there was little doubt what kind of reaction he’d get.
Roman Reigns might have left WWE to focus on his health on October 22nd, 2018, but he seems to be doing much better now. The Rock broke the news that The Big Dog is playing his brother in the new Hobbs & Shaw movie. Roman is also recovering from leukemia and getting treatments.
There are varying degrees of leukemia and some fans thought the worst after Roman Reigns’ announcement. However, Roman is looking good and said he is doing well in a recent health update.
Dave Meltzer mentioned Roman Reigns’ new movie role during Wrestling Observer Radio and discussed some information that he received from doctors when asking about various forms of leukemia.
So it’s fitting to say, Roman Reigns Could Be Wrestling In WWE Again Soon but we are not 100% sure when Roman Reigns will be back in WWE because there is currently no timetable for his return. However, the fact that he is still looking happy and healthy is a great sign.
Hopefully, our questions will be answered eventually, but right now all fans can do is patiently wait for Roman Reigns’ return which seems more promising than ever right now.
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Another major return that occurred at the PPV was Dolph Ziggler, who entered the men’s Royal Rumble match as one of the surprise entrants. He was last seen on the last Raw of 2018, where Drew McIntyre defeated the latter in a steel cage match.
Since then there were rumors of Ziggler leaving WWE to pursue his career on some other of his interests. He even confirmed his hiatus from WWE and said every one to not expect him to return at the Royal Rumble because he was booked for a comedy show in Phoenix itself.
Ziggler not only entered the Royal Rumble match but eliminated his old nemesis, McIntyre. McIntyre was heavily favoured to win this year’s Rumble match, and he would definitely get revenge from Ziggler for his elimination.
This could mean that WWE continues the feud between The Showoff and The Scottish Psychopath until WrestleMania where McIntyre will finally end his feud as well as Ziggler’s career by defeating him once and for all.