2020 WWE Royal Rumble matches, card, participants, PPV rumors, start time, date, location, predictions

WWE

When it comes to the most important period of the year for WWE, none compare to WrestleMania season. It all kicks off this Sunday, Jan. 26, with the annual Royal Rumble event set to take place at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The traditional men's and women's Royal Rumble contests are naturally set to headline the card once again as 60 competitors vie for the coveted WrestleMania world title opportunities, with the unique twist in the men's version of WWE champion Brock Lesnar taking part as the No. 1 entrant. In addition, the universal title will be on the line as "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt defends against Daniel Bryan in a strap match. 

The 2020 WWE Royal Rumble main card is set to begin at 7 p.m. ET on the WWE Network. The kickoff show, which generally features a couple matches to get things rolling, will begin two hours prior at 5 p.m. 

While the full card is finishing up with the event just a few days away, let's take a look at what we know will go down in Houston as well as what we believe might be added to the card. 

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Royal Rumble 2020 matches

Men's Royal Rumble match: As with every year's Royal Rumble throughout the years, expect the top stars on the roster and a few surprises from the past as well as even NXT competitors to hit the ring. As usual, the winner will earn the right to choose which world champion they will face at WrestleMania 36. Confirmed entrants: Brock Lesnar (No. 1), Roman Reigns, King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Elias, Rey Mysterio, Ricochet, Drew McIntyre, Otis, Tucker, Rusev, Bobby Lashley, Aleister Black, Buddy Murphy, Braun Strowman, Shinsuke Nakamura, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe

Women's Royal Rumble match: 2020 will be the third time the women of WWE have had their own Royal Rumble match. Similar to the men, there will be the expected big names and a few surprises along the way. Asuka won in 2018 and Becky Lynch won in 2019, and now we're ready to see who will make themselves third on that short list. Confirmed entrants: Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross, Sarah Logan

Universal Championship -- "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (Strap match): Bryan earned another shot at Wyatt and the universal title when he defeated The Miz and Baron Corbin on the Dec. 27 edition of SmackDown. After Bryan had duped Wyatt with the help of Team Hell No running mate Kane on the Jan. 17 edition of SmackDown, Bryan laid down the gauntlet and called for this rematch to be a strap match. 

Raw Women's Championship -- Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka: The story of Lynch's self-doubt being largely linked to her inability to overcome Asuka when the two have clashed led Lynch to the rare role of a champion seeking out a match from the challenger. Now, she'll get a chance to earn the retribution she seeks when this much-anticipated rematch occurs in Houston. 

SmackDown Women's Championship -- Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans: While Evans' face turn hasn't made complete sense and doesn't fit the character that has been developed for months, it's clear a showdown with Bayley is the plan for her. Bayley and Sasha Banks have tormented Evans, including mocking her young daughter during the Dec. 20 edition of SmackDown, adding some extra spice to the match. Evans defeated Bayley clean on a recent episode of SmackDown, earning herself a shot at the title in Houston. 

Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin (Falls count anywhere match): These two aren't done with each other after Corbin's win through the use of overwhelming numbers at TLC. Reigns threw down the challenge for another singles match on the Jan. 10 edition of SmackDown, getting a quick acceptance from Corbin before both men enter the Royal Rumble match later in the night. After a win over Robert Roode on SmackDown in a tables match, Reigns was allowed to choose a stipulation for this match, and his decision was to beat Corbin around the baseball stadium in a falls count anywhere affair. 

United States Championship -- Andrade (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo: In his pursuit of the United States title, Andrade managed to win a gauntlet match to become No. 1 contender. In the course of the win, Andrade exposed the ringside concrete before hitting Carrillo with a Hammerlock DDT, taking him out of action for weeks. Andrade defeated Rey Mysterio to win the title, and now Carrillo is looking to make him pay for his actions in his return to the ring at Royal Rumble.

Sheamus vs. Shorty G: Upon his return to action, Sheamus immediately set his sights on Shorty G after weeks of calling the entire roster soft. Following a pull-apart brawl between the two on an episode of SmackDown, the one-on-one encounter for Houston was made official. 

Royal Rumble 2020 predictions

Intercontinental Championship -- Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Braun Strowman: This pairing was rumored to have been planned for quite some time, and recent editions of SmackDown saw Strowman help New Day deal with Nakamura, Cesaro and Sami Zayn, including pinning the intercontinental champ in a six-man tag match. It's a classic way to build toward an eventual PPV title match.

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