We have once again arrived at WrestleMania season, and of course, that means it's time to kick off the most exciting time of the year in WWE with the annual Royal Rumble event. There will be 30 men and 30 women competing once again this year in the traditional Royal Rumble matches with the prize of challenging for a world title on the grandest stage of them all on the line.
The premier destination of WrestleMania 37 -- again taking place over two nights -- goes down inside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11.
This year's Royal Rumble event takes place on Sunday, Jan. 31 inside the ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in Tampa. The headline over-the-top-rope matches are almost guaranteed to deliver surprises, but there will be a full card of action filling out the rest of the event, including some potentially huge championship bouts. While the card is still being filled out, we have taken a crack at predicting what will take place as WrestleMania 37 season kicks off.
The show will stream live on the WWE Network beginning at 7 p.m. ET following a one-hour kickoff show beginning at 6 p.m.
2021 WWE Royal Rumble card
Men's Royal Rumble: Daniel Bryan became the first man to declare he would take part in the Royal Rumble match, and plenty of names should follow in the coming weeks. Of course, as with every year, there will be plenty of surprise entrants, so we will not know the entire 30-man field ahead of the event. But, you can expect most of those who appear regularly on Raw and SmackDown to join the field. One early surprise was Edge announcing his participation on the final pre-Rumble edition of Raw. Participants: Edge, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, Mustafa Ali, Jeff Hardy, Cesaro, Otis, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sheamus, AJ Styles, Jey Uso, John Morrison, The Miz, Bobby Lashley, Daniel Bryan, Big E, Randy Orton + 13 TBA
Women's Royal Rumble: For just the fourth time, the women will have their opportunity to earn a title shot by participating in a Royal Rumble. The first women's Royal Rumble took place in 2018, with Asuka winning the match but failing to defeat Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania to win the Raw title. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair won the following two years, both going on to win titles at WrestleMania. The Raw and SmackDown locker rooms should begin declaring for the Rumble in the coming weeks. Participants: Nia Jax, Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Bianca Belair, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Peyton Royce, Shayna Baszler, Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Tamina + 18 TBA
Universal Championship -- Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owens (Last Man Standing): Reigns took issue with WWE official Adam Pearce -- a former five-time NWA champion -- booking a match between Kevin Owens and Jey Uso after Reigns beat Owens in two matches for the universal championship. Reigns and Paul Heyman pulled strings to get Pearce entered into a gauntlet match to determine Reigns' challenger at the Royal Rumble. Uso and Reigns then attacked Shinsuke Nakamura, the last man standing in the match, before placing Pearce on top for the three count and the victory. The situation ultimately backfired when Pearce signed the contract for a Last Man Standing match only to then immediately be "injured" while walking, immediately naming Owens as his replacement at the event.
WWE Championship -- Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Goldberg: While McIntyre had active storylines with Keith Lee and Sheamus, WWE appears set to pull the trigger on another Goldberg return. McIntyre beat Lee on Legends Night in an incredible match, but the post-match moment was immediately interrupted by Goldberg, who issued a challenge for Royal Rumble on the premise that McIntyre has no respect for the legends who came before. McIntyre accepted the following week, accusing Goldberg of putting words in his mouth.
Women's Tag Team Championship -- Asuka & Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler: Baszler and Jax weren't ready to walk away after losing the titles to Asuka and Flair at TLC. The match is also largely a product of a women's tag division that has no other challengers ready for a major pay-per-view title shot. Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose and Lacey Evans have all been involved in issues with the four women in the match and could play into how the action plays out.
2021 WWE Royal Rumble predictions
Intercontinental Championship -- Big E (c) vs. Sami Zayn: Big E took the title off Zayn on Christmas, and Zayn isn't someone who would sit back and not try to force his way into an opportunity to get the title back. There's no easier path to Big E's first big title defense than to book the rematch.
United States Championship -- Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Riddle: Riddle has had his issues with MVP and The Hurt Business lately, including being attacked by Lashley. Matches with MVP, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin are fine for weekly TV but don't feel like pay-per-view bouts for Riddle. Lashley has not been an active champion, so he needs a real challenger for the belt on a big stage. Riddle fills that opening well and could get his first big title run with a win.