Welcome to part 2 of my predictions series breaking down which superstars will be entering the record books when it comes to the 2021 Royal Rumble matches.
In part 1, I focused my 3-Count on the men and women I think could have the best staying power and last the longest. For this part, I want to shift my attention onto people who may play the best offense, instead, by scoring the most eliminations and tossing people out left and right.
While we don’t know the full field of competitors for either the men or women’s matches, I’ve narrowed down my picks to the top three superstars I think have the best chance of standing out as the most dominant wrestlers in the crowd.
In no particular order, let’s start digging…
WOMEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
In every scenario, for every match, never count out Charlotte Flair to win something. She’s consistently proven even if it makes no sense, WWE could go with her as the one to take home the accolade. Look at last year’s Royal Rumble or the TLC match between Asuka and Lana against Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler.
Flair already had the most eliminations in the 2019 Royal Rumble with 5. She’s also the current holder of the most eliminations in a cumulative sense with 9 (as she took out 4 last year).
This year, I fully expect her to have another great showing. I anticipate she’s dropping the tag titles and they’ll make up for it with a good run in the Royal Rumble, if not even a potential win (though I’d hate that scenario). Even if she loses, she can still toss people out like it’s her job, because, well, it is.
Last year, Bianca Belair and Shayna Baszler set the record for most eliminations in a women’s Royal Rumble with 8 a piece. This year, I don’t think Shayna Baszler is in any position to do that again, but Belair certainly could.
WWE would be crazy not to give something to Belair this time around. She’s far too amazing an athlete to not get a focal point in a match like this. Not only is she the best possible candidate on the entire SmackDown side of the division, she’s also just one of the strongest in general.
Belair probably won’t best her 8 eliminations from last year, but she still might get the most overall for this time around yet again.
Remember this girl? Did you forget how at this time last year, she was the hottest thing going in the women’s division and looked like the guaranteed future of the roster? Remember how WWE gave the Royal Rumble win to Charlotte Flair and then had her completely derail Ripley’s momentum? I think it’s time to fix that.
Ripley has been suspiciously absent from NXT for a while and has had more than one “goodbye match” scenario. I think she’s popping up here, wrecking things, tossing lots of people over the top and winning the match.
At the very least…she should.
Shout out to Bayley. If they have her start early enough and they book this Royal Rumble like some of the other ones in the past, where a heel like she can stick around in annoying fashion, she could rack up the points. Even if it’s unintentional for her to get that kind of accolade, it wouldn’t be crazy to me if she had 5 eliminations or something along those lines and it stood above the rest.
MEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
As he’s my top pick to win and my top pick to be the Iron Man, I have to assume Daniel Bryan’s the top pick for me to get the most eliminations, too. Simply put, the longer you’re in the match and the more likely you are to get one elimination, the more likely you are to get lots of eliminations.
This won’t be a record-setting showing. Bryan’s not tossing out 28 people or anything. But the average number for the top spot is 6.7 eliminations. Bryan can easily reach that point if he starts early enough and comes out on top. It all depends on if WWE wants to share the wealth and distribute it more evenly, or if only a few people are highlighted.
Someone who should get highlighted is Keith Lee. This guy’s just too good not to eliminate a lot of people. He didn’t get an opportunity last year, as the story being told that time around was Brock Lesnar’s dominance, but we hopefully won’t have The Beast Incarnate involved this time around.
Strangely, WWE hasn’t made Lee a focal point going into the Royal Rumble. You’d think he would be one of the guys to build up along the way, right? Instead, exiting Monday Night Raw, he hasn’t been announced to even be involved.
I maintain some faith (albeit small on some days) that WWE knows what they’ve got in Lee and aren’t going to let him fizzle out. One way to make sure that’s the case is by letting him run wild on the Royal Rumble competition.
The Legend Killer is a two-time Royal Rumble winner who has scored 27 eliminations over his time in these matches. That’s far from the record (43 or 44 for Kane, depending on if you count his pre-Kane characters) but it’s still something.
Funny enough, he tends to get only 1 elimination most years. So why would I pick him for a third choice for most? Because I don’t think he’s winning this time and 2020 was a dominant year for him.
I can very easily see a scenario where Orton shows up in the midway point, takes a handful of people out very quickly to clear the ring, and lasts until the final group, getting another one or two eliminations along the way.
Bobby Lashley has been protected very well the past few months. There doesn’t seem to be any proper indication why that’s the case, as the United States Championship hasn’t been made a more prominent title or anything, but he’s had a great track record nevertheless.
With that in mind, plus his raw strength and how he’s one of the bigger guys in the match, it makes sense if he could throw a lot of people over the top rope. He’s not winning and I don’t think he’s lasting longer than anyone else, but he can certainly fling other superstars around the ring and take out some competitors to show off his strength.