Predicting the match order at Royal Rumble 2019

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It’s one thing to predict the winners and losers at Royal Rumble 2019, but how about taking a guess at the match order on that card?

WWE has announced 7 different segments for the main card of Royal Rumble 2019.

Here is my subjective view of how important each of these 7 segments rank on the Royal Rumble card, ordered from most important to least important.

  1. Women’s Royal Rumble match
  2. Men’s Royal Rumble match
  3. Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks
  4. Becky Lynch vs. Asuka
  5. Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles
  6. Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor
  7. The Bar vs. Miz & Shane McMahon

It is important to come up with a list like this to get an idea of which matches are going to be placed in the key spots on the card or take up the most time, and which matches might end up in the cool-down spots or be given the least amount of time.

Main event

It’s not usually wise to pick against a Royal Rumble match in the main event slot, and having two Royal Rumble matches on one card makes that an even safer bet.

Nothing particularly interesting stands out about the Men’s Royal Rumble match, whereas the Women’s Royal Rumble match will continue telling the Flair/Lynch/Rousey story on the road to WrestleMania 35. Therefore the Women’s Rumble match seems like an easy choice for the main event of this card.

The match that’s screwed

One of the 5 non-Rumble matches will draw the short straw and be placed in the segment immediately following the first Royal Rumble match. Last year that spot went to Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan defending the Raw tag titles against The Bar, which was probably the least important match on the card.

I think it makes sense to follow that same logic again this year and put the least important match of the night in the segment after the first Royal Rumble match. The two viable candidates for this spot are Lesnar’s match or The Bar’s match. It looks to me like The Bar will probably draw the short straw again.

Opening match

Perhaps this is just fantasy booking, but I think Becky Lynch pretty much has to pull double duty on this night, otherwise the Women’s Royal Rumble match is too predictable in favor of Charlotte Flair.

If Becky is pulling double duty and will be a focal point of the main event, then I think it makes the most sense to start the main card off with Becky’s scheduled match against Asuka, in order to put as much distance as possible between Becky’s two appearances.

That gives me the following card:

Segment 1: Asuka vs. Becky Lynch
Segment 2:
Segment 3:
Segment 4:
Segment 5:
Segment 6:
Segment 7: Women’s Royal Rumble match

Where does the other Royal Rumble match go?

I think the first Royal Rumble match has to come somewhere in the first 4 segments, otherwise it’s too close to the second Royal Rumble match.

Segment 3 or Segment 4 seem to be the best spots, and I think it’s probably best to put it in the earlier segment to create a bit more space between the two Royal Rumble matches. Therefore I’ll put the Men’s Royal Rumble match in Segment 3, with Shane McMahon’s match in Segment 4.

That gives me the following card:

Segment 1: Asuka vs. Becky Lynch
Segment 2:
Segment 3: Men’s Royal Rumble match
Segment 4: The Bar vs. Miz & Shane McMahon
Segment 5:
Segment 6:
Segment 7: Women’s Royal Rumble match

Everything else

A Royal Rumble match will last roughly an hour, and that means there is some risk involved in putting lengthy regular matches after it. I know Bryan and Styles are both great, but sometimes the crowd is just too exhausted to get hyped up for long matches late on these marathon cards. I think it makes the most sense to have Bryan and Styles go on earlier in the night, assuming their match will get a lot of time, rather than sticking it between the two Rumbles. Therefore I’m putting Bryan and Styles in Segment 2.

That leaves Segment 5 and Segment 6 for Rousey and Lesnar. WWE generally doesn’t book women’s matches in consecutive segments, so that means Rousey probably won’t be in Segment 6. I’ll stick to that logic and put Rousey in Segment 5, with Lesnar in Segment 6.

Finalized card

So here is my final prediction for the match order at Royal Rumble 2019, along with guesses on the bell-to-bell match times.

Segment 1: Asuka vs. Becky Lynch (14 minutes)
Segment 2: Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles (18)
Segment 3: Men’s Royal Rumble match (56)
Segment 4: The Bar vs. Miz & Shane McMahon (11)
Segment 5: Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks (13)
Segment 6: Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor (12)
Segment 7: Women’s Royal Rumble match (55)

These match times add up to 179 minutes, which is right in line with last year’s total match time of 178 minutes.

If WWE decides to push this card closer to 5 hours (last year’s card lasted about 4 hours and 13 minutes) then I’m probably short-changing both Rumble matches by 5 minutes or so. Shane McMahon’s matches usually go way longer than 11 minutes, so perhaps that’s the one that will increase the most if this card runs a full 5 hours.

If the card runs closer to 4 hours and Shane gets a lot of time, then Styles and Bryan will likely suffer as a result. Or maybe Finn Balor will be squashed in that scenario…

That’s my prediction for the match order at Royal Rumble 2019. What’s yours?




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