5 Best Rumors You Need To Know Before WWE's Royal Rumble

Here are the best 2022 WWE Royal Rumble rumors we’ve been hearing, including official match card, betting odds, AEW Involvement, Paige’s return, and much more.

Bobby Lashley WWE Saudi Arabia 2021

Bobby Lashley arrives for his match during the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Crown Jewel pay-per-view in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 21, 2021. (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Bobby Lashley WWE Saudi Arabia 2021

It’s only January, but the WWE has already dealt with more drama than most companies will all year. Between the restructuring of NXT, the mass release of WWE Superstars, Triple H’s heart problems, creative missteps, and the rampant rumors that Vince McMahon might sell the company, AEW seems, more than ever, like the stabler option. Which is ironic, considering WWE has been around since 1980 and AEW was founded three years ago.

The 2022 Royal Rumble could not have come at a more opportune time. It is a consensus event–even non-WWE wrestling fans have a soft spot for it, owing to its uniqueness and high stakes. Thirty individuals enter the ring. Only one remains, and that person gets a title shot at WrestleMania

In the hands of the right booker, the Royal Rumble can close six plotlines and start another dozen. And it’s a perfect opportunity to debut (if you’re a new wrestler) or re-debut (if you’re coming off the injury list). Plus, it isn’t the Rumble without a few well-placed surprises.

Here are the best 2022 Royal Rumble rumors we’ve been hearing, plus the official match card and betting odds. We’ll update this article again next week, before the pay-per-view airs live on Saturday, January 29.

PPV Card

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Per the WWE’s official site, this is the official match card, subject to change. Peacock (United States) and the WWE Network (everywhere else) will broadcast the show live on Saturday, January 29 at 8 p.m. EST.

2021 Men’s Royal Rumble

2021 Women’s Royal Rumble

WWE Championship Match

Brock Lesnar © vs. Bobby Lashley

Universal Championship Match

Roman Reigns © vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Raw Women’s Championship Match

Becky Lynch © vs. Doudrop

Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz & Maryse


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According to BetOnline, Big E and Brock Lesnar are the favorites to win the men’s Rumble. Bianca Belair and Bayley are the favorites to win the women’s Rumble. And all current world champions are expected to retain.

Men’s Rumble

Big E (+350)

Brock (+350)

Drew McIntyre (+800)

Roman Reigns(+800)

The Rock (+1200)

AJ Styles (+1200)

Women’s Rumble

Bianca Belair (+300)

Ronda Rousey (+500)

Alexa Bliss (+600)

Bayley (+700)

Rhea Ripley (+800)

Charlotte Flair (+1200)

Sasha Banks (+1400)

WWE Universal Championship

Roman Reigns (-230)

Seth Rollins (+160)

WWE Championship

Brock Lesnar (-230) 

Bobby Lashley(+160)

Paige Return?

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A little over four years ago, WWE Superstar Paige sustained a neck injury in the ring–the result of an errant kick to her back–and was forced into early retirement at the age of 25. It was a heartbreaking turn of events. Wrestling was her entire world, and after blazing a trail for the current crop of female wrestlers, she was unable to compete in the inaugural women’s rumble in 2018.

But Paige has maintained her in-ring shape and expressed that she wants to return to at some point. After all, Edge was told he would never wrestle again, and look at him now. Medical technology evolves quickly. Paige has fed into the rumors herself, and has done nothing to quell them or deny her Rumble participation. Maybe it’s just PR. But if she does surprise us, the crowd will blow the roof off the stadium.

Breaking Down the Forbidden Door

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Mickie James will be in the Royal Rumble. That’s great news; she’s a popular WWE veteran who deserves her flowers for all she’s given to wrestling. But what makes it groundbreaking is that Mickie is the current Impact Knockouts World Champion. It breaks down a “forbidden door,” because WWE rarely collaborates with other wrestling promotions or cross-promotes. WWE works off the assumption that it is the biggest wrestling company, and they would only help their competitors by promoting their  respective champions.

 The biggest question is how WWE will book Mickie in the Rumble. Will a current WWE star eliminate her immediately, and embarrass Impact Wrestling in the process? Or will WWE let her eliminate some competitors and build her up as an actual threat? Time will tell. And depending on how WWE treats her, it will also determine whether this is a one-off stunt or the beginning of a new trend.

It also begs the question: Is there anyone else who will be crossing the forbidden door? WWE doesn’t  announce all its surprises. Which brings us to our next rumor…

AEW Involvement?

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Could the impossible happen? Could AEW, WWE’s closest competitor, involve its wrestlers in the Royal Rumble? After all, Bryan Danielson, better known to WWE fans as Daniel Bryan, left the company on good terms. So did Adam Cole. Jon Moxley, better known as Dean Ambrose to WWE fans, has been showcased in WWE highlight reels in recent weeks. And of course, Cody Rhodes, who embodies the AEW ethos, would be the biggest surprise of all. He’s even technically a free agent, which frees him from potential conflicts of interest. 

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, no AEW star is currently planned for the Rumble. If there is a surprise planned, WWE is keeping it very close to the vest.

Original Plan

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Meltzer claims that the original plan for the Day 1 PPV on Jan. 1 was for Seth Rollins to win the WWE Championship from Big E. The two men would then face each other at WrestleMania for the title. Of course, that did not happen; the current WWE Champion is Brock Lesnar, and the current Universal Champion is Roman Reigns.

For the plan to go off the way it was originally intended, it will now be much more difficult. Rollins would have to win his title match against Reigns at the Rumble. Lesnar would have to retain his title against Lashley. And then Reigns and Big E would have to qualify to face Lesnar and Rollins at Mania–either via the Rumble or some late-hour narrative twist. 

A Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar WrestleMania main event is still the plan and has always been the plan from the beginning. The only difference would be if they were competing for one belt or both.

Ready to Get Rowdy?

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In 2018, at the conclusion of the first women’s Rumble, UFC fighter Ronda Rousey came out to the ring and pointed at the WrestleMania sign, officially announcing that she was a WWE Superstar. Her two year run with the company was extremely successful, and culminated with the first ever women’s main event at WrestleMania 35.

Now, it seems that WWE is planning Rousey’s return. Sources report that she is currently training to get back in in-ring shape, and that it is a question of when, not if, she will return. Meltzer reports that one possible idea, currently under discussion, is to have Rousey face Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania. The implications for that would be huge; it would mean that Rousey would likely enter and win the Rumble, in order to place her in the challengers’ position.

 Rousey left WWE after her WrestleMania main event against Charlotte Flair and Lynch, stating her desire to start a family with husband and former MMA fighter Travis Browne. 

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