We're a week away from the 2021 WWE Royal Rumble—the first brick on the "Road to Wrestlemania." For casual fans who may have stopped watching for a few months or years, the Rumble is a great way to get caught up on storylines and roster changes. The titular event features, by necessity, nearly the entire men's and women's rosters.
Thirty competitors enter the Rumble and are eliminated (over the top rope, with both feet touching the floor) until one remains. That winner goes on to a title match at Wrestlemania 37. From a story perspective, it's the opportunity of a lifetime. From a backstage perspective, it's a show of faith by management--that Vince McMahon sees the chosen winner as the marketable face of his company.
This year, Wrestlemania 37 will happen in front of a live, socially distanced audience--the first time the company has hosted ticketed fans since the pandemic started. That, along with the recent announcement that the WWE Network is merging with Peacock, makes Sunday's stakes extremely high. Here are the craziest rumors leading into the 2021 Royal Rumble, along with bookies' last-minute predictions.