The first main roster WWE PPV of 2019 airs tonight on the WWE Network as the Royal Rumble kicks off the Road to WrestleMania.
This is not only the first PPV of 2019 for the superstars of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live, but it is also one of the Big 4 PPV events of the year for the WWE.
The winners of the two Royal Rumble matches this evening will get world title shots at WrestleMania 35 and feuds heading into that event will start to form tonight, as well.
With nine big matches and seven titles on the line, here is a look at the 2019 WWE Royal Rumble and everything fans can expect.
2019 WWE Royal Rumble matches
There are a total of nine 2019 WWE Royal Rumble matches scheduled for tonight’s big show. Seven of them are title matches and the other two are the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches themselves.
- Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor
- WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles
- 2019 Royal Rumble men’s match (30 competitors)
- 2019 Royal Rumble women’s match (30 competitors)
- Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Asuka vs. Becky Lynch
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto vs. Hideo Itami
- US Championship: Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Bar vs. The Miz and Shane McMahon
WWE Royal Rumble 2019 preview
The WWE Royal Rumble is the kickoff to the Road to WrestleMania. This means that many matches for the biggest WWE PPV of the year will start to form tonight.
Of course, the two Royal Rumble matches themselves will see the winners allowed to challenge for the world title of their choice for WrestleMania 35.
The men’s match features the following superstars: John Cena, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, Big E, Xavier Woods, Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Elias, Jinder Mahal, Jeff Hardy, Bobby Lashley, Titus O’Neil, Andrade, Rey Mysterio, Mustafa Ali, and R-Truth.
That means there are still 10 vacant spots. There are actually 11 spots open as John Cena likely won’t make it to the Royal Rumble tonight due to an injury storyline.
There is also supposed to be a huge surprise taking place tonight at the Royal Rumble, and rumors indicate that there could be some hugely surprising returns.
Despite all that, the favorite to win the match is still Seth Rollins, with Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman as favorites from Monday Night Raw.
If SmackDown Live wins the event, favored names include Andrade Cien Almas and maybe even an AJ Styles if he loses to Daniel Bryan and enters the Royal Rumble after the fact.
For the women, here are the current entrants: Natalya, Bayley, Ember Moon, Lacey Evans, Alexa Bliss, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan, Mickie James, Alicia Fox, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Zelina Vega, Charlotte Flair, Naomi, Tamina, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Dana Brooke, Lana, Nia Jax, Nikki Cross, and Carmella.
That is 23 entrants, which means there are still seven open spots.
Charlotte Flair is favored to win to get the shot at Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 35 but Becky Lynch is also supposed to be part of that match. There are rumors that Lynch will lose tonight to Asuka and then join the Rumble to earn her next shot.
As for the title matches, the most intriguing is the Universal Championship.
This was supposed to be Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman but Vince McMahon stripped Strowman of his title shot and Finn Balor won the chance to challenge for the title. No one expects Balor to win but Lesnar has his best matches against little guys (see: AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan) and this should be a great match.
This was supposed to be Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman but Vince McMahon stripped Strowman of his title shot and Finn Balor won the chance to challenge for the title.
No one expects Balor to win but Lesnar has his best matches against little guys (see: AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan) and this should be a great match.
The world championship match will also be a great one as Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles always works well together.
The two women’s matches are interesting.
The WWE seems ready to finally push Asuka as a top-tier star but she is facing the hottest wrestler in the WWE — man or woman — in Becky Lynch. Asuka looks favored to leave with her title, but will it be a clean win?
As for Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks, there is no way that Rousey loses her Raw women’s title tonight but this follows her match with Charlotte Flair and feud with Becky Lynch and seems to be another step in setting up the Four Horsewomen feud.
Shane McMahon and The Miz battle The Bar for the SmackDown Live tag team titles. This will go one of two ways.
The Bar wins and The Miz proves to be untrustworthy and starts a feud with McMahon leading to WrestleMania 35. The other is that Miz and Shane wins and becomes champions, but that seems to still be a way to lead to their eventual feud.
The United States Championship match sees Rusev, now a full babyface, defending his title against Shinsuke Nakamura.
The final match, which will probably be on the pre-show, is for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Buddy Murphy has been a spectacular champion for 205 Live and he will face three of the best international cruiserweights in the WWE in a Fatal Four Way, with Akira Tozawa, Kalisto and Hideo Itami challenging for the title.
How to watch the 2019 WWE Royal Rumble
The 2019 WWE Royal Rumble will only be available to watch on the WWE Network. It starts at 7 p.m. EST with the Rumble Kickoff Show starting at 5 p.m. EST.
The event will likely last four hours, not including any Kickoff Show matches.