The Royal Rumble pay-per-view is one of the most anticipated ones in the WWE calendar, as it brings with it the 30-man Royal Rumble match which is filled with excitement, anticipation and full of surprising returns and debuts. The winner of that match also gets the right to go onto headline WrestleMania, as the Royal Rumble match often turns out to be the stepping stone for a wrestler to get into the main-event picture.
While the Royal Rumble matches have been rather underwhelming in the past few years, the inflow of talent in the WWE right now and the constant amazing talents that are getting promoted from NXT are making for an exciting future, meaning that the future Royal Rumble events are sure to be filled with entertainment and star-studded lineups. The amount of potential in the growth of WWE in the next five years or so is really unlimited, as their roster looks amazing right now and is only expected to get bigger and better in the future.
Although it's rather difficult to ascertain the future, let's project the next 5 Royal Rumble winners and 2 runner-ups. These future Royal Rumble matches could pave the way for more greatness for these amazing superstars.
15 Royal Rumble 2017 Runner-Up: Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman is slowly being built as the top monster heel in the WWE, as the "Monster Among Men" has turned some eyes in the past and looks to be in an amazing shape right now. While he brings destruction alongside him, his impressive agility and monstrous promo skills has meant for a push going into the Royal Rumble match, where he looks to be one of the favorites to win it. Strowman will probably have an impressive showing, but will most likely end up as a runner-up as we all know how the WWE isn't willing to let a big man win the Royal Rumble match (ironically), but an impressive showing and a shocking elimination (maybe a distraction from Sami Zayn) could lead to an interesting feud heading into WrestleMania for him, where he could show the full potential of his terrifying destruction.
14 Royal Rumble 2017 Runner-Up: Bray Wyatt
"The Eater of Worlds" Bray Wyatt is now enjoying a lot of power on Smackdown, as inviting Randy Orton as the newest member of his family has made the stable one to look out for and we can be sure that Bray will get help in the Royal Rumble match from his followers. With two impressive partners in Orton and Harper in the match, Bray has the best chance of going all the way in the Rumble this time out. But there's a chance of him being betrayed by Orton at the very last second, as he might be very, very close at winning it but a turn from Orton could lead to his elimination and spark the final match between them at the grandest stage of them all.
13 Royal Rumble 2017 Winner: The Undertaker
Now it's no surprise that The Undertaker is heading towards the end of his wrestling career, as The Phenom doesn't have that much stamina or power left in him to wrestle properly anymore and will want to bow out on a high. The Deadman is expected to be in the Royal Rumble match this year, as he'll be greeted by fans of his home state in Texas and going by how much the WWE respects him, he might be given the opportunity of winning the Rumble in front of his home fans. Taker will mostly appear at the latter stages of the match, as he'll put destruction in his path and go all the way to ensure a main event spot at what might be his final WrestleMania. Taker will most likely face John Cena in a "Title vs Career" match at the grandest stage of them all, as The Deadman will ride into the sun-set after having the most perfect final match on the stage which made him into the legend he is today.
12 Royal Rumble 2018 Runner-Up: AJ Styles
AJ Styles' WWE debut in the Royal Rumble match last year was nothing short of phenomenal, as the Champ That Runs The Camp is heading into his second Rumble as the WWE Champion. 2017 could be the year Styles becomes a face again because of how over he is with the crowd, as he'll probably remain a star in the company and be an entrant in the 2018 Royal Rumble match as well. Styles was pretty impressive in his debut Rumble appearance, as he'll probably only get better in his 2nd one and going by his survival instincts and amazing ability in the ring, he'll definitely be a contender to win it. Styles will probably be eliminated as a runner-up in the 2018 Royal Rumble match, keeping his name high and maybe even an ex-TNA colleague eliminating him to set up a WrestleMania encounter.
11 Royal Rumble 2018 Runner-Up: Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose had quite the bittersweet Royal Rumble match last year, having his hands on the WWE Championship as he was among the final two men in the ring but was eliminated by eventual winner Triple H for the belt. Ambrose might not have that much of an impact in the match this year as he is going into it as Intercontinental Champion, but The Lunatic Fringe is definitely going to gun for an opportunity to headline WrestleMania next year again. Going by how over he is and his ability to survive in the Rumble, he'll go a long way in the 2018 Rumble match but will probably get a case of deja vu when he is eliminated at the end again by the winner and see the disappointment of not winning the Rumble roll before his eyes yet again.
10 Royal Rumble 2018 Winner: Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins has had quite the topsy-turvy journey so far as a face character, as he's getting a lot of cheers from the fans but doesn't seem to be that intriguing a character as he was as a heel. So we can expect Rollins to go back to his heel form soon enough, as the Architect will mostly miss out on a Royal Rumble win this time because of his feud with Triple H, but can gun for the match next year if he can successfully turn into a heel once again or get over as a face. Rollins is quite amazing in the ring, as he can definitely survive the entirety of the Rumble match and come out on top, and going by how Roman Reigns is destined to be a long-term champion, maybe we could see a Shield Triple Threat at WrestleMania next year if Ambrose can somehow wiggle his way into the main-event these three deserve at the grandest stage of them all.
9 Royal Rumble 2019 Runner-Up: Sami Zayn
"The Underdog From The Underground" Sami Zayn has to prove his under-dog status and going by how WWE are taking it slow and steady with his push to the top, Zayn might have to wait a few years before he can make it to the top of the WWE. But in 2019, Zayn should be ready enough to give a strong performance at the Royal Rumble match, as he can use his amazing ability and resilience to fight through the match, but probably will not actually win the match. Sami will probably be eliminated by an "old friend" which can destroy his dreams at headlining WrestleMania, but a similar path like Daniel Bryan could make for another amazing under-dog story which Sami deserves at one point of his career.
8 Royal Rumble 2019 Runner-Up: Kevin Owens
2016 has been pretty good to Kevin Owens, who turned Raw into "The Kevin Owens Show" after the brand split and has been one of the more entertaining things about Raw in the past few months. Owens is one for the long term in WWE because of his impressive character and in-ring ability, as he'll probably shine again in the 2019 Royal Rumble match where he tries to get his first ever Rumble victory. Owens is pretty shrewd in the ring and will use his heel-tactics to eliminate many and survive till the very end, but a surprising interference could make the end of his dream of winning the Rumble as he will survive till the last moments of the 2019 Rumble match but be eliminated maybe because of his arrogance taking control of him.
7 Royal Rumble 2019 Winner: Baron Corbin
Even though it's no surprise that WWE doesn't want a big man to win the Royal Rumble match for some reason, Baron Corbin has been too impressive lately to be ignored. The Former Football player is improving every single week in the ring and on the mic, and should be ready for a solid push to the main event scene in 2019. He'll probably show his dominance in the Rumble in 2019 but also play it smart, surviving till the very end when he uses his shrewd heel tactics to eliminate both Zayn and Owens and win the match and book a place at the main event of WrestleMania, as Corbin's impressive development over the few years will definitely give its rewards in due time and Royal Rumble 2019 could be the event where he gets recognized as THE top heel in the WWE.
6 Royal Rumble 2020 Runner-Up: Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe has been quite the dominating bad-ass in NXT ever since he made his debut in 2015, as he has been at the top of NXT ever since his debut and is set to make his main roster bow soon enough as well. But before Joe can make it to the main-event scene, he'll probably remain as an upper-mid carder for some-time. He'll definitely remain in the WWE for atleast 4-5 more years, as he'll probably get his solid push at around the 2020 mark. Joe is quite the hard-hitting superstar, so we can expect a solid Royal Rumble Performance from him in 2020 where he'll dominate over many of the other superstars, but fail to go all the way with a surprise elimination, but that can set the stones in place for Joe becoming the top star of the company and reaching promise-land around 2020.
5 Royal Rumble 2020 Runner-Up: Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns is quite the master when it comes to Royal Rumble matches, as The Big Dog has been on a roll in the past few years in the Rumble, having broken the record for most eliminations in a single Rumble match and also winning the Rumble in a volatile situation in 2015. WWE would be doing themselves a good thing by keeping him out of the Rumble picture for a few years, as he could get another showing in 2020 where he breaks(or comes close) to the record of most eliminations in the history of the Rumble but is marked with disappointment when he is eliminated in the end. Roman could have another successful outing marked by disappointment in the end, where maybe he's screwed by some other wrestler which makes for an encounter at WrestleMania.
4 Royal Rumble 2020 Winner: AJ Styles
2016 was the year of AJ Styles in the WWE, as the Phenomenal One defied all expectations and became one of the company's top stars and considering how good he's been so far in the WWE, he'll be staying in the company for a long time now. Despite being almost 40, Styles is still extremely fit and able in the ring, and will probably get his moment in 2020 when he goes onto win the Royal Rumble match convincingly by eliminating somebody like Reigns in the end. By then he'll be hugely over with the WWE universe, so he could win the Rumble with his experience and ability in the ring and then go onto headline WrestleMania (maybe against someone like Seth Rollins?) and win the main-event to establish his status as a truly top dog in the WWE as the Phenomenal One might have to wait for his WrestleMania moment for a few years, but it'll be worth it when he gets it in around the 2020 mark.
3 Royal Rumble 2021 Runner-Up: Seth Rollins
2 Royal Rumble 2021 Runner-Up: Dean Ambrose
1 Royal Rumble 2021 Winner: Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe took his time to get to the pinnacle of TNA, but when he did get there, he wasn't held back by the company. Something similar could happen for him in WWE, as he'll need some years before he's ready to be the top dog of the WWE and 2021 could be the year of Joe and it could all start with the Royal Rumble match. Joe could use his dominating move-set and nature to plough through most of the competition and use his smart personality to remain in the match till the very end, where he just manages to eliminate the final superstar in Ambrose and book his ticket to the main-event of WrestleMania. Joe could as well go onto face AJ Styles for the title at WrestleMania, which could see both of them reach a full circle since their TNA days and break the roof off at the grandest stage of them all where Joe goes over and becomes the champ that runs the camp in WWE.
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