Well, it sure is good to be back from my extended Christmas vacation. Sure, I may have missed the December 18th episode of Raw, but it’s not like I’d have missed anything important, right? Oh, what’s that? WWE is putting on the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble match? Well, I’ll be!
Yes, on 28th January 2018, the women of WWE will have the chance to do something the men have been doing since 1988; compete in the Royal Rumble match, with the winner going onto face the champion of their brand at WrestleMania. At least, I assume that’s the prize. No one’s actually confirmed it yet. For all I know, the winner could get a pat on the back and a month’s free subscription to the WWE Network. Since history will be made when the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble match winner is crowned, WWE needs to think long and hard about who they give that honour to. So, being the benevolent god that I am, I thought I’d give my two cents on the matter and go through the entire women’s roster and see who I think has the best chance of leaving Philadelphia as the Rumble winner. Naturally, I’m not including either Charlotte or Alexa Bliss in this list (as women’s champions, they won’t be in the Rumble) nor am I including Nikki Bella, who, despite being listed as a member of the roster, is currently inactive in the WWE and anything I write about her possible return would be mere speculation. So, without further ado, here is every female competitor on WWE’s main roster and their chances of winning the first ever all-women’s Royal Rumble match.
Of course she’s last. Come on. It’s Lana.
I’m only including Lana on this list because she’s officially listed on WWE’s website as a wrestler. In my mind, she’s a valet. A great valet, but a valet nonetheless. Ever since The Ravishing Russian split (on TV, that is) from real-life hubby, Rusev, she’s been kinda directionless. Sure, she had a few title matches against Naomi earlier in the year, but they were neither good nor helpful in getting her more over as an in-ring performer.
Lana has progressed as a wrestler, but that’s like saying a toddler has progressed because they don't soil themselves anymore. Lana stands zero chance of winning the Rumble and, in my mind, that’s nothing sad. The fact that she used to be super over and is now an afterthought. Now that’s sad.
18 Becky Lynch
This one’s all about timing.
As of when I’m writing this, Becky Lynch is currently off WWE TV. In storyline, she’s recovering from a door-related accident she suffered at the hands of The Riott Squad. In real life, she’s filming a part for the sixth instalment of the multi-Academy Award-winning WWE Studios film franchise, The Marine. I may have made some of that last part up.
Now, I’ve never been in a movie – Oscar Isaac robbed me of my role as Poe Dameron in the new Star Wars movies and don’t let him tell you otherwise – but I assume they take a while to film, so I’m counting Becky out of appearing in the Rumble match. If she is back in time, she would make a great surprise entrant and it would be nice to see her eliminate Ruby Riott. However, I can’t guarantee she’ll be in the match, which is why she’s so far down the list. She still stands a better chance of winning the match than Lana, though.
*Editor's Note: Becky Lynch recently returned on SmackDown. While her chances are certainly higher than this 18th spot, we don't think she'll win, so we'd give her a top 5 showing.
17 Dana Brooke
Sometimes I forget Dana Brooke is still employed by the WWE.
Saying that, I think the WWE forget that sometimes too. Since her main roster call-up in early 2016, Brooke has achieved nothing outside of her brief association with Charlotte. She was recently seen on WWE TV tapping out to Asuka in the quickest submission loss in WWE history, which is impressive, yes, just not for Dana.
The newest member of Titus Worldwide is the ultimate jobber when it comes to the Raw Women’s division, so Dana stands about as much chance as winning the Rumble as her former partner, Emma, does. Is it too soon for that joke? Am I going to get the Lio Rush treatment, now?
16 Sarah Logan
Someone get this woman a dialect coach.
Sarah Logan, along with half of NXT’s female competitors, made her main roster debut in the days following Survivor Series 2017, arriving on SmackDown Live as a member of The Riott Squad. Logan signed with the WWE in October of 2016. Before this, however, she had made a number of appearances on TV in non-wrestling roles, including in a spoof Viagra advert during The Miz and Damien Mizdow’s feud in 2015. Much like those who take Viagra, Logan has been on the rise ever since.
Having only been an in-ring competitor in WWE for just over a year, Logan is way too inexperienced to win the Rumble match and her brief time on the main roster hasn’t given fans enough time to warm to her. Also, her role is a henchwoman, nothing more. And henchwomen don’t win things. Sorry.
15 Liv Morgan
Is it just me, or is Liv Morgan stealing Alexa Bliss’ old Harley Quinn gimmick? Just me?
Our second Riott Squad member, Liv Morgan has been signed with WWE in 2014. The Jersey native was never really in the title picture in NXT, but was one of the more experienced women on the yellow brand, so her call-up kinda made sense. Her placement on SmackDown Live also made sense, as her ex-boyfriend, Enzo Amore, is on Raw/205 Live. That’s a situation that has “awkward” written all over it.
Morgan is pretty good in the ring and has a good look, but if WWE didn’t see her a ready for the NXT Women’s Championship picture, then there’s no way she’s entering the SmackDown Women’s Championship picture. Also, as with Logan, her character hasn’t been given enough chance to develop on the main roster yet. An under-developed female character in WWE? Surely not.
14 Mandy Rose
Man, Trish Stratus is looking great. Oh, that’s not Trish? Woah.
Apart from her striking resemblance to the WWE Hall of Famer, Mandy Rose is most famous for finishing second on the 2015 season of Tough Enough. Continuing that grand talent show tradition of the runners-up being more successful than the winner, Rose signed a contract later that year to appear on Total Divas and slowly made her way into the ring as an active wrestler.
Prior to her call-up to the main roster as part of Absolution, Rose had wrestled just two matches down in NXT. Yep, two matches in developmental and she gets brought up to the main roster. Clearly the word “meritocracy” doesn’t mean much in WWE. As with The Riott Squad members, Rose hasn’t been able to develop as a character yet. The only reason I’ve placed Rose higher than Morgan and Logan is because WWE seems to care more about Absolution than they do The Riott Squad. Don’t count Mandy out just yet, though; Trish Stratus had no wrestling experience when she joined WWE and look where she ended up. Another Trish comparison. Seriously, it’s freaky.
13 Sonya Deville
It’s going to be a bit embarrassing for Sonya when Ronda Rousey and the rest of the UFC lot turn up in WWE, isn’t it?
Sonya Deville, who has a 2-1 record in MMA outside of WWE, debuted under her current name in May of 2017. After just six months on WWE television, Deville was called up to the main roster as one third of Absolution and now finds herself a regular on Monday Night Raw.
Deville’s legitimate fighting background outside of wrestling gives her the edge over her fellow recent NXT call-ups, but she still doesn’t stand a chance of winning the Rumble. Given a few years and maybe Deville could be seen as a legit contender to the Women’s title on Raw, but, in her current state, she doesn’t quite make the cut for me. Please don’t tell her I said that, though. She will kill me.
12 Alicia Fox
Alicia Fox has worked for WWE for 11 years. How?
WWE’s longest-tenured female performer (seriously, how?), Alicia Fox, has been a constant figure in the Women’s division on WWE for some time now. A former Divas Champion, Fox has been everything from wrestler to manager to love interest to Edge’s wedding planner and everything in between. By the way, if you’re thinking about hiring Alicia to plan your wedding, I’d advise against it. It didn’t end well for Edge.
Experienced or not, Alicia Fox does not deserve to win the Rumble. I know this might seem like bullying, but she is a terrible wrestler. She once tried to pin someone outside of the ring. You’ve been doing this for 11 years, Alicia, how do you not know the rules by now? She’s this high on this list because of the value of her name and WWE seem to have put some stock into her recently, making her captain of Raw’s Women’s Survivor Series team. If she does win the Rumble, however, I will not only stop watching wrestling, but all of television entirely. I mean it.
11 Ruby Riott
Apparently, the extra “t” stands for “there is absolutely no reason why there’s an extra “t” in my name now.”
The leader of The Riott Squad (obviously, it is named after her), Ruby Riott received a considerable push when she made her NXT debut, teaming with Kassius Ohno, Roderick Strong and Tye Dillinger to take on Sanity at NXT TakeOver: Orlando earlier this year. She ascended to the main roster two days after Survivor Series with Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan and has been a thorn in the side of the SmackDown women ever since. Presumably because she uses all of their eye shadow.
Riott is an extremely accomplished athlete with stints in Shimmer, OVW and countless other promotions outside of WWE. Her position as leader of a faction gives her more chance of winning than any of her cohorts, but she’s still a long way off wearing women’s gold on the main roster. Inexperience and lack of fan recognition are against Ruby, but everything else really is in her favour and, if she follows the career path of another black-haired, pale-skinned female wrestler in WWE, she’s going to do rather well for herself. Let’s just hope she skips the part where she gets suspended. Twice.
Remember when Tamina was taken seriously? WWE sure doesn’t.
Being the daughter of WWE Hall of Famer, Jimmy Snuka, and being related to countless famous wrestlers – Rikishi, Umaga, Roman Reigns and The Rock to name but a few – Tamina was pretty much destined to become a wrestler. Playing bodyguard to the likes of The Usos, AJ Lee and lately, Lana, Tamina has been cutting an imposing figure in the WWE for seven years now, standing out from the crowd thanks to her impressive size and power. Not that his led to any title reigns, or memorable feuds, or memorable moments at all, actually. Poor Tamina.
Tamina’s size makes her an obvious candidate to impress in the Rumble match, as men like Big Show, The Great Khali and Kane have done in past men’s matches. Sadly, WWE have put no effort into make her character interesting. She’s just bland muscle and no one is invested in seeing her do well. With a rebrand, maybe the WWE could be onto something with Tamina, but, for now, she’ll always be known as that tall lady who went out with Santino for a bit. Hey, there’s a memorable moment. Guess I was wrong.
She may have the Money in the Bank briefcase, but she lost Ellsworth, so is she truly a winner? I think not.
Starting out as the valet of Enzo Amore and (former?) real-life partner Big Cass, Carmella got over with the NXT Universe with her infectious personality, flashy wardrobe and impressive dance moves. Also a decent in-ring competitor, Carmella began moving up the ranks in NXT once Enzo and Cass left for the main roster, even facing Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship in February 2016, albeit unsuccessfully. Then she got called up to the main roster, got jealous of Nikki Bella and began pulling James Ellsworth around on a chain. I don’t know what happened either.
The winner of the inaugural Women’s Money in the Bank match (unless you get technical, then that honour goes to James Ellsworth), Carmella has been poised to capture the SmackDown Women’s title for nearly half a year now. Since Carmella has a guaranteed title shot anyway, the Rumble win would be somewhat wasted on her. Saying that, she is still one of the more interesting female characters on the roster, which is why she places this high on the list. I still can’t forgive her for betraying Ellsworth like that, though. That poor chinless man.
That’s if she hasn’t retired by the time the Rumble comes round.
Natalya is actually one of WWE’s most decorated performers and I’m not just saying that because she wears a lot of sequins. She’s WWE’s first ever third-generation female wrestler, the first woman to challenge for the NXT Women’s, WWE Divas, WWE Women’s and SmackDown Women’s Championship and has competed on more WWE Pay-Per-Views than any female performer ever. All of this is impressive, but she did also have that fart gimmick a few years ago. There’s no coming back from that.
Natalya has just come off a reign as SmackDown Women’s Champion, so it’s unlikely that she would be put into another high-profile storyline so quickly. Saying that, she definitely has a lot of storyline potential with current champion, Charlotte, and, if her speech at the end of her Clash of Champions match is anything to go by, she’s looking to hang up her boots for good soon. Will there be one last hurrah for the Queen of Harts? Well, anything Uncle Bret can do...
7 Mickie James
Mickie James could be the first country singer to win the Royal Rumble since Steve Austin sang “Kumbaya.”
When Mickie James returned to the WWE to face Asuka at NXT TakeOver: Toronto for the NXT Championship, many could have predicted she’d still be with the company over a year later. James, who has been involved in numerous high-profile storylines in the Women’s division since her return, is now a permanent member of the WWE roster, over 10 years after her WWE debut. Yes, she had a stint in TNA in between her two runs, but, if you ask WWE where she was during that time, they’ll just tell you she was asleep.
James is a legendary figure in female wrestling, so having her win the first ever all-female Rumble would add some serious legitimacy to the match. Mickie isn’t just a name, though, she’s also a very talented performer and pretty popular too, as her feud with Alexa Bliss leading up to TLC proved. While she may not be at the top of the women’s division right now, there’s still time for her to be built up as a credible threat. She’s an outside chance at best, but an outside chance is still a chance. At least, that’s what I tell myself whenever I talk to women.
I really hope Naomi doesn’t do her massive entrance in the middle of the Rumble. This show’s going to be long enough as it is.
Many people saw 2017 as the year of Naomi in the first few months of the year. She won her first-ever women’s championship when she defeated Alexa Bliss for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at Elimination Chamber 2017. She then won the belt again at WrestleMania, after returning from injury just in time for the show. Sadly, Naomi’s reported long title reign was taken off the table when she lost the belt to Natalya at SummerSlam and she’s been out of the title picture ever since. Still, she’s got some brilliant dance moves, so I guess that’s a silver lining.
Despite not featuring in a singles Pay-Per-View match since SummerSlam, Naomi is still one of the most credible female names on the main roster. A Rumble win might reignite her career after such a promising start to 2017, especially if a certain Ms. Money in the Bank cashes in on Charlotte, making Heel Carmella vs Babyface Naomi. Still, I would put her in the “outside chances” category of this list. Actually, most people are on that list. WWE really have built up many credible female competitors, have they?
It’s not like Bayley’s a stranger to making history.
Bayley was one of NXT’s biggest stars, regardless of gender. A hugely over babyface and a genuine one at that, Bayley’s reign as NXT Women’s Champion and her matches with Sasha Banks, Nia Jax and Asuka are the stuff of legend. Then she got called up. Oh dear. She’s been booked into the ground since joining Raw, despite a women’s championship run in 2017. And if you want to disagree with me on this, I have four words for you – This Is Your Life.
As a former women’s champion on both NXT and WWE and one of The Four Horsewomen, Bayley is one of the biggest stars the women’s division has, despite her bad booking. WWE still keeps her in the title picture and she has a lot of history with current champion, Alexa Bliss. Bayley is a credible winner of the Rumble off the back of her many other achievements and this could be a brilliant way to reignite her main roster run. By the way, whatever happened to that super fan, Izzy? Did WWE release her at the same time as Ellsworth or something?
4 Sasha Banks
Just read what I put for Bayley, but replace her name with Sasha’s.
Like her fellow Horsewoman, Sasha is no stranger to huge, history-making moments in WWE’s women’s division. Another former NXT Women’s Champion, Sasha put on amazing matches with Charlotte, Becky Lynch and the aforementioned Bayley, with whom she had the first ever all-female main event in WWE history at NXT TakeOver: Respect. Sasha also became one of the first two women to main event a WWE main roster Pay-Per-View, where she and Charlotte headlined Hell in a Cell 2016. Did this help her hold a women’s title for more than a month? Well, no, but the point is... umm... umm.......
Sasha, like Bayley, would add credibility to the Women’s Rumble if she were to win it. A Horsewoman, a former champion and a member of an elite pair of female PPV main eventers, Sasha is one of the most decorated women in WWE’s history. Winning the Rumble would also be a good way for Sasha to reinvigorate her declining main roster run and she too has history with Bliss; it was Banks whom Bliss defeated to begin her current run as Raw Women’s Champion and Sasha could definitely use this as motivation for revenge. Saying that, this was six months ago and, as we all know, WWE’s memories don’t stretch back that far.
3 Nia Jax
To be honest, you could put Nia in the men’s Rumble match and she’d still stand a chance of winning.
Nia Jax is, no pun intended, one of the biggest female stars the WWE has right now. Her relatively huge size, power and intimidating presence make her one of the most unique female wrestlers on either roster and that automatically draws attention and admiration from the fans. Despite never holding a title on either the main roster or NXT, Nia is still one of WWE’s most credible female performers, with only a handful of women holding victories over her. It took three women to pin her at WrestleMania 33. Need I say more?
Within storyline, Nia’s size and power make her the obvious pick to win the Rumble match. Although big men have rarely won the Rumble match, with WWE choosing to use their eliminations as a way of putting over smaller guys, maybe WWE could go a different route with the ladies, using a Rumble win to build Nia up as an unstoppable monster, maybe to take on a babyface at WrestleMania who defeats Alexa for the belt before the show. A lot could happen between the Rumble and Mania and maybe some of that could include Nia making significant strides in the Raw Women’s division. I’ve been careful not to make too many jokes about Nia in here. Mainly because I am scared of her.
For everything WWE have put her through over the last year and a bit, a Rumble win is the least Paige deserves.
When Paige appeared on the 20th November edition of Raw, it was her first on-screen appearance in WWE for nearly 18 months. After two wellness policy violations, a serious neck injury, numerous scandals and a film about her life being commissioned, Paige finally returned to the job she so desperately loves and I couldn’t be happier for her. Yes, she did some silly things and yes she got into her trouble, but a lot of that wasn’t he fault at all. She’s just a young lady who got mixed up with some bad people and I think this second run could be a real chance for redemption for the Norwich native. And I’m not just saying that because I’m English too.
The reason Paige ranks a lot higher than her Absolution buddies or their counterparts in The Riott Squad is not only because of her position as leader of Absolution, but also because of the value attached to her name. A lot of people forget that, outside of the controversy, Paige is a very decorated performer. She is the first-ever NXT Women’s Champion, the first person (and only) to hold NXT and main roster gold at the same time and is the youngest female champion in WWE history. Add to that the intrigue of her recent return and the fact WWE have positioned her faction as a strong group and you have all the tools for a very interesting WrestleMania storyline, should Paige win the Rumble match. Again, I promise this isn’t just because she’s also English. Ok, maybe it is a little.
Asuka is – well, there isn’t really a word for what Asuka is. She is an entirely credible threat in an entirely fake combat sport, a terrifying force both in storyline and out. Her incredible undefeated streak (which has been going since her first ever match in NXT on 7th October 2015) is now legendary in the WWE and her 523-day reign as NXT Women’s Champion is the longest championship reign in WWE history of the post-national expansion era. Seriously, how do you find a word for that?
Asuka for me is the obvious choice to win the Rumble. She has serious credibility to her name, has got serious momentum right now and is a super-over babyface to go against the heel Alexa Bliss at WrestleMania. If WWE doesn’t give Asuka the win, they better have a damn good storyline to go with it, because, for me, Asuka overcoming everyone to make history and challenge for the title at the biggest show of the year, that has got money written all over it.
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