Welcome to part 2 of my predictions series breaking down which superstars will be entering the record books when it comes to the 2019 Royal Rumble matches.
In part 1, I focused my 3-Count on the men and women I think will end up scoring the most eliminations. For this part, I want to shift my attention onto people who may not necessarily toss out a ton of people and play offense, but will have a great showing by being more defensive and sticking around to last the longest.
These are the Iron Man and Iron Woman of the match, and while it is an impressive feat, most of the time, the people who achieve this don’t actually come out on top, as they tend to start in the first five entrance spots, which makes it considerably harder to outlast the rest of the competition.
Factoring in everything from stamina to how the Iron Man/Woman is typically someone of importance, but not necessarily the biggest stars, I’ve got my list for this year of who I think could be given this honor.
In no particular order, here are those names…
WOMEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
I remain firm in my predictions that both Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair will win the Royal Rumble, and I think Lynch will be entry #27-29. Meanwhile, Flair will start at the very beginning in the first few names, if not #1, and go the distance. That way, she has room to gripe about how she outlasted everyone and she gets the Iron Woman designation to make her have an extra tip of the cap.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they have her go with the #1 win just to give her that award and further dilute the Chris Benoit thing, but I’ll play it safe and say she comes in at #3 like Ric Flair did, instead.
This is the workhorse spot. Bayley comes in at the beginning, pulls her weight for keeping the match going, and comes up short somewhere around the end, but not necessarily the Final 4 (unless the Final 4 are the Four Horsewomen, in which case, Bayley definitely becomes the Iron Woman outside of Flair).
Bayley was at the end of last year’s Royal Rumble and I can see them wanting to switch her up 180 degrees this time around.
If there isn’t a true game plan with Flair or Bayley like those mentioned above, I think this will default to someone like Natalya or Naomi, or possibly even Mickie James, but my gut tells me Natalya is the stronger bet of the three.
She’s someone who can come in relatively early and last a long time without it feeling strange that she hasn’t been eliminated yet. Then, when things heat up toward the last 10 or so, that’s when she gets tossed out and the focal point shifts to other people.
BONUS: Who will have the shortest time?
Dana Brooke is a good guess for just being someone who they won’t value a lot, so they might want to have her tossed out fast as a sacrificial lamb. Alternatively, this could be a humor spot with Alicia Fox or The IIconics, but I’m leaning toward Dana.
MEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
Seth Rollins is arguably my top pick to win the whole thing, which gives him an advantage, as he’ll be sticking around until the end. The trick is whether or not he comes in at an early enough number for the clock to allow him to reach the highest mark, or if someone else like one of the two names below comes in earlier by one or two spots (or more) and ends up lasting until the Final 4 or something.
If I were a betting man, I’d put it on Rollins, though, one way or another.
I can definitely see a scenario where The Scottish Psychopath comes in around #6, wrecks shop and lasts until the Final 4, where he comes up short, but the whole match is basically built around making him look good. I can’t picture any other heels being in that kind of a booking situation. Not even Lars Sullivan, who I think would come in around the midway point, instead.
Elias or Finn Balor
If it’s not McIntyre or Rollins, then I think it ends up being an unplanned thing with either Elias starting the event at #1 or #2 (to allow him to sing) and lasting until around the midpoint, or Balor popping up early, being a workhorse, and just getting the default longest time in a way that WWE didn’t specifically try to aim for.
BONUS: Who will have the shortest time?
I can completely see this distinction being given to R-Truth, with him coming in at #30 and being eliminated within just a few seconds. If it’s not him, maybe they’ll dedicate a spot to Curt Hawkins to get a sub-10 second elimination or something along those lines. Those are the only two people I can see them dedicating a humiliation spot to as far as the absolute shortest times, but I can see someone like Baron Corbin getting a relatively fast elimination in comparison to how we should expect him to last.
Those are my picks, but what do you think? Tell us your predictions in the comments below!
For more information on Royal Rumble statistics, check out my running page of records on Smark Out Moment here: http://www.smarkoutmoment.com/p/wwe-royal-rumble-statistics-records.html