* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
WWE made a conscious effort a few years back to legitimise their women’s division and land it on equal footing with the men’s equivalent and let me tell you – the world is a better place for it. Not only do we get to see incredible athletes and avoid seeing those non-sensical intergender matches that just aren’t believable to anyone – we also get two Royal Rumbles!
Two Royal Rumbles is the non-wrestling fan equivalent of them adding an extra bank holiday around Christmas. In my own humble opinion, the women’s Rumble has outshone the men’s equivalent every year since it’s been introduced and given the lacklustre nature of the men’s line-up this year, I don’t see that changing here – fake crowd noise or no fake crowd noise.
And I hate to break it to you, but with there not being any form of organic enthusiasm in the stadium, you’re probably going to have surprises limited to WrestleMania where actual human beings will be in attendance. But, for now, let’s discuss – who wins this one?
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Unlike the men’s equivalent here, there does seem to be one obvious winner, and usually when WWE have that in the minds of those watching, they pull a fast one and everyone’s shocked and surprised.
Right now, the upward trajectory of Bianca Belair has nothing short of astronomical and while everyone is pinning their hopes on her, it feels like the ultimate swerve waiting to happen. You know the ones; you only realise how clearly a build-up it was after it’s happened and you’re upset with yourself for not spotting it.
Well, the thing about the women’s division is that it’s still quite hesitant to fully go all-in on organically-produced talent that hasn’t fully gotten over with the crowd yet. While the introduction of Ronda Rousey was done in part due to her drawing power, it was also a nod to the fact that for the women’s division to succeed, there needs to be eyes on it. And while your everyday wrestling fan would see a Belair victory as a pay-off, not many others will grasp the logic.
The WWE needs a legacy name, and they probably need a heel (bad guy) to work with Sasha Banks at WrestleMania. That certainly won’t be Belair, and while you could conceivably turn Banks heel before the big event, the fact she’s now so entrenched in marketing campaigns outside the company would be counterproductive.
Alexa Bliss would make a lot of sense, particularly as they’re very keen on having her work with The Fiend and they’re promising something scary, but that angle feels like it’s carrying itself and doesn’t need a title picture to see it conclude.
Becky Lynch would no doubt be the winner here if she wasn’t just two months post-giving birth to a baby, so what better way to have a place holder than to have her come back and face off against Belair to give her that push?
This leaves me wondering just why Bayley is such a big price, as her heel work has been excellent and she’s the perfect foil for Banks when ‘Mania comes around. WWE are guaranteed their chemistry, guaranteed their work rate and guaranteed that it would draw eyes on the match-up. Bayley gets my nod here.
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