With the road to WrestleMania 32 taking so many detours due to injury, several top stars can now be ruled out of scoring an elusive Royal Rumble victory. Former winners Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and even Triple H all seem like viable candidates, but will any of them actually become a two-time winner?
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Top stars on this list have been ruled out simply due to the growing clarity of WrestleMania 32's main event and how their victory in the January classic would derail these plans.
5. Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho announcing that he will be entering the Royal rumble match had all the fanfare of somebody who might win. Thus far, however, his return has been filled with awkwardly forced nostalgia.
But only saving Grace for Jericho is turning heel. Unfortunately for his chances, I think Jericho will only turn heel once he is eliminated to set up a WrestleMania program with Dean Ambrose.
Jericho is not someone who will be main event a wrestlemania, his days of main eventing wrestlemania is gone.
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Sheamus has to be considered as the trolling choice to win the Royal Rumble. The last time Sheamus won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, it had the desired effect of fans rallying around Reigns. Maybe WWE doubles down on this theory.
Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns is simply not a desireable WrestleMania match, let alone a WrestleMania 32 program that could fill up AT&T Stadium. Sheamus' WrestleMania feud will likely be against one of his current allies. He'll benefit from having the League of Nations on his side throughout the match, but that group is filled with alpha males who will want to win the Royal Rumble for themselves.
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3. Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens is a darkhorse to win the Royal Rumble. Of the past 28 winners of Royal Rumble matches, nine WWE Superstars won the event in their Royal Rumble debuts.
If Owens were to win the Royal Rumble, he'd likely do so as a heavy favorite of The Authority. But that's simply too underwhelming of a storyline and potential main event for a record-breaking WrestleMania 32. Instead, Owens will likely have his Royal Rumble moment as the man who eliminates Brock Lesnar.
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2. Brock Lesnar
Brock lesnar is being the Favorite right not to win the Royal Rumble match, but he couldn't be any more obvious as a red herring. WWE is simply trotting Lesnar out to the Royal Rumble in hopes that fans forget about Triple H, who is almost a shoo-in as a "surprise" entrant.
Due to key injuries, Lesnar's would-be victory doesn't seem as likely. It doesn't seem like The Rock will wrestle, and with Seth Rollins out of action, Triple H needs an opponent. Suddenly, a Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar rematch has turned into a possible Triple H-Roman Reigns showdown.
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1. Roman Reigns
Some seem certain that Roman Reigns will live up to his "One vs. All" credo and win the Royal Rumble against all odds.
But with the decks being stacked against him, there would be no legs to a WrestleMania program with Reigns as a world champion.
WrestleMania is built around the chase. Reigns has to lose this Royal Rumble, just like Austin did in 1999. It's probably only a matter of time before The Authority announces that Reigns is the first entrant. Similar to Austin, Reigns has a bounty on his head, but this time it's a WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
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Losing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble will give Reigns a chance to become a No. 1 contender at WWE Fastlane, thus setting up a WrestleMania main event against the one man who will win the Royal Rumble. Triple H.