Triple H remains the favorite to win the annual Royal Rumble after a rather mediocre Raw leading into the event. Triple H has not made an appearance on WWE television for some time after being attacked by Roman Reigns back in December.
With the focal point of the Royal Rumble’s storyline centering around Reigns’ feud with The Authority, it makes sense that Sportsbook has tabbed Roman and HHH as the two most likely to win the Rumble and the WWE World Heavyweight title.
Brock Lesnar has seen his odds fall after the final Raw before the Royal Rumble. Though Lesnar has been built as an indestructible monster, the Rumble offers the opportunity for him to not win while still looking strong through number of eliminations and several wrestlers working together to eliminate him.
Some of Lesnar’s fall can be attributed to him being laid out by the Wyatt Family to close out Raw this week. With the Wyatt Family throwing themselves into the main storylines for the Royal Rumble, Bray Wyatt has made a huge jump in the odds and now sits fourth on the odds list. However, temper expectations for the Wyatt’s as they have been built several times to make a face look strong by taking them all out.
Brock Lesnar made his return to the WWE on the January 11 edition of Raw to further prove his dominance. Lesnar cleared out a ring full of heels before giving Roman Reigns the F-5 and standing victorious over the champion’s fallen body. Earlier in the evening Paul Heyman spoke to Vince and Stephanie McMahon saying that Lesnar should get an automatic shot at the WWE World Heavyweight champion at Wrestlemania instead of entering the Royal Rumble.
Lesnar has been announced as a competitior in the rumble, but with the potential that Heyman can talk Lesnar into a title shot at ‘Mania, ‘The Beast Incarnate’ is listed at +250 to win the Royal Rumble according to Sportsbook. That has Lesnar behind Reigns (+225) and Triple H (+105) on the odds list.
The biggest riser however is The Rock. As of January 8, Dwayne Johnson was listed at +5000 to win the rumble, but has dropped to +1800 within six days. The biggest faller went to Dean Ambrose who went from +600 to +1800 after being attacked by Kevin Owens on Raw.
For only the second time in history, the WWE’s top title will be on the line at the Royal Rumble. Roman Reigns will defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship when he enters this years rumble match, the first time since 1992 that the belt was up for grabs in the over-the-top-rope battle royal.
Reigns has opened as the +125 favorite to win the rumble and retain the gold according to Sportsbook. Reigns has been built as the WWE’s next top guy for a long time now, but after being heavily booed following winning last year’s Royal Rumble, the company may be concerned with having him win it again. Reigns would also be the first wrestler in history to win the Royal Rumble in back-to-back years.
Close behind Reigns is Brock Lesnar (+255) and Triple H (+255). Lesnar is scheduled to make his return to the WWE leading into the event and he is a proven top heel that could feud with Reigns at Wrestlemania 32. It would be an interesting angle as the two battled for the belt at Wrestlemania 31, but Seth Rollins ultimately cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase and walked out as the champion.
Triple H and Vince McMahon have both swore they would get revenge on Reigns for attacking them and there may be no sweeter vengeance than Hunter walking out of the Royal Rumble as the champion. Triple H would likely be a transitional champion to help carry storylines through the Fastlane pay-per-view because he is not a Wrestlemania headliner any more.
Way down the list is The Rock at +5000 according to Sportsbook. There is a lot of talk within the wrestling community that putting the strap on The Rock may be the best way to sell Fastlane and Wrestlemania. They could play up an angle between The Rock and Reigns being relatives or they could make The Rock a full-blown heel by only showing up on Raw on pre-taped segments from a studio as he makes another movie.
The current state of the WWE is in flux with so many of the top superstars on the shelf for the foreseeable future. The company decided to payoff Roman Reigns a little earlier than expected and give him the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on an episode of Raw. But with Reigns seemingly locked into the title picture until Wrestlemania 32, it's time to start looking forward to the Royal Rumble to see who his challenger will be at AT&T Park in Arlington.
Brock Lesnar is currently the +120 favorite to win the rumble according to Sportsbook. Lesnar has not appeared on WWE television since defeating Undertaker at Hell in a Cell. Dirtsheets are reporting that the WWE is trying to reach an agreement with Lesnar to see him appear in more shows than his original contract called for, likely to help fill the void atop the card.
Next behind Lesnar is Dean Ambrose at +300. Most had speculated that the WWE was building towards a Reigns vs Ambrose vs Seth Rollins main event at Wrestlemania, but Rollins' injury derailed that plan. Some may think that a Reigns vs Ambrose match may not draw fans, but a main event with a superstar like The Rock or Undertaker would definately appeal to the casual fan.
One name that is surprisingly high on the list is Triple H. With Reigns attacking Triple H and taking him off TV, most people assume there will be some retribution from the Cerebral Assassin. A Reigns vs Triple H bout at ‘Mania for the belt probably would not be a pure wrestling fans favorite, but WWE creative would certainly love the idea of Roman getting all the cheers with Hunter drawing all the heat.