6 Major X-Factors For WWE At The Royal Rumble – Trending News

6 Major X-Factors For WWE At The Royal Rumble


The Royal Rumble is beloved by WWE fans because of how unpredictable it is, and the 2023 edition of the premium live event seems ripe for some swerves. Everyone wants to know who will win these over-the-top-rope battle royals, leading to mounds of conjecture online. After months of speculation, fans already know that Cody Rhodes will be involved in the men’s match. Meanwhile, the rumor mill continues to billow out scuttlebutt on the likes of The Rock and John Cena. Triple H will likely pull out as many stops as possible to make his first Royal Rumble as booker top-notch as the spotlights get brighter on the road to WrestleMania 39.

Here, we’ll identify a few wrestlers who could be x-factors in both the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble fights. These are people WWE fans might not be talking a lot about as the premium live event draws close, but they could still have a massive impact on how the show plays out. We won’t pull names out of thin air for the sake of doing so. Of course, it’d be a big deal if Kazuchika Okada broke down the forbidden door between NJPW and WWE and won the Rumble. That’s not going to happen, though, mind-blowing as it would be. Instead, here are a few x-factors that lie well within the realm of possibility for the Royal Rumble matches. Keep in mind that this list was published ahead of the go-home episode of SmackDown.

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6 Brock Lesnar

It’s challenging to overlook the 6-foot-3, 280-plus pound Brock Lesnar, but fans might be sleeping on the impact he could make at the Royal Rumble. There’s been a lot of talk about Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, or even The Rock winning the titular match. There hasn’t been a lot of chatter about Lesnar, however. That is a mistake now that Vince McMahon is back on the Board of Directors. Lesnar reignited his feud with Bobby Lashley at Raw is 30, but that won’t preclude him from running roughshod over the roster during the battle royal. WWE could easily book those two to finish off their program at Elimination Chamber, clearing the way for another Lesnar main event at WrestleMania 39. The Beast Incarnate going the distance that the Rumble isn’t a fresh possibility, but the former UFC champion is the ultimate x-factor heading into the match. Ignore him at your own peril.

5 Asuka

Asuka grins after hitting Rhea Ripley in the face with green mist during the women's WarGames match at WWE Survivor Series in 2022.

No one is ready for Asuka… to enter the Royal Rumble match and tear the house down. Like with the men’s Royal Rumble, WWE fans have keyed on a tiny handful of women as possible winners. Everyone seems to be predicting a Rhea Ripley victory, and if she comes up short, Becky Lynch is the next go-to favorite. There doesn’t seem to be much consideration given to anyone else entering the match. That could open the door for Asuka to return from Japan, having discovered a long-lost gimmick she’s been teasing on Twitter for months. The “evil clown” version of the Empress of Tomorrow could appear at the Royal Rumble. Who knows where things could go from there if that ends up happening. If Asuka does end up debuting a new look and attitude, WWE could establish her as a title threat by having her eliminate several favorites. Or perhaps even winning the whole thing out of the blue.

4 Jay White

Jay White attacks Hangman Adam Page during the build toward AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door in 2022.

Jay White popping up at the Royal Rumble is a rumor that won’t go away. It’s highly implausible that a top NJPW star will appear on a big five WWE premium live event while still under contract. Implausible isn’t the same as impossible, however. These two companies have shown a willingness to function together recently, with the Triple H regime signing off on Karl Anderson working Wrestle Kingdom 17. Borrowing White doesn’t seem like an even trade for Anderson, though, to be honest. Still, if WWE somehow manages to make this happen, Jay White would likely tear through the Royal Rumble like the methodical buzzsaw he is. A recent NJPW Heavyweight Champion dropping the likes of Edge, The Miz, or Cody Rhodes on US soil might not be the worst thing as far as optics go for NJPW, either. This is the longest of long shots, but Jay White has to be considered an x-factor because his name won’t go away despite the unlikelihood of him appearing. That’s the power of the catalyst of professional wrestling.

3 Nia Jax

Nia Jax entering the women’s Royal Rumble would probably be met with a chorus of boos. Yet a recent report from PWInsider.com indicates that WWE has at least examined the possibility. Triple H has brought back plenty of talent since taking over creative in July, and Jax could be just the latest example of that. It’s worth keeping in mind that when WWE last approached the 38-year-old about appearing in the Royal Rumble, she said, “f*** no.” Fans who ask her if she’ll ever wrestle again on Twitter are usually met with GIFs that share a similar message. WWE discussing things internally is also very different from them happening. Yet it’s easy to see where Jax could fit in with this field of women. There’s a spot with Rhea Ripley there ripe for the taking. Whether Nia, real name Savelina Fanene, wants to play ball is another story. Still, given her stature and strength, Jax entering the Royal Rumble match would shake things up considerably, especially if WWE had locked in long-term plans for her.

2 Montez Ford

Montez Ford launches himself over the top rope during WWE's Raw is 30 episode in January 2023.

We’ve been big believers in the idea of a Montez Ford singles run for the better part of a year now. The Street Profits are a spectacular tag team but have hit a bit of a ceiling on Raw. They could not beat The Usos on numerous occasions, and while they’re still being booked strong, it might be time to see what Ford and Angelo Dawkins can do as solo acts. The Royal Rumble allows WWE to at least test the waters for that without splitting the duo up in storyline. Neither Ford nor Dawkins are announced for the Royal Rumble match, but they don’t have a fight elsewhere on the card. WWE needs 30 men to fill out the Rumble, and only a small handful of those spots have been filled. It wouldn’t be surprising for Triple H to tap Ford, one of the most electric high-flyers in the business today. He wouldn’t win, but he could very well steal the spotlight, given his ability to execute beautiful high spots flawlessly. Anytime he gets the chance to shine, Ford does so. Don’t be shocked if he shows up and shows out at the Royal Rumble.

1 Stone Cold Steve Austin

Stone Cold Steve Austin interviews Sami Zayn for his podcast in 2022.

There’s been a lot of chatter about The Rock entering the Royal Rumble, but recent reports indicate that it is off the table. Imagine how roof-shattering the pop would be at The Alamodome if Stone Cold Steve Austin entered the match instead. It’d be an all-time fan reaction and in line with the kinds of surprises WWE seems to think it has lined up for this event. The Texas Rattlesnake wouldn’t have to win. Instead, his appearance could set up a match at WrestleMania 39. There have been conflicting reports about whom the company would want him to face the Showcase of the Immortals, but one thing is clear: WWE wants Stone Cold at ‘Mania in Los Angeles. If Austin is going to be a part of the road to WrestleMania, dropping in at the Royal Rumble would make him an x-factor few saw coming—and it’d be a lot of fun too.

Next: Sami Zayn Wins & 5 More Shocking WWE Royal Rumble Predictions


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