Since 2018, the Women’s Royal Rumble match has been a fixture of the Royal Rumble PPV. The rise of the women’s evolution in WWE made it all but necessary to have a Royal Rumble for the women’s roster. But the last couple of years, picking a winner has been a tough task.
Last year, the women’s Rumble didn’t have the shine of being something new and fresh. And it also lacked the excitement of the “rise of The Man” that surrounded Becky Lynch’s win in 2019. Having said that, there will be a winner. And that woman will make her way to WrestleMania, now scheduled to be in Tampa Bay across April 10 and 11. There isn’t any one superstar the women’s division is built around this year. The hottest feud in women’s wrestling, Sasha vs. Bayley, wrapped up three months ago. Charlotte, the Omni-Flair herself, just returned to action in December.
So in many ways, not knowing who will win the Rumble is exciting. Because it means WWE could go in any number of directions. Without further delay, we break down what we know and what we think to figure out the women most likely to win the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble.
Most Likely Winner – Charlotte Flair
Look, any discussion of “who’s gonna win [insert achievement here] in the women’s division” has to start with Charlotte Flair. WWE is all about cementing Charlotte as the face of the women’s division. And just because she won the Women’s Royal Rumble match last year doesn’t mean she isn’t still the favorite this year. In any conversation that revolves around lending prestige to a women’s title or a special women’s match has to include Charlotte Flair as the centerpiece. There may not be hard science, but there’s enormous history to lend the notion credence.
Charlotte Flair emerged from the triple threat at WrestleMania 32 to crown the WWE Women’s Champion, restoring the title from its former ignominy as the Divas Championship. When WWE got cold feet about ditching the plan for Charlotte vs. Rousey at WrestleMania 35 in favor of the triple threat with Becky Lynch? Here’s Charlotte again. And throughout the spring and summer of 2020, Raw, SmackDown, and NXT were all about Charlotte Flair. In other words, when things in the women’s division seem uncertain? Charlotte Flair is the certainty.
It is absolutely not the right thing to do. At all. Someone who is not Charlotte Flair should win the Women’s Royal Rumble match. But if we’re gonna call the most likely to win it, it has to be Charlotte Flair. Unfortunate though that is. Because as much as she’s synonymous with the women’s evolution? She’s also the thing holding it back from actually evolving.
Likely Winner – Bianca Belair
Most winners of the Royal Rumble match are established stars. With rare exception. For every ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan, there’s a Shinsuke Nakamura or a Drew McIntyre. And by that same logic, not every winner of the Women’s Royal Rumble match has to outlast the other 29 other women with a legacy and a pre-established legend. Enter Bianca Belair.
Man or woman, there’s likely no one more athletic anywhere in WWE than Bianca Belair. For reasons I don’t quite understand, she never captured the women’s championship during her tenure in NXT. But since coming to the main roster after WrestleMania 36, Bianca Belair has been a consistent player. She has a unique talent and a unique character that could inject some much-needed life into the women’s division in WWE. There are other young, semi-established talents like Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose, but they’re better suited to character work right now. They don’t necessarily belong in the title picture.
Bianca Belair needs to be a top women’s champion on the main WWE roster. And picking up a win in the Women’s Royal Rumble would be a huge stepping stone to making her part of that conversation.
Potential Winner – Alexa Bliss
Right now, Alexa Bliss is doing the best character work of her life. She shone bright as Nia Jax’s bully at WrestleMania 34. And she’s had more than her share of big moments in WWE. Bliss is the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Champion many times over. But her turn as the Fiend’s sidekick – the Harley Quinn to the Fiend’s Joker – has given her a new lease on her character. Which is fitting, considering Bliss got over in the first place thanks in large part to what amounts to Harley Quinn cosplay. Taking the win in the Women’s Royal Rumble could make an impact on her ongoing story with the Fiend in profound and interesting ways.
Plus, and this is just my intuition talking. I don’t have inside knowledge (obviously), and I don’t have my finger on the pulse of the behind-the-scenes world of pro wresting. But I have a feeling that Alexa Bliss is bound for bigger things outside the wrestling business. Don’t get me wrong. She’s not going to be a huge Hollywood star. But I can envision a sitcom about a former Laker Girl having to move back to her Ohio hometown to take care of her retired-factory-worker dad and raise her late sister’s kids. God Bliss Us All, Mondays at 8 PM on CBS. Chuck Lorre will produce, so the show will be on for 29 seasons.
Anyway. Point is, I’m not sure how much more time we have to give Alexa Bliss a proper run. And with her mind warped by the Fiend and possibly serving as a vessel for the Fiend entity, Bliss has an opportunity to wreak some really unique havoc throughout the WWE women’s division. Giving Bliss the win in the Women’s Royal Rumble match is the perfect way to kick an already-effective story into high gear.
The Longshot – Becky Lynch
So, I understand that, in the grand scheme of things, Lynch just gave birth two-and-a-half hours ago. And you can argue that a Women’s Royal Rumble match return as big as Becky Lynch is wasted without a crowd. What you can’t argue is that WWE needs something big to make this year’s Women’s Royal Rumble match a big deal.
We already talked at length about why it’s hard to pick a winner. Nobody’s particularly hot right now. The most intense women’s rivalries have pretty much already taken place. Sasha Banks and Bayley ending their feud at Hell In A Cell 2020. And then there’s Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose capping off their issue at SummerSlam 2020. There’s only one thing that makes Charlotte Flair likelier than Becky Lynch when it comes to a “tried and true” WWE woman winning the match. And that’s the fact that Charlotte is already back and already in play.
Plus, there’s a story lined up for Becky Lynch. She hand-picked Asuka as her successor, handing her the Raw Women’s Championship after Asuka won the Money In The Bank match. Imagine how mad she might be that Asuka turned right around and won the Women’s Tag Team Championship alongside Becky’s most hated foe. Her freakin’ arch-nemesis. Charlotte Flair. Plus, there’s history between Becky Lynch and Asuka dating back to TLC 2018. A win in the Women’s Royal Rumble match gives WWE a number of directions to take Becky Lynch in.
And, yes, she just gave birth in early December 2020. Fine, have her come out at number 29 or 30. Build the action such that all she has to do is throw a clothesline or a punch here and there before the big finish. However they do it, even if it’s a longshot, there’s legitimate value in Becky Lynch winning the Women’s Royal Rumble.
All images courtesy of WWE.