#1 Finn Balor
Finn Balor hasn’t had much to really sink his teeth into since returning from injury. He’s bounced around here and there, but most weeks he has faced off against some lower-midcard wrestler, put on a great match, and left. His most substantial rivalry in the last year was with Bray Wyatt. The booking was…ok at best. It also went a bit long, but luckily it seems like plans to continue the feud were cut short before Bray started cross dressing as Sister Abigail. Finn is both capable and deserving of a much higher spot in the company. WWE’s biggest issue right now is the inability to create new mega-stars. Guys that rise to the top and stay there. Who are either loved or hated with passion from fans. I think, as do many, that Finn could easily be one of those top guys. There are stories that Finn would win the Royal Rumble match and go on to jump shows to Smackdown Live and challenge AJ Styles for the WWE Championship, instead of challenging for the WWE Universal Championship. This is a great WrestleMania match. When Finn and AJ Clashed at TLC, it was highly praised. Finn could also bring Gallows and Anderson with him to Smackdown (maybe set up a trade for a Smackdown Team to head to Raw in their place.) Finn and AJ are both former leaders of The Bullet Club and a rivalry between the two would be a perfect WrestleMania Main Event storyline.
#2 Dolph Ziggler
No one has seen or heard from Dolph Ziggler since he left the United States Championship laying in the middle of the ring about a month ago. Many fans think that Ziggler has been underutilized in his career. Many times, Ziggler was just on the cusp of a big push, just to have things get pulled back before moving forward. However, could this disappearance from Ziggler be the beginnings of a major push? It’s rumored that it will be. The question is, though, how big? Ziggler abandoned the United States Championship, the second most prestigious championship on Smackdown. It seems like the only place to go that’s up is the WWE Championship. The Royal Rumble seems like the perfect launching pad to send Ziggler flying into the main event picture. At WrestleMania no less! AJ and Ziggler have feuded before and the matches were always stellar, as was the storytelling. I wouldn’t complain one bit if WWE went in this direction.
#3 Daniel Bryan
I think we can all agree that if Daniel Bryan isn’t in the Royal Rumble, after all the rumors flying around, then whomever enters at #30 is going to get massive heat just for NOT being Daniel Bryan. WWE better prepare themselves for that, because there are very few situations that will keep the crowd from turning nasty fast. (Like, for instance, the booking I have below.) Daniel might have WWE by the balls here. Do they risk ending up with egg on their faces AGAIN this year at the Royal Rumble? Or do they finally give Bryan clearance to wrestle again (hopefully with a restricted moveset to prevent further injuries). Bryan would go on to win and challenge AJ Styles who he has been rubbing the wrong way for weeks now as the General Manager of Smackdown. It leads to a match at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship. An absolute dream match for WWE and Indy fans alike.
#4 CM Punk
HA! I wish. Never gonna happen. I'm not crying, you're crying!
The Real #4 Braun Strowman
What’s that? Braun is in the WWE Championship match so he’s likely not going to be the Royal Rumble match? Roman Reigns disagrees with that logic. Braun Strowman is easily the hottest thing going in the WWE right now. WWE needs to capitalize on his success instead of letting it fizzle out. It’s amazing to me how I said those exact same words the last time Braun faced Brock for the WWE Universal Championship. The question is how to do that? I have him lose the Universal Championship match. What? That seems like it goes against what I just said doesn’t it? Don’t question me internet, I’m getting there! Here’s how I’d book it:
Have Brock Lesnar pin Kane in the Universal Championship Triple Threat match. Braun “loses” the match because he didn’t win, but he didn’t get pinned either. Braun hits the running powerslam on Kane and looks like he’s about to win the match when Lesnar runs over, throws Braun out of the ring, and gets the pin himself. Braun is absolutely furious. After this match, we go into the Royal Rumble Match. Cut to #30. The buzzer goes off and it’s….Roman Reigns! The crowd goes insane with boos. I mean nuclear levels of heat for Roman entering at 30 AGAIN! Everyone is pissed that the “obvious” and easy booking choice was picked. They’re ESPECIALLY pissed because there of all the Daniel Bryan rumors, so everyone was expecting Daniel Bryan and instead got Roman Reigns. Roman steps out onto the stage and is blindsided from behind by Braun Strowman. He’s given an absolutely wicked beat down and then is thrown off the stage into a table or equipment or something. Braun then enters at #30 and wins the match. This ends up setting up a triple threat at WrestleMania. Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar. That’s where Braun captures his first WWE Universal Championship.