WWE’s annual Royal Rumble matches are some of the greatest spectales on the company’s calendar, regularly drawing back even lapsed fans to see what is going to happen.
The match involves 30 competitors (a new wrestler enters every 90 seconds), and superstars are only eliminated when they are thrown over the top rope, with both feet touching the floor.
The person standing at the end of it all wins the match. But it’s more than just another match, and the Royal Rumble officially kicks off the “Road to WrestleMania”.
That’s because whoever wins the Rumble can have a shot at a champion of their choosing at WrestleMania, which takes place just a couple of months later, and is the biggest yearly show in WWE’S schedule with millions tuning in from around the world.
So just who is in the running to grab the prize this year, and how can you watch the action unfold from the UK? Here is everything you need to know.
Royal Rumble 2023 match card in full:
(Card subject to change)
- Women’s Royal Rumble Match
- LA Knight vs. Bray Wyatt (”Pitch Black” Match)
- Bianca Belair (c) vs. Alexa Bliss (WWE RAW Women’s Title Match)
- Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owens (WWE Title / WWE Universal Title Match)
- Men’s Royal Rumble Match
Who will win the Royal Rumble matches?
According to Oddschecker, the current favourite to win the men’s Royal Rumble match is a returning Cody Rhodes (5/4). And we have to agree, as Rhodes seems the most logical choice.
Cody has been away from WWE for a number of months after suffering a horrific muscle injury just a few weeks after making the headline-grabbing jump from rival promotion AEW.
It was clear when he came back into WWE that the company was positioning him as a big star, and having him make a surprise return at the Rumble and win the whole thing would be a solid move in establishing him as a top name among fans.
Other favourites include Sami Zayn (7/2). Zayn has been one of WWE’s more entertaining figures in recent months, becoming an honourary member of The Bloodline, the faction lead by dominant champion Roman Reigns. Zayn vs Reigns at WrestleMania would certainly be a big match among currrent storylines, but there may be one match that’s bigger...
The Rock (4/1) is another contender to win the Rumble, according to Oddschecker. Dwayne Johnson hasn’t been seen in a WWE ring in years - busy as he is with his Hollywood film career - but a surprise return for one more match makes sense.
Reigns is Johnson’s real-life cousin, and since so much of The Bloodlines’s stories centre around familial ties, having The Rock return to teach his younger relative a lesson would be a big money move.
Reigns has as this point been WWE’s leading champion for nearly three years, and the story of him potentially losing it all to Johnson would be enough to get viewers who haven’t watched a WWE event for years get back into the fray.
But, this match has been rumoured for years, and as yet WWE and Johnson have been unable to line-up their schedules.
Other names in the mix include:
- ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin (7/1)
- Seth Rollins (16/1)
- Bobby Lashley (28/1)
- Logan Paul (33/1)
- Brock Lesnar (40/1)
Unfortunately, not as much attention is paid to the women’s division by WWE, but there are still plenty of intriguing would-be winners from the company’s female roster.
Rhea Ripley’s (4/6) work with the Judgement Day group has been some of her most entertaining from her time in WWE, and the young Australian grappler certainly has a bright career ahead of her. Could 2023 WWE pulls the trigger?
Becky Lynch (7/2) remains one of WWE’s top female stars, and although we’ve seen her on top of the mountain plenty of times before - a Rumble win might not be the most novel of moments - she’s still deserving of the win, and fans would certainly lap it up.
Raquel Rodriguez (14/1) would be a more intriguing choice. A woman who is yet to hold a main roster singles title, the 6ft powerhouse could realistically eliminate great swathes of the roster in the Rumble match and march on to victory.
Other potential Women’s Rumble winners:
- Alexa Bliss (16/1)
- Bayley (16/1)
- Naomi (20/1)
- Charlotte Flair (20/1)
- Asuka (20/1)
How can I watch it in the UK?
The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, will play host to this year’s Royal Rumble on Saturday 28 January 28. The main card will start at 1am UK time on Sunday 29 January, and run into the early hours of the morning.
A two-hour pre-show will be available on WWE’s YouTube channel for free from 11pm on Saturday 28 January. These pre-shows usually include a handful of less important matches, plus plenty of hype and build-up for the main event.
The Rumble will be shown on pay-per-view television in the UK on BT Sport Box Office. It will be available for purchase for £19.95 through the BT Player, BT Sport’s website or their app; it will be shown on BT TV, Sky and Virgin.
The BT Sport Box Office app for iOS and Android allows users to purchase the show and watch it later while streaming it live on their mobile device.
The Rumble will also be live streamed on the WWE Network - subscriptions to the WWE Network are £9.99 per month, and they can be cancelled at any time.