Wrestling fans have a lot to be excited about this weekend, when Royal Rumble Weekend makes it way to Phoenix, Arizona for five days of back-to-back action-packed events. The buzz of this event comes from a lineup of exciting matches as well as marking the first time Royal Rumble has been held at a baseball field. Royal Rumble will take place at Chase Field on Saturday, January 27, while Talking Stick Resort Arena will host NXT Takeover on Saturday, January 26, Monday Night Raw on Monday, January 28, and SmackDown LIVE on Tuesday, January 29. Fans looking for an up close and personal experience can also attend Royal Rumble Axxess at the Phoenix Convention Center from January 25 to the 27, which will feature meet-and-greets, live matches, and more.
Here is your guide to the weekends events and matchups.
Royal Rumble – January 27
Royal Rumble, the main event, boasts one of the most stacked and unpredictable lineups in years, so be prepared for anything to happen. So far 18 of the 30 men’s wrestlers have announced their participation in Royal Rumble, including John Cena, Seth Rollins, and Mustafa Ali. On the women’s event, 16 of the potential 30 have been announced, including Carmella and Ember Moon, though some speculate that Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair may enter as well.
Lynch will be competing that night regardless as she goes up against SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka, which means winning the Royal Rumble could be her second chance at Asuka down the line should she lose in the Championship match to her beforehand.
The Raw Women’s Championship Match will feature Ronda Rousey against Sasha Banks. Banks will be one of the most seasoned competitors Rousey has faced since joining the WWE, though it’s hard to argue the strong first year Rousey has had since making the transition from the UFC.
The Universal Championship Match originally showcased defending champion Brock Lesnar against Limo-assaulting champion Braun Strowman, but Strowman’s outburst to Vince McMahon’s limo got him removed from the card. He was replaced by Finn Balor, which is a shame for him given how much was riding on his opportunity to take the belt from Lesnar.
The WWE Championship Match will have AJ Styles looking to take the crown from Daniel Bryan, a battle that has been festering for some time in the WWE. This matchup will bring plenty of excitement, and though Bryan is favored to win Styles could usurp the champion in a night of high-stakes matchups.
Finally, the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match features Champion team The Bar against The Miz and Shane McMahon after Miz spent time recruiting McMahon to partner with him. The alliance brings new engery into the Tag Team arena, and may be enough to finally take the title away from the Bar.
NXT Phoenix TakeOver 2019 – January 26
Kicking off the four days of matchups will be fighters from NXT. Saturday night’s card features four fights. The NXT Championship fight is a highly anticipated rematch between Tommaso Ciampa and Aleister Black. Ciampa and Black have a lot of recent history, starting last year when Ciampa took the title from Black in July 2018. Black is looking to reclaim his title and earn his second reign as the NXT Champion.
On the women’s side, Shayna Baszler will look to defend her championship against rising NXT wrestler Bianca Belair, who’s riding an undefeated streak coming into this matchup. The excitement of Belair’s story is adding an element of hype into this bout, but she’ll have her hands full with Baszler.
Reigning champions of the NTX Tag Team, Undisputed Era, will take on the War Raiders in the Tag Team Championship matchup, bringing weeks of bubbling tension and rivalry to the ring. Though Undisputed Era was almost de-crowned once before, they managed to hang on and protect their championship – something the War Raiders will look to overcome and finish the job from last time.
The final matchup of Saturday will feature Matt Riddle and Kassius Ohno, the latter of whom has already lost twice to the former. Whether Ohno can overcome Riddle remains to be seen, but the third time could be the final chapter in the matchups between these two – or open a new rivalry.
WWE Raw and WWE SmackDown – January 28 and 29
After Royal Rumble weekend, Raw and SmackDown both offer an exciting lineup of matches and wrestlers for fans to conclude the event with.
On Monday, Raw will have Seth Rollins take on Dean Ambrose, Finn Balor and Elias will go against Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley, and fans can expect appearances from Braun Strowman and Ronda Rousey.
On Tuesday, SmackDown will have a six-man tag team event with AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio, and Jeff Hardy, versus Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, and Samoa Joe. Women’s champion Asuka, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and the New Day will also be competing.
Look for both days to continue the storylines and events from the results of Royal Rumble.