Diva’s Royal Rumble
There isn’t a PPV in the WWE calendar to get more excited about than the Royal Rumble. Yes, the history and pageantry of Wrestlemania is unmatchable but, the last two years aside, the Rumble match offers a litany of possibilities that often prove impossible to predict. This makes it so incredibly entertaining to watch, even if the added title match stipulation for 2016 has the worrying potential to complete a trilogy of car crash Rumbles. While I look forward to seeing what the main event will bring us, both in terms of it’s finish and the feuds it has the ability to create in the process, I can’t help but think that this year the WWE have missed out on a major opportunity. The female roster boasts more talent than ever before, and it seems as though there is room for a legitimate Diva’s Royal Rumble. Not a short and lazy Battle Royale, but a well-constructed, storyline-laden match with the proper Rumble stipulations. The Charlotte / Becky Lynch programme is solid, but the rest of the division has sadly been ignored. The Diva’s Revolution was hideously stop start after its initial promise, but a Diva’s Rumble could reinvigorate it with it’s infinite storytelling possibilities, particularly on the undercard. So where to start? 30 women might be a bit of a stretch, but there is certainly enough depth to justify at least 15 participants. With the current WWE roster, complemented by NXT debutants and returning favourites, who could compete? And what could the repercussions be…? I’m not normally one for fantasy booking, as it’s a complicated process that I have no professional experience of. Plus a Rumble is notoriously even more difficult to deal with. But what the hell? It’s happening.
1 – Brie Bella
The last few months have seen the majority of the main roster talent being utterly ignored. Brie has been used solely as enhancement, but she is now an accomplished veteran who could handle being the first entrant.
2 – Sasha Banks
The Boss has been suspiciously absent in 2016 with rumours of an injury. If she’s cleared for action, she’s a shoe in for an early spot, and due to the presumed crowd reaction, would initially work face.
3 – Alicia Fox
The second Team Bella participant would be used predominantly as fodder. In the early stages of the match, Fox and Brie work together to try and eliminate Banks.
4 – Natalya
The Hart Dungeon Diva is back fit and healthy, and should be a major player in this event.
5 – Tamina
With Sasha Banks being worked over by all the other participants, Miss Snuka aids her Team BAD partner and launches Alicia Fox from the ring with a power move. With Sasha and Tamina about to eliminate Brie, out comes…
6 – Nikki Bella
Nikki is supposedly close to a return, and a surprise appearance here to physically save Brie from hitting the floor could be fun.
7 – Summer Rae
Summer would receive zero reaction when her music hits. What even is her music? If you can answer that, stop reading immediately and go and reevaluate your existence. Summer would get the Santino role here, and upon entering be immediately sent to the back by Natalya.
8 – Lita
The Hall of Famer would surely receive the exact opposite reaction to the previous entrant. Having worked closely with the company since her full time in ring departure, she’d certainly be game for a run in. Storming to the ring and flying around all over the shop with hurricanranas, the pop would be massive. She and Natalya rid the ring of both Bellas simultaneously and then confront Sasha.
9 – Naomi
The last Team BAD member to enter, and the complete triumvirate turn their attention to both Natalya and Lita.
10 – Paige
Assuming she’s healthy, Paige runs in and starts clearing house. It is hers after all.
11 – Eva Marie
The flame haired seductress has more heat than a volcano on the sun. The fact she’d be booed out the building is incredibly useful. Check out the ending to the NXT Battle Royale last week for example, or even the title match with Bayley. She could really help elevate a face, as anyone who disposes of her is an immediate hero. Having her roll out under the ropes after taking a bunch of finishers would serve the match well.
12 – Trish Stratus
BOOM! The Canadian bombshell makes a brief return to the adulation of one and all. With Natalya and Paige down, Trish teams with her buddy Lita to take on Team BAD. They briefly stand tall. Trish closes in on getting rid of Tamina and Naomi, but they turn the tables and shockingly drop her to the outside. In their celebration, Sasha surprises her teammates and flips them simultaneously over the top, claiming that it’s everyone for themselves. Lita goes nuts upon seeing Trish out, takes down Sasha and climbs up for the moonsault. She looks down at Sasha, over to the now rising Tamina and Naomi on the outside, out to the the audience inquisitively, then shrugs her shoulders. With her trademark scream and Team Xtreme hand gesture, she moonsaults to the outside, taking down Tamina and Naomi and eliminating herself in the process. Lita and Trish hug and walk up the ramp together in sisterly love.
13 – Asuka
It’d be fascinating to see how the Japanese import would be received. A flurry of kicks to Sasha would inject a huge amount of energy after the dismissals of Team Bestie. Seeing Sasha and Asuka go at it until the next participant enters whets the appetite for a potential future feud. Sasha gets the better of the fighting, until…
14 – Bayley
It’s time to test Bayley out on the full WWE audience. A Rumble match is the perfect way to introduce the NXT Women’s Champion, and it seems a given that she’d rival the pop of Lita and Trish. Sasha would ignore every other participant and focus on her predominant adversary.
15 – Stephanie McMahon
This would be a major shock. The Authority matriarch is, however, the best heel in the business, and with Paige, Natalya, Sasha, Asuka and Bayley in the ring, the Mr McMahon’s little girl could demand they leave the ring to grant her victory. Natalya slaps Stephanie, Sasha goes at Natalya, Bayley super kicks Stephanie from the ring. Stephanie goes crazy, screaming that Bayley will never make it to the main roster.
With Natalya down, Paige is thrown out by Sasha, quickly followed by Bayley eliminating Asuka. Sasha and Bayley renew their rivalry, with the latter using a Bayley to Belly over the top rope to eliminate Sasha. In her brief celebration, Eva Marie renters from the outside to send Bayley over the top. Major heat, which, hopefully, would be placated by Natalya throwing a Sharpshooter on All Red Everything. Out the ring she goes, leaving Natalya as the winner.
Sasha / Team BAD
Sasha turned on her Team BAD running mates. This would have severe repercussions and lead to her finally turning face, taking on both members in various matches and coming out on top eventually. Hopefully it would serve to elevate Naomi, who is a decent performer but has been left a little behind. Ironic, considering her finisher.
Bayley / Asuka
Having been eliminated by Bayley, Asuka confronts the champion on NXT and wants a fight. She is next in line for a title shot after Carmella inevitably fails in her quest.
Bayley / Stephanie McMahon
Having gotten rid of Steph, Bayley makes a powerful enemy, and Stephanie doesn’t let her forget it. With Bayley pushing more and more for a main roster call up, Stephanie keeps thwarting or ignoring her, until Bayley wins her place possibly via a match on a WWE Network special against Steph or a Diva of her choosing.
As Number One Contender, with Paige by her side, Natalya enters a programme with Charlotte. Having seen Natalya and the Dirtiest Playeress In The Game put on a hell of a match for the NXT Women’s Championship at Takeover, there’s no doubt they have the combined chemistry to achieve great heights at the Grandest Stage Of Them All. There’s easy storytelling options, with Charlotte, the egotistical new generation against her mentor, the wizened sentinel, Natalya. Paige could also recruit Bret Hart to join proceedings when Ric Flair keeps getting in the way, just as at Takeover… It almost writes itself.
Tags: alicia fox, Asuka, Becky Lynch, Break The Walls Down, Brie Bella, charlotte, divas, Eva Marie, Lita, naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, NXT, Paige, sasha banks, Stephanie McMahon, Summer Rae, tamina, Team BAD, Trish Stratus