WWE Royal Rumble 2022 Odds, Predictions: Best Bets For Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar, Other Contenders
Mike Coppola/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images. Pictured: Ronda Rousey.
- The 2022 WWE Royal Rumble is set to take place tonight in St. Louis, with plenty of intrigue in both editions of the match.
- Brock Lesnar is favored to win the men's match, while rumors about a return of Ronda Rousey have made her the betting favorite for the women's match.
- Continue reading for Collin Wilson's full breakdown of both matches, as well as his betting recommendations.
The 2022 Royal Rumble is set to take place on Saturday, January 29th from St. Louis. While WrestleMania is the granddaddy of them all and SummerSlam is a holdover from the 1980s, anyone and everyone who follows sports entertainment knows that late January is the Super Bowl of wrestling.
— WWE (@WWE) January 26, 2022
For anyone new to the format the rules are simple enough. Thirty contestants will enter the ring two minutes apart. Elimination occurs when a contestant is thrown over the top rope and two feet hit the floor. This event is a chance for the creative team to shine, whether entering WWE Champion Brock Lesnar first in 2020 or pitting Demolition against one another in 1989.
While the rumors and storylines are always sizzling up until the show, there is one constant with every Royal Rumble. The winner of the event is granted a main event match against a champion at WrestleMania. Handicapping the odds for the event are not so much about wins and losses by faces and heels, but directly about who Vince McMahon wants pointing at the WrestleMania sign at the end of the pay-per-view.
While using future bookings, leaked advertisements and social media for clues on who McMahon will choose, the winner is always subject to change. Big E’s victory in the 2021 Money in the Bank was a last-minute change. Two years ago in this very event, Shayna Baszler was the odds-on favorite and steamed up until the start of the show. Ultimately, Charlotte Flair won the 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble with a last-second decision. Never forget that Lesnar closed as a 9/1 underdog to beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania 30, an idea that started and was pushed by McMahon.
Before we break down both the Men and Women participants, the latest odds will help in determining where an investment is required.
Women’s Royal Rumble
The worst kept secret is the return of Ronda Rousey after an almost two-year absence. The women’s division was blazing hot during Rousey’s first stint through the WWE. A 2018 Survivor Series match with Charlotte was one of the most brutal in history. That gave McMahon confidence in deciding WrestleMania would end with a Women’s Championship unification match between Rousey, Charlotte and Becky Lynch in MetLife Stadium.
— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) January 25, 2022
The odds for Rousey have no value, as the former UFC champion gave birth late in 2021 and has recently started training for a return to WWE. There is not a big sample of surprise entrants to actually win the Rumble, with John Cena in 2008 and Edge in ’10 the only men competitors to pull off the feat. Lynch did enter last minute and won the 2019 Women’s Rumble, but she lost earlier in the show in a singles championship match.
Rousey and Lynch are on a fast track to headline WrestleMania once again, but WWE has plenty of ways to set the match without using the Rumble. It is more likely Rousey makes an appearance in Lynch’s title match with Doudrop. With no value in the -110 odds for Rousey, there are a few other names worth consideration.
Bianca Belair checks in at 4/1 but won the Rumble a year ago. There have been only four women’s Royal Rumble events, and the odds of a repeat winner are slim. Various outlets have props on the Final Four participants, a great place to invest on previous winners like Belair, Charlotte and the returning Asuka.
Generally the “go-home” Monday Night Raw before a pay-per-view gives indication of who might achieve victory. That spells good news for Rhea Ripley at 14/1, who has dominated most of the names on the odds board over the past several months.
Ripley was challenged by Charlotte two years ago and lost her NXT Championship, and a storyline could be in the works for the Australian Nightmare to return the favor. A Rumble victory would all but guarantee a Ripley-Charlotte match for the Smackdown Women’s title. Ripley will get a half-unit investment, but another name lurking on the board is conspicuously quiet leading into the weekend.
Renee Paquette recently interviewed Summer Rae about her return to WWE at the upcoming Royal Rumble. The mention of training with “Pamela” has been the first anyone has heard of former champion Bayley preparing for competition since her ACL tear last July. Winning the Royal Rumble and pointing to that WrestleMania sign is a perfect fit for WWE’s first ever Grand Slam winner.
In an early December Instagram stream, Bayley was clear that she was physically ready to compete. The selection also gives WWE multiple avenues for storyline, as Bayley is an original Four Horsewoman who can pivot between either champion or play a role in the return of Rousey. A half-unit on two of the biggest names with value who have not won a Royal Rumble is where to place investment.
Pick: Rhea Ripley +1400; Bayley +900
Men’s Royal Rumble
When reviewing the current list of superstars on the promotional material for the match, there is a sense that none of the announced wrestlers have the star power to main event WrestleMania. A cast that includes Johnny Knoxville of Jackass, Baron Corbin playing a bum and a handful of tag teams leaves an impression that the match could be a snoozer.
— AlexGamesWrestling (@Alejand24930733) January 25, 2022
Big E deserves to be at the top of the leaderboard, just weeks after a last-minute switch to drop the WWE Championship at the previous pay-per-view to Lesnar. There have been plenty of reports that because of complaints about booking, Big E was picked to take the pin in a 5-way match. There will be no investment during the Royal Rumble because of the pin, where McMahon had the opportunity to have the title switch hands without diminishing Big E’s accomplishments.
There is not a clear line for any former winners to repeat, as Seth Rollins is scheduled to face Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. Drew McIntyre is currently rehabbing an injury suffered just a couple of weeks ago that has a return target of WrestleMania. Edge is already scheduled to participate in a mixed tag match, leaving the only repeat option on Randy Orton at 25/1.
The Orton angle is interesting and the longshot odds are appetizing. The Viper is a St. Louis native and is in the best shape of his career after a horrible 2021 that included terrible storylines and a two-month recovery from COVID. The issue with investment on Orton is that he has won the Rumble twice, as the only three-time winner in history is Stone Cold Steve Austin.
However, for Final Four investments there may not be a more stable name to back in the ring than Orton, who needs just 28 minutes to be the all-time cumulative record holder over Chris Jericho.
The Rumble is also known for taking a young superstar and showcasing their talents with numerous eliminations. Austin Theory fits that narrative, but a loss to AJ Styles on Monday Night Raw may have McMahon throwing cold water on the youngster. If there is a prop for most eliminations, the son of Rick Steiner will have the most value.
— Royal Wrestling (@RoyalWrestling_) January 26, 2022
Bron Breakker is scheduled to have a big Rumble, but a trip to WrestleMania to challenge for a championship is more than a long shot. The same can be said of Finn Balor, who McMahon does not view as main-event material.
With the WrestleMania main event scheduled to be WWE Champion Brock Lesnar against Universal Champion Roman Reigns, there is plenty of validation that one of the superstars will drop the title at the Rumble. Reigns has now held the title over 500 days and looks to continue shattering the record books.
This could pave the way for Lesnar to drop the WWE Championship to Bobby Lashley during the show, only to win the Rumble and cement his spot at WrestleMania. After 2020, McMahon knows Lesnar in a Rumble match will be the highlight of the year.
Pick: Brock Lesnar +350 (down to +110)