Rhea Ripley wins WWE Royal Rumble 2021
Alright, last pick. Rhea Ripley will have a Last Woman Standing match against Raquel Gonzalez on Nov. 6 at NXT New Year’s Evil, and that may be Ripley’s last match with the Black and Gold brand. It seems like it could be a final send-off for the Nightmare, who puts over Gonzalez as the next big star in the division before going off to Raw or SmackDown.
Ripley defended the NXT Championship against last year’s Rumble winner, Charlotte Flair, at WrestleMania 36. When she dropped the title, there was hope she’d win it back and get put over by the Queen, but, instead, Io Shirai won in a Triple Threat match. Shirai’s an amazing champion and earned that win, but it still doesn’t sit right with many fans that Ripley was booked like that. Worse yet, Ripley’s taken a lot of losses in NXT this year.
So imagine if she shows up at WWE Royal Rumble 2021 and wins the big one, setting up a match against Asuka for a title triumph at WrestleMania 37. Ripley is just 24 years old, yet she is already ready to be a top star in this industry. She showed that readiness as both NXT Champion and as a standout at Survivor Series 2019.
Bianca Belair is my pick to win the Rumble, but Ripley is squarely on the radar, too. I really want Ripley to get a huge moment, especially after the booking she’s been given over the past several months, so don’t overlook her as a possible Rumble winner in 2021.