Story instead of surprise is the featured attraction for Royal Rumble 2024

The Royal Rumble 2024 matches usually features big surprises but this year, the story will stand front and center for both the women and the men.
Cody Rhodes Jan.jpg
Cody Rhodes Jan.jpg /

The 2024 edition of the Royal Rumble is a few weeks away. This is the event that kicks off WrestleMania season and many consider it one of the most exciting events on the WWE schedule. When the clock ticks down to zero the anticipation builds to a big return or surprise introduction. Fans anticipate major moments at the Rumble, but the 2024 version should come with some type of managed expectations. Rather than expecting major surprises, fans should look forward to well-booked rumble matches that tell a story and build the future of the promotion heading into WrestleMania season.

Fans want to see huge returns and surprises at this event. Everyone remembers Edge’s big return after what then career-ending surgery was. Then there’s Rey Mysterio’s return after years of being away from the company. The women’s division has had its series of surprises from Trish Stratus to Michelle McCool, and even Sasha Banks popping up in the 2022 match. These are the moments that make this a huge attraction. But for 2024, those types of surprises may not be as numerous, but fans should still be excited for these matches.

Free agency in professional wrestling is going to have a wild year. There are several top names both in WWE and in other companies set to become available. Deonna Purrazzo recently popped up and was signed by AEW. Mercedes Mone (Sasha Banks) is rumored to be heading the same way. But others are potentially available like Alex Hammerstone and Kamille. Could they show up on January 27? Possibly, but fans should not rate this match on the number of new arrivals walking down the ramp.

Then, there’s the possibility of major returns or introductions. Fans want to see Big E come back after nearly two years away due to injury. Yet, no word has come up about his return at the Royal Rumble or even at all. Jade Cargill has been with WWE for several months and has yet to step into the ring. Introducing her in the Royal Rumble would be a smart step and an effective way to get her momentum going heading into WrestleMania.

The story has an important place in both the men’s and women’s matches. 2023 stands as an example of how a story can raise the appeal of both Rumble matches. That year saw the story of GUNTHER establishing himself as a threat to all men on the roster, and Cody Rhodes overcoming him for the opportunity to “finish his story.” The women’s rumble was all about Rhea Ripley and her further blooming into the force for women’s wrestling in WWE. But those stories carried those matches that maybe five surprise entrants combined.

Major stories are heading into the 2024 Royal Rumble matches. Is CM Punk going to take his place in a WrestleMania main event against Seth Rollins? Where does Drew McIntyre fit into the picture? Bobby Lashley remains a force that can’t be ignored. What will The Judgment Day do with potentially four members set for the match? Will Cody Rhodes win for the second year in a row? Those are the angles to watch and the outcome will impact all of them and heat the next few weeks of WWE booking.

With the women, the door is wider open. Eyes are on Becky Lynch as the favorite, but Bayley’s story as a member of Damage CTRL will come out during the match as well. Same with Bianca Belair and if she can get back to a WrestleMania moment. There’s a lot to look forward to in this match for all the ladies involved.

Predictability has a place in professional wrestling but the unknown is also exciting. There is no telling how either Royal Rumble will shape up, but fans should not expect major debuts or surprises that aren’t on the WWE roster heading into the show. There’s a wealth of stories to build around both matches that will carry them to success when the final bell rings.