Last year, we watched Rhea Ripley make history in the women's Royal Rumble breaking the record for the longest time spent in the women's Rumble match. This year, barring anything crazy happening, we know that Ripley, Iyo Sky, and Charlotte Flair (knee surgery) won't be in the match. There will likely be more surprises and NXT appearances than ever before. But it is only between three women that will point to the WrestleMania as the winner of the women's 20024 Royal Rumble.
Bayley has to be the favorite going into the Women's Royal Rumble this year. In terms of the top stars in the women's division in WWE, she is one fo the select few that haven't won yet. She has been on a journey as a heel with Damage CTRL for the past year or so, building up Sky and Dakota Kai. These days the tides are changing and Kai seemingly is becoming the leader of the group. Also, with two new members in Kairi Sane and Asuka, Bayley has quickly become more of a dilemma than a leader.
This past year was the roughest in Bayley's career as a solo competitor, In fact, including house shows Bayley won only five matches in 2023. What better way to do a complete 180 on her last year, than to begin this year eliminating 29 other women to win the Rumble?
As things continue to change with DC, you can witness Bayley's frustration with how things are going. Because of that, she will need to turn on DC before they turn on her. To do so, she will have to inadvertently create chaos within the group. The easiest way to do that is to win the Royal Rumble in two weeks. That will create friction between her and Sky with it always in the back of Sky's head, "Will she choose me?" I could see Bayley not making that decision right away and hiding her opponent for a while. Her winning the Rumble will be the beginning of a new era as a babyface that is different from the babyface Bayley most of us remember. It's a perfect storyline for WWE that could almost write itself.
So far, no woman has won the Royal Rumble twice? But this year things could change. If Bayley doesn't win, the next favorite has to be Becky Lynch. Unlike Bayley, she had an incredible 2023 on paper. Lynch won the tag team titles with Lita and also held the WWE NXT Women's Championship for the first time.
WWE can only dodge Ripley facing off against Becky for so long. More than likely, Ripley will face the fellow Australian-born Nia Jax at Elimination Chamber. What about WrestleMania? That's where Lynch comes in. Either she becomes "Becky two-times" and becomes the first woman to win the rumble twice or she will win at Elimination Chamber for a title opportunity at WrestleMania. Whichever scenario you prefer, she is a favorite to win the Rumble in a couple of weeks.
Those reading this were probably expecting Liv Morgan here. While she was in the final two last year and has yet to win the Rumble in her career, it is more believable for Jade Cargill to win it. In addition to Morgan dealing with legal troubles, it has puzzled me for quite some time why WWE has yet to debut Cargill in the ring. She signed with WWE back in September and has been seen at the Performance Center working with other WWE superstars for months now.
At the time when the WWE Universe began to question why she hasn't been in the ring yet, Triple H responded with:
"“I wanna make sure that no matter what is thrown at Jade Cargill, she’s ready. At no fault of her own, I think she was limited in that.”"- Triple H
In hindsight, he could be 100% honest here in why she hasn't debuted just yet. On the other hand, this could've been a way to postpone the surprise of her not only debuting at the Royal Rumble but also possibly winning the whole thing. On the men's side CM Punk is a heavy favorite to win the men's Royal Rumble, what makes Cargill a favorite any different? She's a bonafide star and we knew early on WWE had huge plans for Cargill. She's been the most-hyped signing in the women's division probably of all time. Let's face it, her winning the Rumble makes her a huge deal right away and also sets up more than likely a match against the biggest star in the women's division in Ripley at WrestleMania.