One of the WWE’s biggest showpiece events of the year is almost upon us, with the Royal Rumble getting underway on January 31. Taking place at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida, the Royal Rumble will see 30 entrants battle for a WWE Championship opportunity at WrestleMania 37.
With so much on the line and the format of the Royal Rumble making outcomes ever unpredictable, we’re exploring the wrestlers tipped as the favorites to triumph in the Men’s Royal Rumble 2021, as well as a couple of dark horse contenders.
Favorites to be the last man standing
In any wrestling event as colossal as the Royal Rumble, the bookmakers often have a favorite earmarked long before the storylines leading to the occasion have concluded. This year, the Royal Rumble odds lean heavily towards Daniel Bryan. While he’s not a certain favorite, due to his +120 not being sub-evens, he’s clearly tipped ahead of the next-closest contenders. Perhaps making good on a couple of opportunities when Bryan should have triumphed, the WWE has positioned him through SmackDown as an apparent favorite.
He’s not the only one who’s in with a shot at glory in the rumble: also considered to be in the running is Keith Lee at +400. The rope-breaking behemoth of WWE Raw made a surprise entrance to Royal Rumble 2020, confronting Brock Lesnar, teaming up with Braun Strowman to take down ‘The Beast Incarnate,’ who ultimately eliminated them both thereafter. Further out in the odds is Big E at +700, which makes him the third-favorite, but certainly a distant third to Bryan and Lee.
Royal Rumble 2021’s dark horse contenders
The first name that comes to mind as a potential push for a Royal Rumble triumph has to be Bobby Lashley. In previous years, his talent has been greatly misused, and while his big comeback was underwhelming, he’s since become an almighty heel on Raw. He’s physically imposing, dominant in the squared circle, and The Sportster reports that he’s become one of Vince McMahon’s favorites. A solid choice if they want to run a villain winning the Royal Rumble, Lashley’s out at +5000 to triumph.
— Bobby Lashley (@fightbobby) January 1, 2021
Another in the mix, if he’s permitted by the company, would be Braun Strowman. He enjoyed a strong 2020, which included becoming the Universal Champion for a time, feuding The Fiend, turning heel, and developing a very entertaining story with Keith Lee. Currently serving a suspension for handling official Adam Pearce, which is said to mask a knee injury, Strowman could be gearing up to his first showing since November 22, 2020. If he is fit enough, and the indefinite suspension is lifted, he’ll run into the Royal Rumble ring with +2500 odds to reign supreme.
Royal Rumble 2021 has the makings of an incredibly memorable event, with the WWE expected to go all-out on making it must-watch TV. So, while Bryan is favored, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many pundits anticipate an upset.