Nikki Bella is going to win the Women's Royal Rumble on January 28th. Yeah, it is because of Total Bellas. And Total Divas. And her Youtube Channel. And because she's marrying John Cena. And because it's a great story. And because she deserves it. But more than anything, it's because she is WWE's best option to do it.
As I perused the various gambling sites that allow you to bet on wrestling (yes, I'm despicable) I stumbled across the odds for the Women's Royal Rumble. I see names like Asuka and Ronda Rousey as overwhelming favorites and roll my eyes a little, then I perk back up at the fact that Sasha Banks and Stephanie McMahon were given the same mathematical shot at winning the Rumble. But I really honed in when I saw Nikki's name right in the middle. How could I have forgotten? She and Brie have been adamant in saying they'll be back in 2018. Guess what, it's 2018! And, seeing that Nikki Bella is the closest thing to Oprah that WWE has, I saw her Rumble win as a damn near guarantee.
So, I put a little Christmas money on her.
Now that you have my bias, here's my logic. Nikki shut down her wrestling career after WrestleMania 33 due to complications from her neck surgery. That's nothing the screw around with, but her limitations have become an advantage. Unless you're an early entrant, the Royal Rumble seems like a pretty easy match to get through. Even more, once Nikki wins, she won't have to wrestle again until April. Granted I know nothing, and I mean nothing, about her current health status. But given the fact she's publicly declared her intentions to wrestle this year, this would be an ideal schedule for her. Not to mention, she can lose her prospective WrestleMania match and become SmackDown's GM two days later.
Whoever wins this thing is going to have the biggest opportunity in the history of women's wrestling. Even more, the winner (likely from RAW) will co-star in an intensive storyline from January to April with the cantankerous Alexa Bliss. If you'll recall, Bayley is still picking up her teeth from this summer, so Bliss' WrestleMania dancing partner will have to be able to trade barbs. And no one is more equipped to handle such a responsibility than Nikki Bella-Cena.
Even though the Women's Revolution brought in a new wave of awareness for women's wrestling, the female Superstars still have a tenuous relationship with fans. Sasha Banks could be a supernova if WWE trusted her, Charlotte Flair, already the best of the crop, could be transcendental if WWE ended her babyface experiment, Becky Lynch could be the Irish version of Steve Austin if WWE gave her room, Alexa Bliss could a woman's answer to Chris Jericho if WWE stopped calling her the Goddess, and Nia Jax could be the Litecoin to Andre The Giant's Bitcoin. The point being, that even though WWE is loaded with talent, there's a disconnect. And because the above-mentioned Superstars have each had bouts with stagnation, WWE will take one look at Nikki Bella and be reminded that her name, for now, still carries the most weight.
But, but, what about Asuka and Ronda Rousey? No. Stop. Asuka has yet to win a match of significance in WWE. While that was by design, a Royal Rumble win for her would be the epitome of WWE jumping the shark. Rousey's victory would be the only thing that could top Nikki in blockbuster-ness, but at this moment, it doesn't look like the UFC star will even be in the match.
While it may seem that Nikki's fan base has moved on, they haven't. A surprise entry at number 24 would wake the wrestling dead, and we'll collectively agree that Nikki is the rightful winner in the same moment she finishes her patented Hula Hoop dance thing.
So on the night of January 28th, consider me Brie Bella, because no one will be bellowing "Here we go, Nikki" louder than me.
Want more Royal Rumble manifestos? Here you go: