On January 28, WWE will present the first-ever women's Royal Rumble match, live from Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center, and while there are plenty of Superstars fans can rattle off as potential winners of the bout, there are equally as many destined to be tossed over the top rope and to the arena floor, their dreams of history dashed in disappointing fashion.
The potential winners will receive plenty of publicity in the week to come, but these are the long shots whose place in the record books will have to be consolation enough.
The Ravishing Russian is among the most inexperienced competitors in the Royal Rumble match and has seen her in-ring career derailed more than once, the lack of quality of her work to this point almost certainly the cause.
From a character standpoint, she is phenomenal, but her stock is as low as it has been since her arrival in 2014 with husband Rusev, and at this point, she may be the least likely of all competitors to emerge with her arm raised in victory.
Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan
The Riott Squad has been a welcome addition to SmackDown Live's women's division, and both Logan and Morgan have been very strong in their roles as part of the group. Logan, in particular, has stood out as a potential star with the brand.
Unfortunately, it has been made abundantly clear that Ruby Riott is the leader of the faction and the performer management has opted to showcase.
Morgan and Logan may have a solid showing in Philadelphia as WWE Creative continues to tell the story of their rivalry with Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Naomi, but neither the Kentuckian nor the New Jersey native will leave the City of Brotherly Love any more credible via victory.
Mickie James, Naomi, Bayley and Becky Lynch
James, Naomi, Bayley and Lynch are all former women's champions and have become cornerstones of the divisions in which they compete, but none is a strong contender to win the Rumble.
In recent weeks and months, they have been de-emphasized, shoved aside in favor of new faces or more significant storyline exposure for their fellow performers.
Lynch may prove the exception here, as she is fresh off a red-hot return and recently became the first main roster star to defeat Ruby Riott in singles competition. The wave of momentum she is currently on may prove an indicator of a renewed push or may be a red herring of sorts designed to get fans to buy into her as a threat to win the whole thing.
Both James and Bayley have enjoyed TV time on Raw as part of an ongoing feud with Absolution, but they have been supporting players rather than stars management is seriously considering to win the historic bout.
Naomi has been pushed into the background since losing the SmackDown Women's Championship last August to Natalya.
The hard-hitting, submission-wrestling former MMA fighter may be part of Absolution and on the receiving end of a considerable push of late, but it has been made clear both in the content of recent matches and on commentary that Mandy Rose is the future star of Absolution.
From comparisons to Trish Stratus to the revelation that she sees the Hall of Famer as inspiration, Rose has been talked up and spotlighted in ways Deville has not been. If either of Paige's underlings is to win the Royal Rumble, it would be Rose, not Deville—no matter how much she has improved or how solid her work has become since the latter part of her NXT run.
Tamina has been extraordinary in multi-woman matches, often positioned as the unstoppable badass.
That may very well be the case once again come January 28, and a second showdown with Nia Jax following their war at Survivor Series is also not out of the question.
Like Lana, Tamina has seen her stature in the women's division on Tuesday nights diminished significantly in recent months. She has rarely been featured prominently, and as a member of the so-called Welcoming Committee, she has been outclassed by members of The Riott Squad.
She may stand out in her time in the match, but the veteran competitor will ultimately lose.
Lobbying to be in the match on social media, the newest member of Titus Worldwide may benefit considerably from her pairing with Titus O'Neil and Apollo Crews, but it will make no difference whatsoever come the Royal Rumble, where Brooke is almost certain to be one of the early eliminations if she does get added to the official list of participants.
Despite showing promise in NXT, she has struggled to achieve acceptance as an in-ring competitor. She rose to prominence as a sidekick to Charlotte but barely worked as a wrestler. Outside of seemingly weekly appearances on Main Event, she has not been allowed the opportunity to star as an in-ring performer.
That will not change at the upcoming extravaganza, no matter the opportunity to make history.
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