WWE Royal Rumble: What We Should Expect From The 2021 Winners Leading Into WrestleMania

Bianca Belair at Royal Rumble 2021

Edge and Bianca Belair certainly have a lot to celebrate considering they are not too far removed from being named WWE Royal Rumble winners, setting each superstar on a path — the Road to WrestleMania, if you will — to greatness. But the road that leads to the “Showcase of the Immortals” in sunny Tampa, Florida, isn’t an easy one to take and the results are all but guaranteed for the rising star of the WWE Women’s division and the Rated-R Superstar looking for one more accolade to add to his long list of accomplishments.

So, what can we expect from Edge and Bianca Belair heading into WrestleMania 37? Neither winner has picked an opponent, but that doesn’t mean that some pretty major matchups haven’t been teased since each WWE superstar pointed at that giant pirate-themed sign at the January 2021 event. And judging by the successes (and failures) of previous Royal Rumble winners, a lot that can happen at the “Grandaddy of them All.”

Edge at the 2020 Royal Rumble

This Could Very Well Be Edge’s Swan Song, So Expect Some Dream Matches Leading To WrestleMania

Night Two of WrestleMania 37 will be the 10-year anniversary of Edge’s shocking retirement. Wrestlers typically always return, but Edge, who stepped away due to severe neck injuries, seemed like one of the few who would never step back into the ring. And then the 2020 Royal Rumble happened, bringing the Rated-R Superstar back into the fold.

This could be the swan song for the 47-year-old two-time Royal Rumble winner, and as we look to his championship match at WrestleMania, we should expect to see Edge take on some of the younger talent he never got an opportunity to face. Edge has reportedly been pushing for a match against Daniel Bryan, who also returned to the ring after retiring due to serious injuries. The two previously faced off in 2010, but this was before Bryan became the superstar he is today.

Edge’s longtime tag partner Christian also returned to WWE at this year’s Royal Rumble, so there’s a chance the two go on another run at the Tag Team Championship and give us one last “Five-Second Pose.”

Bianca Belair on SmackDown

The Road To WrestleMania Will Give Bianca Belair The Chance To Show What She’s Made Of

While Edge has been wrestling since the 1990s, Bianca Belair’s WWE career didn’t start until 2016 and then didn’t really blossom until her 367-day winning streak throughout 2019 in NXT.

Throughout her young career, Bianca Belair has brought her trademark style and attitude to a number of marque matches including the first ever Women’s War Games match in 2019, a star-making performance at the 2020 Royal Rumble (33 minutes, a record eight eliminations), and the Women’s Survivor Series elimination match that November. All of that led to Belair spending nearly 57 minutes in the 2021 Royal Rumble, which she won as the third entrant (done only once before).

Now with the spotlight on your in-ring presence and career, Bianca Belair finally has a platform to show off what she’s working with and what she’s capable of achieving. She has the attitude, style, and in-ring ability to be one of the greats, and now all eyes are on her.

Sasha Banks on Raw

Bianca Belair Will Probably End Up Taking On Sasha Banks For The SmackDown Women’s Championship

Winning the 2021 Royal Rumble afforded Bianca Belair the opportunity to challenge one of WWE’s three women’s champions but she has yet to officially make her decision. She can choose between NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai, Raw’s Women’s Champion Asuka, or SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks, but if I were to put my money on any one of those three potential matchups, it would have to be “The EST of WWE” (Belair) taking on “The Boss” (Banks) in Tampa.

As great as it would be to see Bianca Belair go back and win the NXT Women’s Championship (something she was never able to pull off) or take on Asuka for the Raw belt, the in-style shared by Belair and Sasha Banks (not to mention the over-the-top personalities of each superstar) is a match made in wrestling heaven. And then two have a history together, having challenged for the SmackDown Women’s Tag Team Championship in recent months as well as serving as partners in the 2020 Survivor Series elimination match.

Roman Reigns on Raw

Edge Will Most Likely Challenge Roman Reigns For The Universal Championship

Around the time WWE underwent a “Brand Split” in 2002, Edge became part of what’s known by wrestling fans as the “SmackDown Six.” This group of wrestlers — Edge, Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio, and Chavo Guerrero — became the focal point of the “Blue Brand” and turned the show into must watch television. Things have changed over the past 19 years and now Roman Reigns is the “Big Dog” of SmackDown and just so happens to hold the Universal Championship and even uses a spear as his signature move, the same finisher Edge made popular years earlier.

It is only fitting the greatest superstar from SmackDown’s past challenges the show’s current top star. The story writes itself, both competitors have a lot to bring to the table and prove, and who doesn’t want to see two men spear one another to the point of defeat? And while Edge has teased bouts with WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and NXT Champion Finn Balor, we all know what the fans and Vince McMahon want headlining WrestleMania 37.

Gene Okerlund, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Ric Flair, and Mr. Perfect at Royal Rumble 1992

Judging By Previous Royal Rumble Winners, We Shouldn’t Be Upset If Edge And Bianca Belair Lose At WrestleMania

A Royal Rumble victory doesn’t automatically guarantee a win at that year’s WrestleMania. And while recent victors have gone on to find success at the big event, former Royal Rumble winners who entered with the same entry number as Edge (1) and Bianca Belair (3), have had mixed results at WWE’s biggest show of the year.

Not including Edge, only two wrestlers have been the first to enter the ring and last to be standing at the Royal Rumble over the years. The first, Shawn Michaels, failed to defeat Diesel (Kevin Nash) at WrestleMania 11 in 1995. The second, Chris Benoit, was successful in a triple-threat match against Triple H and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 20 in 2004. Prior to Bianca Belair, Ric Flair was the only wrestler to win from the three spot in a Royal Rumble, which the Nature Boy pulled off in 1992. Flair would ultimately lose his match against Randy Savage at WrestleMania 8.

We also shouldn’t be surprised by the results if Edge and Bianca Belair lose their respective matches at WrestleMania is the fact that the former is at the end of his career while the latter is just getting started, with much more from her to come in time.

A lot can change between now and the time WrestleMania 37 goes on air in April, which means that we should prepare ourselves to expect the unexpected. But whatever happens, it’s all going to be a damn good time. Well, unless Randy Orton ends up winning a championship and faces off with Edge at WrestleMania for a second year in a row.

Philip Sledge
Content Writer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.