SEVEN Correct 2020 WWE Royal Rumble Surprise Entrants!!!!

For the last few years I have predicted who the surprise entrants might be for the Royal Rumble matches. Last year I managed to predict FOUR surprise entrances including Jeff Jarrett and Kacy Catanzaro (Link: https://sirlewisofclarke.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/20-possible-surprise-entrants-for-the-2019-mens-and-womens-royal-rumble-matches/), so this year I was quietly hoping to go one better…

Due to the emergence of AEW I predicted it would be far less likely to keep rumours under wraps so WWE would most likely use up and comers from their inflated various rosters. The ‘surprise entrant’ of Edge was a prime example of this; since it was so widely reported I deliberately avoided him as a pick since I thought it would be way too obvious.

Despite this, I managed to nearly DOUBLE the amount of surprise entrants predicted on my two posts (traditionally I do one main post two months beforehand, and second post a week or so before the event because of last minute changes).

So here is a list of the seven I predicted correctly:

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Dakota Kai

The women’s rumble had hardly any announced competitors for it, so I fancied my chances when it came to possible surprise entrants. No, Ronda Rousey didn’t appear, neither did a few of my picks. But Dakota did. Arguably the most improved NXT female wrestler of 2019 has put herself on everyone’s radar with her recent performances. To be frank; it would have been a surprise if she WASN’T in the rumble since it is only a matter of time before she comes up to the main roster, unless NXT plan on using her character in a main storyline with Tegan Nox.

Matt Riddle

Over 25 men had already announced themselves for the 30 man rumble, so that left very few spaces for surprise entrants.

MVP had come in, and I was almost certain I had chosen him for a previous year but not this one. Turns out after checking my posts that I never had him, so I sulked like a child for a while. Even worse, Edge came in and I deliberately avoided choosing him because the rumours were too loud. So I expected to not get any more after I heard the ‘On This Day, I See Clearly’ song. Then Suddenly I heard “Bro…”

<And the Lewis at home went wild!!!>

Keith Lee

I may have ignored Edge, but I did however choose Keith Lee to come in and do his thing. This was kind of expected by the time the rumble came around, but this wasn’t expected at all around early November time when I did these predictions, so this was great to see from my point of view. It is a shame that neither Riddle nor Lee lasted particularly long in the rumble but it was good to see them both mixing it up with the Raw and Smackdown lot, and taking it in their stride as well…

Shayna Baszler

In my post I wrote “For me, this isn’t just a surprise entrant, but can she go on and win the entire thing?”, so imagine how excited I was to see her in the final two giving off her confident Shayna style smile. “She’s gonna do it!” I smiled excitedly.

Unfortunately standing in front of her was Charlotte, and I guess WWE has something better planned for Charlotte with one of the other four horsewomen since Shayna could only finish second.

It is great to see her on the main roster. She has deserved it for a very long time and I hope a main roster title will be coming her way soon.

Tegan Nox

My prediction was that Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox would come out at one and two, and then would destroy each other with chairs etc… to get the crowd pumped up.

That didn’t happen. But both girls did get to appear at one of the big PPVs. I for one was extremely happy for the both of them, as they both have recovered from serious ACL injuries (And Tegan pretty much destroyed her entire leg in the Mae Young classic, and STILL wanted to carry on fighting!)

The Welsh Wonder has overcome so many setbacks since joining the WWE, so it was fantastic to see her where she belongs; on the main stage…

Toni Storm

Speaking of overcoming obstacles; sometimes the fight to succeed isn’t always physical. Toni Storm was nowhere on my radar even a couple of months ago, but when she did appear on TV she slot in so perfectly in a role that it made the majority of people think in unison, “Why on earth have I not heard of this girl before? She seems to have the whole package!” Sadly although she looked very comfortable in her role, she was suffering from a lot of self doubt and even was considering retiring from wrestling, as mentioned in the video above:

Fortunately for all of us she didn’t and subsequently went on to fulfil a dream of hers a few months later. I had one week to choose who might be a surprise entrant in my second post, and this seemed like a no brainer to me.

She ended up in the Rumble for over 18 minutes. What a one year turn around for her! If that isn’t inspiration to not give up fighting for your dream I don’t know what is…

Welcome to the top of the mountain Toni. You’ve earned it…

John Morrison

This is a bitter sweet pick for me, since by the time January came around this wasn’t even a surprise entrant. Yes, I had picked him in November and there were rumours he was going to join WWE, but nothing concrete. So I felt he would come back like Rey Mysterio did and then continue performing weekly from there.

That didn’t happen. First he was announced as signed, then he was assigned to Smackdown, and finally he was actually announced as a normal entrant one week prior to the match.

It was a guess when I predicted him though, so although it feels like a very hollow victory, it was still technically a victory nonetheless.

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Were there any surprise entrants that you predicted? Did you enjoy the Royal Rumble matches? Were there are performers you wanted to see and were disappointed when they didn’t appear? Comment below

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Links to this years predictions.

November: https://sirlewisofclarke.wordpress.com/2019/11/24/24-possible-surprise-entrants-for-the-2020-mens-and-womens-royal-rumble-matches/

One week before: https://sirlewisofclarke.wordpress.com/2020/01/19/8-more-possible-surprise-entrants-for-the-2020-mens-and-womens-royal-rumble-matches/

The Kick Up The Bombabom I Needed…

I started writing my tenth book recently, but I must admit I’ve been struggling to get motivated to get some words down on a daily basis. There has always been a handy excuse to ‘do it tomorrow’ instead of forcing myself to get some work done every night like I usually do.

So today I was struggling again. The problem is when you don’t write every day and keep putting it off, when you do finish the book it doesn’t flow properly because it has a very ‘stop-start’ feel; to it, which is obvious as to why when you think about it. If you are writing intermittently, then that will reflect on the story, like 50 different authors have decided to write one scene each…

So today I thought to myself, “I’ve had enough of this.” and said to myself that I refuse to go to sleep tonight until I get this book going again. No excuses; you’ve made more than enough of them! If you want to sleep, then you’ve got to write, and you’re not allowed to go to sleep until you’ve fucking done something…

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The thing is, if you really want something you can’t just say you want it with a ton of passion in your voice; words are cheap. Get your fucking head down and do it Lewis! Yes, I’ve written nine books, but that gives you zero excuse to stop now. If anything, you have less of an excuse because you’ve done it so many times before. Lead by example, and get this book done to a decent standard…

It worked. It is nearly two in the morning and I got another 600 words down, and an idea where to take the next two scenes. Is it best seller worthy? I don’t know, but it is progression of the story line and the push I needed to stop the flimsy excuses. This book can be done, and it can be great, but not if I act like a pussy and point fingers at everyone else.

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So what I needed was a reality check. I’m technically my own boss, which is fine when you are your own biggest critic. But recently I have been slacking off and quite frankly, it is not good enough. If I want to be a best selling author one day then the impossibly high standards I set myself have to come back, not this half-arsed mentality I have had over the last month or so.

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It’s there, and it’s in reach. Go get it…

5 Watford Academy Players I’d Like To See Feature Against Tranmere…

This isn’t meant to be disrespectful to Tranmere as they have fully proved they can hang with us in the first match. However not only do we potentially have four matches in nine days, but we are in a relegation scrap right now and losing this match wouldn’t be the worst thing for us (Plus Tranmere would get a significant cash boost if they win, so everybody benefits…).

This means that we have a great opportunity to bring in some reserve team players into a professional game and see how they perform against a confident team hungry to not only win, but prove themselves against Premier League opposition.

I’ve avoided the obvious picks of Joao Pedro, Dele-Bashiru and Quina because i want to focus on players who haven’t really featured yet but could give us something to offer during this game, and possibly later on in the season if need be.

So this is my list for five people who I would be excited to see play against The Birkenhead Boys:

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Kaylen Hinds

Straight off the bat, as soon as I saw Watford announce this signing I was intrigued. Kaylen was one of the English youth players who went to progress his career in the Bundesliga. However where Jadon Sancho (Watford boy, just throwing that out there…), Reiss Nelson and Rabbi Matondo had thrived, Kaylen kind of slipped between the cracks into obscurity. In danger of losing his professional career entirely, Watford gave him another chance, as they did with players such as Marlon King and Troy Deeney. I haven’t seen much of him this season, but I bet he has a lot to prove and a belly full of desire.

Throw him on as a second half substitute and say you’ve got 30 minutes to prove you belong here. After all, if Success and Gray end up leaving on loan, there is a space available for a back up forward…

Sam Dalby

Same goes for Dalby. He is banging the goals in for fun in the Under-23 team. The last player I remember doing that for fun in that league was Harry Kane (Again, former Watford boy. Just throwing that out there…) Yet he hasn’t been given a chance in the first team yet. He has been on the bench a couple of times, but as far as I’m aware he hasn’t come on.

Give him a start, throw him into the deep end and see what he is capable of. If he flounders and is not ready yet then it isn’t a problem; bring a more experienced player on like Success (who to be fair had a good game in the last match against Tranmere) or preferably have Success start, and bring Gray on in the second half. He had a shocker in the first match, so I’m sure he’ll want to prove the doubters wrong this time around.

Adam Parkes

Poor old Bachmann… Everyone (Myself included) was hoping that Bachmann would finally get his chance and were elated to see him on the team sheet. Only for him to make a key mistake during the match. I’m gutted for him. But Pearson has an interesting dilemma now; do we give him another try, or does he go full on Sven Goran Eriksson and give the really young keeper a try, like he did at Manchester City with an obscure 19 year old goalkeeper by the name of Joe Hart…?

Logic suggests it would be the former, but I would be interested to see an academy goalkeeper thrown in at the deep end if he has been playing well recently. Otherwise, give Pontus Dahlberg a run out. I’m just as curious about Dahlberg to see if he will be first team material in a couple of years.

Kane Crichlow

Might be a dead pick because I heard he is injured. If he isn’t, then I have heard good things about him so far. Let’s see what he can offer us in the future.

If he is injured, then I would go for Bayli Spencer-Adams again. I’m hesitant to add defenders to this list as the Tranmere attack made our defenders nervous in the second half. Whelan showed his inexperience by giving away a penalty because he was too eager to impress. He’ll learn from that, and his chance will come again, but out of the two I would pick Spencer-Adams to slot into defence this time around.

Joseph Hungbo

I admittedly don’t know much about Hungbo, but he has appeared on the subs bench a few times so the backroom staff must rate him. Give him 25-30 minutes out there to show us what all the fuss is about. We have a strong midfield at the moment so I doubt he can force his way into the team, but an extra option available who isn’t upset about not being first choice can only be a good thing if he justifies his reputation during the game

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Who would you like to see feature in the game against Tranmere? Is there anyone on the fringes or in the reserves/academy who you feel deserves a few first team minutes? Comment below:

8 More Possible Surprise Entrants For The 2020 Men’s And Women’s Royal Rumble Matches

As I have done for the previous four years, I have predicted possible surprise entrants for the rumble matches two to three months beforehand. This year’s post is here if you are interested: https://sirlewisofclarke.wordpress.com/2019/11/24/24-possible-surprise-entrants-for-the-2020-mens-and-womens-royal-rumble-matches/

Usually this leads to a lot of dead picks since the wrestling world is constantly changing. Last year I decided to mix it up and add a few more surprise picks a week before the Royal Rumble started.

Last year I did pick a massive FOUR ENTRANTS on the post two months prior, including the Jeff Jarrett entrant (Post link: https://sirlewisofclarke.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/20-possible-surprise-entrants-for-the-2019-mens-and-womens-royal-rumble-matches/) So I hope to try and go one better this year. Or at least pick another four correctly.

I’m avoiding the obvious rumoured entrants such as Edge, Cain Velasquez, Paige, Tyson Fury, and Kacy Catanzaro (The latter as she showed up unannounced for last weeks women’s battle royal on NXT). So without further ado; here are my extra picks seven days before the Royal Rumble

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Lio Rush

The 25 year old piece of gold has thrived now he is back in NXT. A lot of people saw him as the annoying mouthpiece to Bobby Lashley but he is so much more than that. I have never seen anybody with reactions as quick as Lio. Add in the fact that he can wrestle AND do high flying moves and he is perfect for the rumble match. The only thing is whether it is too soon for him to return. Personally, I think he has flown under the radar enough so that if he did come out, people would be genuinely shocked and not expect it at all.

Toni Storm

I admittedly know very little about Toni Storm. The only thing I have seen on her is her brief appearance in the women’s Survivor Series match. What I do know is she is getting a LOT of attention on social media. I’m sure WWE are well aware of this, and cashing in on the attention before she becomes a mainstay for Raw or Smackdown would be a great idea for both parties, even if she is only in the match for five minutes.

Ruby Riott

It is almost mandatory to have an injury return. The rumour mill is suggesting that it will be Jinder Mahal, but he needs a build for a return otherwise no one will care. Ruby however, is a different story. Ruby Riott is a badass, and seeing her come back and clean house will get the crowd pumping. Especially if she is an entrant in the late twenties and is part of the final 4-6. The only question is if she has actually been cleared to compete or not. If she has, then this seems like a no-brainer to me…

Walter

WALLLLLL-TERRRRRRR!!!!!! Again, another wrestler I admittedly know little about. But this guy has a HUGE following, so he must be pretty good. Sadly I saw none of that at Survivor Series when he got eliminated pretty quickly, but if they do something similar to what they did with Rusev when he was a surprise entry (stay in for about 15 minutes, eliminate a couple of people, then go back to developmental…) then that would build up his reputation again. Otherwise I fear that when he comes up he’ll have the same fate as The Ascension, EC3 and Eric Young…

Shayna Baszler

For me, this isn’t just a surprise entrant, but can she go on and win the entire thing? I mean seriously, why not? It would be a great talking point, and she is more than ready. A main roster promotion has been long overdue, and having her fast-tracked into the road to Wrestlemania could be a good way to see if she belongs there

Kayden Carter

I’ve watched a few matches with Kayden Carter as enhancement talent and she has really impressed me. The match with Bianca Belair (above) was just one of many where I thought “Wow, this girl has some serious potential.”

The clincher for me was the Kacy Catanzaro spot in last week’s battle royal match. It was Kacy’s ‘wow’ moment which relied a lot on Kayden to make it look good, and she did that brilliantly.  WWE loves an entrant that make most people go “Huh…? Who’s he/she…?” and Kayden can fill that role, make others look good whilst proving that she can hang with the best.

The Brian Kendrick

WWE also loves a nostalgia pop. I’m not sure where this one could come from unless you pick a random legend signed as an ambassador or a producer. So after pondering who it could be, I thought “Why not Brian Kendrick?” But not just the Brian Kendrick in the cruiserweight division, but ‘The Brian Kendrick’ from 10 years ago who nearly won the WWE Championship in the scramble match, or the one who teamed with Paul London (Maybe he could show up instead?) Having that Brian Kendrick come out with the commentators acting like it is a return of an old superstar and not just someone from the old 205 roster could be fun to watch for the older generation of fans.

X-Pac

Or in case of Brian Kendrick running the risk of being a ‘meh…’ surprise entrant since he is already under contract, X-Pac could fill that role pretty well. The Kliq have all been surprise entrants at some point (aside from Scott Hall), but as far as I know X-Pac hasn’t done his ‘surprise entrant duty’. As long as he is fit enough and off the drugs, a two minute run in the rumble could be great for everyone, and no one would expect it either.

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What do you think of these picks? Comment below if you have any ideas who else could be in the rumble matches, or maybe you have predictions on who could win them?

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*Edit: I was debating whether to add Rob Gronkowski to this list, but ended up choosing against it because I’ve already chosen a lot of people. If he turns up I’m gonna be pissed…

A Small Amount Of Progress Is Still Progress…

I just started book 10…

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…and even though I’m really struggling to get motivated to write this one, I’m still pushing on.

Just about an hour ago I wrote 100 words. Yep, you read that right; 100 words. I feel like Brian from Family Guy…

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…And although on the surface it is pretty embarrassing to admit that was all I could come up with, I’ve still pushed the story forward. Yes, it is tough when things aren’t popping into your head and the story isn’t flowing like you think it should be, but progress is still progress.

So if you are struggling to get motivated to get something done no matter what it is, don’t be ashamed if you can only do a tiny bit. You are still further forward then the person who gave up, or the person who confidently said to themselves that they’d ‘do it tomorrow…’