With Survivor Series 2018 in the books, we’re looking towards the next “Big 4” PPV: Royal Rumble. Taking place on January 27, 2019, this year’s Royal Rumble is set to be yet another exciting installment of the premier contest. But, without the company’s biggest star, Roman Reigns, who has had to relinquish his reign as the WWE Universal Champion, as shown by the Charlotte Observer, storylines will need to be established to heighten the excitement for the huge event, compensating for the loss of star power.

At Survivor Series, Raw won 6-0 – or rather 6-1 including the tag team Survivor Series match in the pre-show – lending to the belief that it will be Raw superstars who prevail at Royal Rumble 2019. However, a very intriguing story has emerged following the Ronda Rousey victory via disqualification, and the return of one of wrestling’s, and entertainment’s, biggest stars looks to be on the cards. So, here are how the favorite lists to win at Royal Rumble 2019 are shaping up.

A three-way battle in the Women’s

IMAGE SOURCE: Wrestle Nurd, via Twitter

Approaching Survivor Series and looking ahead to the Royal Rumble, there was little doubt that Charlotte Flair was the shoo-in favorite to win at the gargantuan event. Having broken Asuka’s undefeated streak and become the Women’s Champion seven times, per Daily DDT, Flair has taken the division by storm. However, another incredibly popular and relatively new wrestler has won the affections of the company and the fans. Ronda Rousey is the biggest name in women’s wrestling right now, having successfully transitioned from mixed martial arts promotion UFC to the WWE.

Survivor Series managed to maintain Rousey’s grand record but also gave her a roughing up via Flair and her steel chair. It was a great way to kick off a rivalry and bring the two into an unavoidably intertwined run to Royal Rumble 2019. Now, with Becky Lynch still a prominent figure in the division the WWE has set up three strong candidates to battle for the division’s biggest titles. The experts are struggling to split them for the Royal Rumble 2019 Women’s winner but, still, have faith in Flair at +100 with Betway as of November 20, but with Lynch at +200 and Rousey at +450, the top three are expected to engage in a heated battle for the victory. Flair is still the favored wrestler but, given the undeniable improvements that Rousey has made to soar to prominence in 2018, she could pull off an incredible underdog victory, with the savage beat down at Survivor Series fuelling her ambitions.

The return of a global superstar

IMAGE SOURCE: HEEL Report, via Twitter

As reported by Movie Web, he made an almighty $124 million last year, and now, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson may be making his way back to the WWE ring. The Rock made his last return to wrestling at WrestleMania 32 in 2016. He made his return by challenging the Wyatt Family to a match, which Erick Rowan accepted and promptly lost to set a record for the fastest victory. Now, it’s believed that The Rock wants to have another run as a professional wrestler, according to the Mirror, before the chance passes the 46-year-old.

It’s been in the works for quite some time, many fans believe, with The Rock’s presence and association with the company increasing significantly in the latter half of 2018. According to Forbes, The Rock stated that he couldn’t wait to get back in the WWE ring in the summer, wants to wrestle at the next WrestleMania, and was the favorite to win the 2019 Men’s Royal Rumble at +200. That was before Survivor Series. Now, The Rock’s odds have come into +100 to win, with other favorites like Daniel Bryan at +600 and Braun Strowman at +700. The rumors have been further fuelled by accurate rumor relay WrestleVotes, per WrestleTalk, saying that the 2019 Royal Rumble winner will be a repeat winner. The Rock won the 2000 edition of the event and, now, it seems that he’ll make an incredible comeback to win 19 years later.

In the Women’s Royal Rumble, three immensely talented wrestlers are set to battle it out in what looks to be a heated and unpredictable battle. In the Men’s Royal Rumble, WWE followers may just see the return of a fan-favorite to claim the win.