Recent Royal Rumble history should shape - lessen - our expectations.
This decade has yielded, more often than not, Rumble match winners both uninspiring and infuriating. Cynical is perhaps the most appropriate word. 2010 saw Edge return much too early from serious injury. His abbreviated stint didn't resonate as triumph. In 2011 and 2012, WWE cynically parachuted Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus into a "main event" that looked suspiciously like the midcard, and true enough, the World Heavyweight Title for which they challenged became a glorified midcard belt.
2013 saw John Cena emerge triumphant in a cynical attempt to replicate 'Once In A Lifetime'. 2014 saw Daniel Bryan removed from the match entirely in order to avoid a scene - lol - and from 2015 to 2016, the magic of the entire event crumbled under the heavy hands of the Roman Reigns push.
In 2017, WWE opted, again, to have Randy Orton point towards the WrestleMania sign. The only remotely "fresh" development here was that he, shy of two seconds, just about remembered when to point at it, something he hilariously failed to do in 2009. This gesture - Orton relative to the last-eliminated Roman Reigns was the lesser of two evils - hid in plain sight, like a viper, the cynicism now squarely rooted in the Rumble's fading mythology.
Ironically, a cynical shift in WWE's storytelling approach may well elevate the 2019 edition into the pantheon of pay-per-view greatness...