Friday, January 26, 2018

WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Preview & Predictions

Welcome to the first round of main roster WWE predictions of 2018!  It's January, and that means it's time for the Royal Rumble, traditionally the one PPV a year WWE hasn't sucked all the fun out of......except in 2014 and 2015.

It's a somewhat unpredictable field this year, as other than the obvious choice of Roman Reigns (whose second Rumble win would be met with scorn and violence in the same building in which his first occurred three years ago, so get it out of your fucking heads WWE), there are multiple potential winners.  Look, we all know Roman's fighting Brock at WrestleMania, so there's no fun in having him win the Rumble.  It has to be a Smackdown guy takin' it down again on his way to facing AJ.  Unless of course WWE has some curve ball in mind.  And WWE curve balls always suck.  They suck balls, in fact.

This will also be the first Rumble event to feature TWO Rumble matches, as the women are getting their own match.  This could be fun.  I'm sure we'll see some cameos in that match from former WWE women's stars.  I also imagine this match will be of the 1-minute-intervals variety, so as not to burn out the crowd before the men's Rumble.

But let's get to some predictions.  Side note: Thank Christ we'll be spared that awful Cruiserweight Title match they had planned.  Fuck Enzo.

***I'm leading with 74/103 (71.8%), Landon's on my heels with 64/91 (70%), Dave's third with 47/69 (68%), and Dan's in the caboose with 63/103 (61%)***

Smackdown Tag Team Championship 2/3 Falls Match: The Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable

Man, how much better would this be if it were American Alpha still?  I've always liked Benjamin but Jordan & Gable had such great chemistry as a team.  I'm still baffled.  Anyway, this should be a fun tag match as long as each fall is given time (WWE has this habit of rushing through 2/3 Falls matches and making them totally unrealistic).  This match could go either way but I'm sticking with the champs here because of what I think is gonna happen in the next match....

Justin: The Usos retain
Dan: Yes
Landon: Fuck, I'm behind on Smackdown...uhh.....Usos cause nothing matters to me about this company besides beating Justin in predictions.
Dave: Usos

RAW Tag Team Championship: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan vs. The Bar

Dean Ambrose's injury really effed everything up, huh?  Rollins & Jordan has to be the most random tag title pairing since Cena and David Otunga.  Anyway this match should be quite good given the talent involved.  The rumored plan is for a Rollins-Jordan match at Mania, which is a double-edged sword.  On one hand, that could be a pretty great little match.  On the other, THAT'S the best you have for Seth Rollins?  At any rate, it makes sense for The Bar to win the staps back and begin the breakup of this unlikely babyface team.

Justin: The Bar
Dan: JR retain
Landon: Rollins and Jordan retain
Dave: The Bar.....mmmm, beer.....

WWE Championship Handicap Match: AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

I hate handicap matches.  So, so much.  Why couldn't this just be a triple threat?  It'd be great.  Nope, RAW already has one of those even though that one should just be a singles match.  Fuck this shit.  Soo, clearly Owens and Zayn end up not being able to get it together and I'm guessing it all leads to a Mania match between them.  No complaints there, but wouldn't a 3-way here accomplish the exact same goal?  This will be yet another case of the Shane nonsense getting in the way of a good match from these guys.

Justin: AJ retains
Dan: Fuck it, KO & Sami
Landon: AJ Styles
Dave: AJ, I mean, come on.

Universal Championship Triple Threat: Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane

Why.  In 2018.  Is Kane getting a title match?  When was the last time Kane was actually relevant as a character?  How is this not just a Lesnar-Strowman rematch?  For fuck's sake.  This one could go either way in terms of quality.  It could be a good car wreck, it could be a complete mess.  It should not go more than 15-16 minutes.  The longer it goes, the more likely it is to suck.

Justin: Brock is obviously keeping the belt till 'Mania
Dan: Yeah, he has to.
Landon: You know I think Kane has a chance...Of course I'm fucking kidding. Lesnar.
Dave: Brock, so he can lose to Reigns at 'Mania

Women's Royal Rumble

I'm guessing this match will actually go on first so as to keep as much space as possible between the two Rumbles.  Thus far we have 18 names announced for this.  Asuka, Naomi, Natalya, Ruby Riott, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Carmella, Tamina, Lana, Liv Morgan, Becky Lynch, Nia Jax, Mickie James, Sarah Morgan, Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke.  That means 12 surprise entrants.  I'm sure we'll see Lita, Trish, Molly Holly, Victoria, and several other names from the previous decade.  One name we're not going to see here is Ronda Rousey.  Yes, WWE intends on signing her to a deal, and they almost certainly will.  But really think about this: if you had signed Ronda fucking Rousey, would you keep her debut a secret?  Shit no, you'd plaster that news EVERYWHERE.  Her involvement in the inaugural Women's Royal Rumble would be THE advertising hook for this show.  She's one of the biggest PPV draws of all time.  When she makes her WWE in-ring debut, we'll know about it MONTHS ahead of time.  Ronda's not debuting as a surprise in a match with 29 other women.  Get it out of your head.

Justin: There's only one winner that makes any sense, and it's Asuka.  If she doesn't take it all down, WWE did something wrong.
Landon: Nobody is Ready for Asuka, except maybe...Ronda Rousey.
Dave: I don't care.  Yeah, Asuka I guess.

Men's Royal Rumble

Much like the womenfolk, this match has a ton of surprise entrant slots.  I hate that shit.  Remember in the old days when they'd announce almost everyone ahead of time?  They'd leave maybe one or two slots open for returns or what have you.  But the Rumble was an important enough match that everyone on the roster wanted to be in it, thus the slots would fill up fast.  Now you can't give the damn things away.  Only 17 names are announced so far, and ROMAN REIGNS ISN'T ONE OF THEM.  Huh???  I mean he's the favorite to win the thing because we know what his plan is for Mania.  Just announce him for it.  It's not gonna be a surprise when he shows up on Sunday.  Were they just waiting to see if the steroid allegations were real first?  Anyway the 17 guys we DO know about are Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, John Cena, Finn Balor, and then a buncha guys who have no shot at winning.  Elias, Baron Corbin, Matt Hardy, Bray Wyatt, Rusev, Aiden English, Titus O'Neil, Apollo Crews, The Miz, Tye Dillinger, and the New Day.  I have to think KO and Sami will end up in there, as will Rollins and Jordan.  So that brings it up to 22 when you count Reigns.  Strowman and Kane could jump in too, which makes 24.  Bobby Roode and Jinder Mahal would make 26.  Ziggler, if he finally comes back, would be 27.  Three or four surprise entrants seems about right.  Speculation is rampant that one of those five could be Daniel Bryan.  There's been no word about him getting cleared, but Vegas odds against him winning the Rumble dropped sharply last week, from 66-1 to 9-1.  So who knows?  Regardless there are only about five potential winners: Nakamura, Cena, Reigns, Orton, and Balor, barring any shocking surprise participants.  Orton won last year, so he's out.  Cena's already won twice and is probably facing Taker at 'Mania (God help us).  Reigns, as I said, would be both too obvious, and too likely to cause a riot if he wins.  That's leaves Nak and Balor.  Either one could challenge AJ at 'Mania in one helluva goddamn match.  Balor's beaten AJ before so there's that wrinkle.  But I'm gonna go with Shinsuke Nakamura, as it's time for this rematch to finally happen.  Do whatever else you want with the 'Mania card, Vince, but we MUST see AJ vs. Nak for the WWE Title.

Justin: Nakamura
Dan: YeaH I gotta think Nak takes this down just because Raw is basically set up with Reigns/Lesnar so Reigns will probably win Elimination Chamber to be the top contender.
Landon: We know Reigns is going to Wrestlemania so why fucking bother giving him the Rumble. Nakamura, for fuck's sake. God this company pisses me off.
Dave: I'm going with Reigns, but I hope I'm wrong.

And there's your Royal Rumble card.  On paper this looks quite solid.  It all depends how the dual Rumbles go.  If they're good, the overall show will be.  If they suck, it'll sink the whole thing.  Enjoy yourselves!  Comment below with your thoughts, and join us on Facebook by clicking HERE.

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