WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Predictions

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about WWE here on Electrified Porcupine.  With my job and trying to get to various figures and collectibles, I’ve decided to just write about Pay Per Views, unless something amazing happens in the world of WWE in one week.

Raw 25 happened on Monday and holy crap in a hat, did it ever disappoint.  It was followed by a lackluster Smackdown Live, too!  The Legends featured on Raw 25 didn’t really anything to the program, and barely anything happened to further story lines heading into the PPV.

I also feel bad for the people The Manhattan Center for the money they paid so see DX spew their lines we’ve heard many times over.  For WWE touting it would be one of the biggest and best Raw programs in history, there are many shows from 2017 that would have topped this one.

That all said, while I’m always excited for the Royal Rumble PPV. I think WWE knows most people will watch it no matter what because of the annual Rumble match that usually is filled with some surprises but it looks like the tag team matches this year will try and steal the show, considering who is involved in them.  To add to that excitement, we’re getting the first ever all women Royal Rumble match, and with the same expectations for surprises as the men’s.

The Usos (Champs) vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin –
2 out of 3 Falls for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship
20180117_royalrumble_UsosChadBenjamin--54207553caa609fb98f3ae7b741a6eb9

Source: WWE.com

I’m looking forward to this match because all these wrestlers can deliver.  I think that this match will be better than anything The Usos have done with The New Day (and I thought they had some excellent matches).

I hope WWE does something different here and just lets the winning team get both falls and we don’t go to three.  I know most of these matches go to three falls and it builds up the tension and suspense, but I think it would send a message that the winning team is dominant.

Speaking of the winning team, Jey Uso just got nailed with a DUI and it’s not something WWE wants affiliated with their talents, let alone their champions.  I see a title change happening here because of it and because a new team needs a push.

Winners: Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin

Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan  (Champs) vs. Cesaro & Sheamus –
Raw Tag Team Championship Match
20180117_royalrumble_RawTagMatch--c29a955ffc73494279117be49f8d3b5f

Source: WWE.com

Here’s another tag match that should be good.  The Bar has become one of my favourite teams because their in-ring work together has meshed so well and the same can be said about their chemistry.

Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins have not clicked at all for me and it seems the whole point of them being linked together is for Jordan to continue to get massive heat (although rumours are they were teamed at first to try, again, to get Jordan over).

Jordan is getting massive, massive heat from the crowd, so I see a program between Rollins and Jordan heading into Wrestlemania, or at least being a program that leads to something even bigger for both men.  I’m not sure if they will pull the trigger on a loss at this show or wait until February’s Elimination Chamber PPV.  It’s coming nonetheless.  I think I’ll go with my first hunch and say there will be a title change.

Winners: The Bar

 

AJ Styles (Champ) vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn  –
2-on-1 Handicap Match for the WWE Championship
20180117_royalrumble_StylesOwensSami--bf5f021aa21fdf4a859a88cb49eb2656

Source: WWE.com

It’s unfortunate that the conflict between Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon, and which one of them is actually in the wrong here (cough, McMahon), is overshadowing this match and the importance of the WWE Championship.  You KNOW Bryan and McMahon will get involved in some capacity here. That’s what also makes this match so hard to call.  I can see Styles losing, if only for a month, to further whatever the hell they’re going to do with the whole Bryan/McMahon feud.  Mind you, even if Styles wins through some interference by McMahon, they could still tell the same story.  It’s just whoever interferes on behalf for their preferred talent(s) will potentially have more heat on them and I’m unsure who that will be.

I want to believe, with or without interference, WWE will book Styles strong and let him be the champ going into Wrestlemania and be involved in the main event with someone who can help tear the house down.  I think this is what the WWE Championship and Wrestlemania needs, considering where WWE is predicted to go with the Universal Championship.

Winner: AJ Styles

 

Brock Lesnar (Champ) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane –
Triple Threat Match for the Universal Championship20180117_royalrumble_StrowmanLesnarKane--6a81f90787072e6c9a155bc633714667

Source: WWE.com

First thing first: Kane isn’t winning.  I think Kane is only being put in this match to help promote this as a match as one that features “monsters” and larger than life superstars.  He’s also in here because it will help bide Brock Lesnar time so the lazy-ass can lay outside the ring and rest for 10-15 min (or perhaps go on another stretcher ride to sleep backstage) before he hits an F-5 on Kane and gets the win.  This way, Strowman is protected after taking the loss to Lesnar a few months ago.

I think WWE should have had Strowman win the last time he and Lesnar squared off because he was red hot.  It would have done wonders for Strowman and we’d have someone show up on TV with the belt and actually defend it more often.

Don’t give me that shit that some people tout: “Oh…back in the day, you’d never see the champ on TV and the belt would only be defended at one of the big four shows.” Times have changed. Besides HHH, who was the last person on WWE programming that barely defended the championship or didn’t show up on TV???

Rant aside, we all know who is winning here and it’s damn unfortunate.  Who in the hell wants to see the predicted match between Lesnar and Reigns headline Wrestlemania? Not this guy.  If it goes through, I hope both men are booed out of the building – but that’s a rant for another day.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

 

30-Woman Royal Rumble Match
20180117_royalrumble_FemaleRumble--3fa0ba55e22d13b4f96181c1260c1131

Source: WWE.com

See the person in the middle of the promo pic? That’s Asuka and it’s who I’d put my money on to win this match (2nd pick would be Becky Lynch).  While it is going to be great to see some talent from the past come in to participate (and maybe some fresh faces), I think she’s the right person to go with.

As of yesterday, it was announced that Stephanie McMahon is going to be doing commentary for the match.  I don’t think she should be involved, especially how she likes steals women’s thunder or berates them, without any comeuppances. Some people are speculating that she’s doing this so she can insert herself into the match as a surprise entrant.  I mean, her husband won the Universal Championship as an authority figure, so why can’t a McMahon?

Ronda Rousey has also been heavily rumoured to be making her debut in the match.  She’s gone on record to say she’ll be out of the country filming a movie.  We’ve all heard people deny and deny and deny that they won’t be appearing at a WWE show, yet show up.

The first and only encounter between Rousey and Steph happened at Wrestlemania 31 and I wouldn’t put it past WWE to have the Rumble be the event where another encounter happens and unfortunately overshadow the match, just like it’s doing with my feature here.  I guess we’ll wait and see.  Hopefully Rousey will debut on a Raw episode leading into Wrestlemania  instead so all the women in this match, and the winner, shine are the focus and story.

Back to the match, I’m really hoping the women knock it out of the park with this and they deserve the opportunity.  I wonder if we’ll see some NXT stars getting a call up for this, or past superstars like  Lita, Victoria, Molly Holly, or Layla making an appearance.

Winner: Asuka

 

30-Man Royal Rumble Match
20180117_royalrumble_MaleRumble--3bcaf299b97bf6ea3d530eb7689427ee

Source: WWE.com

There are so many people on the roster that have yet to announce they’re in the Rumble match: Gallows and Anderson, Golddust, Jinder Mahal, Dolph Ziggler, and even Roman Reigns, so I don’t think we’re going to get too many surprise entrants.  Then again, rumors are swirling we may see some TNA alumni show up like EC3.  Imagine if he showed up with Dixie Carter as his “real” aunt/manager/advocate? That would be insane.  I’m sure we’ll also see one or two NXT wrestlers show up as well.

With Reigns probably heading to Wrestlemania to face off against Lesnar again, he doesn’t need to win the Rumble because a story can be told that doesn’t rely on winning this match.  The crowd will get a “feel good moment” watching Reigns get dumped over the top rope by someone, too.  I mean, WWE Creative won’t actually let him win again, will they? Is WWE Creative that dense? Wait, don’t answer that.

If all the above plays out like many think it will, whoever wins will probably put out a challenge for the WWE Championship and whoever is champion at the time (hopefully Styles).  So with that in mind, who would be the best choice for Styles at Wrestlemania? Most people are banking on it being Shinsuke Nakamura.  That would be great.  Mind you, I’d also enjoy watching Styles and Balor going at it again.

What WWE can’t do this year is have somebody like Randy Orton win again and then decide (after backlash) that someone else will enter the title picture.  I want the person that wins the Rumble to be the person who goes onto Wrestlemania and I also want that person to be the wrestler who will put on the best show and have the best chemistry with the champ.  It shouldn’t be a veteran of WWE getting the spot just because they’ve been there longer than others.  This is what building talent is all about.

Once again, I’m sure we’ll see some surprises and some stellar moments (like another patented Kofi Kingston save from elimination) and that’s what makes the Rumble always fun to watch.  I suppose it’s always fun until you see the last four or five people in the ring and you don’t want any of them to win.

If Styles is the champ going into Wrestlemania, that makes my pick for the winner a bit easier to choose.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Remember to watch NXT Takeover on Saturday night, too.  It’s rare that in the history of NXT that one of these events have not delivered.  In some cases, they’ve blown the main WWE PPV out of the water.  It’s going to be a great weekend!

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