WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Predictions
Initially looking at the Royal Rumble 2018 card, it seems a bit repetitive. Raw and Smackdown tag title matches, Men and Women’s Royal Rumble matches and a WWE and Universal title match involving 3 participants. But with that being said, I do think the Royal Rumble matches have potential to be some of the greatest rumble matches in history, simply because WWE did absolutely nothing to build them. For the last month, nobody has had a qualifying match or a match to determine their entry number. In years past, there has always been a huge focus on the number 1, 27 and 30 spots in the rumble. This year, that hasn’t been the case at all. This is the first time that I can remember a Royal Rumble that hasn’t mentioned anything about the order of entry. This leaves this year’s match with so much suspense and intrigue as to who is coming out next, who has that “magic” number and who could enter the match. This really could turn into one of the greatest Royal Rumbles in WWE history.
I do wonder what will happen to the Cruiserweight Title match that was supposed to take place. I hope WWE doesn’t decide to add a third rumble match to crown a new Cruiserweight champion and put that on the pre-show. Honestly, I would just leave that alone and let that be decided on Raw or by the new General Manager of 205 Live, who has yet to be announced.
WWE title match AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
Winner: AJ Styles
This match should really serve two purposes: to make AJ Styles seem unbeatable heading into mania and to further the Owens & Zayn storyline. This match just screams for some type of interference from Shane McMahon, to continue the ongoing saga between with Owens and Zayn. AJ Styles should remain the champion all the way until Wrestlemania , to headline mania with the winner of the royal rumble, which I will discuss later.
Universal Title match Brock Lesnar vs Kane vs Braun Strowman
Winner: Brock Lesnar
This match should be pretty predictable, as Strowman should shine a lot during this match. The last few weeks have seen Strowman absolutely destroy everything in his path. I’m sure an announce table (Spanish) or two will get broken during this match by Strowman. In the end, I fully expect Lesnar to pick up the pin fall victory over Kane. Brock should sneak in and pickup this victory on his way to Wrestlemania.
Smackdown Live Tag Title match The Usos vs Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable
Winner: Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable
Originally my pick would have been the Usos. They had an amazing year of incredible matches for WWE in 2017 and allowing them to go into mania as the champs would be the ultimate reward. In light of recent events, my position has changed. This decision was strictly a political decision. Jey Uso was arrested for a DUI January 13, 2018. WWE released a statement about the incident saying “Joshua Fatu (ring name Jey Uso) is responsible for his own personal actions. We are investigating the matter and awaiting information from local law enforcement officials.” This situation will probably be handled similarly to the Rich Swann situation, where WWE will sit back and wait for the legal process before any decision is made on his future with the company. In the meantime, I’m sure WWE will have the Usos drop the belts soon, freeing up Jey Uso for his legal proceedings. If a favorable outcome happens for him, you could see the Usos regain the titles shortly after.
Raw Tag Team Title match The Bar vs Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan
Winner: The Bar
I fully expect Rollins and Jordan to continue their dysfunction as a team, eventually leading to a breakup of this odd pairing. This will probably be done by having some type of finish involving a miscommunication between the pair, causing them to blame each other. Whether or not it happens at the Royal Rumble or somewhere along the way, we should get a heel turn from Jason Jordan, with the feud ending in a match at Wrestlemania. The Bar should win this match and help put them in position for a title defense at Wrestlemania against possibly Gallows and Anderson.
Royal Rumble (Women)
Confirmed participants: Naomi, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Natalya, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Asuka, Carmella, Tamina, Nia Jax, Mickie James, Alicia Fox, Becky Lynch, Dana Brooke, Lana
Potential surprise participants: Ronda Rousey, Lita, Trish Stratus, Jacqueline, Molly Holly, Layla, Beth Phoenix, Stephanie McMahon, Ember Moon, Kairi Sane, Nikki Bella and Brie Bella
Winner: Ronda Rousey
This prediction only happens one way for me, and that’s for Ronda Rousey to take someone’s spot in the match. If WWE wants to use Rousey in a manner similar to Brock Lesnar, they should have her take Auska’s spot in the match. When Asuka comes out as maybe number 27 or 28, have Rousey attack her before she can enter the ring and have Rousey proclaim she is taking her spot. Rousey will immediately look like the badass she is and this match type should fit her brawler style perfectly. Having her do this and win the match will serve three purposes; to protect Asuka’s winning streak, setup a match down the road between those two and also create intrigue as to which brand’s title she’s going to challenge for (similar to what Batista did in 2005).
By having Rousey win this match, it creates intrigue for next year’s Women’s Royal Rumble and also provides an unlikely matchup for Wrestlemania. When was the last time someone won a rumble match on their first day in the company?
In the process of this rumble match, WWE needs to hit the reset button on Bayley. Hopefully WWE will have Bayley enter within the top five spots and have her last until the final four and in the process show her toughness and determination that her character lacks. Hopefully they can also show an aggressive side of her, by having her eliminate a few people in the process. Also, Nia Jax should probably enter somewhere in the middle of the match and end up eliminating the most people in the match. I think Sasha Banks may enter at number 1 and last a really long time in the match, probably making it to the final five or six participants. I think the number 30 entrant will be Beth Phoenix.
Royal Rumble (Men)
Confirmed participants: Elias, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, John Cena, Finn Balor, Baron Corbin, Matt Hardy, Bray Wyatt, Aiden English, Rusev, Apollo Crews, Titus O’Neill, Tye Dillinger, The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Big E) and The Miz
Potential surprise participants: Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Jinder Mahal, Pete Dunne, Ricochet, Goldberg, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Daniel Bryan, Neville, Batista, Drew McIntyre, Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode, Dolph Ziggler and Aleister Black
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
I think WWE could and should work a number of different story angles to have something to build off of heading into the last 2 pay per views before mania. Elias has talked a lot about eliminating John Cena in the match, and it would be great if the opposite happened and Cena eliminated Elias from the match. Also, Bray Wyatt should eliminate Matt Hardy from the match to progress their story, or if Jeff Hardy returns, he could be added to the mix. Somewhere in the rumble, new storylines can be created, maybe with Baron Corbin and Randy Orton or possibly Finn Balor and The Miz.
I think Big E will be the number 1 entrant on the men’s side, with Braun Strowman as the number 30 entrant. I’m sure somewhere in the match Kofi Kingston will have a cool exit and re-entry into the match, as usual. I have no clue what that could be since it seems like he’s done everything imaginable to not be eliminated from the rumble. I do think Tye Dillinger or Titus O’Neil will unfortunately have quick exits in the match, unless WWE uses a few surprise entrant spots for quick eliminations with people like Curt Hawkins or Goldust.
I would hate to think WWE didn’t learn from previous mistakes and end up following the same path they followed in 2015, by having Roman Reigns win the match. Stop me if this sounds familiar, but the Royal Rumble is in Philadelphia, Roman Reigns wins it again and goes to Wrestlemania to face Brock Lesnar, except this time there is no money in the bank briefcase to save their poor decision making.
Learning from the terrible corner they booked themselves into in 2015, I fully expect WWE to give someone their first Royal Rumble victory. The roster does not have anyone who’s on fire right now, so I’m fully expecting them to use the Rumble as a way for someone to build momentum heading into Wrestlemania. After all, Wrestlemania is about putting on the best show possible and WWE has given away many “dream” matchups for free on weekly television.
There are a few “dream” matchups still left in WWE, but Samoa Joe is injured and that ruins the majority of those for me. One that is still left though would be Nakamura vs Styles. Nakamura was a big deal in Japan and has not been given the opportunity to shine since he has been in WWE. Like Styles, Nakamura is able to have a great match with anyone you pair him against. Imagine if you put those two in a ring together for the biggest prize in the company. While that match probably won’t main event Wrestlemania (AS IT SHOULD) it will definitely be the biggest draw on the entire card. Nakamura winning this match will help to immediately elevate him to main event status and make us forget he was eliminated very early in the Survivor Series match.
Also, with someone from Smackdown Live as the winner, that makes Raw’s next pay per view a lot easier to build. Raw’s next pay per view is the Elimination Chamber, and I seriously doubt Brock Lesnar is going to want to work that type of match. To help get around that, you can have an Elimination Chamber match to determine the number one contender for the Universal Title. In this match, you can have participants that play off of what happened in the Royal Rumble. For example, if John Cena is in the chamber match, add Elias into the fold. Looking back at the Rumble, Cena would have ended Elias’s opportunity for a title shot and in the chamber Elias can end Cena’s opportunity to break Ric Flair’s record. You could also add in Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy or Jeff Hardy to further their story that will eventually lead to the “deletion” of Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania.
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Bryce grew up in Richmond, VA, but has been a Raleigh resident for 4 years now. He graduated from Chowan University with a major in Accounting and a minor in Marketing. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, playing video games and basketball and watching sports. He is a firm believer that you’re wise to late and old too soo