Hey everybody! It’s @TheMagnumDA with your 2018 WWE Royal Rumble pick’em report. Joining me on this wild and crazy journey will be Tricky Tom (a relative of Tricky Don, I’m told), and of course our fearless Editor-in-Chief of Wrestling Online, Mr. Colin Vassallo. I can’t wait to talk about this PPV, so let’s dive right in!
Real quick, though…both Colin and Tom were asked to pick a Rumble winner, while picking their Final Four was optional. For any of the correct picks on tonight’s show, we’ll tally one point. At the end of the year, the points will be counted and the winner will be treated to an amazing Brazilian Steakhouse dinner. Or something like that. Maybe we’ll even do a Table for 3? What do ya think? 😛 ON WITH THE SHOW!
WWE Tag Team Championship (Smackdown) – 2 out of 3 Falls
The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) (c) vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin
Tricky Tom: Hard to believe that Chad and Shelton met for the first time last summer at the Waterloo National Wrestling Hall of Fame Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame Weekend. These two teams have had great matches on Smackdown. The Usos will someday be the ‘Ric Flair’ of WWE tag team champions. But with Jey’s DUI and arrest, I see WWE planning some time off or losses for the Usos and that starts with them dropping the gold to the world’s greatest tag team of Gable and Benjamin.
Colin: Hm, will this one be Gable’s and Benjamin’s day? I think it will be. I like Usos as champs and I wouldn’t mind if they retain but I smell a swap.
@TheMagnumDA: Gable and Benjamin won the first chapter of this feud, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they write the final chapter of the Usos’ title reign. I’ll drink to that (but I won’t drive!) If they really wanted to make a statement, they’d give it to Chad and Shelton in two straight. Either way, this match belongs to the new WGTT, the NEW WWE Tag Team Champions.
WWE Tag Team Championship (Raw)
Jason Jordan & Seth Rollins (c) vs. The Bar – Sheamus & Cesaro
Tricky Tom: There have been cracks between Rollins and Jordan on Raw. The two are not on the same page. With the Shield thing not happening, this unlikely duo will be in the fast lane towards a WrestleMania match as Cesaro and Sheamus become tag champs again.
Colin: It’s incredible how *not interested* I am in Jason Jordan. He’s a good wrestler but he’s kinda being shoved down our throat. New champions (The Bar) on this one, methinks.
@TheMagnumDA: I feel bad that Jason Jordan is becoming a victim of that Roman Reigns-type heat. Eventually, when he turns, he’s going to become a force. Tonight could be the night. I’ll take The Bar to win back the tag titles for Raw.
WWE Championship – Handicap Match
AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
Tricky Tom: This will be a fun match with three top performers in the ring. It will be fun seeing Owens and Zayn double team Styles. Then, like a classic old school match, the two heels will start fighting each other on who gets to pin AJ. As the match goes on, AJ will basically become involved in a three-way match. Owens will hit Zayn with pop up power bomb, and then AJ Styles will fly in with the phenomenal forearm to get the win and keep his championship.
Colin: The co-champion thing doesn’t excite me at all. Plus, I see AJ as a “true” WWE champion if you know what I mean. He’s got the looks, the ability, and fans love him. AJ Styles gets the W.
@TheMagnumDA: I think that the “Yep” movement has grown a little tepid, but that Philly crowd will keep the match hot. I like that AJ has the deck stacked against him…and while I don’t see Owens and Zayn breaking up, I do see a miscommunication spot that leads to an opening for Styles. AJ Styles retains and moves on to WrestleMania.
WWE Universal Championship – Triple Threat Match
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Kane vs. Braun Strowman
Tricky Tom: This a Vince McMahon dream match of three big sweaty men. I don’t see this as an exciting, fast-paced match. While I have seen Braun knock over a semi, I don’t think he is ready for a championship. Kane is part time, so no gold for him. It will be eat, sleep, F5, repeat. Braun will roll out of the ring after the F5, and Kane will take the pin. After the match, when Brock Lesnar and Heyman are celebrating, the lights will go out. Where Kane laid will now be The Undertaker. He will attack Lesnar, and after knocking the beast out of the ring, The Undertaker will point to the WrestleMania logo.
Colin: The man who will defeat Brock Lesnar will be Roman Reigns. At WrestleMania. I can bet my ass on that. Kane will be the sacrificial lamb in this one, taking the pin, keeping Strowman strong. Brock Lesnar retains.
@TheMagnumDA: I’m sorry, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the Trickster’s prediction. Undertaker vs. Lesnar at WrestleMania?! As George Harrison said on The Simpsons, “Eh…it’s been done.” I think that Taker will definitely move on to something else, presumably John Cena. As for this match, I agree with Colin’s assessment spot-on. Kane takes the fall, and Brock Lesnar keeps the gold. This match is going to be “bowling shoe” ugly, as JR would say.
Women’s Royal Rumble Match – Winner faces their brand’s Women’s Champion at WrestleMania XXXIV
Tricky Tom: First women’s Royal Rumble. We will see Lita, Alundra Blayze, Beth Phoenix, and Jacqueline make an appearance. Due to the backlash of the first women’s Money in the Bank match, we will not be treated to seeing Santina Marella or Harvina comebacks. Stephanie will give herself number 30. The final four will be Stephanie, Nia Jax, Tamina, and Asuka. Jax and Tamina will be doing the dirty work for Stephanie. Rhonda Rousey will come out and distract the trio from tossing out Asuka. Asuka will fight them off, eliminating Tamina and then Nia Jax. For revenge, Stephanie will get kicked around by Asuka to the approval of Rousey. Asuka wins the first women’s Royal Rumble and go to WrestleMania still undefeated.
Colin: Asuka. They will continue building her as the undefeated one, as she rolls into Mania and wins the title. I see no other winner to be honest.
@TheMagnumDA: While I can’t predict what surprises are going to take place, I would agree with Tom that there’s going to be a few old faces pop up for this “Once in a Lifetime” moment. Unfortunately, I also think that Tom is right about Stephanie McMahon. She was the one who made this announcement originally…so it only makes sense that she controls the power here. I’ll take Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Asuka, and Stephanie as my final four. Unfortunately, I don’t believe Miss Rousey will be available until WrestleMania. In a stunning twist, Stephanie McMahon ends the undefeated streak of Asuka to win the Royal Rumble. Way to elevate that talent, Vince.
Men’s Royal Rumble Match – Winner faces WWE or Universal Champion at WrestleMania XXXIV
Tricky Tom: Time for the Rumble. The early surprise will come at spot number 3 with Ethan Carter III. Tye Dillinger will be number 11 to tease the fans as they chant for him at 10. There will be the NXT call up (and it should be Drew McIntyre if healthy). You will see the Pete Dunne represent the UK Championship. We are in Philadelphia, so we will see Rhyno early…but later in the match, we’ll see Tommy Dreamer for a huge ECW pop. The last big surprise entrance will make the arena explode, when “Flight of the Valkyries” plays and Daniel Bryan enters as number 30. The final four will be Finn Balor, Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, and Bryan. Roman will hit Superman punches, eliminating Joe and Balor. The crowd will boo as it looks like Roman will win again, but after a running knee (and a ‘Yes!’ chant), Daniel Bryan wins to go on to WrestleMania for the dream match against AJ Styles.
Colin: Unless John Cena is taking on the Undertaker at WrestleMania, I can certainly see Cena winning this one. A Smackdown Superstar won this one last year so I imagine a Raw individual will get the win this year if Cena (free agent?) doesn’t win. I just hope it won’t be Roman Reigns or else fans will just shit all over him. Again.
@TheMagnumDA: Well, if you’re reading up on the bookies, you’ll know that there are some crazy names at the top of the betting list. Guys like Shinsuke Nakamura and Daniel Bryan are two of the favorites listed. Now, I am aware of rumors regarding Daniel Bryan returning to in-ring competition, which is great news. However…you cannot let this rumor linger without following through. The fans in Philly were dicked with three years ago, and everyone remembers the reaction when Bray Wyatt eliminated Bryan. If this ends with Nakamura eliminating Bryan, the fans could shit all over it. If Bryan actually goes through with entering this match, there’s no other booking alternative for him. He HAS to win it, if he enters. That’s a huge “if”, though. This is all so strange to think about, considering that he’s playing a fringe heel on Smackdown.
I’ll just say this: If Bryan is involved, I’ll go with Roman Reigns, Shinsuke Nakamura, The Drifter and Daniel Bryan as my final four. If Bryan is not involved, I’ll take the same final four, but I’ll sub RVD (!!) for Bryan and pick Nakamura to win it. Which scenario is more likely? I’m not sure, but my mind is leaning towards the REAL dream match that the world wants to see one more time…AJ Styles defending the WWE Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura. Sorry Bryan. Not this time. 🙁
Alright everybody, we hope you have a great 2018 and we’ll see you for the ELIMINATION CHAMBER right here at W-O. Until then, this is @TheMagnumDA signing off!