It’s that time of year kids! The road to WrestleMania kicks off in Philadelphia in 9 days with the 2018 Royal Rumble. Here are my choices to win it all:
Side note: Samoa Joe would have been on the list if it wasn’t for the fact that he was recently injured. Insert sad face.
- Roman Reigns – not even the Rock could save the “Big Dog” from the rabid Philadelphia fan base in 2015. This year will be no different. WWE needs to not go the predictable route, especially in front of a smart crowd. If you want to have Reigns as the number 1 entrant and let him go the distance, only to be eliminated by the eventual winner, that’s fine with me. Makes him still look strong heading into his potential feud with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. I could even see a possible surprise entrant: cough, Ethan Carter, cough: eliminating Reigns. Would make for a hug pop that night and establish a new guy coming onto the main roster. Then again, Vince loves to screw with us. Putting Reigns over to solidify the fact even more that he is THE guy & he will be heading to New Orleans to try and conquer the Beast. Tread carefully Vinnie Mac and remember this: If Reigns wins, we riot.
- Shinsuke Nakamura – Nakamura needs this Royal Rumble victory in the worst way. Other than his feud with Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship ( which still boggles my mind; there is no reason Nakamura shouldn’t have won the title at least once over the course of those matches with Mahal; even if the title ended up back with Jinder and eventually losing it to AJ Styles ) Nakamura has floundered on SmackDown Live. If we are going off of betting odds, he is currently the favorite to win it & I am perfectly fine with that. Reigns will be facing off against Brock at WrestleMania 34 for the Universal Title, so it makes all the more sense for a SmackDown superstar to win the Rumble. If AJ hangs onto the title until Mania’, and it certainly looks like it, we will get the dream match many fans have eagerly anticipated. If you call yourself a pro wrestling fan and you’ve never seen Styles vs. Nakamura from Wrestle Kingdom 10; make it happen ASAP. These two incredible athletes squaring off on the grandest stage of them all. TAKE MY MONEY.
- John Cena – Big Match Johnny. The only logical explanation for a Cena Rumble victory: creative wants to see him beat Flair’s championship record. And rightfully so. One of the longest tenured & polarizing figures in the company today, Cena winning the Rumble would be just as popular a vote as Reigns unfortunately. Besides, I have a hunch that we will see John moving into a more intriguing storyline on the 25th Anniversary of RAW this Monday Night. Cue The Undertaker. One last match.
- Dolph Ziggler– I mean….why not right? The swerve of all swerves. Ziggler seemingly bowed out from WWE programming after winning the United States Championship with no real explanation. A former heavyweight champion, Dolph showing up in Philly would certainly make things interesting. Does anyone else remember the pop he received the night after WrestleMania 29? Cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase against Alberto Del Rio. Well, I do. This is the superstar that hasn’t received the push he deserves (biased, possibly). But I believe in Ziggler’s talents, both in the ring and on the mic. Seeing him win and challenge the likes of AJ Styles. As much as I want Nakamura/Styles, I’d be ok with Ziggler/Styles. If not a Rumble victory, a return to set up a feud against newly crowned United States Champion, Bobby Roode. This would be very reminiscent of the CM Punk/John Cena rivalry in 2011; Punk leaving the company with the WWE Championship after the Money in the Bank PPV. Punk returned & challenged the “new” champion in John Cena. Both Ziggler & Roode could pull this off and make for a more compelling set of matches.
- Daniel Bryan– Speaking of why not? Can you say “YES”?
Bryan has slowly been transitioning back to the ring; granted it has been in the form of a referee, but we’ll take what we can get. Same as Nakamura, the betting odds have kindly nodded to the fact that the Co-GM of SmackDown may actually win the Rumble. And wouldn’t that be something. I have been going over this in my head for the past few days and plagued by what if’s.
What if Daniel Bryan & WWE have been in collusion?
What if Daniel Bryan has been cleared to wrestle for months?
What if both parties have been planning this the entire time?
Think about it: a huge Royal Rumble return for Daniel Bryan; they enter him into the Rumble at number 30. The roof explodes. Bryan rushes to the ring and starts throwing fists and kicks. Tossing opponents over the ropes. Last man goes over, possibly Reigns, to get redemption from the 2015 Rumble. Daniel Bryan wins the 2018 Royal Rumble. The man who ushered in the “Miracle on Bourbon Street” at WrestleMania 30 is going back to the scene of the crime.
WrestleMania 34. Daniel Bryan defeats the Champion of his choosing. I couldn’t picture a more perfect scenario.
Tune in on January 28th and let’s see if any of these predictions come true!
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