It is Royal Rumble time. This time honored tradition kicks off the road to Wrestlemania setting up many story lines for WWE’s biggest show of the year.
The Selective Hearing staff have gathered to make their predictions about this year’s event. As always we do not take responsibility for any monetary losses incurred based on our highly edumacated guesses.
Smackdown Live Tag Team Title Match – The Usos vs. American Alpha 2 (a.k.a. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin)
This is 2 out of 3 falls. With the card featuring 2 Royal Rumble matches do you think this will get enough time to really play out properly?
Allen: They will probably get 20 minutes tops.
Greg: Given that this is the fresher feud of the tag team championship matches I will hope that this gets enough time to tell a decent story. I will go with 15 minutes max.
TOZ: I’ll say 30 minutes
Do the Usos continue their winning ways or are Gable and Benjamin avoiding going to the penitentiary?
Allen: I don’t see the Usos dropping the belts. They have been doing such an amazing job being the champs and making everyone with them look good, I feel like they will stay champs and the Bludgeon Brothers are next in line.
Greg: I think American Alpha 2 are primed to take the belts, even if they don’t totally have the support of the crowd behind them at times. The Usos will be fine without the belts for a while if this happens as they’ll probably be the backup plan if another team’s run with belts is a failure.
TOZ: I want the Usos to keep going and (hopefully) have a match on WrestleMania proper and not the pre-show, but I wouldn’t be surprised it AA2 wins it.
RAW Tag Team Championship Match – Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins vs. The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro)
The Shield vs. The Bar is the feud that has been carrying the RAW tag division for quite some time. Due to Dean Ambrose’s injury it’s been freshened up with the inclusion of Jason Jordan.
Will the unlikely pairing of Jordan and Rollins be able to keep the belts? If not, is it Jordan who eats the pin and will he go into crybaby heel mode after?
Allen: I feel like they will still run with Jordan being the nerdy, uncool, Daddy’s Boy champ to bring him more heat. I would rather see him and Rollins be partners that are not on the same page and that will ultimately lose to a real tag team.
Greg: Yes. Somehow Rollins and Jordan will retain with Jordan getting the pinfall victory. This weirdness is leading somewhere. I just hope it pays off in the end.
TOZ: I think The Bar wins, and we end up with Rollins vs. Jordan at WM.
Will this finally be the end of this feud? Who should be the next contenders regardless of who wins? Are there any credible contenders?
Allen: Revival. They fit the”real tag team” I envision beating Jordan and Rollins. Plus I can see them really pick on Jordan ad really heel it up in promos against them. It will be a nice dichotomy.
Greg: As much as I would like for this to end it probably won’t. I would like to see Gallows and Anderson get another crack at the belts. Otherwise, Revival (assuming neither man is going to get injured again) are a good choice to freshen up the tag team title chase.
TOZ: Let’s see what Revival can do since they are healthy again.
Smackdown Live Championship Match – AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
A 2 vs. 1 match with no Jinder in sight. Are you pleased?
Allen: Who?!? Hahaha!
Greg: The Jinder has been hindered and instead we’ll have other Canadian talent in the ring. I”m fine with this.
TOZ: I want Jinder, but I’m cool with this.
The potential outcomes of this match could lead to some interesting times. Would you rather AJ win and move on to possibly defending his belt at WrestleMaina or would you like to see the Owens and Zayn become co-champions and see the hilarity the results from that?
Allen: I’d rather AJ be the champ at Wrestlemania. They shouldn’t saddle Owens and Zayn as co-champs. That just means neither are good enough to be the real WWE champ on their own.
Greg: I’m going to base my prediction on the bold prediction that a certain imported superstar is going to finally get a better push to a championship. So AJ manages to defeat both Zayn and Owens because of that.
TOZ: AJ as Champ to WM.
What roles will Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan have in determining who wins?
Allen: Both of them will have ref shirts hidden underneath their clothes and will probably add more overbooking to this strange match.
Greg: Either both men become referees or start overturning decisions when the people they think should win don’t. Either way they are for sure going to have some effect on the outcome of this match.
TOZ: I don’t even have an interesting thought about this.
RAW Championship Match – Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane
Despite Strowman’s attempted murder of his competitors and his sub sequential firing and re-hiring there has not been a lot of buzz around this match? Why do you think that is?
Is this the right time to pull the trigger on a Braun championship run? Will Kane be the one to take the pin to protect Brock if the title is going to change hands?
Allen: Watching Braun bring mass destruction with the environment around him is always entertaining, but yeah it just doesn’t feel very special. The last triple threat with Brock at Royal Rumble against Cena and Rollins was so good. This match up I feel will be all strong, slow, power that won’t be any wrestling masterpiece.
I only imagine Braun winning if both him and Kane take out Brock. That or use a grappling hook again to wreck the environment.
Greg: On paper this match looks to be the least exciting Brock Lesnar match so far. I think I would rather watch Jinder vs. Brock rather than this 3-way. I don’t think there will be a title change here assuming that the other predicted outcome of the Royal Rumble match that everyone and their dog has heard about is the plan going forward for Raw.
TOZ: If Braun didn’t win it months back, why would he win it now on the lead-up to WM? Brock keeps it.
Will this be the same Brock Lesnar type of match? Suplex City, F5, go home to the woods until WrestleMania?
Allen: Yup, I’m sure it’s in his contract.
Greg: Kane will probably visit Suplex City more than Braun. It won’t be the standard Brock Lesnar match template but it also won’t be anything special.
Women’s Royal Rumble Match
The current main roster of women do not add up to 30 competitors. Which females from NXT or elsewhere do you think will appear to fill out the rest of the field?
Allen: Trish, Lita, Welfare Queen, Michelle McCool for some of the old veterans. As far as NXT, it better have the Iconic Duo, Billie and Peyton make their rumble debut. Nikki Cross and Kairi Sane should be there too. Also looming would be the rumor of former UFC champ, Ronda Rousey finally making an appearance.
Greg: I think the women from NXT who are ready to be called up will be in the rumble. So that would be the Iconic Duo and Nikki Cross. Kairi to me is a long shot as is Rousey.
For legends slots I think Trish and/or Lita would be good bets. It would be great if Awesome Kong/Kharma was involved somehow.
TOZ: I like Allen’s idea of Welfare Queen. Why not give some of the actors from GLOW a few minutes here. They know how to wrestle! Also, FUCKING TONI STORM! BRING HER OUT HERE!
The safe bet for this inaugural Royal Rumble match is for Asuka to be the last woman standing. Should that not happen who would be the next best option?
Allen: Is it too late to have Bayley be a credible contender?
Greg: The Bayley credibility boat sailed away and sunk long long ago. Sasha Banks is probably the next best option.
TOZ: Ugh. This is what happens when they strap the rocket to Bayley’s back. She’s no longer the underdog, so her winning isn’t that big of a deal. I still love you, Bayley. If not Asuka, shit, why not Becky Lynch?
Who do you think will be the winner?
TOZ: Top three choices are Asuka, Becky Lynch, Naomi.
Men’s Royal Rumble
Which legends/NXT roster members will appear to fill out the list of competitors for this side of the rumble?
Allen: I don’t imagine too many surprise entrants into the men’s rumble. From NXT, I would only want to see Adam Cole, Drew McIntyre or Velveteen Dream. It is also possible some former Impact stars might debut like Lashley or EC3.
Greg: I’m thinking the few slots that are open in the men’s rumble will be filled out by lower to mid card competitors or guys like The Road Dogg. I’m doubting any high profile NXT roster members or new signees will be around for this year’s edition.
TOZ: Would be cool to see McIntyre or Aleister Black get the call up.
Roman Reigns is projected to be the guy standing in the ring when this is all over. Much to the dislike of many fans of the WWE. Do you think he should win?
Allen: With his name being in a steroid scandal lately, I don’t think WWE would want that type of attention again.
Greg: Roman will win. It is written in some tablet from many moons ago that he will win the Royal Rumble 2018 to many boos from the angry Philadelphia crowd.
TOZ: Should? No. But man, part of me would respect the level of trollness if he wins it.
If the WWE surprises and it is not Roman who wins there are some names that could send the fans home happy. Who would you pick to win?
Allen: I would love to see a Philly crowd get behind the Miz for the win.
Greg: From the Raw side I think the Miz deserves another shot at the top belt. If the winner is a Smackdown Live person, time to let Shinsuke Nakamura loose and have him go after Styles.
TOZ: Nakamura! What if Woken Matt Hardy won it? WrestleMania will never be the same.
Selective Hearing Royal Rumble Pool
The numbers represent the entrant number assigned to each contestant. Winner is the owner of last person standing and their order of entry.
Women’s Royal Rumble
Toz – 24, 25, 2, 28, 30, 8
Kyle – 19, 21, 6, 26, 12, 22
Greg – 29, 20, 16, 10, 13, 5
Allen – 1, 7, 4, 11, 3, 23
Hollywood Jurina – 18, 15, 27, 9, 14, 17
Men’s Royal Rumble
Toz – 18, 25, 26, 4, 3, 21
Kyle – 9, 24, 1, 23, 27, 13
Greg – 7, 29, 17, 28, 11, 30
Allen – 16, 2, 5, 8, 20, 15
Hollywood Jurina – 6, 14, 12, 19, 22, 10
Selective Hearing will simultaneously riot and celebrate if Hollywood Jurina won either of the pools. – TOZ