Royal Rumble 2018

Written by on 24th January 2018

Lee Hawthorn predicts 5 potential winners of this year’s mens royal rumble match

The Big Dog

For the past year, Roman Reigns has been rumoured to headline this upcoming Wrestlemania. Regardless of the Rumble result, ‘The Grandest Stage Of Them All’ is expected to feature The Big Dog go toe-to-toe with The Beast, Brock Lesnar, for the Universal Championship. The easiest way to set this up? Reigns winning his second Royal Rumble match. Given his controversial stature in the company, WWE would be foolish to attract so much heat to the Samoan superstar but that hasn’t stopped them before. 

The Monster

The rumours of Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar have been raging for at least 12 months. One thing WWE weren’t counting on in 2017, was a new star to emerge in the form of Braun Strowman. The Monster Among Men has been booked unbelievably strong in the era of 50-50 booking and his in-ring ability has improved immensely. Popular amongst the fans, WWE may finally pull the plug on pushing Reigns and focus instead on the former Wyatt Family enforcer. I don’t expect a simple swap of Strowman for Reigns against Lesnar but a triple threat could be the motive for ‘Mania.

The Demon

Just a few months ago, Finn Balor was branded as ‘not over’ by Vince McMahon. At the start of 2018 he is reunited with former Bullet Club cronies Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Rebranding as Balor Club the trio have been featured in a mini rivalry with Roman Reigns and RAW tag team champions Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan. The Demon has found a new lease of life teasing a heel turn and this momentum just before the Royal Rumble might bode well for his chances in the eponymous match. If he does win, expect a brand switch and a TLC rematch with AJ Styles leading to a ‘Club’ based feud with Adam Cole’s inevitable call up from NXT.

The King

No, not the man with the three H’s. Shinsuke Nakamura has to be a favourite to win the Royal Rumble. If a Smackdown Live superstar is to emerge victorious as expected, WWE will be tempted to cash in on the Nakamura vs. AJ Styles money match. Having teased the match at during the men’s Money In The Bank ladder match, this is going to happen. It is just a matter of when. Given Nakamura’s shaky start on the main roster, main eventing Wrestlemania with The Phenomenal One would be the perfect way to solidify his credibility with casual WWE fans.

The Franchise

John Cena is currently the joint record holder for holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship the most times. With 16 reigns, ‘Big Match John’ is tied with Ric Flair. Expect the Cenation leader to win the strap at least one more time before his impending full-time transition to Hollywood. In Cena’s absence, AJ Styles has become ‘The Face That Runs The Place’ and is likely to overcome Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at the Royal Rumble PPV. Cena and Styles’ 2016 programme proved they share a sublime chemistry worthy of main eventing Wrestlemania. On his journey to bettering Ric Flair’s World Championship record, Cena could tie Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Rumble win record too. 

Originally Appeared In Spark Magazine. 

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