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    Saturday, January 27, 2018

    The Smark Henry Royal Rumble 2018 Predictions

    We’re just days away from WWE’s most exciting and unpredictable show of the year: the Royal Rumble match! And this year’s a big one, because we’re not just getting one, but TWO Rumble matches! That’s right, 30 female Superstars will also brawl it out for a Women’s Title of their choice at WrestleMania. If this isn’t worth getting excited for, we don’t know what is.

    Plus, Brock Lesnar will defend his WWE Universal Championship against two of WWE’s formidable monsters, Braun Strowman and Kane. AJ Styles also has his hands full as he will face Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a handicap match for the WWE Championship. How will that even work?

    Your resident weekly reviewers, RAW nerd Nicole and SmackDown Live simpleton Ricky, will help you answer the burning questions for this year’s Royal Rumble. Who’s going to win the Rumble matches? Who will return? What should Kofi Kingston do this year?

    Let’s all answer these questions in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, *buzzer*!

    Who’s winning this year’s Men's Royal Rumble Match?

    Nicole: It honestly depends who goes on double duty. If Seth Rollins does, then yes, please, by all means. *drooling* But in all seriousness, this year’s Royal Rumble match is one of the most unpredictable ones, ever—which isn’t a bad thing. It just makes it harder to write articles like these. My heart is torn between Finn Balor and AJ Styles, but the voice in the back of my mind says Roman Reigns will win it all after losing the Intercontinental Championship last-minute to The Miz on RAW 25. Unfortunately, I’ll stick with Roman Reigns.

    Ricky: My top three picks are Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Seth Rollins, in no particular order. And basically, I want either one of these three to face AJ Styles. I chose Balor because I believe he’s in for a massive push this year. What bigger way to make a splash than winning the Rumble? I also want Rollins to win because I’m tired of seeing him as Roman Reign’s lackey. Plus, he got his finisher back. He’s cool again. For Nakamura, I want to see him face Styles on a grander, more mainstream stage, and it’s for a world title. How cool is that? Ultimately, I’ll have to go with Finn Balor.

    Who’s winning the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match?

    Ricky: It’s going to be Asuka, isn’t it? I mean, the reason for Asuka’s pretty obvious. She’s the OP superstar so unless everyone gangs up on her, she’s going to be unstoppable. On the other hand, I want Becky Lynch to win as well. She can enter at either number 1 or 2 and outlast everyone to the end. That’s an inspiring finish for an equally groundbreaking match. Book it, Vince!

    Nicole: Asuka this, Asuka that. I’d be annoyed if she wins it, but I highly doubt they’re going with any other option. My heart wants Sasha Banks to win, but it really looks like it’s going to be Asuka, you guys.

    Surprise entrants/returns for both Rumbles?

    TRISH STRATUS! I could bet my organs on it. Stephanie McMahon will also find a way to insert herself in this somehow. NXT’s The Iconic Duo doesn’t sound bad, either. As for the men, I’ll definitely go with Chris Jericho, who probably brought a friend from NJPW.

    Ricky: I think we’re going to see Ricochet debut on the Rumble ala AJ Styles. Also, I hear Bobby Lashley won’t be heading to NXT so he’ll probably head down to SmackDown Live once he returns. I think this is the perfect time to re-introduce Kharma to the women’s division. I can also see Kairi Sane as an entrant, but it’ll probably just as an equalizer rather than a legit call-up. Trish Stratus looks healthy enough for one more match, right?

    Temporary alliances and betrayals?

    Ricky: Three halves of the Four Horsewomen should reunite and eliminate some people before going at each other. Meanwhile, I can see Nia Jax and Tamina teaming up for a while. And if ever Dean Ambrose can pull off a John Cena and come back for the Royal Rumble, how about a Shield clean-up? Also, let’s break up the Riott Squad already.

    Nicole: Interesting… I’ll have to agree with you there, Ricky. I’d also somehow like to see Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins go at it.

    Who would be the 60-minute Man/Woman?

    Ricky: It’s been a long time since a first entrant won the entire thing. I really hope either of the Rumble matches do exactly that. I mean, someone has to beat Rey Mysterio’s record, right? I already have my pick for the women, so I’ll choose Rusev. He’s not going to win, but if they’re looking for a 60-minute man, I suggest they pick Rusev. Not only will this raise his stocks, it will also endear him more to the crowd. Hopefully, this will fuel a well-deserved Rusev Day push.

    Nicole: I can totally see Bayley be the 60-minute woman! It’s always the fiery underdog that gets this position, and there’s no other than Bayley, or maybe even Sasha Banks.

    The Final Four for each Rumble?

    Nicole: Asuka, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch are my bets for the women’s Final Four. Probably even Natalya in there somewhere. Roman Reigns, Finn Balor, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura would make an amazing Final Four for the men! I can already feel the stress.

    Ricky: Aside from Rusev and Finn Balor, I’ll have Shinsuke Nakamura and Roman Reigns be the final four. I know, right? I’ll keep Reigns to make it more dramatic, then have either Finn or Shin win it. For the women, how about Asuka, Becky Lynch, Naomi, and Lana, just to keep things interesting.

    Kofi Kingston’s annual Rumble spot?

    Ricky: He’s going to land on a giant pile of freakin’ pancakes. Book it, Vince!

    Nicole: Silly Ricky, then the pancakes would break. How do you predict such a thing, anyway? I don’t think I can do that. I guess we’ll have to wait to get our minds blown.

    And here are their takes for the rest of the overstacked card:

    Triple Threat Match for the WWE Universal Championship: Braun Strowman vs. Kane vs. Brock Lesnar (c)

    Ricky: I appreciate the effort to convince us Brock Lesnar can lose, but we all know this year’s WrestleMania will be headlined by Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. But hey, A for effort, amirite? At least we got to see Braun Strowman destroy everyone and everything.

    Nicole: No, no… There’s a reason why Kane’s in there somewhere. It’s so he could eat the pin. I’m actually going to go out on a limb here and say that Braun Strowman will be walking home as the new champion.

    Handicap Match for the WWE Championship: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. AJ Styles (c)

    Ricky: I’m pretty sure AJ Styles will retain, but seeing the first ever co-WWE Champions sure is intriguing. I bet they’ll divide the WWE Championship the way LayCool divided the Women’s Title. Aside from an awesome match, I expect the storyline between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan to blow up on the PPV with some stipulations being thrown around to try and portray a dysfunctional management. Someone turn on someone or I’m going to lose my shit.

    Nicole: Everyone says AJ Styles would win, but I think WWE is going to go for this crazy thing because the crazy thing draws more interest. So, I think Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will win!

    RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan (c)

    Nicole: Seth Rollins needs to do something else now and move on. He can’t just be paired up with Jason Jordan randomly for this long—it’s time to break it up. My picks are Sheamus and Cesaro—I’m sorry, my love, but you need to roam free onto bigger and better things!

    Ricky: I don’t even watch RAW that often, but I’m loving where Jason Jordan’s character is headed. He’s playing the entitled brat quite well and I can see him feuding with Seth Rollins when their title reign blows over. So I’m predicting Sheamus and Cesaro will regain their titles by capitalizing on a miscommunication between the current champs. Then maybe we can have Titus Worldwide feud with the Bar next. Or the Revival, I think.

    2-out-of-3 Falls Match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. The Usos (c)

    Ricky: There’s no way the Usos are going to lose their titles before WrestleMania. But if American Alpha 2.0 does win, I can live with it. Gable and Benjamin have found their footing as heels in the past few weeks, so I don’t see why we can’t try and award them the tag titles now. I’m just excited to see these two teams slug it out. I’m nominating this one as the low-key match of the night.

    Nicole: Hmmm, I think it’s Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin’s time to shine. They’ve been doing pretty well lately, and there’s no reason for them not to give the titles to these two. Ricky’s right—no matter who the winners are, this will surely be an awesome match.

    WWE Royal Rumble 2018 is happening live on Monday, January 29, at 6 AM, Manila time.

    If you'd like to experience what it's like to watch one of the WWE’s Big Four shows with hundreds of other screaming Filipino fans, join us at Skinny Mike's Sports Bar at 32nd Street cor. Justice Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

    Entrance costs P300, and can be paid at the gate. One free drink will be given. Official event details can be found here.
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Royal Rumble 2018 Predictions Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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