The 2018 Royal Rumble event is rapidly approaching. So far, WWE has produced quite the card for this Sunday’s yearly extravaganza stacked with marquee names, matches, and surprises. Each year, the WWE Universe is treated to the Royal Rumble match; a contest that features the very best superstars from Raw and SmackDown combined with faces from the past, all fighting for a main event spot and world championship opportunity at WrestleMania. However, this year’s event will feature not one, but two Royal Rumble matches. This year, the ladies get to rumble too! They’ll be a 30-man match for the men, as well as a 30-women match for the first time ever.
There are plenty of great matches to watch out for, including a triple threat match for the WWE Universal Championship featuring “The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman and “The Big Red Machine Kane” challenging “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar for Monday Night Raw‘s ultimate prize. And don’t’ forget about SmackDown‘s main event featuring the lords of the Yup Movement, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn battling “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles for the WWE Championship in a two-on-one handicap match.
Who will win and who will lose? Let’s take a look into my WWE crystal ball to find out the predictions for the 2018 Royal Rumble…
WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Viewing Details
Date: Sunday, January 28, 2018
Time (kick-off show): 5:00 P.M. EST
Time (main show): 7:00 P.M. EST
TV Channel: WWE Network / Pay-Per-View
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Triple threat match for the WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Kane vs. Braun Strowman
“The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman has been on a complete path of mayhem to start off 2018 (coming off of a 2017 packed with pure destruction). All the momentum is on his side to pull the trigger and set off on a Strowman Universal Championship run. But WrestleMania is hanging just a short mile over the horizon, and Strowman isn’t established enough to carry the Raw brand into the “show of shows” this April.
“The Big Red Machine” Kane is showing a lot of spark in the twilight of his career. He can still go with the best of them in the ring. Another title run wouldn’t be out of the question, but I can’t imagine Kane going into WrestleMania as Universal Champion. If he does win tonight, he’ll most likely become a transitional champion and drop the strap before ‘Mania.
“The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar will really be put to the test in this match. But I can’t see him losing the strap just yet. Lesnar will need all the momentum he can muster to go into WrestleMania appearing as an absolute beast.
Brock Lesnar retains the WWE Universal Championship
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship match: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan (c) vs. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro)
The unlikely duo of Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan has been surprisingly entertaining. Jordan is playing the role of annoying heel/tweener very well. And Seth Rollins has just been well…Seth FREAKIN’ Rollins…and that should be enough, right?
Despite Jordan’s and Rollins’ surprise in-ring chemistry, it wouldn’t be too much of a shocker to see The Bar walk away with the straps. They’ve been on a tear through Raw‘s tag team division and have been getting over with the crowd as a result.
But I just don’t see The Bar winning at the Rumble…
Jason Jordan & Seth Rollins retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
Two-out-of-Three Falls match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin have put SmackDown‘s tag team division on notice. A championship victory at the Rumble will propel this team to the top with plenty of hungry teams trying to grab their silver straps.
I would have given this match to Benjamin and Gable if it were not for the rise of Rusev Day. Based upon that team’s vocal response from the audience, it would only make logical sense to throw the titles on them.
All the while, WWE shouldn’t play hot potato with the tag straps. That means those blue and silver belts belong in The Usos Penitentiary for one more night.
The Usos retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Women’s Royal Rumble Match
The women of WWE will finally have a Royal Rumble match to call their own. This card is packed with former champions and rising stars, all looking to make history in the first-ever 30-woman Royal Rumble match. Who will make history on this night in Philadelphia?
A win for Ruby Riott would catapult this raven-haired starlet to the forefront of SmackDown‘s women’s division. The Riott Squad has been kicking some serious ass on the blue brand. Can their leader win this history-making match?
Who will win? Carmella? Naomi? Tamina? Sasha Banks? Bayley? Becky Lynch? Naomi? Alicia Fox? Natalya? Mandy Rose? Sonya Deville? Nia Jax? Who will it be?
I’m going with the undefeated “Empress of Tomorrow” Asuka….
Asuka wins the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble match
Two-on-One Handicap match for the WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
The Yep Movement has been going wild on SmackDown. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens just may become the first-ever duel-holders of the WWE Championship. But will that even happen? YEP! I mean…maybe.
If Styles can knock off two red-hot stars in one night then he’d truly be phenomenal. Oh wait, he is. But “The Phenomenal One” AJ Styles will be in the fight of his life against the villainous duo of Zayn and KO.
It would be a very interesting move to see WWE put the strap on Zayn and Owens. Many would tune in to see what would the duel-champions do next. But I really can’t see the WWE putting this title on two men at once, especially during WrestleMania Season.
AJ Styles retains the WWE Championship
Men’s Royal Rumble Match
The 30-man Royal Rumble may just be the most exciting and highly-anticipated match of the year. It is a contest full of drama, surprises, action, and sometimes a little bit of comedy.
“The Big Dog” Roman Reigns may punch his ticket for WrestleMania tonight. The same goes with Shinsuke Nakamura who may dance his way to a WrestleMania showdown with AJ Styles.
But if you ask me who I think will win the Rumble, my answer will be too sweeeettttt….
“The Demon King” Finn Bálor is both my pick and my brother’s pick. On Raw 25, legends from the past (the kliq) made it abundantly clear that Bálor has what it takes.
Finn Bálor wins the 30-man Royal Rumble match
Editor’s Note: Finn Bálor is also my brother’s pick to win the Rumble. Unfortunately, my brother passed away on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. His name is Daniel Dunlop, an artist who goes by the name of FoulFaceKoala. Rest in peace, 12/30/1989 – 01/24/2018