WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Preview and Predictions – Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Preview and Predictions – Triple Threat POV

Posted by Robert DeFelice Thursday, January 25, 2018
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Ben Guest, Jordan Chaffiotte, and Jonathan Maldonado will preview all things Royal Rumble 2018!

#RumbleForAll! Let's break down the most important WWE pay-per-view of the year. If you're looking for Women's Royal Rumble coverage, click here, an entire article dedicated to the historic match. Check out this week's Smack Talk for my opinion, as well as Tony, and Callum's opinions. For now, let's turn it over to Jonathan Maldonado and our first question!

Question 1: Raw's Universal Championship is being contested in a hellish Triple Threat Match. Who do you see walking out of Philadelphia with the Big Red?

MALDONADO: MALDONADO: The smart money is on Brock Lesnar here. With the Universal champ a virtual lock to main event WrestleMania 34 against Roman Reigns, it doesn't seem likely Lesnar would drop the belt at the start of WrestleMania Season. However, this doesn't mean the stipulations or circumstances surrounding that match are set in stone just yet.

Kane is in this match to eat the pin and keep Braun Strowman strong as we enter WWE's most important stretch. I don't see him being primed for anything other than a shot at the Universal title. But how does he fit into the build-up of Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar? Well, another triple threat match of course. Strowman continues to be the most intriguing character on the roster. With WWE Network numbers indicating Lesnar isn't the draw he used to be, Vince may well be inclined to shake things up and close out Mania with the first main event triple threat since WrestleMania 30, which also took place in New Orleans.

CHAFFIOTTE: Doesn't Kane have a city to be mayoring and Brock have some land to be admiring?If you can't tell, I'm a little bit over part-time champions. I know, I know, Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania is all but a done deal but guys. Guys. Braun Strowman might just be the organic top guy that WWE is looking to create. I've got nothing against Reigns, but I've got nothing FOR him either. Strowman, in his outrageous tactics and surprising charisma, has something that makes me want to root for him even though he's the villain of the story. It's about more than the fact that he's a big monster who moves like a guy half his size. Braun manages to squash his competition while making them look good, he brings them into Braun's world and their characters are lifted up by it. I'm certainly not giving all of James Ellsworth's success to Strowman, but I'm also not sure it would've worked against just anyone. Braun works with his opponent, he's able to find what makes their story work and run with it. He's a student of the game, incredibly respectful to the craft of wrestling, a diamond in the not-so-rough-anymore, and he deserves to be the Universal Champion.

He's not winning, but he should.

GUEST: Does anyone NOT see Lesnar walking out as champ? As Jordan said, Lesnar vs Reigns is pretty much a done deal and I think Kane is only there to take the pin so that Strowman has a reasonable argument to challenge Reigns at SummerSlam. However, there is always the chance, the very, VERY small chance, that Kane is there to stop Lesnar getting pinned, setting up a triple threat at WrestleMania, and if that happens… I don't know what noise will come out of me, but I don't think I've heard it yet in my life.

Question 2: AJ Styles is in the unusual spot of having to defend his coveted WWE Championship in a Handicap Match against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Will there be a new champion crowned? If so, who will that person be?

GUEST: So, does whoever pins him get the title, or are they dual champion? If it's dual champion, I hope Zayn and Owens win, if not, I hope we get either AJ Styles vs Daniel Bryan or Styles vs Nakamura at Mania. I really can't read where they're going with this, but I think we see a slightly heavier bump from Bryan at some point.

MALDONADO: Smackdown is the land of opportunity...to get messy. I expect all sort of shenanigans in the match, with direct implications on the Rumble. Daniel Bryan rumors are running rampant, including him entering at #30 and winning. Shane McMahon is involved AJ Styles is said to retain and take on a victorious Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania. What is life on SmackDown Live right now?

This is the sort of unpredictability sorely missing from the WWE lately. As much as AJ Styles is beloved among the fans, he's not a lock to retain the title for prolonged periods so I wouldn't be shocked to see him lose and see the belt fall into the chaos of "dual champions." This is the most obvious fodder for a Kami breakup leading into WrestleMania.

I honestly don't know where this is going, and I like it that way.

CHAFFIOTTE: What, in the name of Vince McMahon, is going ON in this story? This is just a straight up mess. Is Daniel Bryan a face or a heel? Is Shane McMahon a face or a heel? Cause that guy seriously comes off like the worst. AJ Styles? Is he meant to be the dupe here? And Sami and Kevin, better known as Seven, don't really know what they're doing either. They're supposed to be the bad guys, but they're honestly on the right side of this one. Any time they seem to be going in a particular direction, they swerve, and not in an intentional way. I want it to be wiped clean. The only way to really do that is to let AJ retain. He could have a serious MOTN contender at WrestleMania with someone like Shinsuke or Finn. There's no clear direction for Seven here, and it's just too late to course correct. Bryan is likely out by fall anyway, so there's really no point in pushing this mess any further.

Question 3: Who do you see winning the 2018 men's Royal Rumble? What's your early projection for the main event of WrestleMania?

CHAFFIOTTE: Finn Balor. Here's the thing, Raw is overcrowded in their upper midcard and the main event. SmackDown, as previously stated, is a mess. Balor is getting lost on Raw and needs to be on SmackDown. Aside from a trade, the only way to jump ship is to win the Royal Rumble and choose to go after the WWE Championship instead. He could take the rest of Balor Club with him (and hey, maybe convince Becky Lynch to join up, I don't know, is my ship showing?) and the three could run roughshod on the SmackDown division. It's exactly the opportunistic move a tweener Balor needs and can symbolize him starting over as he's not even competing for the belt that he gave up due to injury. It's a win for everyone involved. The main event then becomes AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor, with the Balor Club in his corner. Tell me you don't want to see that!

Also in case you were wondering my pick for the women's Royal Rumble is Bayley. She needs something big to get her back on track and is the only remaining of that group of NXT girls to not get a history-making moment on the main roster.

MALDONADO: Please, oh please let it be Roman Reigns. I know, I know. But, hear me out…

Lesnar retains his title earlier in the night over Kane. Madness ensues via Braun Strowman, taking the chaos into the Rumble. Strowman makes it to the end opposite Reigns and gets eliminated in some fluky way. Strowman madness continues and the night closes with Strowman destroying an exhausted Reigns.

Cue night after the Rumble. Strowman demands retribution for the previous night, and out comes a parade of other Raw stars claiming they deserve a shot at Mania. Cue Angle announcing an elimination chamber match including Reigns who must win to keep it a singles match or another winner makes it a triple threat match.

And there's your triple threat match for the Universal title at WrestleMania 34 featuring Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman.

GUEST: I've been saying for a long time that John Cena, Roman Reigns or Shinsuke Nakamura are winning this match and we're getting Reigns vs Lesnar and Styles vs either Nakamura or Cena at Mania. The whole Daniel Bryan situation can't be ignored, but I think it might just be talk and I'm sticking with Nakamura as my winner. But maybe that's just hopeful. For the women. I've been saying Asuka or Rousey for a long time and I really hope they give it Asuka. Put Rousey in early so that when she gets eliminated late on there is a good excuse, but Asuka deserves this. Or Maybe Sane.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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THIS POST WRITTEN BY: ROBERT DEFELICE

Robert DeFelice is a journalist and marketing student. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram as well as his apparel website Time Killer Apparel and his pro wrestling blog PandemoniuMania.

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