The X-Factor: Royal Rumble 2018 preview
Submitted by Victor Mariscal on 01/27/2018 at 04:04 AM

There were other things I wanted to talk about, but I think it’s best not to. You can probably guess what.

WrestleMania season is upon us. The Royal Rumble these last four years has been – to say the least – a hotbed of conflict.

2014 saw perhaps the largest representation of the war between the smarks and WWE. Bryan Danielson was everybody’s hero. Getting left out of the Royal Rumble entirely felt like a huge slap in the face. Batista was going to WrestleMania XXX and it seemed there was nothing that could be done.

He still did, but Daniel Bryan still got his moment in the sun.

If 2014 was a slap, 2015 must have felt like a gut-punch. Bryan was only in the Rumble for 10 minutes which just plain pissed off Philadelphia to no end. If it was anyone other than Bryan the fans were gonna make life hell for whoever took his place. The Network’s cancellation page crashed.

Yeah, I’m sure none of them renewed them in time for WrestleMania 31.

The hate towards Roman Reigns continues to this day. For a time, he’d managed to end it.

December 13, 2015. Reigns had turned things around, laying a major beating on Triple H and won the WWE Championship the next day to a very positive reaction in Philadelphia. Roman had become the guy we wanted him to be.

Bloody fickle, the fans are.

Over a month later and that goodwill was mostly gone. Reigns defended the title in the Rumble match AND he had to start at #1. Of course Triple H was gonna enter at #30, do his crotch chops and steal Roman’s heat. That’s what he does best: steal the spotlight and kill your push.

2017 could’ve been a star-making vehicle. Instead Randy Orton won. A victory he didn’t need and one we didn’t want.

Hey, the last three Royal Rumble’s I covered had up to four potential Matches of the Year. Two of them involved John Cena and one had Reigns. Not bad for people who “can’t wrestle”.

Don’t get your hopes up. Daniel Bryan isn’t entering this year. I don’t know why he’s even a betting favorite.

I'll only be talking about the Rumble matches themselves. Let's go...

Men’s Royal Rumble Match
#1 - Shinsuke Nakamura

He’s currently the top favorite. With AJ Styles the reigning WWE Champion it’s not hard to see why. It’s the match that many are dying to see. Both of these two would be amazing in the ring together as evidenced by Wrestle Kingdom 10. Haven’t seen it, just saying what I’ve heard. While Nakamura hasn’t been presented as the big deal many think he is, a classic against Styles would be the perfect way to establish him.

#2 – Roman Reigns
The boss’ choice, not the people’s. With Brock Lesnar possibly on his way out, someone’s gotta start carrying the torch. The issue is that this year’s Rumble is in Philadelphia. Would they dare risk pissing off the fans again?

Reigns vs. Lesnar II is not a bad idea. Their first match was good but it got cut for time. We can thank Triple H for that one.

#3 – John Cena
What is his role here? He hit the ground running at last year’s Rumble beating AJ Styles for his 16th world championship, but after losing it two weeks later found himself increasingly marginalized. Pushing others is one thing but you don’t just waste your biggest draw like that. If they wanna fill the Silverdome, er, uh I mean Superdome, put him in a big money match.

The stories have been flying. Are they indeed working towards Cena vs. Undertaker? Why? The Undertaker said goodbye last year. Call it quits man.

#4 – Daniel Bryan
Please don’t.

Never mind his health, but if his music hits they’re gonna boo the hell out of the winner if it’s not Bryan. Unless, the people have gotten over wanting to see him in the main event. Doubtful, but what if the angle with Owens and Zayn comes into play?

#5 – Dolph Ziggler
Forfeiting the US title, keeping him off TV has actually made him a favorite. Remember that Stone Cold Steve Austin handed over the Intercontinental title to The Rock just months before beating Shawn Michaels at ‘Mania XIV. Is this a sign of things to come?

Now for the other Rumble…

Women’s Royal Rumble Match
I was really looking forward to this, but a certain announcement lowered my enthusiasm from “won’t miss a second” to “a bathroom break or two”. Piss off Stephanie.

There’s rumors flying she’ll enter the match herself. Please get eliminated in 1 second. She and Santino would have something to talk about.

#1 – Ronda Rousey
Either she’s off to film a movie or she’s lying. We’ll know soon enough. The betting odds have her as a narrow favorite.

Charlotte Flair has been Ronda’s dream opponent, but there’s that nagging feeling in the back of my head that the Billion Dollar bitch will be the one.

There’s a bigger question to think about: would people accept Ronda as the winner? Even if we’ve been expecting this since ‘Mania 31, the fans might prefer the mentality it should be someone who’s been in the business for years. Yet, her mainstream appeal can’t be denied. Rousey hitting the ring would guarantee a loud pop. The match with Charlotte doesn’t need the SD Women’s belt, but it would add a layer.

#2 – Asuka
Let’s face it, there’s really no one else it could be. She’s undefeated, unstoppable, and the fans’ clear choice. This is still Vinnie Mac land. Logic need not always apply there.

Don’t really care if Alexa Bliss is still the champ when they reach New Orleans.

There’s no way there won’t be surprise entrants from ex-superstars: Trish Stratus, Lita, Torrie Wilson, and Victoria are names I would go with. They would be stupid to pass up a chance to be a part of history.

Remember that nagging feeling I have? Stephanie McMahon could pull what her daddy did in ’99 and win the damn thing. That would be the biggest dick move of all time.

Well, I guess we’ll see.

Don’t mess with the X.

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