5 opponents that could've replaced Kane in the Universal Title match at the Royal Rumble 2018
Rumours often ruin ‘the spur of the moment’ surprises in the modern era of professional wrestling. Ever since the rumor of Kane being one of the men pegged to challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at the Royal Rumble 2018 circulated, majority of the WWE Universe were dreading the day when the information was going to be proved true. Therefore, when Kurt Angle made the match official, many fans were left dissatisfied.
Although Kane is a living legend with a Hall of Fame career, the last 5 years have been extremely disappointing for the “big red machine”. From corporate Kane to concession stand Kane, WWE has regrettably presented the former World Champion as a caricature of himself. The renowned big man has one unfortunate purpose in this match, to take a predicted F5 in order to protect Braun Strowman’s invincible aura.
Veterans like Kane are best utilized when creating a new rising talent. However, his involvement in this main event will have no impact on the company going forward. Rather, WWE should have given the prestigious third spot to superstars that can potentially affect the Wrestlemania 34 card, and have a positive effect on the product in the long run.
Here are the 5 opponents that could’ve replaced Kane in the Universal Title match at the Royal Rumble 2018:
#1 John Cena
A couple of months ago, “Big Match John” was pegged as the last legitimate threat to Brock Lesnar’s Universal Title reign. “The face that runs the place” vs “the Conqueror” is a blockbuster showdown that requires little to no build. Add an angry “monster among men” to the fray, and WWE has an electric match that is worthy of main eventing Wrestlemania.
Although Cena returning from a lengthy hiatus straight into the World Title picture has become a cliché at this point, there is no denying that “the franchise player” has the greatest chance of dethroning Brock Lesnar on his clear-cut path to Wrestlemania 34. In fact, John Cena is no third wheel but could’ve been the potential dark horse in this mammoth encounter.
Cena is the only other superstar in WWE history that has held the same amount of World Titles as Ric Flair. The 16-time World Champion’s 17th World Title win is one of the biggest programmes WWE can present in 2018. Although most would predict Cena winning the WWE Title would ultimately break the “nature boy’s” legendary record, WWE could’ve had Cena accomplish two massive feats in 2018.
Win the Universal Champion for the first time in his storied career and become the first 17-time World Champion. However, the fact remains, “the beast” will face Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 34, but with all the discussed reasoning above, there’s no argument against whether Vince McMahan would pass on the opportunity of booking Reigns vs Cena in the main event of Wrestlemania. Thus, Cena would’ve added a sense of danger to Lesnar’s reign at the Royal Rumble.