The 2018 Royal Rumble is now on the history books and the road to WrestleMania 34 has officially begun. Vince McMahon and Co have done a great job in giving the WWE universe exactly what they wanted as we can call this year's Royal Rumble the best in the last five years.
The Royal Rumble marks the beginning of the road to WrestleMania 34 and the speculations are already rising sky-high. Each of the matches in the Royal Rumble card had a different story to tell the fans, and the WWE has done a very commendable job in executing the stories.
WWE used the right mixture of Wrestling and Drama in each of the matches and they have succeeded in getting the fans invested in the program going into the grandest stage of them all, in April. It will be interesting to see how the WWE executes the storylines and build up the matches for WrestleMania 34.
With that said, let's analyze how the WWE will carry the storylines on the road to WrestleMania 34.
#7 Bobby Roode, Dolph Ziggler & The United States Championship
The United States Championship picture got a little bit interesting when Dolph Ziggler seemingly relinquished the title and walked out of the WWE.
This led to a US championship tournament to crown a new champion. The tournament was won by Bobby Roode when he defeated Jinder Mahal in the finals to win his first US Championship.
Ziggler was absent from television for a while and only wrestled at a few house shows. This led to speculations that he was set to receive a big push and the WWE might pull the trigger on a possible Royal Rumble win for "the Show-off".
That did seem like a possibility when he entered the Royal Rumble as the final entrant and surprisingly the crowd was dead silent when they heard Ziggler's music and the show-off didn't last too long in the match. We have to wait to find out how Dolph Ziggler explains his actions on the next episode of SmackDown Live.
The possible scenario going forward will likely feature Ziggler and Roode feud over the United States Championship. An undisputed champion may be crowned on the next SmackDown exclusive PPV Fastlane on March 11th leading to a final match at WrestleMania 34.
#6 The Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Sheamus and Cesaro defeated Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan at the Royal Rumble to win the Raw Tag Team Championships for the 4th time. This victory may have come in early for the Bar thanks to Jason Jordan's back injury.
The plan was to have Rollins and Jordan retain the Tag titles at the Royal Rumble and have them drop the titles back to the Bar before WrestleMania 34, possibly at the Elimination Chamber PPV on February 25th. But since Jordan sustained a back injury at a house show, the decision was made to put the title on the Bar at the Royal Rumble.
It is likely that they will go into WrestleMania 34 with the Raw tag team titles and might get fresh opponents for the show of shows. A match between them and the Authors of Pain will be a treat to watch for the fans or they could face Woken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero for the titles with both matches look equally intriguing.
On the other hand, the USO's have retained their SmackDown Tag team championships against Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin in a 2 out of 3 falls match at the Royal Rumble. They got the clean win when they got 2 pins in a row to retain their titles and cemented themselves as the dominant tag team on the SmackDown roster.
The SmackDown tag team title match might very well make the kickoff show at WrestleMania 34 as there are no credible opponents on the SmackDown roster for the USO's to make it to the main show unless they bring in new challenges for the title.
#5 The Intercontinental Championship picture
The Intercontinental Championship was not defended at the Royal Rumble PPV and the current champion The Miz found himself in the 30 men Royal Rumble match where he entered as the 26th entrant and lasted only for 5 minutes.
The rumoured Intercontinental Championship match for WrestleMania 34 is The Miz defending the title against the Monster among men Braun Strowman. The build-up towards this match might begin in the following weeks, possibly after the Elimination Chamber PPV in February.
Strowman failed to capture the Universal Championship from Brock Lesnar in the triple threat match at the Royal Rumble. WWE made sure that "the Monster Amongst Men" was protected throughout the match as he was not the one to eat the pin.
He will be participating in the elimination chamber match which will possibly decide the No 1 contender for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 34. We all know who that is going to be, but we'll get to that later.
The seeds for the match between Braun and the Miz may be planted on or after the Elimination Chamber PPV and we can hope that this will lead to the "Monster Among Men's" first championship run in the WWE.
#4 The Women's Royal Rumble outcome
Nobody was ready for Asuka at the first ever women's Royal Rumble match as the empress of tomorrow emerged victorious in the historical match. The two champions came in to meet the Women's Royal Rumble winner and just when Asuka was going to choose which champion she will face at WrestleMania, out came Ronda Rousey.
Asuka's winning moment was short lived as the former MMA fighter came into the ring and confronted the three women in the ring before pointing towards the WrestleMania banner, possibly hinting she will be facing one of the two champions at WrestleMania 34. We have to wait to see how the WWE carries this program further.
Stephanie McMahon announced that Ronda Rousey had officially signed with the WWE, and Alexa Bliss will be defending the Raw women's championship in the first ever Women's elimination chamber match and the outcome of the match will have a great impact on the storylines going into WrestleMania 34.
If you'd ask me, I'd suggest the following ways in which this program can be carried to WrestleMania:
I) Asuka defeats the Raw Women's champion Alexa Bliss before WrestleMania 34 and set up a match with Rousey at the grandest stage of them all.
ii) Rousey faces the SmackDown women's champion Charlotte Flair for the championship at WrestleMania 34.
iii) Rousey defeats Asuka for the main event spot at WrestleMania and decides to face Charlotte for the title.
iv) Rousey wins the Raw women's title in the Elimination Chamber match and goes on to face Asuka at WrestleMania 34.
#3 AJ Styles Vs Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship
The most predictable outcome of the 2018 Royal Rumble was Nakamura winning the 30 men battle royal to become the No 1 Contender for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 34.
This was the match the fans were waiting to see in a WWE ring ever since Nakamura made his main roster debut last year. WWE's plan all along was to have AJ Styles face Nakamura at WrestleMania 34 and now the match will be for the WWE Championship.
The build-up towards the match will likely be a stereotypical baby-face vs baby-face story unless WWE decides to spice things up a bit.
Irrespective of everything, it is guaranteed that this match will steal the show at WrestleMania 34 and we will see the two superstars recreate their WrestleKingdom 10 magic, all over again.
#2 The Undertaker vs John Cena
While we expected the seeds for this match to be planted at the 25th-Anniversary of Raw, we just had to settle with a very confusing promo from the Undertaker.
The Undertaker went on to cut a very cryptic promo at the 25th-Anniversary show of Raw which is yet to be deciphered. It might be a warning or might be a hint on his retirement, but as of this writing, the plan is to have Undertaker have one final match against John Cena at WrestleMania 34.
After, going through a successful hip replacement surgery Undertaker was contacted by the WWE about having one more match at WrestleMania 34. "The Phenom" was interested in having one more match only if it were against John Cena. It seems like the Undertaker's wish has been granted.
While the build-up towards this match is not yet started officially, the match was set to happen when John Cena referred to Undertaker as an old man with a broken hip while cutting a promo on Roman Reigns. This might be the factor deciding their highly anticipated match at WrestleMania 34.
The Undertaker is expected to confront John Cena in the coming weeks. John Cena defeated Finn Balor to qualify for the elimination chamber match on Raw, the best scenario would be to have the undertaker cost the elimination chamber match for John Cena, eventually setting up their big match at WrestleMania 34.
#1 Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship
WWE's, or should I say, Vince McMahon's long-term plan was to have Roman Reigns defeat Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania34.
The decision was made when Brock Lesnar was booked to defeat Goldberg for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 33. Lesnar has held the Universal Championship for a stunning 303 days, as of this writing. While one may have Lesnar's part-time schedule against him, there is no denying that the Beast incarnate gave his all when he stepped foot inside the squared circle throughout his reign as the Universal Champion.
WWE will be trying hard to portray this match as a battle between an unstoppable force and an immovable object and they will do all it takes to ensure this match delivers on all grounds.
The best possible way for Reigns to get to this match is by having him win the elimination chamber match to become the #1 contender for the championship.
Now that Roman is done with The Miz and the Intercontinental Championship, he will now turn his attention towards the elimination chamber match, to which he will possibly qualify on next week's Raw.
It is certain that Reigns and Lesnar will once again square off in the grandest stage of them all and we will witness Reigns' crowning moment as the top star of the WWE.
What's your take on the possible WrestleMania 34 matches? Sound off in the comments below.
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