Predicting the 2018 Royal Rumble card
We are just under a month until the WWE Royal Rumble PPV, and I must say, I'm really excited.
Anyone who has read my articles before probably knows by now that the Royal Rumble is my favourite match of the year, which makes the entire event one of my favourite of the year by default. I've already made my predictions for the potential winners of the Royal Rumble here.
Here, I'm going to create what I believe to be the most likely card for the evening. Additionally, I'm going to predict who wins each match. The only thing that I'm not going to predict, however, is the Royal Rumble match order, and for two reasons - the first being that I'm not sure how many women they're putting in their Rumble match, and the second being that there haven't been nearly enough people to confirm their entry into either Rumble match to feasibly predict who is coming out when.
Let's get to some predictions!
Pre-show Match #1: The Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable (SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match)
Sorry to have to "slap the Usos in the face" once more, but of the two Tag Team Championship matches that I anticipate will be on the card, this one seems more likely to be on the pre-show.
On the last episode of SmackDown, Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin won a Triple Threat Tag Team match to become the new #1 contenders to the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, beating The New Day and the team of Aiden English and Rusev. They are scheduled to face The Usos on January 2nd, the first SmackDown of 2018.
So here's what I think - Benjamin & Gable will win the Tag Team Championships on SmackDown, prompting The Usos to invoke their rematch clause for The Royal Rumble. Over the next few weeks on SmackDown, the teams will trade victories in singles matches. One week, Gable will face Jey and Shelton will face Jimmy.
Another week, Gable will face Jimmy and Shelton will face Jey. Then, on the final SmackDown before the PPV, they each get a victory over a different tag team. Which ones, I don't know, but I digress...
So now the teams are evenly matched, and the match is underway. This match will feature a lot of awesome spots and several aerials, but unfortunately, will not end decisively. Instead, Rusev and Aiden English will interfere and attack both teams, starting with The Usos.
I say this for a few reasons - one, Rusev is one of the hottest acts in the company right now. His "Happy Rusev Day" shirt is currently one of WWE's best-selling shirts, and the chants of "RUSEV DAY!" are becoming harder and harder to ignore.
Two, this will allow WWE to keep both teams looking strong, namely The Usos.
Three, it will be the impetus not only for Rusev & English's face turn and Benjamin & Gable's heel turn (which they've already somewhat planted the seeds for), but it will also be the impetus for a mini-feud between The Usos and Rusev/English heading into Fastlane.
I would expect that The Usos will not be too happy at the comedy duo for squandering their opportunity to regain the gold.
Whichever team wins that feud best be ready for The Bludgeon Brothers, as WWE is clearly stalling with them so that they can really look strong over the next few months, kind of like how they re-introduced Braun Strowman.
Winners (by disqualification): The Usos (Gable & Benjamin retain)