Last Monday’s Raw featured a #1 Contender’s Match between Kane and Braun Strowman that got absolutely no one excited about the possibility of either man (or both) facing Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at the 2018 WWE Royal Rumble.
We got a (slight) reprieve with the result, and an even better sign with Corey Graves telling us no less than three times that both men lost (instead of proclaiming there was no winner).
So while it’s expected we will indeed get the “Triple Threat Match That No One Wants” for the WWE Universal Championship, the Royal Rumble kicks off the Road To WrestleMania and WWE has surprised us before.
So what are some other top options? Read on, my friends!
5. Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe
Since capturing the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 33, Brock Lesnar’s matches haven’t exactly delivered in a big way. The best of the bunch? That would be Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe. If WWE wants to deliver a great championship match at the Royal Rumble, this would be a way. However, Joe needs to kick out of the F5 this time to make it worthwhile, and I don’t see that happening.
4. Brock Lesnar in the 2018 WWE Royal Rumble
Nothing wrong with a little outside-the-box thinking, right?
As first suggested by Jon Weigell, Brock Lesnar could in fact enter the Royal Rumble himself, with Paul Heyman declaring that there he will prove there is no competition for “The Beast” and Brock will simply eliminate them all in one night.
The obvious set-up here is to have Roman Reigns eliminate Brock Lesnar from the Royal Rumble and start their course towards a showdown in New Orleans.
3. Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
We have several weeks until the Royal Rumble pay-per-view event, so the set-up for this could be done. Brock Lesnar, as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, had one hell of a triple threat match with John Cena and Seth Rollins at the 2015 edition of the Royal Rumble, and the combination of Seth and Dean Ambrose as opponents could deliver.
Send Ambrose and Rollins in as Shield allies to start the match, but you can set-up their potential WrestleMania grudge match by having them continually costing one another the match, leading to Ambrose eventually snapping on his “brother” after eating the fall.
This match-up also provides the most believability, because Lesnar could lose without taking the fall. He could easily regain the Universal Championship on Raw or at Elimination Chamber. I am not saying they’d do that, but at least you can sell the possibility of it happening.
2. Brock Lesnar vs. Dolph Ziggler
Stick with me here. Dolph Ziggler has made some comments about both his place in WWE, fueling speculation that some time away might be in order. While I don’t think it’s as bad as many reading into his comments believe, I think there’s some warrant to him taking time off.
What better way to do that than to feed him to The Beast? Have Ziggler drop the fall in the United States Championship Triple Threat match at Clash Of Champions, then have him claim it’s time for drastic action in a promo on Smackdown.
That plan is finally revealed a week or two, when he shows at Raw up to attack Lesnar (or ruin another #1 Contender Match), eventually convincing Kurt Angle to give him this shot. Ziggler loses, and disappears for a little bit, only to return with much fanfare at the 2019 Royal Rumble.
- Finn Balor – we all want it, myself included, but there isn’t much I can say about it that hasn’t already been said.
- Jason Jordan – He keeps begging for changes, right?
- Kane – Putting Kane in a singles match with Brock isn’t terrible, only because no matter who the opponent is, we know Brock is winning.
1. Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena
Now we’re talking! “Free Agent” John Cena (that still pisses me off) bounces back to Raw after supporting the blue brand at Survior Series to challenge The Beast one more time. You can promote this as his chance at championship reign number 17, surpassing “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
It’s believable because, well, for starters he’s John Freaking Cena! The WWE fanbase will buy into him doing pretty much anything. It can lead to Cena vs. Reigns at WrestleMania, a match I am sure Vince would be fine with doing.
I am not saying John Cena would win—no one is beating Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. But this would cast the most doubt, and is the most intriguing match you can set-up when the conclusion is already foregone.
Top 5: WWE Raw Superstars That Should Go To Smackdown In 2018
The brand split has given us two distinct rosters with their own faults. While both shows could stand to mix the rosters up, today we look at five Raw superstars that should come to Smackdown Live within the next year.
5. Apollo Crews (Titus Brand)
Since coming to RAW, Crews was able to find a mentor in Titus O’neil, and did get a few wins under his belt. With Reigns and Lesnar holding both singles titles, the best opportunity for gold lies with the tag team championships, and that doesn’t seem probable at this point. A switch to Smackdown Live, not only for Crews, but Titus Brand, would open up opportunities. Smackdown’s tag team division is the best it has been in a while, and with a new U.S. champion getting crowned Crews can be a viable challenger for the victor.
With both Asuka and Paige top contenders for Alexa Bliss’ Woman’s Championship, and Sasha and Nia waiting in the wings, Bayley doesn’t have much she can do. Smackdown Live’s Woman’s division is in need of new competition, with Becky Lynch and Ruby Riott being the freshest competitors to challenge Charlotte. Reports are coming out that WWE is giving up on Bayley, but a switch to the blue show could open up
3. Samoa Joe
Unless he wins the Intercontinental Championship, there doesn’t seem to be anything for Samoa Joe to do on RAW until Roman eventually gets the Universal Championship. Even then the likely candidate to be a worthy challenge to the Big Dog is Braun Strowman. A move to Smackdown Live would give the main event scene a big player heading into WrestleMania and could provide for some memorable dream matches. Joe is one of the few NXT call-ups that still has a good bit of his aura still intact, but moving to SmackdownLive could provide much more prominent role.
2. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel
While a trade to the blue brand might not do much for the Miztourage, a change of scenery could do them justice. Bo and Axe are two talents most fans believe to be underutilized, as Axel is the son of Curt Henning and Bo is a former NXT Champion. The Smackdown Live tag division is flourishing at the moment, and while the two may not be challenging for the titles, at least Harper and Rowan can have another team to destroy outside of Breezango.
1. Finn Balor
Like Joe, Balor will have to wait a while before getting the chance at one of the two singles titles on Monday nights. A plethora of challengers awaits Roman Reigns with both his I.C. and Universal Championships, and while Balor could be one of those challengers, it is unlikely he will take one of them. A brand change could open up a possible run at AJ Styles, as Balor has a victory over him. Not to mention, like Joe, the plentiful amount of dream matches that could come of this.
Official Rundown: The Chairshot 2017 Match of the Year
All of the voting is done, and we finally know the winner of the Inaugural Chairshot Match of the Year. We’d like to thank everyone who participated across multiple groups, we saw a total of 400 people express their opinion in the results. Each of the five matches brought something a little different to the table, and in most groups we had a difference of merely 3 or 4 votes between first and second place. However, one group tipped the scales significantly for the match that ended up winning.
So let’s see where each of the Top 5 ended up in the final rankings:
(t) 5th – The Usos vs The New Day – WWE Hell in a Cell – 17 votes
While many people enjoyed this match, the in ring quality wasn’t quite up to par with the other options, as well as people preferring one of the other matches between these two teams. Given the year both teams had, and how The Usos are most people’s tag team of the year…tying for 5th in this vote isn’t really an insult.
(t) 5th – Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Brian Cage – NOAH Summer Navigation – 17 votes
This match suffered from the lack of overall exposure to the general crowd. Brian Cage’s popularity in Lucha Underground helped to put this on some people’s radar but, Japanese companies not named New Japan still have issues garnering more fans. This match showcased a lot of Brian Cage’s ability not seen on Lucha Underground. So the fact it at least tied for 5th, instead of getting no traction, is a small testament for word of mouth still doing work in the social media age.
3rd – John Cena vs AJ Styles – WWE Royal Rumble – 56 votes
The WWE’s Match of the Year, finishes third, with a respectable number of votes. A very good match for WWE standards, had the uphill battle of following Wrestle Kingdom 11, and put up a good fight. Cena ties Ric Flair’s record 16 Heavyweight Title reigns with this match, but it sadly didn’t measure up to the caliber of our top two matches this year.
2nd – Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne – NXT Takeover: Chicago – 91 votes
When this match ended and Meltzer’s ratings gave it less than 5 Stars, the internet wrestling community collectively lost their minds. NXT as a brand is highly beloved since it’s basically the WWE’s version of a Indy promotion, with better production values. The match was quite good and even won the vote in a few of the groups we extended the poll into. Definitely a well deserved Top 5 entrant, but still fell to the match that won over many critics and decisively won our vote.
1st – Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega – NJPW Dominion – 219 votes
Was there really any doubt? These two have put on enough classic matches this year to basically have a Top 10 of matches just including them. Not only did this match surpass their first bout, which was Kim Kardashian’s backside levels of breaking the internet, it immediately drew comparisons to Steamboat vs Flair thanks to the 60 Minute Broadway, which isn’t seen often, much less for the Heavyweight Championship. Regardless of where you lie on your feelings between the best match of the trilogy, or what trilogy is the best, or who the better wrestler is, the main fact is; without these matches capturing your interest, you wouldn’t have a basis for argument in the first place.
This vote caps off 2017 nicely as the year of New Japan. It became more visible to the public even before Jericho’s announcement and gives fans a plausible number 2 to try to rally behind. Would it be nice to see WWE step up their game a little? Yes it would, but it probably won’t happen yet. Should you be hopping on the Japanese Wrestling Hype Train and look into NOAH, Dragon Gate and All Japan? Definitely yes, at times those three companies put on matches that were better than New Japan and have stars that can easily compete with your favorites in NJPW.
Use your internet connection to educate yourself further…and Always Use Your Head.
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