The Road To WrestleMania is well underway, and with the Royal Rumble only a matter of days away, what better time to have a look at the potential winners, losers and surprise moments from my favourite PPV of the year. This year will mark the first time ever that we see the women of WWE compete in their very own historic Royal Rumble, something they have been super keen to remind us of every 4 seconds, so I’ll be giving my thoughts on that too. LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!
Mens Royal Rumble Predictions!
Would Like to Win : Rusev or Big E
Who I Think Will Win : Shinsuke Nakamura
Entrant 1 : Elias
Entrant 30 : Jason Jordan (Just to screw with us)
Most Eliminations : Baron Corbin or Samoa Joe
Longest Time In Match : Finn Balor
Shortest Time In Match : Curtis Axel or Bo Dallas
3 Most Likely Surprises/Debuts : Velveteen Dream, Aleister Black, Batista
3 Dream Surprises/Debuts : Ricochet, Daniel Bryan, Neville
So from the strong rumours circling the internet, it seems we are set for a Smackdown Live Rumble winner again. Why have I gone for Nakamura? Because it’s the easiest and laziest way for WWE to set up the ‘dream match’ against AJ Styles. I may be in the minority here, but I don’t overly want to see this match. WWE have ruined Nakamura since he stepped up to SDLive by limiting his move set, not developing his mic work and killing his momentum by having him lose multiple times to Jinder Mahal. The entire build up in the program would have to be carried solely by Styles which is a lot to ask considering Mania is nearly 3 months away.
Why would I want Big E to win? The guy has all of the tools required to be a successful singles competitor – deceptively fast and agile, stronger than an ox, fantastic on the mic and it could all be done while still being a part of The New Day with Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston potentially challenging for other belts too. Velveteen Dream and Aleister Black had one of the best rivalries and matches of 2017 so I’d be shocked if they didn’t enter at some point and have a chance to shine for 10 minutes or so. Batista has been rumoured for some time now but I don’t see him returning properly due to his Hollywood commitments, so a Rumble cameo makes sense and would be received well by fans. Baron Corbin eliminating a bunch of guys would help to build him back up after a rather forgettable US Championship reign and WWE once again seemingly losing faith in him.
To see Neville would be a huge surprise and a very welcome one at that, WWE really dropped the ball by letting him walk away after he had such a phenomenal 2017 and he should’ve been pushed to bigger things. My Daniel Bryan shout is one I want to happen but also don’t want in equal measures. The reason I don’t want it is because you can bet your house on it that Shane McMahon will get involved if Bryan does, leading to the inevitable and unnecessary feud between the two that we keep being teased with. Nobody wants it… NOBODY. Please I’m begging you WWE… stop before it’s too late. A Bryan return should be the highlight of the year, there is absolutely no need for Shane to be a part of that when it could be against someone like The Miz, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn or AJ Styles.
The most interesting thing for me this time around is what WWE will do with Roman Reigns. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that the going plan is for Reigns to topple The Beast Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34, so to have him win the Rumble makes sense as it’s the perfect set up fpr him to challenge. Though at the same time, I think WWE are so determined for this match to take place that Roman doesn’t necessarily need to emerge victorious from the Rumble. This is a guy who was entered straight into the Universal Championship scene without earning it, literally right after dropping the United States Championship. Expect Roman to make the final 4 at least just to rile the fans up and tease the possibility of him being booed out of the building. I can’t wait for the pop when he gets eliminated!
Women’s Royal Rumble Predictions!
Would Like to Win: Becky Lynch
Who I Think Will Win: Asuka
Entrant 1: Natalya or Becky Lynch
Entrant 30: Sasha Banks or Ronda Rousey
Most Eliminations: Nia Jax or Tamina
Longest Time in Match: Becky Lynch
Shortest Time in Match: Lana
3 Most Likely Surprises/Debuts: Lita, Nikki Cross, Trish Stratus
3 Dream Surprises/Debuts: Kharma, Candice LeRae, Peyton Royce
Isn’t it painfully obvious that Asuka will win? Even before Paige’s unfortunate career ending injury, it was pretty much nailed on that she would be coming out of this one victorious as it backs up her claim to be invincible. It almost makes me not want to watch at all, Asuka for me has been every bit as unimpressive as Nakamura since stepping up from NXT. Becky Lynch would hands down be my personal pick to win, we all know how good she is in the ring, the fans still love her and WWE need to do something to make up for her abysmal treatment over the last year. It wasn’t that long ago she was putting on a fantastic match with Charlotte and Sasha Banks at WrestleMania 32, so for her to be so far down the pecking order now just makes no sense to me.
This match worries me to be honest, 9 times out of 10 when we get multiple women involved in the same match on RAW or SDLive it ends up being an absolute mess (no disrespect intended). I think its safe to say that we can expect this first ever Women’s Royal Rumble to be plagued by botches and confusion. The only saving grace will be the inevitable returns of Lita and Trish Stratus, plus the main roster debuts of some fantastic NXT talent like Nikki Cross and Peyton Royce. I would also expect to see Stephanie McMahon and Ronda Rousey enter at some point, which would be an embarrassment really as it would take away from the importance and historical significance of the match. There’s also the possibility we will see some sort of degrading piss take moment, something like Santino Marella or James Ellsworth competing in drag simply because Vince McMahon is so out of touch with what we, the paying fans, want to see. God help us.
But wait, there’s more! More to this Royal Rumble pay-per-view than the two main event matches, that is!
Braun Strowman v Kane v Brock Lesnar (c) – Universal Championship Triple Threat
This should be a decent enough match, it’s just such a shame we all know how it’s going to end and what it leads to. The only outcome here is Kane taking the pin, with Lesnar coming out on top. The inclusion of Kane was an intriguing one at first, but it quickly became quite clear why he was there in the first place… Kane taking the pin keeps Strowman looking strong and helps Lesnar keep the belt without Strowman having to lose. You can probably expect Strowman to dominate for a while, a few teases of him facing Lesnar, Strowman makes a mistake outside the ring so Lesnar can capitalise and sneak the win.
BUT WAIT! Let’s throw a curveball in there… imagine if Lesnar was to lose the belt, and then later in the night he enters and wins the Royal Rumble. Reigns takes the title from Strowman… boom. Lesnar v Reigns still happens at Mania, Strowman gets to hold the belt for a bit. Book it WWE. Strowman deserves it and we all want to see it.
Result : Lesnar retains, pinning Kane.
Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin v The Uso’s (c) – SDLive Tag Team Championships 2 Out Of 3 Falls Match
The Uso’s were far and beyond the team of 2017, but I’ve quickly lost all interest in this feud. WWE can’t decide if Benjable (you heard it here first) are face or heel at the moment, and with The Uso’s suddenly rose in popularity it makes it hard to know who to side with. Benjamin for me has been largely underwhelming since returning to WWE, and the only good thing to come from this pairing is more TV time for Gable who is an absolute star in the making.
I’m sure this will be a decent enough match, but nowhere near the caliber of what we’ve seen in recent months where Rusev Day and The New Day were both also involved. Hopefully The Uso’s keep the belts here and go on to face Rusev Day or The Bludgeon Brothers.
Result : The Uso’s retain, winning 2-1
The Bar v Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan (c) – RAW Tag Team Championships
Honestly? I just don’t care at all, i might not even watch this match. You’re probably thinking it’s because I’m part of the We Hate Jason Jordan bandwagon, right? Nope. I actually quite enjoy him in his new delusional, super optimistic and goofy role. I’m just sick of seeing this match, with these same guys over and over again. How can WWE get the SDLive tag division SO good, but forget all about RAWs? The most frustrating thing here is that we have The Revival facing Gallows & Anderson on the damn pre-show!
This is another one which feels pretty straightforward and obvious. The Bar may very well up taking the belts back, likely from Jordan being over zealous and costing him and Seth to lose. Seth turns on him. They feud until Mania. The only reason this is happening is because Dean Ambrose was legitimately put on the shelf, if he hadn’t have suffered the injury it would be him in place of Jordan but with the same outcome.
Result: The Bar are your new champions.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn v AJ Styles (c) – WWE Championship Handicap Match
Very, very intriguing. This strangely thought out encounter has two mouth watering outcomes and I’m not sure which I want more:
1. KO & Zayn win and become co-champions. The cracks begin to form and one betrays the other, leading to a showdown for the title at Mania, and yet another fantastic rivalry between the two best friends. This frees up AJ to be pissed at management and lead to him taking on a returning Daniel Bryan at Mania. Boom. Money.
2. AJ retains because KO & Zayn were too busy fighting over who would pick up the pinfall and be the rightful winner of the match. They split and feud until Mania still, just not for the title. AJ goes on to face Nakamaura to appease the Indy darlings who somehow think the dream match will be any good inside a WWE ring.
My gut says AJ retains the title and we see KO & Zayn split up, but I’d rather see them stay together and go after the tag titles. Either way this should be a great match. Expect Shane McMahon to interject and shove his ego down our throats at some point too.
Result: AJ retains
AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.
With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.
1. Johnny Gargano
Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?
WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.
2. James Storm
This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.
Watch your Money and your Alcohol.
Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”
3. Big Cass
Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.
Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.
4. Bronson Reed
The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.
Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?
5. Bray Wyatt
And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.
To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.
– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!
King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy
As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI. Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.
Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.
I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”
Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match
Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!
Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect
On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.
Swanton Bomb From The Heavens
When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.
Hardy Wins The WWE Championship
In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.
Straight Edge Problems For Hardy
The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.
The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE
Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.
Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut
From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.
This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.
As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.
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