Craig Wilson, Brian Damage and Earl Marx
We’re a matter of weeks away from the event that kicks-off the road to WrestleMania, in the Royal Rumble. In today’s Sunday Sermon, we discuss the likely winner of the Rumble match and who goes to WrestleMania to face the champion of his choice.
Craig: First thing’s first, I think I’m more excited about this year’s Rumble than any other in a long, long time.
The card itself is taking shape nicely and with AJ Styles defending against John Cena for the World Heavyweight Title and Roman Reigns challenging Kevin Owens for the Universal title, there’s a reasonable chance that all four won’t be in the Rumble match itself. If that’s the case, that makes things wide open for everyone else that’s going to feature.
The big names going into the Rumble, so far, are undoubtedly Goldberg and Brock Lesnar but, I think, it’s a fair assumption that, while they will interact in the match, it’ll be a side show leading to a WrestleMania bout anyway.
So, who left is there? Does Chris Jericho win and head to ‘mania to face Kevin Owens? Does the WWE use the Rumble to strap a rocket to the back of Braun Strowman? Does Finn Balor return and triumphs in the Rumble?
All that and more in the latest Sunday Sermon.
Brian: Interesting look at the Royal Rumble card, because at first glance, the undercard is nothing to really be excited about. I mean John Cena wrestling for the WWE title and a record 16th championship makes me cringe a little. The same goes for Roman Reigns potentially beating Kevin Owens for the Universal title. The Rumble match itself has always intrigued me because of the unpredictability of it.
Sure, the last few Royal Rumble matches have been less than “unpredictable,” but there is always that maybe this is the year we get a shocker. This might be the year that happens. I expect to see some surprise entrants and some standout performances by a wrestler or two. I think Finn Balor returns to win or at least put in a great showing, maybe a surprise with Kurt Angle or, dare I even say, Shawn Michaels? I mean this will take place in San Antonio after all…
Earl: This Royal Rumble. Wow. I must admit – last year “felt” predictable to an extent, but this year does not necessarily feel the same. I am almost at a loss. The case could be made for a few to win and I actually cringe whenever someone puts me on the spot to pick a winner. Seems with each Raw and Smackdown that passes, my pick changes a little bit. With that in mind, I’ll give you a glimpse into my train of thought. think we have got a few choices for “big” title matches (let’s exclude
I think we have got a few choices for “big” title matches (let’s exclude multi-man matches and I am sure there are other choices too);
1) John Cena vs Undertaker
2) AJ Styles vs Undertaker
3) Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho
4) Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman
5) Roman Reigns vs Finn Balor
6) Kevin Owens vs Finn Balor
If I look at my “big” matches above, I see more potential in a match from Raw being a focal point of the Rumble winner. I also look at my list and I note how much I am a huge fan of bromances. With this in mind, I could be in the minority that does not want to see KO and Jericho mix it up at ALL. Once I do a little more subtraction, that will leave me with two choices – Braun Strowman and Finn Balor. My heart sorely wants it to be Finn Balor, but I do not know if Balor will be viewed as a guy who can stay healthy on the road to Mania. Process of elimination gives my official pick (as of today) is Braun Strowman who I believe will face Roman Reigns for Universal Championship (and maybe the US Championship too). Winner take all. I don’t know. My 2nd pick is The Undertaker. *insert crying face emoji at the thought of Balor possibly missing the Rumble*
Craig: There is the option of Strowman and it would be a kicking-off of a huge push for him. However, I think more likely is him winning the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania, rather than competing in the main event match. Just my opinion, a casual glance at predictions suggests I don’t always get these right…
Angle is an interesting shout, Brian, however having seen him compete recently – at the ICW show at the tail end of last year – he’s not built for a long match-up. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw him but I would be surprised if we saw him win.
Right now, I’m struggling to look beyond Balor. If he can’t make it due to injury then the field is wide open, isn’t it?
Brian: Yes, it would be wide open. If, and this is a big if, John Cena doesn’t win the WWE title at the Royal Rumble. What I mean is, all signs, arrows, bells and whistles point to a John Cena vs Undertaker Wrestlemania showdown. So if Cena beats AJ Styles, look for the Undertaker to win the Rumble.
I hope that’s not the case but the Rumble is in Texas this year and the Dead Man is from there so I am just doing a little math.
Craig: It is worth noting that Cena vs. The Undertaker wouldn’t need a title involved – as I come up with reasons why Cena won’t win the title at the Rumble…
So our runners and riders are Finn Balor, The Undertaker, Braun Strowman with Chris Jericho also in the mix. Anyone else we think should be on that list?
Earl: Is there a snowball’s chance in hell that old man Goldberg pulls it off? Or Goldberg and Brock end together a la Lex and Bret? Maybe I went too far. Ha!
So there you have it, our take on the runners and riders for this this year’s Royal Rumble match. Got a different opinion? Leave it below in the comments.
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.