Tossing Salt Presents:
WWE Greatest Royal Rumble
Thoughts & Predictions
April 24, 2018
Coming up this Friday from the mystical land of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium. It’s available for viewing on the WWE Network. And this show is big. Bigger than the Royal Rumble. Bigger than Survivor Series. Even bigger, dare I say, than Wrestlemania. Look at how stacked the card is. If they just had the women wrestling too, it would be Wrestlemania all over again. Unfortunately, due to being in Saudi Arabia and their restrictions on women and especially females who are scantily clad and kicking ass, the women get the weekend off from live events and are all staying home here in the United States. And this sausagefest event is all about the men and one kick-ass show. And with that in mind, let’s talk wrestling and do a few thoughts and predictions for the biggest show of the year thus far for WWE, the “Greatest Royal Rumble”. Let’s do this…
50 Man Royal Rumble Match
Before Friday, the largest Royal Rumble match was 40 men and was won by Alberto Del Rio back in 2011. Now, with the addition of several returning stars like Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and the Great Khali, the number of participants has been amped up to fifty men and the winner gets a trophy. Okay, that’s kind of a letdown and bummer as an incentive to win, but whatever. I expect all of the WWE wrestlers on this tour, including the men who have other matches, to be part of this match as well. They won’t really have a choice if they want to make that number of guys. Hell, we might even see the return of former Raw Tag Team Champion Nicholas. Okay, maybe not. It should be a good mix of WWE talent, NXT talent, returning stars and maybe even a Hall of Fame legend or two. And unlike most Royal Rumble matches, it really is anyone’s game to win here.
Despite the size of the event and card, this really is a throw away event for the WWE where the United States fans are concerned so WWE will be able to throw a few more curve balls and take more chances here than they would on a more traditional American based pay-per-view event or special so I don’t think the winner will be one of the usual suspects, aka Roman, Seth, etc. My first instincts are saying a dark horse favorite who’s due to get a big push, but isn’t quite involved in a major program at the time like Elias or maybe Baron Corbin. That was my first thought, but then I just remembered someone who’s on the tour, is a big name not in title contention with anyone and just returned to in-ring action and then the answer was obvious. I’d love to see Elias get the nod here and take home the win, but I have a feeling a certain American Dragon will do it instead.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Universal Championship – Steel Cage Match
Brock Lesnar (c) versus Roman Reigns
So will it finally happen and will WWE bite the bullet and put the WWE Universal Championship on Roman Reigns? It’s in a cage in the middle of Saudi Arabia and for some unexplained reason, Paul Heyman is not there and didn’t accompany Brock and the WWE superstars on this tour. So if Brock loses, there’s the excuse to shift the blame for Heyman for “dropping the ball and not being there”. I do not want to see Roman as the Universal Champion, but at this point, it’s pretty much inevitable. WWE has to either put the belt on Roman or admit that he shouldn’t be the “top guy” and chokes in the big fight. I’d actually like to see Roman take the win and title and then, on Raw Monday, get challenged and lose the belt immediately to Seth or Balor or maybe even some previously unknown “New Paul Heyman guy!”. That’s not going to happen though. But on Sunday, I think we will finally see a title change. Roman finally gets the belt. Brock gets mad and blames Heyman for the loss. Both parties move on to new feuds and battles. And the fans go nuts. Works for me.
Winner and NEW Universal Champion: Roman Reigns
Intercontinental Championship – Ladder Match
Seth Rollins (c) versus Finn Balor versus Samoa Joe versus The Miz
Samoa Joe has been moved to Smackdown Live and they already have Jeff Hardy and the U.S. Championship on that brand so he won’t be winning here and taking that title to the blue brand. Miz too is also now a member of the Smackdown brand and for the same reasons, plus a few months of upcoming battles with Daniel Bryan to occupy his time as well, the Intercontinental Championship will not be coming home. So that leaves Seth and Finn. Seth is okay as the champ, but I think we’re likely to see him maybe move up to some future battles with his “brother” for the Universal Championship in immediate future so that leaves Finn Balor. Balor as the Intercontinental Champion? That suits me just fine.
Winner and NEW Champion: Finn Balor
AJ Styles (c) versus Shinsuke Nakamura
I think this time, we might get the classic match that everyone expected to see at Wrestlemania between the former baby-daddy of Claire Lynch and the “Artist” who’s spastic dance moves cause seizures in small children. Joking aside, I think these two men will go all out and put on a clinic mixture of American and Japanese wrestling styles that will have everyone on their feet and paying attention. I hope we don’t get another dumb DQ finish with the low blows that Shinsuke has been doing so often, but instead get a clean pin and ending result. AJ is not losing the title here. At least I hope not.
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: AJ Styles
United States Championship
Jeff Hardy (c) versus Jinder Mahal
I just had a thought here. Wouldn’t it be cool to see the Miz win the IC title in his match and take it back with him to Smackdown and then, in this match, Jinder could take out Jeff Hardy and carry the U.S. title with him to RAW. I like that idea. Not enough to go back and change my prediction for the Intercontintental Championship match, but it’d still be a good move by WWE and I’d be happy to see it. The question here is does WWE have enough faith in Jeff to keep singles gold on him and push him as a top singles guy or will the Jinder experiment be continued? I’ll go for the second choice.
Winner and NEW United States Champion: Jinder Mahal
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Tournament Final
Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy versus Sheamus & Cesaro
The Bar has been moved to Smackdown Live and it wouldn’t make sense to have two Smackdown Live stars as the “RAW” Tag Team Champions, would it? I think that the time in the spotlight as a team for Sheamus and Cesaro has passed and it’s time for those two to focus on singles action or maybe some great matches against the Usos, Harper & Rowan or maybe even the oh-so-stale New Day team. Matt and Bray are new, different and it will be WONDERFUL to see the Bar get DELETED as the WOKEN ONES take home that tag team gold.
Winners: Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan) (c) versus The Usos
I love to watch the Usos wrestle and they are arguably one of the greatest tag teams of the past ten years or so, but their act is getting stale and needs to be refreshed. Be it a move to RAW, maybe a full time role for Naomi as part of their time as well as a wrestler or just new opponents not named New Day, something has to be done. They’ve been the tag team champs for Smackdown for what seems like forever and it’s time to see a new team at the top for a while. I really do hate and despise the whole giant hammers thing and the “Bludgeon Brothers” name for Harper and Rowan, but I love the team and really enjoy seeing especially Harper wrestle and do his thing. That big man has talent and could be a huge singles star. Look for Harper and Rowan to retain and if we’re lucky, maybe we’ll even get a backstage segment with the Smackdown Tag Champs having an encounter with their RAW counterparts, Bray and Hardy. That would be DELIGHTFUL!
Winners and STILL Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan)
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Cedric Alexander (c) versus ???
So who is the challenger for Alexander and the Cruiserweight Champion? That will be determined on 205 Live tomorrow night as the Cruiserweight’s hold a Gauntlet Match to determine who will challenge Alexander at this big event. Drew Gulak and Tony Nese have both been announced as participants and I’m sure that TJP, Jack Gallagher, The Brian Kendrick and others will be involved as well. But you know what? In the words of The Rock, It doesn’t matter who the challenger is. This is Alexander’s first big test as the new Cruiserweight Champion since winning the title at Wrestlemania and I don’t expect to see him lose it anytime soon. So have the big Gauntlet match on 205 Live and determine a new top contender. And unless it’s Neville making a return (and I would so love to see that), they will go down in the big match.
Winner and STILL WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Cedric Alexander
John Cena versus Triple H
It’s the “Game” versus “The Franchise” and this will be two of the top old-school stars and guys just going out there, showing why they have been at the top for so long and why they are who they are. Nothing on the line here, but egos and the desire to put on a top notch match for the fans. That’s all and I expect to see these two men to tell a story and deliver. Neither man would really be hurt by a loss, but Cena just lost his last big match in a squash by the Undertaker and needs to win here. I expect that’s exactly what we’ll see.
Winner: John Cena
The Undertaker versus Rusev w/ Aiden English
It’s the Undertaker and it’s a Casket Match. Squash city here as the Dead Man takes home an easy victory.
Winner: The Undertaker
And there you go. It’s on Friday and the show will begin at 12:00 noon (Eastern). It’s live on the WWE Network and should be one hell of a show. I’ll be working of course and will try to catch it later in the evening when I get home. So what do you think of my predictions? Am I right? Am I wrong? Who do you think will win and lose and are you even excited for this show? Tell me what you think. I want to know.
And with that, I’m down and gone. Thanks for reading. And until the next time, take it easy and I’ll see you at the matches.