The Royal Rumble and WrestleMania aren’t too far off and it’s safe to say that both will be controversial, to say the least. The Royal Rumble has had its fair share of letdowns over the years. Some that come to mind are Batista winning the Royal Rumble match in 2014, Roman Reigns winning the Royal Rumble match in 2015 and getting booed out of the building and Randy Orton winning the match in 2017, because a babyface Randy Orton is like receiving a half-eaten piece of your favorite candy from some muscular stranger you’ve never met before. In other news, WrestleMania has been bittersweet for a lot of fans. There was the AJ Styles/Chris Jericho match at Wrestlemania 32 but there was also that bore-fest that Roman Reigns and Triple H had. Daniel Bryan won the WWE World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania XXX, but there was also that stinker called the Andre the Giant memorial battle royal that many people think is a total disgrace to the legacy of Andre.
My point is that whether you liked those matches or not, you watched them. You know why that is? Because the WWE and wrestling fans are a lot like a married couple. Sure, you guys fight a lot. As you get older you notice you tend to fight a lot more than you used to and sure, there are those times when you wish that would just go on the world’s longest vacation and or never return because of all the horse manure they put you through, but you’re still right there with them. So let’s skip the good and talk about the bad, because you know there’s going to be a whole lot of both during these two events.
15. Bray Wyatt, Eater Of Pins (WrestleMania)
Hey, you want to hear something cool? Since his debut, Bray Wyatt has wrestled John Cena, The Undertaker, and Randy Orton at WrestleMania XXX, 31, and 33 respectively. He was defeated on all three occasions and has yet to win a single match at WrestleMania. When you look at Bray Wyatt, you don’t see some guy you want to feel sorry for, you someone who looks ruthless and cold. You see a man who looks like he is in some serious need of professional help. When he says he’s going to beat someone, he makes you feel sorry for said opponent. Well, he used to, anyway. Nowadays when Wyatt is on the mic, the only thing you can’t help but think about is, who is this guy going to job to next? Don’t get me wrong, Wyatt can still cut a mean promo, but it’s kind of given that whoever he’s addressing is going to pick up a victory over him in the near future. It shouldn’t be like this. Wyatt should be feared during a match as much as he is during promos. This year at WrestleMania, Wyatt will probably be featured in a high-profile match and there’s a good chance he’ll lose.
14. Brock Lesnar’s Universal Title Defense (Royal Rumble)
Sure, The Beast Incarnate is one bad dude. But does anyone else think his title run is starting to get a bit too predictable? At this point, by the way that Lesnar is being booked, God himself could show up at the Royal Rumble event, strike The Beast with lightning and somehow still come out on the losing end. Since defeating Goldberg for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania this year, Lesnar has managed to defend Raw’s top prize against Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman, and Roman Reigns. In other news, he also has defeated current WWE Champion AJ Styles at Survivor Series this year. I know that’s only four WWE superstars, but after you realize who those four men are and how they’re being built to look, it makes you wonder who has enough credibility and star power to take the title away from this unstoppable beast? Strowman seemed like he was being booked for that purpose, but as you know, he was unsuccessful. With Lesnar “conquering” top superstars like Joe, Reigns, and Strowman in a matter of months, who’s left?
13. Absolution Vs. Riott Squad (WrestleMania)
This reason this idea is trash has to do with the fact that it’s way too predictable. Plus, they’ll probably get a good 7 minutes of match time before it’s curtains. In a matter of weeks, both the Raw and SmackDown women’s division have been under siege by separate groups of three female wrestlers. For Raw, it’s the team of Paige, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville. They call themselves Absolution. For SmackDown Live, it’s the team of Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan. They call themselves The Riott Squad. Is this great for both of Raw and SmackDown‘s women’s divisions? Sure! Should both teams face each other at WrestleMania this year? No. While it would make sense that with the destruction that both teams have caused that they’d want to fight it out to see which faction was more dominant, it would make things anti-climatic and predictable. A better way of putting would be that this would make things a bit meh.
12. A Second Jinder Mahal Title Reign (Royal Rumble)
Okay, ask yourself this one question. If you were thinking about watching WrestleMania on Pay-Per-View this year and subscribed to the WWE Network for the sole purpose of doing just that, would you in any way, shape, form or fashion be disappointed to hear “and weighing in at 238 pounds, he is the current WWE Champion, The Modern Day Maharaja, Jinder Mahal? No… no, you probably wouldn’t. As a matter of fact, I have reason to believe that you would lose all hope for humanity and humankind, burn every WWE DVD and Blu-ray disc you ever bought and never watch a single thing produced by the company again. This would probably happen because when you think about WrestleMania, you think about The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels, Triple H vs. The Undertaker. You spend the entire year thinking about all the dream matches you could see take place like Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles, Nia Jax vs. Asuka, or John Cena vs. The Undertaker. What you don’t spend your time having wet dreams about in your tightie whities is a WrestleMania title defense featuring the erstwhile former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal, who might win his belt back at next year’s Royal Rumble.
11. The ‘Mania 34 Kickoff Show (WrestleMania)
That’s right folks! You can expect all your favorite WWE Superstars such as Cesaro, Tye Dillinger, The Usos, whomever they decide to represent they cruiserweight division, and much more on the WrestleMania Kickoff show. To be honest, it wouldn’t be so bad if said Superstars were given enough match time during the pre-show. Don’t get me wrong, it would still be a total bust, but at least it would be an improvement as well. Why is this so important, you ask? Well, let me tell ya. See, nobody watches the Kickoff show because, for the most part, all you get is a bunch of promos and some shameless plugs thrown in here and there to bring to your attention that you should get your credit card out right now and shell out ten bucks a month to watch the full show. Doesn’t matter if it’s going to be good or a total dumpster fire. Other than this, you’re treated to two to three matches that no one pays much attention to because it’s not on the main card. Most of the time you’ll see stars you would have paid a boatload of money to watch for free. You also get to pay watch wrestlers you don’t care much for and in all honesty, no one wants to pay to see wrestlers they never wanted to see in the first place.
10. Kane vs. Braun Strowman (Royal Rumble)
When you look at WWE’s history, two super heavyweights fighting it out in the squared circle, mano e mano hardly ever turns out well. Take the Mark Henry/Big Show feud from 2011. Do you remember that? No, you probably don’t. What you remember is that during the peak of their rivalry, Daniel Bryan cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and won the World Heavyweight Title for the first time in his WWE career. Was it because Big Show and Mark Henry are terrible in the ring? No, probably not. It was because you couldn’t help feeling like you were watching paint dry and there was no way to escape from your boredom. You tugged, you pulled, you may have even asked your girlfriend to give you a wedgie and call you Big Willie for old times’ sake, but to no avail. Rumor has it that Kane and Bruan Strowman are going to go one on one at Royal Rumble in January and there’s a good chance you’re going to feel the same way you did during the Big Show/Mark Henry rivalry and if you didn’t know, that means very good.
9. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose (WrestleMania)
There’s no doubting that Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have great chemistry when they compete against each other. Still, a match between the two at WrestleMania 34 seems to be a bit random at this point. While seeing an angle where Dean Ambrose turns on his tag team partner, Seth Rollins, as payback for Rollins turning his back on The Sheild in 2014 would be interesting, this isn’t likely to happen. One, if they split up again, it’s probably going to be Rollins who once again stabs Ambrose and Roman Reigns in the back. Not sure how Reigns is going to fit in this situation, but yeah. Two, no one wants to see The Sheild disband again. At least for the time being, anyway. Since they’ve reunited, they have been one of the only things that WWE fans think the creative team has done right in a long time. It doesn’t stop there either. Rollins has a new purpose now, Dean Ambrose isn’t feuding with The Miz for 17 billion years and Roman Reigns is actually starting to get over with the crowd again.
8. Not Having A Women’s Royal Rumble Match (Royal Rumble)
Over the past couple of years, women’s wrestling has changed in a drastic way. Gone are the days of bra and panties matches, stripteases and partial nudity. Now it’s all about competition and being the best. Believe it or not, there are some fans that don’t care much about this change, but I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that they can all go jerk… and dance along with the beat of that old New Boyz song called “You’re a Jerk.” Anyway, you get the point. Things have changed and with the first ever women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, the first-ever women’s Hell in a Cell match and such taking place in the span of one or two years, it would seem fitting that 2018 features the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match. Will it happen? No, probably not. At least not in the year 2018. Why is this? Maybe it has something to do with the length. I mean, if the men’s Royal Rumble match is going to be an hour and change, how much time would that give them? But if that were the case, then what about the times when both Raw and SmackDown featured one Elimination Chamber match a piece? Sure, the Rumble match is longer, but it isn’t like it would make much of a time difference when you think about all useless promos that people saw on the kickoff show already.
7. Finn Balor Having Nothing To Do (WrestleMania)
The summer of 2016 was bittersweet for one Finn Balor. He won the right to be in a Universal Title match at SummerSlam of that year. He defeated Rusev, Kevin Owens, and Cessaro in a fatal four-way match and then beat Roman Reigns to get a Universal title opportunity at SummerSlam 2016. His opponent was Seth Rollins. The two superstars had one heck of a match that saw Finn Balor pick up the win and the title via the Coup de Grace. Balor won the title and everything was right with the world. That is until the next night on Raw, where an injured Balor had no choice but to relinquish what he had fought so hard to gain. Balor eventually returned to WWE programming in 2017 where has feuded with the likes of Samoa Joe and Bray Wyatt. Recently, it’s been rumored that Balor will face the current WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Even more recently, it’s been rumored that this won’t happen because Balor isn’t over with the crowd. Well, neither was Roman Reigns, and he has a few world titles under his belt.
6. John Cena Winning The Rumble Match (Royal Rumble)
Much like Roman Reigns, John Cena is starting to look a lot more like a babyface in terms of the cheers/boos ratio. Sure, they all still chant “John Cena sucks!” to the beat of his longtime theme music, “The Time Is Now,” but when he gets in that ring… when he gets in that ring, man… meh, fans still give him a hard time occasionally. Still, this doesn’t change the fact that 2017 John Cena is loved a lot much more than 2007 John Cena. If you need proof of just how bad wrestling fans despised the Cenation Leader, look no further than ECW One Night Stand, where he was booed, insulted, ridiculed, verbally assassinated by the fans in attendance and physically defeated by Rob Van Dam. Surprisingly, if Cena were to win the Royal Rumble match this year, I don’t see him getting the type of tongue lashing he got from the ECW fans. Heck, some fans might even like the fact that Cena won the match. At this point, though, if Cena wins the Rumble next year, it wouldn’t be much different from the time that Batista won in 2014. Some may not know this, but many fans were actually happy that Batista returned to the squared circle; they just weren’t happy that a part-timer had basically been handed the biggest match on the biggest show of the year over guys who worked their keisters off the entire year, such as one Daniel Bryan.
5. Byron Saxton On Commentary (WrestleMania)
I know, I know. This is kind of a low blow and to his credit, he has improved. Still, a big show like WrestleMania should feature someone else. Someone who doesn’t go by the name Byron Saxton. Think about how great it would be to hear that Jim Ross was coming back for one night only for WrestleMania, then think about Saxton. Think about how much better it would be if it were just Corey Graves and Mauro Ranallo doing the commentary for the event, then think about Saxton. Think about the fact that while Micheal Cole can still be as annoying as he was during the Attitude Era, and while Booker T can be tough to understand sometimes, both men would still make a better team than Saxton… then think about Byron Saxton. What’s your verdict? I’ll tell you what the verdict is. You don’t wanna pay $9.99 for Byron Saxton’s bland and stale commentary. You work hard for your money and the truth is, you don’t want it to go to waste on a man that you think has the ability to ruin an entire match just by the sound of his voice, darn it!
4. AJ Styles Loses The WWE Title (Royal Rumble)
You know what wouldn’t be best for business at this point? Having AJ Styles drop the title, that’s what. WrestleMania is the one event were, even if you’re not a die-hard wrestling fan, you’re still watching. It’s that one time of year that your dream matches are… I feel like I’ve said this already while writing a previous entry. My point is that the wrestlers that are respected the most should be the center of attention now more than ever. Take Jinder Mahal, for instance, if he were the WWE Champion heading into WrestleMania, there’s a good chance that far fewer people would be watching this year. Will Styles head into WrestleMania next year with the WWE Title around his waist? No, probably not. Instead, he probably loses the title to someone at the Royal Rumble. That is, if he can make it past everyone’s favorite superstar, The Modern Day Maharaja, Jinder Mahal. That was sarcasm, in case you were wondering.
3. Jason Jordan Push Continues (WrestleMania)
We’re not sure if Jason Jordan is about to turn heel or if he’s just a terrible actor, but either way, the Kurt Angle/Jason Jordan father-and-son angle sucks. If you don’t know or you get up and go to the restroom whenever you see Jason Jordan on your TV screen, his most recent attempt to “prove himself” occurred after he gave Roman Reigns a suplex. This attack happened because Jordan got mad at Reigns for not giving him an opportunity at winning the Intercontinental Title. Reigns gave Jordan a shot after Jordan attacked him. Jordan lost the match but gave Reigns a run for his money. This sounds all well and good, but the problem is that no one cared. Jordan was booed out of the building when asked for an Intercontinental title opportunity. Jordan was booed when he wanted to join Team Raw. Jordan has been and continues to get booed out of the building wherever he shows up. It’s not because he may or may not be turning heel, either. This storyline just sucks. Unfortunately, we will probably see Jordan in a high stakes match at WrestleMania this year.
2. Asuka’s First Women’s Championship On Main Roster (Royal Rumble)
She is known as The Empress of Tomorrow and during her days on NXT, she became the longest reigning Woman’s Champion in history. While for the most part, her run on WWE’s main roster has consisted of squash matches, it’s only a matter of time before Asuka wins the WWE Raw Women’s Championship. When this will happen remains a mystery, but if that were to happen at, say, the Royal Rumble, then the outcome would probably be… meh. While putting her in a series of squash matches after she clearly showed on NXT that she’s more than ready to do something a heck of a lot better than that, not ruining or rushing her first time as WWE Raw Women’s Champion is a good thing. Come on, think about for a moment. If she gets the title too early, she’ll just end up like Roman Reigns and nobody wants that to happen.
1. Another Main Event For Roman Reigns (WrestleMania)
Since The Shield’s reunion, Roman Reigns has slowly but surely gained the respect he lost from the WWE universe. While some fans still aren’t sold on Reigns, it’s obvious that things aren’t as bad as the night after WrestleMania 33, where Reigns was interrupted everytime he was about to speak. In case you’ve been living under a rock, this treatment was a result of Reigns’ huge victory of The Undertaker, in what many believe was The Deadman’s last match. Things definitely didn’t get better after. During that time Reigns continued to get booed out of the building everytime his theme music played. As stated before, this all changed when The Shield reunited. Unfortunately, this new development doesn’t have to stay the way it is right now. If Reigns is being booked for another main event opportunity, WWE fans will more than likely go back to hating him and you know what that means, don’t you? Yes, you guessed it, buddy. Reigns will go back to boosville. Why? Because most fans feel that Reigns was got a main event push way too fast. A few months of wrestling mid-card matches probably won’t change their perception.
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