The Royal Rumble is fast approaching, and with a WrestleMania main event on the line, all the talk at this point of the year becomes about the legendary match and which Superstar deserves to stand above 29 others at the final bell. We all have our individual favorites, so there would be many choices from the fans of who that should be, but the list of who shouldn’t is much shorter. So this is a look at five people who would be considered by WWE as favorites that we just don’t want to see winning.
The Undertaker is rumored to be wanting one more match, or one more run in the WWE. With his standing as a legend in the WWE, he has to be considered a favorite, but the WWE need to avoid that temptation. The Dead Man came out on top in the 2007 Royal Rumble, and was a huge participant in last year's match. But even if the WWE are considering it, they need to find another way to set up his WrestleMania match if he indeed plans on returning. This one is a long shot, but as we’ve said, The Undertaker is a legend. With Vince McMahon in charge, anything can happen, but common sense will hopefully and likely be used here.
Jason Jordan might not be an obvious choice that comes to your mind straight away, but when you think about the storyline he’s involved in with his ‘dad’ Kurt Angle and the heel turn WWE are rumored to push soon, he actually could be one of the favorites to win the whole match. It would certainly give Jordan the nuclear heat that he is already close to having, and that would accomplish WWE's goal, but it’s too early to push JJ as a top heel on RAW. Perhaps in 2019 it would be a better idea, but WWE have to resist the temptation for an intentional repeat of a Royal Rumble disaster from 2015 and go with someone whose genuinely ready to headline WrestleMania.
Out of nowhere, Randy Orton won the 2017 Royal Rumble and has managed to stay in the main event of SmackDown Live ever since. But with new stars emerging on the blue brand, the veteran Orton doesn’t need to win the match for a third time. The match all fans want to see at WrestleMania is AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, and that doesn’t involve Orton. Thus the WWE can undoubtedly find better ways to utilize him outside of winning the big match. He hasn’t been mentioned among the favorites with our next two entries, but he’s a huge star of this era, so we never know what WWE is going to do.
As the next big top guy in WWE, Roman Reigns was always going to be a favorite in this match. Of course, him winning is definitely a possibility as we know that WWE is setting up for the much anticipated Reigns vs. Lesnar match. We’ve all seen through the Reigns experiment that Vince McMahon is trying to push on the fans, and the Royal Rumble is the stage of some of that experiment's biggest failures, and it would be a huge mistake to repeat them. We assume that WWE is smart enough to learn from those mistakes, because Reigns shouldn’t come out on top in this match. But we’ve definitely been wrong about The Big Dog and his booking before.
Recent reports have John Cena as the favorite to win the Royal Rumble match, but he’s also been linked to The Undertaker match at ‘Mania. We’d love to see the latter, but a RR victory would be disastrous. Sure, it makes sense for a big time star to come out on top in the 30-man battle royal, but at this point with how infrequently Cena is around, it would be much better used to push an up and coming star. In saying that, the 16-time WWE Champ could be used in that capacity to put a younger star like Nakamura, Balor or Samoa Joe over. While fans wouldn’t react like they did the last time the Rumble was in Philadelphia, it wouldn’t be a good idea on WWE’s part.
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