Happy Royal Rumble week! This year we’re doing something a little different with predictions. Instead of just featuring my predictions, I thought it would be great to put together the predictions from all of the Social Suplex team. Here are our Royal Rumble 2018 Predictions:

Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan vs. Cesaro & Sheamus

Brian: The dissension in the ranks between Seth and Jordan will increase again with one costing the other the loss. I can see Titus Worldwide challenging soon so would make sense to have a heel tag to fight against. Pick: The Bar

Jeremy: Sheamus and Cesaro have been the backbone of the Raw tag team division. I don’t see a singles run for either man in the near future. On the other hand, I believe both Rollins and Jordan will be back in singles action for Wrestlemania season.  Pick: The Bar

Ricky: I think this is the start of the break up of Rollins and Jason Jordan leading to a full-blown heel turn by Jordan with a potential match at Mania between these two.  Pick: The Bar

Rich: It’s time to get Seth out of these tag teams. I want the guy we were calling this generation’s Shawn Michaels back. The Bar wins due to tension between Jordan and Rollins.  Pick: The Bar

Josh: The odd pairing is destined to lose the belts sooner than later. But maybe not here. Got a feeling they lose the belts on an episode of RAW soon. Rollins & Jordan to retain.  Pick: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan

Robb: This is by far the easiest match to call. The seeds have already been sown for Jordan’s Heel turn, and furthermore the split between him and Rollins. Miscommunication will lead to Sheamus and Cesaro capturing another championship in their quietly underrated run.  Pick: The Bar

Rance: Something’s gotta happen here, right? Jordan and Rollins were always meant to be a temporary solution as a tag team, and both are surely meant for bigger things going into WrestleMania, right? And Sheamus and Cesaro, much like the Usos, they deserve to walk into WrestleMania as the champs based on the year they’ve had. Pick: The Bar

Caleb: This has been one entertaining build to a match for sure. Jason Jordan has slowly but surely become one of my favorite characters on the red brand. That being said, the lack of communication between Rollins & Jordan spells out to me that on Sunday we crown NEW RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS and maybe, just maybe, Jason Jordan will go on to kick Rollins’ leg out of his leg. Pick: The Bar

Tom: I love the Bar, I have since the beginning, but I think it’s time for a new heel team (The Revival) to be at the top of the division. I think Rollins & Jordan retain, mostly because I don’t see Rollins losing for a while now that the curb stomp is back. Pick: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan

James:  If I ever have to see Rollins versus a Bar member again in this new year after Sunday, it’ll be too soon. No more. Enough. Christ! Pick: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan

SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin (2-out-of-3-Falls Match)

Brian: Think this rivalry with Shelton and Chad isn’t finished and can see American Alpha 2 finally winning the overall feud further down the line. Pick: The Usos

Jeremy: The feud between both these teams have been very entertaining. I believe this match will steal the show. It took them awhile, but Gable and Benjamin are finally picking up momentum as a team. Through underhanded tactics, I see Gable and Benjamin becoming the new SmackDown tag team champions. Pick: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin

Ricky: I would have picked Usos, but I think due to Jey Uso’s recent arrest, I can see them putting the tile on American Alpha 2.0. I’d personally keep the title on the Usos, but I’m picking Alpha. Pick: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin

Rich: The Usos are too good to beat, and I don’t want them to lose. Keep the belt until Mania to give these guys the showcase they deserve. American Alpha is wack to me in every form but the wrestling. Pick: The Usos

Josh: 2 out of 3 falls I bet favors the heels here. Upset victory. Pick: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin

Robb: The Usos are an amazing heel team and have been on top of the tag team division, but Gable and Benjamin have been on an incredible momentous push these past few weeks. The issue is that neither team can take the lost; Usos deserve to be in a WrestleMania program, American Alpha can’t take another title match loss. If I had to bet, Usos take it with a dubious third fall. Pick: The Usos

Rance: “American Alpha 2” has been booked to seemingly have the advantage against the champs, with Gable beating Jey Uso this past Tuesday on SmackDown, and when he and Benjamin cheated to win the titles temporarily a few weeks prior. However, The Usos have proven that they’re the best in the business and are at the absolute top of their game. I see The Usos retaining, 2 falls to 1, and walking into WrestleMania as the champs, finally getting their deserved match on the main card. Pick: The Usos

Caleb: Conventional wisdom would say that since the challengers have gotten the one up on the champions so much, that the champions would retain here. HOWEVER, as we all know Jey Uso/Josh Fatu was recently arrested for a DWI in Hidalgo, Texas after a SmackDown live event and possible punishment could be on the way for The Usos. I look for the challengers CHAD GABLE & SHELTON BENJAMIN to win the match and become the new Tag Team Champions here. Pick: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin

Tom: This match is a tough one to call because both teams deserve the titles right now. I think the Usos are gonna retain in a really stellar match, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Gable & Benjamin in a three or four-way tag title match at Wrestlemania. Pick: The Usos

James:  2. Alpha is great as a team in the ring, but the fandom (which is NOT a universe) wants Rusev Day as the next challengers. Pick: The Usos

Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane (Triple Threat Match)

Brian: This is the least exciting match of the night. We’ve been getting our hopes up for every Brock match all year, but he still walks away with the title. Can’t see that changing on Sunday. Pick: Brock Lesnar

Jeremy: Vince McMahon is hell-bent on doing the Roman vs. Brock 2 at Wrestlemania. Personally, I’m tired of seeing Brock and won’t be mad when he finally leaves. Braun Strowman is hot yet again and should be given the strap. Unfortunately, Brock will be F5ing Kane and strolling into Mania. Pick: Brock Lesnar

Ricky: Brock retains. If a Roman vs. Brock is to happen at Mania then I don’t see anything other than a Brock Win. I’d put the title on Braun though and change the main event at Mania to Braun vs. Roman. Pick: Brock Lesnar

Rich:  I couldn’t care less about this match. Kane shouldn’t be in it, Strowman shouldn’t lose it, but WWE’s Brock Lesnar obsession will continue, and Strowman will have to settle for lifting huge stationary objects and seeing another hot period of his sacrificed to Brock Lesnar and by extension Roman Reigns. Pick: Brock Lesnar

Josh: He has a date with Roman, come hell of Strowman. Pick: Brock Lesnar

Robb: Kane is here to take the pin, this we know. I have a little doubt though that Brock is going to go away easy. Why put Braun in his third championship title match just to have him lose, again? Something seems up. I know it sounds crazy, but let’s just say the WWE gives it to Braun, and Roman and Brock can headline WrestleMania in their grudge match with no need of a title. Pick: Braun Strowman

Rance: Y’all are gonna think I’m crazy, but I’ve NEVER believed this widely believed rumor that Brock Lesnar VS Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 34 has been a certainty for the entirety of the year. Never believed it for a second. I’m not saying it won’t happen; I’m saying that nothing has shown that this is the direction that they are going. Enter Braun Strowman. Let’s look at a few facts:

  • Braun is the most organically over star in the company right now
  • Braun has never lost to anyone twice
  • Braun has dominated Brock in every meeting that they’ve had, sans their match at No Mercy
  • In the No Mercy match, Braun dominated until Brock hit him with the F5. I see Braun learning from that, as he has in every feud before (Roman, Sami, etc.)
  • Kane is in the match to take the pin, and I believe that will keep Brock looking strong while giving Braun the win

I think that Braun will win, and I think that the rubber match will be the main event of WrestleMania 34. You can call me crazy now. Pick: Braun Strowman

Caleb: Another great build to a potentially fun match on the red brand. I’m seeing a pattern here. Kane definitely feels like fodder for this match, just a fall guy. From there I’d say it’s anyone’s game on who walks out as the Universal Champion. Your winner AND STILL Universal Champion is, of course, Brock Lesnar, who is well on his way to a rematch with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. Pick: Brock Lesnar

Tom: I’m actually sad that this match was made because it’s so blatantly obvious that Kane is only there to get pinned. If WWE keeps putting Braun in title matches that he isn’t going to win, they’re going to miss pulling the trigger on somebody who’s red hot right now. Lesnar retains, pinning Kane, and I weep. Pick: Brock Lesnar

James: Kane is a big, red geek and Strowman winning now would be an admission of WWE’s failure to capitalize on his wave of momentum from back in September. Pick: Brock Lesnar

WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn — 2-on-1 Handicap Match for the WWE Title

Brian: There are too many shenanigans going on in the main event scene of Smackdown at the moment, and the title needs to stay away from them. The Sami & Kevin Show will have their own program (whether together or against each other) and AJ will keep the title all the way to ‘Mania. Pick: AJ Styles

Jeremy: I’ve never been a big fan of the co-champion gimmick. I feel like they should have made this a triple threat and the story be will Zayn and Owens be okay with only one of them being champion. AJ is going to get the win and be champ during Wrestlemania season like he should have been last year. Pick: AJ Styles

Ricky: AJ wins due to some sort of distraction from Shane/Daniel Bryan. There is no need to take the title off AJ at this moment and I also believe KO and Sami may break up at some point before Mania, but it’s maybe a little too soon for that. Pick: AJ Styles

Rich: The Phenomenal One has been getting beat on TV with the title way too often, and the law of WWE booking dictates he’ll get the win Sunday. Pick: AJ Styles

Josh: They better not award their most prestigious title to co-champions. Plus they jobbed AJ a year ago at Rumble. Pick: AJ Styles

Robb: As much as the odds seem stacked against AJ Styles, history tends to favor the underdog face in these situations. There’s also not a lot of co-champion situations in the record books, so my money is AJ pulling off the upset, even with the weird Shane-Daniel Bryan storyline in the background.Winner: AJ Styles retains against the odds. Pick: AJ Styles

Rance: So this is effectively a year in the making, with AJ and Shane having a pretty violent feud leading to their mutual respect, leading to AJ and Kevin Owens having issues over the United States Championship, leading to Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon having issues, leading to Sami Zayn saving and reuniting with Kevin Owens, leading to Daniel Bryan showing shades of grey in his management position against Shane McMahon. This has to end, and all parties have to separate sooner rather than later. WWE has booked Owens in a mini injury angle played off of a real injury, and matches like this usually are built to build up the champion. As good as “Kami” is, I see AJ retaining and walking into WrestleMania as the rightful champion. Pick: AJ Styles

Caleb: You would think I’d love this match given who one of the two challengers is, but that being said I feel like the build has been kind of weak sauce. With that being said, according to the build, if the heels win they will become Co-WWE Champions which is unprecedented. All things considered, I’m willing to guess that KEVIN OWENS & SAMI ZAYN get the win here and manage to be WWE Champion(s) for about six weeeks until AJ wins his championship back at Fast Lane. Pick: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Tom: Let me just say: AJ needs to stop trying to make “Kami” happen. It’s not happening. And neither is “Zayn and Owens as co-champions”. Styles retains despite some heel antics from Kevin and Sami. Pick: AJ Styles

James:  The sooner we get from under this Styles-Quebecers-Bryan-Shane fog, the better. Also: “Kami” is bad. “Rootie-Tootie Booty” bad. Pick: AJ Styles

The first-ever 30-Woman Over-The-Top Royal Rumble Match

Brian: I can’t see past an Asuka win, to be honest. I’m not buying into the Ronda Rousey rumors and based on the backlash from the first Women’s Rumble MITB match, they’ll need to go for a credible win. And nobody is ready for Asuka! Pick: Asuka

Jeremy: The Ronda Rousey rumors have been running rampant. Several sources are reporting the deal is done and she’ll be making her debut at the Rumble. If that’s the case Ronda is not coming in to lose. So I’m going to buy into the dirt sheet hype and go with Rousey. Pick: Ronda Rousey

Ricky: Makes sense to me, keep the streak alive and continue to protect the most dominant female wrestler in the company of the last 2 years or so. I think Ronda may debut and if she does then I think she will win the Rumble and I would book Asuka (wins the title between Rumble and Mania) vs. Ronda for the title at Mania. Pick: Asuka

Rich: I’m rolling with Asuka to continue her domination over the women’s division. Japan going 2 for 2! Unless Ronda Rousey enters, then WWE will make the women’s division bow down before her like the Westside Connection. Pick: Asuka

Josh: The odds for her win are monstrous. She ain’t coming in to lose. Pick: Ronda Rousey

Robb: Nobody is ready for Asuka. Winner: Asuka at number 25. Pick: Asuka

Rance: First off, about damn time. I’m a huge proponent of equality, and not only do the women deserve this by proxy; they have earned the right to have this match. There is a bit of a downer on the match seeing as Paige is injured, and she would’ve been my pick. However, there are 3 real candidates in my opinion; Nia Jax, Becky Lynch, and Asuka. I don’t see it being Nia because giants never win these things, word to Big Show. I don’t see Becky winning because she’s the ultimate underdog, and I see the 4 Horsewomen doing something different at WrestleMania. So that leaves Asuka. The most dominant woman to ever grace the WWE is a fitting first winner of the Women’s Royal Rumble. For the record, I don’t see Ronda Rousey winning, although I do see her being in it. Pick: Asuka

Caleb: For the first time ever the women get their own Royal Rumble. This will be an interesting affair for that very reason. My one gripe is that only sixty percent of the field are members of the main roster. That does lead us to believe that Hall of Famers such as Trish Stratus and Lita will return for this match, which is exciting. Others rumored to be in this match include the likes of Stephanie McMahon and even the former top dog of women’s MMA, Ronda Rousey. The winner of the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble is none other than the undefeated RAW superstar, ASUKA. Pick: Asuka

Tom: I’m looking forward to this match, but I think it could go south very quickly. Asuka really should win, but if not her I could see Sasha Banks winning it. The worst case scenario is Ronda Rousey or Nikki Bella. Pick: Asuka

James: Asuka is the only participant with any semblance of a build or momentum. Pick: Asuka

The 2018 30-Man Over-The-Top Royal Rumble Match

Royal Rumble 2018

Brian: Hmmm. Tough one to call. As badly as he’s been booked, there is room opening up now for a Nakamura win, the way the main event picture on SD is turning out. Still too hard to call (which is a good thing I suppose), but I’ll pick Naka for the win. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Jeremy: I really really really want Shinsuke Nakamura to win. However, I have a feeling that Vince and company are going to want to make the Reigns/Brock main event as “big” as possible. What better way to do that than to have Reigns win. They can formally announce the main event and hype it for months. With Roman winning, they can still find a way to get Nakamura into the WWE title match. Pick: Roman Reigns

Ricky: Rusev. Why the fuck not? Haha, he’s handsome, over, good on the mic and in the ring and most importantly, every day is Rusev Day! Pick: Rusev

Rich: Shinsuke Nakamura is the only real pick that makes any sense if they don’t intend on melting the building due to heat generation. Smackdown guys do well in Royal Rumbles, I’ve got him eliminating Reigns after WWE trolls Philadelphia once again. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Josh: Shinsuke Nakamura – It’s time for the King of Strong Style to Rise. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Robb: This is a toughie. It really depends on the decision of the Universal Title. It’s super likely that if Brock retains, the WWE will do something stupid and place the win on John Cena or Roman. A lot of people are rooting for the idea of Shinsuke and AJ at Wrestlemania, with Shinsuke cinching his ride at the Rumble. But I think, with some help of the club, the WWE will strap the rocket back on Finn, who comes out as the Demon. Pick: Finn Balor 

Rance:  I can’t remember a Royal Rumble that is as up in the air in recent memory as this one, and I realize that’s because I don’t buy the Roman/Brock rumor. I’ve heard that Roman, Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, and Dolph Ziggler are all legitimate possible winners. While I’d like to see Dolph win, I don’t see him getting that level of a push anymore. Finn is headed for bigger things, most definitely, but not Brock Lesnar or Braun Strowman. And I don’t think Roman will win in Philadelphia. I can’t see that happening. So, the IWC gets their match. Shinsuke Nakamura VS AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. Congrats, IWC. Enjoy it. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Caleb: This year’s build for the annual “floor is made of lava for grown-ups” match has been a touch lackluster and as such it doesn’t appear on the surface as though many men have been built up as potential winners for this match. Oddsmakers would have us believe that guys like Roman Reigns, John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton, and even Daniel Bryan are favorites to win this year. However this year the WWE makes history in this match and for the first time ever, a Japanese man will win the Royal Rumble and that Japanese man is known simply as SHINSUKE NAKAMURA.  Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Tom: I think it’s gonna be Finn Balor winning the Royal Rumble, and I think he’s gonna challenge AJ Styles at Wrestlemania. If Reigns vs Lesnar is the plan for Wrestlemania, Balor has a low ceiling as a babyface on Raw. I think he’ll win the rumble, jump to Smackdown, and go full heel for a feud with AJ Styles. Pick: Finn Balor

James:  Reigns has finished 2nd, 1st, 3rd and 2nd in the last four rumbles and main evented the last 3 Wrestlemanias. Bryan (at least publicly) has not been medically cleared and the company chose to beat Nakamura 11 minutes into a 33-minute Survivor Series match just 2 months ago. Pick: Roman Reigns


What are your picks for Royal Rumble 2018?

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