Mates, as far as wrestling fans are concerned, this weekend marks the beginning of Hanukkah. On Monday Australian time, the WWE holds its annual, hugely beloved, and wildly unpredictable Royal Rumble event, emanating from the Wells Fargo Centre in Philadelphia.
The centre-piece of the event is the 30-person, over-the-top-rope, Royal Rumble match, this year for the first time ever featuring a dedicated match for both men and women competitors.
The prize for the victor? A guaranteed championship match at WrestleMania. Big stakes.
The Rumble is renowned for its (relatively) random nature, and anything that can happen usually does.
Predicting how the event itself will play out is an absolute fool’s game. But folks, your old mate here is the biggest fool of all. So here’s a bunch of completely serious, very well-thought-out, totally legit predictions for the 2018 Royal Rumble that were not at all done purely because it’s 8:30pm on a public holiday night and I’ve had three beers and I’m the only one working right now and who’s gonna stop me?
No one. Bloody well no one, that’s who.
WWE OFFICIALS GREASE UP THE RING POSTS IN A BID TO STOP PHILLY FANS FROM CLIMBING THEM
Fans in Philadelphia are a rowdy-ass bunch, and their reaction after the Philadelphia Eagles reached this year’s Super Bowl is a testament to that. To avoid similar near-riot conditions when Roman Reigns incites chaos after winning the Rumble in the city again, WWE officials take a note from Philadelphia city officials and attempt to save fans from themselves by greasing up the ring posts in a bid to prevent people from climbing them.
Philadelphia is preparing for post-NFC championship riots by putting Crisco on lamp posts so fans won’t climb them. 😂 https://t.co/x0Oq871aAP
📷: @Fox9Sports pic.twitter.com/2quZNxLRrQ
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) January 21, 2018
After the show finishes, Philly fans climb them. Almost immediately.
RONDA ROUSEY & ASUKA ATTEMPT TO ARMBAR EACH OTHER AT THE SAME TIME AND ACCIDENTALLY DISCOVER LEVITATION
It might be presumptuous to suggest that Ronda Rousey makes a surprise, bombshell debut in the first-ever women’s Rumble match. But in the event that it does you absolutely know she’s coming face-to-face with the WWE’s resident Japanese kick demon, Asuka, who up until that point in the match will have been racking up a hell of a criminal rap sheet by shoot murdering most of the women’s roster.
After a brief stare down, the evenly-matched fighters charge at each other and simultaneously attempt to slap their signature armbar holds on one-another. The combined momentum and equal and opposite holds creates a quantum mechanical glitch that will baffle scientists for decades, as the pair hover in mid-air, locked in a constant state of pre-submission rotation.
Like that flip, but forever.
BRAWN STROWMAN PULLS THE MOON DOWN ON BROCK LESNAR & KANE… AND STILL LOSES
After surviving being Garbage Truck’d to death, immortal pile of muscle-shaped brick Brawn Strowman has made a point of trying to pull down or flip the Heaviest Thing™. An ambulance? Child’s play. A large portion of the Monday Night Raw set? Absolute walk in the park. An entire big rig? Please.
In the middle of the triple threat match for the WWE Universal Championship, Strowman peels back the roof of the Wells Fargo Centre, grabs a spool of rope, and with a light lobbing motion flings it out of the Earth’s atmosphere and loops it around The Actual Moon, bringing it down on the heads of Brock Lesnar and Kane.
Pinned between the ring canvas and the lunar surface, and with tidal waves now obliterating the bulk of the world’s coastlines, Lesnar’s arm happens to fall onto Kane’s prone body for the three count.
Strowman leaves the building not the Universal Champion yet again.
STEPHANIE McMAHON WINS THE FIRST EVER WOMEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE
The first-ever women’s Royal Rumble is a historic, groundbreaking moment in the evolution of women’s wrestling that will do wonders for the development of the sport the world over. So it makes absolute sense that barely-on-TV, non-active-competitor, 41-years-old, daughter-of-the-company’s-owner Stephanie McMahon inserts herself into the match somehow and demands everyone else eliminate themselves. Because while it’s a giant step forward for women’s wrestling, the WWE will always – forever and a day – be about the McMahons.
Besides, James Ellsworth isn’t employed by the company anymore, so this is the next most logical choice by WWE standards.
ROMAN REIGNS WINS THE ROYAL RUMBLE AND THEN MAKES OUT WITH TOM BRADY
The last time Roman Reigns stepped foot in Philadelphia for a Royal Rumble match, the fans shat on him so hard that they even booed The Rock.
They booed The Rock, for god’s sake.
So what better way to really shove it in the face of Philadelphia fans than by having Reigns win the Rumble and celebrate the win by furiously making out with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?
Hell, if the company wants some easy stock shots of incensed fans lighting flares and literally slitting each others throats, they could have both men drop trou to give each other a Hall of Fame-worthy Dutch Ruddering.
The commentary team would refer to this scene as “controversial.”
THE BALOR CLUB SPENDS 30 STRAIGHT MINUTES TOO SWEETING EACH OTHER
The newly-formed Balor Club has finally fulfilled the long-held prophecy of putting former Bullet Club Good Brothers Finn Balor, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson together on WWE TV.
For fans, it’s been a long time coming, and we’re still in the glorious honeymoon period where simply seeing all three of them throw out a Too Sweet together is enough to satisfy any expectations, without them having to actually do… well, anything else.
One-by-one they all enter the Rumble in succession, and spend the remaining half an hour of the match in a constant state of Too Sweet.
Too Sweet here. Too Sweet there. Everything, everywhere, all the time, Too Sweet.
And be fucked if we don’t all greedily eat that shit right the hell up. Sweet on, my dudes. Sweet on.
KOFI KINGSTON AVOIDS ELIMINATION BY STRAPPING FLAPJACKS TO HIS FEET
Every year, Kofi Kingston of The New Day finds a new and ridiculous way to subvert the simple rules of the Royal Rumble and avoid elimination by creatively preventing his feet from touching the floor.
In the past, he’s used handstands, an office chair, long jumps, and the pure power of positivity to avoid being eliminated from the match.
This year, he utilises an ingenious method of strapping piles of pancakes to the soles of his shoes – provided dutifully by national treasure Big E – and parades around the ringside area with a blessed doughy cushion separating feet from floor.
The best part? It’s an idea he sourced from none other than Jolly Old Saint Rusev.
Show the part of the WWE Rule Book where it says baked goods count as floor. You absolutely cannot do it.
As for a serious prediction about who will win the men’s Royal Rumble match this year, I don’t know…
Heath Slater wins.
He’s got kids. He needs this.