Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Bookie .vs. Blogger: Locking In Our Top 5 Rumble 2018 Picks

In mid-November, a bookmaker and myself decided that it would be interesting to run a series here at where we would compare our top five picks to win the 2018 Royal Rumble and see how TV and other news stories might switch our opinions in the weeks leading to this year's pay-per-view.

After eight installments, and now that this is Rumble Week, we have nothing else to do but lock in our final picks.

Usually, these posts are structured in a way where we take it in turns with our picks. This time, I would like 'The Bookie' to have the final say, so will list our top fives individually.

So, starting with mine..

The Blogger's Picks

5. John Cena
I removed John Cena's name a few weeks ago. This was after it was reported that he and The Undertaker were pencilled in to wrestle at WrestleMania. After Raw, when The Undertaker hinted he was done (or something!), I went back to entertaining the idea of Cena winning the Rumble and - instead of challenging for a title - asking Taker to come out of retirement.

4. Finn Balor
Balor was third on my list last week. He was lowered because he was standing tall on Raw along with The Club and DX. For those of you who may be new to these posts, I have Balor on the list in case WWE books him to win and then move over to Smackdown to challenge his former Bullet Club colleague, AJ Styles.

3. Baron Corbin
Unlike Balor, Baron Corbin was left laying on Smackdown following an RKO from Randy Orton.

2. Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns has been on the list continuously. This is due to the reports that he'll be the one who faces Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. One way to get to this match is to have Reigns overcome the field and win Sunday's battle royal. Another way is to have him become a number one contender with a victory inside the Elimination Chamber in February. Reigns stays near the top in case they go with the former.

1. Dolph Ziggler
In the most recent Bookie .vs. Blogger, I mentioned that Dolph Ziggler - who made it to my list earlier this month - was on shaky ground because of the US Championship situation. I didn't know whether he would return to confront new titleholder, Bobby Roode.This hasn't happened. Therefore, I am going to stick to my guns and lock in Ziggler.
As many of you are aware, Ziggler relinquished the US Championship and walked out of WWE (Kayfabe) in December. He hasn't been seen nor talked about since. A surprise return at the Royal Rumble would immediately put him in the WWE Championship picture and give him the excuse that he was bigger than the US  Championship and wanted to go for the premier title.

Now, it's over to The Bookie for his final five...

The Bookie's Picks

5. Roman Reigns
I'm walking the Big Dog back into my top five. He could win to help Vince McMahon troll the Internet Wrestling Community. This time, he won't have The Rock in his corner for the Philly crowd.

4. Rusev
Rusev wasn't pinned in the six-man tag team match on Smackdown Live, which is good. I still think he's a wild card.

3. Braun Strowman
I expect Strowman to have a strong showing and expect him to be in the final four.

2. Shinsuke Nakamura
After having Nakamura at number one since we started, I have now moved him down. I think WWE hasn't done a good job with him in the Rumble build. Another thing is he is one of the participants in the match at FastLane.

I have finally done it. A new number one! The guy who was hanging out with the legends at the Manhattan Center on Monday night getting the rub from Triple H and Shawn Michaels..

1. Finn Balor
As I wrote in other Bookie .vs. Bloggers, I would like to see Balor move over to Smackdown Live following a win in the battle royal.

I think it's very close this year. There could have been other names that made it into my top five along the way. I cannot wait to sit back with a beer and watch it on Sunday night. I hope you enjoy it and cheers for reading!

Bookie .vs.Blogger - Picks To Win The 2018 WWE Royal Rumble


  1. Really enjoyed these. Great new addition to the site. Wouldnt mind if you did this for the womens rumble either or for future ppvs in general.

    I'd like to share my Top 5 here too.

    1) Ziggler

    Dolph has been my No.1 pick since the Boxing Day SD when they announced a tournament to determine the new U.S Champion. There has been zero mention of him since he walked out & he has stayed silent on all social media. After the Survivor Series, it was clear that the direction of the U.S Title was Corbin v Roode. It had been built for a few weeks & all of a sudden, Dolph was thrown into the mix. I found this odd at the time. I expected him to be the one who took the fall at Clash of Champions but he won the title which shocked everyone. Him leaving the title in the ring on SD after video packages detailing all his prior accomplishments was designed to get you ready for whats next for Dolph. In my opinion, thats a Rumble victory & a 1st ever Mania singles bout for him. Vince literally went out of his way to place spotlight on Dolph, then took it away to never speak of him again. They want you to forget about him to make his return mean that much more. I think Dolph will win the match by last eliminating my no.2 pick...

    2) Roman Reigns

    The favourite to win it from Raw. Lesnar v Reigns has been pencilled in since Mania last year. Leave him out of your top 5 at your own peril.

    3) Baron Corbin

    Corbin lost the U.S title shortly after he won it which surprised me. He also lost in the 1st round of the U.S title tournament. That was his last televised loss. Before Baron won MITB, he lost on ppv to Ambrose & then Zayn. So hes been booked similarly here. If Vince is planning to have a SD winner, i believe he is the boss' Plan B in case he opts not to go with Dolph.

    4) Finn Balor

    Balor winning & going to SD to face AJ makes all the sense in the world. With Gallows & Anderson possibly being put in a tough spot, its intriguing tv in the run up to Mania. Its an easy story to tell & Finn can bring up the fact that he pinned AJ recently to place the doubt in peoples minds as to whether AJ can beat Finn or not as The Demon.

    5) Miz

    Whoever is currently feuding with Reigns makes sense to be in anyones top 5. I could see Miz throwing Roman out last & backing down from Brock the next night on Raw saying hes going to SD to fight AJ instead. It would fit his character to a tee. He could put over the WWE Championship & its lineage as his excuse to take on AJ when everyone will realise hes just a coward who knows Brock would demolish him.

    If you're still reading this, congrats! You've made it to the end..

    1. Thanks, Marc.

      We're planning to do more Bookie .vs. Bloggers in the future.

      Myself and The Bookie both think Asuka is not winning the Women's Royal Rumble on Sunday. I'm still holding out hope that it's Ronda Rousey, but - the closer I get to Sunday - the least optimistic I become.

      I hope you're right about Ziggler!

  2. Love this series, David! Still think (hope?) you're nuts for picking Ziggler, but we will find out on Sunday! My top 5, with brief blurbs:

    5) Randy Orton - he's looked the strongest of Smackdown's stars in the build. If he hadn't won last year, he'd be my pick to win.

    4) John Cena - Had the same thought you did about Cena winning and doing what HBK wanted to do in 2010. Resolves the "no good winner" problem, too.

    3) Finn Balor - Getting the rub from DX was big for Balor, and after teasing a heel turn on the 1/15 Raw, it's clear they have *something* planned for him. He could win the Rumble, ask Styles to honor the Bullet Club legacy and help him defeat Lesnar, and turn on Styles in a rage after Styles turns him down.

    2) Roman Reigns - I still can't imagine Vince hitting the mega-troll button, but he's locked into the Raw world title match, so he has to be here. Really hope he wins for the LOLs.

    1) Shinsuke Nakamura - Have never been less convinced my #1 pick was going to win, but he still makes the most sense despite how ice cold he is going in. Would not be shocked at all if he's dumped like a geek.

    I agree that Asuka will not win the women's rumble. If it isn't Rousey, I would peg Becky Lynch as the favorite. She's been protected and they keep subtly teasing her and Charlotte.

    1. Thanks, Todd.

      Nearly every single person I've spoken with about the women's Rumble have suggested Becky if it isn't Asuka or Ronda, so you're in good company.

      You don't need to wait until Sunday to find out if I'm nuts. All you have to do is read some of the other suggestions I've messed up on in the past!

    2. Hahaha don't worry, my predictions are never right either. I do enjoy that we've had two unpredictable Rumbles in a row, though last year had a bevy of great choices (and didn't go with any of them) and this year does not.

  3. Cheers for this David!

    At this moment in time I would be happy if anyone, and I mean literally anyone (looking at you 2500/1 Obama!) Wins apart from Roman Reigns.

    Please don't do it Vince. Please. He can win the elimination chamber and I'd be relatively happy with that. Just not this.

    I am so worried. I agree with Ziggler but Reigns is such a close second...

  4. Thanks for the top fives too its been great reading your responses part of me hope its exciting and we cant pick a winner but I was hyped for Raw 25 and it dissapointed. All enjoy and we will do more there are one or two coming soon so keep checking this out.

    and next year now we know there is a womens we will probably do both if david wants to its been fun


Thank you for reading this post. Please note: All comments are moderated and will be published or rejected at the blog owner’s discretion.

The comment section will be closed on most PPV Sundays.

To avoid any confusion, please ensure your comments are posted using a regular username rather than going 'Unknown'

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.