The WWE network has launched 2018 in style with the first Monday Night Raw of the year providing huge surprises for the WWE universe. If truth be told, we usually expect something of a lull in the WWE world at this time of year, but with the 2018 Royal Rumble just a few weeks away, Monday Night Raw entered 2018 with a bang. The day started with a huge announcement by WWE superstar John Cena, who took to Twitter to tell the WWE universe that he was entering the 2018 Royal Rumble.
As reported by Give Me Sport, Cena’s announcement sparked rumors that he would win the Royal Rumble and go on to face Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 34. If that rumor proves true, it would rule out the possibility of Cena facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Many WWE fans want to see John Cena vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania because the two biggest names in WWE wrestling remain tied with two wins each from their five competitive matches to date. The fifth match ended with no result.
Cena’s announcement pointed out that entering the Royal Rumble gives him the chance to make history. If Cena were to win the battle royal, it would give him his third Royal Rumble win, and tie the all-time record number of wins. Of course, Cena may have his eyes on a bigger prize. The leader of the Cenation is currently tied with Ric Flair on 16 world championship wins, and a Royal Rumble win would set him up with another world championship opportunity. Some rumors claim that Cena will win the Royal Rumble and go on to challenge AJ Styles for the WWE Championship.
— WWE (@WWE) January 2, 2018
WWE fans will not need to be reminded that John Cena vs. AJ Styles at last year’s Royal Rumble was one of the best matches of the entire year. Cena’s announcement was not greeted with glee by everyone, some fans insist that Cena’s entry means that the result of the 2018 Royal Rumble is now a foregone conclusion. Seeing John Cena shoot straight back into the WWE Championship picture is hardly a surprise, but last night’s Monday Night Raw certainly threw a huge surprise our way.
Finn Balor And The Bullet Club Are Reunited
As reported by the Daily Mirror, Finn Balor teamed up with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows to take on the Miztourage in a tag match, thereby reforming the Bullet Club. Few saw that one coming, though perhaps we should have. The WWE recently reunited The Shield as it tries to breathe new life into the Raw tag-team scene.
A serious tricep injury to Dean Ambrose has reportedly thrown the WWE’s plans for The Shield into turmoil. Ambrose is expected to be out of action for around nine months. The resurrection of the Bullet Club can fill that void and potentially set up some fascinating matches with The Shield when Ambrose returns to fitness.
Wins for Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman on Monday Night Raw were less of a surprise. Reigns retained his Intercontinental Championship with a hard-fought victory over Samoa Joe, meanwhile, Strowman continued his impressive run with victory over Ryhno. Strowman even convinced the referee to allow Heath Slater to join the match before making short work of both men.
Kane’s role on Monday Night Raw was interesting, if not exactly a surprise. Kane will take on Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman at the Royal Rumble in a triple-threat match for Lesnar’s Universal Title. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Kane has only been granted that match because he is set to be the fall guy. Vince McMahon doesn’t want to see Strowman take another defeat to Lesnar, so Kane was added to the match to allow Lesnar to retain his title whilst avoiding Strowman taking a loss.
It would seem that Metro is less than impressed with Kane’s inclusion in the Royal Rumble match, they call him a “cartoon” who is well past his best. Kane, they argue, has no place in main event storylines and serves only to detract from Lesnar’s “believability.”
So, the first edition of Monday Night Raw in 2018 has served up a few surprises, we can be sure there will be more as we build towards the 2018 Royal Rumble.