When John Cena announced that he was entering the 2018 Royal Rumble he has immediately made favorite to win the first major PPV event of the year. Seeing Cena installed as the early favorite for the event was hardly a surprise for the WWE universe. After all, Cena is a 16-time world champion, and there can be little doubt that he will eventually eclipse Ric Flair’s 16 world titles. Conventional wisdom suggests that Cena would win the Royal Rumble and go on to take his 17th championship at WrestleMania 34 in April.
However, according to Cageside Seats, Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer thinks that the WWE is setting up Cena for the match that everyone really wants to see. The WWE rumor mill has been suggesting for months that The Undertaker will be back in the ring at WrestleMania 34. Let’s face it, John Cena vs. The Undertaker is arguably the biggest match that the WWE could put on at WrestleMania.
Cena and The Deadman have met five times in the past. They have two wins each and one match finished with no result. WWE fans would love to see that tie broken, and WrestleMania, The Undertaker’s yard, would be the ideal place to see that happen. Of course, with John Cena a virtual part-timer, and with The Undertaker supposedly retired, it would be virtually impossible for WWE to find a way to make a match between them a championship bout.
If John Cena Won’t Win The Royal Rumble, Then Who Will?
As anyone with an interest in WWE wrestling knows, the reward for winning the Royal Rumble is a golden ticket to a championship shot. So if John Cena vs. The Undertaker is really planned for WrestleMania, then Cena is unlikely to be holding a championship when it happens.
So, if Cena won’t win the Royal Rumble who will? Forbes makes a very coherent argument when they claim that one of WWE’s rising stars must win this year’s Royal Rumble. Cena doesn’t need to win the Royal Rumble, after all, the WWE has shown on numerous occasions that they are not afraid of pitching him into a championship match without a credible storyline to support him. Last years Royal Rumble was a case in point. Cena returned after a lengthy hiatus to defeat AJ Styles, taking the WWE Championship in the process.
Both Forbes and What Culture suggest that Dolph Ziggler could be the surprise winner of the 2018 Royal Rumble. Admittedly Ziggler’s 2017 wasn’t exactly inspiring, but there are plenty of signs that he is now being pushed. A win for Ziggler could set up a feud with AJ Styles as we build towards WrestleMania 34.
Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, and Finn Balor would all be credible winners of the Royal Rumble, though Samoa Joe may miss the event because of a reported injury. Balor and Nakamura are both popular stars and a Royal Rumble win would give them a well-deserved push. It all adds up to what could prove to be the most interesting Royal Rumble for quite some time.