With 2017 in the books (from a pay-per-view perspective) and WWE setting a course for the Road to WrestleMania 34, the 2018 Royal Rumble is of grand importance for the company as it hopes to rebound from some slow and repetitive booking over the last few months.
The Royal Rumble will go down live from Philadelphia on Sunday, Jan. 28. It will likely be a four-hour show beginning at 7 p.m. ET with a kickoff going down two hours earlier at 5 p.m. ET. CBS Sports will be offering full coverage leading up to and during the Royal Rumble, so be sure to check back for more in the lead up to the big show.
2018 WWE Royal Rumble matches
Men’s Royal Rumble: The 30-man, over-the-top-rope affair for a No. 1 contendership to a world title will go down as usual. It will likely serve as the main event of the show. So far, only Elias has formally entered himself into the event.
Women’s Royal Rumble: For the first time, WWE will hold a women’s rumble, though details of the match — including number of entrants, time between entrances, etc. — have not been provided at this time.
Universal Championship — Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane: This match was formally made on Raw, and though it appears to be a mess of a booking, getting Lesnar and Strowman together in the ring is not normally a bad thing.
2018 Royal Rumble predictions
The following matches are projections and have not been announced (yet).
WWE Championship — AJ Styles (c) vs. Sami Zayn (or Kevin Owens): It actually makes more sense for Zayn to get the opportunity here considering Owens still “owes” Zayn for saving him in the Hell in a Cell match against SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon. Plus, Styles and Owens have already feuded.
Intercontinental Championship — Roman Reigns (c) vs. Samoa Joe: Talk about pure fire. A match between Reigns and Joe would be tremendous and a great way to open the show, giving both enough time to compete in the Royal Rumble main event. Considering Joe’s alliance with The Bar, it would also provide an opportunity to take the title off Reigns without him losing clean.
Women’s Championships — Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Paige | Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ruby Riott: This is completely dependent on the direction WWE decides to go with the women’s Royal Rumble. Should they put every available woman in the match (perhaps, if one of the champs win, she gets to pick her own WrestleMania opponent), the titles may not be defended on the show. If that’s not the case, the leaders of the two new factions would be on deck for the opportunity. Of course, Asuka is out there, too.
United States Championship — Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Jinder Mahal: Fresh off losing his WWE title rematch to Styles, Mahal needs a feud of some importance. It would make sense for him to go after the U.S. strap, though by the time the event transpires a month from now, he may be fighting a more traditional babyface than the current title holder.
Cruiserweight Championship — Enzo Amore (c) vs. Cedric Alexander: It was Alexander who won the No. 1 contendership on Raw, though it seems like WWE is headed towards Amore and Gulak going head-to-head in the near future. With plenty of time until the rumble, perhaps Amore defeats Alexander with Gulak’s help prior to the event. If not, this is the match that is made.
Tag Team Championships: There are no clear No. 1 contenders on either brand considering the storyline injury to Dean Ambrose on Raw and the fact that The Usos have beaten everyone except the Bludgeon Brothers on SmackDown. They may completely scrap tag team title matches for the show. If not, there is plenty of storyline development to do here.