WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Heat Index: What’s Hot and Cold for Sunday’s PPV?

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Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on the 2018 Royal Rumble coming this Sunday night.

The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).

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Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!

Without further ado, let’s get started!

30-Man Royal Rumble Match = Hot

It’s the Royal Rumble match, of course this is going to be a Hot!

Granted, the past bunch of years have had a lot of controversy attached to these battle royals and more often than not, I’ve been part of the crowd upset at the finish and disliking the direction the company is taking the product for WrestleMania, but that doesn’t mean the same thing is going to happen this year.

On the bright side of things, this is one of the most entertaining matches of the year as far as pure quality for that 60+ minutes goes, so all the way up until the final four, there’s always a chance for something fun to happen with surprise returns and anticipation of what’s to come.

I’m a little worried that more participants haven’t been announced, but that also means we might be in store for lots of shocks, so until something happens that makes me think otherwise, I’m pumped!

30-Woman Royal Rumble Match = Hot

Copy and paste everything I just said about the men’s Royal Rumble match and apply the same thing to the women’s, with the added bonus of this being the first time this has ever happened.

Since there literally aren’t 30 options for the main roster, we know for a fact that we’re getting over 10 participants from outside sources, be it NXT, returning legends or even women from other companies, if that’s in the cards.

This could be the in-ring debut of Ronda Rousey, we could see Asuka cement her title shot at WrestleMania, and we can see old favorites (at least of mine) like Michelle McCool, Trish Stratus, Beth Phoenix and whatnot get in the mix with the current crop of talent.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing to be bummed about with this setup other than how Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair and Paige won’t be competing, but that still doesn’t take away all the positives we are getting.

Universal Championship Triple Threat Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Kane vs. Braun Strowman = Hot / Lukewarm

This is a tough call, because I’m interested in seeing them fight, but I have no interest in the feud itself and the outcome of everything.

This is a Brock Lesnar win, for sure, and he’d better be pinning Kane if WWE knows what the smart call is. That in itself is predictable, but I’d rather it be predictable than to have Braun Strowman take the fall just for the shock value.

In fact, I want this to be done in a way that keeps Strowman looking strong so he doesn’t lose any momentum, which I’m afraid can definitely happen heading into WrestleMania when he loses here, loses at the Elimination Chamber and may not get a prime match on the biggest stage, either.

I’ll give these three the benefit of the doubt that they’ll have a good brawl, making this bounce between the Hot and Lukewarm classifications, but I can’t deny that this isn’t the reason I’m excited to see this event.

WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn = Lukewarm

AJ Styles and Kevin Owens are two of my top favorite superstars in the company right now, with Sami Zayn being someone I think has never had his fair shot and should have held a midcard title by now for sure.

Still…meh.

This is the type of feud that I think is great if you’re super into it, but if you aren’t, then it just feels like it’s dragging and you want to skip forward to the conclusion.

Because of how skilled they are, there’s definitely a chance this match can be fun, but I think the handicap gimmick is going to hinder it. The Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan elements might make this overbooked, too, and by the end of it, I can see myself feeling as though this was a glorified SmackDown television segment and not much more.

If Bryan turns heel during this, my interest will shoot up immensely. If this is just Styles fighting against the odds and eventually capitalizing on a distraction to retain the title, I’m going to mentally check out here and there.

Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan (c) vs. The Bar = Cold

Pass. I have no interest in this whatsoever anymore, and while a lot of people might agree with me, I doubt it’s for the same reasons.

Personally, I don’t see why Jason Jordan gets all this hate. Sure, they’ve pivoted and made his character someone that goes along with how the fans are chanting (smart decision, by the way. Shame they don’t realize they can do that with Roman Reigns….) but when people weren’t giving him a chance before, I didn’t see why.

Jordan isn’t the problem here, it’s his team-up with Seth Rollins that I don’t care about.

I’ve seen the story of the partners who don’t get along and have to coexist so many times that I’ve also seen it done significantly better the vast majority of those times and this one isn’t doing it for me.

I’m also sick and tired of seeing Jordan and Rollins against The Bar, so that doesn’t do anything for me, either, since I can’t expect this match to be as good as some of the previous encounters with Sheamus being more injured and Dean Ambrose being out of the mix (even though I think Jordan is more athletic than Ambrose, of course).

For the most part, this is just a storyline that I have no interest in, and I’m hoping it isn’t a featured part of the tag team division going into WrestleMania. I’d rather see The Revival and The Balor Club have the focus put on them and not on the tension between Jordan and Rollins.

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