Welcome to part 3 of my five-part predictions series breaking down which superstars will be entering the record books when it comes to the 2018 Royal Rumble matches.
The Most Eliminations and the Iron Man/Woman were already taken care of, which means we need to turn 180 degrees to the complete opposite spectrum and talk about a record that no wrestler should technically want: the shortest amount of time spent in the match.
Typically speaking, this distinction is played for laughs with a jobber, but it can sometimes go be given to someone higher on the totem pole in order to shock the audience. Other times, it’s more of an indictment or punishment to a wrestler, almost as if the company wants to tell the fans not to value that person.
Even if there is no conspiracy afoot and the booking of the Royal Rumble doesn’t plan on someone taking up this role, there is still mathematically going to be someone who falls into this category as they are taken out of the equation quicker than everybody else, so no matter what, somebody is going to receive this “honor” even if it wasn’t premeditated.
As usual, I’ve narrowed my list down to a 3-Count for both the women and the men, so without further ado, here are my choices for who I think could be tossed out faster than anybody else this year…
WOMEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
As more of a comedic character who tends to lose the majority of her matches, I don’t think there’s anybody better suited to play up the “What?! I wasn’t ready!!” card than Alicia Fox.
Since she’s crazy, maybe the story will be that she accidentally eliminates herself by not understanding the rules, or that she just overestimates someone like Asuka who is in the ring and can immediately dropkick her over the top rope or something along those lines.
I’m more confident in this prediction than many others in this series, and I almost just want to start guessing who will get the honor of tossing her out, or how long Fox will actually last to see if I can pinpoint the amount of seconds she can stay in there.
For the hell of it, let’s go with a surprise entrant like Ronda Rousey or Trish Stratus being the one to take her out, and doing so in under 20 seconds.
Poor Dana Brooke perpetually never gets the ball rolling in pretty much any way, transitioning from babyface to heel multiple times per year and having elongated absences where she isn’t doing anything at all, only to return to job out to someone when they don’t have anybody else to fall back on.
To expect anything less of a failure on her part for this match would be foolish, as she’s certainly not going to be booked better than the majority of her peers, who are pretty much all former champions and stand a much better chance at actually winning the match.
Brooke could be fodder to Nia Jax, wrecked by Asuka, fed to Ronda Rousey or just fall victim to the numbers game by being the least valuable player of the bunch while everyone else lasts just a little bit longer.
Lana or Carmella
I’m having trouble picking between these two, cause I feel like they’re both the bottom options that SmackDown has to offer, and if one of them gets the spot, it’ll be based off a certain qualifying factor they both bring to the table.
In Lana’s case, WWE might want to limit the time she spends in the match as she hasn’t trained as long as the rest of the women, preferring to just get her in and get her out. However, this is a Royal Rumble and not a true gauntlet, so they can mask her flaws very easily and keep her in long enough to outlast at least one other person.
In Carmella’s case, it would be WWE purposely giving her the spot because they want to have her flip out in anger afterward—something she’s particularly good at. Also, she’s holding the Money in the Bank briefcase, and for some reason, anybody who touches that gets this weird aura around them where WWE likes to have them lose matches, with the philosophy that the briefcase being in their possession automatically undoes all humiliation….even though we know that that isn’t true.
MEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
Bo Dallas / Curtis Axel
The Miztourage aren’t taken seriously at all and one of them, Axel, even had a running gimmick about how fast he was eliminated from the Royal Rumble to a certain extent.
What might save them from being in this position is that they might simply be too low on the totem pole to even make it into the match itself, only accompanying The Miz to the ring or possibly not even doing that.
If either of them do get booked as part of the list of 30, they’ll definitely be quickly disposed of by anybody WWE wants to highlight, be it Roman Reigns, John Cena, Finn Balor or anybody, really, since their whole purpose will be to lose.
This guy has the most impressive record on the roster as far as losses goes, being somewhere in the 0-150 range if I remember correctly.
Just like with The Miztourage, the best way for Hawkins to avoid playing the part of the biggest loser is to just be too little of a priority to not even make it into the match at all, which is a very high possibility as he spends most of his time losing on Main Event rather than Monday Night Raw.
Then again, that might be exactly why he does get booked in the match. WWE’s creative team might not want to sacrifice anybody else as they still have at least some value to them more so than Hawkins, who is there just to take a fall.
As soon as his music hits, I would start your stopwatch, because there’s no way he’s lasting until the next entrant comes out.
Kurt Angle flat out told Heath Slater and Rhyno that they needed to toughen up and start winning, with the emphasis being put more primarily on Slater as the weaker of the unit. Rhyno said he had an idea of how to do that, with Slater wondering if it would hurt.
Apparently, yes, as Slater’s been beaten up even more than normal since then, taking rough physicality from Kane and Braun Strowman without putting up much of a fight, if any at all. This is probably not going to change any time soon, so the trajectory he’s on doesn’t seem so hot.