The WWE Royal Rumble Kickoff Show is set to begin at 5 PM ET on the WWE Network.
This series will feature interviews, in-depth analysis and two championship matches: U.S. title match and Cruiserweight title game. The next betting odds are courtesy of 5Dimes.
WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Fatal 4-Way
Opportunities: (c)Buddy Murphy (-150) vs Akira Tozawa (+500) vs Kalisto (+400) vs Hideo Itami (+450)
Murphy enters this fatal four-way having successfully defended the Cruiserweight title because he acquired it on October 6th in his hometown at the Super Show-Down event on the WWE Network. He’s become the driving force for 205 Live and is a big reason why this series has no success.
After defeating Alexander at the TLC PPV event, Murphy was up for whatever challenge was thrown his way. So, the WWE decided to do a fatal 4-way game where Buddy will have to defend his title against 3 other wrestlers. Murphy does need to be pinned to eliminate the belt.
Typically, these games are utilized for two purposes: to take the belt off a champ with no making that wrestler look weak or to possess the champ come out looking more powerful by defeating multiple opponents.
Which way will the WWE publication this game?
Oddsmakers believe that the WWE will continue to keep the belt on Murphy as he is a large favorite over the other 3 wrestlers. The smart bet is on Murphy, he’s the safest pick for this game. Keep an eye out. Can the WWE finally use Itami for more than an NXT superstar?
WWE Bet: Buddy Murphy to keep the belt (-150)
United States Title Match: (c)Rusev vs Shinsuke Nakamura
Odds: Rusev (-320), Nakamura (+240)
On the Christmas episode of SmackDown, Rusev surprised his followers with a championship triumph over Shinsuke Nakamura. Ever since that time, Nakamura was on a mission to receive his United States Championship belt back. This feud is becoming personal, so the WWE wants you to believe, as Rusev’s spouse Lana was hurt during one of Nakamura’s attacks on Rusev.
One year ago, Nakamura won the men’s battle royal and could go on to face AJ Styles in WrestleMania 34. He is fighting to get a title on the Kickoff Show, this year. This is further evidence that the WWE does not have any clue what they are doing with Shinsuke.
Ironically, it is almost as though the WWE is taking the same approach Shinsuke that they took together with Rusev. It is a way of epic failure and numerous missed chances despite what the WWE Universe has clamored for.
Both guys deserve better than what they have going for them a feud that many fans don’t care about. That said, I anticipate the WWE to keep the belt on Rusev as he is a fan favourite and it could provide the belt a few value till they pass it on to a climbing heel like Andrade Cien Almas.