The WWE Royal Rumble Kickoff Show is set to begin at 5 PM ET on the WWE Network.
This show will feature interviews, in-depth analysis and two tournament games: U.S. name match and Cruiserweight title game. The following betting odds are courtesy of 5Dimes.
WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Deadly 4-Way
Odds: (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 since he acquired it on October 6th in his hometown at the Super Show-Down occasion on the WWE Network. He’s been the driving force for 205 Live and is a large reason why this series has no success.
After defeating Alexander in the TLC PPV occasion, Murphy was up for whatever challenge was thrown his way. So, the WWE decided to perform a fatal 4-way match where Buddy will have to defend his title against 3 other wrestlers. Murphy does not even need to be pinned to eliminate the belt.
Typically, these games are used for two purposes: to take the belt off a champ without making that wrestler seem weak or to have the champ come out looking more powerful by defeating multiple opponents.
Which way will the WWE publication this match?
Oddsmakers believe that the WWE will continue to keep the buckle on Murphy as he’s a big favorite over the other 3 wrestlers. The smart bet is on Murphy, he’s the safest choice for this game. Keep a look out. Could the WWE finally use Itami for more than an NXT superstar?
WWE Bet: Buddy Murphy to maintain 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. Since that time, Nakamura has been on a mission to get his United States Championship belt back. This feud is becoming private, so the WWE wants you to think, as Rusev’s wife 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 at WrestleMania 34. He is fighting for a secondary title on the Kickoff Show, this year. This is proof 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 exact same approach Shinsuke that they took together with Rusev. It’s an approach of epic failure and numerous missed chances despite what the WWE Universe has clamored for.
Both men deserve better than what they have going for them — a feud that many fans don’t care about. With that said, I expect the WWE to keep the belt on Rusev as he’s a fan favourite and it might provide the belt a few worth until they pass it to a rising heel like Andrade Cien Almas.
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