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The 4th Annual OT Royal Rumble Pool

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OK - so we've got an appetizer tonight with NXT Takeover: San Antonio. And like with some meals, sometimes the appetizer can be better than the main course. A lot of people have said that the Brooklyn and Dallas specials last year were better than the Summerslam and WrestleMania shows themselves.

However, NXT has been struggling a bit. Not sure if it's the talents or the writing - but the build for this hasn't been too good. In fact, I really haven't been paying too much to NXT, so this write-up will be a little bit more about the talents in each match vs. the match themselves.

Roderick Strong vs. Andrade "Cien" Almas - Strong is a well known indie performer - probably will end up in the Cruiserweights as he's on the smaller side. Almas was thought to be the next big Latin star that the WWE has wanted for a while. And while he shows flashes, he hasn't progressed that much. Match should be good and then forgotten about tomorrow.

Eric Young vs. Tye Dillinger - So Eric Young has been around for a long time, mostly in TNA. He's a solid veteran who is currently leading a group by the name of "Sanity" - and anyone who leads a group usually gets the group to help him win. Dillinger's gimmick was that he was the cocky guy who considered himself a "10". Well the chant has gotten over "10-10-10" and he's gotten over as well now as a face. Word is that he's getting the call up to the main roster - so he probably ends up losing tonight but gets a big sendoff from the crowd. Expect him to be #10 in the Rumble tomorrow - but because it makes too much sense, it probably won't happen.

NXT Tag Team Champions: DIY (Ciampa and Gargano) vs. the Authors of Pain (Okam and Razr - get it - Occam's Razor). Anyway - The AOP are a monster team going up against the champs who probably weight a combined 350 pounds - so obviously the big guys should win. Problem is - the big guys are still green and not very good wrestlers. This should be a short match - and you might end up seeing the former champs (The Revival) interfere in the match, setting up a 3-way match between these teams for the next event (Takeover Orlando on WM weekend)

NXT Women's Championship: Asuka (the champ who is awesome and I would totally stalk since they do a lot of training here in Orlando) vs. Nikki Cross vs. the "team" of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. If the plan is to move Asuka to the main roster - it would make sense that she lose the title without getting pinned so they can still use the "nobody's pinned her" story. I think that Asuka still wins - leading to a match vs. Ember Moon at Takeover Orlando - it's the only match left for her in NXT.


NXT Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode. If you watch anything from this match - it will be the entrances. The match should be fine, and I could see either of these guys winning (and the loser appearing in the Rumble).

Two other things for this show:

(1) This is HHH's show - and he's been MIA from the main shows, although they are teasing his feud with Seth Rollins. It would not surprise me to see Rollins show up and attack HHH if he makes an appearance in the ring.

(2) No Samoa Joe on the card. But EVERYONE is guessing that he's going to be in the Rumble and might be one of the final 4 - maybe even win it all. Or he could show up and start fucking with Roman Reigns (as that might be a match that happens at WM this year). If he doesn't make an appearance on the NXT show tonight, he's definitely going to be involved sometime during the Rumble.

Big write up tomorrow for the Rumble. Looking forward to the draw for the pool. Thanks again mkind for pulling this together again this year.

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I went ahead and randomized the list of everyone just now and threw it into the spreadsheet (which is sorted in ascending order by the middle number to ensure total randomization of the outer numbers). The results were:


And you can get your numbers here:

Link to the master spreadsheet

That's also where I'll be tracking the results of the match tonight. See you all at 10.

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I'll take even you take odds for $20


$50 for whoever has highest score? We are both in for 2.


Wab, nlindley, you and me for $50 sidebet with the highest total? Winner take all.


$100.. sum of my 2 teams vs sum of your 2 teams. gl


I vote for highest combined score but am fine with the other if more people like that

whatever you guys want

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Who do I have? I am confused also. I didn't read the rules tho. I had just thought it was for the winner.

lol love it Wab. You have 9,16, 24 and 5, 18,25. You get pts for each 10 person tier. Highest score is what you are going for so having the winner only helps you in that one tier.

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So briefly - the NXT show exceeded expectations on a few matches, but overall it was "just" a 7.5/10 show (which is still better than most of the actual main roster PPVs). Bobby Roode is the new NXT champion. Asuka retained the women's title (in what might have been a match that had a rushed ending) and the Authors of Pain won the NXT tag titles in what was easily their best match. So I think if we are going to be seeing 2 people from NXT appearing in the Rumble, it will be Samoa Joe (who was in the crowd) and Tye Dillinger (who should be #10 in the Rumble - and if you have #10 in the pool - don't have any expectations that he's going to last more than 3-4 minutes.

So I'll probably split this between the matches on the card and a separate right up for the Rumble.

Pre-Show Matches

Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks (one of 3 women matches on the card which is amazing - but then again, only one of them will be on the main card). The story here is that Sasha cost Nia a shot at the title in a #1 contenders match and has been attacking Sasha. So Sasha is "hurt" and that will probably play into the match. I have a feeling that Nia wins by cheating, and also that we will be heading towards a 4-women match between these two and Charlotte and Bayley at WM.

Raw Tag Championship: Cesaro/Sheamus © vs. Anderson/Gallows - the challengers should have been champions by now but were victims of timing because the WWE insisted on making the New Day the longest reigning champs. Cesaro and Sheamus are each also pulling double duty and will be the Rumble - so it might make sense that this team finally explodes and they get back to fighting each other (or someone else) as singles wrestlers. "The Club" finally become champs.

Smackdown Six Women's Tag Match: Alexa, Natalya and Mickie James (welcome back) vs. Becky, Naomi and Nikki - just an excuse to get these women onto the card - but there is also a Smackdown PPV coming up between this show and Wrestlemania and it will be the Elimination Chamber. So there is a very good chance that these 6 women will end up doing an Elimination Chamber match (first time ever). The result here doesn't matter so much as it will be an attempt to get Mickie and Naomi to look stronger since they are both recently back. Bad girls team probably wins in matches like this.

Main Card

Cruiserweight Title: Rich Swann © vs. (now evil) Neville - word is that Vince and company are souring somewhat on the CW division, keeping their Raw matches to 4-5 minutes to get them over with quickly. And while in general these guys are mostly capable of having good 4-5 minute matches, they are better off when they can get 10-12 minutes to tell full stories. Meanwhile - this match is about the returning Neville being pissed off because he hasn't gotten the respect (somewhat true - he was a jobber before he missed a few months being injured). I think having a "name" like Neville as champ will be good for the division - but they might hold off at least a little bit so that Swann can hold the title and make him look stronger.

Raw Women's Championship: Charlotte © vs. Bayley - they are trying to tell the old "Daniel Bryan is not good enough" story with Bayley - even getting to the point to where Stephanie is cutting off Bayley's proverbial balls and calling her a "B+" player. The other side of this is that they've been playing up Charlotte's winning streak on PPVs. Going back to CM Punk and his "modern era" championship reign length, New Day's reign, talking about Asuka being the longest reigning NXT women's champ - the WWE is really pushing these streaks and records. Charlotte probably cheats to win. And like I said earlier - I think we will having a 4-way match for these top 4 women at WM for the title.

Raw Men's Championship: Kevin Owens © vs. Roman Reigns (w/ Chris Jericho suspended in a shark cage above the ring). This will also be a no-DQ match. Which mean there will probably be shenanigans. With Jericho in a cage - I'm wondering if someone (maybe someone Samoan) interferes in the match to set up a match for Reigns away from the title at WM. We're also probably going to be looking at a Jericho vs. Owens match at WM - the question will be if it will for the title or not. I think Owens retains - hopeful that they are going to keep Reigns away from the title and hope they have a plan to turn him heel because he would be so much better as a heel.

Just a quick note - no Smackdown Tag Champion match (American Alpha who are not in the Rumble) and no IC championship match (Ambrose - although he is in the Rumble). The main card starts at 7 PM - and the pre-show starts at 5 PM - so they probably will be adding a match somewhere. I'm hoping that we possibly see the American Alpha issue an open challenge for the tag championship - with The Revival (from NXT) accepting the challenge and winning the titles. These two teams had a couple classic matches at NXT - and them now being on the NXT show last night might mean they are coming to the main roster.

Edit: Whoops - I missed a match:

WWE (Smackdown) Championship: AJ Styles © vs. John Cena - so Cena immediately returns and challenges for the title. He and AJ had a series of matches which Styles won. So you know that Cena is going to the win back at some point. Let's face it - Cena is the biggest name in the WWE. He hosted the ESPYS, he's hosting the Kids Choice Awards, he's a regular guest host on The Today Show. He needs to be in a big match for WM - but does that need to be for the title? As I mentioned earlier - the Smackdown PPV coming up is an Elimination Chamber - which means that Cena doesn't need to win in this match to be champ at WM. Flip side is that his next championship will tie him with Ric Flair. Could we see him win it to tie Flair - lose it at the Elimination Chamber - and then win it back at WM to break the record? Meanwhile - AJ Styles has been the MVP of the WWE for the past year - delivering great matches and great promos. Word is that he might not be in a main event match at WM which sucks because the guy deserves it. Sadly - I think they might be heading towards an AJ vs. Shane McMahon match for WM. That's only a rumor - but dammit I think that it means that Styles is losing his title - either tonight or at the EC. This one is a toss up - but should be a great match regardless of what happens with the title.

Rumble review coming in a little bit.

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Part 2 - Royal Rumble - so I'm going to break this down into "groups" based on announced entrants and the normal "surprise entrants" that are possible.

Group 1 - No chance of winning: The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Big E), Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, Sheamus, Luke Harper, Mojo Rawley, Big Show - all of these guys should have a moment or two (Kofi usually has his "close elimination" thing - and then gets eliminated rather quickly afterwards). By the way - Big Show just came back to confront Braun Strowman and looked to be in incredible shape (seen pictures where he actually had ripped abs).

Group 2 - I could see winning if Vince was interested in fucking with people: Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, The Miz, Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn, Rusev - any of these guys could win - but just not sure there is a storyline that they are telling here for any of them to hold the title. Lesnar and Goldberg probably eliminate each other. Miz has been on fire and could easily fit into a World Title match, Rusev, Jericho and Ambrose each deserve a moment like winning the Rumble - but I doubt that either of them actually win. Sami is interesting if only because Sami is a definite underdog - sort of an heir apparent to Daniel Bryan's position. One other thing to add into this - Sami is Muslim. It hasn't been played up at all - but could Vince give him a big push and put him in at #1 and have him be the iron man - or a big embarrassment like quickest exit. All or none of these guys could be in the final 4 though.

Group 3 - Potential winners - Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Undertaker - the surprises here are Orton and Wyatt, but with the EC chamber and them being on Smackdown - they could surprise people and have either of these guys win the title so that they can hot potato the title into the Wyatt/Orton/Harper feud. Strowman is likely for the final 4 and for having the most eliminations. I'm just not sure how much the Taker is up for an extended run even in this match. Guaranteed that Taker is #27-#30.

That leaves 9 spots

Group "not in the match":

Rollins, HHH - could see them take spots from someone to get into the match, and then end up eliminating each other. Neither needs to be winning the title.

Samoa Joe, Tye Dillinger - the two NXT call ups everyone is expecting. Dillinger has the "10' gimmick and should be #10 in the Rumble (and should be quickly eliminated - he's a lower card talent and will be a jobber on Raw or Smackdown). But Samoa Joe is interesting because he's being listed on the betting sites as one of the favorites - but he could easily "just" interfere in either the Owens/Reigns match or Styles/Cena match to set up matches against Reigns or Cena.

Shinsuke Nakamura - he could have been a surprise call up - but he was "injured" in his match last night so I think that keeps him from debuting in the Rumble. But he needs to be at Wrestlemania this year if only because of his entrance.

Styles, Cena, Owens,, Reigns - none of them are scheduled to be in the match - but we could see any or none of them enter the match.

Guys on the roster but still not in the match - Kane, Big Cass, Curtis Axel, Goldust, Mark Henry, Titus O'Neill, Jinder Mahal, Apollo Crews, James Ellsworth, Kalisto, Rhyno, Heath Slater, The Uso Brothers - all of them could be used to fill out the 30 men - but none of them have a real chance to making the final 4.

Possible surprises - Sting, Hogan, Jerry Lawler, JBL, Kurt Angle, Tyler Bate (won the UK championship), Kenny Omega, Matt and Jeff Hardy, Shawn Michaels, Shaq...and the one surprise who I think could actually win the Rumble...Finn Balor. If he's healthy - could he return and immediately be put back into the championship mix?

This Rumble is wide open. I'm trying to avoid the betting lines - but unfortunately saw one that has one person (I won't say who) as the prohibitive betting favorite. Then again - for the past week there have been 4-5 different guys listed as the favorite - so let's just say that it wouldn't surprise me if Vince still hasn't officially decided on who is going to win.

Good luck with the pool if you are in. And enjoy the show.

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lol love it Wab. You have 9,16, 24 and 5, 18,25. You get pts for each 10 person tier. Highest score is what you are going for so having the winner only helps you in that one tier.

Who do I have? I am confused also. I didn't read the rules tho. I had just thought it was for the winner.

Got it

So the winner doesnt matter except for tier he entered

Thats cool

Yes, Preston has it down here. Think of it as 3 battle royals going on simultaneously.

The problem I always had with a RR pool where you have to have the winner is that it's a really boring contest. As soon as some geek like The Miz or Bray Wyatt comes out, you know within half a second that you've lost. With my format, you have a reason to root for the Miz as long as he is in the match even if you know he can't win because he doesn't have to. He just needs to last a little longer than some of the guys around him. So it gives you far more of a rooting interest in the match.

Just looking back at my old spreadsheets Stardust and Golddust were on first place teams in the last two years. So don't pout too much if you don't draw John Cena or Roman Reigns on one of your entries because you can still win.

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I have absolutely no clue how to win this and wasn't planning to watch so please just PayPal me a million dollars tomorrow.

If I can find a good link I may get sucked in.

Is my 4/12/30 any better or worse than someone else? Or does the tier thing make it all pretty even?

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