Latta’s Lariat #42: 2018 Royal Rumble – The WWE Universal Title Match vs The WWE Championship Match, Who Ya Wit Challenge?


In 1997, Jay-Z dropped the classic song, Who Ya Wit? It was a simple premise really. Given the choice between lesser rappers not at the prestige of Rocafella, that weren’t able to live a lavish lifestyle and Jay-Z; who were we the listener, and presumably women, with? Comparing and contrasting in the most basic sense. Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz also have a track with the same title, asking what hood people represent. Either apply here.

At the 2018 Royal Rumble I now ask you the reader, out of both World Title Matches…WHO YA WIT? On Raw, there is Brock Lesnar vs Kane vs Braun Strowman and on Smackdown we’re currently headed for a handicap match with Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn taking on AJ Styles, with some form of Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan being involved in some weird way. While some think this may turn to a triple threat match, we’re just going to look at it as is at this point.

In the “Who Ya Wit” columns which will come back every so often, I’m going to ask seven questions, and decide who has the advantage. Some of them slant positive, others skew the other way. It is an inexact score board. Ultimately it’s on you to decide. The last column I wrote like this was about Baron Corbin and Big Cass. One of them promptly tore their ACL, and the other failed a Money In The Bank cash-in, so hopefully this leads to better luck for the analyzed parties.

*Cuts On Jay-Z – Who Ya Wit

Which Match Is More Must See?

AJ Styles in a WWE Championship match, regardless of the questions that may be surrounding how the actual match will go down is consistently excellent. His last two years in WWE proved this, as he did stellar work with Ambrose, Cena, and Reigns in such situations, and he was able to get Jinder Mahal through as an extra. Pairing him with Kevin Owens gives those two a chance at redemption for their good, but ultimately disappointing rivalry. Added in is another one of the best wrestlers in WWE, Sami Zayn. If there is something I trust, it is 3 great wrestlers finding a way to figure it out.

On the other hand, the attraction of Strowman vs Lesnar in a rematch would win under normal circumstances but someone decided to pull Kane off the mayoral trail, and stick him in a title match he’s not needed in. Someone, somewhere may want to see this. The rest of us will count on AJ Styles, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Even if it is a handicap match.

Who Ya Wit? – WWE Title.

Which Match Has The Potential For Something Unforgettable In A Good Way?

Bring on Swae Lee and French Montana because the topic is being Unforgettable. The monster Triple Threat is definitely the match capable of producing something we’ll never forget. Is there anything that isn’t in play? There are no rules, and guys are definitely going through tables and using weapons. Kane may crawl back in his hole and go to hell, or be F5’ed through the ring. With Kane and Strowman involved, the chances of attempted MURDER definitely increase.

With the way Brock has been booked, MURDER might be the only thing that can stop him dropping the title to anyone before be bows down like he’s entering a dojo in front of Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 34.

Who Ya Wit? – WWE Universal Title

Which Has The Potential To Make You Angrier?

This is a lot closer than one would imagine. Would there be anything that makes less sense than having Kane go over either Strowman or Lesnar? It’d be a shock, and not in the good way. However, when it comes down to it, beating AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble for the championship again to essentially keep him from the Royal Rumble match would cause all types of fury to be unleashed. The qualifier here is if the WWE Championship gets into the Zayn/Owens camp, and something absurd like Shane McMahon winning the Royal Rumble happens. If AJ Styles gets positioned to be left out of the title picture again that’s going to be tough. I’d endorse fans rushing the ring at that point.

Kane as Champion is even more tolerable than the potential combo of an AJ Styles title loss/Shane McMahon Royal Rumble win. Is it nuts? Yes. This is also WWE.

Who Ya Wit? – WWE Title

*Cuts On Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz – Who Ya Wit

What Match Will Cause The Bigger Eye Roll?

When the introductions for the Raw Triple Threat are done, there will be a stark contrast between the participants. With Lesnar there will be some excitement, and perhaps a quiet respect for the Universal Champion. I expect Braun Strowman to get a lord’s welcome as he would represent the most exciting possible outcome, and #GetTheseHands is the movement right now.

Then there is Kane, who the Philadelphia crowd will openly detest and look at like nothing more than a space filler. He’s only be booked in the match for one reason, and his presence diminishes the attraction of Strowman/Lesnar. Every time they want to make Kane into a killer monster again it’s just baffling that it comes at the expense of current stars, and the calendar that says the last time he was valuable was 5 years ago, and the last time he was a serious threat was at least 15. I’m rolling my eyes at Kane so hard they might get stuck.

The thought of a handicap match for the title is puzzling, but there isn’t anyone that looks out of place. It’ll be cool to see Sami Zayn in his first WWE Title situation, but as they’ve demonstrated on Smackdown, you can never be sure they won’t inject some tomfoolery into the finish. Still, it isn’t Kane in 2018 wrestling for the World Title at a Big 4 though.

Who Ya Wit? – WWE Universal Title

More Predictable Match?

I’ve been alluding to this throughout, but Lesnar/Kane/Strowman has the clear advantage in this scenario. WWE didn’t help this perception when they had Brock Lesnar absolutely make Kane a joke, by sitting up laughing after his finishing move. I can safely say, we have no idea what direction WWE is heading with the handicap match, and while that is scary, it isn’t predictable.

Kane might as well lay down like Jeff Jarrett at Bash At The Beach 2000 at the beginning of the match and save us the trouble. Unfortunately he’s bound to lumber around, and catch an F5 while Strowman somehow loses his cat quick ability to break up the finish. We’ll all stare at the ring like our dog died.

Who Ya Wit? – WWE Universal Title

More Likely Match Of The Year Candidate?

Personally, I don’t think the conditions are ideal for either scenario to produce something at the top level for 2018, however out of the two, one of those matches has AJ Styles in it. With the Universal Title, the shorter and more explosive this match is…the better. They should be going out of their way to evoke the spirit of 17’ Lesnar/Goldberg in a 3-way format. I don’t see a path to success in any other scenario.

While the rules haven’t been defined, I’d anticipate it being a Tag Team Handicap match, essentially making it a Tag Match where AJ Styles has to do his own hot tag. Either way, an AJ Styles fighting to survive using all his athleticism and resourcefulness ranks much higher for me.

Who Ya Wit? – WWE Title

Which Match Doesn’t Have Kane Wrestling For The World Title In 2018?

AJ Styles vs Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens does not have the hokeyness, and glass ceiling guarding of Kane to deal with. Kane has destroyed Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, he’s been booked to make Finn Balor look like some job guy, all so he can lose as part of this “Get Lesnar To Mania” memorial world tour.

Braun Strowman will gain nothing from watching Brock Lesnar win a multi-man match with him in it again. Strowman should be winning the World Title from Brock in a singles match, but they’ve run into a scenario where he is the odd-man out of an incoming Wrestlemania Main Event with Reigns and Lesnar. We can only hope this doesn’t lead to Kane vs Strowman at a later date, because it will be hard to imagine that Braun hasn’t earned more than that.  

For these factors, The WWE Title match takes a 4-3 win in the #WhoYaWit challenge.

More importantly, who are you with?

Rich Latta is a writer for & host of the One Nation Radio Podcast on He appears monthly on Chad Matthews’ podcast The Doc Says after Raw PPVs.GFX by @SirMikeFergus Give him a follow on Twitter, @RichLatta32 or drop him a comment below. If you like hip-hop, check out his music here. Look Him Up On Youtube As Well. 

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