Gambling oddsmakers have no respect for the Titus brand.
Despite being a predetermined sport, people still bet money on the outcome of pro wrestling events. One of the most interesting events for gamblers is the WWE Royal Rumble, in which 30 competitors battle to be the last man eliminated from the ring by being tossed outside over the top rope. According to a report from 411 Wrestling, Randy Orton is currently the favorite in terms of betting odds, followed by The Undertaker, Braun Strowman, Goldberg, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Chris Jericho, Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt, and Sami Zayn.
But way down at the bottom of the odds is Titus O’Neil, with +55,000 moneyline odds. That means that if you wagered just $.18 (that’s eighteen cents) on Titus O’Neil to win the Royal Rumble, and he actually won, you would win $100.
But that’s not going to happen. Titus O’Neil’s odds to win the Royal Rumble are so low right now, seven wrestlers who aren’t even likely to participate in the Royal Rumble have better odds than he does. Here they are in clickable list format:
7. Ryback (+27,500)
Ryback is an active wrestler with a well-developed physique and serviceable charisma. While not a favorite, he would stand a decent chance of having a good showing in any Royal Rumble match. But there’s just one problem: Ryback left WWE last August, and has not infrequently taken to social media to publicly criticize the company. It’s very unlikely that Ryback would be able to repair his relationship with WWE and return so soon, and absolutely certain that he wouldn’t do so and be booked to win the Royal Rumble. Still, he has a better chance of winning than Titus O’Neil.
6. Shaquille O’Neal (+27,500)
Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal may share a homophonous last name with Titus, but Shaq’s chances are better than Titus’s to win the rumble, even though he is not technically a professional wrestler. A Shaq appearance in the Rumble isn’t out of the question. O’Neal, a lifelong wrestling fan, has made sporadic appearances with companies such as WCW, WWE, and TNA, and is even rumored to be involved in a match with wrestler The Big Show at Wrestlemania this year. Shaq wrestled in a similar match to the Royal Rumble, the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale, last year. However, even if Shaq were to make an appearance at the Royal Rumble, it’s highly unlikely he would actually win. Not quite as unlikely as Titus O’Neil winning, however. Hey Titus – tell Shaq how his @#$ tastes!
5. Shelton Benjamin (+27,500)
Shelton Benjamin is a former WWE tag team wrestler who was released from the company in 2010. After a successful post-WWE career in organizations like Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Benjamin was signed by WWE again last year, as the company searched for recognizable talent to bolster its roster following the brand split that turned WWE Raw and Smackdown Live into separate, isolated shows. Unfortunately, Benjamin injured his rotator cuff soon after, and he is reportedly still not ready to return to the ring. It’s possible that he’s secretly ready and will make his big return at the show, but it would likely be overshadowed by bigger name stars on the show when it could have a bigger impact on an episode of Smackdown. And even if he did, he probably wouldn’t win… unless it came down to him and Titus O’Neil, in which case, Shelton has significantly better odds.
4. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (+27,500)
The Texas Rattlesnake is arguably the biggest pro wrestling star of all time, and even holds the record for most Royal Rumble wins ever, winning the event in 1997, 1998, and 2001. Austin wrestled his last match, however, in 2003, against The Rock at Wrestlemania 19. Austin suffered a severe neck injury from a piledriver by Owen Hart in 1997, which eventually ended his career. Though Austin has made various appearances at WWE events since that time, and maintains a good relationship with WWE, has has repeatedly stated that he will not return to the ring for another match, which is probably a good idea, since one poorly performed move could paralyze him. A worse idea, however, according to oddsmakers, would be Titus O’Neal winning the Royal Rumble.
3. Sting (+27,500)
Another wrestling legend, Sting spent the overwhelming majority of his career outside WWE. Sting was one of rival wrestling organization WCW’s biggest stars during the 80s and 90s. When WWE purchased an ailing WCW after winning the Monday Night Wars in 2001, they didn’t buy out Sting’s contract, since WCW notoriously awarded its talent with ridiculous contracts. Instead, WWE waited for Sting’s contract with WCW to expire before opening negotiations with him for a new one, but those didn’t work out, and Sting spent the next decade wrestling for TNA instead. Sting finally joined WWE in 2014, but only had a few matches before an injury in a match with Seth Rollins in 2015, forcing his retirement. The Hall of Famer certainly has the star power to win a Royal Rumble, but unfortunately, his body can no longer handle the abuse of wrestling, and so it wouldn’t make very much sense at all to have him beat 29 active wrestlers to win a chance to main event Wrestlemania for the WWE Championship. It would make more sense than Titus O’Neil winning though, according to the odds.
2. Hulk Hogan (+30,000)
Hulk Hogan led the WWE, or WWF as it was known back then, through its golden age of the 1980s, and helped usher in a second golden age in 1996 when he famously “turned heel” and formed the anti-hero group The New World Order with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. One of the few wrestlers with a legitimate claim to being the biggest wrestling star of all time, Hogan is a twelve-time world champion (of championships WWE recognizes, which are their own and WCW’s), is one of the most recognizable celebrities ever, and even won two consecutive Royal Rumbles himself – in 1990 and 1991. However, Hogan was fired from his fourth stint with WWE (where he served in a non-wrestling capacity) after leaked audio from a sex tape revealed Hogan going on a racist tirade, including repeated cavalier uses of “the n-word.” Hogan has been persona non grata with the company since then, and is almost never brought up or acknowledged on new programming, despite his massive historical impact on WWE and the sport. It’s a treatment afforded only to the most heinous offenders of WWE’s policy of not doing things that make WWE look bad, a group whose other most notable member includes Chris Benoit, who murdered his wife and children and then committed suicide while reportedly suffering from the affects of brain damage caused by his wrestling career.
Hulk Hogan will return to WWE one day, without a doubt, though it’s probably still too soon. Even when he does, though, he’s unlikely to get involved in any kind of physical action, as his body is basically held together with safety pins and bubble gum at this point. He might be able to handle hobbling to the ring and throwing some comically exaggerated punches at the other competitors in the Royal Rumble, but it would be absolutely shocking to see Hogan take a bump over the top rope, which would probably cause several of his bones to crumble into dust. That being said, he has a better chance of publicly apologizing for his racist statements, repairing his relationship with WWE, signing a new contact, getting back into ring shape, entering the Royal Rumble, and winning in the next 48 hours than Titus O’Neil.
1. Conor McGregor (+45,000)
Conor McGregor is the reigning UFC lightweight champion, and is currently signed to a contract with the Mixed Martial Arts promotion, so it is highly unlikely that he will join WWE as an active competitor, and even though it’s not impossible for a UFC talent to appear (in a non-wrestling capacity) on WWE programming, as Ronda Rousey did at Wrestlemania 31, McGregor would almost certainly be both unwilling and unable to compete in the ring, at least until his UFC deal is done. McGregor would actually be a big attraction and a good choice to win a Royal Rumble if did become a pro wrestler, and that could very well happen in the coming years. But there’s only one thing in the world less likely than Conor McGregor showing up to win the Royal Rumble with no prior promotion on Sunday night, and, of course, we all know what that one thing is: Titus O’Neil winning the Royal Rumble.
The odds for the Royal Rumble are likely to change over the next several days, with the odds right before the event begins on Sunday traditionally being the most reliable. A lot of things can change between and now and then. Anything can happen in the WWE. Anything, that is, except Titus O’Neil winning the Royal Rumble.
URAH URAH URAH URAH!