WWE Royal Rumble 2017 PredictionsFor the first time in three or more years, I’m hyped as hell for the Royal Rumble. Why? Simply it’s because I have no idea who will win some of the matches on the card, including the Royal Rumble…and I love it!Usually we have some sort of idea where WWE is going to go leading to Wrestlemania. This year, besides my money still on Brock Lesnar and Goldberg having their rematch, I’m not sure where they are going with their road map to Wrestlemania.
I didn’t do my usual Raw and Smackdown thoughts because both shows were just springboards to keep hyping this Sunday’s PPV. I will say the end of Raw where The Undertaker showed up out of the blue and stood in between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar was magical. I didn’t expect it and it was the perfect way to end the show.
This year the event has a two hour kickoff show AND is a four hour event. SIX f’n hours! This is all after what looks like to be a really good NXT PPV the night before. There are three announced matches for the two hour kickoff show and five matches (including the Rumble) for the four hour main show. I have no idea how they will fill almost four hours with what is advertised. The Rumble will be an hour or so, but that leaves around three and a half hours for four matches!
Here are my predictions for the matches that are currently announced in the order I would put them in if I was running the show.
Naomi, Nikki Bella & Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss, Natalya, and Mickie JamesI like the feuds going on (or just starting) with all the women featured in this match. The unfortunate thing about this being on the Kickoff show is you know this match will resolve absolutely nothing. As well, to keep any of the stories going, the heels need the win here, especially with Mickie James returning to the roster. There’s no chance the team she is on is losing.
Cesaro & Sheamus (Champs) vs. Gallows & Anderson
Gallows and Anderson haven’t won the big one yet and Cesaro and Sheamus are just still just in the infancy of their reign. With two refs being assigned to this match, I’m sure something will happen where Gallows and Anderson technically win, but Cesaro and Sheamus will walk out with the belts, causing the heels to whine on Raw until they get their next shot.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match
Sasha Banks vs. Nia JaxSasha Banks had an injured knee and I’m sure WWE will be playing it up when Nia targets it in this match. It gives Sasha an out until she says she’s finally 100% and it will give Nia Jax the monster heel win she needs against a legit wrestler and not some jobber. The loss won’t affect Sasha in any way.
Royal Rumble Event
Rich Swann (Champ) vs. Neville – WWE Cruiserweight ChampionshipNeville has been one of the best heels and performers on Raw and 205 Live. When you see Neville taking the heel role and working with it to the extent that he is (and has been), you question how in the hell WWE Creative dropped the ball with him for so long. I have no connection with Swann as a person or a champ and I’m sure the majority of the people don’t either. Neville needs the win to further his heel persona and because he’s that damn good.
Kevin Owens (Champ) vs. Roman Reigns – WWE Universal Championship Match
Here’s one of the matches where I’m a bit up in the air about (see? Good pun!). With Jericho hanging from a cage above the ring AND this match now being no DQ, it’s hard to see Owens not winning this match. Yeah, Owens has been another victim of WWE Creative not booking their champ very well (like Rollins), but that doesn’t mean Reigns should get the belt. WWE is still hell bent on pushing Reigns and don’t seem to be learning from the fan rejection. Vince is that stubborn to give Reigns the belt to a sea of boos and try to convince himself that this will be the year that Reigns will be accepted by their fans in a major title match at Wrestlemania. I just can’t, using all logic, think that way and therefore will be picking the champ to retain. I have a funny feeling WWE has a different plan for Reigns at Wrestlemania (Taker? Strowman?)
w/ Chris Jericho Locked in a Cage Above the Ring
Winner: Kevin Owens
Charlotte (Champ) vs. Bayley – Raw Women’s Championship MatchWWE has been doing well over the last two weeks really getting across that Bayley does have heart and passion but she is the underdog here. They’ve been quiet about Bayley’s other wins over Charlotte in 2016 and I think that’s good to build on the story they are now trying to tell (and should have been doing for the past six months). Charlotte has been the queen of PPV and I do not see her streak ending here. There’s only two months (and a week) until Wrestlemania and when/if they’re going to pass the belt to Bayley, it’ll be at the biggest show of the year. Besides, WWE Creative played hot potato with the belt too much last year.
AJ Styles (Champ) vs. John Cena – WWE Heavyweight Championship MatchHere’s another match where I can’t decide 100% on who will win. John Cena will eventually tie (and with WWE, you know he’ll beat) Ric Flair’s record as a 16 time champ. Does John Cena NEED a belt? Nope. Does anyone besides small children and some women want him to be champ? Probably not. So we have to ask ourselves: does he really need to be the champ headlining Wrestlemania?
AJ Styles is one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE even though he’s a heel. He has been in the best matches in 2016 AND has been a defending champ. Does Styles NEED the belt? I say yes he does. He deserved to carry on with it and defend at Wrestlemania. The belt will continue to establish Styles as the guy to help carry the company forward in the next couple of years while Cena maintains his “part-time” status. Another win against Cena here will also cement how damn good Styles is to anyone that still has doubts about him.
One question is, where do either man go with or without the belt heading to Wrestlemania? I could possibly see Cena winning here and then Styles winning the title back at the Elimination Chamber PPV. But then who will each man face in April? I have a funny feeling that we’re going to see someone interfere in this match. Could Samoa Joe finally show up, interfere and then enter himself in the Rumble? Could it be someone else who has Styles’ or Cena’s number? I really don’t know! I’m going with who I want and think deserves to win this match.
Royal Rumble MatchWhoa boy! I love not having any clue who will win this. As of the time of writing, there are only 22 men announced for the 30 man match. They are:
The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, The Big Show, Dean Ambrose, The Miz, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Big E, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Luke Harper, Mojo Rawley, Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho, Baron Corbin, Cesaro, Sheamus, Big Cass, and Rusev.
Out of all these guys who are announced, let’s narrow it down to those who have any chance of winning: The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, Braun Stroman, and Chris Jericho.
Now I’ll examine each wrestler a little bit further. I don’t believe Goldberg or Lesnar will win as I’m sure as hell they’ll be fighting at Wrestlemania. One of them COULD win and they could face off at the Fastlane PPV with the opportunity to main event at Wrestlemania on the line in March.
I don’t think The Undertaker will win because he just doesn’t need it. It would be cool to see, but I believe Taker’s purpose for coming back is to have a match to probably put someone over at Wrestlemania (to take one for the team) and either retire after that match or begin his farewell tour. But then again, what the hell do I know as people have speculated about Taker’s retirement plans for years now.
Chris Jericho has had a hell of a year and a match between him and Owens at Wrestlemania for the belt would be interesting but I just can’t see it being for the Universal Championship if they did. If Owens doesn’t walk out of the Royal Rumble with the title, then Jericho and Owens feuding with each other for the US Championship at Wrestlemania is probably what will happen after their friendship implodes for good.
That leaves Braun Strowman. I think he’s grown tremendously over the past year in the ring and just playing the part of a monster. Is he Wrestlemania main event ready? No. Not even close and I just don’t see him in the main event or title picture yet.
So, who does that leave? Well, odds are that one of the men I just discussed will probably win. Then again, could someone from NXT like Samoa Joe arrive, dominate, and pull of a surprise win?
Could a past superstar like Kurt Angle return and win? Angle swears he hasn’t talked to WWE about anything else except the Hall of Fame so who knows what the truth is.
Could Finn Balor return, win, and gun for Kevin Owens? That would be a great match and build up! He was supposed to go for testing to see if he was cleared this week or last according to some reports.
What about Kenny Omega? He has the wrestling world in his hands right now but has clearly said he will not be showing up because he’ll be resigning with New Japan Pro Wrestling and can’t appear because his contract goes until January 30th. Is it all smoke and mirrors?
All these questions and scenarios make the Royal Rumble exciting for me this year. I have absolutely no idea what will happen or what the direction for Wrestlemania is and I LOVE it.