Royal Rumble 2017 Preview: who’s going to main event WrestleMania?

As every January of every year, the WWE closes it with the show that kick offs the road to WrestleMania: the Royal Rumble. 

While in the last few years this meant knowing beforehand who was going to win (due to leaks or logic storyline), we finally have a bunch of superstars all on the frontline to win the Rumble. 

Also, we have a bunch of other matches. Two on the pre-show, six (including the Royal Rumble) in the pay-per-view. As you know, three of the four big four are 4 hours long, except WrestleMania which will be 5 hours. Or six, depending if The Rock is going to pre-maineventing with non-sense. 

Anyways, without further ado, here’s my Royal Rumble predictions!

Pre-Show

1) RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Cesaro & Sheamus (c) vs Gallows & Anderson

It’s weird to think how fare they went with the Cesaro/Sheamus storyline. It’s also funny to admit how it actually works, because they are both funny and efficient. On the other side, it’s disappointing to see how WWE treated Gallows & Anderson, despite their dominating debut last April, when they destroyed The Usos at the Staples Center. I guess they have plans for them when Bàlor comes back? Who knows.

Anyways, considering that maybe all four contestants will also take part in the Royal Rumble match, I don’t expect this to last long. Would I like to see Gallows & Anderson win? Obviously, but that would give Cesaro & Sheamus a more extensive role in the main event, which I don’t think is the case. 

Granting that the running time of the contest won’t be over 12 minutes (considering the pre-show last 2 hours), I see Cesaro and Sheamus retain. But they may lose at Raw if Bàlor comes back and interferes in the rematch. 

WINNERS: Cesaro & Sheamus retain

2) Nia Jax vs Sasha Banks

Here’s something that no one really cares about, but this bout could function to push Nia Jax’s popularity and credibility. 

In fact, I don’t think Sasha should win. Everyone loves her, and everyone knows she’s able to do anything she wants. While no one defeated Nia Jax cleanly, the heel woman needs to defeat someone of a higher status, so a win would benefit her no matter what.

That said, I got the feeling Sasha Banks will be the female version of John Cena or Roman Reigns. So I guess she’s going to overcome the apparent odds and win.

WINNER: Sasha Banks

ROYAL RUMBLE PPV

1) Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella and Naomi vs SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, Natalya and Mickie James

Let’s admit it: it’s nice to see Mickie James back in WWE. In addition to SmackDown Live, which was the show that needed the most a credible talent in their roster.

Don’t get me wrong, Nikki and Natalya are good, but for a reason or the other they are and will be out of the title picture for a while. And I’m glad, as I see Mickie James vs Alexa Bliss vs Becky Lynch for the title at WrestleMania, which is awesome. And Alexa Bliss surprised me since her main roster debut. She may be small, but she’s actually a very good wrestler.

Anyways, about this match… Well, no one really cares. I guess is going to be put between the two world title matches. And, yeah, the face team is mostly going to win, as Becky Lynch needs a win. And she’s going to probably pin either Alexa or Mickie James. Probably Alexa.

WINNERS: Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella and Naomi

2) WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Rich Swann (c) vs Neville

Here’s another weird thing, the Cruiserweight Division. I don’t have a problem with the division/belt itself, but the fact they are alienating the athletes. On RAW, they change colors and graphics for their matches, and they pretty much do the same on PPV. Which is the reason why they tend not to be liked. As of now, I don’t see any of them interacting with Rusev for example, because it looks like they are on a totally different show. In addition, 205 Live goes live on the WWE Network after SmackDown, not before. Which means people at the arena tend to leave, and people at home tend not to watch it. It’s pretty sad.

That’s why I don’t think anyone cares about this bout, which will probably be the opener of the main show. I like both of the contestants. Rich Swann is really cool, and heel Neville is fresh and badass. But no one cares.

A Neville win would be useful as he’s a liked and established star, so that would give more attention to the division. On the other hand, the belt changed hands multiple times from its inception (September), so a longer title reign is indeed needed.

It’s up to you. I guess I’m going with Neville though.

WINNER: Neville becomes the new Cruiserweight Champion

3) RAW Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair (c) vs Bayley

Nothing much to say here. People like Bayley because she’s likeable, people hate Charlotte because she’s a masterful heel. That said, Bayley’s main roster character is not ready to carry the title, especially considering that the feud between Charlotte and Sasha is anything but over.

Hopefully they go for a good 20 minutes, to showcase their potential. If this is the case, it’s going to be a very entertaining and passionate match. But there’s no doubt who’s going to win.

Yet, maybe Sasha could cause inadvertently Bayley’s loss, setting up the triple treat for WrestleMania. That could be cool.

WINNER: Charlotte Flair retains the RAW Women’s Championship

4) No DQ match – WWE Universal Championship: Kevin Owens (c) vs Roman Reign, Chris Jericho will be locked in a shark cage hanging above the ring

If I was to preview this match two weeks ago, I had no doubts that Roman Reigns was going to walk away with the belt.

Now, according to rumors and the live event cards, I’m not so sure anymore.

On one hand we have Kevin Owens, a fun yet cruel heel who’s storyline with Chris Jericho would see a great ending with a title match at ‘Mania.

But, you know, Vince really likes Roman. And, you know, they guys is not as bad people says. Honestly, as a champion he’s been a lot better than Dean Ambrose. Of course having him turn heel would be better, and would add a new layer to the character. But all in all is a good athlete, with a discrete character.

While Owens is undoubtedly better, Roma Reigns has the ‘next poster WWE guy’ stigma, so sooner or later he’ll have a lengthy title run.

Will it start at the Alamodome? Maybe, maybe not. Probably not, as Jericho will find a way to interfere.

WINNER: Kevin Owens retains

5) WWE Championship match: AJ Styles (c) vs John Cena

One year ago, AJ Styles debuted in the Royal Rumble match for the WWE Championship. One year later, not only he’s again in a world championship match, but he is the defending champion. High quality matches and feuds as well as an increasing popularity pushed the WWE to recognize who is at the moment the best pro-wrestler in the world. And, honestly, he holds the status for at least 5-6 years.

His best rivalry is with John Cena, which gets richer with a new chapter in their third one on one encounter, and once again it will be extremely entertaining.

Like with the Universal Championship match, a couple of weeks ago John Cena was the sure winner, to tie Ric Flair record. Once again, that seems not to be the case anymore.

One of the reasons seems to be that his match with Undertaker (that transitionally was going to win the Rumble) isn’t happening anymore. For now, obviously, they could change their mind anytime.

Now, the case are three. One, AJ Styles retain, loses by interference at Elimination Chamber, and face the interferer, who could be Finn Bàlor if he’s not coming back in the Royal Rumble, or Shawn Michaels (least likely option), either way setting up a dream match.

Two, John Cena cheats, turning heel. While the last few promo are more arrogant than in the past, I don’t think it will be the case, mostly because, if it’s gonna happen, that will be done at WrestleMania, as the crowd reaction would be shocking.

The third option… You’ll see it in the main event prediction.

I tend to go with Styles, as it would give Elimination Chamber’s main event a more unpredictable outcome, but, as you’ll see later, I’m not so sure.

WINNER: AJ Styles retains

6) 30-Man Royal Rumble Match

Royal Rumble Match

Finally, we talk about the main event.

This time around, is going to be star studded. Of course, Goldberg, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker are the poster stars, but right behind we have Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman, who, whether you like it or not, is deemed to be one of the favorites.

Let’s start saying that neither Goldberg or Lesnar are going to win the match. Goldberg is there because he wants it but also because they need to fill out the 60,000+ seats of the Alamodome, and in storyline Brock joined the rumble because Bill did. While they’re teasing us that the Beast wants to win the match, I don’t think that’s the case, but just want to hurt Goldberg, eliminate him, and leave. Probably Goldberg eliminates him, Brock eliminates Goldberg, and decimates it. All to protect Goldberg, of course. And it makes sense, but I personally prefer the first scenario. 

Undertaker I think he still the favorite. He was supposed to face John Cena, but the increasing popularity of AJ seems to make Vince reconsider. He also doesn’t have any storyline whatsoever other than ‘I’m entering the Rumble and win it’, so it becomes a little difficult to read his situation.

The Wyatt family situation is going to playout during the match. It’s either going to be Randy breaking out from Bray, or the two sticking together and ending up winning it all, but I think the first case will be the correct one. 

Chris Jericho would be a good choice, but I don’t think they best friend split is a good enough storyline to justify a Rumble win. I think he’s going to have a good long run, but nothing exaggerated. 

We have also three SmackDown superstars that are having a good momentum in the company. Dolph Ziggler is going back to the ruthless heel gimmick, and it would be amazing to see him as the last man standing in the ring, as people would hate him more after that mean segment with Jerry Lawler. Not likely, but someone can dream. Than you have Dean Ambrose, a guy that is basically a main eventer since 2014, so I have to consider it no matter what (I don’t think his character is ready for something this big, it’s too one dimensional).

But someone that WWE might capitalize with is The Miz. Since that promo (which could have easily been a shoot) on Talking Smack, he started to pull off main-eventing performance, and he’s a wonderful heel. A Miz victory would make total sense, unfortunately I don’t see WWE setting up a Miz vs Cena 2, and heel vs heel fights never works. 

As I said before, the other favorite is Braun Strowman, but again I don’t see him in the main event just yet. He could become the perfect monster heel if he defeat Lesnar in the future. Surely he will break Roman Reigns’ elimination record, but won’t win the overall thing.

The New Day, Cesaro, Sheamus, Big Cass, Baron Corbin, Samy Zayn, Moho Rawley, Rusev, Big Show, Luke Harper will have all good parts, but none of them is going to win it. 

Of course, we didn’t talk about any surprise entrants.

According to rumors, and despite a Chile booking the day before, is very likely that Kenny Omega will be in Texas. I’m putting here for the Rumble match prediction, but I’m not sure if he’ll actually be a part of the 30 man bout. If so, he needs to be among the last 4 standing.

From NXT, we most likely will see Samoa Joe, and yeah if that’s the case he can win the match. I know, he’s a heel, but a monster one, so in case AJ can turn easily. Or anyways, having John Cena vs Samoa Joe is another dream match, and it might as well be at WrestleMania. Or even a triple treat match would be awesome. 

I don’t think Shinsuke Nakamura will take part in the match. I see more Bobby Roode. Either way, it all depends on the outcome of their match the night before.

Now, let’s go to my favorite scenarios.

First, Finn Bàlor. If he enters, he’s going to win. Since his injury at SummerSlam, everyone thought his comeback would see him entering and winning this match. And differently from the predictability issue Vince seems to avoid, the audience would love it, 100%.

Second, we have the third scenario I promised you towards the end of my Cena vs Styles prediction. This scenario was suggested by ESPN, and sees Styles losing to Cena. Angry, he demands Shane to be put in the Royal Rumble. Shane’o either denies him or complies. If he denies, Styles goes on taking out an entrant (Mojo Rawley or James Ellsworth), and enters the match. Either ways, after losing to Cena earlier he wins the match, heading to WrestleMania for Styles vs Cena IV. 

Now that I think about it, this scenario makes even more sense in case Triple H is about to enter, Seth Rollins beats him up, security comes out, takes the Architect away, Triple H is injured and AJ Styles taking his place. Wouldn’t this be the coolest thing? I really should be a booker…

Anyways, here’s my ranking for possible winners:

  1. Undertaker
  2. Finn Bàlor
  3. AJ Styles
  4. The Miz
  5. Samoa Joe

But, if I have to choose one…

WINNER OF THE ROYAL RUMBLE 2017: The Undertaker

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That’s all folks! Be sure to like us on social media, and comment down below if you have any other scenario in mind for this year’s Royal Rumble!

 

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