The WWE Royal Rumble 2017, which takes place later this month, is shaping up to be the best of the last few years. Sure, we expect a star-studded affair. But more than this, the WWE is making use of a very simple formula- keep things unpredictable, and people will be interested.
It’s no secret that the last couple of Rumbles wound up as big disappointments. Batista’s 2014 win ended up with boos, and that kind of reception helped force his departure shortly after. Similarly, fans showered boos upon Roman Reigns’s 2015 victory. Triple H’s win last year was interesting from a storyline perspective. However, since it only set up Reigns to take back his championship a few months later, it was largely forgettable.
But this year? This year, just look at the people who’ll be sharing the ring. These are some of the most noteworthy names in a ring that is about to get pretty crowded.
Battle of the Behemoths
So far, the Royal Rumble is shaping up to be all about Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar. The two have been announced as the Rumble’s first two entrants. Some would think that they’ll be the two last, as well. Goldberg has never won the Rumble (Lesnar did in 2003) and this could catapult him back into the limelight.
But even as their feud has become a centerpiece for WWE’s promos, the match itself need not be all about them. If anything, Blake Oestriecher of Forbes writes, they should both be eliminated early – maybe by each other in some kamikaze maneuver. We all know their WrestleMania match is happening anyway.
The Undertaker also appeared on Raw to remind everyone that he does whatever he damn well pleases. Thought they were going to save him for WrestleMania? Well, the Deadman wants to be in the Rumble, so that’s what we’re getting.
An Undertaker victory – a repeat of his 2007 win – paired with a John Cena win over AJ Styles would set up the fabled Taker vs Cena match at WrestleMania 33 – and potentially grant him his long-deserved retirement. This remains one of the most popular fan predictions at the moment. If we had to make any educated guesses for the outcome of the WWE Royal Rumble 2017, this would be it.
Other Stars On The Rise
Consider the other names who have been confirmed. Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, and Chris Jerico victories would all guarantee interesting stories leading up to ‘Mania’. Any of them could be worthy. Baron Corbin and Braun Strowman have been the forces this 2016, and wins for them would be unexpected but well-deserved pushes.
Finally, expect a surprise or two from NXT: Samoa Joe or Shinsuke Nakamura could walk in to the biggest pops the Alamodome could handle. A Finn Balor return would be a close second. Any guesses on who’s winning the WWE Royal Rumble 2017 this Jan. 29? Let’s hear it below!