Royal Rumble 2017: A Night of Unpredictability
Over the years, plans for the Royal Rumble have been solidified and shared throughout the internet. Its never hard to find spoilers, especially if WWE has booked the outcome to be obvious (Batista, Reigns, etc). This year however is a different story. Anything can happen in 2017, especially with the brand split.
I truly believe this is the most unpredictable Royal Rumble of all time, with an outcome that may surprise the entire WWE Universe.
The card itself is full of great matches, one in particular that’s also unpredictable. Will Kevin Owens retain his WWE Universal Title, or will Roman Reigns compete in a title match for the third WrestleMania in a row? I believe that match will predict the outcome of the Royal Rumble. Will a young star win it, cementing this “New Era” in WWE? Will an older wrestler win it, causing fans to become upset at a part-timer getting the spotlight (again)?
Let’s look at a few people who have a realistic shot at winning the Rumble. Unfortunately, I don’t have any confidence in a SmackDown star winning considering they have the exclusive rights to the Elimination Chamber AND Money in the Bank PPV. If WWE truly spiced things up however, SmackDown could have a great few months. Here we go:
- Baron Corbin – A 2016 breakout, Corbin has improved dramatically in the ring and on the mic. As a SmackDown star, I still predict he will win the MITB or Elimination Chamber match. Look for him to have a strong showing at the Rumble though.
- Sami Zayn– “The Underdog from the Underground” has not been pushed like fans had hoped for. He has had an entertaining feud with Braun Strowman though, showing his resiliency. Zayn can be the new thorn in the side of the Raw authority figures, especially Mick Foley. Give him a Daniel Bryan push and anything is possible. He is my dark horse pick to win it all.
- The Undertaker – There have been rumors of an Undertaker/AJ Styles match for quite some time. The same applies to an Undertaker/John Cena match. It would be the perfect story to what could be the final hoorah for The Undertaker. If he doesn’t win, his next feud will be with someone who eliminated him from the Rumble.
- Goldberg – If WWE really wanted to make the rematch between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar interesting, have the former win the Royal Rumble. There are already rumors this match will main event WrestleMania 33, so winning the Rumble create various possibilities. Lesnar could win the Universal Title easily, setting up the match. Would fans be interested in this? Probably not, but it will definitely cause a lot of people to talk.
- Chris Jericho – My personal pick to win the Royal Rumble is Y2J. A feud with Kevin Owens has been months in the making and this outcome makes the most sense. The main point to come out of this would be Owens retains his title against Reigns. A “former friends facing off” storyline would be great, especially with the men involved. This would also give Jericho another accolade that he hasn’t achieved in WWE. I’m not a gambling man, but my money is on Jericho.
Besides the men already announced, there are also opportunities for surprise appearances. 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Kurt Angle could appear and steal the show. He recently stated on Lillian Garcia’s Making Their Way To The Ring podcast that he would love to face AJ Styles in a WWE ring. They had a lot of great matches in Impact Wrestling, so it wouldn’t surprise me if WWE wanted to revive a classic feud. After months out of the ring due to injury, Finn Balor might also make a surprise appearance. He never lost the Universal Title so this could be his way of getting it back. Samoa Joe is expected to be in the match, and while I don’t see him winning, the crowd reaction alone could be amazing.
There is no clear winner for this year’s Royal Rumble, and that is not a bad thing. A wrestling company should be making people guess, especially with all the predictability that goes along with the sport. The countdown is on for what should be a great show. Are you ready? Who do you think will win?
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