Here are my predictions for the WWE Royal Rumble 2017 PPV event. Check back for Royal Rumble 2017 results and review coverage here.
|WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Spoilers|
2017 Royal Rumble Match
A year ago, I thought a babyface Seth Rollins would win. He did turn face, but they clearly want to do a match against Triple H instead, so I'd take him out of the running. Then, I moved on to a 50/50 shot between John Cena and Finn Balor, with my thought being The Undertaker would lose to AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble and Cena would go on to win his 16th world title at WrestleMania from The Phenomenal One. Clearly, that went out the window when Cena was announced to challenge for the title instead of The Undertaker.
Then, I started thinking this was Chris Jericho's to win as he'd replace Finn Balor (who probably won't return in time) as the opponent for Kevin Owens. However, on January 9th, Jericho won the United States Championship from Roman Reigns, which now makes me nervous that Reigns will defeat Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship and the Owens/Jericho match will go from a main event to a midcard match for the United States title instead.
After all those twists and turns, I now have to say my #1 suspect is The Undertaker, but this is far from a guarantee. They still keep advertising Elimination Chamber as a SmackDown event, which would mean to me that a Raw superstar logically wins the Royal Rumble. I really hope they don't make the mistake of having Reigns beat Owens and Strowman win the Royal Rumble, as it will backfire and blow up in their faces.
I'm hoping for Jericho to challenge Owens for the Universal Championship since that cuts off the Reigns/Strowman possibility and pushes them down to a midcard feud, which I think would work better for them, as WWE damn sure better have learned their lesson from the past few years that fans won't tolerate Reigns being the go-to guy for WrestleMania for a while (and keep in mind, I don't dislike Reigns, but that's just the truth of the matter). One of those two matches will be for the Universal title while I think The Undertaker will face AJ Styles for the WWE Championship and John Cena will be paired up with Samoa Joe.
CONFIRMED ENTRANTS: 1) Goldberg, 2) Brock Lesnar, 3) Chris Jericho, 4) Braun Strowman, 5) Big E, 6) Kofi Kingston, 7) Xavier Woods, 8) Baron Corbin, 9) Sami Zayn, 10) The Undertaker, 11) The Miz, 12) Dean Ambrose, 13) Dolph Ziggler, 14) Cesaro, 15) Sheamus, 16) Bray Wyatt, 17) Randy Orton, 18) Luke Harper, 19) Big Show, 20) Big Cass, 21) Rusev, 22) Mojo Rawley
PREDICTION: Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, The Undertaker, or Chris Jericho are my current top picks. I'm leaning towards Strowman challenging Reigns and Undertaker challenging AJ Styles, but with the Elimination Chamber being for the WWE Championship, this cements my pick as The Undertaker for the win.
|Note: this is the older version of the picture back when Roman Reigns still had the United States Championship|
WWE Universal Championship Match: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns
I'm really not a fan of this at all, as I didn't want to see Reigns vs. Owens at Roadblock, let alone a repeat here. Sure, there's a different stipulation as now, as Jericho will be hanging in a Crash Cage, but that's not good enough. Also, does anyone else get the feeling they did this just to boost the sales of the Crash Cage toy for Christmas? In any scenario, I was really hoping for Owens to face Jericho at WrestleMania for the Universal Championship and now that Reigns has lost the United States title to Y2J, it's making me extremely nervous that we'll see a new champion here just to set up Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns being for a most prestigious belt. I really, REALLY hope WWE isn't stupid enough to do that. Reigns and Strowman could have been for the US title and people would have been okay with that, and they can't possibly think that's the bigger match to sell to audiences than the implosion of JeriKO—but just because it seems ridiculously stupid doesn't mean WWE is incapable of falling victim to such a poor booking strategy. It's happened before and it could happen again here.
PREDICTION: As much as I think Reigns gets more heat than he deserves, I'll be right there booing with all of you if he wins the title here, and sadly, I think he will.
WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena
I've flip-flopped on this so many times as WWE keeps changing things up. As of now, I think Samoa Joe will interfere in this match to cost John Cena the win, starting a feud between those two which will lead into WrestleMania. AJ Styles will retain the title both here and in the Elimination Chamber, meaning he'll go on to fight The Undertaker at WrestleMania, as I think The Phenom is winning the Royal Rumble match.
PREDICTION: AJ Styles retains the title.
WWE Raw Women's Championship Match: Charlotte (c) vs. Bayley
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm done with Charlotte. I don't care anymore. She'll probably move on to a feud with Bayley and I won't pay much attention to any of it because I'd rather see Bayley against Sasha Banks, or maybe Emmalina, or pretty much anybody else. I've had more than my fill of Charlotte's same promo she cuts every week.
PREDICTION: Charlotte retains as she always wins on pay-per-views.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Rich Swann (c) vs. Neville
Pretty much the moment Neville put the division on notice, this seemed like the direction WWE was going. It seems weird to root for a title change so quickly as we've already had TJ Perkins and Brian Kendrick on top of Rich Swann over the course of just a few months, but I'm really digging Neville as a heel much more than Swann, so I know who I'm hoping comes out on top here. As far as a prediction goes, though, I'm not as willing to say the title will change hands. I have a feeling there's enough going on at this event that they don't want to see it get buried necessarily, so I could see them holding off and having Neville win the title on 205 Live or at Fastlane instead.
PREDICTION: Neville wins the championship...but not now. Rich Swann retains here.
Pre-Show Kickoff WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Cesaro & Sheamus (c) vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Two referees will be ringside for this match as the special stipulation behind it. I'm inclined to believe that the titles will change hands here as Gallows and Anderson haven't been announced for the Royal Rumble match, but Sheamus and Cesaro have. This is making me think they lose the titles and then eliminate each other during the Royal Rumble, breaking up the Cesaro/Sheamus duo, which would also probably mean they have a match against each other at Fastlane. Or, WWE simply has them retain and none of that happens at all.
PREDICTION: New tag team champions are crowned.
Pre-Show Kickoff Match: Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks
My guess is they'll be making this a relatively quick match so they can have another one at Fastlane before incorporating this feud into a Fatal 4-Way for the title with Charlotte and Bayley at WrestleMania.
PREDICTION: Nia Jax wins to preserve her "monster heel" status.
Kickoff Six-Woman Tag Team Match: Alexa Bliss, Mickie James and Natalya vs. Naomi, Becky Lynch and Nikki Bella
Very glad to see these women on the card, as it made no sense to me why the entire SmackDown women's roster would be ignored. Since nothing is on the line here, either team could win.
PREDICTION: Flip a coin. When I did, it came up heads, so let's say the babyfaces are victorious.
Let's take a look at some of the potential matches that seem as though WWE will be adding...
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
American Alpha and every other tag team on the SmackDown roster except The Wyatt Family haven't been factored into the Royal Rumble yet, which is rather odd. I'm sure some of those men will show up in it no matter what, as they need the numbers, but there haven't been any indications of who would face American Alpha if they defend their titles.
PREDICTION: Jason Jordan and Chad Gable retain no matter who they face, if they face anybody, which may not even happen.
TELL US YOUR IDEAS IN THE COMMENTS!