The Winners, The Losers & The Omega: 2017 Royal Rumble Predictions
The Royal Rumble is hours away. The Road to WrestleMania is about to go into full gear.
Something I have been wondering as the hype for the Rumble began, will it be like the original brand split where the winner of the match would choose which champion to face? Or will it be more straightforward where a RAW wrestler automatically challenges for the Universal Championship and a SmackDown wrestler will automatically qualify for the WWE Championship? The original method adds some suspense and ability to change rosters on the fly. I suppose time will tell.
Aside from the Royal Rumble, we have a number of other matches taking place, two on the pre-show. –Michael Dworkis
Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks
I’m giving this to Jax. While Banks is the odds-on favorite to win, it’s also an obvious win. Building Jax up by demolishing nobodies and Alicia Fox, only to suddenly have a loss to Banks would weaken Jax in the future. You want her to stay dominant. That is comparable to having Braun Strowman beat up jobbers every week, only to lose to Sin Cara. That would be flat-out stupid. I know it seems Banks is being built back up to superwoman status, I just don’t think it will happen at the Rumble.
Winner: Nia Jax
I would have preferred Nia Jax to be IN the Rumble match. Wouldn’t be the first time a woman entered.
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match w/ Two Referees
Well, I don’t recall the last time we had two refs officiating. I officially see something wonky in the near future. Two refs means two separate counts or some sort of conflict which sees Cesaro and Sheamus retaining the titles, but perhaps the actual victory may go to Gallows and Anderson. One other possibility, is Cesaro pinning Gallows and Anderson pinning Sheamus, or vice versa, and the refs count three each on each. Then, by some weirdo decision, one half of The Club and one half of Irish Swiss are tag champs.
It’s stupid, but this angle has to get prolonged somehow.
The SmackDown Women’s Championship will not be defended, but instead Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, and Naomi take on Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Natalya. Logically speaking, Naomi will likely pin Bliss, since Bella and Natalya are feuding, and Mickie James will feud with Lynch taking the former champ away from the title hunt. Naomi is due for a run at the belt, but in the long term she likely will end up as fodder. Team Lynch will win.
As for the main show:
RAW Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Charlotte
I expect some sort of unclean win. Bayley will come out looking stronger, because her big win would naturally come at WrestleMania. The premise is that Charlotte is Miss PPV, and this will stick until Bayley finally trounces her at Mania. While a Bayley vs. Banks match at WrestleMania is money, I don’t see it happening this year. Winner, Charlotte.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Neville vs. Rich Swann
Urgh, I have a very hard time figuring this one out. The belt is changing hands fast, we’ve got three titleholders already, is this more of “let’s have everyone take a turn?”
Here is the deal. If Neville wins the title, he becomes the fourth new cruiserweight champion. Good, because he is not the “villain of the month” and is a bona-fide king of the cruisers now. The guy almost won the last King of the Ring Tournament, losing to Wade Barrett in the final match. Back to the Rumble, with Neville winning, he becomes more than the “villain of the month” and is a legit baddie in the division. The bad, is Swann likely fades back, and someone else will chase and challenge, continuing the hot potato trend.
If Neville loses, he likely goes the way of Brian Kendrick, showing up on air as an antagonist, but ultimately will stay where he is, put on matches, be the angry elf, and that is all.
Swann is a hot commodity. One of the few with personality and talent in the ring and cutting promos. Do you take the belt away from someone like this so soon? I feel as though another quick title change devalues both title and roster. This is a tough call, but I’ll take the risk and go with Rich Swann to retain.
WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens
Now is not the time. Sure, Owens will inevitably lose the championship, but it will not be tonight. Despite Jericho being locked in a Shark Cage, Owens will find a way, and keep the title. No DQ, despite the hype does not favor one wrestler over the other. Weapons will come out, tables will be broken, but titles stay where they are. Winner and still champ: Kevin Owens
WWE World Championship: John Cena vs AJ Styles
It pains me to say it, but I feel John Cena is walking away a 16-time champion. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but WWE is on a streak of ending old school records and creating new ones. The New Day beat Demolition’s record, then quickly lose the titles. Nikki Bella is the longest reigning Women’s Champion, having broken AJ Lee’s record. Undertaker’s streak ended. It looks like Ric Flair’s record is next, with Cena making it number 16 tonight. Winner with tears of anger: John Cena
For the Royal Rumble, we turn to a panel of The Pop Break experts:
Surprise Entrant: Kurt Freakin’ Angle
Roster Guy Whose Entering But Not Announced: Jack Gallagher
Requisite Comedy Entrant: James Ellsworth
Does Kenny Omega Show: 95% chance he doesn’t. Will I be disappointed if he doesn’t show? No way, this is a stacked show, and honestly it’s my favorite PPV of the year. But IF he does show, I will lose my mind.
Winner: The Undertaker. If the winner of the event goes on to headline Wrestlemania, it has to be Undertaker. That also means, most likely, that Jawn Cenaaaaaa will win the title from AJ Styles, thus setting up one of the bigger title defenses in recent ‘Mania history since probably D-Bryan/Batista/Orton (but probably bigger than that). Having a Braun/Roman headline match would not be a good. Should they fight? Absolutely. But neither is ready from an in-ring standpoint to carry a ‘Mania level main event. Strong/fun mid-card? Sure thing. But not the main. Brock and Goldberg is too messy and the recent Botchamania worthy promos between the two have killed some of its momentum. If this were to headline whoever didn’t win The Rumble would have to beat KO or Roman for the Universal Title, and then we get the ‘Mania main event. Since both guys are part timers I can’t see them wanting to be on RAW week in and week out to promote the match. So I say this is Dead Man’s last hurrah, he wins, and goes on to fight Cena — and win.
The 2017 edition of the Royal Rumble is the 1st time in a long time where there are legitimate questions as to who can walk away the winner. In recent memory, it’s been fairly simple to see who was getting the major push and who the other 29 competitors were strategically placed around THE GUY. Not so this year as we’ve got a field that includes Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, The Undertaker, Cesaro, Roman Reigns and some guy named Goldberg who have the mainstream audience throwing fits of 1998 nostalgia in every building in which he appears. I think this is the year for The Undertaker to win the Royal Rumble as its the only accolade left to add to his historical career & also sets him up for a title match at Wrestlemania, which would have some gravitas to it.
There should be some fun surprises with some former superstars making a possible one night only appearance, like Rob Van Dam, or the Texas based former Intercontinental Champion M.V.P. or maybe Booker T swaps out his broadcaster suit for the old Red & Yellow ‘Harlem Heat’ gear, all of those competitors would be well received in 2017. Bigger surprises would be some NXT call-ups to the main roster as Samoa Joe and “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger are both long overdue for redemption from the triple-A baseball of the WWE. Look for representatives from the recently revived Spirit Squad to add some comedy to the fray, they shouldn’t last long as they would most likely be fodder for Braun Strowman, the 7 foot former strongman competitor who is my pick for “most eliminations” this year. For everyone thinking that the Royal Rumble will be a littler “cleaner” this year with the addition of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s ‘Canadian sensation’ Kenny Omega, coming in hot off a 6 star match with Kazuchika Okada at January’s Wrestle Kingdom XI , wishful thinking is nice, but there is an iconic theme song that plays over the loudspeaker every time the WWE Chairman of the board Vince McMahon makes his way to the ring called “No Chance in Hell”. Yeah. That. Enjoy the show everyone!
BRAAAAAAUUUUUUUN!!!!! It’s gotta be Braun Strowman, Vince McMahon’s big new plaything he somehow hasn’t ruined yet. Undertaker? Red herring. Goldberg? Destined to face Brock Lesnar yet again. Instead, the former “black sheep” of the Wyatt Family will smash Roman Reigns’ elimination record and challenge him for the Universal Championship (sorry, KO) at WrestleMania Sunburst, eliciting the weakest crowd response since…well, last year’s main event. Believe that.
Who wins the Rumble and why? I’m sensing a big Finn Balor surprise return in which he wins the Rumble and goes to Wrestlemania for a chance to regain his WWE Universal Title. The story is already there, and I think this is a move fans would get behind over something like Y2J vs. KO at Mania. (Although I would love to see Jericho add a Rumble win to his resume) Regardless, I think it’s safe to say it is going to be a RAW superstar.
Who will be the legend who shows up? With eight unannounced spots left, I’ll go with Angle in one of those spots. Just cause he is going into the Hall of Fame does not mean he is retiring. I think this could be a show stealing moment.
What main roster guy will be added to the Rumble that hasn’t already been announced? One word: KANE. I love seeing Kane dominate in rumbles and continue to set records. He HAS to be there for his 20th Rumble Match. A million times KANE
Does Kenny Omega show up? I think not.
Comedy Entrant: I’ll go James Ellsworth for the comedic relief. He’ll probably come in for the shock value, cower in the ring, hit “No-chin music” and probably get decimated by Strowman or something along those lines.
- The Requisite Legend/Former Star Appearance – Kurt Angle
- The Groan Spot (e.g. The Boogeyman a few years back) James Ellsworth or Spirit Squad
- The Surprise – Finn Balor
- The Dudes on the Roster Who’ll Get Added – Jack Swagger, Apollo Crews, Kane, Mark Henry
- Does KENNY OMEGA Show Up? – No
Yes, he was just announced as a Hall of Fame inductee, but being real here, anyone under the age of 12 has NO IDEA who Kurt Angle is. They see a cool promo package, go on Wikipedia, and suddenly they think they know Kurt Angle. Let’s give the audience one last look at our Olympic Hero.
There will be comedy, but none of it funny. Ellsworth seems like a lock for the match, probably going to be the cause of the elimination of Dean Ambrose.
Finn Balor. Finn. Balor. We have been waiting a long time, and it should about time for him to come back. Will he win? I would think that to be awesome, but I’m just not sure.
I mention names from the roster unannounced, because we need fodder.
Kenny Omega, as much as I would want him to show up, tonight is not the night for it.
However, I would not be surprised if Tye Dillenger was Entry #10. Good lord if WWE does not do this they will be trolled for the rest of the show (if they do it, the fans will hijack the rest of the show). Samoa Joe should be in the Rumble. There are a lot of big names, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar, Bill Goldberg, Chris Jericho, and Braun Strowman. This is the first year since Sheamus won the Rumble where I have a hard time picking the winner. We know The Undertaker is in. Could it be the deadman? Will Taker and Cena do battle at WrestleMania? We have seen them fight before, but it was a different Undertaker and a different Cena back then. It is obvious Brock and Goldberg will eliminate each other. Strowman will toss everyone from the ring until he encounters Big Show. Will Seth Rollins make it into the match? After calling out Triple H last night at NXT TakeOver, who knows what will happen? Maybe number #17 will be Konnor or Victor from the Ascension, and Rollins will just beat whichever one it is and take their spot.
But we want a prediction. We want an answer. I’m going with Finn Balor.