The road to WrestleMania begins in San Antonio’s Alamodome with the Royal Rumble match, as one of thirty men will guarantee himself a world championship match at the showcase of immortals.
30 man Royal Rumble match
Winner earns a world championship match at WrestleMania
It is one of the most exciting matches in WWE that kick starts the road to WrestleMania and for the first time in a few years, the Royal Rumble match is anyone’s game.
Unlike previous years, there is no obvious choice with every one pretty much knowing Batista, Roman Reigns and Triple H were clear winners over the past three years. It is good that this year is unpredictable, but I just hope it all does not end up as a damp squib.
The match will throw up a few surprises such as a possible main roster debut for Samoa Joe or a Finn Balor return, but if you are hoping for a Shawn Michaels or Kurt Angle appearance, be prepared for disappointment.
A few names have been reportedly been tossed around but I don’t expect headline acts Brock Lesnar or Goldberg to be a winner tonight. Here are five picks that could triumph in the 2017 Royal Rumble match:
It is inevitable that Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt will turn on each other in time for a showdown at the showcase of immortals, but could their clash be for the WWE Championship? The bookies seem to think so as the Viper is the current favourite to win the match.
Backstage rumours suggest that Orton could win the Royal Rumble match and Wyatt will win the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber to set up the match. If they want to go down this route, I would say switch roles and have Wyatt win the big one at WrestleMania.
However, I don’t think a Orton v Wyatt fued needs to be for the title and if Cena breaks the record and becomes WWE Champion tonight, I can’t see them taking the belt off him after just two weeks. It could happen but I think an Orton victory would be a disappointment.
If a miracle happens and Kevin Owens manages to retain his Universal Championship tonight, it would be great to see his best friend Chris Jericho win the Royal Rumble for the first time in his career to set up a Owens v Jericho WrestleMania showdown.
While it is inevitable that Owens and Jericho will come to blows sooner than later, it would be a great moment to finally see Y2J add the Royal Rumble to his long list of accomplishments. However, while this match is bound to happen it won’t be for the main prize.
For some reason odds on Owens retaining have dramatically shifted in his favour, but I can’t see him being the champion going into WrestleMania. Owens v Jericho will happen in Orlando but will more likely be for the United States Championship.
He has missed the last five months with a shoulder injury and if Finn Balor is ready to return to the ring for the Royal Rumble, the Demon could upset the field and win in his debut Royal Rumble match.
The Irishman stunned Seth Rollins to become the inaugural Universal Champion but unfortunately for Balor, a dislocated shoulder meant he would have to relinquish the belt. It is still up in the air whether Balor is ready return, but maybe WWE is trying their best to keep it a secret.
What a moment it would be for the former NXT Champion to return from injury and win the whole Royal Rumble match and then take aim at possible new Universal champion Roman Reigns at WrestleMania to try to win back the title he never lost.
He has been dominating his competition on Raw since being drafted away from the Wyatt Family and I think it is a real possibility that Braun Strowman could continue his path of destruction by winning the Royal Rumble.
All the talk about the Royal Rumble is about Goldberg and Brock Lesnar facing off once again after Goldberg embarrassed the Beast at Survivor Series, but with the two expected to lock horns one-on-one at WrestleMania, a victory for either man would not make sense.
There is no doubt that Strowman will be the dominant force in the Royal Rumble and I think he will be among the final contenders. A Reigns v Strowman WrestleMania match is a possibility, but there is one man I think that will pip him to the prize.
The Deadman’s only Royal Rumble victory came in San Antonio ten years ago and I think history will repeat itself tonight with Undertaker coming out on top in the 2017 Royal Rumble match.
While an Undertaker v John Cena WrestleMania main event would have been a dream match, it seems Vince McMahon has gone off the idea and if rumours turn out to be true, the Deadman will face Roman Reigns at the showcase of immortals.
It is not the worst idea but if Vince has plans for Reigns to beat Undertaker, WrestleMania will end even worse than last year. An Undertaker win would still give the opportunity for Vince to perform a u-turn and go with the Cena vs Taker showdown, but I won’t hold my breath.