WWE Royal Rumble 2017: 5 Potential Winners
It is called the “Rumble to Remember” for the 2017 Royal Rumble. WWE should go all out with an unexpected winner to head to Orlando in April.
After both Raw and Smackdown this week, fans are getting an idea of who is not in the Royal Rumble picture for 2017. Roman Reigns and John Cena will be in their respective Championship matches which are perhaps the best thing for the men at this point in time. That scene narrows the potential winner’s list by a huge margin. But, there are still a handful of winners to choose from.
If Finn Balor is to return at the Rumble his chances of winning will be high. I daresay he would be at least in the final four of the match if not win should this happen. However, his status is not confirmed or denied as of this writing. In my previous blog, I stated that he could be a surprise entrant in the Rumble if he is cleared in time next month. That remains to be seen and fans may not even know the outcome of that until he either comes out or the last entrant has been called. If he does show up, he is definitely my number one pick to win the Rumble.
Seth Rollins was in my early predictions to be the winner of the Rumble. But with him calling out Triple H in recent weeks, it is a matter of time before he shows up to answer Rollins. With Rollins’ main focus being on confronting him; I can believe that Triple H will more than likely show up at the Rumble and cost Rollins the match. We all know how Triple H plays the game, and that will be no surprise if that happens.
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With the Wyatt Family seeming to be at odds after their shocking Tag Team Championship loss, I don’t see either Bray Wyatt or Randy Orton winning the Rumble this year. Their storyline has been done great lately and has plenty of substance to carry them all the way to Orlando in April. Personally, I am still hoping to see a Styles and Orton feud down the road, so before that or anything else pertaining to Orton can come to fruition, Orton has to finish his business with the Wyatt Family. It shouldn’t be rushed, and should Orton and Styles clash (pun may or may not be intended), it would be a great match to feature for maybe SummerSlam. I’ll take an earlier date too, no rush.
In storyline terms, the list narrows more. The Royal Rumble can very well go to a surprise winner this year. It’s the Rumble to remember, right? Why not go all out past Goldberg and Lesnar? The guys I mentioned previously can more or so be honorable mentions with the exception of Balor. With that being said, let’s get to this top five that I picked to take the prize at the Alamodome.
I became a huge fan of Rusev this year as I watched him shine in his feud with Roman Reigns. Even though he is tied up with Enzo and Cass at this moment, I still think he is primed to be involved in a Universal Championship run sometime in 2017. However, considering that either Kevin Owens or Reigns walks out as Universal Champion on January 29th, it is unlikely that the Bulgarian Brute will be the last man standing.
On the other hand, though, with rumors of a babyface turn, he could very well challenge Owens despite the outcome of the Rumble. It is doubtful that Rusev would challenge Reigns once more, but this wouldn’t be the first time WWE has revisited a feud shortly after it has been settled. In the long run, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to have them wrestle at WrestleMania for the Universal Championship.
2017 can very well be the year of Rusev if the cards are played right. It looks that he and Jinder Mahal are teaming up to battle Enzo and Cass for the time being, however. Not that there is anything wrong with that, and with the Rumble comes surprise opportunities. Could this be a setup for a former WWE Champion to contest the foreigners in an unforgettable Royal Rumble moment? Hmmm? Yes, I went there.
4. Chris Jericho
Several weeks ago on a blog I did about when Jericho should face Owens, I said that the inevitable bout between the two best friends should take place at WrestleMania. Now that we know that Owens will have his hands full with Reigns, this leaves that very option for Jericho. What better way than to win the Rumble?
It is so hard to believe that Jericho has never won the Rumble despite all the accomplishments he has attained in his 18 year WWE career. He has been close to winning, but has always fallen short. It is no doubt that Jericho is on top of his game right now. Jericho is the key in Owens’ Championship reign thus far, and has been the deciding factor in many of Owens’ matches. The friendship fallout fake-outs can only last so long between Jericho and Owens. It will be a matter of time before things come crashing down.
One question – even though Jericho will be suspended above the ring during the Universal Championship match at the Rumble, it won’t stop him from being in the Rumble will it?
Whether or not Jericho would win the WWE Universal Championship isn’t the case here. Jericho has a busy schedule ahead which more than likely he wouldn’t win the championship come WrestleMania. He has been known to give other guys “the rub” and this could very well be the case with Owens. Either way, this story is all but changing gears at this point to which it will change. Drink it in, man.
3. Braun Strowman
Strowman has been screaming for some competition as of late. He will get a great opportunity at the Royal Rumble. The company has been focusing on building Strowman to be an unstoppable monster since the summer, and it doesn’t look to end anytime soon.
While this is a wild card pick, Strowman could very well be the surprise winner this Royal Rumble. A feud with Reigns would be his latest test since his change in direction. Reigns has a history with Strowman not because of his attack two weeks ago on Raw, but when Reigns was feuding with Bray Wyatt a year and a half prior. I just don’t see Strowman challenging Owens for the Universal Championship.
The monster has been impressive as of late, and the Rumble will give him more opportunity to prove himself to the Raw brand. Strowman is still somewhat inexperienced however fans should start to see more substantial feuds for him in 2017. Having the feud with Sami Zayn has been a good start, which is portraying a classic David v. Goliath scenario. Either way, however, Strowman will continue to rise in 2017.
2. Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe had a dominant run in NXT, and is the first ever two-time NXT Champion. Even before that Joe has had quite the reputation in pro wrestling, which makes his debuts much anticipated. With rumors high on his possibly debuting at the Rumble, how about add on to it? Joe could very well become the first Superstar to make his debut at the Royal Rumble and win the match. How huge would that be? Talk about one hell of a debut if that were to happen.
It wouldn’t just be a fluke or even a case of beginner’s luck with Joe. Fans know what Joe is capable of inside the ring. Joe is known to create a path of destruction, and he could very well make quite the impact on the main roster the night of the Royal Rumble. Winning the Rumble could be the biggest statement Joe makes on January 29th.
Whether its Reigns, Owens, Cena or Styles that Joe could potentially square off against in Orlando, it would definitely be matches to look forward to at WrestleMania. But it all depends on if those rumors are true, to begin with.
1. The Undertaker
This list has been Raw heavy, but if there is anyone from Smackdown who could win the Royal Rumble, it would have to be The Undertaker. What makes this so interesting is that no one really knows what the future holds for the Dead Man. But by the end of the night of the Rumble, fans can very well get an idea of what’s to come.
If this is one last run for the legendary Superstar, then Taker could start off with a bang by winning the Rumble, then challenging either Cena or Styles to a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania. While all signs point to Cena, Styles can’t be ruled out just yet. Whether Taker is set to retire in 2017 is yet to be determined, perhaps the run won’t end at WrestleMania.