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The first in God knows how many WWE pay per view predictions of 2017.
I mentioned at the start of the year that I’ll be revamping ways I do my blogs on my site. The pay per view predictions falls into that category.
Instead, I’ll be going it alone and predicting the outcomes of each match on the card, so there will be no prediction from Michael, Dan, and Joe. They’ve served me well, but it’s time for a change. We all felt that things were growing stale, so the change comes at the right time.
Royal Rumble 2017 returns to the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The same venue which hosted the same event in 1997 where Shawn Michaels defeated Sid for the WWF title, Stone Cold Steve Austin won his first of three Royal Rumble matches, and British Bulldog confidently proclaimed that he will win the Royal Rumble because he is “bizarre” (He was eliminated by Owen Hart and the 8th elimination overall) .
The show is going to be four hours long with a two-hour kick-off show.
Keep in mind that Elimination Chamber will take place in two weeks time, and Raw will be hosting Fastlane in early March, so people that win matches here may be doing something else at one of those shows to alter their plans. It makes this a very unpredictable show, which is a great thing. I think the line-up looks like a solid show, so let’s get to it.
Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks
The key factor here is Sasha’s knee injury. The segment they had on Raw was confusing. Is Sasha’s knee okay or not? Did she even need the crutch? It could all be a part of Sasha’s plan to outsmart Nia. If the knee is hurt, Nia will dominate and win. If not, Sasha will go down fighting and not backing down, but ultimately Nia will be too much for her.
This is going to be a match that shows people how good Nia Jax can really be. She’s proved it in NXT with the likes of Bayley and Asuka. Banks can do well as the smaller face that sells Nia’s power moves. This is a match that can easily go either way, but I’m leaning more towards a Nia Jax victory. She’s at that stage where she needs a big win over an established girl, and Sasha fits the bill perfectly. I wouldn’t mind a Sasha Banks victory. Nia might actually come across better in a losing effort come to think of it, providing she gets some heat in a post-match beat down.
I’m sticking to my guns here. Victory for Nia. She’s not like most girls.
Winner: Nia Jax
Becky Lynch, Naomi, and Nikki Bella vs. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Natalya
How awesome is it seeing Mickie James back in a WWE ring? It’s beneficial for the Smackdown Women’s roster as it not only adds depth, but it also brings in more added experience and fresh match ups too. I would have liked this to have been on the main show, but it’s nothing to get too disappointed over.
I’m siding more with the heels because it makes sense from a storyline perspective, plus I want to see Mickie win her first WWE PPV match in seven years. There is a possibility for the babyfaces to get the win here, with Naomi picking up the victory over Alexa Bliss, setting up a title match between the two at Elimination Chamber (side note: Naomi has the best entrance in WWE today. I’m 1000000000000% certain that I’ll be giving my CAW that entrance once WWE 2K18 comes out). Nikki/ Natalya and Becky/ Mickie have feuds going into that pay per view. I’m loving the booking of the Smackdown women right now. Their creative team deserves the praise.
Winners: Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Natalya
WWE Tag Team Championship (Two referees assigned for this match)
Cesaro & Sheamus © vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
I can’t shake off the feeling that this match is going to be a mess, and it kind of has to be with the two referees stipulation. This is a hard match to predict because the champions have only had the titles for one month, yet Gallows & Anderson are way overdue a run with the titles. Maybe the time is right to put the titles on Gallows & Anderson, who knows? I actually like the partnership between Cesaro & Sheamus. They’ve got good chemistry together and gel well as a team. They could make a solid babyface tag team if WWE is prepared to invest in them, but that’s not going to be the cast for the long term because management sees big things in Cesaro.
As for the addition of two referees, it was put in place because Sheamus accidentally hit a ref during their last title match. The story is that the second ref will be there to try to prevent anything cheap from happening. What I think that means is the heel team of Gallows & Anderson will be stopped when they try to cheat, Sheamus or Cesaro will capitalise and the champs keep the gold.
The direction of the Raw tag titles is to put them on Anderson & Gallows so they can drop them to Enzo & Cass at WrestleMania.
I’m also predicting that something happens in the Rumble where Cesaro ends up in a situation where he eliminates multiple people at once, one of those eliminated is Sheamus. The next night on Raw there will be a ‘last chance’ match between these two teams for the titles. During the match, Sheamus hits Cesaro with the Brogue Kick, allowing The Club to win the titles, and setting up a possible Cesaro v Sheamus bout at WrestleMania.
A title change at the Rumble won’t surprise me either.
Winners and STILL WWE Raw Tag Team Champions: Sheamus & Cesaro
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Rich Swann © vs. Neville
Rich Swann is a talented guy with undeniable charisma. He serves as the poster boy for the cruiserweight division. However, I really don’t like his promos. That isn’t his fault, not at all. Blame creative. They make him say all this corny stuff that makes fans roll their eyes at how lame it sounds. I do think WWE needs to rethink how they present the cruiserweight. Having their own show is great and all, but the division is full of half-baked characters and gimmicks that people are trained to believe are a sideshow of less importance.
Except for Neville. Turning heel has been a God-sent for the Geordie grappler (that should be his nickname, right?). He’s one of the best characters on either show right now. All signs point to Neville here. Giving him a lengthy run with the title is a good move in my opinion. Give these guys time. Give them at least 15 minutes. It could end up being one of the best cruiserweight matches that WWE has had on their roster.
Winner and NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Neville.
WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Charlotte Flair © vs. Bayley
Short answer: Charlotte retains.
Long answer: The build for this match has been okay, nothing spectacular or anything. They’ve had a few matches where Bayley came out as the winner in an attempt to make her look like a threat to Charlotte’s title. The sit-down interviews were fine. Bayley isn’t going to win at the Rumble. She may win by disqualification, but she won’t be walking away with the title. They’ve been more than enough title changes in the last six months, so just let Charlotte hold onto it until WrestleMania where Bayley will fulfil her childhood dream of becoming Women’s Champion.
Winner and STILL WWE Raw Women’s Champion: Charlotte
WWE Universal Championship
No Disqualification/ Chris Jericho will be suspended in a Shark Cage above the ring
Kevin Owens © vs. Roman Reigns
Look at the stipulation here; No Disqualification AND Chris Jericho will be suspended in a shark cage above the ring. The NO DQ ruling was added on Monday. If there are no disqualifications, why should Jericho have to be suspended above in the cage? If he were to get involved and help Owens, it wouldn’t be a disqualification! The story has been basic. Best friends Owens and Jericho working together to undermine Roman Reigns whiles also planting the seeds for their own eventual feud.
I wish I could say that I’m excited for this one, but I’m not. We’ve seen this matchup far too many times in the past that it doesn’t feel like a big deal.
Like what I said with Charlotte & Bayley, Owens will not be leaving San Antonio with the Universal Championship. However, if he were to win, I highly doubt he’ll be walking into WrestleMania as the champ.
Winner and NEW WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns
WWE World Championship
AJ Styles © vs. John Cena
The expectations are high for this one and rightfully so. If the rumours are true, then this could go on for 40+ minutes. I feel like they’re going to do everything they can to top the awesome Okada/Omega match from New Japan’s WrestleKingdom 11. It’s not going to be easy to do that in the eyes of a lot of people, but I feel like they are going to be giving a lot of time to tell an incredible story. I reckon this match is going to steal the show.
What I love about this feud is the build-up and promos that we’ve had along the way. In the current day of scripted promos do we get a verbal battle between two guys that sell a match and convince fans that this will be a must-see showcase. You need to give these guys the praise they rightfully deserve for that.
They have had marquee matches in the past with Styles getting his arm raised in victory, at least on television. Styles got wins at Money in the Bank, SummerSlam and No Mercy (in a three-way with Ambrose) last year. When they do matches at house shows Cena wins, but only the matches on television really matter. Due to that history, the story becomes about whether Cena can finally beat this guy. The dynamic is interesting, it will make the match even more compelling than it already is.
I can see Styles retaining here and losing it at Elimination Chamber. That will lead to the rumoured Styles v Shane McMahon match at WrestleMania.
Winner and STILL WWE World Champion: AJ Styles
2017 Royal Rumble Match
Participants announced so far (as of 28/01): Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin, The Undertaker, Dean Ambrose, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, Sheamus, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Luke Harper, Big Show, Sami Zayn, Big Cass, Rusev, & Mojo Rawley (8 spots still available)
I love everything about the Royal Rumble. It really is one of the favourite moments of the year. What I like most is the unpredictability of it. In the past few Royal Rumble matches the winners have been obvious. This year, I haven’t a clue.
There are so many people that can win it. So many rumours have made the rounds on the internet that it has caused me to go back and forth with my prediction. I know I always give WWE creative shit from time to time, but they also deserve the recognition too for making this one of the most unpredictable Royal Rumble matches in recent times.
I do predict that Mojo Rawley won’t win. Stay hyped, guys.
Let’s talk about the potential winner. It’s going to be someone from Bill Goldberg, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, or Braun Strowman. Anyone other than the names I’ve listed will be out of the blue.
Let’s begin with the process of elimination:
Goldberg and Brock Lesnar aren’t winning. Having them in the match adds star power and prestige. The plan is for them to have a 3rd match at WrestleMania.
The rumours of Randy Orton becoming victorious have surfaced in recent weeks with the intention of having Orton vs. Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania (Wyatt winning the WWE title at EC). While I do think the idea of a Randy Orton Royal Rumble victory is possible, I can’t see it happening. I can see a spot where he eliminates Wyatt, only to be attacked and eliminated by Braun Strowman and Luke Harper.
Now it boils down to Braun Strowman and The Undertaker. Strowman is a big, intimidating guy. The sort of guy that Vince loves. The way that he’s been portrayed suggests that. If memory serves me right, I don’t think he’s even been moved off his feet. He has continued to improve since splitting from the Wyatt Family during the draft. He’ll be making a major impact during the Rumble. I’d even go as far as saying he’ll break the record for most eliminations. He’s going to be booked strong.
What about Undertaker? Out of the five names I suggested as possible winners, he’s the bookmaker’s favorite. I wouldn’t mind it if he won, but does the oldest guy in the match really need to be put over? The Rumble match should be about elevating somebody who would be fresh as a main eventer. To me, though, you just don’t bring Undertaker back just to make up the numbers. Also, remember that Undertaker came out on Raw and basically said that he goes where he wants, when he wants, he’s officially the only guy in the Rumble that can create some mystery on what title he’s going for. He isn’t officially delegated to either Raw or Smackdown, therefore no one officially “owns” Undertaker he provides the only suspense that you can use for a few weeks while we get through February and then head into the true WrestleMania stretch run in March. Imagine if you’re the WWE or Universal Champion and you have to wait to find out if you’ll need to go through The Deadman at WrestleMania. That’s great suspense right there.
With that being said, Undertaker will win the Royal Rumble and retire as champion at WrestleMania (I say retire. I’ve been saying he’ll retire at WrestleMania for the past five years)
Wrestler that last the longest: Sami Zayn
Most Eliminations: Braun Strowman
Wrestlers that will enter as #1 and #2: The Miz & Sami Zayn
Wrestler that enters as #30: Finn Balor
The Final Four: The Undertaker, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, and Bray Wyatt
2017 Royal Rumble winner: The Undertaker
What a long post (that’s what she said). What about you guys? Who’s going to win the Royal Rumble?
Feel free to post your comments in the comment section below, and I’ll be back again on Monday with my Random Thoughts on The Royal Rumble.
(side note: My Random Thoughts on Takeover: San Antonio will be posted on either Tuesday or Wednesday)