Now that this week’s WWE shows Raw and Smackdown Live have passed, it’s time to get excited as next up is the Royal Rumble pay-per-view featuring its star attraction, the Royal Rumble match itself.
Up to this point there are 22 announced entrants into the match with some being strong contenders to win at the main event WrestleMania 33. Others are simply there to make up the numbers – looking at you Mojo Rawley.
What makes this edition of the annual match so compelling is the sheer unpredictability of it, with as many as eight or nine people having a realistic chance of winning the whole thing. Partnering this with the possibility of some big name debuts or returns makes the contest must-see TV.
With all that being said let’s dive in deeper and look at who has a chance of winning and what it would mean for each of them going forward should that eventuality unfold.
Goldberg and Brock Lesnar
I am packaging these two together because it is likely that the story of the Rumble match will pit these two industry legends face to face with either, one eliminating the other or both going out simultaneously leading to their inevitable final contest at WrestleMania.
There is a possibility that the Mania match could be for a title with Goldberg scheduled to appear at the next Raw pay-per-view, Fastlane. This means that should Lesnar win the Rumble and Goldberg were to face and beat the Universal champion at the time, either Roman Reigns or Kevin Owens, then the biggest match proposed for Mania could get even bigger.
The fact that Jericho is yet to win a Royal Rumble leaves many scratching their heads in confusion.
Much like in 2012, the story is there for the taking, all WWE need to do is pull the trigger and split the pairing of Y2J and his best friend Kevin Owens as a result of Jericho winning the Rumble match.
This would then have to lead to a huge match at Mania for the Universal title between the former besties before Jericho goes off to tour with his band.
Unless this were to set up a match with John Cena at WrestleMania then I don’t really see any other reason for Undertaker to win.
Sure, a match with AJ Styles would be amazing and probably steal the show (sorry Dolph), but it’s hardly a dream match of the calibre of Cena v Taker, not that I’d say no to seeing it.
However, if by any chance we get a Cena WrestleMania match for the Deadman then by all means I’m on board.
The improvement of Strowman since the brand split partnered with his booking has meant he is now a legitimate threat to win the Royal Rumble.
What the WWE would do story-wise if he did win is another matter entirely, the only logical match being against Roman Reigns for the Universal title which isn’t a very enticing one for the fans.
So overall while it is certainly possible that the WWE pull the trigger on Strowman winning, the results would likely be underwhelming for the grand stage.
In 2016, the improvement of The Miz was so vast that he now once again has the potential to be a main event star. That’s something that had it been suggested two or three years ago many would’ve considered the thought laughable with Miz toiling around in mid-card obscurity.
However, a stage has now been reached where a main event push is not out of the question for The Miz having now seemingly finished his brief feud with Dean Ambrose and what better way to begin such a push than with a win at the Rumble.
A win would set up a match, logically, with old foe John Cena in a rematch from WrestleMania 27, hopefully this time without interference from a certain someone, which is something we’d all be interested in seeing I’m sure.
A main event push for Zayn will come at some point, that much is inevitable. Why not now?
With Kevin Owens as Universal champion, now may be as good a time as any for the two to have their Mania match, a culmination of the years of work the two did together in the Indies.
You may think that they’ve fought too many times already, but it’s hard to get bored of watching the pair knock each other from pillar to post. Let’s face it, they will face off at Mania at some point, it’s going to happen and we all know it and that isn’t a bad thing at all.
It’s almost becoming a given that Joe will make his main roster debut in some form at the Royal Rumble and since the WWE currently likes doing big pushes, they may be inclined to do another with the industry legend.
A TNA reunion match with AJ Styles would be the direction the WWE would likely go with Joe should he win the match and personally that is a match that I would like to see.
Although such a drastic push into the main event picture from the off is probably unlikely, in this day we can’t count out the possibility as it has happened three times in the last year (AJ, Finn and *sigh* Ellsworth).
It’s the return we want, it’s the return we need and it’s the return we could quite possibly get.
If Balor were to return at the Rumble then there not only be a massive pop for the former NXT star, but also it would add even more excitement and wonder to what is already an unpredictable Rumble match.
Now, let’s just say Finn wins, the matches that could be seen are exciting to say the least. Balor v Owens, Balor v Reigns or even Balor v Styles if WWE feel daring enough. Those are all matches that a majority of fans would love to see and pay good money to watch live.
All we need for that to happen is have Finn pass the tests required for him to prove his fitness and then have WWE be daring enough to pull the trigger.
What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.