Saturday, January 28, 2017

PREDICTIONISH: Royal Rumble Match 2017

By importance, or age?
WWE is coming off two horrible Rumble matches and a mediocre one. 2014 saw the crowd turn on the match when Daniel Bryan wasn't even included, and 2015 was the infamous collective decision to officially fucking hate Roman Fucking Reigns. Last year's match had Reigns as Poochie, missing for most of the match so that everyone could enjoy it, but with the announcers constantly wondering where he was and what he was doing until he came back. And then heel HHH got a huge face pop for eliminating Reigns and winning the match AND the title in an event so insignificant I'd forgotten he won it until I rewatched.

This year we're poised for a hot Rumble match, though. Reigns isn't in it. Cena isn't in it. 22 wrestlers have announced, and while Old Hosses (Goldberg, Lesnar, Big Show, Undertaker) and a new hoss (Strowman) are a huge part of the story, after rewatching every Royal Rumble match in order, I don't think it's in the cards for most of them. I can't really predict it, espeially with 8 surprise entrants, but I can groiup things. I'm good at grouping things.

These are the likelies. WIth the exception of Cesaro, they all have a story going into Wrestlemania. Jericho-Owens, Undertaker's Wrestlemania Return, The Unstoppable Monster, The New Big Guy, and of course surprise returns. Cesaro I'm putting in as a dark horse because he's the most likely of the dark horses given his current popularity.

Chris Jericho
The Undertaker
Braun Strowman
Baron Corbin
Surprise Entrant

These are the guys who could win just because WWE likes them and likes keeping them around and happy. They shouldn't win, they have no real reason to win, but WWE might throw it at them.

Dean Ambrose
The Miz
Randy Orton
Brock Lesnar

These are the dark horse surprises. If the WWE wanted to use the Rumble to hotshot someone into the main event, it'll be one of these guys or Cesaro. That almost never happens, though.

Dolph Ziggler
Big E
Sami Zayn
Big Cass

These guys have no shot:

Kofi Kingston
Xavier Woods
Luke Harper
Big Show
Mojo Rawley

There are eight slots open for surprise entrants. Historically, these  are given out to developmentals and a much smaller pool of surprise return legends than you'd think. Putting in Tye Dillinger from NXT at #10 is a no-brainer. Samoa Joe debuting as an official call-up is pretty likely. If they're gonna bring in a cruiserweight, they'd be nuts not to use Jack Gallagher. Nia Jax is a possibility, as four times in the past, they've brought in a giant woman to eliminate one person before getting tossed (2x Chyna, Beth Phoenix, Kharma).

As for returning legends, Angle's a possibility, of course. Booker T comes back a lot for Rumbles. Shelton Benjamin may be ready to debut after an injury prevented his return last year. There are rumors of Shaquille O'Neal, which would be a fucking nightmare. There are Carlito and Wade Barrett rumors as well.

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