The 2017 Royal Rumble was must watch television. The whole event, including the pre-show, yielded four belt exchanges and a plethora of budding story-lines. The winner of the rumble, Randy Orton (no relation to Kyle), came “outa nowhere” to solidify his spot in the Wrestlemania main event. Who he will challenge is another story entirely. To start off, I will touch on the rumble itself followed by the implications of the shocking results.
What I Liked:
3. Jack Gallagher Makes his Appearance
Every epic poem or lengthy saga needs comic relief and Jack Gallagher provided. Entering the ring with an umbrella he attempted to channel his inner Mary Poppins only to be denied by gravity. It was worth a shot….
2. The Undertaker Eliminating Goldberg
In the world of wrestling, these two are complete opposites. The Undertaker takes pride in the business and is extremely technical. Goldberg on the other hand relies on his size and often puts other wrestlers in danger. This was a clear message from the WWE that being reckless and lazy can only get you so far.
1. Luke Harper Turning on Bray Wyatt
The WWE universe was unsure how Luke Harper would react to his treatment on SmackDown Live earlier in the week. Nothing shocked me more than his cheap shot on Bray Wyatt, and the story implications make Tuesday’s SmackDown a must watch.
What I Disliked
3. The Big Man Stare Down
This is getting kind of old isn’t it? Every year two big men will be in the ring, everyone clears out, and they have a stare down. This year it was Stroman and The Big Show. We get it, they are massive, but can we please stop doing this every single year.
— Triple H (@TripleH) January 30, 2017
2. Tye Dillinger Gets the Call-UP
Every year the rumble is the best time to unveil new stars and NXT call ups. So who did we get this year? Samoa Joe? Bobby Roode? No, we got the NXT B-Sider who just lost his match the night before… The fans were just as displeased as I was prompting Triple-H to explain his decision in a tweet (above).
1. Roman Reigns Entering at 30
The number 30 spot is an absolute privilege. It is by far the most anticipated entrant and they wasted it on Reigns. The myriad of boos captured the crowd reaction perfectly. Let’s be honest, that spot belonged to Finn Balor or Seth Rollins.
So what now? The rumble is over and we’re about 60 days away from Wrestlemania. We know that Randy Orton is guaranteed a spot in the main event against the SmackDown champ. John Cena currently holds the belt. I doubt it will stay this way due to the lack of a significant rivalry between the two. That is where elimination chamber comes into play. In 2 weeks Smackdown will have 6 of its finest pinned against each other to decide who wants to headline Wrestle-mania. We know Cena and AJ Styles will participate leaving 4 more spots. My guess is they will be joined by: Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin, The Miz and Luke Harper. My gut tells me Styles comes out on top but my heart says Luke Harper. He is the most talented big man on the roster and the current feud with Orton would breed an unsettling and electric main event. We will know more in two weeks but for now speculation is paramount.