• Royal Rumble 2017 Preview and Predictions

    Ready to Rumble.

    Giving their thoughts and predictions on what to expect from the PPV are members of the site @JoeyOnEarth, @TimWelcomed and @TomBlargh.

    Cesaro and Sheamus vs. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows for the Raw Tag Team Championship on the kickoff show

    Joey:

    I love the chemistry between these two teams. My hopes are they’ll get enough time to top the prior Raw match. I’m expecting the breakup of Sheamus and Cesaro to start here and in the Royal Rumble match. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are the pick to win and start a tag title run into WrestleMania.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows win.

    Tim:

    The Sheamus and Cesaro dynamic has been a real fun thing to watch and this is the most I’ve been into Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows since their WWE debut. These two teams are pretty damn good together. While I do think they should move on from this feud after this match I am all for seeing these guys go at it again. I assume they will want to get back to the Sheamus and Cesaro feud by WrestleMania (because they have to have some pre-show matches for that show too) so I can see them taking the belts off of them here. Also, I am going to use this time to pitch Anderson and Gallows add some blonde to their facial hair like old NWO members to spice things up.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows win.

    Tom:

    I feel like I’ve seen enough of this already. The two teams are a decent combo, but WWE has a horrible habit of running tag feuds into the ground in record time. Hopefully we get a Cesaro flurry, that’d be alright.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Cesaro and Sheamus win.

    Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax on the kickoff show

    Joey:

    I always forget these two are feuding and was a bit surprised to see this on the show. Sasha was just walking with crutches on Raw last week, right? Nia Jax is definitely getting the win with the injury story playing the factor. I don’t have high expectations for the match.

    Interest Level: 2/10
    Prediction: Nia Jax wins.

    Tim:

    I’m not into this at all but at least they’re using another member of the women’s roster on Raw in Nia Jax. She has never impressed me outside of having one of the catchiest theme songs around. Sasha Banks is very talented but I just don’t see this amounting to anything. I could see them letting Jax get the win here.

    Interest Level: 1/10
    Prediction: Nia Jax wins.

    Tom:

    This feud has been kind of lame! And it being on the preshow is also kind of lame! Sasha hasn’t been particularly sympathetic and there’s just a hokey air to it all. Nia Jax should relinquish her music to Dana Brooke.

    Interest Level: 3/10
    Prediction: Sasha Banks wins by DQ.

    Rich Swann vs. Neville for the Cruiserweight Championship

    Joey:

    I can’t wait for this. I just have a feeling they will potentially steal the show. Neville is the best thing in WWE right now and I have loved Rich Swann’s intensity finally getting serious to combat him the past few weeks. WWE has to give Neville the title for a very long run if they want the cruiserweight division to have any chance.

    PLEASE use the top rope superplex finisher, Neville. 😍

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: Neville wins.

    Tim:

    Rich Swann is awesome in the ring and Neville has made me care about the Cruiserweight division. This is one of the most exciting matches on the card and could finally be the big main roster cruiserweight match I have been hoping for. I think they’re both great guys but they haven’t gotten Swann’s character down yet and Neville is the whole package. He’s walking out as champion and savior of the division.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Neville wins.

    Tom:

    Some of the lines Rich Swann has been stuck delivering have been dreadful BUT he’s showed a lot of intensity and genuine passion recently, and Neville’s still absolutely fantastic in his new role as the psycho self-proclaimed cruiserweight king. He’s good to the point that it’ll be interesting seeing if any of the other guys in the division can get to his level, but I think he’s definitely the right pick to be a long-term champ.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Neville wins.

    Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella and Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James and Natalya

    Joey:

    I like most of the wrestlers but this just feels like a waste of time. Hopefully Alexa Bliss does a bunch of cool moves and makes mean faces at the crowd.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Alexa and others win.

    Tim:

    I’m all for a fun six person tag thrown into the mix with the awesome Smackdown women. Mickie James interacting with these people will be interesting to see. Smackdown has gotten me invested in the two feuds involved here. I think the heel squad goes over this time.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Natalya win.

    Tom:

    Okay! Cool? Seeing Mickie work with the new girls will be a good time but this is absolutely a TV match that’s been shoehorned onto a PPV.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Alexa and pals win.

    Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley for the Raw Women’s Championship

    Joey:

    The build to this match has left a lot to be desired. It is still cool seeing Bayley finally featured in a noteworthy role on Raw. Charlotte Flair’s undefeated PPV streak always appeared to be there for Bayley to finally end it at some point. The WrestleMania rumors of a fatal four way match also makes it likely this is the show where it happens. I think Bayley wins the title and heads into WrestleMania as the champ. Hopefully it works out the way WWE wants and Bayley becomes a huge star.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Bayley wins.

    Tim:

    Bayley hasn’t been given the best material to work with in the build to this and Charlotte, while usually pretty good on the mic, has just seemed really generic over the last month. I’m sure this match will rise above all of that though. These two very rarely miss out on delivering awesome matches so I can’t see this one being any different. I do not feel now is the time for a Bayley win. I look forward to seeing her finally grab the gold at WrestleMania.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Charlotte wins.

    Tom:

    Another match with a kind of weak build, though I guess it’s still relatively early days? Like Rich Swann, Bayley got stuck with some crappy lines to deliver and something just hasn’t really clicked yet. I think the match itself should be fun, though Charlotte being established as the Queen of PPV makes it kind of hard to really get invested in matches like this. I’ll also be curious to see if there are any hints in the end as to what WrestleMania could look like for the Raw women, because it seems very loose as it is.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Charlotte wins.

    AJ Styles vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship

    Joey:

    The chemistry between AJ Styles and John Cena always delivers good content. I expect them to have another classic like the Summerslam match. Styles has done a great job as champion, but I highly doubt WWE will have him enter WrestleMania as the champion. Cena winning the title has to happen at some point in 2017 and this is the best timing with him being in WWE for a few months before shooting another film.

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: John Cena wins.

    Tim:

    I don’t understand why neither of these guys would walk into WrestleMania as champion. I thought they would have Cena lose and then win it at WrestleMania for his 16th time. Then I thought “well maybe he’ll win it, then lose it, and then beat the record with a 17th win at WrestleMania.” Now it seems like he is going to win it here and then drop it in the Elimination Chamber.

    Anyway, AJ Styles has grown immensely during his time in WWE and his newfound confidence as a heel on the mic has helped this build along with Cena bringing his grittier side to the table. Cena and Styles bring that big match feel every time they get together and I don’t doubt that they won’t do the same at the Royal Rumble. I hate to see Styles drop the strap but it is what it is.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: John Cena wins.

    Tom:

    These two are great together, but the feud is definitely lacking a lot of the luster it once had for me. I’m perfectly happy seeing AJ and Cena wrestle again, but it does feel sort of safe and easy. I’d be surprised and disappointed if AJ lost the title here, partly because I think Styles should get to go a little further as champ but also because Cena matching Flair’s title record is a storyline in itself that could be a neat thing for a while.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: AJ Styles wins.

    Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns in a No DQ Match with Chris Jericho in a shark tank for the WWE Universal Championship

    Joey:

    The No DQ stipulation completely changed this from a match I had no interest in to one of my most fascinating matches on the card. This actually opens up the option of Roman Reigns losing due to interference and it just adds another dimension to the match in general. Sadly, I still think the reign of Kevin Owens ends here. Vince McMahon’s wet dream of John Cena and Roman Reigns both being the world champions at the same time is too close to give up on.

    My prediction for the finish is Chris Jericho dropping a weapon into the ring for Owens, but Reigns catches it and uses it to get the win. Reigns wins the title and the Owens/Jericho breakup begins.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Roman Reigns wins.

    Tim:

    I fully expect this to be the start of the real Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho break-up. I’m not into Roman Reigns walking into WrestleMania as a champion because most of the people I see lined up for him don’t make for compelling match-ups. This match should be okay. I am a huge Kevin Owens fan and Reigns is alright at bringing intensity but I just can’t buy his whole schtick. Truthfully, at the time of me typing this out I can’t say I am that excited about this one but hopefully KO will be loud and Jericho will be ridiculous. If any match on this card is going to surprise me it’ll probably be this bout. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho have had highs and lows as a team but for the most part I have enjoyed them even if I felt like it centered around Jericho way too much. Here’s to hoping that Owens second reign as champ will utilize him better, whenever that may be.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Roman Reigns wins.

    Tom:

    I’m a little anxious but also excited for this. The No DQ stip adds an intriguing wrinkle, both in terms of storytelling but also freedom for KO and Reigns to do potentially more than they’ve done in previous matches. I always love Owens in matches where he can get creative with his “devices” and other innovations, so this is right up my alley. The shark cage is a silly thing, but whatever, Jericho has been mostly excellent at doing silly things lately.

    I’m sincerely hoping KO retains and gets to go further with his run as champ. Reigns in the title mix for the third consecutive WrestleMania would be a little insane. I think he’s very capable now, but there’s enough talent and other moving pieces that keeping him out of it would be the best thing possible. I guess we’ll see!

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: Kevin Owens wins.

    2017 Royal Rumble Match

    Joey:

    Here we go. I was extremely psyched for the Royal Rumble before Dave Meltzer’s report that Randy Orton would win. I thought Braun Strowman was my nightmare scenario but I forgot just how uninspiring WWE loves to be around WrestleMania season. Orton is literally the last person I want to see win the match. I still have faith Meltz is wrong.

    My hopes are for Finn Balor returning to win his rematch against either Roman Reigns or Kevin Owens. The other realistic names are The Undertaker, Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe. I know the rumors have changed to suggest otherwise, but I still believe The Undertaker will win the match for a huge moment in front of the Texas crowd. I also still think Undertaker faces John Cena at WM but Reigns is also possible. Both scenarios make Taker the best Rumble option.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: The Undertaker wins.

    Tim:

    The Rumble is somewhat unpredictable this year so rest assured WWE will most likely go with the most boring pick like Orton. Instead of harping on that I am going to list some of my personal and unrealistic hopes here:

    1: Finn Balor returns and wins leading to him vs Reigns or Owens for the Universal title at Wrestlemania.

    2: Samoa Joe debuts and runs roughshod. He wins and faces Cena at WrestleMania.

    3: They’ve been going in on Sami Zayn to make us think he is in the doghouse. His character on TV has been highlighted more the past two weeks. His feud with Owens was quietly dropped after his win and then Owens rose up the ranks. Him winning the Rumble would be incredible now. It would be unexpected and you have a sure-fire big match for him against Owens with their history in play, or maybe even a 3-Way with Jericho. Hell, Zayn vs Reigns wouldn’t be as exciting but still cool if they want that. Basically, Let Sami Zayn win the Royal Rumble is what I am saying. It’s a longshot but for the sake of having fun I am going with this as my final prediction.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Sami Zayn wins.

    Tom:

    I love a Rumble match and this year’s is the most intriguing one we’ve had for a while. The number of part timers invovled is maybe a cause for concern, in that I’d rather not just see half the participants immediately tossed out for the sake of 50 year olds looking strong, but there’s still a lot of potential for cool moments. I try not to pay TOO much attention to the rumours and the betting odds, so I’m hoping for Balor returning here, both as a surprise but also a big redebut. They really seemed set to push him as a big star with his Universal Title win (not to mention all the merch they made), so this would be a fantastic way to shine that light on him again, especially if it leads into him taking the title from KO at ‘Mania.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Finn Balor wins.