Becky Lynch (c), Naomi, and Nikki Bella vs. Alexa Bliss, Carmella, and Natalya
The Setup: The Royal Rumble match itself takes up about an hour of the show, leaving very few spots on the main card. I’m not really a fan of random 3-on-3 tag matches over a championship bout, but this gives multiple girls a chance to work in front of what will no doubt be a massive crowd at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Winner: Becky Lynch, Naomi, and Nikki Bella
Cedric Alexander, TJ Perkins, and Gran Metalik vs. Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, and Noam Dar
The Setup: People have been complaining about the Cruiserweight division, specifically the amount of 3-0n-3 tag matches that have been booked, but I have been enjoying them. The matches are always fun to watch and this particular scenario gives multiple guys a chance to perform and be noticed by the casual fans. The pre-show closes with a bang and kicks off what will hopefully be an exciting night of action.
Winner: Cedric Alexander, TJ Perkins, and Gran Metalik
Triple H vs. Seth Rollins
Winner Gets a Spot in the Royal Rumble Match
The Setup: This match will more than likely happen at WrestleMania 33, but I have other plans for Seth Rollins that night, so I’m booking it here instead. This match accomplishes a multitude of things. First, it’s a marquee matchup that will help fill the 65,000-seat Alamodome. It also gives Seth Rollins a chance to earn his way into the Rumble match and close out his feud with Triple H. Finally, it gives us one hell of an opener for my favorite show of the year. Seth Rollins starts the night off hot by defeating Triple H via the Curb Stomp, which receives a massive pop.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bayley
Women’s Championship Match
The Setup: Sasha Banks has just lost the Women’s Championship to Charlotte at Hell in a Cell. We’re going to pretend that the opposite happened; Sasha Banks defeated Charlotte in front of her hometown crowd to retain the Women’s Championship. Now we can rekindle, in my opinion, the best feud NXT has produced to date. Sasha Banks goes back to being The Boss, while Bayley does what she does better than anyone in the company, play the role of the lovable underdog. Sasha Banks retains after Bayley passes out while locked in the Bank Statement.
Winner: Sasha Banks
Kevin Owens (c) vs. Chris Jericho
Universal Championship Match
The Setup: This is the only match so far, with the exception of a pre-show tag match, that is somewhat likely to happen. We’re inching closer and closer to Kevin Owens’ and Chris Jericho’s friendship going sour, which would lead to an excellent championship bout at the Royal Rumble. The title changes hands here after Kevin Owens taps via the Walls of Jericho.
Winner: Chris Jericho
AJ Styles (c) vs. Randy Orton
WWE Championship Match
The Setup: AJ Styles is slowly running out of main event caliber talent to work with and Randy Orton is another name that will bring casuals to the Alamodome or the WWE Network on January 29th. These guys have the potential to steal the show, and I expect the SmackDown writing team to make this an outstanding feud, so I’m giving them the co-main event spot. Styles retains after hitting the Styles Clash on Orton for the pinfall.
Winner: AJ Styles
30-Man Royal Rumble Match
The Setup: The WWE needs to ensure this match is a success because 65,000 booing fans are much louder than 20,000 booing fans. For the first time in a long time, WWE has enough depth and talent to pull off an awesome Rumble match. There are quite a few names available that have a legitimate shot at winning the match, and with two world championships again, anything is possible. I won’t book the entire match in detail, but some of the more notable eliminations are:
- Baron Corbin eliminating Shawn Michaels
- Luke Harper eliminating Bray Wyatt
- John Cena eliminating The Undertaker
- Brock Lesnar eliminating Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, John Cena and Dean Ambrose
The final few minutes, Brock Lesnar will eliminate Roman Reigns to win his second Royal Rumble match.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Royal Rumble Entrants in Order:
- Seth Rollins
- Big Show
- Heath Slater
- Kofi Kingston
- The Miz
- Sami Zayn
- Enzo Amore
- Braun Strowman
- Big Cass
- Dean Ambrose
- Luke Gallows
- Karl Anderson
- Big E
- Bray Wyatt
- Shawn Michaels
- Mark Henry
- Dolph Ziggler
- John Cena
- Baron Corbin
- Luke Harper
- The Undertaker
- Roman Reigns
- Brock Lesnar
Note: Participants in bold represent the final four competitors.
As I’m writing this, Hell in a Cell has just ended and WWE is moving in the direction of Survivor Series. Other than Sasha Banks’ loss to Charlotte, I’m relatively happy with the foundation they have built for the road to WrestleMania. I’d have Brock Lesnar beat Bill Goldberg at Survivor Series, getting some steam on Lesnar just in time for a big Rumble win. I would also leave all of the champions as they are, with a lot of talent used strictly for the Rumble match this year. WWE needs all hands on deck in order to have the type of Rumble match fans have been begging to see for quite some time. Hopefully, after the 2017 Royal Rumble, we’re all talking about our excitement for WrestleMania season instead of #CancelWWENetwork trending worldwide on Twitter.