General Manager Daniel Bryan announced last week that the Women’s Championship will be defended inside a Steel Cage on WWE SmackDown LIVE as Alexa Bliss puts the belt on the line against Becky Lynch. While few details about this week’s episode of SmackDown LIVE had been released as of Sunday evening, Jerry Lawler did announce via Twitter that he would be hosting a new edition of The King’s Court, although he didn’t announce yet who his guest will be. And with only four superstars from the blue brand announced as competitors in the Royal Rumble Match, it seems likely that several SmackDown wrestlers will officially be added to the 30-man battle royal that officially begins the “Road to WrestleMania 34.”
— Jerry Lawler (@JerryLawler) January 14, 2017
With the Monday Night Raw brand already responsible for the first-ever Women’s Championship Hell in a Cell Match, SmackDown LIVE will host the first-ever Women’s Championship Match inside a Steel Cage. This match was booked specifically to keep La Luchadora from interfering, while speculation continues about who is really under the mask. This will be a chance for Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch to prove that they can headline their brand’s show just like Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks have done on Monday Night Raw.
Jerry Lawler, whose role on WWE programming has been severely cut back as of late, will return to SmackDown LIVE in his hometown of Memphis to host a new King’s Court segment, something the WWE Universe hasn’t seen since the Attitude Era. Undoubtedly, The King will bring up the Royal Rumble, but his actual guest has not yet been revealed.
So far, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, and The Miz are the only members of SmackDown LIVE that have officially announced their entry into the Royal Rumble Match. With both John Cena and AJ Styles competing in the WWE Championship Match, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan have to choose from what’s left on their roster. Big names like Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, and Kane will almost certainly be a part of the Royal Rumble Match, but who will make the official announcement on SmackDown this week?
The question still remains whether anyone from the red brand’s Cruiserweight Division — the stars of 205 Live — will participate in the 30-man battle royal at WWE’s January PPV. If they are, they will likely make that announcement on this week’s episode of WWE 205 Live, right after SmackDown LIVE. While no official preview had been posted by WWE as of Sunday evening, the drama between Neville and Rich Swann will likely escalate on this week’s episode, as will the Jack Gallagher/Ariya Daivari feud and the Cedric Alexander/Alicia Fox/Noam Dar love triangle.
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Updated WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Card
- The Undertaker, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Baron Corbin, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho, The New Day, and 17 others TBD — Royal Rumble Match
- AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena — WWE Championship Match
- Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns — WWE Universal Championship Shark Cage Match
- Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Bayley — Raw Women’s Championship Match
- Rich Swann (c) vs. Neville — WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
WWE Royal Rumble 2017 will be the next PPV featuring stars from Monday Night Raw (although it will also include competitors from SmackDown LIVE). Fewer matches are generally scheduled for WWE’s annual January PPV, since the Royal Rumble Match can take upwards of 90 minutes, with the lead-in promos and post-match shenanigans. Royal Rumble 2017 will air live on Sunday, January 29, from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. As more information is confirmed, it will be updated at WWE’s official Royal Rumble preview page.
Where To Watch WWE
The WWE Royal Rumble 2017 will air live on the WWE Network on Sunday, January 29, at 8/7c. The Royal Rumble Kickoff Show will begin at 7/6c.
The show 205 Live, featuring the best of WWE’s Cruiserweight Division (but technically a part of the Monday Night Raw brand), airs weekly on the WWE Network at 10/9c on Tuesday nights. immediately following SmackDown. Replays of WWE 205 Live are available to stream as soon as the show airs.
WWE SmackDown LIVE airs Tuesdays on the USA Network at 8/7c. Replays of WWE SmackDown aren’t made available on the WWE Network until several weeks after the original air date. However, a replay of SmackDown LIVE is available to stream on-demand Wednesdays via Hulu. WWE Talking Smack begins at 10:45/9:45c on the WWE Network and is immediately made available to stream on-demand.
[Featured Image by WWE]