With the WWE Royal Rumble 2017 match coming soon, it will help pave the road to WrestleMania 33. Plenty of WWE rumors started flying ever since competitors have begun to announce themselves as entrants into the 30-man match, as the winner gets to headline Mania in a title match. Some of the stars who have been speculated as winners over the past months were Goldberg, John Cena, Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar. More recently, The Undertaker, Braun Strowman, and now Samoa Joe have entered the discussion. Could the newest superstar set to debut on the main roster also end up in a huge match against John Cena on “the grandest stage of them all” in Orlando, Florida? It seems there’s a very strong possibility.
Over at WWE Leaks, there’s discussion of the Elimination Chamber PPV announcement made by Shane McMahon on Tuesday’s SmackDown Live episode. As of right now, there are no competitors actually named for the match, but in the past, these matches involved either a major championship on the line or the winning superstar becoming No. 1 contender for the title. The rumor that has been kickstarted is that John Cena will have the WWE World Heavyweight title by the end of the Elimination Chamber and that Joe will win the 2017 Royal Rumble match. Whether Cena wins the title at the upcoming Rumble PPV or the Chamber PPV remains to be seen, but it seems like the plan.
This sort of speculation makes a lot of sense just based on how Cena has been putting over “newer” stars lately as they hit the main roster. The biggest examples that come to mind are Kevin Owens and AJ Styles. Owens arrived on the main roster and immediately started to challenge Cena, even recording a huge win over him. AJ Styles has also recorded a winning record against Cena and will once again defend the WWE Championship against him at the Royal Rumble. The interesting aspect of that match is that nobody knows if it will go before or after the Rumble match itself. However, if it’s before the 30-man match, whoever loses the title bout could also be a Rumble entrant.
Samoa Joe’s odds to win the Royal Rumble have climbed drastically in recent weeks, thanks to the WWE rumors about him debuting at the event. As of this report, he was still among the top four favorites on Paddy Power‘s odds for the winner. Joe’s odds are 4 to 1 right now, showing just how powerful rumors can be. He trails only The Undertaker, Randy Orton, and Braun Strowman in terms of favorites to win the match. Joe’s debut at the event seems a strong possibility as he’s the overall favorite on Paddy Power‘s in-ring appearance odds for the match.
Other recent stars who made main roster debuts in the match include AJ Styles, Rusev, and Bo Dallas. Of those names, Rusev and Dallas both came from the NXT roster to the match, showing why there’s no reason to doubt that Joe could be another NXT star to do the same. Not only that, he’s similar to Styles in that he’s not exactly a newcomer in the wrestling world. Both have worked within WWE’s only competitor, Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling.
A major criticism by many WWE fans these days has been a failure to establish top stars for the company that can carry the load rather than use the same old stars, part-timers, or returning legends. The company will always need strong superstars to help generate fresh feuds and sell pay-per-views. Samoa Joe isn’t exactly a young guy at 37-years-old, but he is a newer star for WWE to help establish new rivalries on the main roster. Clearly, the company will want to set up big feuds with him as they can, based on his age.
For the past year, many fans and analysts have believed SmackDown Live has put on the better show when compared to Monday Night Raw. Adding Joe on there makes sense as it would improve the show’s roster more, adding another strong heel along with The Miz, AJ Styles, and Bray Wyatt. A Royal Rumble win would also establish Samoa Joe as a top WWE star quickly and give him immediate chase for John Cena’s championship, leading to weeks of buildup as they head towards a huge match at WrestleMania 33.
By the way, putting Cena and Joe together wouldn’t be the first time these two wrestling stars have been linked together. The two have competed and trained together at Ultimate Pro Wrestling in California, so they’ve had their ring wars in the past. It’s also been mentioned by WWE that the two shared a friendship and Cena enjoyed meals with Joe’s family, showing that these two have a working relationship WWE can draw from.
With all that said, if these WWE rumors prove true, it may leave some fans disappointed in the fact that they won’t get that Undertaker vs. John Cena match at WrestleMania. However, the payoff of Samoa Joe getting a major push quickly on the main roster seems well worth it in the end.
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