Even if you count The Undertaker as an unofficial member of the SmackDown LIVE roster, the blue brand has only announced seven representatives for the 30-man battle royal at WWE Royal Rumble 2017. Aside from those competing in the main event, the only other SmackDown LIVE superstars competing at WWE’s PPV on Sunday will be John Cena and AJ Styles in the WWE Championship Match.
With marquee names like Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, and Seth Rollins having already entered the 2017 Royal Rumble Match as members of Monday Night Raw, SmackDown LIVE has responded with Randy Orton, Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose, and Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal Winner Baron Corbin. Prior to this week’s episode of WWE Raw, there were 12 spots yet to be claimed for the biggest battle royal of the year. Superstars that seem likely to claim some of those spots on this week’s SmackDown LIVE include Apollo Crews, American Alpha, James Ellsworth, Kane and Mojo Rawley.
When The Dead Man announced on Monday Night Raw that he would be entering the Rumble for a chance to headline WrestleMania 33, he also said that “the Undertaker answers to no one,” implying that The Phenom isn’t exclusive to either brand, despite the pep talk that he gave Shane McMahon and company prior to their big match at Survivor Series 2016 against Monday Night Raw.
As of Sunday evening, there were no plans announced for any matches at Royal Rumble 2017 involving anyone from the blue brand’s female division. That being the case, it seems likely that Mickie James and SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss will address the WWE Universe regarding last week’s Steel Cage Match and the revelation that James was under the La Luchadora mask. Additionally, after their backstage brawl through the WWE merchandise tables on SmackDown LIVE last week, it seems likely that the feud between Nikki Bella and Natalya will be furthered on Tuesday night.
When SmackDown LIVE ends on the USA Network, 205 Live begins on the WWE Network. If anyone from the Cruiserweight Division is going to enter the Royal Rumble Match, it will likely happen during this week’s episode of 205 Live. The Cruiserweight Championship Match scheduled for Royal Rumble 2017 will almost certainly be addressed, as will the on-going love triangle featuring Noam Dar, Alicia Fox, and Cedric Alexander.
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Updated WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Card
- The Undertaker, The Wyatt Family, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Baron Corbin, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho, The New Day, Cesaro, Sheamus, and 12 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 last PPV featuring stars from both SmackDown LIVE and Monday Night Raw until WrestleMania 33 in April. Unless more preliminary matches are announced on this week’s SmackDown LIVE, AJ Styles vs. John Cena is the only other match at the January PPV that will feature competitors from the blue brand. 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]