Fans of the WWE network will know that the annual Royal Rumble takes place at San Antonio’s Alamodome this coming Sunday, January 29. The 60,000-seat arena plays host to what is the most open Royal Rumble for many years. The official WWE website has listed a total of 18 entrants for the 2017 Royal Rumble, and the lineup includes some huge names. The Undertaker, Bill Goldberg, and Brock Lesnar are just a few of the huge names already declared for this year’s Royal Rumble, but the supporting cast is the strongest for many years.
What makes the 2017 Royal Rumble even more interesting is the fact that just six days from the event, no clear favorite has emerged. Indeed, we don’t even know who 12 of the competitors will be. As reported in the Inquisitr, The Undertaker is the early bookmakers favorite. The Deadman showed up on WWE SmackDown, Episode 900 to tell us that he was back to “take souls and to dig holes,” and that he did not wish to be defined by WrestleMania. Some assumed that the announcement meant that The Undertaker would be appearing more often on WWE SmackDown Live. Unfortunately, that did not prove to be the case.
Just six days before the Royal Rumble, we would normally be able to pick a likely winner from just two or three of the 30 competitors. The 2017 Royal Rumble is very different. We don’t yet know who all the competitors will be. Even if you include The Undertaker as one of the SmackDown’s Royal Rumble entrants we still have just seven Blue Team entries. WWE Monday Night Raw has 11 entries to date, so you can expect a rush of announcements across the next two evenings.
Given that WWE superstar Triple H recently tweeted that he was traveling from the U.K. back to the U.S. for Monday Night Raw, it would be reasonable to assume that he will announce a Royal Rumble appearance tonight. It had been widely predicted that Triple H would be at last week’s Monday Night Raw, but he failed to show. It would be a surprise if he doesn’t enter the Royal Rumble.
Of course, the Royal Rumble always has a few surprise entrants up its sleeve, and the 2017 Royal Rumble will be no different.
WWE Rumors Suggest Some ‘Wildcard’ Entries For The ‘Royal Rumble’ 2017
The 2017 Royal Rumble has no fewer than four World Championship bouts on the card. The main event will see 15-time World Champion John Cena take on 2016 WWE sensation AJ Styles. Rising women’s star Bayley takes on current champion Charlotte Flair, and Kevin Owens will face off against Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship. The final championship bout on the Royal Rumble PPV is the bout between Rich Swann and Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Obviously, those championship bouts rule the participants out of the Royal Rumble itself.
Those absences from the main event means that the 2017 Royal Rumble will throw up some surprise entries, both from returning stars and from emerging WWE talent.
Bleacher Report rounds up a list of seven stars who could make a surprise appearance at the 2017 Royal Rumble. Top of those picks is Finn Balor, who sat out much of 2016 due to injury. Balor had to give up his Universal Championship as a result of his injury, and given that the Royal Rumble winner normally gets a title shot at WrestleMania, it would be no surprise to see Balor enter the battle royal as a first step towards regaining his crown.
The fact that Kurt Angle is set to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame means that he will appear on the WWE network for the first time in a decade. Angle’s Hall of Fame induction takes place on WrestleMania weekend, so could he enter the Royal Rumble as a means to getting a championship bout on the weekend that he is inducted? It’s an intriguing proposition.
Perhaps the most surprising “wildcard” entry for the 2017 Royal Rumble is NXT star Samoa Joe. It has been widely predicted that Samoa Joe will soon step up to the main WWE roster, and the 2017 Royal Rumble would be the perfect opportunity to introduce him to the wider WWE universe.
Shane McMahon could make a surprise return to the WWE ring at the Royal Rumble. McMahon surprised us all last year with an appearance at WrestleMania 32, his first appearance for seven years. McMahon may be a longshot for a Royal Rumble slot, but don’t rule him out.
Will you be tuning in to the 2017 Royal Rumble? If so, let us know who you think might be a last minute entry, and who you would like to see win the event.
[Featured Image by WWE]