After the ending of SmackDown Live on Tuesday night, the main roster of the WWE is now ready for the Royal Rumble on Sunday. The huge 30-superstar over-the-top-rope match is ready to go, but it isn’t entirely complete. As of Wednesday afternoon, there are only 22 entrants in the match, which means some surprises are going to be in it as well. What’s more, the chance of some NXT superstars being in the match just went up a good bit.
On Tuesday, there was a battle royal on SmackDown Live, and the winner was going to qualify for the Royal Rumble this weekend. As recapped by the official website of the WWE, Mojo Rawley ended up outlasting nine other superstars to win the match and earn his spot in the big match.
After he qualified, the show ended a while later, and there were 22 entrants officially announced, leaving eight spots still open. While the WWE usually has some surprises enter, it is kind of shocking to see that many slots still open with just a few days to go.
Well, there are a few names that could end up taking those spots, and they could come from NXT.
According to PW Insider, the entire NXT roster has been told to be backstage at the Royal Rumble in San Antonio on Sunday. With all of them back there, it means that any of them could be put in the match — or none of them may be entered.
It would not be out of the question for an NXT star to be in the match even if they’re not yet ready to be brought up to the main roster. They’re showing up could just be a one-time occurrence for now, and they could then return to NXT for their full-time call-up at a later date.
With that in mind, there is a chance that NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura could be an entrant. Maybe one of NXT Tag Team Champions from #DIY will be given a slot in the Royal Rumble on Sunday.
Right now, the betting odds even have an NXT superstar who has not been officially announced for the Rumble as being one of the favorites to win the whole thing. Oddsshark reported that Samoa Joe currently has +550 odds to win it all, and that essentially gives him a 14 percent chance of winning. The current top favorite to win is Goldberg.
Samoa Joe has long been thought to be one of the surprise entrants this year, and it has been Tye Dillinger’s name being the next most mentioned star from NXT. For now, there are only 22 superstars officially in the Rumble, and here is the full list.
Monday Night Raw
- Brock Lesnar
- Big Show
- Sami Zayn
- Big E
- Xavier Woods
- Kofi Kingston
- Braun Strowman
- Chris Jericho
- Big Cass
- The Undertaker
- Dean Ambrose
- The Miz
- Dolph Ziggler
- Bray Wyatt
- Randy Orton
- Luke Harper
- Mojo Rawley
- Baron Corbin
Looking at the 22 entrants already announced, there are plenty of them who began their WWE career in the NXT ranks. Some of them have just been called up in the last year or so, but NXT is certainly going to be represented well no matter what.
As a matter of fact, there are four former NXT stars already making their Royal Rumble debuts this weekend: Big Cass, Baron Corbin, Mojo Rawley, and Xavier Woods.
This Sunday’s Royal Rumble will build the true path to WrestleMania 33 in April, and anything is likely to happen. While no one is quite sure who will win the match, trying to predict it is even harder when fans don’t even know everyone who is in it. With the WWE wanting the entire NXT roster backstage this weekend, entrants could end up being Samoa Joe, Tye Dillinger, or anyone, but then again, the company may not put any in and are doing this just to swerve the fans.
[Featured Image by WWE]