As of January 27, former 12-time world champion Randy Orton is now one of the favorites to win the 30th Royal Rumble, which is scheduled to take place this Sunday on January 29, according to betting website 5 Dimes. According to Wrestling Inc. and Ringside News, Orton is possibly slated to win the Rumble for a second time.
The WWE’s “Apex Predator” is currently in a storyline with Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper where Orton joined the backwoods Wyatt Family, but with Wyatt’s supposed “excommunication” of Harper on last week’s episode of Smackdown Live!, the implosion of the family seems imminent.
Orton would face off against Wyatt at No Mercy in October, where he would lose following a distraction from Harper. Orton would fight the pair with the help of Kane before Orton betrayed his partner. When interviewed, he would say “if you can’t beat them, join them.” He was accepted into the Family, and would become Smackdown Tag Team Champions with the Wyatt Family before dropping the titles to American Alpha. Tensions flared between Harper and Orton, with the duo nearly coming to blows several times. They would face off on last week’s episode of Smackdown Live!, where Orton won and Wyatt attacked Harper.
With Smackdown Live! set to have the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship in February, it is also likely that if Orton wins at the Rumble, Wyatt will take the title at the Elimination Chamber, where their feud will culminate in April’s Wrestlemania event.
Other potential winners for the Royal Rumble include the Undertaker, Bill Goldberg, and Braun Strowman.
Undertaker announced his intentions to join the Royal Rumble last January 9 on an episode of Monday Night Raw, making his first appearance of 2017 and his first appearance since November 15, when he appeared on the 900th episode of Smackdown Live!. Prior to that, the Undertaker fought against Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania 32 inside a Hell in a Cell, where Undertaker would retire if he lost. He would win the match after Shane McMahon jumped off the top of the nearly 20 foot structure.
Meanwhile, Goldberg declared that he would be in the Rumble after his shocking two minute win against Brock Lesnar in the main event of last November’s Survivor Series. The former football player would throw his hat into the ring the night after Survivor Series, stating that he had “one last title run in him.”
Braun Strowman also has the odds in his favor. The former powerlifter was separated from the Wyatt Family following the Brand Split and Draft in July. He would make his mark destroying local talent in squash matches and participating in last year’s Survivor Series match for team Raw, where he would be eliminated after a count-out. He would fight against Sami Zayn at Roadblock: End of the Line where Zayn would win after managing to survive 10 minutes fighting against Strowman.
NXT superstar Samoa Joe is also believed to be making his main roster debut this Sunday at the Rumble, with him also being a favorite among betters. The Samoan would win the NXT Championship in a house show against Finn Balor before losing it to Shinsuke Nakamura at Takeover: Brooklyn II before winning it back at Takeover: Toronto, making him the first ever two time NXT Champion. He would lose it back to Nakamura 14 days later at an event in Osaka, Japan, also giving him the championship’s shortest reign ever. Joe is not currently on the card for Takeover: San Antonio, which leads many to believe he is going to be at the Rumble.
Regardless of the winner, this year’s Rumble is sure to be an exciting event with a stacked card that also features AJ Styles vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship, and Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens in a No Disqualification Match for the WWE Universal Championship.
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