It was no big surprise that Sheamus retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WWE: Tables, Ladders and Chairs on Sunday evening. But the night following WWE TLC, Vince McMahon and Roman Reigns shocked the world when The Big Dog defeated The Celtic Warrior for the biggest prize in the game on WWE Monday Night Raw.
And so begins the build for WWE Royal Rumble and the road to WrestleMania 32 in Dallas. Many fans are wondering just how John Cena will fit into the mix.
The new Royal Rumble logo is nice... it actually looks Royal. pic.twitter.com/OQaIT4aa3o— PWM (@ProWrestlingMag) December 15, 2015
Recently, Wrestle Zone noted that the following graphic — a Royal Rumble 2016 poster with John Cena featured — had already been widely circulated online. No official promotional poster has been displayed at WWE.com’s Royal Rumble page, and Wrestle Zone was unable to confirm or deny whether this image was leaked by WWE or simply a case of viral fan art. However, all recent reports indicate that Cena will be back by Royal Rumble, and there’s every reason to believe that the biggest name in the industry will play an important at WWE’s first major event of 2016.
For many members of the WWE Universe, the Royal Rumble Match is the single most anticipated match of the year. It’s an unpredictable match that sets the tone for the biggest night of the year, WrestleMania. Not a whole lot of information has been revealed just yet, but there’s just enough information to whet the appetite of any wrestling fan.
At TLC on Sunday night, WWE debuted the trailer for Royal Rumble 2016:
The break between Survivor Series and TLC was just three weeks. As the trailer shows, the Royal Rumble takes place on January 24, giving the WWE almost six weeks to craft something special. Now that Roman Reigns is champion, he is likely to defend the title at Royal Rumble, likely a rematch with Sheamus (and possibly a few stipulations that don’t favor the champ). While John Cena still has unresolved issues with Alberto Del Rio — and is still owed a rematch for the United States Championship — it seems likely that he’ll enter the Royal Rumble Match.
Major WWE Backstage News On Roman Reigns Royal Rumble 2016 & WWE WrestleMania 32 https://t.co/cPCwVLzDYt— seanzviewent on YT! (@SeanzviewEnt88) December 15, 2015
2016 will mark the twenty-ninth consecutive year that the Royal Rumble Match has taken place. In all twenty-eight prior years, only fourteen competitors have entered the match more than Cena, who has seven Rumbles under his belt. The leader of the Cenation has been the last man standing twice. The only WWE Superstar to win more times than Cena is “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who won the match thrice.
Cena won the event three years ago, and went on to defeat The Rock at WrestleMania. He also won the match at Royal Rumble 2008 — when he was also returning from some time off — but failed to capture the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 24.
While Cena will most likely return to WWE television before the Royal Rumble, a hallmark trait of the annual January PPV is the unexpected participants. Whether a debut or return, WWE likes to keep the WWE Universe guessing. With so many NXT talents seemingly ready to make the jump to the main roster, and Full Sail University less than thirty minutes from the Royal Rumble at the Amway Center in Orlando, there’s a good chance guys like Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Baron Corbin or Sami Zayn could make a surprise appearance.
WWE Royal Rumble 2016 will air live on the WWE Network on January 24 at 8/7c.
[Image via Twitter]