If the latest WWE rumors are true, then The Undertaker could be the winner of the Royal Rumble 2017 match. “The Deadman” has been away from the wrestling ring ever since appearing on SmackDown Live ahead of the 2016 Survivor Series. At that time, it raised speculation that Taker might end up in a feud with a member of Team SmackDown if they lost their big match at the pay-per-view. Now, it appears that Taker could end up winning the big elimination style battle royal in January and going on to headline WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, Florida. However, there still seems to be several other contenders who could win the match as well.
After the latest episode of WWE SmackDown Live, Taker moved into the spot, edging out Goldberg, Chris Jericho, John Cena, and Finn Balor. As WWE Leaks reported on Wednesday, Undertaker moved into a top five spot with odds of nine to four at Betfair, three to one at William Hill, three to one at Ladbrokes, and seven to two at Paddy Power. Taker had previously been further down the list of contenders, but based on what transpired on Tuesday’s latest SmackDown show, it makes it seem more probable that a big return to the ring might come at the January pay-per-view. A win in the big match may be a different story, but based on history, it’s not out of the question.
Cageside Seats reported on Tuesday’s SmackDown results that AJ Styles defeated Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler in a Triple Threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight title. The win kept the championship belt around Styles’ waist but brought out John Cena to show his respect. Earlier in the evening, Cena made his big return to SmackDown and pretty much booked himself in a match against whoever might be champion when the Royal Rumble takes place. That adds John Cena vs. AJ Styles to the Royal Rumble pay-per-view title matches along with Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE Universal Championship.
Things become more interesting in terms of a potential spoiler that’s been revealed for the upcoming WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. At the event, John Cena will challenge AJ Styles in a two-out-of-three falls match for the championship. If ComicBook.com’s spoiler is accurate, it means that Styles will win his match against Cena at the Royal Rumble. The event is a SmackDown roster event, meaning that there will likely be an Elimination Chamber match for the No. 1 contender spot, where Undertaker could claim the spot instead of at the Rumble. However, it’s important to note that Taker did win the 2007 Rumble, also held in San Antonio, Texas.
Due to the SmackDown-branded Elimination Chamber event, it still seems that someone from the WWE Raw roster will be walking away as the winner of this year’s Royal Rumble. That could be Brock Lesnar, Finn Balor, or Chris Jericho. Goldberg isn’t necessarily a member of either roster, but he could also be a potential winner. As of this report, Goldberg is still the favorite with five to two odds at Paddy Power, followed by Chris Jericho and Finn Balor at three to one odds. Undertaker is currently in the fourth spot, just ahead of John Cena and Braun Strowman.
In terms of the other favorites, there have been rumors that Goldberg and Brock Lesnar could meet for a third time at WrestleMania 33. Whether or not a championship is involved seems unknown at this point. For that to happen, it would mean one of the two competitors has to defeat either Kevin Owens or possibly Roman Reigns ahead of WrestleMania 33. A match involving Goldberg vs. Reigns for the championship was also rumored, with both wrestlers famous for their spear moves.
Finn Balor could be a smart choice to win the Rumble match as WWE has been known to keep secrets and throw fans curveballs. Balor, who has been out of action with an injury since Summer Slam, has indicated he wouldn’t be ready to return to action at the Rumble but would be ready by WrestleMania 33.
All of the speculation is what makes the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania among the most intriguing pay-per-view events each year. While it seemed very clear that Triple H would win the match last year against Roman Reigns, it’s certainly less clear heading into 2017 as to who will win this pivotal matchup to shape the WrestleMania 33 card.
WWE fans, do you think The Undertaker will win the 2017 Royal Rumble or someone else? What will the major championship matches be at WrestleMania 33?
[Featured Image by WWE]