While the return of Shawn Michaels to Monday Night Raw this week has been confirmed by WWE, they continually note that The Undertaker is merely “rumored” to show up as they question how the Dead Man will “make his presence felt” in New Orleans, where his WrestleMania streak came to an end at the hands of Brock Lesnar. Although he’s not listed as an official member of the SmackDown LIVE roster, his pep talk to the blue team prior to Survivor Series 2016 gave a clear indication to which brand The Undertaker calls home. That being the case, if he really does show up on Monday Night Raw, why couldn’t the announcement wait 24 hours so that he could make it on SmackDown LIVE?
With the most recent rumors being that WrestleMania could be returning to New Orleans in 2018, it would make sense for “Mr. WrestleMania” Shawn Michaels to be in attendance when such an announcement was made — and for The Undertaker to be there to remind everyone how epic things were at WrestleMania XXX. But WWE hasn’t even confirmed that Taker will actually show up on Monday Night Raw.
In their own official preview, WWE says that “it’s rumored that The Undertaker will also make his presence felt” and “it’s rumored that The Phenom will make an appearance on this Monday’s Raw.” As they put it, his “potential appearance” could be for any number of things. And even the promo they made for Raw uses this subtle wordplay to indicate that Shawn Michaels is confirmed to show up, whereas the impact that The Undertaker might have remains vague. The clip ends by asking, “Are rumors of The Undertaker’s return true?”
Shawn Michaels has a storied history with San Antonio, the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. As Monday Night Raw rolls through New Orleans, what will The Showstopper have to say to the WWE Universe, aside from promoting his new WWE Studios film, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone?
In other news, Chris Jericho gets another opportunity to finally capture one prestigious title that has always alluded him as Roman Reigns puts the United States Championship on the line again. This time, however, it will be in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match against both members of Jeri-KO. If WWE plans on giving Roman Reigns the Universal Championship at Royal Rumble so that he can have the strap walking into WrestleMania 33, then there’s a very good chance that he’ll drop the U.S. Title beforehand, rather than making him a double-champion.
In other Royal Rumble 2017 news, the drama will surely continue to unfold for Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair as she prepares to defend her title against Bayley. While it seems unlikely that Sasha Banks and Nia Jax will appear on the Royal Rumble card, there’s no reason to think their feud won’t get some airtime on Monday Night Raw. And with 22 spots still waiting to be filled for the Royal Rumble Match — and big names like Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, Rusev and Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann still unconfirmed — it seems likely that several more participants will throw their name in the hat this week.
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Updated WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Card
- Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin, The New Day and 22 others TBD — Royal Rumble Match
- Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns — WWE Universal Championship Shark Cage Match
- Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Bayley — Raw Women’s Championship Match
- AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena — WWE Championship Match
WWE Royal Rumble 2017 will be the next PPV featuring stars from Monday Night Raw (although it will also include competitors from SmackDown LIVE). Fewer matches are generally scheduled for WWE’s annual January PPV, since the Royal Rumble Match can take upwards of 90 minutes, with the lead-in promos and post-match shenanigans. Royal Rumble 2017 will air live on Sunday, January 29 from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. As more information is confirmed, it will be updated at WWE’s official Royal Rumble preview page.
Where To Watch WWE Raw
WWE Royal Rumble 2017 will air live on the WWE Network on Sunday, January 29 at 8/7c. The Royal Rumble Kickoff Show will begin at 7/6c.
Episodes of WWE Monday Night Raw air live on the USA Network at 8/7c. Replays of WWE Raw aren’t made available on the WWE Network until several weeks after the original air date. However, a 90-minute version of Monday Night Raw is available to stream on-demand the following day with a Hulu subscription.
[Featured Image by WWE]