More WWE rumors are popping up as the Royal Rumble 2017 match approaches this month with regards to which superstars may enter the 30-man field. There are ongoing odds for in-ring appearance possibilities at the Rumble, and recently Roman Reigns, James Ellsworth, and Kenny Omega were added to a lengthy list of potential entrants. This has raised some speculation for possible Rumble surprises. Could any of these superstars actually show up in the match, and if so, which of them has any chance of winning it?
In the past week, possible Royal Rumble surprise entrants were reported and discussed here at the Inquisitr. Among them were NXT superstars including Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Tye Dillinger. Also, there are former WWE superstars who are speculated to show up including Kurt Angle, Shelton Benjamin, Shawn Michaels, Christian, and even CM Punk. While some of the names on the odds list are outlandish, others seem more realistic, including some of the superstars recently added onto the list.
On Friday, WWE Leaks reported that James Ellsworth was added to the list of possible Royal Rumble 17 entrants at Paddy Power. Ellsworth not only was added, but is the current favorite to enter the match at 1 to 12 odds. In recent weeks, he was seen wearing a neck brace and being helped around by women’s wrestler Carmella. Just recently, he assisted Carmella in getting a win on SmackDown too. There have been rumors speculating that Ellsworth would participate in this match ever since he signed a contract with WWE and has become a regular on SmackDown or at pay-per-views. However, expectations for him to actually win the match seem low, especially when he already has a title shot at AJ Styles.
Three other names of note were added to the list beyond Ellsworth. They include Roman Reigns, Kenny Omega, and Chris Hero. Reigns currently is listed at 1 to 5 odds to make an appearance in the Rumble. As fans know, Reigns is already scheduled for a match on the Rumble card, as he’ll battle Kevin Owens for the WWE Universal Championship. Chris Jericho will be hanging above the ring in a shark cage so he can’t interfere. There’s been speculation for weeks that Reigns would win the Universal Championship and that could set up who will win the Rumble.
A match set for this Monday’s episode of Raw will feature Reigns defending the United States Championship in a 2-on-1 match against Jericho and Owens. The outcome of that should make things interesting in terms of Reigns’ chances at winning the Universal title, and if he wins it, there’s no reason he’d need to be in the Rumble. There’s also no reason WWE should put him in it, especially based on fan reaction over his previous wins and recent run.
Kenny Omega and Chris Hero are two superstars who many WWE fans might not be as familiar with. Neither has actually been in the WWE ring for the main roster just yet, so an appearance would be a talking point to create intrigue amongst fans. Both are big names in the wrestling business and showing up at the Rumble could be similar to when AJ Styles made his big WWE debut at last year’s edition. Styles is now the WWE World Heavyweight Champion on SmackDown Live, so consider how just showing up at the Rumble started his push.
Chris Hero is currently working with WWE NXT as Kassius Ohno. He was with NXT from 2012-13 and then left for the independent wrestling circuit for a four-year hiatus. He recently showed up back with NXT again and went right to the current champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Hero’s appearance has some fans speculating that he’ll show up as part of the Rumble match and maybe move to the main roster in the near future.
Just a few days ago, Kenny Omega, real name Tyson Smith, indicated on his Twitter page that he was stepping away from New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) to reassess his future. He also noted he was weighing any and all options available to him, which raised speculation he’d be showing up with WWE soon.
I will be stepping away from Japan to reassess my future. The path of my journey may change, but my goals will not. pic.twitter.com/E4vDiGgAwe— Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX) January 6, 2017
As of right now, Omega has 10 to 11 odds and is eighth on Paddy Power’s odds. Chris Hero is tied with Shinsuke Nakamura and Kurt Angle for 10th on the list with 6 to 5 odds. Rob Van Dam is on the list just behind Angle, Nakamura, and Hero with odds of 6 to 4. In addition to RVD and the newer stars, a few of WWE’s longtime legends were also put on the odds list. Bob Backlund has 3 to 1 odds, while “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan has odds of 7 to 2.
In terms of any of these recent superstars mentioned on the odds to appear in the Royal Rumble match winning the whole thing, that seems unlikely. WWE already knows what happened the last time Roman Reigns got the win at the match, and the two newer stars are probably not at the point where they’d bring enough attention to a WrestleMania main event just yet. While an appearance isn’t out of the question necessarily, a Royal Rumble win probably is. So continue to keep an eye on the favorites to win the match such as The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman, and John Cena, as well as the outside chance that Finn Balor makes a surprise return to win.
WWE fans, do you think Roman Reigns will be among the Royal Rumble match entrants, or is it a bad idea? Also, out of Chris Hero or Kenny Omega, who would you prefer to see most as part of the 30-man match?
[Featured Image by WWE]