Among the latest WWE rumors are the potential for a newer WWE star to emerge victorious at the 2017 Royal Rumble match in a few weeks. As it stands, the field for the annual 30-man elimination style match is continuing to take shape with huge superstars such as The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, and Seth Rollins all having entered. There’s still room for some surprise entries, and that could leave the door open for a current NXT star to make his debut on the main roster. So which of the current NXT roster members might show up and actually leave as the 2017 Royal Rumble winner?
In previous WWE Royal Rumble rumors and news reported here at the Inquisitr, it was mentioned which NXT stars have top odds to appear in the Rumble match. The top choices at the time were Tye Dillinger who has the “perfect 10” gimmick, and former NXT champion Samoa Joe. As of right now, the rumors are starting to kick in that both these guys could appear, with a stronger emphasis on Joe possibly being a contender. There’s also odds for a handful of other NXT stars like Bobby Roode and No Way Jose, which are both possibilities, but probably less likely to enter and win.
The WWE Leaks website is now reporting that the betting odds for Samoa Joe keep improving regarding his chances to win this year’s Royal Rumble match. Joe has not been officially entered, but there is strong speculation that the former NXT Champion will arrive in San Antonio as part of this year’s field. Paddy Power lists Joe with odds of 1 to 8 just to appear in the match, and then odds of 4 to 1 to actually win the match. That has pushed Joe into the top four for favorite contenders along with Braun Strowman, The Undertaker, and Randy Orton. He’s also a spot above Finn Balor, who could be another surprise entrant.
Joe is certainly groomed for a huge role on the main roster, whether it be on Raw or SmackDown Live. The former NXT and TNA Champion could probably be a better fit on the SmackDown roster regarding feuds with stars like John Cena, AJ Styles, and Dean Ambrose. Quite possibly, WWE is setting him up for the big win at the Rumble to have him headlining WrestleMania 33 in a match. They’d need to do a lot of buildup to establish that match, even though many wrestling fans are probably familiar with him.
His most recent feuds were in a series of classic and entertaining matches against current NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Diehard wrestling fans who watch all of the shows including NXT, or followed TNA, will know just how vicious a heel Joe can be. That makes him a perfect foil for someone like John Cena or Dean Ambrose at the moment, as AJ Styles is currently in “heel mode.” The two have previously worked together in TNA, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to resume their rivalry in front of the latest generation of WWE fans.
There’s also that lingering possibility of Kurt Angle returning to the ring. He was announced just last night on Raw as a 2017 WWE Hall of Fame Class member. He’ll be inducted into the Hall just before WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, but that doesn’t rule him out for surprising fans as a Royal Rumble entrant, or even working a feud with Joe. It would mean more star power for WWE at a time when they seem in need of some fresh feuds with “newer” WWE talents like Samoa Joe.
Of course, having a guy make his debut on the main roster and then claim the Royal Rumble win is a bold move which hasn’t really happened in WWE history. It’s one WWE needs to tread carefully with, but it could make great sense regarding generating new interest in stars beyond the tried and true roster members.
WWE fans, do you believe Samoa Joe will enter the Royal Rumble and would it be smart for WWE to have him as this year’s winner, or should they stick with someone more established on the main roster? Is Joe ready to headline WrestleMania already?
[Featured Image by WWE]