In the latest WWE news and rumors, the field for the Royal Rumble 2017 has more than half of its competitors named already. The big 30-man match takes place in less than two weeks in San Antonio, Texas, with the winner getting a headline match at WrestleMania 33. With previous winners, including The Undertaker and Randy Orton, among the field of 18 superstars named so far, here are some predictions for who may appear in the final 12 competitors. Could one of the unnamed stars have a good shot at winning?
On Wednesday, ProWrestling.net reported on the list of announced superstars in this year's Royal Rumble match. After this past week's episodes of Raw and SmackDown Live, the list had totaled 18 worthy contenders all capable of winning the match, with some receiving higher odds than others. Some of the latest names added to the list include all Cesaro and Sheamus as well as all three of the current Wyatt Family members.
The website summarized who the advertised participants for the WWE Royal Rumble are so far.
"The 30-man Royal Rumble (Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, Kofi Kingston, Big E, Xavier Woods, Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho, Baron Corbin, Seth Rollins, Undertaker, Dean Ambrose, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, Cesaro, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, and Luke Harper are the advertised entrants)."
That leaves 12 more competitors to enter the field. As it stands, two of those entrants could probably come from the two major title matches on the card. In one match, John Cena battles AJ Styles for the WWE World Heavyweight title, while Roman Reigns takes on Kevin Owens for the WWE Universal title in another match. The losers of the respective matches might be good bets to enter the Royal Rumble unless one of those two matches occurs after the 30-man match.
That leaves 10 spots to fill out, and one of those seems destined for Triple H. He's been missing in action in terms of on television programming lately. However, there's been rumors for weeks that he and Seth Rollins will have a match at WrestleMania 33. If that's the case, then there's no reason the feud won't be resumed by HHH costing Rollins a win in the match, especially after Rollins talked about missing WrestleMania due to an injury a desire to headline it. It could also just mean Triple H shows up through the crowd to yank Rollins off the apron too.
A few other stars who have been missing from WWE programs lately are Big Show and Kane. Both were heavily involved in the finish of the Royal Rumble that Roman Reigns won two years ago. In particular, Big Show has been seen lately training for his big match against Shaquille O'Neal and even sporting a slimmer figure, as reported by Wrestling News World. Could that also mean "Shaq Diesel" shows up again in the match like he did at the previous Rumble? With Kane, he's been a fixture in the match, although never a winner, and it seems possible that he'll cross paths with his "brother" The Undertaker.
The door has been left open for other surprises in the Rumble, such as NXT stars and WWE legends. A few superstars to heavily consider seem to be Samoa Joe, Tye Dillinger, and Jerry "The King" Lawler. Joe has been rumored as potentially receiving a huge push by WWE and possibly even headlining a title match at WrestleMania against John Cena. Dillinger has the "Perfect 10" gimmick, which could make him a shoo-in for the No. 10 spot in the match.With Jerry "The King" Lawler, he was recently involved in the "King's Court" show on SmackDown Live which had Dolph Ziggler superkick him in the chest. Lawler demanded that Ziggler return to the ring to face him, but Ziggler didn't oblige, so that could play into Lawler as a legend in the match. He could also just rush to the ring and attack Ziggler, costing one another the win.
Don't forget about James Ellsworth, although some are quickly doing just that based on his lack of TV time and in-ring appearances. He's recently been paired up on SmackDown Live with Carmella and seems like he should probably be in the match too. Winning it is out of the question, but he'll probably provide some comedy at one point for fans to laugh at. He is possibly one of those guys who gets in the ring only to be quickly eliminated, just like Santino Marella in 2009 or The Warlord 20 years prior to that.The Rumble field is already stacked, but with more potential surprises in store, WWE seems like it may have something big up their sleeves. Whether it's a major return to the ring for "The Demon" Finn Balor or recent WWE Hall of Fame 2017 member Kurt Angle, that huge surprise is likely to send fans into a frenzy and possibly give them goosebumps the way that the arrival of AJ Styles did in 2016. It's also possible that one of the unnamed 12 superstars is going to win the whole thing, and if that is the case, the current betting odds at Paddy Power favor Finn Balor or Samoa Joe to do just that.
WWE fans, who else do you expect to enter the Royal Rumble in the final 12 superstars? Will Finn Balor or Kurt Angle be in the match? Will there be any longtime legends such as Jerry Lawler?
[Featured Image by WWE]