The WWE Royal Rumble is underway, and there have been numerous theories on who will walk out the winner of the Royal Rumble match, as well as claim the WWE and WWE Universal Championships. One theory is that the Undertaker will win the 30-man elimination match to set up a bout against John Cena at WrestleMania. Another theory states that AJ Styles will maintain the championship until WrestleMania, and will lose the title to John Cena in a triple threat match against the Undertaker.
On the recent episode of SmackDown Live, Shane McMahon announced that the WWE Championship will be defended in an Elimination Chamber match. While the announcement was filled with mystery on who will the champion be come this pay-per-view exclusive to the blue brand, a recent advertisement has potentially spoiled the outcome of the Royal Rumble.
A week after the Royal Rumble, SmackDown Live will be inside the Key Arena at Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington, for the first time in two years. The site is promoting a double main event.
— KeyArena Seattle (@KeyArenaSeattle) January 4, 2017
“THIS WILL BE YOUR CHANCE TO SEE:
Double Main Event!
John Cena vs WWE Champion AJ Styles! Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose vs The Miz!”
As you can see, Styles is still advertised as the WWE Champion after the Royal Rumble. While cards are always “subject to change,” this does potentially spoil the outcome of the championship title bout between him and Cena at the Royal Rumble.
Although Styles could remain champion after the Royal Rumble, he does have one more giant hurdle to jump over before having the opportunity to compete as champion at WrestleMania. This is the Elimination Chamber.
Based on previous world championships defended inside the Elimination Chamber for the SmackDown brand, it is really a statistical toss-up whether Styles will win the match or not if he is able to get past Cena.
At No Way Out in 2009, Triple H defeated champion Edge, along with Big Show, Jeff Hardy, Vladimir Kozlov, and The Undertaker, to become WWE Champion. The next year at Elimination Chamber, Chris Jericho defeated champion The Undertaker, along with R-Truth, John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, and CM Punk, to become World Heavyweight Champion.
At Elimination Chamber in 2011, Edge retained the World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Drew McIntrye, Rey Mysterio, Kane, Wade Barrett, and Big Show. Daniel Bryan also retained the World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Santino Marella, The Great Khali, Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, and Big Show.
Forbes, among similar sources, recently predicted that Styles will be out of the title picture come WrestleMania, and will be facing Shane McMahon. From the previous episode of SmackDown, it appears that WWE may be planting the seeds to that match already.
— Still Real To Us (@stillreal2us) January 16, 2017
“You may have noticed that the show started with some interesting interaction between Styles and Shane McMahon, and that was apparently by design. The latest rumor mill suggests that WWE may be doing Styles vs. Shane-O-Mac at WrestleMania 33, which really shouldn’t be that surprising given that Shane faced The Undertaker last year.
“Is this the best use of arguably the best in-ring performer in the world in Styles? Of course not. But if Shane is going to wrestle at WrestleMania like many think he is, then Styles is his most likely opponent.”
There is no doubt that AJ Styles received a start in the WWE that only others can envy. Within year one of debuting, the first championship that he won was the WWE Championship. It is quite interesting that for all the flak WWE receives for not appropriately pushing former TNA stars, or even mentioning TNA at all, names such as Styles, Samoa Joe, and Bobby Roode totally debunk this theory.
Whether Styles enters WrestleMania 33 as WWE Champion or not, he has experienced a fantastic year in the WWE.
[Featured Image by WWE]