WILW: Royal Rumble 2017 Predictions

my god the airbrushing...
my god the airbrushing…

Ladies and Gentlemen it is time once again for my favorite event of the year. I simply adore the Royal Rumble event, always have. In an otherwise horrible month (seriously, could January be any worse?) the Rumble has always given me something to look forward to. This year’s event is no different. We are living through a golden age of wrestling right now. One in which I can tune in Sunday night to see some of my very favorite wrestlers perform. AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Rich Swann, Sasha Banks, and so many more will all be a part of the Royal Rumble event. It’s going to be a long show, the preshow kicks off at 5 with the Rumble starting at 7, but I humbly believe it will be worth it. With that said, here are my predictions for the show. Make sure to follow me on twitter, @geekadedan, to let me know what your thoughts are and also check out Geekade’s newest podcast, The Backdrops and Bodyslams Podcast, to hear my thoughts on the show and those of my co-host, Mr. Dean DeFalco.

Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax: It’s about time WWE started to make Nia look and act the monster she is. The Women’s Division is floundering with the focus having been on Charlotte and Sasha most of the last year plus, so having another credible foil for the face to fight is long past due. I’m a little bummed it’s a preshow match, but with such a stacked card, it has to go somewhere. It should be a good match that will hopefully build to something bigger for these two. Prediction: Nia Jax

Cesaro/Sheamus vs Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson (RAW Tag Team Titles): If there is one thing WWE does worse than just about anyone it is their tag team division. It wasn’t always this way but for the last number of years, it has been one major feud with a smattering of nonsense in between for the other teams. It’s a shame really, as Anderson and Gallows came in white hot thanks to their run in NJPW with Bullet Club. These dudes deserve the win to cement themselves as one of the best teams of the last decade. Cesaro and Sheamus is fun and works a damn sight better than I thought it would, but it has about run its course. Time for the Club to be given the ball. Prediction: Gallows/Anderson

Naomi vs Nikki vs Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss vs Natalya vs Mickie James (SD Women’s Title): So this match is basically going to be a rather short, rather hot mess. All six of these ladies can go in the ring, to varying degrees admittedly, but let’s be honest, this was thrown together because the Smackdown women needed something to do. Six person matches are slapdash at best and are most of the time set up for the heel to escape with a cheap win, which is what will happen here. Prediction: Alexa Bliss

Rich Swann vs Neville (RAW Cruiserweight Title): The addition of the Cruiserweights is evolving slowly into a credible division and that has been helped immensely by the talents of Rich Swann. As I covered in a post last year, here, Rich Swann is incredibly watchable. The guy is just charisma personified. And his opponent, Neville, is just as must-see. These two can do incredible things in the ring and if they are given the leeway, may very well put on the match of the night. Heel Neville is really working right now. Giving him a run with the belt until WrestleMania is just smart money. The faces win at Mania and it is that much better if they are getting their title back. Prediction: Neville

Charlotte vs Bayley (RAW Women’s Title): Charlotte is already a 46-time champion (not really, but it sure feels like it) and has been the dominant woman for the better part of the last two years. She is no doubt great, but questionable booking decisions have cheapened the division and the worth of the belt. Bayley on the other hand, is just about everything one would want as a company champ. If WWE wants to expand their business, then Bayley is the way to go. And while I do think she will win, I’d also guess that she will lose it again quite quickly so that the story can be her chasing Charlotte to Mania and getting the big payoff. Not what I would do but there are worse options. Prediction: Bayley

Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns (RAW Universal Title): Also known as the “Chris Jericho in a Shark Cage match” this one really bothers me. Not because Roman shouldn’t win, he shouldn’t. Not because it will be a bad match, it won’t. Not even because I am an Owens mark, I am. It bothers me because just like everything else with Roman, it is as formulaic as it could be. And no one wants it. The fans are going to shit all over this match once Roman wins. Which would be fine if WWE would book him as a heel, but they won’t. Wrestling demands an innate suspension of disbelief and when the guy presented as the top face is getting booed out of the ring all the while playing at and not reacting as if he doesn’t hear the boos in addition to the commentary team trying, and failing desperately, to make the booing positive well, it reminds me that this shit is fake. It’s like trying to cheer for Ivan Drago against Rocky. And fuck that. Prediction: Roman Reigns

AJ Styles vs John Cena (WWE Championship Title): Never in a million years did I dare to dream that AJ Styles would be WWE Champion. Never did I dream that he would have the kind of first year that he just had. It never seemed possible. And yet, at the 2017 Royal Rumble AJ Styles will defend the WWE Championship against the now part-time John Cena. If Swann/Neville is not match of the night, this will be. These two just get it. Cena, for all the hate he gets, is an amazing sports entertainer, and Styles may very well be the best wrestler on the planet. Their previous matches were stellar. This needs to be the one to top those and cement AJ as a top guy. Plus, with my prediction for the Rumble, AJ has to win. Prediction: AJ Styles

Royal Rumble: Oh the Rumble. Two men start. Every minute and a half or two minutes thereafter, another man enters. Wrestlers are eliminated when they are thrown over the top rope and both feet touch the floor. It’s fucking great. As of this writing twenty two of the thirty participants have been announced. There are always some surprise entrants, most being nostalgia, some being AJ Styles last year. This year the set up has focused on Lesnar and Goldberg. Neither of them will win. Undertaker has been featured heavily. He will not win either. Braun Strowman is a monster and he might win, in a year or two. This year, the winner will be one of those unannounced participants. And he will go on to face AJ Styles at Wrestlemania. And his name, is Samoa Joe. Dean disagrees. He wants either Undertaker or Goldberg. He thinks it will be Lesnar. And now that we have it published here, one of us will be bragging come Monday night. Prediction: Samoa Joe

So there it is. My predictions for the 2017 Royal Rumble. How did I do? I can’t wait to find out. Until then…


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