This weekend marks the Royal Rumble; the WWE’s biggest match that anyone can win. Join in our predictions contest for WWE Royal Rumble 2017, where anyone can win their chance to shape the next episode of Cheap Popcast!
Woot! It’s time for the funnest WWE weekend of the year! Not only do we have an always dependable NXT Takeover on deck (check out our NXT Takeover San Antonio predictions page), we also have a prediction for the WWE’s most exciting show of the year; The Royal Rumble! Headlined by a 30-man battle royal where you never know who’s coming out next (and hopefully don’t know who will win), the Royal Rumble is always a source of excitement around Laser Time’s studios. We’ve got a list of the 30 best Royal Rumble moments and even streamed some of the show’s biggest matches with a heaping helming of sarcasm! Check it out below!
Here’s how said contest goes. Dave and Brett will make picks in this here article, and then open up the replies to you awesome listeners. You will then pick a winner (or if you’re feeling frisky, a rare draw/no contest) for each match (don’t worry about getting the finish right, I’m just looking for winners, if any), and then, just in case there’s a tie for correct predictions, pick a running time for the final match listed (the presumed main event) as a tiebreaker.
If you have the most correct predictions, you can make your mark on the next Cheap Popcast episode (exclusive to Patreon) by choosing a theme to close a segment. Pick the wrestler theme and include a YouTube URL to a wrestler’s theme alongside your predictions (including the running time of the Royal Rumble match as a tiebreaker) and I’ll give you a shout-out on the next Patreon popcast. Got it? Good. Now, onto each LaserTimer’s predictions!
1 – Kickoff Match – WWE Raw Tag Team Champions Cesaro and Sheamus vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (Two referees will call the match)
I really hope the WWE has something solid in store for Cesaro come WrestleMania (which they haven’t for all but one of his years on the roster), and I don’t think Shame-saro bringing the tag belts to the big show is in the cards. That said, they deserve a tag reign of some length, so I say we draw out this feud a few more weeks as this match ends with a double pin before The Club steals the straps a few weeks down the road.
2 – Kickoff Match – Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks
The question here is; who needs the bigger build going into WrestleMania? After Sasha’s success last year, I think Jax is due to step out in a big way at ‘Mania. At Rumble, Jax will win, continuing up to Mania where her singles stream finally ends… perhaps by a revitalized Boss who’s learned her lessons after an early-year drubbing like this one?
PICK: Nia Jax
3 – Kickoff Match – Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, and Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Natalya
Out of anything on the Rumble card, this one is the easiest gimmie. This is a match meant to extend storylines, not end them, and the heels winning adds a feather to Bliss’ cap, gives James a good first (re-)impression, and furthers whatever is happening between Nikki and Nattie. Though a part of me hopes Naomi nukes Alexa and finally gets the singles title run she’s deserved for years.
PICK: Bliss, James, and Natalya
4 – WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann vs. Neville
I think the Cruiserweights are destined to replace the customary WrestleMania-opening ladder match slot that the IC strap has occupied the last two years. Those matches are best served by having the heel defending the strap and a conquering hero (Jack Gallagher) pulling down the belt to start ‘Mania off strong. It’s a little sad that the path to ‘Mania requires the fourth new Cruiser champ in just as many months, but Neville needs to have a reign of terror going into the show for it to mean anything, so I say he ends Swann’s song at the Rumble.
5 – WWE Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte vs. Bayley
In the same vein that Jax’s reign of terror is meant to end at ‘Mania, Charlotte’s PPV streak might as well also continue up to the big show. Bayley can have a close match and lose via shenanigans as they build to another multi-woman title match at WrestleMania, which is the better spot to give Bayley her big moment. At this point, it’s just a bit too early to give her a big title-winning moment on the main roster.
6 – WWE Champion AJ Styles vs John Cena
While I think the better move is to give John Cena his big moment outside of WrestleMania (Cena’s MO as of late has been to stay out of the main event and cede the spotlight to others), I’m thinking that the better story is to have Cena lose yet again, semi-fairly, to Styles and have Super-Cena doubting his skills as he falls short at the Rumble and in the Elimination Chamber. Then at ‘Mania, Cena finally overcomes adversity and ties Ric Flair’s record for title reigns.
7 – WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns (No DQ Match, Chris Jericho will be suspended above the ring in a shark cage)
Two things need to line up for some of WrestleMania’s biggest matches to line up. Roman Reigns needs a big opponent, and the Owens-Jericho feud needs to start in earnest. To that end, I think bungled interference costs Owens the belt that’s barely made the dude look any stronger for the last five months. Then Reigns has the belt to defend against whichever monster wins the Royal Rumble.
8 – Royal Rumble Match – Confirmed entrants: The Undertaker, Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, Big Show, Dean Ambrose, The Miz, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Big E, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Luke Harper, Mojo Rawley, Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho, Baron Corbin, Cesaro, Sheamus, Big Cass, Rusev
Triple H has promised a surprising end to the Rumble, and I (perhaps stupidly) think the WWE will finally deliver a satisfying Royal Rumble conclusion for the first time since… what, 2010? With all of the giants in this year’s Royal Rumble, I think we get a surprise winner with Sami Zayn as the underdog and the Big Dog face off at WrestleMania. The only Reigns opponents that won’t turn off the crowd seem to be an undeniable babyface or The Undertaker, and I think Roman is just a bit too hard-hitting for ‘Taker at this point.
PICK: Sami Zayn in 58 minutes
Up next… Brett’s picks!